Meet the Builder

Luis Pilarte

BIO

Since childhood, I was always curious about making musical instruments. I first entered the guitar workshop when I was 10 years old and made my first guitar when I was 14 years old. For a time, I worked for Zepeda guitars in Nicaragua. But wanting to improve my guitar building techniques I traveled to Costa Rica. First, I worked for the Guzman brothers. Afterward, while still in Costa Rica, I worked for other guitar makers, including Ariztide Guzmán and Martín Méndez. I focused on classical guitars and learned many different methods for manufacturing them. Finally, I decided to put go independent and opened my own workshop, GUITARRAS PILARTE. It was founded in 2000 with my wife. Guitars Pilarte has been growing ever since and is being visited by tourists who came to enjoy my beautiful country, Nicaragua.

WHERE

Masaya is a city in the largest country in Central America, Nicaragua.  Founded in 1524 as a country by Conquistador Francisco Hernandez Cordoba, Nicaragua has since adopted the Spanish guitar as a key instrument in its music arsenal.  But music in Nicaragua goes back further than 1524.  One of the earliest stringed instruments in the Americas, the quinojongo, was played by the native population in Nicaragua.  The tradition of musical instrument making continues in the artisan city of Masaya that sits between the capital city Managua and the Granada.

THE GUITARS

GUITARRAS PILARTE specializes in classical and flamenco guitars, ukuleles, and requintos. We can also make custom guitars for more adventerous customers. The guitars are made of solid Nicaraguan woods such as cocobolo, granadillo, mahogany, cedar and other precious woods. I also use imported woods such as ebony, German fir, and pine. My focus is always on the sound of each instrument so that my customers are happy.

We work hard to control the moisture in wood. I always dreamed exporting guitars all over the world but knew that differences in local humidity could affect the quality of the instrument. After 6 years in the drying process I make sure that the wood is at 6 degrees humidity. In addition, I also have a handmade oven and air-conditioned cold room to aid in the process. My instruments pass a process of 2 to 3 months in the room before being exported to another country. Conditioning the wood assures that my instrument will not suffer any damage due to climate change.  

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