Greetings from Nicaragua!
Yesterday morning, after a delicious breakfast of gallo pinto (the traditional Nicaraguan dish of rice and beans) we jumped on a bus and headed into the mountains north of Esteli to learn a little about the culture of this region.
Our first stop was a short hike to a beautiful mirador (lookout), where we were swept away by the beautiful views of small farms tucked in lush green valleys amidst the rolling mountain ranges. What a stunning landscape!
Next, we went to the stone carving workshop of the 75 year old Nicaraguan artist, Don Alberto. Don Alberto uses stone carving to depict the history and cultural heritage of Nicaragua. Don Alberto’s gallery is the natural landscape of his own farm where he carves his images right into rocks, boulders and a even the side of a mountain. He welcomed us to hike around and explore the impressive collection of stone carvings that he has made throughout his life. We were blown away by the cliff sides carved with depictions of Nicaraguan history and culture.
On our last stop, we visited a workshop, where we got a lesson in stone carving and got to try our had and making our own stone art.
When we arrived back at the hotel, we were greeted by three local dance instructors, who taught us the basic steps for a bunch of Nicaraguan folk dances. Even though we were drenched in sweat by the end of our lessons, we had a great time!
Throughout the course of one action packed day, we got to observe and experience so much Nicaraguan culture and art. We went to bed exhausted and inspired by all of the creativity and generosity we encountered throughout the day.