There are four main geographic areas. The northwestern highlands have peaks as high as 8,000 ft (2,440 m). On the Caribbean is the torrid Mosquito Coast, with the historic port of Bluefields. This region is home to the Miskito people, who were given limited autonomy by the government in 1987. A lowland belt running northwest to southeast contains lakes Managua and Nicaragua. The fourth region is a narrow volcanic belt squeezed between the lakes and the Pacific; in this region the productive wealth and the population (largely of Spanish and indigenous descent) are concentrated. Corinto, on the Pacific, is the chief port. Spanish is the official language; indigenous languages and English are also spoken. The population is mainly Roman Catholic, but there are also Evangelical and other Christian groups.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.