Place Where the Gods Pee

About six miles out of Moyogalpa, one can find a tranquil emerald-green pond called Charco Verde.  The lagoon is an extinct parasite crater of Concepcion Volcano. Steeped in legends and mystery, Charco Verde was a sacred spot for the Nahuatl ancestors, where the indigenous population practiced rituals such as sacrifices, reincarnations, and supplications to the gods. The algae infested lagoon was called Xistletoet by the Nahuatls, which means “Place Where the Gods Pee.” They did have a sense of humor!

Today, Charco Verde is a protected nature reserve where many varieties of local and migratory birds congregate, as well as Howler monkeys, armadillos, rabbits, and deer. Walking the well-maintained trails through the dry tropical forest that surrounds the reserve, we encountered herons, monkeys, cormorants, egrets, woodpeckers, magpies, and a variety of tropical plants and trees.

Fishermen cast their nets daily.

IMG_5597Gardens display duendes, sort of like mischievous little gnomes or leprechauns hidden among the foliage.

IMG_4453Map of the 1.7 kilometer trails through the reserve.

IMG_1807Majestic Concepcion volcano casts its enormous shadow into the green lagoon.

IMG_1801Herons and Egrets wait patiently for breakfast.

IMG_1792Zapolotes or buzzards circle the lagoon, always picking the ripest morsels of flesh.

IMG_5600This tranquil lagoon has a history of magic and witchcraft. Read the Legend of Chico Largo here.

IMG_1805The Howler monkeys take daily siestas in the tree tops. This little one says, “Who’s there?”

IMG_1788Cowboys herd their stray cattle back home. Who knows? This cow may be the cowboy’s father who made a pact with the devil. Legend has it that one can call forth the devil in Charco Verde, trade one’s soul for riches, and when the devil recalls the soul, he turns the deceased into a cow. Our local butcher says he found several cows with gold teeth.

IMG_1796No need to be petrified about these legends. Life in Charco Verde is abundant and full of vitality. Next time you are wandering around the lagoon, watch out for the cows. It could be a deceased relative.


17 thoughts on “Place Where the Gods Pee

  1. Great post Debbie 🙂 ! I have never understood why National Geographic has never done a full nature or cultural documentary on Nicaragua.. Oh well! Maybe someone will take the initiative

  2. Fun stuff – the place where the gods pee . . . I love it!

    So . . . wait a minute . . . I may NOT have proposed to Britney at Charco Verde after all. We thought we were there, but we were just on the lake . . . does that still count as Charco Verde?

  3. this is a great post! i’ve stayed near charco verdo while on one of my 72-hour/week exit from CR. I was working on paintings for a show and did one watercolor of the landscape there.. oops i also did a study of some foliage plants!

    i didn’t know the trivia – shucks – or i might have been out looking for mystical creatures or a guardian spirit!


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