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At the heart of Masaya you will find Monimb贸, an authentic artisan community where you will discover the roots of nicaraguas cultural heritage through craftsmanship, dance, gastronomy and music. Nicaragua offers a wide variety of natural sights but if you dig a little deeper you will find that the best way to create your own unique experience is through the connections you make with its people. As you walk through Monimbos narrow streets you will feel the warmth and hospitality of this indigenous tribe inviting you to walk in through their open doors and be part of the family.


Workshop Route To help you live this experience to the fullest we have created a route that will take you through the different workshops, where you will step into the everyday lives of the artisan families. Not only will you see them at work you will also be offered the opportunity to learn the craft side by side, all the while hearing the stories behind these ancestral production techniques. If you desire a more personalized experience you can always create your own custom route. In the following pages an overview of the workshops will help you pick the sights that most spark your curiosity.


1. Los Camioncitos 2. Zapateria Darling 3. Maracas 4. BambĂş 5. Marimberos 6. La DulcerĂ­a 7. Calaveras y Diablitos 8. Palma & Cabulla 9. Las Pieles 10. Bailes de Marimba

Info & Guidance Center (Starting Point)


Los Camioncitos If you have already spent some time in Nicaragua you might have noticed the vibrantly colored wooden toys being pushed around by tiny excited hands. The crafting of these traditional, wing flapping, wheel turning birds and trucks has been a Potosme family tradition for generations. From the wood working to the finishing touches every family member takes part in the process. Even the youngest help out with a trial run around the backyard.


Zapateria Darling Entering Zapateria Darling is an experience in itself. Just observing the hundreds of molds nailed to the walls gives you a small history of the place and their work. If you walk deeper into the workshop you will meet Don Jacinto sitting at his antique sewing machine pedaling at fast pace, strike up a chat and he will gladly show you around. Appreciate the smell of the leather, feel of the materials, and soft murmurs of the sewing pedal as they heighten all your senses and take you back in time.


Maraca Maraca Maraca Rumba, celebration music and mariachis... all of these come to mind when we think of maracas. But where do these pleasantly noisy instruments come from? The jicaro is a versatile fruit used by the original indigenous tribes to make everything from plates, to spoons, to instruments. Untill this day many families in Monimbo use this resource as their raw material to create all kind of artifacts, including the Sanchez family. Be amazed as you watch how three generations sit closely together carefully carving each maraca with a different pattern. When you feel ready join in and let the youngest ones eagerly teach you how to make your own customized pair of maracas to gift or keep.


Bambú One of the astonishing things of this artisan community is the wide variety of materials they work with. As if leather and wood weren’t enough some younger craftsmen have introduced another local resource; bamboo. They have adopted a more modern approach and create spherical pieces to be used as lamps and carpets to give a warm touch to your living room. With Don Hermógenes as your guide you will learn different braiding techniques and get a small introduction to this rare art form. Make your own piece and take it home to enjoy the memory of Monimbó every time you see it hanging.


Marimberos One of the astonishing things of this artisan community is the wide variety of materials they work with. As if leather and wood weren’t enough some younger craftsmen have introduced another local resource; bamboo. They have adopted a more modern approach and create spherical pieces to be used as lamps and carpets to give a warm touch to your living room. With Don Hermógenes as your guide you will learn different braiding techniques and get a small introduction to this rare art form. Make your own piece and take it home to enjoy the memory of Monimbó every time you see it hanging.


La Dulcería Dulces or sweets are an essential part of traditional celebrations, every religious festivity has its own particular sweet. December is thus a busy month for the Ñurinda family, the fires are lit all day and the passers by are lured in by the tempting smell of the cooking sugar. Once you enter this workshop make sure your sweet tooth is ready because El Chino (the patriarch of the family) wont take no for an answer, he will offer you; huevos chimbos, gofios, cajeta de leche, de coco, churros, coyolitos, leche burra, melcocha and more‌ Fill up while you are there or just take it to go, there is bound to be someone at home who will want to try.


Calaveras y Diablitos If you are lucky enough to be visiting Monimb贸 at the end of October you will come into contact with a very particular celebration; Los Aguizotes. Around the same time as Halloween the people of Masaya and monimb贸 take the streets in a big spectacle dressed as all the devilish characters of local legends. With a perfectly gloomy street lighting the scene is set for a creepy but unforgettable night. But if you are not in season theres no need to worry, at the Diablitos you will come face to face with all these characters. The masks hanging in the display room are all shapes and sizes and are created using real animal molds for horns and teeth. To top it all off make sure you ask Don Ignacio to tell you the the Chancha Bruja story, a born storyteller he is sure to get your knees trembling.


Palma & Cabulla If you are lucky enough to be visiting Monimb贸 at the end of October you will come into contact with a very particular celebration; Los Aguizotes. Around the same time as Halloween the people of Masaya and monimb贸 take the streets in a big spectacle dressed as all the devilish characters of local legends. With a perfectly gloomy street lighting the scene is set for a creepy but unforgettable night. But if you are not in season theres no need to worry, at the Diablitos you will come face to face with all these characters. The masks hanging in the display room are all shapes and sizes and are created using real animal molds for horns and teeth. To top it all off make sure you ask Don Ignacio to tell you the the Chancha Bruja story, a born storyteller he is sure to get your knees trembling.


Las Pieles Monimbo´s signature craft is the creation of fine leather goods. This small community hand processes the material and provides selected national and international markets with high quality shoes, belts, saddles, bags and much more. Walk into this workshop and and connect with your ranchero side. Try on some boots and let Jorge and the guys entertain you with their bull riding stories. If you happen to be in September make sure you get a nice pair and join the Hípicos for some horse and people watching.


Bailes de Marimba To round out your route visit the Centeno Household for a demonstration of Monimbo´s folklore dance. Watch the girls carefully place sacuanjoche flowers in their hair and prepare their huipiles (traditional folklore skirts) before they enter the dancefloor. Each couple wears a different color and every piece is a slow courting dance. Pay close attention to the feet, the fast footwork will hypnotize you while you sway to the marimba music. Once all the couples have danced you will be able to show your skills and do some dancing of your own. If the steps are too much of a challenge don’t worry this dance is all about charisma, give your partner a knowing smile and make a few turns with the flowy skirt.


Important Festivities

Las Cruces

Saint Lazaro

Saint Lucy

Holly week

Maria Auxiliadora

Saint Isidro

Santisima Trinidad

Saint Sebastian

Saint Jerome

Aguizotes

Saint Lazaro

Posadas



Monimbo material informacion