Category Archives: Nicaragua

La Purisima

Purisima altar in 2009celebration similar to La Griteria is La Purisima,  a separate celebration to the Virgin Mary.

During colonial times, the Spanish brought their catholic religion to Nicaragua. Every December, La Purisima is celebrated and is one of the most widespread celebrations. A very decorated and colorful altar is placed in a corner of the family home with a statue of the Virgin Mary. There are chairs arranged in front of the altar that will soon have tons of family members, friends and neighbors that were invited to celebrate La Purisima. Continue reading →

Alexis Arguello

Alexis Arguello is another and more recent figure of Nicaraguan history that the entire country adored and cherished. Known for his representation in boxing and three-time world champion, Arguello was known to be one of the best fighters of this era before he turned into a politician in Nicaragua.

In the 1980s, Arguello fought against the Contras in Nicaragua, but retired from the war after a few months in the jungle. He attempted to come out of retirement to go back to boxing but only had success at home.

Arguello found himself to be very involved in Nicaraguan politics after his retirement from boxing and was elected vice-mayor of Managua in 2004. Many people believed he was robbed of Mayorship against Eduardo Montealegre in 2008, as Arguello only missed the vote by 1%. Continue reading →

Palo de Mayo

A very fun and exciting dance in Nicaragua is called the Palo de Mayo, or the maypole dance, which is a dance that consists of Caribbean rhythms and colorful costumes that start the Palo de Mayo festival. The festival is a tribute to the Mayaya African goddess of fertility. The celebration has been dated from the nineteenth century.

This is considered one of the highest expressions of culture and tradition of the Caribbean of Nicaragua which is the first of May starts with a presentation around a tree that is decorated with colorful ribbons and around which dances are performed as welcome to the rainy season, production and new life. Continue reading →

La Griteria

One large Nicaraguan tradition is called “La Griteria,” directly translated in English is called “the shouting,” which is a very loud and exciting celebration in Nicaragua.

Every December 7th at 6PM, you hear a yell resonating through the streets through different cathedrals and churches. What you hear is “Quien causa tanta alegria?” with a response “La Concepcion de Maria!” Which means “who causes so much happiness? Mary’s Conception!” This is something every Nicaraguan takes very seriously and with lots of pride and joy. You hear it EVERYWHERE, even in the United States. Continue reading →

Ruben Dario

Ruben Dario is one of the most influential and biggest role models in Nicaraguan history. Every Nicaraguan person knows who Ruben Dario is. He was known as “The Father of Modernism.” Ruben Dario was known and idolized for his beautiful poetry that has resonated for generations in Nicaragua. To this day, students are required to know the history of Ruben Dario and recite his poetry.

Dario’s success began at the age of 13, where his first publication made it into a newspaper for the city of Rivas with the name of “Termometro.” Since his first publication, he was known throughout Nicaragua as their “child poet.” Congress of Nicaragua noticed Dario’s passion for poetry, so they sent him on a scholarship to study in Europe, which was eventually revoked because the President Pedro Joaquin Chamorro believed that his poetry was written to defy Dario’s family and the rest of the country. Continue reading →

El Gueguense

 El Gueguense means “old man” or “wise man.” In the 17th Century, indigenous and mestizo people created a comedy play to mock the rejection of Spanish domination that has turned into a national tradition to protest the negative image that identified the Nicaraguan people. The dance originated in Diriamba, located in the department of Carazo. This story has been passed down for generations but was finally published in 1942.  These dances  have become a very integral part of the cultural expressions in honor of San Sebastian during the third week of January. The dance is also performed by the descendents of its creators, the community of Diriamba.

There is a large play about the Gueguense, including 14 characters in the play. There is a variety of costumes that are extremely colorful and fun. The Spanish are dressed elegantly and in colonial clothes and high stockings with people wearing masks of a lighter color, mustache, and light colored eyes to represent the Spanish. The mestizos, or the Nicaraguans, use masks with a smaller mustache, straw hat and simpler clothing. They are barefoot or wear sandals and carry a rattle.

The Güegüense describes himself as a merchant who travels between the different colonial territories of Mexico and Central America in order to sell his goods. His sons are his helpers: don Forsico is his right hand whereas don Ambrosio is his detractor. The four animals are his beasts of burden used for doing heavy work. Some interpretations of the story say the Gueguense was a hard-working and prosperous merchant but a rascal while others say that he was almighty and a great man.

My uncle performs in the Gueguense every year and has lots of fun with it. He feels that it is a part of his heritage and loves representing the people in this play. This is something that I haven’t experienced personally, but I would love to finally see it! I have seen it in videos, but never in person. How would you feel about participating in a cultural play?

Fiestas Patrias – Nicaraguan Independence Day

Every September marks the beginning of Independence Day in Nicaragua, along with several other countries in Central America. Most events begin the first of the month and spread through the first two weeks with the biggest celebrations on September 15th. Back in September 1821, the independence wars in every region sparked the interest in becoming a separate nation from SpainContinue reading →

Fiestas Patronales – Day of the Saints

 Every year, Managua and all surrounding cities celebrate the “Fiestas Patronales,” or the celebrations dedicated to a saint. In Managua, they celebrate Santo Domingo de Guzman, or Saint Dominic. These are a very large and traditional celebration throughout the city, but each department in Nicaragua has their own saint they like to cherish and celebrate. There are men and women carrying a picture or statue of their prospective saint through the streets with dancers dancing around them and cars honking. Continue reading →

Tropical Nicaragua

Nicaragua Weather - Blue skies in San Juan del SurNicaragua has a very large range of weather climates. It is definitely a place to check the weather before you go anywhere because one minute it’s blazing hot and humid and within seconds, it’s pouring rain and storming.

Nicaragua’s seasons are also completely different than America‘s. Winter runs through May to November, it’s rainiest in September and October. The summer is November to April, the best time to go to the country. In the mountains, the weather stays mainly cool, chilly and misty. Continue reading →

Where’s the Water?

In a third world country like Nicaragua, a lot of homes don’t always have the luxury of having water at the turn of a handle at the faucet like we do in America. We are lucky enough to live in the states where we have water readily available.

In my most recent trip to Nicaragua in 2009, I noticed that a lot of homes had large tubs above their homes. I had no idea what was in these tubs, but I asked my uncle. He explained that in Nicaragua, they turn off the water supply after 8AM. These water tubs are used to supply water to certain homes that can afford them and are hooked up to the pipes that give water and will supply water throughout the day. Continue reading →