Honduras is located on
the Central American peninsula. With just over 43,000 square miles it has about the size
of Virginia. Honduras has a population of 7.4 million, making it the second least
populated among the five Central American countries after Nicaragua.
Tegucigalpa is Honduras´capital and largest
city. San Pedro Sula, on the north coast, is considered the industrial capital and has a
population of over 900 000 inhabitants in its metro region.
While the north-eastern part of Honduras is predominantly flat, the central and western
parts of Honduras are mountainous. The climate is tropical with a good deal of sunshine
all year long.
The Honduran population is predominantly mestizo (Amerindians mixed with
Europeans), but there are black and indigenous populations, too. The Honduran population
grows at a rate of over 2 % annually; life expectancy runs around 67 years. Almost half of
all Hondurans are age 18 and younger.
Honduras is an agricultural country. Main export
articles are bananas, coffee, tobacco and shrimps. Most Hondurans live in the rural areas
working as subsistency farmers and farm labor. In the San Pedro Sula area, there are
numerous textile manufactures.
Along with the other four Central American countries Honduras obtained independence in
1821 after over two centuries of Spanish dominion. Until 1982 Honduras was governed by
military regimes. In the 1980s there were civil wars in three of the five Central
American countries, but not Honduras.
In November 1998, Hurricane Mitch killed approximately 10,000 people and devastated large
parts of the country, deepening the many existing social problems such as unemployment,
lack of decent housing, poor healthcare and education systems as well as a large social
is a presidential republic. The one-chamber parliament is made up by 128 congressmen.
President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales from the Liberal Party became president in January
2006 and is dedicated to fight the rampant crime and boost the economy.
The name Honduras has its origin in an exclamation by Christopher Columbus
when arriving at Guanaja Island in 1502: Gracias a Dios que ya salimos de estas
honduras (Thank God we got out of these deep waters.)