Donnerstag, 13. März 2008

mosquito coast

semi-unexpectedly, most of my time here in nicaragua has been spent with costeños, or people from the autonomous regions of nicaragua's atlantic coast, both on the coast and with the 'diaspora' in managua. 'the costa' is quite a fascinating area, being for a long time more influenced by events in the caribbean rather than the spanish-influenced rest of nicaragua. the mosquito coast (named not after the pesky animals but in a corruption of the name of the largest indigenous group, the miskitos) was for a long time under nominal british protection/rule and along with the indigenous languages such as miskito and garafuna one of the main languages is creole english.

the costa creole sounds (at least to me) quite similar to jamaican english. i was given plenty of opportunity to get into the vibe of the language, listening to family antics, stories from the revolution and contra war, gossip, memories of migration, jokes and the like while sitting out on the porch with my friend's extended family. and yes, rum did flow, with the family making sure that i also got more than my fair share of 'las copas de las americas...'

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