La Tierra de Lagos y Volcanes
León is also the second largest city in Nicaragua.The city was abandoned in 1610, after an eruption of the Momotombo volcano , located only a couple miles away, which left extensive damage in the form of flooding from lake Managua. The inhabitants decided to move to its current location next to the Indigenous town of Subtiava. The ruins of the abandoned city are known as "León viejo" and were excavated in 1960.
The Sandinistas, supported by some of the populace, elements of the Catholic Church, and regional governments (including Panama, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Venezuela), took power in July 1979. Somoza fled the country and eventually ended up in Paraguay, where he was assassinated in September 1980.
Multi-party democratic elections were held in 1990, which saw the defeat of the Sandinistas by a coalition of anti-Sandinista (from the left and right of the political spectrum) parties led by Violeta Chamorro. The defeat shocked the Sandinistas but the exit polling convinced Daniel Ortega that the election results were legitimate, and were instrumental in his decision to accept the vote of the people and step down rather than void the election. Chamorro's main contribution to Nicaragua was the disarmament of groups in the northern and central areas of the country. This provided stability that the country had lacked for over ten years. In subsequent elections in 1996 Daniel Ortega and the Sandinistas of the FSLN were again defeated, this time by candidates of the Constitutional Liberal Party (PLC).Daniel Ortega returned to the presidency with 37.99% of the vote during the elections in November 2006.
In front of the orphanage in Leon children are waiting for the promised pinatas. Pinatas are puppets made out of rubber balloons glued with colorful paper and filled with candies from inside. The children had to hit the pinatas with bondage on their eyes. When the candies fell down the children ran like crazy to collect the sweets.
Nicaraguan culture has strong folklore, music and religious traditions, deeply influenced by European culture but enriched with Amerindian sounds and flavors. Nicaraguan literature has historically been an important source of poetry in the Spanish-speaking world, with internationally renowned contributors such as Ruben Dario who is regarded as the most important literary figure in Nicaragua.
Handcrafter swiftly forms decorative figures out of clay.When they are dry enough she will color them with special paint and shiny stains.
Nicaraguan music is a mixture of indigenous and European, especially Spanish, influences. Musical instruments include the marimba and others common across Central America.
Bachata has also gained popularity in Nicaragua. Combinations of styles from the Dominican Republic and the United States can be found throughout the country. As a whole music is very significant part of the daily life of the locals.Wherever you will go you can hear loud radio tuned on a station with the latest reaggeton hits.
Nicaragua's rum Flor de Caña is renowned as among the best in Latin America. Other local rums like the Perla and the Plata are much cheaper. Trying the local rum is an almost compulsory especially if you the want to jump in the lifestyle of an ordinary Nicaraguan.
Gallo pinto, Nicaragua's national dish , is made with white rice and red beans that are cooked separately and then fried together. Many of Nicaragua's dishes include indigenous fruits and vegetables such as jocote, mango, papaya, tamarindo, pipian, banana, avocado, yuca, and herbs such as cilantro, oregano and achiote.Nicaraguans also have been known to eat guinea pigs and tapirs, iguanas, turtle eggs, armadillos and boas but as all these creatures are threatened with extinction, efforts are being made to curb this tendency.
The youth exchange between Hamburg and León takes place since 1990. Is part of a long partnership between the cities of Hamburg (Germany) and León (Nicaragua).
Every two years one group of young people takes off from Hamburg to spend 5 weeks in the partner organization in León. This weeks are full of adventures, new ideas and friendships . During the exchange the participants take part in organized program. It includes seminars about culture and language, debates about different social and ecological issues, meetings with local organizations and excursions. The participants from Germany and Nicaragua spent their daily time together , exchange ideas and point of views develop common projects together.
For more information check http://agfj-hh.de/nicaragua-blog/