The municipality of La Paz Centro is a town of hard-working, smiling and industrious people with their hands. It is a mandatory stop when traveling to the west of the country, to enjoy one of the most representative dishes of Nicaragua, the quesillo. Its traditions, culture and nature will surprise you.

The Chorotegas spoke the Mangüe language, they were governed by a council of elders. The integration of the indigenous people into the colonial system caused them serious cultural consequences: abandonment of their peoples and customs, forgetfulness of their languages, loss of their worldview and religious expressions; the lack of identity and uprooting.

Inhabitants of La Paz centro _lapazcentro_cultura3

Residents of La Paz Center.

The transfer of León, on January 16, 1610, originated the beginnings of the town that today bears the name of La Paz Centro, due to the resettlement of some indigenous people who left the Imabite area and settled in a place called “Hato de Las Palmas ”, later known as San Nicolás de los Naboríos.

It was also known at that time as Pueblo Nuevo. This town was founded at the end of 1869, officially named “Villa de La Paz”; for being the place of the signing of the peace protocol between President Fernando Guzmán and Francisco Zamora, to end the civil war in the west of the country. Later it would assume the name of "La Paz Centro", derived from the town's railway station.

Jorge Nororí artisan from baroo_lapazcentro_cultura2

Jorge Nororí, clay artisan.

In 1903 the railroad was built whose route was La Paz Centro - Momotombo - Matagalpa, to ensure the rapid transfer of coffee transportation to the port of Corinto. La Paz Centro became an important transit point, as it had the intersection of the two routes: Chinandega - Managua- Granada and Corinto - León - Matagalpa. In 1966 La Paz Centro was elevated to the rank of a city.

Crafts, tradition par excellence 

One of the activities with strong roots and tradition in the municipality is the elaboration of ceramic crafts. Here they manufacture household objects for daily use decorated with tagüe, such as comales, pots and precious decorative pieces. There are several family workshops that give continuity to the tradition. It is estimated that there are more than 120 pottery workshops in La Paz Centro.

In the construction of typical ranches, the palm is still used as the main element. Mangrove wood has been replaced by eucalyptus wood, which is dehulled and cured; the other materials are tile, wood and brick. The designs are modern, comfortable, with two or three floors and access with rustic material stairs. The roofs of the ranches are woven on thin rods called nailers, tying them with guides from the same palm.

In addition to ceramics, another great local tradition is the work of wood and palm. There are several collectives and cooperatives that work in the elaboration of clay tiles and bricks that serve as raw materials. There are more than 50 tiles and about 30 brickyards.

Other trades of the daily life of La Paz

The custom of giving dress clothes to be made still allows the subsistence of more than 30 local tailors, although the increase in used clothing stores puts this ancient and traditional trade in danger of extinction.

To provide service to the less and less elements of equine transport that still run through rural areas, there is a single smithy service.

Relevant historical and cultural sites 

Elaboration of Tejas de Barro_lapazcentro_cultura1

Manufacture of clay tiles.

Pancorva hills: It is a historical site parallel to the Los Arcos ranch, in that place combats were fought against the National Guard in June 1979. This site has large boulders on high ground, which served as a parapet to the Western Front Rigoberto López Pérez and the La Paz combatants who fought fierce and fierce combats against the National Guard, in the final insurrection of June 1979. The combatants had as objective to contain the advance of the EEBI military that tried to clean León, in the power of the guerrillas. The efforts of the National Guard were useless, despite the superiority in men, weapons, ammunition and air support that bombarded the sector for several days.

There, Sandinista fighters and dozens of civilians lost their lives, victims of the bombs dropped from the air by the genocidal National Guard. This place, a symbol of the Sandinista armed resistance, prevented the National Guard from entering León. Every year the historical events that take place in the place are commemorated with a walk to pay tribute to the fallen.

Pink Island: It is characterized by abundant rocks engraved with pre-Hispanic motifs, among which there are anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figures, as well as evidence of polychrome ceramics located between AD 800 and 1550 and colonial porcelain.

Legends that are part of the oral tradition

At the time of the restoration of the Church of San Nicolás de Tolentino in the XNUMXth century, the emergence of the legend about the image of the patron saint found on the slopes of Momotombo is located.

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

Rosa Baca Alvarez: Known as Tío Rosa, he is a popular character, recognized for being a reference in the works of utilitarian ceramics, a trade he inherited from his parents, with whom he started at an early age.

Elaboration of Tejas de Barro_lapazcentro_cultura2

Elaboration of clay crafts.

It is known that he began his work from 02:00 in the morning lighting up with large lamps, he worked barefoot, since he did not wear shoes or slippers; the trousers rolled up to the knee and without a shirt. Their daily jobs were large jars, pots and comales, which no one else has been able to make. His fame spread nationally through the publication of his photo in school books, and on posters issued by the Institute of Tourism and on postage stamps.

Alexandrina Moya: Traditional and historical quesillera, she is one of the women recognized in La Paz Centro for selling cheese during the railroad era. She went to the station every day to offer her product. It is the first of four generations that have been dedicated to the manufacture and marketing of cheese in the family. His daughter Guadalupe Moya and her granddaughters are guarantors of the continuation of this La Paz tradition.

Historical tourism 

Museum of Indigenous Art "IMABITE": Founded in 1993, it displays a collection of pre-Hispanic archaeological pieces from the Chorotega culture and some pieces from the colonial era. It is located in the Puerto Momotombo community and is open from Monday to Sunday from 08:00 in the morning to 04:00 in the afternoon.

Old Port Momotombo: place of interest for lovers of history and photography, here you can see the space where one day the population converged to move from one department to another, to visit family or friends, fish and market products of the time. It was built on the shores of Lake Xolotlan (1893 – 1909), where the railway line that came from the port of Corinto ended. Currently, the population comes to the site to enjoy the cool breeze from the lake, to fish, bathe and contemplate the landscape with the imposing view of the Momotombo and Momotombito volcanoes. It is located 12 kilometers from the center of the municipality.

cultural tourism

Juan José Toruño Maldonado House of Culture: Cultural activities, artisan contests, and information on other sites of interest in the municipality are held in this building.

In the city, especially on the outskirts, there are small factories of artisan tiles and mud bricks, where you can observe the manufacturing process from molding to drying in typical ovens. Many families dedicate themselves to it, which makes it easier for you to choose which workshop to enter and learn about this traditional work.

Other sites that allow you to know the art of La Paz are the palm handicraft workshops, for the construction of typical ranches, where you can learn about the materials used, the manufacturing process, types of constructions and the usefulness of the ranches. These are very representative of the Nicaraguan indigenous way of life.

It is also characteristic to find clay craft workshops in the municipality where they make pieces such as pots, jars, comales, flowerpots, piggy banks, religious figures, etc. A combination of utilitarian crafts with decorative crafts, where they use local or regional raw materials. Most of the workshops are run by women and are located in the courtyards of the houses, which makes it easier for the visitor to learn about the manufacturing process of the pieces, practice the elaboration or take a souvenir from this beautiful municipality.


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