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Social Life in Nicaragua

Behavior

The Nicaraguans are conservative in most aspects of their lives and this is best seen in their behaviors, dress, and dining etiquette. They tend to dress and act conservatively, much of which is based on the doctrines of their Catholic faith. However, there is also great variety in the way the Nicaraguans behave as the country is quite diverse ethnically and geographically.

As a visitor to Nicaragua try to follow the lead of the locals by dressing conservatively (see below for details), dining in the local etiquette (see our Nicaragua Dining & Food Page), and avoid sensitive conversation topics, such as politics, finances, and business unless initiated by your local counterpart. Also try to avoid being loud, rude, showing off wealth, or getting noticeably drunk in public.

Dress

The traditional dress of Nicaragua is fairly simple in style and design, but European-influenced in style. For men the traditional dress was a loose-fitting white shirt and long pants with perhaps a sun hat. For the women the traditional dress was a long skirt or dress, but instead of white the dress tended to be very colorful, generally in yellow, orange, or blue, sometimes also with simple embroidery on them.

Today the Nicaraguans rarely wear this traditional dress, although it is somewhat common for certain events and occasions. More commonly, the Nicaraguans wear modern western-styled clothing, but they tend to dress somewhat conservatively as long pants and long-sleeved shirts are common in most locations, but on weekends and along the beaches, shorts and short-sleeve shirts are popular. As a visitor to Nicaragua you are welcome to wear multiple different clothes, but in business and religious settings you are expected to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants. If in doubt, dress on the more conservative side and remember sunbathing naked or women sunbathing topless is often restricted so check with locals before doing so.

This page was last updated: December, 2013