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San Juan de Oriente

One of the most important villages of the “White Towns”, San Juan de Oriente was also known as “San Juan de los Platos” because its first pre-Hispanic inhabitants were dedicated to the skillful production of clay dishes and other clay artifacts. This former “Chorotega” town and its friendly people have been able to preserve their deep rooted indigenous traditions through fine elaborate clay works.

San Juan de Oriente as well as other interesting nearby villages is accessible by an excellent road either from Managua, Granada or San Juan del Sur. The main entrance of the town is marked by a series of colorful souvenirs shops where all different kind of fascinating clay art is exhibited. Today approximately 95% out of five thousand people living in San Juan de Oriente make their living from this important tradition. As you explore the town you will find in backyards of houses entire families working, young males spinning pottery wheels shaping clay into pieces of arts, young ladies polishing with sea stones fresh ceramic, other members of the families designing and carving, and also taking care of the kiln. Their elaborate fine work has transcended the Nicaraguan borders and nowadays it is not a surprise to come across their ceramic in shops in America or even Europe.

The peacefulness of San Juan de Oriente is joyfully interrupted for a good reason during the month of June, when the festive celebrations for San Juan Bautista take place. The faithful devotees organize with deep fervor all different kind of activities including processions on streets, masses, music with “chicheros”, bull ridings, folkloric dance, fairs, preparation of free food and drinks for the participants and “ramadas”, a four-pole construction with a palm roof with fruit of the area such as bananas, mangoes, pineapple, coconuts is hanging as an offering to the saint and then is shared by the people.

Rural Life • Handicrafts • Pre-Columbian Heritage • Religious Events • Arts and Paintings

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