Here, like in most Latin American countries, Spanish is the primary language. Although, fascinating as it is, you can still find isolated areas deep in the jungle where old native dialects have been spoken for hundreds of years. Over on the Caribbean coast, primarily English is spoken, and some local dialects have formed based on the English language.
Unsurprisingly, there is still much influence from Spain here in Nicaragua, which can be seen reflected in the intricate architecture. However, significant indigenous culture can be found in the arts and food throughout the country. Folklore dances are everyday occurrences seen in schools and festivals. The primary food here is corn and, inevitably, you’ll find it in everything. There are corn based drinks, tortillas, guirillas, and even popular sweets!
Most noticeable of all, especially for newcomers, Nicaragua has a very large gap between those who have money and those who don’t. In the cities, there are people who have all the commodities you can find in European countries. Things such as sumptuous, overlarge houses, cars, and fancy restaurants are all available to them. The interesting part is, outside the big cities, a whole other world is reflected. Out in the country people live like cowboys of the American plains, living off cattle or small crops. The houses might be made of adobe, wood, or scraps of sheet metal. The floors are only dirt, and more than likely, an outhouse will be somewhere in the yard. They might have electricity, but most don’t. Every day, someone from the family has the duty to find water and firewood to cook. Most families have many children that might attend the closest school, but even then classes only go to sixth grade. If they want to continue their education, they would have to move to the cities, so most simply don’t. To travel in Nicaragua, most people walk until they reach a bus stop, or hitch a ride in an overstuffed car. Many even ride their horse or rickety horse-drawn cart into town, which can be a mess for traffic!
Though sometimes separated by social statuses, all Nicaraguans share the same culture, and pride for doing so. They enjoy time with their family above all else, and appreciate the little things rather than fret over the big. All these qualities can be seen in one remarkable common practice that occurs everywhere in the county. At sunset, both in the cities and country, everyone takes their chairs outside onto the broad porch or even the sidewalk. Together they sit, speaking and laughing, while watching the light recede, and the darkness of night take hold. If you happen to walk by at this time, you’ll probably get more than one invitation from complete strangers to join them on their porch. Here, most lives are simple, but the people are happy, and they don’t see a need to change their ways in the slightest.