Auction of Nicaraguan ceramics

Thursday November 5th, from 16-18 pm
in NewCo hall, Ensi linja 1, Helsinki

We cordially welcome You to a charity auction of traditional nicaraguan pottery pieces from the world renowned village of San Juan de Oriente. The event will be officially opened by Caritas President Bishop Teemu Sippo and the Ambassador of Nicaragua in Finland, H.E. Mr. Ricardo José Alvarado. Heini Riitahuhta, a recognised Finnish ceramic artist and designer, will present the ceramics. The profits from the event will be directed to support the Nicaraguan artists and Caritas´ relief work. Kindly register your participation to before November 2nd.

Making a bid online

The pieces on auction can be seen below.  You can send a bid for a piece by email to Please let us know the number of the specific piece and how much you are bidding, as well as your phone number, so that we can reach you during the auction. If a higher bid is made, we will contact you and give you a chance to raise your bid. 

Ceramics of San Juan de Oriente


Ceramic art is alive and flourishing in the small village of San Juan de Oriente in Nicaragua in the Middle America. It is deeply rooted in the country’s history and in the time before the Spanish conquistadors of the 16th century. Thanks to their vibrant language, the works of the Nicaraguan ceramists have conquered American galleries and hearts of European museum audience. 


The Nicaraguan ceramics with glamorous metal oxide decoration were among the most valued objects during the Pre-Columbian era. They were used in religious ceremonies and that is why the pieces of ceramics were decorated uniformly, also where the human eye could not see. The Spanish conquerors considered the ceremonial objects as pagan and their production was banned. For centuries clay was used only for making everyday objects and in 1970s plastic replaced ceramics as a material. 

To ease the distress of ceramists, a training center was established in San Juan de Oriente and its purpose was to teach traditional, yet professional ceramic making and decoration. Today 95% of the people living in the village earn their living at least partly from ceramics. Over the centuries the working methods have hardly changed and through multiple phases of work the rough red clay is turned into ceramics with silky smooth and decorated surface. The works are unique and their distinctive identity connects them to this one particular village in the world.


In San Juan de Oriente the most appreciated style is pre-columbino, the inspiration of which comes from old Pre-Columbian works. The Creation libre style was born as late as in the mid-1990s and its decoration is either verdant as Nicaraguan nature or simplified geometric. 


Suomen Caritas

Kuusitie 6

00270 Helsinki


+358 400 911 874


Office Hours: Mon–Fri 10-15.

You are also welcome to make an appointment outside these hours. Welcome!

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