Alberto Gutierrez Giron is known as the “Hermit of Nicaragua.” He was born on October 17, 1944, in a small village not far from Esteli City. As a young boy, he had dreamt that he would one day create a stone artwork out of a mountain.
That dream turned into a reality many years later. For nearly 40 years, Alberto has resided on the Nicaraguan mountains creating interesting sculptures.
THE STONE MAN
The “Stone Man” as what many people call Alberto, chiseling formless rocks is what he does most of his time in a day. In the last forty years, he turned these rocks into different fantastic shapes. Some of his work feature animals like cheetahs and elephants. He has also made an artwork of The New York Twin Towers and of the Esteli Cathedral.
All of these started unexpectedly. Although Alberto has always loved living with nature, it was the war in Nicaragua that drove him to make his dream as a 9-year old boy a reality.
When the revolution was happening Nicaragua in the 1970s, the young Alberto roamed the country discovering his potential in art. Consequently in 1977, in his job in port, a premonition urged him to go back to El Jacate. He saw a rock and pieces of nails that appeared like chisels just like in his dream. He came back to El Jacate and lived in its mountains where he finally started his life’s ultimate artistic pursuit.
THE SCULPTOR OF THE MOUNTAIN
The Sculptor of The Mountain has a modest wooden hut to call his home. His makeshift bed is upon the dirt. Living in the mountains, he has no access to modern technology like smart phones or computers.
As a self-confessed hermit, Alberto has always loved the idea of living away from people. But this did not stop locals and tourists who visit Estanzuela Natural Park to take notice of him and his eclectic artwork. The story of the artist hermit spending his day chiseling rocks into art is so popular that many people came to take selfies with him.
Although Alberto does not understand what the internet is, tourists tell him that he is known all over the world as the Hermit of Nicaragua. He does not mind sharing his stories about his work, although Alberto always considers solitude sacred. He even said that at times when there’s no one to talk to, the birds are always there to listen to him.
Strange as it may seem, Alberto’s story inspires many people to downsize into the minimalist lifestyle. He said that there are joy and peace in living alone. According to him, being one with nature allowed him to find his center which is his artwork. In the recent years, many people discover and later appreciate the simple life that the hermit lives.
Because of the attention that people show towards his works of art, Alberto delightfully shares his beautiful stone sculptures to everyone. He has put signs all over the place so that tourist can find their way to his home.