The largest region of the two autonomous regions of Nicaragua, which occupies about 20% of the territory of the country. It is located on the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua and is separated from the central part of the country by tropical forests and a mountain range.
The titular ethnic group is the Miskito Indians, who make up about 10% of the region's population. They differ from the titular ethnic group of the country not only in language but also in religion, since alongside with Catholicism, Protestant Christianity it widespread among the Indians. The fact that the historically Atlantic coast of Nicaragua has long been influenced by the United States is a cause to that.
The history of the emergence of the autonomy is associated with the political mobilization of the indigenous Indian population that occurred after the Sandinista government came to power in 1979. It embarked on the transformation of the way of life of the Indians and their integration into the social life of the country. Since there was a danger of appearance of a coalition between the Indians and the armed opposition "contras", the Sandinistas met the requirements of the Indians, and in 1987 a law was passed to create two autonomous regions.
Nowadays, the South Atlantic AR shows a lower level of autonomy than the North Atlantic AR, partly due to the small share of the titular ethnic group in the total population of the region. The main Indian ethno-regional party of YATAMA does not have much influence in regional government.