Culture of Nicaragua


Nicaragua is a multicultural and multilingual Republic, with an enormous wealth of cultural expressions.

The languages of the original indigenous peoples are Nicaraguan Creole English, Misquito, Sumu or Sumo, Garifuna and Rama, and Spanish as the predominant language in the Nicaraguan Pacific.

The Caribbean Coast known for its ethnic diversity, its typical foods are based on seafood, coconut water, edible roots, and for containing the largest forest and wildlife reserve areas in Central America, mainly the Bosawás reserve. In this region the Moravian Christian denomination prevails, present in Nicaragua since 1848.

The Nicaraguan Pacific known for the marimba, baho, vigorón, hammocks, ceramics, and for being in this region the capital of Managua, a place of immigration for people from the Departments in search of work.

In the Pacific, the first evangelical missions began in 1901 with the Central American Mission, the Assemblies of God (1910) and the Baptist (1917). The north of Nicaragua is the place of the Polka and the Mazurca and the Jamaquello, of the production of coffee and milk and its derivatives. Place of strong immigration of nationals and establishment, in the past, of German, Italian and the French. This region was where the Pentecostal missions initially took place.


Nicaragua is known for its exuberant natural wealth. Most of it is barely exploited for sustainable and community tourism. San Juan del Sur is a beautiful beach, the Ometepe Island, the Somoto Canyon, the beaches of Rivas, the impressive trails and volcanoes, places of petroglyphs and indigenous remains, etc.

Culture of Nicaragua
San Juan del Sur

Culture of Nicaragua
Ometepe Island

Culture of Nicaragua
Somoto Canyon

Culture of Nicaragua
Somoto Canyon
Culture of Nicaragua
Cerro Negro Volcano
Culture of Nicaragua
Masaya Active Volcano


Nicaraguans are described by some writers as hospitable, friendly, cheerful, loud, and with strong religious and patriotic feelings. On the other hand, it can also express a burlesque, trusting, and rude. The people of Nicaragua call this characteristic, “Our guatusero identity.

Rather than make a caricature of these identity expressions, let us present a general characterization of the way Nicaraguans think and act.


Güegüensismo is the extreme expression of an irresponsible and fatalist attitude known as guatusero. In other words, a person may show friendliness and acceptance with their words but their body language says something different. It is the dark side of our moon.

Nicaraguan society is conservative with strong modernist tendencies. People move back and forth easily between rural and urban areas. Their social networks encourage young people to complete their middle grades and aim for higher education.

Traditional family relations encourage a sense of superiority of men over women. Adults carry more weight than youth and childhood. Socially, whites are superior over blacks and indigenous people. Families rooted in ancestral power govern mestizos and the excluded, etc. The religious background of Nicaraguan society encourages all these values.

Little by little, society is becoming more democratic. People are developing through increased education. Our country is lined to other nations around the world through social networks and the internet provides access to information of all kinds.


The Catholic Church entered Nicaragua at the time of the Spanish conquest (1502). This brought much destruction to the traditional way of life. This Christian confession became the official religion of the Nicaraguan State (until 1916). It has been the confession with more state privileges to the disadvantage of other religious expression to the present day. The Catholic Church, through the Nicaraguan Episcopal Conference (CEN), has played an important role in the foundation and development of political life in Nicaragua. CEN represents 48% of the Nicaraguan population according to the latest census (see M&R reports).

Evangelical churches represent 38% according to the same pollster. Most evangelical believers belong to Pentecostal churches. These churches were birthed in struggles with organs supported by the Nicaraguan Episcopal Conference. As a result, unity in the mission of these churches and communion between their leaders is not possible.

Roman Catholic and Evangelical churches attempt to improve morals and social life in families and in society. This is carried out by preaching and service. Churches want to improve the living conditions of people who are most at risk or excluded from society. The churches still have a long way to go to understand the integral mission of the church.

According to the WHO, about 4.3 million people in the world die from alcohol abuse every year. In Nicaragua about 1,200 people die annually from irresponsible alcohol consumption, not counting liver disease and mental illness resulting from alcohol consumption.

Nicaragua is the second country with the poorest (58.3%) and indigent (29.5%), second only to Honduras (69.2% and 45.6%) in both cases. Both countries present data for 2012. There is no data for 2013, or afterward.