Nicaraguans have played a major role in shaping the cultural identity of Miami since the early 1980s. Moving beyond small professions, Nicaraguans have helped create a new identity in the Sweetwater and West Miami neighborhoods of Miami-Dade County.
Nicas in Miami: Photo Essay
Arriving after the Nicaraguan Revolution of 1979, Nicaraguans have played a
very important role in shaping the identities of iconic Miami neighborhoods
like Sweetwater and Little Havana.
After starting his practice helping clients in Sweetwater, Mario Lovo has helped many Nicaraguans with immigrations issues for over 20 years. Lovo has made appearances on Univision and other Hispanic media outlets as a prominent figure on immigration issues.
As a thoughtful gesture from many thankful clients, Mario Lovo keeps many of the thank you gifts that his clients have given him for assisting them with their cases. Some of these gifts include handmade statues of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary.
Maria Laurdes Medina Lau is a Nicaraguan born immigrant and entrepreneur who founded and developed the website “nacatamalnica.com”. She considers herself a very important figure in spreading Nicaraguan culture through the products she provides.
Handmade by her and her husband, Maria Laurdes sells “Nacatamales,” an iconic Nicaraguan made tamal, over the Internet. Her clientele include Nicaraguans, Americans, Canadians and even Nicaraguan-American soldiers posted overseas.
Besides offering the famous Nacatamal, Maria Laurdes also sells a variety of Nicaraguan products over the internet that are difficult for customers to find in their local markets.
Fritanga Monimbo is one of the most recognizable Nicaraguan restaurant chains in Miami.
Started in 1988, “La Fritanga,” as the locals know it, has opened locations all around Miami including Doral, Kendall and Little Havana.
“La Fritanga” sells many Nicaraguan dishes such as Nacatamals (steamed tamales), Repocheta (Tortilla and Melted Nicaraguan cheese) and Cuajada (Nicaraguan Cheese).
Offering a different take on Nicaraguan cuisine, Madronos restauraunt is designed to provide a much more refined Nicaraguan fine dining experience.
Opened by the same family that owns Madroños Restaurant, La Pulperia located next door offers a unique Nicaraguan café experience.
Offering a variety of handmade baked foods and treats, La Pulperia helps bring an authentic Nicaraguan experience in its service to its customers.
La Pulperia offers a wide selection of Nicaraguan products, like the favored Milca red soda, in a store that mirrors the small markets in Nicaragua.
One of the best known, and one of the most iconic, dishes in Nicaraguan cuisine is the “Nacatamal.” A steamed tamale prepared with rice, beans, meat, and an assortment of other ingredients, no dish is more recognized as a staple of Nicaraguan meals. Watch as one Nicaraguan-born Miami native uses this simple and iconic dish as a way to spread Nicaraguan culture:
Nicaraguans began their mass migration to the U.S. after the Nicaraguan Revolution of 1979. Nicas now form a small percentage of the U.S. hispanic population:
While Nicas have certain privileges under U.S. immigration law, not all Nicas have been able to live without interference from complex, and often harmful, U.S. immigration laws. Nicaraguan-born immigration attorney, Mario Lovo, has been a prominent figure in assisting Nicaraguans with immigration troubles.