July 7, 2020 is historic for Nicaragua. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Unesco, approved during the 209th Session of the Executive Council the designation of the new Río Coco Geopark to the Global Network of Geoparks.
The Río Coco Geopark covers the municipalities of Somoto, Totogalpa, San Lucas, Las Sabanas and San José de Cusmapa in the department of Madriz, covering almost 1,000 square kilometers.
Geoparks are unique and unified geographical areas in which sites and landscapes of international geological importance are managed.
According to Unesco, “Río Coco has 12 geosites of international geological and landscape relevance. A unique territory that integrates geological, aesthetic and cultural values to promote sustainable tourism, education and research ”.
“The designation of the Río Coco Geopark aims to reinforce the relationship of the local population to their natural environment, stimulate the creation of innovative local companies, create new sources of income through geotourism, and lead to sustainable territorial management of resources natural in special connection to Mother Earth. "
Somoto Canyon, Piedras Pintadas Archaeological Park, Tepesomoto La Patasta Natural Reserve, donut workshops, churches with historical architecture, unique handicrafts, Coco River, La Bruja lagoon and natural viewpoints of the highest municipality of Nicaragua (San José de Cusmapa) are some of the tourist options located in this geopark.
This geopark becomes the first in Central America and the eighth in Latin America (Araripe, Brazil; Grutas del Palacio, Uruguay; Comarca Minera, Mexico; Mixteca Alta, Mexico; Imbabura, Ecuador; Colca and Volcanoes of Andagua, Peru and Kütralkura, Chile).
Currently, the Global Geopark network has 147 of these sites in 41 countries. On July 7, 15 new ones were approved, thus extending the network to 162 global geoparks.