I visited a friend in Nicaragua earlier this year and took the opportunity to travel to Estelí, a town known for its murals. But seeing the murals did not come easy. I took a 6 hour detour (by chicken bus), got robbed, got un-robbed, and repeatedly got lost in Estelí’s unmarked streets. Fortunately I stumbled across a good number of murals, and they totally lived up to their press.
Estelí is a Sandinista stronghold in the northwest of the country. The city saw heavy combat in the 1970s as the Sandinista rebels fought to overthrow the hereditary Somoza dictatorship that had ruled Nicaragua since 1936. Many of the murals depict scenes from the revolution:
Women played a key role in the revolution, as celebrated in this mural:
I had read about the Nicaraguan revolution, but viewing these murals really brought the history to life for me. It was a little eerie to realize that the same (relatively) quiet streets I was walking had been the scene of so much fighting and loss of life.