Quick Facts

  • Officially known as the Republic of Nicaragua
  • Gained independence from Spain in 1821 and became an independent republic in 1838
  • Location:  Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Costa Rica and Honduras
  • Population:  5.8 million
  • Capital:  Managua – 934,000
  • Climate:  tropical in lowlands, cooler in highlands
  • Terrain:  extensive Atlantic coastal plains rising to central interior mountains; narrow Pacific coastal plain interrupted by volcanoes
  • Nationality:  Nicaraguan
  • Ethnic groups:  mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 69%, white 17%, black 9%, Amerindian 5%
  • Language:  Spanish (official)
  • Religions:  Roman Catholic 58.5%, Protestant 23.2%
  • Literacy:  67.5% over the age of 15 can read and write
  • Economy:  textiles/apparel represent 60% of legal exports.  Guns and drugs lead illegal exports.  The poorest country in Central America and the second poorest in the Hemisphere, has widespread underemployment and poverty.
  • Current weather conditions –  www.weather.com
  • Tips for Travel in country – www.travel.state.gov
  • Currency exchange rates –  www.xe.com

Government in Power

  • A republic divided into 15 departments and 2 regions.  A 3 branch government
  • Chief of State and Head of Government:  President Daniel Ortega Saavedra – elected by popular vote


Healthcare Statistics

  • Life expectancy:  71.9 years
  • Health expenditures:  9.5% of GDP
  • Physicians density:  0.37 physicians/1,000 population
  • Hospital bed density:  0.9 beds/1,000 population
  • Maternal mortality 1/1,000 births
  • 2.12 children per woman
  • Infant mortality:  2.64 /1,000 births
  • HIV/AIDS  – adult prevalence rate:  0.02%
  • Disease risk is high
  • Present is bacterial diarrhea, Hepatitis A, typhoid, dengue fever, malaria and leptospirosis
  • Children under the age of 5 underweight:  4.3%
  • Infectious disease updates:  http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.htm

Images From the Field

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Area Agencies

    Field Stories

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