3 HistoryIn 1979, the Marxist Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), which had been fighting a guerrilla war since 1962, succeeded in taking control of the government. Somoza fled, complaining that the United States had let him down.The elections of 1984 brought Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega Saavedra to power.In February 1990, elections took place and Ortega was defeated by Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, wife of the assassinated newspaper editor Pedro Joaquin Chamorro.
4 LanguageThe official language is Spanish, although Garifuna is spoken among the black population, Nicaragua's Amerindians speak a number of Indian languages, and English is often spoken along the Atlantic coast.
5 Religion Demographics There is no official religion. Approximately 85 percent of the population belongs to the Roman Catholic church.DemographicsNicaragua's population of 4 million (1992 estimates) is 69 percent mestizo (a mix of European and Indian), 17 percent European, 9 percent black, and 5 percent Amerindian.
7 Appointments Negotiating Business hours are 8:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M., Monday trough Friday, and 8:00 A.M. to noon on Saturday.NegotiatingBusiness is discussed at an office or over a meal in a restaurant. It is not discussed in a home or around family. If you are invited to a Nicaraguan home, this is a social event, not a business opportunity.Personal honor and “saving face” are very important to people in Nicaragua. Therefore, never criticize someone, pull rank, or do anything that will embarrass another in public.
8 Business Entertaining The main meal of the day is at noon. This traditionally includes black beans, tortillas or meat, and fruits and vegetables.Business breakfasts or lunches are preferred to dinners.
9 Local time is six hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (G. T. M. -6).
11 Titles - Forms of Address GreetingsMen shake hands in greeting. Women will often pat each other on the right forearm or shoulder instead of shaking hands. Women who are close friends may hug or kiss each other on the cheek.Titles - Forms of AddressOnly children, family members, and close friends address each other by their first names.
12 GesturesMaking a fist with the thumb between the index and the middle fingers is considered obscene.The “come here” gesture is done with the palm down, making a scooping gesture with the fingers or the entire hand.You will see people waving good-bye as is done in the United States, palm facing out, or with the palm facing in, which looks almost like a person fanning himself or herself.Do not photograph individuals or religious ceremonies without prior approval; some people object to having their pictures taken. Keep in mind that transportation depots and bridges have military significance, so photographing them may be prohibited.
13 GiftsBusiness gifts are generally not given on the first trip to Nicaragua. At the end of your trip, ask if there is anything you can bring from the United States on your next visit.Secretaries and receptionists can be very influential, so always bring something from the United States. Perfume or a scarf is usually the best choice.If you are invited to a home, bring a small gift of flowers or candy.Ask a local florist which types of flowers are appropriate. In general white flowers are reserved for funerals.
14 DressBusiness men should wear a conservative dark suit and tie, although a jacket is not required in the hottest season; women should wear a dress or skirt and blouse.