Various empires such as Spain and the United Kingdom laid claim to portions of present-day Nicaragua over the next 3 centuries but in 1821, the colony gained its independence as a part of the United Provinces of Central America, and finally as an independent republic in 1838.

Footprints 6000 year old FOOTPRINTS found in volcanic mud near Lake Nicaragua

A Brief History of Nicaragua - (Part 1: B.C.E. to 1900s)

Derived from Nicarao, the name of the Nahuatl-speaking tribe which inhabited the shores of Lago de Nicaragua, and the Spanish word Agua meaning water, Nicaragua is a country with a rich history and vibrant culture which plays an important role in the immersion process that Project: Nicaragua prides itself on.

The land that is now Nicaragua was inhabited by Paleo-Indians as far back as 6000 years ago. This has been confirmed based on ancient footprints found at Acahualinca, along with other archaeological evidence, mainly in the form of ceramics and statues made of volcanic stone like the ones found on the island of Zapatera and petroglyphs found on Ometepe island.

 

 

 

 

By the end of the 15th century, the coasts were inhabited by several indigenous tribes related by culture and language to the Mayans. The western, Pacific coast was mainly inhabited by farmers and the eastern,Caribbean coast was inhabited primarily by hunters and gatherers.

 

 

 

With the arrival of Spanish conquerors around the 15th century, an estimated indigenous population of one million people plummeted to fewer than one hundred thousand within three decades - caused in part by the rapid spread of new diseases brought by the Spaniards. The natives of the Caribbean coast however, managed to escape the spread of disease due to the remoteness of the area.

The first Spanish permanent settlements were founded in 1524, during which time Conquistador Francisco Hernandez de Córdoba founded two of the country's principal towns, Granada on Lake Nicaragua, and León, east of Lake Managua.

By 1529, the conquest was complete and the native civilization had been decimated by disease and captivity.

Miskito The Miskitos, an indigenous people, live along the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua to this day.