Most Nicaraguans are mestizos. That is that they have white and Indian ancestors. There way of life is somewhat similar to that of Spanish Americans in other Central American countries. Most people belong to the Roman Catholic Church and speak Spanish. Most of Nicaragua's people are poor farmers. Many of those in the Pacific Region are peasants who work on their own farms, cooperatives, state farms, or large private farms. In warmer areas, agriculture workers live in metal roofed houses. In the colder areas of the Central Highlands, they live in adobe houses with tile roofs.
The only Indian groups in Nicaragua that follow their own languages and their old ways of life are in the thinly populated Caribbean Region. In the early 1980's some of these Indians became involved in anti-government things. Because of this, the government moved some Indian groups from their homes near the border to areas in the interior of Nicaragua.
Nicaragua has a law that requires children to go to school from the age of six through twelve. Before 1980, only about half the children did so because they were poor and couldn't afford to be sent or it was that there weren't many schools around where they lived. Nicaragua did not have enough schools, and many rural areas had no schools at all. But since then the new government has built hundreds of schools. The government also held a successful literacy campaign headed mainly by young volunteer teachers.
Nicaragua has two universities. The national University of Nicaragua, in Leon and Managua, is the older and larger one. It was founded in 1812 and has more than seven thousand students. The Central American University is a Roman Catholic institution in Managua.
A president heads the government of Nicaragua. The people elect the president and a legislature called the National Assembly. The president appoints a Cabinet to...
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