Mosquito Coast: Historical Region (Central/North America)

Mosquito Coast: Historical Region (Central/North America)

Sat, 07/27/2019 - 15:22

The Mosquito Coast, also known as the "Miskito Coast", historically included the Miskito kingdom's fluctuating area along the eastern coast of present-day Nicaragua and Honduras. It was named after the local Miskito Amerindians and was long dominated by British interests.

Mosquito Coast

The Mosquito Coast, also known as the "Miskito Coast", is a historical region that included the Miskito kingdom's fluctuating area along the eastern coast of present-day Nicaragua and Honduras.

It formed part of the Western Caribbean Zone and was named after the local Miskito Amerindians. It was long dominated by British interests.

The Mosquito Coast was incorporated into Nicaragua in 1894; however, in 1960, the northern part was granted to Honduras by the International Court of Justice.

The Mosquito Coast was generally defined as the domain of the Mosquito or Miskito Kingdom and expanded or contracted with that domain.

During the 19th century, the question of the kingdom's borders was a serious issue of international diplomacy between Britain, the United States, Nicaragua, and Honduras.

Conflicting claims regarding both the kingdom's extent and arguable nonexistence were pursued in diplomatic exchanges. The British and Miskito definition applied to the whole eastern seaboard of Nicaragua and even to La Mosquitia in Honduras: i.e., the coast region as far west as the Río Negro or Tinto.

The Mosquito Coast in the later part of the century came to be considered as the narrow strip of territory, fronting the Caribbean Sea and extending from about 11°45′ to 14°10′ N. It stretched inland for an average distance of 60 km (40 mi), and measured about 400 km (225 mi) from north to south.

In the north, its boundary skirted the Wawa River; in the west, it corresponded with the eastern limit of the Nicaraguan highlands; in the south, it followed the Río Rama.

Map showing the Mosquito Coast
Map showing the Mosquito Coast

 

Sparsely populated, today most of the area is under protection. The most famous protected area is the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other protected areas include Patuca National Park, Tawahka Antropological Reserve and Sierra de Agalta National Park.

The chief modern towns are:

  • Bluefields, the largest town and capital of Nicaragua's South Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region
  • Magdala, on Pearl Cay
  • Prinzapolka, on the Prinzapolka River
  • Wounta, near the mouth of the Kukalaya River
  • Karata, near the mouth of the Coco River.