I have been doing some pretty serious research since the second I received my invitation and there is too much information to share everything. Still, I wanted to share some information about Nicaragua, so I compiled some of the basic facts I found interesting to share here! Keep in mind all of this information was gathered from materials given to me by the Peace Corps and on the internet, not from personal experience. I also posted this as a page on my blog so it will stay where everyone can see it!
I will be training for the first three months and living with a family near Jinotepe. After that I will recieve my site placement which will be my home for the remaining two years!
Nicaragua is a country in Central America, bordered by both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean (though the Caribbean coast is largely uninhabited). Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America, but the least densely populated. Nicaragua is home to a rich culture, abundant volcanoes, lakes, and rivers, and a wide variety of plant and animal species. Nicaragua is a land of turbulent history and social conflict and its people are striving to overcome the after-effects of dictatorship, civil war and natural disasters, all of which have made it the second-poorest country in the Western Hemisphere after Haiti.
Population: 5,495,369 (over 1/4 of the population lives in the capital city, Managua)
Total Area: 129,494 km2 (Roughly the size of New York)
Official Language: Spanish
Currency: 1 US Dollar = 22 Nicaraguan Cordobas
Average Temperatures and Rainfall (basically it is the same temperature year round…):
January: 26.30°C / 79.30°F
June: 26.90°C / 80.40°F
Annual Rainfall: 1274mm / 50.2″
As a result of the endemic poverty in Nicaragua, most Nicaraguans’ daily diet consists of gallo pinto, a mixture of red beans and rice fried in vegetable oil, which might be accompanied by corn tortillas, cabbage salad, a small amount of meat or chicken, or locally made salty cheese. Other common foods are eggs, dairy products, meats, a variety of indigenous fruits and vegetables, and foods made with corn (e.g., tortillas, nacatamales, and pinolillo, a popular beverage made with ground corn and cocoa).