The Garífuna are a people of African descent with some native American ancestry.
They originated on the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent during colonial times from escaped slaves who settled among a group of Arawak-speaking Carib Indians and adopted their native American language.
Spanish-speaking people in the center of the country are the most numerous and are culturally dominant.The Lenca are a native people in the departments of La Paz, Intibucá, and Lempira, as well as some other areas.The Lenca language is extinct, and culturally the Lenca are similar in many ways to the other Spanish-speaking people in the country.The name of the country means "depths." It was so named by Christopher Columbus on his fourth voyage because of the deep waters at the mouth of the Tinto o Negro River off the Mosquito Coast.Regional traditions exist in the south (Choluteca and Valle) and the north coast as well as among the minority ethnic groups.The north coast was once primarily rain forest, but much of it has been cleared for commercial banana plantations. It includes the "Mosquito Coast," which is actually a long series of white sand beaches and freshwater lagoons.Inland from the coast, the Mosquitia has one of the last great stands of tropical rain forest left in North America, plus pine woods and grasslands.The Lenca population is about one hundred thousand.The Jicaque are a native people who live in the department of Yoro and the community of Montaña de la Flor (municipality of Orica) in the department of Francisco Morazán.The Garífuna people live along the Caribbean Coast of Central America, from Belize to Nicaragua.The Miskito and Tawahka people live in the rain forests of the eastern lowlands, and in similar lands in neighboring areas of Nicaragua.