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Thursday 30th March
Nicaragua Information - Page 1
Geography
The Republic of Nicaragua is in Central America. It is bordered by Honduras, the Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica, and the North Pacific Ocean.

Managua is the capital city. Leon was the first capital of Nicaragua.

The terrain of Nicaragua is divided into Caribbean coastal plains, central mountains, and a Pacific coastal plain. There are a number of volcanoes on the Pacific side of the country. Major rivers include the Rio Grande and the San Juan.

The climate is tropical along the coast; it is cooler at higher elevations.

Environment
Protected areas in Nicaragua include the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve, Miskitos Cayos Biological Reserve, Masaya Volcano National Park, Miraflor Natural Reserve, Mombacho Volcano Reserve, and Zapatera Archipelago National Park. The parks and reserves system is responsible for the conservation of rainforest, forests, wetlands and marine areas.

Lake Managua and Lake Nicaragua are Nicaragua's largest lakes. The island of Ometepe, situated in Lake Nicaragua, is formed by two volcanoes: Concepcion and Madera. Ocean life, such as the shark, can be found in Lake Nicaragua.

Architecture
Leon Viejo (Old Leon), an early Spanish settlement in Central America, is on the World Heritage List. The town's designers adapted sixteenth century European architecture to the "New World".

A surviving example of Colonial architecture in the city of Leon is the cathedral, built in the eighteenth century. Earthquakes in Managua in 1931 and 1972 caused great damage. Managua's cathedral survived the earthquakes but is in need of restoration. A number of Colonial churches and buildings can be seen in Granada, another of Nicaragua's main cities.

Population
The population of Nicaragua was estimated at 5,666,301 in 2011.

Languages
Spanish is the official language in Nicaragua. English and indigenous languages, such as Miskito, are spoken.

Religion
The majority of the people in Nicaragua are Christians; a large percentage are Roman Catholic and a significant number are Evangelical Protestant.

Food
Staple foods in Nicaragua are maize, rice and beans. Corn tortillas, with fillings such as cheese and onions, are popular.

Fish is an important part of the diet, particularly in the coastal areas.

Vegetables include cassava, plantains, onions, potatoes and tomatoes. Chillies and garlic are used in recipes.

Fruits available are guavas, limes, mangoes, papayas, oranges and tamarinds.

Coffee is grown in Nicaragua. Fruit drinks are available. Both non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks are made from corn. Beer and rum are produced locally.

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