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Nicaragua The area of Nicaragua is 50193 sq mi The Nicaraguan highlands with a elevation about 2000 ft cross Nicaragua from the northwest to the southeast Several mountain ranges the highest of which the Cordillera Isabelia reaches an elevation of more than 6890 ft cut the highlands from east to west In the west is a great basin or depression containing two lakes Nicaragua the largest in Central America and Managua The two are connected by the Tipitapa River A chain of volcanoes which are a contributory cause of local earthquakes rises between the lakes and the Pacific coast In the east the Caribbean coastal plain known as the Costa de mosquitoes Mosquito Coast extends some 45 mi inland and is partly overgrown with rain forest The four principal rivers the San Juan Coco Wanks Grande and Escondido empty into the Caribbean The natural resources of Nicaragua are primarily agricultural Deposits of volcanic material have enriched the soil which is extremely fertile About half the land is covered with forests The country has some deposits of gold silver and copper About 77 of the Nicaraguan population is mestizo people of mixed white and Native American descent about 10 is white and the remainder is Native American 4 and black 9 The population of Nicaragua is 3745000 yielding an overall density about 75 per sq mi Approximately 60 of the population is concentrated in the western part of the country and more than 55 is urban Political Divisions and Principal Cities Nicaragua is divided into six regions and three special zones Managua with a population of 682100 is the capital and commercial center Len is an important religious and cultural center Granada is the terminus of the railway from the main port of entry Corinto on the Pacific coast Spanish is the official language of Nicaragua Nearly 90 of the Nicaraguan people are Roman Catholic most of the remainder are Protestant As in other Latin
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