Last updated in October 2018
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 are still good today.
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 several hundred Nicaraguans in Germany.
Besides In addition to the German Embassy, German institutions active in Nicaragua include the German-Nicaraguan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the a bilingual German School Deutsche Schule Managua, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and numerous other German NGOs.
There are 30 town-twinning arrangements between Nicaragua and Germany dating back to the 1980s and these make an important contribution to bilateral relations. In addition, more than 20 German non-governmental organisations are active in the country.
There are close historical ties between the two countries, especially due to German immigration during the 19th century. This German influence can be felt even today, particularly in the coffee-growing region in northern Nicaragua. Around a thousand German nationals live in Nicaragua and several hundred Nicaraguans in Germany.
Trade between the two countries is developing slowly but steadily from a low level. I in 20176, it was worth just under 112 around 125 million euros 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. Nicaragua runs a trade deficit with Germany. A German-Nicaraguan investment protection and promotion agreement has been in force since 2001.
A growing number of German tourists are discovering the land of lakes and volcanoes as a holiday destination. Around 18,000 Germans currently visited Nicaragua in 2017 every year.
The German companies Ritter Sport and Dräxlmaier are among Nicaragua’s biggest employers.
Nicaragua was a priority country of German development cooperation until the end of 2011. The main aim of Germany’s engagement there was reducing poverty. In response to growing democratic deficits in Nicaragua, such as the controversial elections in November 2011, the German Government decided to restrict oOfficial development cooperation between Germany and Nicaragua focuses on to the priority area of water. The aim of this programme is to strengthen national institutions in this area 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 one billion euros, Germany has so far been one of the country’s principal bilateral donors in this area. Among other measures, Germany 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 nongovernmental cooperation through churches, private bodies, political foundations and numerous town-twinning arrangements. In addition, the German 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 various United Nations agencies.
Culture and education
Cultural relations between Germany and Nicaragua are good. German immigration to Nicaragua in the 19th century made a contribution to the country’s development – a contribution that is widely appreciated to this day. Otherwise, Nicaraguans have a positive but rather vague picture of Germany. There is scarcely any news about Germany in the local media.
Cultural ties are close. Many Germans are familiar with Nicaragua through the books of Gioconda Belli, Ernesto Cardenal and Sergio Ramírez. In Nicaragua, the main contacts for those wishing to learn more about Germany are the Deutsche Schule Managua, the DAAD lector and the Inciativa Cultural Alemana Nicaragüense (ICAN).
The German school in Deutsche Schule Managua (Colegio Alemán Nicaragüense) is a beacon of cultural relations between the two countries and is considered to be one of the best schools in the country. , which is funded by the German Government, has more thanSome 800 German and Nicaraguan students are receiving a bilingual education there. Since the 2003 school year, its 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.
In higher education, cooperation focuses on the DAAD’s University Staff Development Programme (UNISTAFF) in Central America. There is a DAAD lector working in Nicaragua who helps ANERFA, an association for former scholarship holders, to provide follow-up support to scientists, academics and students who have studied in Germany and who supervises language courses.
To promote cultural preservation in Nicaragua, the Federal Foreign Office has made available substantial funding to build an extension to the Casa de los Tres Mundos (House of the Three Worlds) in Granada. This cultural centre enjoys a good reputation well beyond the city’s borders and in February 2018 again hosted a number of cultural events organised as part of the annual International Poetry Festival of Granada. Furthermore, funding was made available for a new archaeological museum in La Trinidad, which opened in early 2018.
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.