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Republic of Nicaragua

NICARAGUA

Independent Baptist Friends

Nicaragua Managua, Nicaragua

Managua

Country Nicaragua
City Managua
Latitude/Longitude 12.15, -86.27

Population 973,087

Bordering Cities

* Statistics by Wolfram|Alpha. "Christianity" is used in the statistical sense and includes Catholics, Protestants, and true Christians.

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Nicaragua, officially the Republic of Nicaragua, is a representative democratic republic. It is the largest country in Central America with an area of 50,336 square miles. The country is bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The Pacific Ocean lies to the west of the country, the Caribbean to the east. The country's Caribbean coast is part of the Western Caribbean Zone. Falling within the tropics, Nicaragua sits between 11 degrees and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere. Nicaragua's abundance of biologically significant and unique ecosystems contribute to Mesoamerica's designation as a biodiversity hotspot. The capital city of Nicaragua is Managua. Roughly one quarter of the nation's population lives in the Nicaraguan capital, making it the second largest city and metropolitan area in Central America (following Guatemala City).

The Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century and the territory became associated with the Viceroyalty of New Spain and later the Captaincy General of Guatemala. Alongside the Spanish, the British established a protectorate on the eastern seaboard beginning in the middle of the 17th century, and ending roughly two centuries later with the rise of the Spanish Viceroyalty of New Granada in the coast. The eastern seaboard retains its colonial heritage; English and Jamaican Patois are commonly spoken and the culture in the Atlantic region identifies as being more Caribbean. In 1821, Nicaragua achieved its independence from Spain and joined the Federal Republic of Central America in 1823, later leaving the Federal Republic in 1838. Nicaragua increasingly became a subject of substantial interest because of its geographic position for a canal that would service the Windward Passage. Roughly a century after operations of the Panama Canal commenced and one hundred and eighty five years after the initial plans for the Nicaraguan Canal waterway, the prospect of a Nicaraguan ecocanal has remained the subject of interest, with its construction in progress. Eighteen years after leaving the federal Republic it also became the center of William Walker's Golden Circle filibustering in Central America. Since its independence, Nicaragua has undergone periods of political unrest, military intervention on behalf of the United States, dictatorship and fiscal crisis-the most notable causes that lead to the Nicaraguan Revolution. Although the Somoza family ruled the country in the form of a dictatorship for forty years, Nicaragua was the first country to sign the UN Charter in 1945. Prior to the revolution, Nicaragua was one of Central America's wealthiest and most developed countries. The revolutionary conflict, paired with Nicaragua's 1972 earthquake reversed the country's prior economic standing. Despite the harsh economic effects of both phenomena, post-revolution Nicaragua has maintained democratic practices and has experienced economic growth and political stability. In 1990, Nicaragua elected Violeta Chamorro as its president, making it the first country in the Americas and in Latin American history to democratically elect a female head of state and the second country in the Western Hemisphere to do so, following Iceland's democratic election of Vigdis Finnbogadottir.

The population in Nicaragua, hovering at approximately 6 million, is multiethnic. Segments of the population include indigenous native tribes from the Mosquito Coast, Europeans, Africans, Asians and people of Middle Eastern origin. The main language is Spanish, although native tribes on the eastern coast speak their native languages, such as Miskito, Sumo and Rama, as well as English Creole. Of the Spanish-speaking countries in Central America, Nicaragua is where the use of the voseo form of address is most widespread. The mixture of cultural traditions has generated substantial diversity in art, cuisine, literature, and music.

Nicaragua has earned recognition and various colloquial names in reference to its geographic location, cultural achievements and recent economic development. The Central American Volcanic Arc runs through the spine of the country, earning Nicaragua the nickname : La Tierra de Lagos y Volcanes, which translates to: The Land of Lakes and Volcanoes. Nicaragua's biological diversity, warm tropical climate, and active volcanoes make it an increasingly popular destination for tourists, surfers, biologists, and volcanologists. The country has also been dubbed La Tierra de Poetas: The Land of Poets, due to various literary contributions of renown Nicaraguan writers, including Rubén Darío, Ernesto Cardenal and Gioconda Belli.


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