Poetry is one of Nicaragua's most beloved arts. Rubén Darío (1867-1916) is known as the "Prince of Spanish-American literature," and recent work by Nicaraguan poets, fiction writers and essayists can be found in most bookstores. Art Earthquakes and war have obliterated much tangible evidence of Nicaragua's cultural heritage, especially its colonial architecture, although León retains many fine, old buildings. The Archipiélago de Solentiname in Lago de Nicaragua is famous as a haven for artists, poets and craftspeople. Street art in the form of modernist murals is especially prominent in the university town of León.
Many Nicaraguans favor Mexican styles of music, often characterized by guitars and marimbas. Tonada-style music is also popular. Bluefields, the largely English-speaking town on the Caribbean coast, is a center for reggae music.
Visit the Compassion blog to read posts about Nicaraguan culture and life in rural and urban Nicaragua.
All Compassion children speak Spanish. Other dialects are used in the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua, and Compassion does not currently have projects in that area of the country.
Spanish: Buenos dias (Good morning), Dios le bendiga (God bless you), Hola (Hello), ¿Cómo está? (How are you?), Bien (Fine)
Sports & Games
Baseball is the most popular sport in Nicaragua. Younger children typically favor games of tag.
A traditional Nicaraguan meal consists of eggs or meat, beans and rice, salads of cabbage and tomatoes, tortillas and fruit. Also common is gallo pinto, a blend of rice and beans. Other typical dishes include bajo, a combination of beef, greens and ripe plantains and yucca; and vigorón, yucca served with fried pork skins and coleslaw.
Nicaraguan food, like that of all Mesoamerican peoples, is based on corn. Today, corn is the main ingredient used in cakes, alcohol, desserts and drinks. Cassava, beans and chili pepper are also widely used as ingredients in different Nicaraguan dishes. Some of the most recognized corn dishes are listed below:
Nacatamales: Cornflower dumplings boiled in plantain leaves stuffed with vegetables
Corn tortillas: A flatbread typically made with corn flour, water, salt and lime
Caballo Vayo: A tortilla wrap made of meat, chicken, avocado, cheese, etc.