10 Fun Facts about Nicaragua, Land of Lakes and Volcanos

Rosario Traducciones continues the tour of Latin America in another edition of #ElEspañolEnElMundo. The eighth edition takes us to the longest country in Central America. Do you need to communicate with a Latin American audience? Are you exporting or selling your products and services to Spanish-speaking countries?  Rosario Traducciones y Servicios SA invites you to join us on a virtual linguistic tour through the different countries of Latin America, as we explore their diversity and cultural richness. This month we travel to Nicaragua, the longest country in Central America, known for its great natural richness.

Nicaragua, “Right next to the water”

It is said that the name Nicaragua comes from the Nahuatl language, meaning “right next to the water.” There is another version, less supported by historians, that suggests Nicaragua derives from the Amerindian King Nicarao, who reigned before the arrival of the Spaniards over what is today Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

Territory of Great Hydric Wealth

Nicaragua is a country rich in aquatic resources. Cocibolca, the largest lake in Central America and the third largest in Latin America, is 8264 km2 large. Two other important water resources in Nicaragua include Xolotlán, the second largest in Central America, and Río Coco, the longest river that runs entirely within the Central American isthmus.

The Area with the Most Seismic Activity in the World

Nicaragua's location in the Pacific Ring of Fire is the most seismic area on the planet. For this reason, Managua, the capital city, does not have many buildings and is the city in the world that has volcanic lagoons in its interior and surroundings. There are also 58 volcanos, six of which are active.

A Country Where Streets Have No Name

Most Nicaraguan streets have no name. This has not been a problem for its inhabitants, who designed a quite effective system of reference points—a tree, a traffic light, a monument, among others—to describe locations from which they count how many blocks it takes to reach the next marker. For example, “one block west of the traffic lights at Santa Ana Church” or “two blocks south of the church, half a block east of the college, in front of the bank.”

Rubén Darío's Birthplace

Rubén Darío was a poet, journalist and diplomat, recognized for initiating the Spanish literary movement known as modernism. The Nicaraguan writer was one of the main authors and greatest influences on Hispanic poetry in the twentieth century, earning him the nickname "Prince of Castilian Letters." The Managua national theater was named in his honor and is considered by the New York Times as the best theater in Latin America for its acoustic design.

Nicas or Pinoleros

Nicaraguans are also known colloquially as "Nicas" to "Pinoleros." "Nica" is short for the formal name "Nicaraguans." "Pinoleros" refers to the high consumption of pinol (a powder made from roasted and ground corn, which is used as breadcrumbs.)

Several UNESCO World Heritage Awards

Nicaragua has two world heritage sites awarded by UNESCO: the ruins of the León city, and its cathedral, which is the largest in Central America and the third largest in the continent. 
In addition, the country has three cultural assets also awarded by UNESCO, the Garifuna language, music and culture. Güegüense is the most remarkable asset - a satire considered to be the first play in Nicaraguan literature, and most likely the first play in the Americas.

Freshwater Sharks

Lake Nicaragua, also known as Cocibolca, is the only freshwater lake containing oceanic animal life, including sharks, swordfish, and tarpon. This phenomenon is due to the fact that the San Juan River serves as a drain to the Caribbean Sea, and the Tipitapa River connects it to Lake Managua (also known as Xolotlán). This allows sharks to reach the lake along the San Juan River, swimming against the current, from the Atlantic ocean.

Diverse Cuisine

Nicaraguan cuisine offers a variety of dishes, drinks and desserts. Its staple food is corn. One of its most popular forms is natales: corn dumplings stuffed with vegetables and cooked and wrapped in banana leaves. Another typical dish is "gallo pinto," a dish that combines white rice with small red beans.

All-Star Baseball Players and Boxers

The most popular sporting activity in Nicaragua is baseball, followed closely by boxing. The country has a long tradition in these two sports, with 15 world boxing champions and major baseball stars who have played in the most important leagues in the world.