Nicaragua is a country I really like – the political history of this small country is nothing short of fascinating… from recent historical events such as the overthrow of the Somoza dictatorship, the Sandanista uprising, and the Contra war. This country, dubiously designated as the most socioeconomic challenged country in Central America, is also one of the safest, having the lowest crime rate in the region making most of the country very accessible.
León, the intellectual capital of Nicaragua, is a vibrant city best known for its universities and colleges, the birthplace of poet Ruben Dario, the Sandanista stronghold, and many colonial style churches that helped proliferate and maintain the powerbase of Catholicism.
The main cemetery in the city is Guadalupe and it dates from 1834 boasting a diverse collection of tombs and monuments, which reflect the richness of the burial culture in the country. As in so many Latin American cemeteries I have visited, the predominant style is eclectic – a mix of neo-Baroque, neo- Gothic, neo-Classical, modern, etc.
Impressive sculptural work abounds in this cemetery – almost all of the old masterful sculptural work originated from Italy, and to a minor degree, Spain. On July 14, 1983, the cemetery of Guadalupe was declared of National Nicaraguan Artistic and Historical Heritage”. Given the fact that the economy of the country is marginal at best, it is entirely understandable that these decrees are not accompanied by any respective budget for restoration and upkeep. That said, it’s encouraging that the residents of Léon have managed such a decent upkeep job with very little – this is the the kind of dedication and mettle the world definitely could use more of.