Nicaraguan is a country of stunning cultural achievements. This is a land where working-class people regularly write and quote poetry, and the greatest national hero, Rubén Darío, is a 19th Century poet. The country is still producing world-class writers like Ernesto Cardenal, Daisy Zamora, Silvio Sirias, Gioconda Belli, and Sergio Ramirez. Nicaraguan artists are known for their stunningly colorful paintings and Mayan-themed pottery.
Nicaraguan music is a lively, eclectic blend of traditional folk music, mariachis, Afro-Caribbean, flamenco, Latin pop, reggaton, and rock. Nicaragua is also a nation of musicians and singers. From the New Song Movement of the Revolutionary years to the multi-lingual, multi-cultural wave of Nica Hip Hop, people love an eclectic mix of sounds and styles. On the Atlantic Coast kids congregate in the streets every evening to demonstrate break dancing and Caribbean rap. In Managua, Carlos Mejia Godoy, the father of Nicaraguan folk music, still plays in clubs and coffee houses. Rhythms like the trova became essential to writers in the post-war scenario of the 70s and 80s. Writers used trova to express social injustice, their hope for a better tomorrow, patriotism, and ecological conservation. This, in time, became a rhythm used in artistic Nicaraguan creations, and it therefore also became part of the culture.
In Granada, the center of the cultural scene is the Casa de Tres Mundos (also known as the Casa de Leones) founded by the poet, ex-priest and Sandinista leader Ernesto Cardenal and sponsored by the Austrian government. In any given week Tres Mundos might offer music and art classes, exhibits by local artists, poetry readings, concerts by European symphony orchestras and local teenage rock musicians, or lectures on archaeology, history and literature.