Nicaragua is the biggest Central American country, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. It is about the same size as New York but the population is much lower (About 5.5 million in Nicaragua).The main language is spanish, although on the Atlantic Coast they speak a lot of English and Creole. The currency they use are Cordobas, which right now the exchange rate is about 22 Cordobas to 1 United States dollar.
The most common dish in Nicaragua is gallo pinto (rice and beans mixed together). There is also a lot of fruit and meat, chicken, pork, beef, and fish. Tortillas are also seen a lot. Most of Nicaragua is Catholic, there are 16 churches in Leon alone!
In 1821, Nicaragua (along with the rest of Central America) gained independence from Spain. But, fighting continued, especially because the USA wanted to prevent anyone else from building a canal across Nicaragua so they signed a treaty with Nicaragua to own the land but did not build the canal. An especially bad general (Somoza) overthrew the liberal government and became a vicious dictator in 1937. The Guerillas (Sandinistas) fought against the Somoza regime for many years until 1979, when the Sandinistas gained power again. During the 1980's, the USA funded the Contras who fought against the Sandinistas, many people died and living in Nicaragua was hard and dangerous. Now the Sandinistas are in control of Nicaragua.It is much safer now and people are doing better.
Two tectonic plates meet under Nicaragua, and so there are 40 volcanos! The tectonic plates also cause earthquakes when they move against each other because the tension builds up and is released in the form of an earthquake. There was a 5.3 earthquake in Leon the first Friday we were here! Margot's teacher Cecilia was pointing at the ground and talking to the other teacher in spanish really loud and the chair started to move! That was a small tremor and everything was fine (except the water went out all weekend).
Nicaragua has lots of legends and myths and a whole museum about them. Most of them are about the Spanish because the Spanish conquered Nicaragua. In Nicaragua there are a lot of volcanos and some are active and some aren't active but you can still climb the active ones because they are monitored. There are many beaches because Nicaragua touches both the Atlantic and the Pacific Coasts. Even though it is one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere, Nicaragua still has lovely places and beautiful nature.