People, Way of Life
compadrazgo, Central American nation, Spanish settlers, Chamorro, yucca
Family relations are extremely important in Nicaraguan life, as they are in many other poor regions of Latin America. Extended family ties play a major role in determining status, political loyalties, jobs, and other opportunities. A system known as compadrazgo also creates important social and economic links between a child’s family and his or her godparents. A few traditional elite families, largely descended from Spanish settlers, dominate the economy and much of the political and cultural life.
Women have made more progress in Nicaragua than they have in most of Central America, in part because of Sandinista efforts to organize them and in part because Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, elected in 1990, was the first woman to serve as president of a Central American nation. Women are active in politics, and women’s groups are strong lobbying forces for various social issues.
Baseball is Nicaragua’s national sport, reflecting U.S. influence. Cycling, basketball, volleyball, and soccer are also popular. The typical diet of the region is based on rice, beans, yucca, and tortillas. The nation is known for its variety of tropical fruits.
Article key phrases: