Action Plan for the Safeguarding of El Güegüense

  • Project budget:
    • US$ 109,384
  • Source:
    • Japan Funds-in-Trust
  • Dates of implementation:
    • 01/04/2007 - 01/03/2009

Benefitting country(ies): Nicaragua


Popular throughout Nicaragua, the El Güegüense is a satirical street drama accompanied by music and dance, developed in the eighteenth century. The beautifully costumed and masked protagonist, El Güegüe, cleverly uses verbal artistry in Spanish, Basque and Nahuatl, an Amerindian language, to demonstrate subservience to the colonial authorities while ridiculing them.

The safeguarding action plan intends to strengthen the conservation of the traditional structures of the phenomenon “El Güegüense”; to increase knowledge about this cultural expression; to promote cultural identity values and to reinforce financial support of the tradition.

The main activities include:

  • establishing the National Council for the Safeguarding of El Güegüense;
  • elaborating legislative measures to protect El Güegüense;
  • inventorying and recording the cultural elements in the play El Güegüense;
  • establishing awards for practitioners of the knowledge;
  • designing programs that includes its knowledge and its study in school programs;
  • creating a “Centro El Güegüense” in the city of Diriamba;
  • promoting through transmission activities the handicrafts related to El Güegüense in order to develop support mechanisms contributing to the financial support to craftspeople and cultural industries dealing with the play.

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