Courtyards are a necessity in Nicaragua (and should be elsewhere as well). The air in the courtyard flows into the rooms which surround it and help to keep the temperatures tolerable.
All of the courtyards that we saw were full of lots of plants and sometimes a fountain or pool. They were very pleasant to see and to sit in.
My only question about this practice is that it means that the majority of all land is covered by impervious cover (concrete, asphalt, buildings, etc.) so I’m not sure how much of an issue rainwater runoff is.
Here are just a few of the many ones we saw. In the pictures we took from the bell tower, you can see that almost the only plants you see come from the courtyards.