Ocotal, in the Matagalpa language, means "Populated Land of Ocotes". The first town was founded in 1780 and elevated to municipality in 1847, by Legislative decree. The city of Ocotal stands out for relevant historical facts about the fight of General Sandino, known for its northern colonial architecture, its pine forests, coffee plantations and its people, affable, hardworking and hospitable.

In 1927, General Augusto C. Sandino and his Army for the Defense of National Sovereignty, EDSN, confronted the US Marines and the National Guard who were in the city's barracks. Due to this fact, the city was attacked by US Navy planes, causing the death of 300 people, including the civilian population, thus becoming the first city in Latin America to be bombed by the Yankee interventionists.

Artistic expressions and manifestations 


In Ocotal there are dance groups promoted by the Augusto C. Sandino House of Culture, at the level of educational centers and in the neighbourhoods. Here dance classes are taught to children, adolescents and young people from Ocotal.

La Municipal School of Dance, Professor Jorge Calderón Gutierrez It is the most outstanding and representative group of the municipality, with nine years of having been founded, focused on the work of rescue, conservation and diffusion of the regional music and dance of the Segovias.

Children's dance group

Children's dance group


The Versatile Musical Group: With more than 15 years of musical career. This group participates in the cultural and social events of the municipality.

Musical duos

The best known are the Duo Without Borders; Duo Dino Chavarría, made up of Carlos A. Chavarría and Álvaro Terán.

Musicians and composers: Don Luis Alonso Ardón, singer-songwriter, among his songs are “Las Mañanitas de Ocotal” and “Tribute to Ocotal”; and Santos Laguna, both were from the Sandino Music Group, an outstanding group that participated in national and international tours, Enoc Arturo Ponce Montano (RIP), singer-songwriter and former vocalist of the Xolo Mancotal group, who was known in the artistic world as Enoc Zavala.

Mural of the Houses of Culture


The legendary generational family of musicians, “Los Lozano”; the most recognized in the regional and national sphere Marta and Ramón Lozano; Ramón lives in Estelí, where he has founded a music school and continues to contribute to the development of music in the northern region of the country.

Poets and writers

The most prominent writers and poets are Professor Jorge Calderón Gutiérrez (RIP), Professor Eva Ramona Ponce de Zavala. Likewise, Pedro Corrales, Lenin Mauricio Amador Bellorín.


The artists Noel García and Celina Ponce Santos Pérez stand out.

Oscar Danilo Zamora Cárdenas, Lenin Mauricio Amador Bello, Marcio Rodríguez

Craft trades

Pine Needle Craft

Craftsmen, shoemakers, carpenters, blacksmiths, bakers, barbers and hairdressers.

Traditional shoemaking workshops: The best known is the El Remate Saddlery and Shoe Shop; founded in the 70s; it is also another historical landmark of the city.

In the field of carpentry or cabinetmaking, the Olivas Family stands out, a mark of the identity of the city of Ocotal. The last name Olivas is identified with carpentry and education. In the teaching profession, they are a great generation of teachers. They are also a historical landmark of the city.


The Nahuatl Serpent, The Rattlesnake, The Three Calderonas, The Duende and La Sucia.

Local figures who have contributed to the history and culture of the town

Jorge Calderón Gutiérrez (RIP): Teacher of generations, musician, composer, poet, writer, historian, director and playwright. His greatest theater work, of great recognition in the regional and national sphere, is the work "The trees die standing up".

Father Teodoro Custer: He was one of the great promoters of the sport in Ocotal, at all levels and categories; respected and loved by the locals, for his social, cultural and religious works. He currently lives in Terrabona, but is always in contact with his town of Ocotal.

Arturo Ponce Zavala: Coffee grower and traditional musician, at the age of 62 he recorded his first CD with previously unreleased songs. He currently lives in Dipilto. Author and compiler of northern regional music; as a symbol of northern identity.

Marcos Osorio (RIP): Popular character, cumbia dancer, recognized and highly appreciated in the municipality; he is seen at cultural events in his city.

Hacienda La Fortaleza House

Salvador Ponce: Recognized sobador of the town; experienced in the knowledge, skills and practices of this ancestral trade. He is a reference in the municipality, he was a baseball player for a long time and he was the sobador of the players when they suffered from a sprain or sprain, he took care of them and that is how he became a reference in his town.

Monsignor Nicolás Antonio Madrigal (RIP): Considered, for his pastoral and social offices: The Saint of the Segovias.

Dr. Emilio Gutierrez: Writer and historian, well known in Ocotal and Don Arturo Mantilla, historian; They made great contributions in rescuing the history and culture of their people.

Lórgia Castro: Traditional midwife, those born in the 60s, 70s and 80s passed through her hands. She was a historical and cultural reference of the municipality for her work as a midwife, knowledge, wisdom and ancestral practices in force in Nicaragua.

Other sites of historical and cultural interest

Saint Anthony of Texas: Pre-Hispanic archaeological site of great importance in the municipality; probably the first settlers of Ocotal settled here; from Old Town. This place was populated, without abandonment, for almost a thousand years approximately; which contributed to the cultural, social, religious and technological development of those who inhabited this region.

House of Culture

El Divisadero Historic Site: It was a strategic point, from there in 1927 General Augusto C. Sandino directed the attack against the US Marine troops that were in the city barracks.

The Hacienda La Fortaleza House: Historic place. In 2007 it was rebuilt with the same colonial architectural design of the time. Currently there is a small museum, which can be visited by appointment. It is located on a small hill about 55 meters high, from which you can see a beautiful view of the city and its surroundings. It is advisable to do your tour in the company of a local guide.

Augusto C. Sandino House of Culture: Rescue center, promotion and dissemination of the culture of the municipality. Music, painting and dance classes are taught. Its interiors also house a community museum. With a cultural program where artistic and cultural exhibitions, events, recitals, among others, stand out.

Guitar making

La Norteña Guitar and Furniture Factory: Founded twenty years ago they make acoustic guitars, electroacoustic guitars, guitarrones, requintos, violins, mandolins. His guitars have been exported to Canada, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, England, Taiwan and the USA.

They also make the entire line of home furnishings. Owner Rufino Zavala Tellez. It is located in the Yelba María Antúnez neighborhood.


You can visit the craft workshop of Mrs. Norma Liliam Vallecillo and Mr. Abelardo Perez.

Wood crafts are traditional in Ocotal. Here they make utilitarian and decorative crafts and jewelry. They make jewelry boxes, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, among others, based on wood, pine, rattan and clay. The Artesanías del Norte and Artesanía San Antonio stand out.



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