From Wed Oct 8 16:29:30 2003
Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2003 15:50:03 -0500 (CDT)
From: Nicaragua Network <>
Subject: Nicaragua Network Hotline
Article: 166168
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Population Influx into Capital Slows

Nicaragua Network Hotline, 6 October 2003

Fewer Nicaraguans are migrating from the countryside to the city of Managua, which is now home to close to one-quarter of Nicaragua's entire population. Pablo Gomez, Director of Habitat Nicaragua, explained that his organization has projects in 10 departments and 17 municipalities, and is thus well-placed to observe population drift. People used to go to Managua; some still do of course, but mostly from the South, Masaya, Granada, Carazo. Now it's the turn of northern cities like Matagalpa and Jinotega; that's a main area people are settling these days. Gomez noted with alarm that the Atlantic side of the country was also undergoing an intense process of what he called, Chontalization. This term refers to land invasions from the central department of Chontales, where trees are clear-cut to prepare the land for cattle-ranching causing immense eco-damage of the whole region.

Those people who come into Managua from the South, he continued, many of them return to Masaya or wherever on the weekends, so the influx is more apparent than real. Much more importantly, people are abandoning the increasingly dry zones along the Pacific and Central parts of the country, and looking to settle in the humid tropical areas. This means that Nueva Guinea and the Northern and Southern Atlantic Autonomous Regions are under increasing pressure. That's where the 'invasions' are taking place, that's where the major environmental damage is being done.