Country - Honduras

Honduras

Honduras Country Information

Honduras is a republic in Central America. Its official name Republic of Honduras denotes the present electoral form of government existing in the country. About three centuries of marathon Spanish rule from 1524 A.D. made Honduras inherit the culture of Spain involuntarily. When independence from Spain was granted in 1821, Honduras initially became a constituent of First Mexican Empire till 1824 and later attained the status of fully independent republic in 1838 since when regular elections were conducted.

To distinguish from the British Honduras (presently known as Belize), Honduras is sometimes referred to as Spanish Honduras. Tegucigalpa is the capital and the largest city of Honduras. Spanish is the official language which has become an inseparable part of Spanish culture acquired by Honduras.

Honduras is separated geographically from Belize by Guatemala on its northwestern border.  The southeastern border is shared by Nicaragua and the southwestern frontier is common with El Salvador. The entire northern sea coast meets with Gulf of Honduras which merges northward into the Caribbean Sea. A part of south western border is contiguity with Pacific Ocean.

The World Bank classified Honduras as a low middle income economy. The population below the poverty line increased from 50% to 66% in six years from 2010 to 2016. With the national per capita income at $600 and total population of above 91 lakhs, Honduras is perceived as one of the poorest nations in Central America. True to its status as one of the banana republics, the main item of exports is tropical bananas. Other exported items are coffee, olive oil, shrimps and lobsters. The main items of imports are machinery and transport equipment, chemical products, foodstuff and fuels.

The main religion is Roman Catholicism, although momentum to swell in the population of Protestants is on the rise in recent years. While the Catholic Church is composed of eight dioceses, the Protestant Churches are marked by three confederacies.

Honduras has been struggling hard in getting rid the stigma of the nation with high crime rate and noticeable impunity for offenders. It is gaining the good reputation as the country with friendly people and good potential for international tourism. The ancient ruins of Mayan culture mark the millennium-old legacy inherited by the country. The capital city Tegucigalpa, which had been once the hideout for pirates, is today the centre for not only political and economic activity but also for natural beauty and wild life. Honduras is home for wild life species like boas, manatees, monkeys, crocodiles, dolphins, sea turtles and tropical birds.

The Bay Islands is a separate group of eight small islands and 53 cays, just 48 kilometres off the northern coast of Honduran mainland. All the islands collectively form 18 Departments of Honduras. The departmental capital is Roatan, situated on the island bearing the same name. The Bay islands are credited with the distinction of housing the world’s second largest coral reef. Roatan is the perfect place for deep divers, snorkellers who get to watch the swimming whales, dolphins, turtles and blue crabs. The place is also good for watching parrots, arboreal animals like monkeys and iguanas.

Comayagua, the former capital of Honduras, today is the main centre for nourishing the Spanish Culture, colonial plazas, cobbled streets, restaurants and elegant urban life. Copan is an ancient city which retains the Mayan culture. Wide green landscapes bigger than a football playground are dotted by central stone pyramids equipped with steep steps on all the four sides to climb to the flat top; the sporadic erections of vertical stone pillars on the ground around the pyramids make up for a graceful scene. Honduras today is not as backward and hostile to outsiders as wrongly made out to be. The country within the mainland as well as the closely knit archipelago offers a placid destination to recline and relish the local culture.