The one minute summary on

This is it: one minute to the best info on Nicaragua. This info alone will put you ahead of 99% of foreigners visiting Nicaragua, garner the admiration of the locals who will instantly want to be your friends, and the envy of your fellow travelers. Read on. You’ll make friends faster that way, become a traveler instead of simply being a tourist, and also enjoy your travels a lot more.

 

The Pacific coast of Nicaragua was settled as a Spanish colony from Panama in the early 16th century. Independence from Spain was declared in 1821 and the country became an independent republic in 1838. Britain occupied the Caribbean Coast in the first half of the 19th century, but gradually ceded control of the region in subsequent decades.

Violent opposition to governmental manipulation and corruption spread to all classes by 1978 and resulted in a short-lived civil war that brought the Marxist Sandinista guerrillas to power in 1979. Nicaraguan aid to leftist rebels in El Salvador caused the US to sponsor anti-Sandinista contra guerrillas through much of the 1980s. After losing free and fair elections in 1990, 1996, and 2001, former Sandinista President Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra was elected president in 2006 and reelected in 2011.

The 2008 municipal elections, 2010 regional elections, 2011 presidential elections, 2012 municipal elections, and 2013 regional elections were marred by widespread irregularities. Nicaragua’s infrastructure and economy – hard hit by the earlier civil war and by Hurricane Mitch in 1998 – are slowly being rebuilt, but democratic institutions have been weakened under the ORTEGA administration.

That was it. I promised one minute.

For other condensed info check also my other posts on local culture (don’t make the mistakes I made), local food or local drinks. And when you call your friends to tell them you were by far the most knowledgeable at the party, do that with confidence that you’ll not get hit with a 6.99 per minute bill. You’ll also pick the local food from the tray, and order a local drink with confidence.

  1. Cultural Mistakes To Avoid in  Nicaragua
  2. Does my current phone work in  Nicaragua ? Tips to cell phone usage in  Nicaragua
  3. Local food you should try in  Nicaragua and No miss drinks in  Nicaragua

Now, cheers to the most Nicaragua aware person at the cocktail party.

What are the key history moments for Nicaragua?

Nicaragua was entered by Spanish conquistadors in the early 16th century. The pre-Colombian Indian civilization was almost completely destroyed by population losses due to infectious diseases, enslavement and deportation. Spain made Nicaragua a colony; Granada was founded as one of the oldest colonial cities in the American continent. During the colonial period, Nicaragua was part of the Capitania General based in Guatemala. Nicaragua declared independence from Spain in 1821; by 1838, the country became an independent republic. Britain occupied the Caribbean Coast in the first half of the 19th century, but gradually ceded control of the region in subsequent decades.

Nicaragua photo

Photo by dalbera

Thus, many locals speak English. One of the most colorful personalities of Nicaraguan history is William Walker. Walker, a US southerner, came to Nicaragua as an opportunist. Nicaragua was on the verge of a civil war; Walker sided with one of the factions and was able to gain control of the country, hoping that the US would annex Nicaragua as a southern slave state. With designs on conquering the rest of Central America, Walker and his filibustero army marched on Costa Rica before he was turned back at the battle of Santa Rosa. Eventually Walker left Nicaragua; he was executed after arriving in Honduras at a later date.

The U.S. Marines invaded Nicaragua several times. One of the cities that witnessed an invasion was San Juan Del Sur. General Sandino, seeing the US as invaders, took the war to them. It lasted more than 5 years, until the Marines withdrew from the country. The twentieth century was characterized by the rise and fall of the Somoza dynasty. Anastasio Somoza Garcia came to power as the head of the National Guard. Educated in the US and trained by the US Army, he was adept at managing his relations with the United States.

After being assassinated, he was succeeded by his sons, Luis and Anastasio Jr (“Tachito”). By 1978, opposition to governmental manipulation and corruption spread to all classes and resulted in a short-lived civil war that led to the fall of Somoza in July, 1979. The armed part of the insurgence was named the Sandinistas, after the liberator of Nicaragua, Augusto César Sandino.

Due to the nature of the Sandinista government, with their social programs designed to benefit the majority, their support for rebels fighting against the military government in El Salvador, and their close alliance with Cuba, US President Ronald Reagan considered them a threat, and at his administration’s insistence, guerrilla forces (Contras) were organized, trained, and armed throughout most of the 1980s. Peace was brokered in 1987 by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, and led to new elections in 1990.

In a stunning development, Violeta Chamorro of the UNO coalition surprisingly beat out the incumbent leader Daniel Ortega. Elections in 1996, and again in 2001 saw the Sandinistas defeated by the Liberal party. During the 1990s the country’s economic policies saw a shift in direction aiming to transform Nicaragua to a market economy. However, the Sandinistas, led as in the 1980s and 90s by Daniel Ortega, were returned to power in elections in 2006 and won again in 2011. Nicaragua has suffered from natural disasters in recent decades.

Managua’s downtown area was vastly damaged by an earthquake in 1972, which killed more than 10,000 people, and in 1998, Nicaragua was hard hit by Hurricane Mitch. Nicaragua remains the second poorest country in the western hemisphere after Haiti.

The one minute summary for Nicaragua geography

Best places to see in Nicaragua

Guide to Festivals and Events (NCX travel guide to festivals and events in Nicaragua), . For anyone looking to get away from the tourist traps, it is advised to see some of the local festivals. You will probably be the only foreigner there. The best resource out there for that is the Guide to Festivals and Events, written in English, which details over 200+ fiestas for the year.