Category Archives: Nicaragua

A Tale of Two Nicaraguan Piggy Banks

Clay piggy banks are a tradition in Nicaragua and it is not unusual to see an entire kiln load of them. I was told that Nica children receive clay piggy banks (without holes in the bottom) on their birthdays and at the end of the year they break them, spend the money, and are given […]

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Day 14: Leaving Nicaragua

Adios Nicaragua At 5 am it’s still dark as Ivan dri­ves us to the air­port. Inside the van no one is talk­ing and out­side groups of peo­ple out for a bit of exer­cise walk briskly along the median of the almost-emtpy divided high­way and some­times spill out into the fast lane. In the depar­ture lounge I […]

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Day 13: Nicaraguan Journal

We headed back to Managua today and on the way we stopped at the Filtron Filter Factory which is owned and oper­ated by a Belgian man named Frank Schuringa who came to Nicaragua twenty-five years ago, mar­ried a Nicaraguan woman, had a cou­ple of kids, and  estab­lished a cof­fee busi­ness, a compost-making oper­a­tion and the […]

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Day 12: Nicaraguan Journal

Today we took in a town­ful of pot­ters at San Juan de Oriente, a place where every street is lined with pot­tery shops and every nook and cranny con­tains stu­dios, both large and small. The style of pot­tery here is the most well-known and, in some ways, the most sophis­ti­cated in the coun­try: pots are […]

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Day 11: Nicaraguan Journal

Started Day 11 by dri­ving 4 hours south to the mar­ket town of Masaya, which is a short dis­tance south of Managua, where we started our trip, which meant that even though, for the past 10 days, we have felt like we were in remote coun­try­side, we were never more than a few hours from […]

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Day 10: Nicaraguan Journal

Spent the day at Loma Panda, a remote pot­tery in the moun­tains, near the bor­der with Honduras. This pot­tery is run by five sis­ters (and a niece) whose fam­ily has lived there for 500 years and despite their remote loca­tion, the  pot­tery is well-established and the work done there is some of the most inno­v­a­tive […]

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Days 8 & 9: Nicaraguan Journal

Spent most of days 8 and 9 at Santa Rosa, one of the few remain­ing col­lec­tives in Nicaragua. The land belong­ing to the col­lec­tive was orig­i­nally a privately-owned hacienda. When the own­ers fled dur­ing the rev­o­lu­tion, the peo­ple who had been work­ing for them moved onto the land and set up the col­lec­tive and then […]

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Day 7: Nicaraguan Journal

This morn­ing we “bor­rowed” the kitchen of the comi­dor where we have been eat­ing and four of our bravest brigadis­tas cooked break­fast for us using a tra­di­tional Nicaraguan wood stove: a long, nar­row fire­box that is fed with long branches at the end of which are a cou­ple of holes to put pots onto the […]

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Day 6: Nicaraguan Journal

First stop was Condega’s, Pre-columbian Museum which has a good col­lec­tion of pot­tery includ­ing clas­si­cally shaped and elab­o­rately painted bowls. There was much spec­u­la­tion as to where the pre-columbians got their colours, as we’re pretty sure it wasn’t from a pot­tery sup­ply house. After that we drove up the hill to look at one of Somoza’s […]

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Day 5: Nicaraguan Journal

Spent the day at Ducuale Grande (an hour out­side Esteli), par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Potters for Peace equiv­a­lent of a ceramic paint­ing party where you pay to paint designs on pre­fab­ri­cated ceramic pieces and then take them home. In this case, our fear­less leader had arranged to buy an assort­ment of hand­made pieces from the pot­ters […]

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