Resources on Nicaragua

Group travel participants will have a richer experience in León if they learn about the history and culture of Nicaragua before they travel. These links provide useful background reading for those who are planning travel to Nicaragua.

Current events: The two major newspapers in Nicaragua are La Prensa—Nicaragua's primary newspaper, which shows a conservative point of view critical of the Ortega government, and El Nuevo Diario, which is sympathetic to the current presidency. The English-language version of La Prensa is not as focused on Nicaragua. Other news sources include the following:

Maps: Look at a map of Nicaragua from Lonely Planet  or a  Google map of León.

Safety: The United States of America Department of State and Government of Canada Travel websites provide excellent information for North American travelers. The following articles explore what makes Nicaragua the safest country in Central America.

Sightseeing and travel: Check out VisitNicaragua.usViaNica, and Trip Advisor for information about sights to see in and near León and throughout the country. 

Telphoning Nicaragua: HowtoCallAbroad.com explains how to call Nicarauga from the United States and Canada. 

Travel Insurance: InsureMyTrip.com lets you obtain quotes for many types of travel insurance from 25 companies. You may also compare plans and purchase insurance on the website. 

Weather: A good website for current weather in León is Weather Underground

 

Websites

Established in 1997 out of a love for international relations and culture, this site offers more than 35,000 pages of content on countries around the world. The cultural, historical, and statistical information is useful to students, parents, teachers, and researchers.

Since 1981, Envío has been publishing information about Nicaragua's politics, society, culture, and economy. It continues to cover events throughout Central America as Nicaragua and its neighbors search for peace, democracy, and equity. Available in English, Spanish, and Italian. 

NSC works with Nicaraguan organizations and social movements fighting for social and economic justice by promoting and seeking support for their activities in the United Kingdom. Site includes recent news and other information about Nicaragua. 

Facebook pages

 

Books

  • Azul2a ed., by Rubén Darío (in Spanish, available through Amazon Digital Services)

Rubén Darío was a Nicaraguan poet who initiated the Spanish-American literary movement known as modernismo (modernism) that flourished at the end of the 19th century. Azul, the key literary work of the modernist revolution that had just begun in Chile, was published in 1888.

This novel is based on the real-life experiences of Bernardo Martínez, a modest, unassuming tailor who witnesses a vision of the Virgin Mary. Moving and often humorous fictional tales are woven through this stormy epic of Nicaragua during the long Somoza years and the Sandinista revolution. 

In 1976, at age twenty-five, Stephen Kinzer arrived in Nicaragua as a freelance journalist—and became a witness to history. Blood of Brothers is Kinzer's dramatic story of the centuries-old power struggle that burst into the headlines in 1979 with the overthrow of the Somoza dictatorship.

This electrifying memoir is by an acclaimed Nicaraguan writer and central figure in the Sandinista Revolution. Belli was raised in an upper-class cocoon. When she was in her early twenties, she joined the Sandinistas and was involved with them for the next twenty years at the highest, and often most dangerous, levels.

In The Jaguar Smile, Rushdie paints a sharp and haunting portrait of the people, the politics, the terrain, and the poetry of Nicaragua, recounting his travels there in 1986, in the midst of America’s behind-the-scenes war against the Sandinistas. Rushdie reveals a nation resounding to the clashes between government and individuals, history, and morality.

Providing the kind of revealing details that formal histories usually exclude, My Car in Managua offers an objective, often humorous description of the great difficulties and occasional pleasures of life in Nicaragua during the Sandinista revolution. Illustrated by Nicaragua's celebrated political cartoonist Róger Sánchez Flores.

Making a Difference in a Globalized World is a guide to leaders of short-term mission trips. The book presents clear insight and research from anthropologists and development professionals, and encourages individuals to lead mission trips that make a greater impact on the communities that they are serving. Making a Difference provides a practical framework for planning short-term mission trips.

Nicaragua details the country’s unique history, culture, economics, politics, and foreign relations. Its historical coverage considers Nicaragua from pre-Columbian and colonial times as well as during the nationalist liberal era, the US Marine occupation, the Somoza dictatorship, the Sandinista regime, and the conservative restoration after 1990. The book is succinct, well written, thorougly researched, and even handed.

Nicaragua in Focus is an authoritative guide to this fascinating country. It explores the land, history, and politics (including its crucial and difficult relationship with the US), economy, society and people, culture, and environment, and includes tips on where to go and what to see.

 
This book focuses on 30 individuals whose stories were documented between 1985 and 1990 and who were then revisited in 2002. Includes photographs, background information, and testimonials for each person, as well as an overview of US involvement in Nicaragua.
 

This book is a reprint of the 1985 edition of The Sandino Affair, a classic account of the struggle of native General Augusto C. Sandino against the United States.

This text offers an authoritative, comprehensive analysis of Central America's political evolution, including revolution, rebellion, regime changes, and democratic consolidation.

Davis explores the relationship between Nicaragua and the United States, based on two trips to Nicaragua (1983 and 1986) during which Davis sought out Nicaraguans of every class and political stripe, including President Daniel Ortega.

 

Movies

 

Music

 

Articles

Researchers have found study abroad has positively influenced students' global engagement in five key domains: civic engagement, knowledge production, philanthropy, social entrepreneurship, voluntary simplicity. Sudents viewed study abroad as the most impactful of their undergraduate experiences, and study abroad experiences can profoundly influence individuals’ pursuit of further graduate studies, career paths, and global engagement.

Carrie Kahn, of National Public Radio reported about the fact that fewer Nicaraguans than other Central Americans are migrating to the United States. "Nicaragua is unique in Central America for its low crime rate as well as how few Nicaraguan migrants make the trip north to the U.S. Why is Nicaragua bucking the regional trends?"

 

Nicaragua Climate Change and Natural Resources

IN ENGLISH

Farmers in Nicaragua’s highlands are confronting climate change. Converting to cocoa means they can continue to work the land.

The author visited San Francisco Libre to find out how farmers are adapting their agricultural practices.

Nicaragua warns of the need for much greater political will on the part of the largest poluters to shift to low carbon economies.

Work by a Brazilian construction firm on a hydroelectric plant in Nicarauga has been suspended due to the impactof Brazil's ailing economy on the contractor.

Central America is one of the regions most vulnerable to climate-related disaster, particularly in the Pacific coastal area known as the Dry Corridor.

At the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, Nicaragua refused to participate in the voluntary commitment system, which it called "a failed mechanism." Then low oil prices began to cause problems.

Costa Rica is well known for its renewable energy development, and not Nicaragua is trying to tap into its own natural resources.

This report provides an introduction to the country, followed by a description of its energy sector, its renewable energy potential, current projects and barriers to implementation, and the opportunities to accelerate renewable energy deployment.

The Global Climate Risk Index 2016 analyses to what extent countries have been affected by the impacts of weather-related loss events (storms, floods, heat waves etc.). The most recent data available—from 2014 and 1995–2014—were taken into account.

Since 2004, Nicaragua has been pursuing national electrification. Its national policies illustrate how rapid electrical grid modernization can be achieved at minimal environmental cost.

Nicaragua was until recently dependent on oil-based products. By 2020, Nicaragua expects to produce 90% of its energy from clean, safe sources.

The April 5, 2016, weekly bulletin of NicaNet, a project of the Alliance for Global Justice, summarizes a La Prensa article on Nicaragua's three-year-long drought, which has resulted in a 60 percent loss of surface water. In addition, 50 percent of underground water has been lost or polluted. A summary of an article from El Nuevo Diario indidates high temperatures in March and April have resulted in record high demand for electricity.

EN ESPAÑOL

El programa “Respuesta al fenómeno El Niño en el corredor seco” de Nicaragua pretende beneficiar a 40,000 niños y a 400,000 productores.

Es urgente diseñar una estrategia nacional para dotar a la población de la información y herramientas necesarias para tomar las medidas de mitigación y adaptación adecuadas.