John & Jan Visit the Americas travel blog

A typical street in Esteli

One of Esteli`s murals

Sandinista with `molotov cocktail`

The baby and the gun


Fallen Sandinistas

The scene of fierce fighting during the 1979 Sandinista Revolution, much of the city was destroyed by indiscriminate bombing by the Somoza regime.

As a consequence there is little of architectural interest but today Esteli is a bustling, friendly town dotted with colourful murals.

We visited the Museum of Heroes and Martyrs run by the mothers of those killed during the Revolution and subsequent Contra conflict. Photos of those killed line the walls along with newspaper clippings, handwritten accounts and poems - a moving tribute.

The failure of the National Guard to defeat the Sandinistas at Esteli marked the end of the war in July 1979 and led to the dictator fleeing the country the following day. Somoza was eventually murdered in Paraguay.

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