Located in Estelí, a city painted in bright murals and alive with revolutionary history, the Gallery of Heroes and Martyrs is an essential stop for any travelers wishing to enrich their understanding of Nicaragua’s tumultuous history of dictatorship, revolution, and war.
The Gallery is a museum commemorating the last century of Nicaragua’s history, highlighting in particular the Revolution and the Contra war of the 1970s and 1980s. Started in 1982 by the Association of Mothers of Heroes and Martyrs, a solidarity group of women whose children were killed during these wars, the museum stands as a poignant memorial to the lives of the thousands of Nicaraguans who died fighting for freedom and revolutionary ideals.
Come explore the museum exhibit’s artifacts:
- hundreds of photographs of young soldiers who lost their lives in the wars
- a display of weapons, some homemade, from the insurrection in Estelí
- personal possessions of the revolutionaries, including clothing and documents
- original artwork depicting the revolutionary struggle
The exhibit begins with information on the roots of Nicaragua’s struggle to confront imperialism, from General Augusto C. Sandino’s crusade against the invasion by United States Marines to the emergence of the Sandinista party, which arose to challenge the brutality of dictator Anastasio Somoza. The exhibit also chronicles Nicaragua’s struggle to construct a post-revolutionary society reflecting the Sandinista ideals of freedom and equality, while simultaneously fighting off the violent Contra forces.