Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Studying Nicaraguan Traditions in Your Homeschool

Hispanic Heritage Month continues here on MommyMaestra! Some fantastic Latina moms are sharing their experiences with passing their culture on to their children. Today's post is written by Tiany Davis of The Homeschool Lounge.

When I think of my family, our Nicaraguan traditions, our culture and the many things that unite us, I'm filled with such gratitude. I'm grateful for the language, the music, our celebrations, our food and FAMILIA! We have a Nicaraguan family reunion coming up and the excitement of tios, tias, primos, primas, nietos y nietas coming together again after being apart for over a decade is overwhelming! We have such a gift to hand down to our children! My mother was born and raised in Nicaragua, and moved to the US in 1972. Nicaragua, known as “The Country of Lakes and Volcanoes”, is a beautiful and fragile country in the middle of Central America.

Central America forms a bridge between North and South America. It's a treasure-trove of biodiversity, lush tropical rainforests, volcanoes, mountains and beaches. Though similar, this family of countries in Central America each have their own unique culture, traditions, clothes and food! There are many traditional Nicaraguan dishes, some of the more popular dishes include Vigoron, Gallo Pinto & Nacatamales

Nicaraguan Foog Vigoron, Gallo Pinto & Nacatamal

Gallo Pinto: most people in Nicaragua eat this almost daily and it is considered a national symbol. It is composed of a mixture of fried rice with onion and red beans boiled with garlic. They are mixed and fried together over a small amount of oil.

Nacatamal: similar to a tamal, yet unlike the tamales typical of other countries in Latin America, the nacatamal is unique to Nicaragua. The nacatamal is perhaps the largest production within the Nicaraguan kitchen, stuffed with pork, potato, onion, rice, and veggies then wrapped in plantain leaves and steam cooked. Nactamales are often served for Sunday meals and special occasions.

Vigorón: a plate is covered with a part of a plantain tree leaf, topped with yucca, chicharrón and a salad made out of cabbage and tomato. Mouth watering!!

Traditional dress, Nicaragüense perform at the Festival Latino in Baton Rouge

Nicaragua’s music and dances represent the deep cultural roots of the country. Traditional dances are used to share Nicaragua's culture. Dances include Nicaraguan Folklore and “El Gueguense”, a satirical drama that combines theater, dance, and music. Nicaraguan Americans Christianne Meneses Jacobs, is the publisher of IGUANA, an entirely Spanish-language magazine geared towards kids aged 7 to 12. IGUANA, is the only magazine in the US entirely in Spanish. One of the more famous Nicaraguan - American families, is the Lopez family! They're the first family of TaeKownDo, representing the US at the past 3 Olympic games. Did you know that Christopher Columbus landed in Nicaragua in 1502, during his fourth and last voyage of exploration to the Americas? He did!

Even though most of the population is considered "poor", Nicaraguans lead a life deeply rooted in tradition, live life fully, joyfully and celebrate their Hispanic heritage with pride!

Coloring Pages / Printables 
The Homeland of the Maya for Children 
Rainforest lesson plans & teacher resources 
Interactive Map Central / South America Game
Lesson Plan - History of Nicaragua – Pre-colonial.
Learn about and meet the people of Nicaragua. Grades 4-8 


Tiany is Nicaraguan, Salvadoran and German. She wears many hats and juggles many jobs as a wife, homeschool mom to four boys, mom-preneur and social media engager. She is the owner of The Homeschool Lounge, a community exclusiely for homeschool moms and she blogs at Social Savvy Mom. You can find her on Twitter @SocialSavvyMom.


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