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Nicaragua

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Anthem: Salve a ti, Nicaragua

Capital Managua
Official languages Spanish
Demonym Nicaraguan
Government Presidential republic
Independence from Spain-Declared, Sept. 15, 1821/ Recognized, July 25, 1850/ Revolution, July 19, 1879
Area 129,494 km² (97th) / 50,193 sq mi
Population July 2006 estimate / 5,603,000 (107th)
Currency Córdoba (NIO)

[show-map id=’14’] Geography
Largest but most sparsely populated of the Central American nations, Nicaragua borders on Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. It is slightly larger than New York State. Nicaragua is mountainous in the west, with fertile valleys. Two big lakes, Nicaragua and Managua, are connected by the Tipitapa River. The Pacific coast is volcanic and very fertile. The swampy Caribbean coast is aptly called the “Mosquito Coast.”  Nicaragua has three distinct geographical regions: the Pacific Lowlands, the North-Central Mountains or highlands and the Atlantic Lowlands.  This large rainforest region, with several large rivers running through it, is very sparsely populated largest river in Central America, it forms the border with Honduras. The Caribbean coastline is much more sinuous than its generally straight Pacific counterpart. Lagoons and deltas make it very irregular.  Nicaragua’s tropical east coast is very different from the rest of the country. The climate is predominantly tropical, with high temperature and high humidity. Around the area’s principal city of Bluefields, English is widely spoken along with the official Spanish and the population more closely resembles that found in many typical Caribbean ports than the rest of Nicaragua.

Culture
Nicaraguan culture has strong folklore, music and religious traditions, deeply influenced by European culture but enriched with Amerindian sounds and flavors. Nicaraguan culture can further be defined in several distinct strands. The Pacific coast has strong folklore, music and religious traditions, deeply influenced by Europeans.  The Caribbean coast of the country, on the other hand, was once a British protectorate. English is still predominant in this region and spoken domestically along with Spanish and indigenous languages The indigenous groups that were present in the Pacific coast have largely been assimilated into the mestizo culture, however, the indigenous people of the Caribbean coast have maintained a distinct identity.  Nicaraguan music is a mixture of indigenous and European, especially Spanish, influences. The Caribbean coast of Nicaragua is known for a lively, sensual form of dance music called Palo de Mayo which is very much alive all throughout the country. Literature of Nicaragua can be traced to pre-Columbian times with the myths and oral literature that formed the cosmogonic view of the world that indigenous people had. Like many Latin American countries, the Spanish conquerors have had the most effect on both the culture and the literature. Nicaraguan literature has historically been an important source of poetry in the Spanish-speaking world.

*Content gathered from Wikipedia