Rivas City is also known as the City of Mangoes and it’s people are affectionately referred to in Nicaragua as the mango eaters. Ironically, we arrived exactly when mangoes were out of season and didn’t have the opportunity to try one of the many varieties that bless the city.

We did, however, get to experience the city’s vibrant market and all the wondrous smells, sights and sounds associated with such.

My favourite is the Queso Seco Nicaraguense (dry Nicaraguan cheese). Big blocks of white cheese are kept in cooled carts. These are highly prized and difficult to find outside Nicaragua. Even within Rivas these blocks will go fast.

Mangoes aren’t the only thing Rivas is known for. It’s the location of one of the last hideouts of William Walker — the filibuster from the US who came to Nicaragua and declared himself president in one of his rampages. He succeeded in becoming president for less than a year (1856-1857), but was removed from the country after trying to Americanize it. Three years later he was executed in Honduras.

Rivas is also the home of Violeta Barrios Torres de Chamorro, the only female president of Nicaragua and the person credited for directing the country to it’s current democratic state.

Iglesia Parroquial de San Pedro

In the centre of Rivas is one of the city’s two Catholic Churches: the Parrish Church of San Pedro.

The church is known for mural depicting the downfall of communism and each of the factors that contributed to this.