Nicaragua is located in Central America.The map shows the east coast and west coast areas. The eastern coast of Nicaragua is divided into two autonomous regions. The Region Autonomy Atlantic North (RAAN) and the Region Autonomy Atlantic South (RAAS). These regions achieved their autonomous structure through a civil war and political changes in the central government. The 1987 Sandinista-era constitution was changed in 1995 to grant a more even distribution of power among the four branches of government. In 2000 the laws were again amended to provide an increase in the Supreme Court and the Controller General's Office with regards to the general electoral laws. They now have four branches including: Executive - President/Vice President; Legislative - National Assembly; Judicial - Supreme Court and other local government courts; and the Electoral - Supreme Electoral Council. As you see on the map there are 15 departments and the two autonomous regions mentioned earlier.
Aid4Nicaragua is working primarily with the indigenous people located on the eastern coast of Nicaragua although Aid4Nicaragua has also met with several people on the west coast in the central government.

Most people in the United States remember Nicaragua from the Iran/Contra affair of the 80's. After the civil war, the eastern coast won their independence and were declared to be Autonomous. This declaration was set down in Law 445. An easy way to think about the politics on the east coast is to liken them to the Indian reservations in the U.S. The people are self-governing and make decisions based on what is best for the community.