*Rio Coco* & Waspam
Mosquitia, Nicaragua, — It's a scene right out of a 19th century novel. An isolated village on a river you've never heard of. Old wooden homes built on stilts. Friendly indigenous people traveling down stream in dugout canoes, as their ancestors have done for centuries. Children jumping off the riverbank, swimming and splashing with their friends. The whole scene looks so peaceful, but appearances can be deceptive. The river is full of hundreds of landmines.
This is Mosquitia in northern Nicaragua. The river is the Rio Coco, and the Miskito Indians have lived here for generations, living independently, largely undisturbed by outsiders. The land here is so remote nobody much bothered them over the years. Rio Coco is the natural border between Nicaragua and Honduras.
Waspam, Río Coco is located on the northeastern Nicaraguan border in the North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN). Approximately 4,500 people live in the city of Waspam, the majority of which are indigenous Miskito people who maintain many of their culture and their own dialect, Miskito. Waspam is located approximately 560 kilometers to the northeast of Managua.