CONEXIONES founders chose Granada, Nicaragua as the field site because of its extraordinary opportunities for the study of language and culture. South of the teeming capital (Managua), Granada is a small picturesque city (the population is around 110,000) that preserves a provincial ambiance. Situated on the northwestern shore of Lake Nicaragua at the feet of volcano Mombacho, Granada is known for its beautiful setting, rich history, and quiet colonial character. Students enjoy the provincial setting and traditional Nicaraguan hospitality in the homes of selected host families.
Founded in 1524, Granada became a rich and important trade center and capital. With access to the Caribbean via Lake Nicaragua and the Rio San Juan, Granada was an easy target for English and French buccaneers who sacked the city repeatedly. More recently ( the 1850s) the American adventurer William Walker invaded Nicaragua and established Granada as his capital. Walker later torched the city as he retreated with his army of filibusters. During the Contra wars of the 1980’s Granada was the scene of some street fighting but was spared the bombing and shelling that other Nicaraguan cities endured. Perhaps this violent history is a factor in the relaxed tranquility that Granadans universally esteem.