San Juan de Oriente – Home of World Famous Nicaragua pottery

Buy Nicaragua real estate in Managua and use your time here to work on projects that can make a real difference to the locals. Within an hour’s drive east of the city is San Juan de Oriente, well known for unique pottery. Not much has changed in the way of making pottery in the past 1000 years and the village is primarily inhabited by descendants of the original Nahuatl Indian tribes who settled along the Pacific coast of Nicaragua 5,000 years ago. Spanish colonizers were captivated by the Indian potters here that they called the town San Juan de los Platos (the dishes).

San Juan de Oriente is still quite undeveloped and it is not uncommon to see ox carts carrying clay from the fields into town in burlap sacks. This clay is worked on and baked in hand made kilns that look like beehives, made from adobe bricks. The potters still use local materials, including the tague, or coloured earth, from the shores of the nearby Apoyo Lake.

Since the nineties however, thanks to a workshop school established here with government support, the potters have expanded their techniques and range. Master ceramists from Europe and other Latin American countries have been involved in projects here and today potters make attractive ceramic vases, pots, plates, and ornamental earthenware in pre-Columbian styles and more modern designs. One can shop at one of the small cooperatives along the entrance to town, or from people’s homes in narrow streets where they have tiny displays. Live on your Nicaragua property and export this most sought after ceramic ware all over the world.

There is plenty to do here even if you have retired and settled on your nearby Nicaragua real estate. You can help children here lead a better life. Aaron Pick traveled to Nicaragua several times to work with schools in San Juan de Oriente and now has a charity that provides resources and funds construction projects for schools in San Juan de Oriente.

He moved here in 2004 so that he could establish an ongoing presence and trust in the community. He is the only foreigner living in San Juan del Oriente, and spends his days on development work, educating and playing with the children. He welcomes volunteers, so you can lead a fulfilling life working with him.