Nicaragua is a country in Central America. It is the largest of the Central American republics.
The national capital is Managua, which also is the country’s largest city and home to about one-sixth of the population.
The beach at San Juan Del Sur.
Nicaragua can be characterised by its agricultural economy, its history of autocratic government, and its imbalance of regional development—almost all settlement and economic activity are concentrated in the western half of the country.
The country’s name is derived from Nicarao, chief of the indigenous tribe that lived around present-day Lake Nicaragua during the late 15th and early 16th centuries. The country has a unique history in that it was the only country in Latin America to be colonised by both the Spanish and the British.
The population is made up mostly of mestizos (people of mixed European and Indian ancestry).
The family of Anastasio Somoza García dominated Nicaragua from 1936 to 1979, when it was toppled by an insurrection led by the Sandinista National Liberation Front.
The land, economic, and educational reforms initiated by the socialist-oriented Sandinista regime were negated when it became embroiled in guerrilla warfare with a U.S.-backed insurgency beginning in the early 1980s.
The Sandinista-dominated government was finally defeated by the U.S funded National Opposition Union, a coalition of parties, in the 1990 presidential elections.
The election results, which were deemed free and fair by the international community, signalled an end to the armed conflict in the country. The Sandinistas returned to power after winning a national election in 2006 but promised to uphold many of the economic reforms of their predecessors.
The country is still recovering from its legacy of dictatorship and civil war. There are ongoing disputes over land ownership, and it continues to be dependent on foreign aid, mainly from the United States.
The country’s infrastructure was severely damaged in 1998 by Hurricane Mitch, which killed more than 1,800 Nicaraguans and destroyed several villages.