Blue and white are common colours in Central American flags. The colours come from the Central American Union flag from the beginning of the 19th century.
In the middle, in a circle, it says Republica De Nicaragua, America Central. Inside the circle is a triangle with vulcanos and a lake.
Seems odd but many people (especially in the country) point to things with their lips and not their fingers. I didn't notice this so much in the city or the coast. Another is shaking of the finger back and forth signifing a very stong "NO!" or "Don't go there!". This is also very prevelant on the coast/islands.
Apparently there are a few other common gestures but I didn't take notice of them or didn't understand meanings. Interesting.
In the Central-American countries it's common to bargain on almost everything. Your accomodation is well worth a try especially when you're there in low season or with a bigger group. On markets it's common as well. Only restaurants and shops have fixed prices. All the other things... go ahead and have fun!
A piñata is made of chicken-wire and paper and hanged up in a rope. It is stuffed with sweets. It is used at partys where children with covered eyes are going to hit the piñata to break it and make the sweets fall out. Someone is pulling the rope and the children take turn to hit the piñata. When the piñata breaks and the sweets fall out all the children try to grab as much sweets as possible.
There is a bit piece of history about a young Sandinista Nicaraguan that may actually have some relevance once again considering the upsurge in terrorism throughout the world. I recently read a story about Patrick Arguello Ryan, a young Nicaraguan who fled his country, to my hometown of Los Angeles, California, after his family was suspected of involvement in the assassination of Anastasio Somoza in the 1960's. After attending highchool near downtown Los Angeles Patrick Arguello studied in Chile and eventually went back to Nicaragua where he joined the Sandinista National Liberation Front. He was exiled from Nicaragua for his political activities with the Sandinistas and fled to Europe where he joined with the European Sandinistas who had forged a political pact with various Palestinian groups. But it was the hijacking of an El Al plane flying from Amsterdam to New York on September 6, 1970 that put Patrick Arguello Ryan in the history books. He had teamed up with a group of Palestinian's and took part in what became known as the 'Dawson's Field Hijackings of 1970:
"The Dawson's Field hijacking occurred on September 6, 1970. Four different jet aircraft bound from Europe to New York City, New York, United States were hijacked. Two of the jets landed at a remote desert airstrip in Jordan called Dawson's Field, the third, a 747, was thought to be too large to land there, and the fourth hijacking was foiled mid-air. The Palestinian guerrilla organization PFLP planned and executed this operation to gain publicity for the plight of Palestinians and to gain release of fellow guerrillas being held in Swiss jails."-quoted from Wikpedia
Arguello was the only hijacker killed after being shot 4 times my Israeli security on the El Al flight he hijacked. He also had the destintion of being the only Nicaraguan to take part in this Palestinian operation. It seems that as early as the 1970's there was a connection between terrorism and the Sandinista's.
During the Holy Week everybody seams to go to the the beach to spend time with their family and friends, to eat, drink and party. This is the only time of the year beaches in Nicaragua are crowded.
As a lot of people comes to the beaches the prices often rise during this week.
While researching my trip to Nicaragua I came across an interview of a young Nicaraguan immigrant in Toronto, Canada who expressed some of his own views on the civil war from 1979-1989 that displaced him & his family. Below are the excerpts from 'The Fate of a Nicaraguan' by Jaime Glazov of Frontpagemag.com
This may give you a little insight into Nicaragua & the Sandanista/Contra war that helped make Nicaragua the poorest Central American nation & the 2nd poorest country, behind Haiti, in the Western Hemisphere.
Why did the Sandinistas do what they did to Nicaragua?
"If their revolution was for the sake of social justice and equality, as they, and their Western admirers said it was, then why did that tragedy befall Nicaragua under their leadership? "
"I would leave it to the people who study books to answer that question," Pracxedes says,
but from my experience of running into people with books, I have gathered that I must answer the question from my own life experience. As I think of it now, it was hatred. The Sandinistas represented the socialist idea of equality. But that idea is hatred. It is about stealing from people who create wealth and keeping it for oneself. It is about envy and jealousy. It is about coveting one’s neighbor’s goods. In fact, it is about violating almost every commandment in the Ten Commandments. The answer is hatred, hatred of the human being, and the desire to destroy who he is.
Pracxedes finishes. His is the story of one Nicaraguan. "I am a Nicaraguan," he says,
and I will always be a Nicaraguan. But the Nicaragua I dream of must now be in my mind, because communism destroyed the one that exists. And I think the same goes for what kind of person I wish to be. I have to dream of him too, because a large part of him died somewhere in the Southwest part of Managua many years ago.
*You can read the entire article at the link provided below.*
Nicaraguans don't just walk in someone's house or office even if they know the person well. They first say hello and then the other person might, for example, say "adelante" and you say " gracias" or "con permiso" and walk in.
There are a lot of poor people in Nicaragua. It's nice to give a tip, for anything someone does for you (at the Hotel, the Restaurant). There are also a lot of street children who are drug addicts. You can't help them, by giving them money. What I used to do was, buying bread or some other stuff for those kids. Cause if you give them money, they'll never use it to buy something to eat. Some of them already know that it's easy to get some money from tourists.
On the market it's a must to deal.
It's pretty hard for visitors from the USA who have any sense of history not to be curious about Nicaraguan politics--the Somoza regime, Sandinista revolt, and Contra movement. Nicaragua has indeed had a long and difficult relationship with the USA and European powers that have wanted commercial interests in the potential canal and banana plantations. The attitude of most Nicaraguans that we talked to was positive about the Sandinista movement and the current president Daniel Ortega. And, we really didn't find any negative attitudes about the USA. Somoza is now a dim memory for only the oldest citizens, and many don't even recall the Contra movement--something more publicized in the USA than Nicaragua. The guns for drugs swap of the Reagan administration is more an idle cause for amusement than cause for political debate. Of course, the long Somoza dictatorial regime (1936 to 1979) is mostly remembered for it's ruthlessness, particularly in the city of Leon. There's a pictorial mural and memorial statue dedicated at the site of a university protest that ended in the death of several students. And, the Somoza era jail used to torture political prisoners, just steps away from Leon's main Cathedral, has been converted into a folklore museum. I write more about both of these in the Leon pages...
Like most places, people like their coffee break.
Here we are working in the heat but....everyone likes to have the occassional coffee break.
Treat people the way you want to be treated and smile. Give the little kids change and stickers and anthing to do with baseball. I gave this guy a spear gun and he got dinner for his family
Keep in mind, you don't know which 'side' people took during the war. Many people suffered and are still sensitive.
Granada Isletas, Granada, n/a, Nicaragua
Good for: Couples
Esquina de los Bancos 1C al Este, Leon, 00000, Nicaragua
Good for: Business
It felt like staying at Home in Nicaragua. The rooms are nice, very comfortable beds, a great...more
More Regions in Nicaragua