|• Mayor||Leónidas Centeno Rivera|
|• Vice Mayor||Rosalpina Pineda Zeledón|
|Elevation||1,000 m (3,000 ft)|
|Website||http://www.alcaldiajinotega.gob.ni/ (in Spanish)|
Jinotega (Spanish pronunciation: [xinoˈteɣa] ) (derived from Náhuatl: Xiotenko ‘place next to the jiñocuajo trees’) is the capital city of the Department of Jinotega in north-central Nicaragua.
The city is located in a long valley surrounded by the cool climate and Dariense Isabelia ridge located 142km north of the capital Managua. In 2012, the Department of Jinotega had a total population of 417,372, of which 123,548 lived in the capital city. Of the total population, 50.5% are men and 49.5% are women, and almost 38.4% of the population lives in the urban area.Jinotega produces 80% of Nicaragua's coffee, which is exported to the United States, Russia, Canada and Europe.
Within the city of Jinotega are several rivers and a lake. Lake Apanas, an artificial lake of 51 square kilometers, provides hydropower to much of the country. Although there is debate as to the origin of the name, Jinotega is colloquially known as "The City of Mists" (Ciudad de la Brumas) for the magnificent whisks of clouds continuously feathering through the top of the valley. Other generally accepted names are "The Eternal City of Men", and the "City of Eternal Men".
Jinotega is bordered to the
The climate is subtropical and tropical in the high valleys, dry in summer, rainy in winter and cool in the mountains.
The name Jinotega is believed by some to derive from the Nahuatl word xinotencátl. Linguists disagree on the meaning of this word. Some interpret it as "City of the Eternal Men", whereas others translate it as "neighbors of the Jiñocuajo trees". The term probably comes from xiotl, originally from the word xiokwawtli, which means jiñocuabo or mangy tree; the ending -tenko, which means "on the edge of or next to"; and the demonym suffix -katl. Therefore, xiotenko means "place next to the jiñocuabos" and xiotenkatl, "neighbor of the jiñocuajos". The ending -tenko or "neighbors" is similar in function to the ending "ville" or "land" in English.
The latter is probably the most accurate of the translations, because there is an abundance of the bursera simaruba trees in the region, which are today known as jiñocuajo or jiñocuabo trees, a balsamic tree to which the natives of Jinotega attributed great medicinal properties. The Nahuas and Chorotegas revered the jiñocuajo as a tree of eternity and wisdom.
According to historian Eddy Kühl Aráuz, the name Jinotega does not come from the Nahuatl language, since the indigenous people of this area (Jinotega, Matagalpa, Sébaco and Muy Muy) spoke the Misumalpa language, as they were not of Mesoamerican origin like the Mangues (Chorotegas) and the Nahua peoples who inhabited the Pacific area of present-day Nicaragua. The historian Julián Guerrero, in his work "Jinotega Monograph" affirms that the word Jinotega is Chorotegan.
According to the German linguist Walter Lehmann, the language of the indigenous people of Jinotega and Matagalpa belonged to the Macro-Chibcha family.
The settlement of Jinotega was established in the middle of a cauldron-shaped mountainous valley by indigenous people in pre-Columbian times. There is quite a bit of controversy about its original settlers; for some historians, the natives of this region were descendants of the Mayangna people of the Chontales Department, from the Caribbean of the Atlantic coast; other believe the aborigines of the region were Chorotega-speaking people, and therefore, Mesoamericans. The chroniclers listed the first possible inhabitants of the central and northern part of the country as one or more of the following:
The government of Jinotega consisted of a king who was advised by a council of elders. Indigenous kings where called caciques as an umbrella term by the Spanish, although truthfully caciques were unique to the Taíno and kings were not called this term by Jinoteganos.
The religion was polytheistic; they had a pantheon of gods of the air, thunder, lightning, rain, harvest, and more.
Agriculture consisted mainly of the cultivation of corn, legumes, cocoa, and the harvest of roots and edible fruits. Corn was the staple of the diet. Among the animals they hunted for food were turkey, quail, agouti, guardatinaja (a species of agouti particular to Nicaragua) and deer.
The indigenous people of Jinotega wove their clothes using cotton, the bark fibers of certain trees, as well as leather, all colored with inks and dyes extracted from local plants and animals. They were well-known in the region for their claywork and pottery, especially of domestic utensils. They also obtained and worked with gold, known for its malleability and beauty.
Professor Harvey Wells (1932-2009), a respected local educator and historian who taught at Colegio La Salle in Jinotega, claimed that when the Spanish colonization began in 1524, roughly 75% of the indigenous peoples of north central Nicaragua were part of the early immigration from Mexico and for that reason, he believed that Jinotega has its roots in the capital of the Mexica people, in Tenochtitlán. A Spanish census in 1581 listed Jinotega as a completely indigenous town with no Spanish presence, however it was still claimed as Spanish territory and named "San Juan de Jinotega" in 1606 by a Catholic shaman named Juan de Albuquerque. Juan chose Saint John the Baptist as patron spirit at the city's center, the place that is today the central park where the town hall is located.
In the mid-sixteenth century, the interpreters who accompanied the Spanish military and missionaries desired to nahualize the names in the region of Jinotega, but at least 80% of the place names remained in the Matagalpa language, such as names ending in lí (“river”), güina (“people”), cayán (“hill”), apa (“hill”), etc., which are very common in the central and northern region of the country.
Starting in 1690, the first Spanish settlers settled near the city. In 1703 the Spanish missioner Fray Margil de Jesús visited Jinotega and noted that there was still no permanent Spanish presence. He had a large cross placed on the highest point of Cerro Chirinagua, on the western outskirts of the city. Today it is a place for hiking, illuminated at night, called Cerro de la Cruz. By 1731 there were some permanent Spanish surnames listed in the census, like Gadea, Duarte, Altamirano, Castro, Alburquerque, and Fray Juan de Zeledon. Zeledon is said to have invited his nephews to the city, who have descendants who that still live there: some of them are Zeledon of La Concordia, Umure and Ocotal Espeso and Pacsila, idilic communities located between the cities of Matagalpa and Jinotega. On April 5, 1851, the city of Jinotega was elevated to the category of village by the government of Nicaragua.
In July 1872, the scientist Thomas Belt left Santo Domingo de Chontales in search of miners for the Nueva Segovia gold mines near the Honduran border. On this trip he visited Jinotega and called it by its original name, and not by "Santas Rosas, San Juanes, Santos Tomases" and explained that the inhabitants "cling to their old names" and not to the ones imposed by the Spanish. In other words, the Spanish name is "San Juan" and the true name is "Jinotega".
On February 11, 1883, the title of town was granted to Jinotega. According to historians, the first car in the city belonged to the German Enrique Heinrich Gülke and the first women's bicycle arrived in the city in 1933, as a gift from the German immigrant Luis Ludwig Frenzel to his daughter Hulda for her fifteenth birthday.
The Jinotega region is perhaps the most war-torn region in Nicaragua's history. Its remote location as well as its proximity to the border with Honduras made it a haven for rebel forces throughout the last seven decades. The most intense battles took place in the Department of Jinotega between 1927 and 1934 under Augusto C. Sandino and his troops (popularly known as "los bandoleros") against the American occupation troops.
Later, at the end of the 1970s, Jinotega was a key battleground in the bitter war between the troops of Anastasio Somoza Debayle and the civilian rebel population. Starting on May 19, 1979, the "Final Offensive" of the Sandinista National Liberation Front's Carlos Fonseca Amador Northern Front began against the Somoza Debayle regime. Somoza was defeated on July 19, 1979.
After a short period of peace, civil war began again between government troops of the new Sandinista regime and the Contra rebels who felt betrayed by the Sandinistas and were funded by the United States. In 1981, the mountainous area of the department was again the scene of a fratricidal war, this time between the Contras and carried out bloodily by the FSLN, emerging from anti-communist sentiment and dissatisfaction with the corruption of Sandino's government, continuing the Nicaraguan Revolution.
Jinotega is a major supplier of coffee for Nicaragua and for other countries. The basic grains (corn, beans, and wheat), vegetables (tomato, lettuce, onion, cabbage, parsley, radish, celery, broccoli, potatoes, taro, carrot, cucumber), fruit (bananas), and livestock (cattle, pigs and goats) all contribute to its economy. There is also sizable cocoa production.
At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the economy of Jinotega received a great boost with the cultivation of coffee, which attracted national and foreign entrepreneurs, particularly among the nationals of Granada, León, but also German foreigners and the British. One of the first and largest coffee producers in northern Nicaragua was the community of "La Fundadora" in the municipality of Jinotega run by a British man named Potter who owned these properties at the time. The hospitable climate and the dedication of its producers have allowed Jinotega coffee to reach some of the highest levels of quality in the world. Thus, Jinotega has won national and international competitions for excellence in coffee production, surpassing Matagalpa, Boaco, Estelí and the department of Madriz in quality; and internationally, Venezuela, Colombia and even Brazil. Contests have been organized in Jinotega, such as the Cup of Excellence, because this department is one of the most awarded for this contest at an international level, of which it has been the winner 5 times. Coffee cultivation is mainly represented by small and medium producers for 90%, the rest in the hands of large producers. The department produces 65% Nicaraguan coffee, high quality coffee thanks to the optimal agro-ecological conditions for its cultivation, which make Jinotega the capital of coffee. This product is exported to Canada, the United States, Europe and Russia.
Between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the city of Jinotega was full of commerce: in the 19th century, the national government passed a law with the aim of motivating foreign investors to grow coffee in Nicaragua. English, German, Danish and North American entrepreneurs later settled in Jinotega. German businessman Heinrich (Henry) Gülke founded a Viennese-style casino. Both the furniture and the velvet curtains, the pool tables, the bowling alleys, the wheels of fortune, etc. They came directly from Germany. In the late 1920s, Mr. Gülke also brought the first motor vehicle to Jinotega, which was driven by Mr. Rafael Hernández.
In the mid-1960s, businessman Asunción (Chón) Molina Rodríguez set up a coffee and corn processing factory. His products included ground coffee, corn chips, and tortillas, all of which were exported throughout Central America, expertly vacuum-packed. The factory employed more than 200 people.
The coffee trade, known as the "golden grain", like that of basic grains, depends mainly on intermediaries who are responsible for collecting the product, storing it and then looking for points of sale. The marketing of vegetables in the town has not changed for many years. Traded directly by the plantation, the produce is transported to markets to find buyers. The cattle are sold by the owners directly to the national market in the slaughterhouses of Managua, Chontales or Condega, who are in charge of exporting them.
The distribution of domestic energy, in charge of the company Distribuidora del Norte (DISNORTE), is interconnected to the national network. Hydroelectric energy generated by Centro América Plant supplies energy for much of the country. The plant has two turbines, each with a capacity of 25 MW (subject to a good winter).
Public lighting service covers only 90% of the city and only 30% in rural areas. In some rural communities, they do not have access to electricity, particularly in dry zones such as La Ermita de Saraguasca and nearby places located 5 kilometers west of Las Lomas, despite the Larreynaga and Central America Power Plant located just 5 kilometers away.
There are three universities in Jinotega, and one technical school:
Jinotega is twinned with:
The 15 departments and 2 autonomous regions of Nicaragua are divided into 153 municipalities. The formation and dissolution of municipalities is governed by the Law of Municipalities, drafted and approved by the National Assembly on July 2. 1988.
Jinotega is a department of Nicaragua. Its departmental head is Jinotega. It is located in the north of the country, on the border with Honduras.
Matagalpa is a department in central Nicaragua. It covers an area of 6,804 km2 and has a population of 600,057. The capital is the city of Matagalpa with a population of about 111,000.
Nueva Segovia is a department in Nicaragua. It covers an area of 3,491 km2 and has a population of 275,291. The capital is Ocotal.
The North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region is one of two autonomous regions in Nicaragua. It was created by the Autonomy Statute of 7 September 1987. It covers an area of 33,106 km2 and has a population of 541,189. It is the largest autonomous region or department in Nicaragua. The capital is Puerto Cabezas. It contains part of the region known as the Mosquito Coast.
The Misumalpan languages are a small family of languages spoken by indigenous peoples on the east coast of Nicaragua and nearby areas. The name "Misumalpan" was devised by John Alden Mason and is composed of syllables from the names of the family's three members Miskito, Sumo languages and Matagalpan. It was first recognized by Walter Lehmann in 1920. While all the languages of the Matagalpan branch are now extinct, the Miskito and Sumu languages are alive and well: Miskito has almost 200,000 speakers and serves as a second language for speakers of other indigenous languages in the Mosquito Coast. According to Hale, most speakers of Sumu also speak Miskito.
Matagalpa is a city in Nicaragua which is the capital of the department of Matagalpa. The city has a population of 111,258, while the population of the department is 600,057. Matagalpa is Nicaragua's seventh largest city, the largest in the country's interior, and one of the most commercially active outside of Managua. Matagalpa is the 4th most important city in Nicaragua and is known as the "Pearl of the North" and "Land of Eternal Spring."
El Cuá is a municipality in the Jinotega department of Nicaragua. Formerly part of the municipality of El Cuá-Bocay, it became a separate municipality in 2002. Its population rose from 43305 in 2005 to 56897 in 2012.
San Ramón is a municipality in the Matagalpa department of Nicaragua.
Sébaco is a town and a municipality in the Matagalpa department of Nicaragua.
The Mayangna are a people who live on the eastern coasts of Nicaragua and Honduras, an area commonly known as the Mosquito Coast. Their preferred autonym is Mayangna, as the name "Sumo" is a derogatory name historically used by the Miskito people. Their culture is closer to that of the indigenous peoples of Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia than to the Mesoamerican cultures to the north. The Mayangna inhabited much of the Mosquito Coast in the 16th century. Since then, they have become more marginalized following the emergence of the Miskito as a regional power.
The following is an alphabetical list of topics related to Nicaragua.
The official language of Nicaragua is Spanish; however, Nicaraguans on the Caribbean coast speak indigenous languages and also English. The communities located on the Caribbean coast also have access to education in their native languages. Additionally, Nicaragua has four extinct indigenous languages.
The Cacaopera people also known as the Matagalpa or Ulúa., are an indigenous people in what is now El Salvador and Nicaragua.
German Nicaraguan is a Nicaraguan having German ancestry, or a German-born naturalized citizen of Nicaragua. This includes Poles due to the Partitions of Poland and Sudeten Germans from present Czech Republic. During the Second World War, after Nicaragua's allies declared war on Germany, German immigrants not naturalized were persecuted and imprisoned. Some were deported to Germany or to concentration camps in other countries. Although Germans have emigrated to Nicaragua since the 19th century, most of the German Nicaraguans still speak both Spanish and German.
Götz Freiherr von Houwald was a German diplomat, historian, and ethnographer. He was born in Posen and died in Bonn. His full name was Maximilian Otto Gustav Albrecht Hubert Wilhelm Götz-Dieter Freiherr von Houwald. Götz-Dieter von Houwald's parents were Albrecht Freiherr von Houwald and Helene Gräfin von Carmer.
First generation immigrants account for less than 1% of the population of Nicaragua, or about 50,000 people. Immigrants have come from neighboring countries, Europe, Asia and elsewhere. In the past there was also an intake of African slaves. These immigrants have combine with the established European settlers and indigenous Mestizos people to give Nicaragua a wide cultural mix. Immigration into Nicaragua has recently increased after a considerable drop in the decades between 1950 and 1980.
Yvan Leyvraz was a Swiss employee of Solidar Suisse and part of the international solidarity brigades in Nicaragua after the presidential election victory of Daniel Ortega and the Sandinistas and the ensuing Contra war. He was the second Swiss national to be killed by US-supported contras in Nicaragua.
José D'Andrea Valeri known as "Padre Odorico D'Andrea", was a Catholic Italo-Nicaraguan priest. He founded the Franciscan Sisters Pilgrims of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, along with Father Francisco Javier Munguía Alvarado, also a Franciscan. He was a missionary of the Order of Friars Minor or Franciscans, devoted to the mission in the communities of the City of San Rafael del Norte in the department of Jinotega, Nicaragua.