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March 3, 2022

33 Fascinating Photos Capture Everyday Life of Managua in 1985

Managua is the capital and largest city of Nicaragua, and the center of an eponymous department. Located on the southwestern shore of Lake Managua and inside the Managua Department, it has an estimated population of 1,055,247 in 2020 within the city’s administrative limits and a population of 1,401,687 in the metropolitan area, which additionally includes the municipalities of Ciudad Sandino, El Crucero, Nindirí, Ticuantepe and Tipitapa.

The city was declared the national capital in 1852. Previously, the capital alternated between the cities of León and Granada. The 1972 Nicaragua earthquake and years of civil war in the 1980s severely disrupted and stunted Managua’s growth.

These fascinating photos were taken by American photographer Janet Delaney that documented everyday life of Managua in 1985.

Angela, Doña Mercedes' daughter, sits with her two children holding the FSLN flag, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

Angela's daughter Anna polishes shoes with black paint while her mother and grandmother talk, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

Angela and friend pour Coca-Cola, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

A previously-banned portrait of Augusto Sandino hangs in the living room of the Montano home, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

Barbershop at the Mercado Oriental, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

Beauty parlor in El Mercado Oriental, Central Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

Bread is sold door-to-door in the Managua neighborhoods, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

Doña Mercedes and her sister take an over-crowded taxi to the market, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

Doña Mercedes cleaning rocks from beans in front of the Montano home, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

Doña Mercedes greets her friends at the AMLAE meeting house, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

Doña Mercedes listens to Radio Sandino every morning at 6am, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

Doña Mercedes sits on the front patio with her son Julio, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

Doña Mercedes tells me to be careful boarding the bus in Central Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

Doña Mercedes with her sister and her granddaughter Anna visit the grave of her son. 185 compañeros were buried here, some alive, during their fight against Somoza, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

Doña Mercedes with their son, Julio Montano, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

Doña Mercedes' son, Luis Felipe, joined the revolution against Somoza in 1972, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

Drinking Coca-Cola on the front patio, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

During the celebration of the 6th anniversary, students dressed up at CIA, Contra-soldiers and Catholic priests to mock the opposition to the revolution, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

Elba, Julio's wife, irons his uniforms. They live with their son in the Montano home, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

La Conchita quietly tells me her son is listening to Contra-supported radio, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

La Conchita says no to her son's request for money, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

La Conchita takes me to her son's house on the other side of Managua, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

La Conchita with a drawing of her grand niece Milena Montano, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

La Conchita with her son and his eight children, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

La Conchita, Doña Mercedes' sister, does the wash, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

Medicine cabinet for 6 members of the Montano family – the US embargo halted all imports, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

Milena and her cousins clean the gun to prepare for civil defense, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

Milena Montano and I take a walk in central Managua 13 years after the earthquake of 1972, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

Milena Montano helps her great aunt, La Conchita, pose with the AK47, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

Milena Montano with friends at the 6th anniversary celebration, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

Parade to celebrate the 6th anniversary of the revolution, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

Scene taken from bus window in Central Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

Tires burn in the streets of Managua to celebrate the 6th anniversary of the revolution, Managua, Nicaragua, 1985

(Photo © Janet Delaney)




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