This section of the site contains information about Nicaragua and its regions. The information is organized with general Nicaraguan information followed by departments (states). Within each department are separate entries for cities and areas. Note that in Spanish countries the capital city of a department often takes the same name as the department. In this Nica Info section are many links (short cuts) directly to the regional photo galleries on this site. You can also browse the entire collection via the Photos menu.
Where are we? This link to Nicaragua maps will probably help.
Nicaragua for the Majority
While the distinction between the "tourist face" and how the majority live exists in most countries, it is more significant in Nicaragua than many other countries. As this site is primarily for people that live or are considering living in Nicaragua, it is important that this distinction be pointed out.
The majority of Nicaraguans are poor. If you live in the developed world, you will probably say "dirt poor". This doesn't make them unhappy and that is important to realize. It does, however, help explain why theft is generally considered "exercising an opportunity" rather than "a crime".
The rural poor live off what they can grow and trade with their neighbors. Excesses are sold in public markets to buy what they need but can't grow. Typically that means cooking oil, clothing and supplies such as barbed wire. Families tend to work together with children quickly evolving from a family responsibility to a work unit.
City poor don't have the option of growing their own crops. Thus, they work wherever they can. That may mean domestic work in other's houses, making tortillas or nacatamales to sell or being in the "recycling business" meaning scrounging through discards to find anything useful.
While this may sound like a depressing picture, it is the reality. The plus side is that you can make a difference. For example, while $1 may not seem like much to you, it is more than enough to feed an entire family for a day. Think about that. It doesn't have to mean "welfare". Buying food from a street vendor or fritanga instead of McDonald's can make a big difference.
Even if you elect to live in "upper class" areas, be aware that the poor are there and they help make your lifestyle possible. For example, if you live in a gated community, it is probably the poor that clean your house and grow the food that you eat.