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Area: 120,254 sq km
Population: 5.7 million
Languages: Spanish, English
Religions: Christian
GNI per capita: US$1080
Currency: US$1 = 20.86 Cordoba
Nicaragua’s independence from Spain was declared in 1821 and the country became an independent republic in 1838. Britain occupied the Caribbean Coast in the first half of the 19th century, but gradually ceded control of the region in subsequent decades
Nicaragua, the largest country in Central America, is known as “the land of lakes and volcanoes.” The region’s largest lake, Lago de Nicaragua, is home to the world’s only freshwater sharks.
The climate is warm, with an average temperature of 80°F along the coast and slightly cooler readings in the highlands. The typical annual rainfall in the capital of Managua is 47.5 inches.

Approximately 59 percent of Nicaragua’s people live in urban areas. Although the country’s total population is modest in size compared to some other nations, the concentration of residents in urban centers is straining the economic structure of the country.

Agriculture provides the main source of employment. Service industries are second, followed by trade and manufacturing.
Inflation is a serious problem that affects the quality of life for many Nicaraguans. The cost of living is higher than what most families can afford. Unemployment is a growing concern, and even those who do work have a difficult time paying for the essential items their families need.
Nearly one-quarter of Nicaragua’s population is illiterate. Sadly, 20 percent of school-age boys and girls do not attend classes because their families do not have sufficient funds to pay for basic tuition, school uniforms, or books. This lack of education will limit what today’s children can do in the future to create opportunities for themselves and improve their lives.