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People and culture of Nicaragua click on the image to enlarge
Because the western half of Nicaragua was colonized by Spain, this part of the country has a lot of Spanish influences. There is a similar culture to other Spanish speaking Latin American countries; Spanish is their first language and they practice Catholicism. However, there are also a lot of native influences on contemporary Nicaraguan culture.

The eastern half of the country was once a British protectorate and therefore the influence exerted here on the native peoples was strongly English. Most people from these regions speak English as a first language and the Protestant religion is favored over Catholicism. However, more people in the country practice the Catholic faith than the Protestant one.
People and culture of Nicaragua click on the image to enlarge

In the eastern half of the country you will find a small group that has remained ethnically distinct from the rest of the country. They have managed to maintain many of their tribal customs and languages and prove to be quite intriguing to visitors who are interested in finding out more about other cultures. Among these are the Sumos and Ramas people.

The mixture of Catholicism and native customs has resulted in a strong culture of fiestas based on the honoring of certain saints. Every city in Nicaragua has its own patron saint.
Festivasl in Nicaragua click on the image to enlarge
Some towns even share their saints with other towns. Besides giving these saints gifts in exchange for blessings, such as finding a partner or ensuring a healthy crop, the people of Nicaragua engage in annual festivities in their honor. The fiestas are a time of joy and fun and usually begin with a parade where a statue of the saint is displayed. Traditional dances, plays and ceremonies can also be part of these festivities. Rockets and firecrackers are set off and drinking and feasting add to the merriment. The public is kept entertained by musicians, clowns and the festivities only die down in the early hours of daylight the following morning.
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