Spanish Country Spotlight: Nicaragua

Nicaragua is a country nestled between Costa Rica, to the south and Honduras, to the north, it is located in Central America. In terms of landmass, it’s the biggest in the Central American region. What characterizes Nicaragua is the use of “vos” instead of using “tú” which means “you”; this is what we call “voseo” in Spanish. Given that Nicaragua has a strong influence from the Náhuatl Native American group, a big portion of the Spanish from this country, like its neighbors, has a big influence on native words. Nicaraguans carry a very famous example, “Apapachar” which means to cuddle/take care of. Other words include: pipián (vegetable), ayote (squash), zacate (grass). This rich cultural heritage has made Nicaragua a country with a very rich way of speaking Spanish; the mix of the cultures native to the Americas and Spain has blended the best of both worlds.

It is important to note, however, that not all parts of the country are the same. The Pacific coast of Nicaragua is where the most Native American and Spanish culture exists. On the flip side, the Caribbean side of the country has influenced Caribbean, black and afro-Antillean people. For this reason, it is not uncommon to hear English being spoken in Bluefields (a city in Nicaragua’s Caribbean). Compared to neighbors such as Costa Rica and Panama, Nicaragua’s influence from the United States is not as big but there are some Anglicisms used by certain sectors of the population.

Bluefields is located in the Caribbean area of the country. It is not uncommon to speak English here. Source: Web

It is worth paying a visit to this beautiful country that borders Costa Rica to the south and Honduras to the north. With this visit, one will be able to appreciate the beauty and contrast that this nation holds. Given that it’s a melting pot, one can appreciate the diversity of ethnic groups, cultures, and languages spoken. Spanish varies depending on which part of the country one is located; in other places, English predominates. Long live the diversity of the Spanish language and its speakers!

Granada is located on the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua where mestizo culture predominates. Source: Web
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