Notes On El Chipote

A national monument is El Chipote, the mountaintop fortress of Augusto Sandino. It is located 10 km north of Quilali, and is the next big mountain north and west of La Buhona, located just on the edge of Quilali, over which it hovers and dominates the town.   As you approach Quilali from Susucayán the road winds down a mountain side. El Chipote, which means a goose egg like a hit on the head, is prominent, sticking out eastward, in fact you cannot miss it. This makes it all the more interesting since the Marines who attacked the mountain fortress in January of 1928, complained that no one in Quilali would tell them where El Chipote was located. The details of that Marine assault can be found in several Marine accounts, published in Michael Schroeder´s very fine web page, They had bad equipment apparently left over from the First World War, and they suffered from the cold and humidity of the area. January is always cool and foggy around the top of the mountain.

A visit to El Chipote today begins at the square of Quilali. The road that leads to El Chipote heads sort of north, crosses a small creek, and heads for the mountain. About half way there is where one Marine, Lieutenant Thomas G. Bruce, was shot and killed on New Year´s Day, 1928, approaching El Chipote.

The promontory of El Chipote has a commanding view of the countryside. Now there is a coffee finca on the top of the mountain, which produces very fine quality coffee, which they brew daily.

Sandino later drew a map of the mountain, and identified the paths he used to leave the mountain. The map fits nicely and accurately over a topographical map of the mountain. No vestiges of any buildings or fortifications are on the mountain, but its name evokes a sort of mysterious place etched in the collective memory of Nicaragua.


One Comment on “Notes On El Chipote

  1. Beautiful description of my hometown by my favorite historian!!! Thank you so much for sharing your notes on El Chipote. As I was reading, memories of my childhood invaded my brain and tears ran down my face. Can’t wait to read your next article.

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