Nicaragua is a nation in Central America surrounded by Costa Rica and Honduras. Spanish is the most commonly-spoken language, while the total population is 6.2 million. How many of these fun Nicaragua facts did you know?
- Nicaragua’s most popular sport is baseball, which was introduced by visitors from the United States in the late 19th century: A number of successful local stars have gone on to play in the MLB, including Dennis Martínez, Vicente Padilla and Everth Cabrera.
- The national dish of Nicaragua is gallo pinto, which involves a mix of rice with either red or black beans: The name of the dish is Spanish and means ‘spotted rooster’, a reference to the fact that the beans mixed with the rice appear as spots.
- Nicaraguans have a reputation for enjoying quite exotic animals foods, including guinea pigs, iguanas, armadillos and even boa constrictors: Due to the fact some of these animals face extinction, there has been a focus on recent years in curbing the amount eaten by humans.
- A 2014 study revealed that around 70% of Nicaraguans have European heritage, with 20% having African heritage: The percentage of residents with European heritage is the highest rate of all Central American nations.
- Tourism is a major industry in Nicaragua, accounting for the second-largest contribution to GDP of all sectors: The nation had over 1.2 million foreign arrivals in 2013, with over two thirds of these from other Central American countries.
- Nicaragua’s flag feature volcanoes, a rising sun and a rainbow: Due to the inclusion of a rainbow, Nicaragua’s flag is one of only two national flags in the world that feature the color purple (the other national flag with purple is the Dominican flag).
- Nobody is 100% sure how Nicaragua got its name, but there are a couple of leading theories: One is that it is named after an early chief of a local tribe, named Nicarao. The other theory is that it is based on a local word, nic-atl-nahuac, meaning ‘here by the water’.
- In 1990, Nicaragua elected Violeta Chamorro to the position of president: This election was notable as it was the first time a female candidate was democratically elected as president of any nation in the Americas. To this date, she remains Nicaragua’s only female president.
- Lake Nicaragua is both the nation and Central America’s largest lake: It’s also the 19th largest lake on the planet. The lake has been hit hard in recent years due to a drought, so much so that the government has advised residents to stop eating chickens and grow iguanas for food instead, as they use less water.