What is vumo?

The volcanic emissions from Masaya volcano are termed vumo, which is a combination of the Spanish words volcán (volcano) and humo (smoke).

Masaya’s volcanic emissions are often described by the local populations as ‘humo’ (smoke) but this is incorrect – volcanoes emit plumes of gases and aerosols but no smoke. It is therefore it is important to distinguish volcanic emissions from smoke that is produced by things like wooden stoves or bonfires.

Vumo is the Spanish equivalent of the English term vog, coined in Hawaii to describe emissions from Kilauea volcano and combining the words volcano and fog.

The header image shows Masaya’s vumo reaching out towards the local communities. The brown colour is typical of volcanic plumes and distinguishes vumo from meteorological clouds, and smoke.

People in communities near Masaya have had to adapt to the challenges of living with vumo. This short film tells their story in their own words:


We created a poster where the experiences of vumo in the local communities are matched up with volcanological, environmental & public health scientific data. See the posters in full resolution in  English and Español. They can be printed as large asA0 or folded up into ‘portable’ brochures as shown here!