Nicaragua: Land of lakes, volcanoes, and poets

The Republic of Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America. Within it, you find three different geographical regions:  the Pacific Lowlands, the North-Central Mountains or Highlands, and the Atlantic Lowland. The Pacific coast is volcanic and very fertile. Nicaragua also enjoys coastlines both in the Caribbean Sea as well as in the Pacific Ocean. Spanish is spoken by 98 percent of its inhabitants, yet Miskito and other indigenous languages are still spoken on the Atlantic coast. Nicaragua has 84 national parks, reserves, and wildlife sanctuaries protecting 20 percent of its total land area, far more than any other country in Central America.

Nicaragua is home to Lake Nicaragua — the largest freshwater lake in Central America — as well as many other lakes, rivers, and lagoons that add to the natural beauty of its scenery. The lake is home to a creature known as the bull shark. Inside Lake Nicaragua you will find the Solentiname Islands, a series of 36 islands of volcanic origin. Most of the Central America Volcanic Arc is found in Nicaragua, featuring more than 50 volcanoes, of which seven are still considered active.

Some of the most influential poets have come from Nicaragua. Rubén Darío, considered the “Prince of Castillian Letters” and the “Father of the Hispanic Modernism,” had the lead role in promoting the poetic movement that combined Romanticism, Symbolism, and Parnassianism and introducing it to the world.  Some of his most distinctive work is found in “Azul…” (considered the first book of Modernisim), “Prosas profanas y otros poemas,” and “Cantos de vida y esperanza.” Other famous Nicaraguan writers include Gioconda Belli, Ernesto Cardenal, Claribel Alegría, and Salomón Ibarra Mayorga.

Did you know…?Nicaragua has nine six-crater lakes, more than any country outside Africa. Unlike most Latin American countries, baseball is the most popular sport in Nicaragua. Out of the 88 modern constellations, 86 can be observed in Nicaragua.

This is the fifthteenth in a series of articles spotlighting different countries in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. To see a complete list of previous entries, click here.