Months of deadly unrest devastate Nicaragua's economy

In this Sept 7, 2018 photo, a man walks in the empty and shuttered halls of the Oriental Market during a 24 hour national strike, in Managua, Nicaragu

In this Sept 7, 2018 photo, a man walks in the empty and shuttered halls of the Oriental Market during a 24 hour national strike, in Managua, Nicaragu

Traffic drives past the El Convento hotel, in Leon, Nicaragua, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. When protests began in April, a foreign auto components compan

Traffic drives past the El Convento hotel, in Leon, Nicaragua, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. When protests began in April, a foreign auto components compan

A woman walks past the gutted remains of Nicaragua's National University building in Leon, Nicaragua, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. The university building

A woman walks past the gutted remains of Nicaragua's National University building in Leon, Nicaragua, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. The university building

Doves fly in front of Leon Cathedral in Leon, Nicaragua, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. Protests against the administration of President Daniel Ortega start

Doves fly in front of Leon Cathedral in Leon, Nicaragua, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. Protests against the administration of President Daniel Ortega start

A coach driver takes a nap as he waits for tourists in the colonial city of Granada, Nicaragua, Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. The U.S., Canada, Spain and En

A coach driver takes a nap as he waits for tourists in the colonial city of Granada, Nicaragua, Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. The U.S., Canada, Spain and En

The colonial downtown of the city of Granada and its cathedral looks forlorn and empty for lack of tourists, in Nicaragua, Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. Nic

The colonial downtown of the city of Granada and its cathedral looks forlorn and empty for lack of tourists, in Nicaragua, Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. Nic

A couple of foreign tourists walk on La Calzada street in the colonial city of Granada, Nicaragua, Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. Economists estimate 200,000

A couple of foreign tourists walk on La Calzada street in the colonial city of Granada, Nicaragua, Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. Economists estimate 200,000

A man looks out into lake Nicaragua and sunset in the colonial city of Granada, Nicaragua, Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. Nicaragua’s economy has been devast

A man looks out into lake Nicaragua and sunset in the colonial city of Granada, Nicaragua, Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. Nicaragua’s economy has been devast

A waiter walks among the empty table of a café in down town Leon, Nicaragua, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. Nicaragua's economy has been devastated by the n

A waiter walks among the empty table of a café in down town Leon, Nicaragua, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. Nicaragua's economy has been devastated by the n

A few visitors look out into the Pacific Ocean from the coastal town of Poneloya, Nicaragua, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. Economists estimate that since t

A few visitors look out into the Pacific Ocean from the coastal town of Poneloya, Nicaragua, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. Economists estimate that since t

A few visitors visit a beachside restaurant in the coastal town of Las Peñitas, Nicaragua, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. Economists estimate that since the

A few visitors visit a beachside restaurant in the coastal town of Las Peñitas, Nicaragua, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. Economists estimate that since the

A man sits on the sea wall in the beach town of Ponelya, on the Pacific coast of Nicarauga, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. Nicaragua's economy has been deva

A man sits on the sea wall in the beach town of Ponelya, on the Pacific coast of Nicarauga, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. Nicaragua's economy has been deva

LEON, Nicaragua (AP) — Two days after protests began in Nicaragua in April, a foreign auto components company was meeting at a hotel in the city of Leon when smoke from a burning university building just a block away billowed above the hotel's colonnaded courtyard.

The visitors quickly cut short their event and began changing their travel plans to exit Nicaragua. The hotel later closed.

Nicaragua's economy has been devastated by the nearly five months of unrest sparked by cuts to social security benefits that quickly evolved into calls for President Daniel Ortega to step down.

In June, the country's economic activity was down 12.1 percent compared to a year earlier, according to the central bank. Economists estimate 200,000 jobs have been shed.