Home / News / News archive / 2015 / December 2015 / Christmas time in Nicaragua

SOS Children's Villages began working in Nicaragua in 1973 following the earthquake which destroyed the capital of Managua, building a community in Esteli in northwest Nicaragua about 150 km from the capital. There are now four communities, as well as numerous social welfare and educational projects which also benefit local communities. … more about our charity work in Nicaragua

Christmas time in Nicaragua

SOS mother, Petronila, tells us how her and her SOS children celebrate Christmas and New Year's
SOS mother, Petronila, tells us how her and her SOS children celebrate Christmas and New Year's

The period leading up to Christmas and New Year’s is magical in many households around the world. Families gather together, enjoy meals, share laughs and set goals for the upcoming year. It is no different at SOS Children’s Villages in Nicaragua.

This Central American country has a vibrant culture and Christmas celebrations begin on 6 December. The following evening, Nicaraguans celebrate La Purisima (meaning the most pure), by going door-to-door to sing in honour of the Virgin Mary. Every home thanks the carollers with delicious treats. Throughout the month, citizen in Nicaragua gather together to watch fireworks.

On Christmas day, children look for presents from Papa Noel under their pillow and under the Christmas tree. The adults go to the market to purchase food for Christmas dinner.

Papa Noel visits SOS Children’s Village

Each year Papa Noel – or as many people in the UK refer to him as, Father Christmas – visits SOS Children’s Villages in Nicaragua. We asked SOS mother, Petronial, to tell us how her family plans to celebrate Christmas. She explains that her children want to celebrate Christmas with a large party at the SOS Children's Village Managua

“Here in Nicaragua we love celebrating together. They want to have a DJ that plays fun Christmas music so that the SOS families can all dance. They also fancy games and fireworks,” says Petronial.

All of the children have written their Christmas lists to Papa Noel, which include items such as footballs, remote control cars, puzzles, and dolls. At the party, the children have asked to have a piñata, and burn el muñeco – a large doll that is burnt to represent overcoming past failures and new beginnings.

“We hope to invite people from the surrounding community to celebrate Christmas with us. We hope that it is just like last year– the children received gifts and spent the afternoon playing games and enjoying tasty meal together,” says Petronial.

The meals are a crucial part of the Nicaraguan Christmas celebration. The Nicaraguan culture is still largely influenced by the ancient Spanish traditions. The Christmas feasts usually include of stuffed chicken and Valencian style rice.

Mama Petronial has already planned the menu for both Christmas Eve and New Year’s. On 24 December, she plans on preparing stuffed chicken with rice, plantains, pizza and gelatine. On New Year’s Eve she will be serving roasted chicken with rice and tomato salad, potato chips, passion fruit, and for dessert she will be making Maduro en gloria, which is fried plantain.

A Christmas recipe from Nicaragua


Ingredients:                                                    Filling ingredients:    

1 tablespoon of butter                                      1 pound of pork filet

2 cups of water                                                1 tablespoon butter

Salt and pepper to taste                                  ½ cup bread crumbs

SOS mother poses in front of traditional Nicaraguan chicken for Christmas
Petronial cooks her famous stuffed chicken every Christmas – a Nicaraguan tradition

Foil                                                                   1 bag of raisins

1 liter of milk                                                     ½ cup of milk

Preparing the filling:

Boil the pork filet with the garlic, drain it, chop it and then sauté the pork in butter. Add ½ cup of bread crumbs soaked in milk and finally add the raisins.


Clean and wash the chicken. Then season it well inside and out with salt and pepper to taste.

Fill in the chicken with the filling prepared before. Place the chicken in a large pan and put it in the oven for one hour, or until the chicken is golden brown. Occasionally base the chicken with the drippings.

This Christmas and New Year's help transform the life of a vulnerable child. Discover how you can sponsor an orphaned and abandoned children with SOS Children.