Estelí, whose first settlers in pre-Hispanic times settled in the place known as "Las Pintadas" located four kilometers west of the city, most of them belonged to the Matagalpa ethnic group and to a lesser extent to the Mayangna people.

The Painted It was a sanctuary used for religious and cultural ceremonies and rituals, represented in the rock art reflected in the designs, images and signs engraved or sculpted in the rocks of this site. In this site some features of the Nahua culture have been found, originating from Mexico, manifested in the manufacture of ceramics and some toponymies, evidence of the presence of this last group in the territory.

The second settlement of colonial origin, is located four kilometers east of the city and was called "Villa of San Antonio de Padua". In 1823, it was moved to the current place of the city of Estelí, then known as “Valle de Michiguiste” and in 1891, it was elevated to a city with the name of Estelí. The first name of the municipality was San Antonio de Estelí.

In the course of the XNUMXth century, Estelí developed rapidly due to the coffee production, tobacco company and livestock, until it became the management center of the region, which is why it is known as the “diamond of the Segovias”.

Leonel Rugama House of Culture

Leonel Rugama House of Culture

La Home of the Culture it has the name of the revolutionary poet, Leonel rugama, a prominent figure in the city and in Nicaragua, fell in combat before Somoza's genocidal guard, who asked him if he surrendered, answering Give up your mother!; This cultural space is a place of historical reference and promotion of the culture of the municipality, declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation. It has spaces for exhibitions and workshops for artistic initiation, crafts, music, dance and painting classes are given. In one of its rooms is the gallery of heroes and martyrs.

On the main facade of the building there is a mural painted by an internationalist brigade of Latin American artists that narrates one of the episodes of the Estelí insurrection.

Museum of history and archeology Dr. Alejandro Dávila Bolaños

Museum of history and archeology Dr. Alejandro Dávila Bolaños: Archaeological, ethnological and historical objects are exhibited, as well as ethnohistoric documents and some petroglyphs from the archaeological site Las Pintadas. In addition, a photographic gallery of the history of Estelí between 1920 and 1979, personal objects of the poet and guerrilla Leonel Rugama and a numismatic collection.

The monument of the legendary guerrilla, Ccommander José Benito Escobar, located in the neighborhood that bears his name, located east of the city.

The cemetery, located west of the city. Here are buried the guerrillas who died in the Tactical Withdrawal in April 1978, heroes and martyrs of the Revolution.

Estelí, three times heroic

Commander Francisco Rivera

In 1978, the city suffered the first insurrection to overthrow the Somoza dictatorship; In April 1979, during the second insurrection against the regime, Estelí resisted six days of fighting against the National Guard, the defense was led by the legendary commander Francisco Rivera (El zorro).

Between June and July of the same year, the third and last insurrection took place, until reaching the revolutionary triumph and the liberation of Estelí, on July 16, 1979. For these reasons, Estelí is known as the “Three times heroic” city.

At present, more than 100 murals in the city, full of color and content, collect the different stages of the history of Estelí and Nicaragua, especially the deeds of the three insurrections in the city and the Sandinista Popular Revolution. For this reason, it has earned the title Estelí city of muralism.

When you get to know Estelí, you will also observe its monumental public art: Sculpture of Literacy, Sculpture of the Centenerio, to José Benito Escobar and Sculpture to General Augusto C. Sandino. 

Folk and regional dance

Since its origins, dance and music have been in the lives of the people of Estelí, being the polkas, mazurcas, corridos, jamaquellos, sones, zapateado, waltzes and other northern tunes the most representative of Estelí's folklore.

Dance of polka and mazurcas

Philip Urrutia

Philip Urrutia

In Nicaragua the polka and the mazurka represent one of the genres of folk music, along with jamaquello, which were introduced by immigrants from central Europe and Spain who settled mainly in the northern part of the country.

Thanks to the compilation of Don Felipe Urrutia Delgadillo, Alfredo Quintero, Noel Pérez Urbina, Tellito Flores, Ulises González and Alejandro José Floripe Fajardo, a complete sample of Estelí's folklore has been recovered, strengthening the musical particularity of the area.

Don Felipe and his puppies

Don Philip Urrutia, also known as “compiler of the Segovias”, he was a musician, composer and performer. Patriarch of folk music from the north of Nicaragua. It was a bulwark for the rescue, promotion and dissemination of regional music, such as polkas, mazurcas, waltzes, corridos, zapateados, among others.

In 1972 Don Felipe Urrutia created the musical group Don Felipe and his puppies composed of his three children: Polo, Luis and Pedro. Urrutia was worthy of multiple awards, among which stand out that of Beloved son of the city of Estelí, the order Augusto Cesar Sandino and Order of Cultural Independence Rubén Darío.

He died on December 26, 2014, leaving a great folk musical legacy to the country. At present the grandchildren of Don Felipe continue their work with the name of "Los cachorros de Don Felipe", recognized throughout the region.

Painters: Bayardo Gámez and Marcio Díaz

Singer-songwriters: Noel Pérez Urbina, Gustavo Bucardo, Andrés Ramos, Alfredito Quintero and Rafael Raúdez.

The artisan tradition

Leatherwork workshop

The artisan workshops of leather goods are a symbol of identity of the Estelianos. The elaboration of different types of implements for riding beasts and the famous cowboy boots, internationally known and which are Estelí's pride, stands out.

Other artisan workshops of great importance are woodwork or cabinetmaking, recognized nationally for their high quality.

The crafts are made of various materials from nature, including needles (leaves) and pine cones to make containers, Christmas decorations and hats. Figures and pictures are made from the corn leaf.


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