Last updated in March 2019
Germany and Nicaragua have enjoyed a long‑standing close friendship for many decades. This is partly due to the solidarity movements in both eastern and western Germany in the 1980s when the civil war was raging in Nicaragua. Thanks to 30 town twinnings and intensive development cooperation, relations between the two societies remain good.
There are close historical ties between the two countries dating back to the 19th century when Germans emigrated to Nicaragua. The German influence can be felt even today, particularly in the coffee‑growing region in northern Nicaragua. Around 1500 German nationals live in Nicaragua and a few hundred Nicaraguans in Germany.
In addition to the German Embassy, German institutions active in Nicaragua include the German‑Nicaraguan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a bilingual German School, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), and the Friedrich‑Ebert‑Stiftung and numerous other German NGOs.
Trade between the two countries was worth around 125 million euros in 2017 and the trade balance was almost even. Nicaragua’s main exports to Germany are agricultural products and its main imports from Germany are manufactured electrical goods and machinery. A German‑Nicaraguan investment protection and promotion agreement has been in force since 2001. Until the outbreak of the crisis in April 2018, a growing number of German tourists were discovering the land of lakes and volcanoes as a holiday destination. Around 18,000 Germans visited Nicaragua in 2017. The German companies Ritter Sport and Dräxlmaier are among Nicaragua’s biggest employers.
Governmental development cooperation between Germany and Nicaragua focuses on water. The aim of this programme is to strengthen national institutions in this sector so as to ensure sustainable management of national water resources and improved access to affordable and qualitatively adequate drinking-water and sanitation services for the general population. Through regional programmes, Germany is also supporting the development of renewable energies.
With aggregate development cooperation worth 1 billion euros, Germany has so far been one of the country’s principal bilateral donors. Germany, for example, cancelled Nicaragua’s bilateral debts totalling 492 million euros in June 2004 under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative.
There is also extensive and long‑standing non‑governmental cooperation through churches, private bodies, political foundations and numerous town‑twinning arrangements. In addition, the Federal Government financially supports the work of multilateral institutions active in Nicaragua, such as the World Bank, the Inter‑American Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations.
Culture and education
The German School in Managua (Colegio Alemán Nicaragüense) which is funded by the Federal Government is a beacon of cultural relations between the two countries and is considered to be one of the best schools in the country. Some 800 German and Nicaraguan students are receiving a bilingual education there. Since the 2003 school year, students there have been able to obtain the Bachillerato Internacional, a qualification which enables them to study at institutions of higher education in Germany. In April 2016, the school was awarded the title Excellent German School Abroad for the second time. It celebrated its 50th anniversary in late 2017.
Moreover, the friendship between Germans and Nicaraguans is fostered by a whole host of private initiatives such as the Nicaragua Associations in Germany or the German-Nicaraguan Culture Initiative in Managua (Iniciativa Cultural Alemana Nicaragüense – ICAN). The two countries also have close literary ties: the Bertolt Brecht German-Nicaraguan Library in Managua (Biblioteca Alemana Nicaragüense) houses more than 9000 books. And the Nicaraguan authors Gioconda Belli, Ernesto Cardenal or Sergio Ramírez are also known and admired by German readers.
This text is intended as a source of basic information. It is regularly updated. No liability can be accepted for the accuracy or completeness of its contents.