Alberto Gutierrez lives on Tisey mountain, looking over the city of Esteli (northern Nicaragua). He has been here over 25 years, and from a young age had a vision in which he saw himself carving stone sculptures. When he first moved to the mountain, he was an alcoholic, and discovered that carving was his way out of addiction.
When we were in this area recently for our volunteer retreat, we took a long hike to visit Alberto’s world-famous stone sculptures. It’s only been within the past few years that Alberto has started greeting visitors and talking–before he would run and hide when they came. Thousands of visitors come from around the world to see his unique carvings.
Elephants, tigers, lions, snakes, birds, and little Crucifixes appear in the side of the mountain and the rocks that are scattered among the forest. A couple images of the Twin Towers even appear, right near images of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin, and the Nicaraguan flag. He is an eccentric, but a creative genius. I sensed that I had stumbled upon prehistoric stone carvings, except the artist was alive still and able to explain his work!
He says he comes and works on them every morning. There were many visitors when we came, so I imagine much of his days are then filled with being a tour-guide. Not to be missed if you come to visit Nicaragua!
Here are more photos of his work: