Quilalí, in the Matagalpa language, means “River of Chicharras” and in Nahuatl, “River of Saporific Plants”. The two languages ​​coincide in the voice “li”, a word that in both means “River”. Also the word Quilalí is related to a deity associated with agriculture.

Guava seller

The municipality of Quilalí was the seat of the first city of Nueva Segovia and the third city founded in Nicaragua by the Spanish in 1543. Its name was “Villa de Santa María de la Esperanza”, a place that today is known as “Valle de Panalí of the Five Rivers ”.

Territory with a great mining wealth in gold and silver for which it was besieged by English and indigenous pirates from the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, who entered this territory in constant attacks, which caused a massive emigration of its inhabitants, moving to other towns. region of. The site was finally abandoned in 1611.

In 1880 this municipality was again populated by Swedish, Swiss and Central American immigrants, with the aim of exploiting the mines, especially gold.

In 1920, Quilalí was a producer of chewing gum, rubber, precious wood and leather, among others. During that time the municipality was very prosperous.

Onion and tomato trade

In 1926 it was the operations center of General Augusto C. Sandino.

El Chipote hill, declared Cultural Patrimony of the Nation by decree Law in 1983, and Quilalí were scenes of repeated attacks by the North American invaders, causing many deaths in the population. The current main street of Quilalí was the airstrip built by the Marines.

As part of this heroic deed, there are numerous historical reference sites in the municipality, places where intense fighting took place. Among these we can mention Las Cruces, La Flor, La Reforma, and Panalí, in the same urban area.

Artistic expressions and manifestations 

The representative song of the municipality is called “Las delicias de Quilalí”.


 The bell, where in colonial times gold was kept.

 The Sisimike, known as sisimike or sisimico, it is a story of indigenous origin about a large humanoid creature.

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

El Dr. Raúl Vílchez. Historian, knowledgeable about relevant events in the municipality.

Other sites of historical and cultural interest 

Landing track. Built during the Yankee occupation, it is currently covered with banana plantations.

Old Barracks. Today occupied for warehouses of the Ministry of Health. It was the headquarters of the Somoza Guard before the triumph of the Revolution.


In the “El Chipote” community, more than 60 years ago, Ms. María Eugenia López learned from a neighbor how to work in pottery, which she exercises with great enthusiasm. What started as a hobby turned into a way of making a living. Makes comales, pots, jars, among other objects for domestic use. Preserve ancient pottery techniques.

In some communities, and in the urban area of ​​Quilalí, it is still preserved the tradition of barter, focusing on the exchange of products according to the need of the moment. This is an ancestral cultural practice from pre-Hispanic times that is preserved and remains in force in Quilalí.

Traditional games

Game The Maule. It is a tradition that children are taught from a very young age. It consists of drawing a square on the ground, then a small hole is dug in each corner, taking the center of the square as a reference to form an “X” effect, finally a line is drawn 1.5 meters away. Each player throws from the center of the hole towards the line, whoever hits closest to the line is the first to throw towards any hole in the square, the winner of the game will be the one who manages to hit all the players' maules.

Other traditional games are hopscotch and spinning top.

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