Estelí, a city of murals, mazurkas and mariachis, rodeos, rancheras and rum, cowboys, coffee and co-operatives. Estelí is the capital of the state of the same name in the north of Nicaragua, on the pan-american highway, the arterial road route that connects the continents of North and South America. It is the cigar production centre of Nicaragua as well as one of the main coffee producing regions and is flanked by the beautiful nature reserves of Miraflor and El Tisey rising into cloud forests which are home to wide varieties of orchids, rare birds such as the resplendent quetzal and troupes of noisy howler monkeys. Estelí and the countryside surrounding was one of the regions of Nicaragua to suffer the most violence during the revolution of the late 1970s and afterwards in the long and bitter contra war of the 1980s. Now the city has strong youth movements and a wide variety of organisations working hard to rebuild and strengthen communities and the structures which have enabled the country to establish a peaceful democracy.