Male figure on a horse depicting the culture of Nicaragua. The horse is hand made from rope, with saddle and ears from leather. The man is created with cloth covered wire. The facial features are hand sewn. The man is carrying a machete and has a sack behind him.
Location: Central America
Main language: Spanish
Currency: Nicaraguan Córdoba
Construction: rope, cloth
Height in Centimeters: 15
Height in Inches: 6
Reading Level: 6.29
My name is Arturo and I live in Nicaragua. My country is the largest country in Central America. It is north of Costa Rica and south of Honduras. The name of Nicaragua comes from a native chief who was called Nicarao. When his name is combined with the Spanish word for water (agua), the result is Nicaragua. It rains a lot in Nicaragua and there are two very large lakes in Nicaragua.
My family lives near the town of Matagalpa. My father and I work on a coffee plantation that is high up in the mountains. Coffee beans grow best at high altitudes. During harvest season, we work long hours picking the coffee cherries. By dawn each day, we are riding up the mountain in the truck with all the other workers. To get to the steepest slopes, we often have to ride a mule.
When we get to the fields, we each take a basket and start filling it. What people call a coffee bean is actually the seed of a fruit that looks like a cherry. The coffee cherries turn bright red when they are ripe and ready to pick. We have to be careful to only pick the bright red cherries. When the baskets are full, they are recorded. Then we pour the cherries into a large bag and start filling the basket again. With a break for lunch, we will usually work until sundown. At the end of the day, we get paid based on the number of baskets we filled.
To get the coffee beans, the cherries must be dried in the sun for several days. Then the seeds (beans) are ready to be sorted and sold.
When we are not working on the coffer farm, we enjoy swimming in the lakes, rivers, and waterfalls. Nicaragua is a beautiful country with lots of lush flowers and fruit. There are also 19 volcanos in Nicaragua. The one that is closest to us is called the Masaya volcano. It is one of very few volcanos where you can actually drive all the way to the rim. From the top, you can look down into the volcano’s “Mouth of Hell.”
The national dish of Nicaragua is called Gallo Pinto (rice and beans). It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. We also eat a lot of seafood, coconuts, chicken, and even iguanas. And, of course, we love to drink coffee!