Villa de San Antonio de Pavia de Estelí
Panoramic of the City of Estelí
|Nickname(s): "El Diamante de las Segovias" ("The Diamond of the Segovias")|
|Motto: "Estelí, amante del presente, forjador del futuro" ("Estelí, lover of the present, builder of the future")|
|• Mayor||Francisco Ramón Valenzuela Blandón|
|• Vice Mayor||Rosa Argentina Rugama Flores|
|• City||795.7 km2 (307.2 sq mi)|
|Elevation||843.97 m (2,768.93 ft)|
|Population (2005 est.)|
|• City||129,787 (3rd Nicaragua)|
|• Density||144.4/km2 (374/sq mi)|
Estelí, officially Villa de San Antonio de Pavia de Estelí is a city and municipality within the Estelí department. It is the third largest city in Nicaragua, an active commercial center in the north and is known as "the Diamond of the Segovias."
Located on the Pan-American Highway, 150 km north of Managua, Estelí is a fast-growing and progressive city of about 119,000 people. It enjoys a pleasant climate throughout most of the year due to its location in the north central highlands at a mean elevation of 844 m above sea level. The city is also surrounded by forested mountains of pines, oaks, and walnuts, and plateaus that go up to 1600 m above sea level, some which are protected as natural reserves.
Estelí was the scene of heavy fighting in the civil war against the Somoza government from 1978 to 1979. The city was heavily air-bombed by the regime's National Guard to the point that most of the city looked like a giant cemetery of building shells. The human casualties were around 15,000; many of them youngsters massacred on suspicion of being part of the insurrection. The city was totally rebuilt but some structures still show bulletholes as a sad reminder of the destruction.
Economy & Tourism
The land around Estelí is perfect for growing tobacco for use in cigars, and the town became a refuge for Cuban cigar makers after the Cuban Revolution in 1959. Award winning cigars have made Estelí one of the most important cigar-producing cities in the world. Estelí also has many language schools, Spanish Conversation School is a real jewel,and of course Spanish School Nicaragua is an excellent option, restaurants, and hotels that cater to tourists traveling to nearby natural reserves and other parts of the region. Natural Reserves around the area include Miraflor, Tisey-Estanzuela, Las Brisas-Quiabuc, Tomabú, Tepesomoto, and Moropotente.
According to the World Bank and International Finance Corporation's Municipal Scorecard 2008, which complements the annual Doing Business report, the municipality of Estelí ranks 1st and 2nd, out of 143 municipalities in ten Latin American countries, in quality and efficiency to obtain a construction permit and municipal operating license respectively. Esteli has improved its performance from the Municipal Scorecard 2007, where it ranked 5th out of 65 municipalities in five countries.
Estelí has the best water supply system in the country with near-full population coverage. It also has an extensive sewage disposal coverage.
At least three airfields have been built in Esteli throughout history, although none exists today. One of the first airfields documented played the role of alternate airport from 1930-34 when TACA established the service to carry passengers with an El Salvador-Tegucigalpa-Danli-Ocotal-Esteli-Managua route. La Thompson, which is three miles north of Estelí, is where the second airstrip was built and used by a company named "Thonsson Corwell" to help complete a stretch of the Pan-American Highway. The third airfield was built in the north end of town in the 1980s but has now been urbanized.
In 1940 efforts were made to expand Nicaragua's railroad from El Sauce to the north via Estelí. Thirteen kilometers of rail, the town of Río Grande, and a railroad bridge were built with the intention of taking the rail up to Esteli along the Aquespalapa or Villanueva river, which originates in the Quiabuc mountains; however, the project was abandoned.
Bachiller Oscar Corea Molina is the creator of the nickname " El Diamante de las Segovias "
Estelí is home to one of the most successful and most popular football clubs in the country, the Real Estelí, nicknamed El Tren del Norte ("The Train of the North.") They play their home games at the Estadio Independencia.
It is also home to a professional baseball team, Estelí, which makes it one of only three cities in the country with both a professional football (soccer) and baseball team. During the 1970s, Estelí participated in the "Roberto Clemente" baseball tournament and had one of best baseball teams in the country with the help of one-time big league players like Porfi Altamirano and Albert Williams.
Due to its altitude Estelí can be quite chilly at night or in the morning and even cold in winter. Thus, like all northern mountainous regions of Nicaragua, Estelí's gastronomy consists of a hearty mountain diet of beef, game, veal, rabbit, geese, sausages, and heavy soups like albóndiga, queso, res, etc. There's a high consumption of milk products like smoked or spicy cheeses like ahumado and picante, and regional corn-based dishes like delicious montucas, salty-sour repochetas, and semi-sweet güirilas. For breakfast, chorizo, refried beans, sour cream, and home-made style bread are more common and black coffee is the king of drinks any time of the day. Though illegal, cususa (a clear alcoholic drink) is also consumed, especially on the outskirts of the city or in small cantinas (bars).
- Clara Isabel Alegría Vides, born in Esteli, is a Nicaraguan poet, essayist, novelist, and journalist who is a major voice in the literature of contemporary Central America. She writes under the pseudonym Claribel Alegría. She was awarded the 2006 Neustadt International Prize for Literature.
- Insing Gamez, born in Esteli, is TV commercial producer. He is a recipient of multiple awards including Emmy, AP and ADDY.
- Frank Pineda, born in Estelí, Nicaragua, is a Nicaraguan filmmaker, producer, director of photography, and cameraman. He was a founding member of INCINE, the Nicaraguan Institute of Cinema, (in Spanish Instituto Nicaragüense de Cine) and co-founded with his partner, the French filmmaker Florence Jaugey, Camila Films (Nicaragua) an independent film production company.
- Marlon José Moreno, born in Esteli and raised in Canada, is an entrepreneur, publisher and founder of two independent magazines in Toronto. He received in 2012 the "Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Toronto Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for his contribution to the media industry.
- Fernando Silva, born in Esteli and raised in USA, is an Senior DBA at a fortune 100 Company.
- Ramón Otoniel Olivas, Nicaraguan international footballer and national team manager.
Twin towns – Sister cities
Estelí is twinned with:
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