El Paraíso del Lago

Cande Rivera

Nicaragua is home to the largest lake in Central America, the only lake that is home to freshwater sharks. This great lake called «Cocibolca» or «Great Lake Nicaragua» has a beautiful volcano on its shore; as if this were not already wonderful, many years ago the volcano «Mombacho» erupted, throwing giant rocks into Lake Nicaragua and, as a consequence of this great eruption, 365 islands of different shapes and sizes formed inside the lake… Thus creating a paradise full of vegetation and charm.

In these islets lives a community of approximately 1200 people, mostly fishermen. This photograph is a small window that tells us about the days of the inhabitants of one of the small islands, primarily the days of Miguelito, an 8-year-old boy born on the islets that live his daily life between magic and nature. On his small island live three people: his father «Chanito» and his little brother Santiago. Time goes slower on the islets, there is no noise from the outside world, but they have everything they need to lead a typical life; schools, clinics, cemeteries, and grocery stores.

The islets, throughout the history of Nicaragua, have been a constant inspiration for poets, painters, and musicians. It is enough to reach them to feel the strength of the imposing volcano that watches over them from above. That same strength can is seen in Miguelito’s eyes. A child that at a young age feels the force of nature from his deepest being, he and his paradise keep magical secrets, and with this photograph, we want to show you a little bit of them.