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Somoto, meaning The Valley of Geese,[1] is a town located in the hills of northern Nicaragua around 20 km south-west of Ocotal, and is in the department of Madriz. It was founded as a town in 1867, and since 1936,[1] has been the capital of Madriz. Somoto is also home to the Somoto Canyon, a relatively big tourist attraction in Nicaragua. Somoto has a total population of approximately 40,000[1] with 15,000 people living in the urban area and 25,000 in 48 nearby communities.

Notable people from Somoto include Carlos Mejía Godoy and Luis Enrique, both popular musicians in Nicaragua.[1] The Real Madriz football team is located in Somoto.


In pre-Hispanic times Somoto was populated by Olmecs and Aztecs who emigrated from Mexico.[1] The Merced/Somoto Sister City Committee was formed in 1988 by members of the Merced Central America Support Group, who were matched with Somoto by the Nicaraguan Embassy.[2] In March 1992 were granted official Sister City status by a unanimous vote of the Merced City Council.


External links

  • Website of Somoto Madriz - Non official site

Coordinates: 13°29′N 86°35′W / 13.483°N 86.583°W / 13.483; -86.583

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