Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Festival of Santo Domingo Celebrations July 31 to August 10, 2019

Location:  Managua

Event:  On July 31, celebrations commemorating the festival of Santo Domingo, the patron saint of Managua, will begin.  Road closures, traffic disturbances, and fireworks are expected throughout the city, especially in the immediate vicinity of parade routes.  The festival features massive gatherings on August 1 and 10 throughout the Santo Domingo neighborhood and surrounding areas.  Beginning at 5:00 a.m. on August 1, access to the Santo Domingo neighborhood will be restricted.  U.S. citizens are encouraged to avoid the Santo Domingo area on August 1 and 10, beginning in the early morning hours on both days.  Incidents of pick-pocketing, street brawls, and robberies have been reported during this festival in the past.

Please note that the Embassy will be closed to the public Thursday August 1, 2019, due to the local holiday.  Regular customer service hours will resume on Friday, August 2, 2019.

Procession and parade scenarios, routes, and expected road and rotunda closures are outlined below:

  • July 31 – Rotunda Santo Domingo (El Cristo Rey):  In past years, the religious celebration of Santo Domingo de Guzman included El Palo Lucio, a vigil/celebration at Rotunda Santo Domingo (El Cristo Rey).  Expect road blocks and police presence starting at 5:00 p.m. and lasting throughout the night.
  • July 31 and August 1 – Las Sierritas Church in Santo Domingo to Santo Domingo Church near North Highway:  Crowds are expected to gather on Santo Domingo’s main streets as early as 6:00 p.m. on July 31 for a nighttime vigil at Las Sierritas Church.  A procession departs from Las Sierritas Church at approximately 6:00 a.m. on August 1 and travels to the Santo Domingo Church (near Oriental Market).   Large crowds will be transiting the area from Masaya Highway to Las Sierritas Church and the back road from Las Sierritas Church to Las Galerias Mall (Old Santo Domingo Road).
  • August 1 and 10 – Horse Parades:  On both days, the parades are expected to depart from Plaza La Fe at approximately 12:00 noon.  The parades should travel south on Avenida Bolivar, pass through Hugo Chavez Rotunda, circle around the Tiscapa Lagoon on Paseo Tiscapa, then head west on Pista Benjamin Zeledon, passing through the military hospital traffic light on the way to the El Gueguense Rotunda, proceed south to El Periodista Rotunda and conclude in the vicinity of the Holiday Inn hotel.
  • August 10 – Santo Domingo Church near North Highway to Las Sierritas Church in Santo Domingo:  The route for the August 10 procession will be the reverse of the August 1 procession.

Actions to Take: 

  • Travelers should keep their car windows up, doors locked, and a cell phone in the vehicle when traveling.
  • Do not attempt to drive through large groups or processions encountered on the street.
  • Monitor local media for the latest festival information, including route updates and changes in timelines.

Assistance:

Please follow the links or call the numbers below for consular assistance.