Nicaragua Managua North Mission


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Description

Snapshot of Nicaragua – Nicaragua’s official language is Spanish, but there are many indigenous languages present in the country as well. Miskito is the most-spoken indigenous language in the country. There are also areas on the Caribbean coast where English and English creole are spoken as a first language as a result of African and English heritage. While the majority of the population is officially Roman Catholic, activity in the Roman Catholic church has been declining while membership among Protestant churches (including the LDS church) have been growing rather quickly. While Nicaragua has its own traditional music traditions, such as Chicheros (a music using horns and percussion, usually performed at parties), the country also enjoys a variety of modern music from around the world. Bachata, salsa, and cumbia music and dancing styles are especially popular. Theater is also important in Nicaragua – the satirical play El Güegüense was written in the 16th century, and is performed yearly in the city of Diriamba during the east of San Sebastián. Other folklore and legends are popular, and many are shared with other Central American countries. Baseball is the most popular sport in Nicaragua, though boxing is also popular. Radio and TV are popular sources for entertainment and news, especially since Nicaragua’s literacy rate is below 70%. Corn is the staple food of Nicaragua, though rice and beans and a variety of tropical fruits are also commonly eaten. Gallo pinto is a popular dish that consists of rice and red beans that are cooked and then fried together. On the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, seafood and coconut are popular.

Managua skyline

Managua skyline

The Church

The first missionaries arrived in Nicaragua in 1953 as part of the Central America Mission.  They experienced success among the people and by 1959 the first District was formed. However a large impediment to the work took place in 1978 when the country fell into a Civil War and all missionaries were withdrawn.  Due to suspicions of a connection between the Church of Jesus Christ and the United States, all chapels were confiscated during the war, meetings were disbanded, and many members suffered persecution. At the close of the war Nicaragua was again opened up to the church and in 1989 the first missionaries entered as members of the first ever Nicaragua Mission.  After not having missionaries for so many years the country was ready for harvest as those first missionaries experienced much success in baptisms.  That success continues to this day as one of the highest baptizing areas in the world.  In 2010 the Mission was split into both North and South Missions.  Currently there are 9 stakes, and 7 districts in the country.

Missionaries are usually very busy, and the Church is growing rapidly. Baptisms happen frequently, and Nicaragua is one of the fastest growing areas in the Church in Central America.

 

Food

Breakfast consisting of gallo pinto

Breakfast consisting of gallo pinto

Corn is the staple food of Nicaragua, though rice and beans and a variety of tropical fruits are also commonly eaten. Gallo pinto is a popular dish that consists of rice and red beans that are cooked and then fried together. On the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, seafood and coconut are popular. There are lots of different kinds of juices from the tropical fruits freely available there.

 

Transportation

Due to a lack of good infrastructure in the country for a missionary transportation is limited to buses and taxis.  The majority of the roads are dirt. Transportation in Nicaragua for the missionaries is mostly facilitated through buses, walking, or the occasional taxi ride.  Bikes have been prohibited in the mission even in the countryside because they were targeted often for theft. Missionaries walk a lot, but the bus system is quite reliable in Nicaragua and fairly inexpensive.

 

Safety

Despite the political turmoil that seems to be constant in Nicaragua, the country is among the safest in the region. Due to the extreme poverty major drug cartels are non-existent in the country. Sometimes the cities can present more dangerous situations, but the countryside is very safe and rarely do missionaries get hassled there.

 

Customs

While Nicaragua has its own traditional music traditions, such as Chicheros (a music using horns and percussion, usually performed at parties), the country also enjoys a variety of modern music from around the world. Bachata, salsa, and cumbia music and dancing styles are especially popular. Theater is also important in Nicaragua – the satirical play El Güegüense was written in the 16th century, and is performed yearly in the city of Diriamba during the east of San Sebastián. Other folklore and legends are popular, and many are shared with other Central American countries.

El Güegüense photo by Pasionyanhelo (CC-BY-3.0), via Wikimedia Commons

El Güegüense, via Wikimedia Commons

Local Lingo

Tuanis – Cool

Pinolero – Nickname for Nicaraguans

 

Essential Equipment

A good waterproof pair of boots and some sturdy articles of clothing are essential. It’s also a good idea to bring two pairs of good walking shoes. For elders, hanging shave kits are very useful since many apartments don’t have counters or vanities in the bathrooms. Short sleeve shirts are a must, since Nicaragua is so humid and hot.

 

Additional Info

Baseball is the most popular sport in Nicaragua, though boxing is also popular. Radio and TV are popular sources for entertainment and news, especially since Nicaragua’s literacy rate is below 70%.

Managua baseball stadium

Managua baseball stadium

Flag of Nicaragua Managua North Mission

Profile

Nicaragua
President Monsop C. Madrigal

AP 3600
Edificio Discover, 2do piso
Frente Al Club Terraza
Villa Fontana
Managua, Managua
Nicaragua

Spanish
Approximately 6 million people live in Nicaragua, however, due to the poverty and political issues it is estimated that currently there are more Nicaraguans living outside of the country.
While the majority of the population is Roman Catholic, their activity has been declining while membership among Protestant churches (including the Church of Jesus Christ) has been growing rather quickly.
Hot and humid. Conditions vary throughout the country and temperatures drop as you climb into some of the mountainous cities like Matagalpa and Esteli. There are two main seasons in the country: the dry season (summer) and the wet season (winter).
Managua, Leon, Chinandega, Matagalpa, Esteli, and Puerto Cabezas

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Experiences

What items were hard to get or not available?

“Internet, cellular phones.” -Erick

“Quality clothing and shoes and american food.” -Nate

What did you eat the most of?

“Rice and beans.” -Erick

“Gallo Pinto! A form of rice and beans is served with every meal. Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.” -Nate

What is the craziest thing you ate?

“Cow brains” -Erick

What advice would you give to someone going to the Nicaragua Managua North Mission?
“Bring enough white shirts”

What do you wish you had known before you served?
“Learn more about their culture!”
-Erick

Did you serve in the Nicaragua Managua North Mission? If so we could love to hear your advice and your stories! Please contact us at editor@missionhome.com