Masaya volcano & mercado Ernesto Fernandez (Nicaragua)

Masaya Volcano Masaya is the most active volcano in the region. It is actually made up of two volcanoes; Masaya and Nindiri with a total of five craters. The Spanish first described the volcano in 1524. Since then, Masaya has erupted at least 19 times. From 1965 to 1979 Masaya contained an active lava lake. The last reported eruption event at Volcan de Masaya was in 2003, when a plume reportedly shot ~4.6km into the air. Masaya is an unusual basaltic volcano because it has had explosive eruptions. The eruption in 4550 B.C. was one of the largest on Earth in the last 10,000 years. Masaya, called the City of Flowers, is the capital city of the Masaya department of Nicaragua. It is situated approximately 14 km north of Granada and 17 km south from Managua. The town of Masaya is situated just South of the Masaya volcano (Volcan de Masaya), an active Volcano from which the city takes its name. The 2005 population estimate was 146,000. Masaya is located centrally to a large agricultural production region in Nicaragua. Much of the production from the departments of Masaya and Carazo and the surrounding areas is shipped through Masaya on its way north, towards Managua and Leon. Masaya is also a notable industrial center, producing footwear and clothing. Other industries in the city include the processing of fiber and the manufacture of cigars, leather products, soap, and starch. Many of the communities surrounding Masaya produce hardwood and wicker furniture, and there is a neighborhood in Masaya near the lake dedicated to the production of hammocks. Masaya is known as "The Cradle of Nicaraguan Folklore" and is the very heart of Nicaraguan handicrafts. The main market in Masaya and is located next to the central bus station. The market is divided into sections, with each section serving a different need. Aside from unique Nicaraguan products such as hand woven hammocks, embroidered blouses, wood carvings, and hemp weaving the market is very diverse. An entire section of the market is dedicated to selling electronic devices and clothing, while another area is reserved for raw meat. Everything is available in the market from hardware and beauty supplies to produce from the surrounding area. The Mercardo de Artesanias (Craft Market) is located inside what used to be the "mercado viejo" (old market), a 1900s structure that is located near the center of the city and a couple of blocks away from the general population market. These market has been revitalized and set as a tourist spot, where crafts from Masaya and other areas of Nicaragua can be found. In addition, every thursday night there is a Noche de Verbena or Night of Revelry, where folkloric dances are presented and nicaraguan food is available for a very reasonable price (~ $1 - $2, depending on the entertainment). Masaya is noted for the annual fall fiesta of San Jerónimo, which is rooted in the Roman Catholic faith of the people who celebrate their patron saint, San Jerónimo. Although many people, including some Nicaraguans, may consider this event a cultural event without participating in the religious content, the vast majority are rendering their devotion to their saint when they participate in the folkloric dances and other street processions, such as the carnivalesque "Torovenado" celebrations, which often have groups and individuals who perform satires of local and national political figures. This celebration is famous within the country to the extensiveness (~ 3 months) and richness of folkloric elements. The historical city center has open plazas and two large 16th Century baroque architecture churches. 08.2007 VALPARD FILMS http://valpardfilms.free.fr