By Missionary to Colombia, Blake Young

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Buenos Aires

Bordering the countries of Costa Rica and Honduras, the Spanish-speaking country of Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America. However, it is home to only 6.35 million people (making up 0.08% of the world’s population). Just how much do we know about Nicaragua? What does Nicaragua mean? When did it become a country? What is its government, or its spiritual state? If you’re anything like me, you may not know those answers, so let’s take a brief look at what Nicaragua has to offer.

How Did They Get Their Name?

There are a few ideas on how Nicaragua got it’s name but the most popular and most widely accepted is that it is a combination from the word Nicarao, which was a tribe present throughout the western area of the country with a culture and language similar to the Mayans. The second part is from the Spanish word ‘agua’, meaning water, because of the large presence of water in Lake Cocibolca (Lake Nicaragua – 99 miles long) and Lake Managua (Lake Xolotlán – 40 miles long). From these two words, ‘Nicarago’ and ‘agua’, the nation derives it’s name Nicaragua.

Tell Me About Their Land!

Well, since you asked! Perhaps one of the most notable things about this country is its beauty. About 20% of the country is preserved land, including volcanoes, lakes, and rainforests. One of the most amazing places to visit is in the capital city of Managua, called Masaya Volcano National Park. During your visit, for only $10 (USD), you can take a nighttime tour to see the impressive lava lake. From what I have seen online, if you have the chance to plan a family vacation, or if you happen to be in town, do not miss the opportunity to see this!

You have Caught My Attention, but What About Their Spiritual Need?

As beautiful as this amazing country is, it does have a tremendous spiritual need. It is estimated that there is one birth for every five minutes that goes by, and with that, only one death every seventeen minutes. Though they see more life than death, these demographics may be of concern: Roman Catholic 50%, Evangelicalism 33%, 2.9% claim other “Christian” religions, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Christianity, etc., 13% do not specify, and . 7% claim no religious beliefs.

Food for Thought:

One national said this: “I was not born in Mexico – I was born in Nicaragua – but I know that when somebody says ‘Mexicans’ they mean all of us. They mean anybody who comes from south of the border.”

I was thinking one day after listening to our pastor, that it is silly not to take an interest in others. We would not take seriously someone who did not take us seriously. If someone told me that I was Canadian because I lived in North America, I would think that person a little silly. We should be careful when thinking and interacting with Latinos. Nicaraguans are not Mexicans just because they are in Central America. Let us consider them, as they are, the proud people of their own independent country. And pray that God would send laborers to their own specific homeland.

Blake and Bridgette Young are missionaries on deputation to Colombia. Find out more about the Youngs at and connect with them at

Blake Young

Missionary to Colombia