Estelí is a city and municipality within the Estelí department in the north of Nicaragua. It is the third largest city of Nicaragua with its huge commercial influence on the Nicaraguan economy.
It’s a dynamic young city with lot’s going on, and there is a hive of development action, with particular focus on youth participation. We have an excellent working relationship with the local organisations and institutions who participate enthusiastically in our Europa-Esteli Exchange Programme and who’s staff are happy to share their knowledge and experiences with visitors. There is also the option to work in Condega is a smaller town near to Estelí, or even in the countryside.
Located in the north of Nicaragua on the Pan-American-Highway, 150km north of Managua, Estelí is a fast growing and progressive city with a population of about 119, 000 people. Situated in the Highlands at about 844 meters above sea level it enjoys a pleasant climate throughout the year. The city is also surrounded by forested mountains and plateaus that go up to 1600 m above sea level, some which are protected as natural reserves like the natural reserve Miraflor and Tisey.
During the Nicaraguan revolution Estelí saw heavy fighting between Sandinista guerrillas and government troops in 1978–79 that left much of the centre of the city in ruins. Estelí has a strong political history and remains a Sandinista strong hold. You can find murals throughout the streets in Estelí, many of which tell the story of the history of Estelí. Different projects and organizations are offering mural work to children and youth to express their thoughts, as well as the expression of historical incidents. Even the ‘Casa de la Cultura’ offers art and mural classes to all ages.
The huge commercial influence exists in the production of Tobacco, the land is perfect for growing tobacco for use in cigars. Famous cigars have made Estelí one of the most important cigar-producing cities in the world.
Many language schools make Estelí for many tourists interesting, as well as the various natural reserves located in the highlands easily reachable from the city center.
Video of Estelí made by volunteers
What is life like in Estelí?
Estelí is a typical Nicaraguan city, it seems to be busy, but Nicaraguan culture never is busy, however the cities charm and the kind and open people make you feel comfortable. The city center is full of cars, which make the city noisy and hectic. Although Estelí has a huge influence on Nicaraguan economy poverty is still widespread.
“Estelí is the place to be because there are a lot of young creative people” Henning, Voluntario
“Estelí is the place to be to meet friends” Mariella, Voluntario
“Esteli is the place to be for music” Laura F, Voluntario
“Estelí is a place to learn and live a bit more relaxed” Lisa W
“Estelí is the place to be to paint” Lasse, Voluntario
History, Culture and Natural Medicine in Estelí: