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October 22, 2021

Nicaragua in the 1970s Through Amazing Photos

Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the northwest, the Caribbean to the east, Costa Rica to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. Managua is the country’s capital and largest city and is also the third-largest city in Central America, behind Tegucigalpa and Guatemala City.

Nicaragua in the 1970s

The multi-ethnic population includes people of indigenous, European, African, and Asian heritage. The main language is Spanish. Indigenous tribes on the Mosquito Coast speak their own languages and English.

Since Nicaragua gained independence from Spain in 1821, the country has undergone periods of political unrest, dictatorship, occupation and fiscal crisis, including the Nicaraguan Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s and the Contra War of the 1980s.

The mixture of cultural traditions has generated substantial diversity in folklore, cuisine, music, and literature, particularly the latter. Known as the “land of lakes and volcanoes”, Nicaragua is also home to the Bosawás Biosphere Reserve, the second-largest rainforest of the Americas. The biological diversity, warm tropical climate and active volcanoes make Nicaragua an increasingly popular tourist destination.

Chilean photographer Marcelo Montecino took these amazing photos that documented life of Nicaragua in the 1970s.

Child, Masaya, Nicaragua, circa 1970s

Chinandega, Nicaragua, circa 1970s

Somoza Forever, Leon, Nicaragua, 1974

Children of the sea, Nicaragua, 1975

Fishermen, Poneloya, Nicaragua, 1975

Masaya, Nicaragua, 1975

Masaya, Nicaragua, 1975

Poneloya, Nicaragua, 1975

The studio, Masaya, Nicaragua, 1975

The vendor, Masaya, Nicaragua, 1975

Common and political prisoners, Managua, Nicaragua, 1978

Estelí, Nicaragua, 1978

Family of disappeared, Managua, Nicaragua, 1978

Massacre site, Masaya, Nicaragua, 1978

Political prisoner, Managua, Nicaragua, 1978

Political prisoners, Estelí, Nicaragua, 1978

Political prisoners, Estelí, Nicaragua, 1978

Political prisoners, Leon, Nicaragua, 1978

Political prisoners, Managua, Nicaragua, 1978

Political prisoners, Managua, Nicaragua, 1978

The political prisoner, León, Nicaragua, 1978

This prisoner had battery acid poured on his shoulder by Somoza's National Guard, Managua, 1978

Wall reads: "for every fallen martyr, 10,000 are born", Managua, Nicaragua, 1978

After the battle, Rivas, Nicaragua, 1979

After the War, Masaya, Nicaragua, 1979

Angelito, Masaya, Nicaragua, 1979

Campesino, Nicaragua, 1979

Campesinos, near Chinandega, Nicaragua, 1979

Carnival in Masaya, Nicaragua, 1979

Chinandega, Nicaragua, 1979

Day of the triumph of the revolution, Managua, Nicaragua, 1979

Devotion in Masaya, Nicaragua, 1979

Dole banana plantation, Chinandega, Nicaragua, 1979

Estelí, Nicaragua, 1979

Executions by the lake, Managua, 1979

Festival in Masaya, Nicaragua, 1979

Folk festival, Masaya, Nicaragua, 1979

Funeral for a commander, Chinandega, Nicaragua, 1979

Hanging out, Managua, Nicaragua, 1979

Jubilation in Managua as Sandinistas entered the city, July, 1979

Last executions, Managua, 1979

Marimba, Managua, Nicaragua, 1979

Masaya, Nicaragua, 1979

Masaya, Nicaragua, 1979

Morning in Masaya, Nicaragua, circa 1979

Peasants political rally, Estelí, Nicaragua, 1979

Red set welcome for weary Sandis after weeks of fighting, July 20, 1979

Sandinistas welcomed in Managua, Nicaragua, July 1979

Shoeshine boys, Estelí, Nicaragua, 1979

Stencil reads: “Organize the masses to create the basic conditions of the war and make war foster the political-organizational of the masses”, Masaya, Nicaragua, 1979

Sugar mill workers, Kukra Hill, Nicaragua, circa 1979

The procession, Masaya, Nicaragua, 1979

(Photo © Marcelo Montecino)


  1. And now they flood the US in order to vote FOR Marxism....ironic and sad.

    1. Actually the dictator and his family that were defeated were kept in power due to usa financing. Usa troops trained the army that oppressed the people. Know your history. One more dictatorship financed with USA tax payer dollars.

  2. Remarkable photographs. What a change from the revolution of 1978-79 to the repression of the Ortega regime today. I have similar pictures of Nicaragua from 1963.




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