The Miskito people are a traditional Amerindian-African mestizo people who live as subsistence farmers and fishermen in small villages of the lowland rain forest of Nicaragua and Honduras. They live across a large are known as the Mosquito Coast. The Miskito people live in close family units in small autonomous villages. Each village has a leader who serves to settle differences. Families plant common field crops of rice, beans, and yucca and gather native grown bananas and plantains. Because of economic hardships many children do not attend school and health care is limited or non-existent in most villages. In Central America, the Miskito people have one of the highest infant mortality rates and their life expectancy is one of the lowest. The Miskitos were originally animistic in their religious practices. In spite of several centuries of exposure to Christianity many people have retained their animistic practices. Village shamans serve as healers, diviners and exorcists. The result of past Moravian and Catholic influences have resulted in a synergistic Christo-animism among the people. This is a confused blending of Christian ideas and pagan practices combined with fear of spirits of nature.
FBCA became involved with the Miskito people during Hurricane Felix when we traveled to Puerta Cabezas to work in disaster relief with IMB Missionaries Jim and Viola Palmer. Since that time, the Palmers have moved to Athens and continue to lead groups to carry on the work they once did with the International Mission Board.
Our work always includes evangelistic outreaches in addition to medical, construction and water well digging projects. If you would like to learn more about the work in Nicaragua, please contact our minister of missions, Steve Akin.