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Nicaragua Cultural Experiance

Updated on September 19, 2011

There are many ways to enjoy and immerse yourself in this wonderfully diverse country in Central America. Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America, but one of the poorest in the Western Hemisphere. The country is bordered in the north by Honduras and the south by Costa Rica. To the west of Nicaragua is the Pacific Ocean and to the east the Caribbean sea. There is much to see with its pre-Columbian historical sites to its biodiversity. It is a small adventure waiting to happen and below are some things you can do to get the most from your experience on your visit to Nicaragua.

1. To really immerse yourself into the Nicaraguan culture you need to experience a little of the country’s past. The best way to learn about Nicaragua’s past is to visit some of the historical locations that are available. You could start with Huellas de Acahualinca ( the Ancient footprints of Acahualinca) found near the southern shore of LakeManagua. It is a good way to start your immersion into Nicaraguan culture.

2. The second place to continue with your Nicaraguan culture immersion experience is to experience the natural preserves that are all around the country. Experience the natural and ecological surroundings around you with the volcanoes, rainforests, beaches, lakes and wildlife. Getting to know your immediate environment is essential to understanding how Nicaraguan people interact with different parts of their environment.

3. As you continue to progress in your new found culture it is important to not forget that history and nature are only the start. The next place on your list will be to fulfill your hunger so the next stop needs to be somewhere to eat, to taste something from the past now. A good place to start is gallopinto, Nicaragua’s national dish. An excellent way to taste the local cuisine.

4. The time to go to Nicaragua varies depending on where in the country you go and what you intend to do. Typically the best time would be between December and March as it is less likely to rain. During that time you could immerse yourself in the Nicaraguan Christmas and New Year. There are other holidays throughout the year that you could enjoy. These holidays will show you how the Nicaraguans celebrate and in this way you further immerse yourself into their culture.

5. In modern Nicaragua the community gathers near the markets, in the main areas of the towns as did the people in the past. It is an opportunity to get immersed in daily life, in the culture, and to see or buy national products such as clothing, shoes, handicrafts and souvenirs. In Masaya you will find clothing, leather, hemp and wood goods, shoes, and pre-Columbian ceramics. Walk round the town, savour the smells, sights and sounds that will invade your senses, feel the culture through every pore of your body. With everything you see, touch, taste and smell you will find yourself wanting more of the Nicaraguan culture.

6. The next step is to meet people and talk to them about their lives, making new friends in the process. The markets, local shops and cafes are ideal places to do this. You can meet the local artisans in their shops, learn about their family roots first hand. Catch up with people in the cafes while relaxing. This is a great way to go for a cup of coffee and mix with the locals in an unstressed atmosphere.

7. Another great way to immerse yourself in the Nicaraguan culture is to volunteer in one of the programs from around the world that go to Nicaragua each year. Some are set up to help with education and health projects, as well as development and social projects. As with other countries these nongovernment organizations’ purpose is to help the poorer inhabitants of this country. This would be a great opportunity for you to experience Nicaragua on the ground and not as a tourist.

Any one of these ways is the perfect way to truly immerse you in a foreign culture. To see the world through the eyes of the people who lives there is eye opening and yet a great experience. However you decide to do it you will forever be changed. Plan your itinerary carefully, making sure you make the most of the time you spend here. Following a few of these guidelines will help you make your trip to Nicaragua unforgettable.

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