307 – Nicaragua- Land of the Shaking Earth Emerges

For two hundred years Nicaragua suffered from the double insult of shaking earth – earthquakes and volcanic eruptions – and military and political interventions from the north. Today a democratic Nicaragua is promoting its diversity of cultures, its Spanish colonial heritage, and its natural wonders. Miskito Indians from the Caribbean coast and descendants of Aztecs who hardly know each other, still flourish within the country. Nicaragua’s lakes, forests, and volcanoes are finally earning the accolades they deserve.

Learning Objective

Students will learn that Nicaragua was impacted by two powerful and distractive forces, nature and politics, but survived and flourished.

Social Studies Standards

Power, Authority, & Governance B, F, I

Discussion Prompts

  • David Yetman says that Nicaragua has been dominated by political intervention from the North. Who is the “North”? What kind of political intervention is he referring to?
  • What other countries are impacted by the Cocos Plate? Would the geographical position of the country make it more vulnerable to nature destructive forces?
  • What are some of the undesirable things William Walker might have brought from the United States to Nicaragua? What would some of consequences of those things be?
  • David Yetman says that Granada, the oldest city in North America, is by far, the prettiest city in Nicaragua. Elaborate on what makes Granada pretty and if you agree or disagree with him.

Lesson Activities

  • Create at least two new vase design patterns that would show your local history, culture, and nature. Use the art created by the artists in San Juan de Oriente as a springboard.
  • Create a timeline of the revolutions in Nicaragua including information about it (who, what, where and how).
  • Create a series of five tweets summarizing the highlights of this episode. Include in the tweets, local similarities and/or differences that could help your classmates better understand the highlights and perhaps generate interest to a visit to Nicaragua.
  • Where and/or how would people see the different cultural influences in Nicaragua? Cite at least three facts and put them in a fictional story where your reality intersects with those cultural influences.


  • compete
  • defeat
  • executed
  • heritage
  • mercenary
  • quetzalcoatl
  • rehabilitation
  • reinstitute
  • revered


Lesson Plan S03E07