Introduction-Honduras is a small Central American country that boasts lush greenery, a tropical climate, and rich banana and coffee plantations. The land varies from high mountains to white sand beaches and crystal clear waters with colorful fish. The friendly people of Honduras are of Spanish and Native American decent.
History-The Maya were the first inhabitant of western Honduras during the 1'st millennium AD. There are still Mayan ruins in Copan. Christopher Columbus arrived in 1502 by this time the Mayan civilization was all ready in decline. Spain conquered the region and the native people were almost wiped out from diseases from Europe. Spanish settlers mixed with the natives and mestizos came to form the main ethnic group. Comayagua served as the capital during the colonial period. Honduras remained scarcely populated with most of the people being subsistence farmers or ranchers. Honduras gained independence from Spain in 1821 and from Mexico in 1823. They joined the United Provinces of Central America. Fransisco Morrison, a Honduran politician and soldier,lead liberal forces to victory, and Honduras declared itself full independence in 1838. Dictator, Marcos A. Soto, emphasized modernization and exports. He transferred the capital from conservative Comayagua to liberal Tegucigalpa. The government attracted foreign investors in the late 19th century. U.S. fruit companies made bananas the principle export of the country. There were many yeas of political instability. The economy was mad worse by a costly war with El Salvador in 1969, over immigration from densely populated El Salvador. The army has played a large role in Honduran political scene, however, in 1993 Carlos Roberto Reina instituted economic reforms and has tried to exert civilian control over the army. Honduras joined a free trade organization, the Association of Caribbean States (ACS).
People and Culture- The population is estimated at 5,968,000. Approximately 90% mestizo. The minority groups include whites, natives and Garifuna. Honduras is primarily a Spanish culture today, but is also influenced by the native peoples.
Geography-Honduras covers 43,277 sq. miles. It is bordered by El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, the Caribbean Sea, and the Pacific Ocean. Central Honduras is mountainous. They are volcanic in origin and rise to over 9,000 ft. Most of the rivers drain to the Atlantic Ocean. It has fertile pastoral lands, jungles and over 30% of the country is covered by forest.
Economics-Honduran economy is based mainly on agriculture. Bananas and Coffee are the main crops. Honduras is also involved in forestry. The get wood from ebony, mahogany, pine, rose wood and walnut. Honduras mines antimony, coal, copper, iron ore, lead silver, and zinc.
The basic monetary unit is the lempira. There are one hundred centavos to a lempira. In 1993 6.91 lempiras = 1 U.S. dollar.
Climate-Honduras is very close to the equator so it has tropical weather. Temperatures very greatly depending on where you are. The coastal lowlands are hot and humid, while the mountainous central region is cooler and more pleasant. The average temperature is 75 F.
Plants and Animals-Honduras's main plants include oak and pine in the highlands, Mangrove and palms in the coastal regions and savanna grasses in the the drier areas.
Their main animals include bear, dear, monkey, wolf, coyote, cats and many scorpions, geckos, termites and mosquito.