Tag Archives: Central America

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?

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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 →

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 →

The Land of Lakes and Volcanoes

Nicaragua is known as the Land of Lakes and Volcanoes for its 50 volcanoes, of which 7 are active, and its famous Lake Nicaragua, the only sweet-water lake known to have sharks in the world. Most of these volcanoes are very interactive and have lots of tourist attractions. Visitors have the ability to climb active and dormant volcanoes, peek over into the crater of a volcano and swim in the crater lakes.

There are volcanoes all around Nicaragua, with 12 of the main volcanoes being along the left side of the coast. One of the most active volcanoes in Nicaragua is Momotombo. Continue reading →

Shopping is easy!

Shopping could either be the hardest or easiest thing to do in Nicaragua. Most people sell food, bath necessities and batteries in little shops they call “ventas” or “pulperias.”  Yes, everything they sell in these little stores are completely random. These stores are run out of people’s homes and mostly take up the entire front porch. Because of this, finding exactly what you want isn’t always the easiest task. Continue reading →

….Where is Nicaragua?

Before we jump into what you can do in this beautiful country, lets talk about where Nicaragua actually is. People mistake Nicaragua as a state in Mexico, confuse it with the television network Nickelodeon, or assume that it’s a random country in Europe. Despite their confusion and misunderstanding, Nicaragua is located in Central America, below Honduras and El Salvador and above Costa Rica.

Nicaragua has to be one of the most overlooked, underrated and most beautiful countries in the world. As the largest country in Central America, Nicaragua is known by its visitors and residents as “la tierra de lagos y volcanes,” or “the land of lakes and volcanoes.” Continue reading →