Public Services in Nicaragua
Public services are those services provided by a country's municipal governments for the good of the community. Nicaragua's public services include police and fire protection, waste disposal, water, street cleaning, education, public transportation, medical services, electricity, communications and so on. Improvements continue to be made to Nicaragua's public services, and various organizations have also helped to institute programs to further improve certain public services in Nicaragua.
Nicaragua’s various government offices and departments are open on Monday to Friday between 8:00 am – 1:00 pm or 8:00 am – 12:00 noon and 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm. If you need to visit one of these offices it is best to call beforehand to find out exactly when they are open. Nicaragua’s electricity is 110 watts, though it can be 220 watt in the case of special services. Drinking water is provided in all major cities. However, some suggest you drink only bottled water. Nicaragua offers free hospital services which will only charge you for medicines and supplies used in treatment. Nicaragua has three state banks as well as several private banks. The work hours for banks in Nicaragua are 8:30 am to 5:30 pm.
Nicaragua’s main roads connect the larger cities and are usually in good condition. You may come across some sections that are in poor condition; however these shouldn’t cause too much of a problem. Secondary roads may not be tarred or paved but can be in decent condition. Some poor roads are difficult or impossible to drive on in bad weather conditions. To reach less accessible destinations on these secondary roads, it is probably best to use a four-wheel drive vehicle. Nicaragua has a good public transportation system, especially with regards to buses. Within urban areas the bus networks cover large areas and can take you just about anywhere. Buses will have a number signs on them that let you know which route they are traveling. Bus stops will provide a list of buses and their routes. If you are ever unsure of where you are going, just ask a friendly Nicaraguan and they will be able to assist you.
Education is free for all Nicaraguans. Elementary schooling is compulsory as it is vital for developing basic skills. The goal of Nicaragua’s government is to promote education, which will provide the country with adults who can make decisions and understand scientific and humanist concepts. Certain communities can also benefit from education in their own native languages. Higher education in Nicaragua is divided into administrative, financial and organic faculties. For more information on this Nicaraguan public service visit our Education page.
It has been reported that corruption is a problem in Nicaragua’s police services and while the government has been taking action to stop this corruption, it is not unusual for police officers to accept, and even expect, bribery. Traffic officers do not have patrol cars and are identified along the roadside by the red berets they wear. Small police stations are situated along major roadways and roadblocks may be put up to check licenses and registrations. Nicaragua’s fire department is greatly supported by volunteers and offers a good service.