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There is now video of Mothers of Heroes and Martyrs sharing their stories. Last year, MICA students in collaboration with the Youth Network of Estelí and the Association of Mothers of Heroes and Martyrs produced this video of the powerful history of the Revolution. Now, the video is online. You can watch it by following this link.


Bienvenidos a la Galería de Héroes y Mártires de Estelí!

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.


The Museum started out as a collection of photos of the fallen that the Association of Mothers of Heroes and Martyrs displayed on the walls of rented houses. They began immediately after the revolution, moving the display from house to house wherever they could find the space. They then moved to the nearby Casa Cultura, once the house of Guardia Nacional officer René Molina and now a center of artesanía and muralists.

The mothers accumulated more photos and memorabilia from the war, collecting donations of clothing, photographs, and other belongings from family members of the fallen. They themselves wrote the descriptions on the wall, explaining the lives of their children and other figures and events from the decade of violence. Through many meetings and much effort, the mothers compiled all the information that remains in the Gallery today.

In 1984, the mothers found their permanent location in what was once the house of a wealthy Somocista. The mothers, together with a prison labor crew, constructed the museum, feeding the prisoners as they worked. A Chicano American and Mexican artist visited the museum and donated their time and skills to paint the murals throughout the museum- all of which are based on images of the Sandinista revolution. The municipal government now owns the land of the museum, with the understanding that they will protect it as a space that preserves national history. It is only through the dedication of the mothers, who show up every day on a volunteer basis and donate resources from their own meager incomes, that the museum continues to preserve and share this important piece of history.