Documentary Photographer Emanuele Giovagnoli is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this social documentary photography.  From his project ‘Ortega’s Nicaragua‘.  To see Emanuele’s body of work click on any image.


Men in a billiard hall playing snooker in the river town of El Castillo.


Easter cross procession in the river town of El Castillo


A wall painting of Augusto Sandino and Carlos Fonseca inside the Universidad Autonoma CUUN of Leon, Nicaragua. Sandino was a Nicaraguan revolutionary and leader of the rebellion against the United States military occupation of Nicaragua in 1927. Carlos Fonseca was the founder of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN).


January 2017 marked the beginning of the 3rd consecutive term as President of Nicaragua of Daniel Ortega, a former Sandinista rebel fighter who took part in the Sandinista Revolution in 1979 to overthrow more than 40 years of the Somoza family dictatorship. His wife, Rosario Murillo, was nominated Vice President of Nicaragua.

Re-elected with 72% of the votes in the most one-sided election in Nicaragua since the overthrown Somoza dictatorship, Ortega won the election thanks to his popular social programs and the lack of obvious political challengers in a campaign criticized by the media for its lack of transparency.

Although Nicaragua struggled to recover from the devastation caused by the civil war of the 1980s, in the past decade the durability of the country’s democracy has helped its little economy to grow significantly.


A cattle rancher working in El Rama, a small town in the South Caribbean Coast Autonomous region of Nicaragua. Cattle’s breeding in Nicaragua has been a fundamental in the economy of the country in the past 150 years. Of the five million acres of farmland in Nicaragua almost the 80% is pastureland. Deforestation in this region has been extreme in the past 30 years. The combination of agriculture and cattle raising accelerated soil erosion consequently increasing sediments carried by the streams and degenerating the water quality.


A poster of President Daniel Ortega is pasted on a wall at the headquarter of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) party in Altagracia, Isla Ometepe.


Street scene in the river town of El Castillo.


Being the second-poorest country in the western hemisphere after Haiti, Nicaragua is considered one of the safest and fastest-growing countries of all Latin America, thanks to a boom in the tourism industry as well as a significant increase in traditional production, e.g. coffee, meat and sugar, and in seafood exports.


"there is general fear that the country could be heading towards a family dynasty dictatorship once again"


Economic progress in recent years and the country’s relative safety have not precluded Ortega’s opposition from protesting against his administration, which are accused of the deteriorated respect of human rights and freedom of press in the country. Although Nicaragua’s economy improved thanks to the stability of its government, there is general fear that the country could be heading towards a family dynasty dictatorship once again.

Ortega’s Nicaragua is a journey through Nicaragua and these images represent a glimpse into the daily lives of its inhabitants during this period of political stability.


Banana farmers loading a truck in Moyogalpa, Isla Ometepe.


A family at the beach in the town of Puerto Cabezas, the capital of the North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region. (RAAN). In Puerto Cabezas 75% of the population lives in extreme poverty.


A man riding a horse in the valley of the community of El Coyolito, Miraflores.


See also:

Ecuador Black Gold

By Emanuele Giovagnoli