Nicaraguan government officials say the country will begin construction on a canal connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans in late December.
The $50 billion project will cut 173 miles through the country, much of it through Lake Nicaragua, the largest fresh water source in Central America. By contrast, the Panama Canal is only 48 miles long.
Opponents of the project include environmentalists who say the canal will wreak havoc on sensitive areas, as well as farmers whose land will be affected.
Government officials say the project could double the country’s GDP.