Nicaragua is identified as the largest country in Central America, however most people are quick to disregard some of the other offerings that the country itself has. The hidden gems that lie within Nicaragua stretch far, from coastal towns such as San Juan del Sur to the Masaya Volcano National Park in the pacific region.
However, it is first important to recognize where the country has come from. The name of the country itself stems from the word, “Nicarao.” Nicarao was the head chief of the area’s indigenous tribe at the time of the Spanish conquest in 1522. A short two years later, another conquistador by the name of Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba, came through and founded two of the countries main cities – Granada and Leon.
The entry of the Spanish at this point in time caused many clashes between their group and the indigenous people of Nicaragua, who tried endlessly to drive Spain out of their territory. However, the Spanish prevailed and ultimately went on to enslave the indigenous people as a means of cheap labor. At this point in time, the indigenous people also began to be affected by numerous infectious diseases from Europe that were carried to the country as a result of Spain’s conquest, which unfortunately led to the death of many of the county’s original inhabitants.
Now, we fast forward quite a few years. Following the overthrow of the First Mexican Empire in 1823, Nicaragua joined the newly formed United Provinces of Central America, breaking away from Spain. They went on to become a fully independent nation in 1838.
In present day, Nicaragua is unfortunately one of the poorest countries in the Americas. Approximately half of the population lives below the poverty line, which is why organizations like Lokono and those similar to it are so incredibly important to the area. Their main source of revenue is agriculture, which makes up about 60% of its exports annually and drives the economy as a whole.
As mentioned earlier, the country is full of treasures that are often overlooked due to the larger, more pressing issues such as the poverty epidemic. While the rate of poverty has decreased in recent years, many of Nicaragua’s rural areas and the families that live within those areas are still suffering.