Translate page with Google

Story Publication logo August 20, 2015

A Look into the Massive Nicaragua Canal Project


Media file: nicacanal-main_04ss.jpg

Colossal. Mammoth. Pharaonic. Those are the words that describe the Chinese-backed proposal to build...

author #1 image author #2 image
Multiple Authors
Media file: 107515-full.jpg
A peasant scrawls on a mural of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega during a protest against the construction of an inter-oceanic canal in Juigalpa, Nicaragua. Nicaragua and Chinese company HKND Group last year launched construction of an ambitious $50 billion rival to the Panama canal that could handle even larger ships. The canal, which is set to be completed within five years, threatens to displace a small village of the Rama ethnic group and to invade the Indio Maiz reserve, according to environmentalists. Image by STR/AFP/Getty Images. Nicaragua, 2015.

The planned inter-oceanic canal across Nicaragua is so big that it's tough to wrap your mind around.

A canal 170 miles long and 90 feet deep, rivaling the 50-mile-long Panama Canal and its ability to handle the world's largest cargo ships.

The Chinese-backed project has been shrouded in secrecy, making the potential ramifications of the canal— for world trade, the environment, the livelihoods of farmers, ranchers and indigenous people— difficult to grasp as well.

McClatchy reporter Tim Johnson traveled through Nicaragua and spoke with some of the people living in the path of the canal for a new four-part series on the project. Here he speaks with KPCC, Southern California public radio.


yellow halftone illustration of an elephant


Environment and Climate Change

Environment and Climate Change
navy halftone illustration of a boy carrying two heavy buckets


Water and Sanitation

Water and Sanitation

Support our work

Your support ensures great journalism and education on underreported and systemic global issues