Nicaragua has a strong and vibrant cultural heritage, richly influenced by Iberian and Amerindian cultures. Half of the country was colonized by Spain, and the Spanish influence can still be felt today. In many ways, culture in Nicaragua can seem similar to other Latin American countries, yet it is also a melting pot of cultures due to the influences of the surrounding Native Indian cultures. At Gran Pacifica, we embrace Nicaragua’s enormous cultural diversity, and we believe it is important to learn about all of the cultural heritage the country has to offer.
Language and Religion
Many Nicaraguans are native Spanish speakers and practice Catholicism due to the influence of being colonized by Spain. However, the native influences of the Indians can be strongly felt throughout the country, and among the mestizos, a mix of Spanish and native Indian culture is practiced. English is becoming more prominent throughout the country due to tourism; however, Spanish is still the foremost language spoken in Nicaragua.
The Sumos and Ramas
In eastern Nicaragua, there are groups of people, such as the Sumos and Ramas people, who remain ethnically distinct from the rest of the country. They still stay true to many of their original tribal beliefs and customs, and many have even retained their original languages.
Fiestas and Saints
Although parties and religion may not seem to mix, the meshing of Catholicism and native beliefs has led to a fusion of culture in Nicaragua based on fiestas that honor certain saints. Each city in Nicaragua has its own patron saint, and some towns even share their saints with other towns. Annual fiestas are held in the saints honor, and these fiestas are fun-filled times of celebrations. There are often parades, dances, and ceremonies, followed by rockets, firecrackers, and partying that goes until the early hours of the morning. If you have a chance to be in Nicaragua during any of these local fiestas, it is definitely a sight to see. Itís great to see a part of the local culture and to learn about the reasons behind the parties.
Food and Drink
Nicaraguan food is alive with many delicious scents and flavors. Although somewhat similar to Mexican, Honduran, and Guatemalan food due to its reliance on staples like corn, beans, staples, and onions, the flavor of the food also differs in some ways. Corn tortillas are eaten with almost every meal, and the yucca root is a vegetable that is eaten for its nutritious value. Other fruits that are frequently eaten and sold at roadside stands in Nicaragua are mangoes and plantains. Coffee is a hugely popular drink in Nicaragua. Chichi, fermented corn beer, is an alcoholic drink that is also made and served. Pinol, the national drink, is nonalcoholic beverage made from corn flour and water. Food and drink is very important in many of Nicaraguan’s ceremonies, and during your stay, going out for a local meal and enjoying the local beverages is a great way to enjoy a taste of the local culture.
Gran Pacifica and Nicaragua’s Culture
Nicaragua is a country that not only naturally beautiful, but is culturally colorful and alive. While walking in the streets or relaxing after an afternoon meal, you can feel the beating of the Nicaraguan culture thrumming through your heart. If you have any questions about Nicaragua’s culture or would like to learn more about life in Nicaragua by clicking here http://www.granpacifica.com/discover.html, please do not hesitate to contact the staff at Gran Pacifica. Here at Gran Pacifica, we aim to make you feel at home in Nicaragua’s culture, and our staff would be happy to answer any of your questions about life in Nicaragua today or Nicaragua’s history.