Honduras country

Honduras

 Beach, Roatán, Honduras. Photo by Sally Chisom.

Honduras is a state in Central America, covering an area of 112,000 km². Its population is 9,112,867 (2016). The capital is the city of Tegucigalpa. Honduras is washed by the Caribbean Sea to the north, bordered by Nicaragua to the southeast, El Salvador to the south and southwest, and Guatemala to the west; to the south it adjoins Fonseca Bay in the Pacific Ocean.

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Highlights

The largest cities in Honduras are San Pedro Sula, Puerto Cortez, La Ceiba, and Tela. About 53% of the population lives in rural areas and 47% live in cities. The western part of the country is the most populated. Most of the population is Mestizo, a descendant of Indians and Spaniards. The official language is Spanish. The country is divided into 18 departments and a central (federal) region. The capital, Tegucigalpa, and its suburb, Comayagüela, make up the Central Federal District. Under the 1982 constitution the President is the head of the executive branch, elected directly, while legislative power is vested in the National Congress. Elections are held every four years. Honduras is agrarian country, one of the most backward countries in Latin America. The basic cultures are bananas, coffee, tobacco, sugar cane and rice. Farming is mainly plantation. On Caribbean coast American banana companies are prospering. The economy of the Central Highlands is based on mining and subsistence agriculture. Estates left over from colonial times specialize primarily in cattle ranching. The waters of the Caribbean Sea off the northern coast of Honduras abound in fish and other seafood. Lobsters and shrimp are the main objects of fishing. Shrimp farms are located mainly on the Pacific coastal plain. Mining is predominantly done by foreign companies. Gold, silver, lead, and zinc are exported. Iron ore deposits have been discovered. The largest trading partner is the United States, which accounts for more than 65% of the value of Honduran exports and more than 50% of imports. The monetary unit of the country is the lempira.

In ancient times, parts of Honduras were part of the Mayan Empire. In 1502 Christopher Columbus landed here. The navigators named the new area “Honduras” (Spanish for “depths”), as ships could not anchor off the coast because of the great depths. In 1539 Honduras was incorporated into the captaincy general of Guatemala. Since 1542 the country was part of the colony of New Spain, and since 1560 it has been part of the captaincy general of Guatemala. In 1823-38. Honduras became part of the United Provinces of Central America. By the early twentieth century, Honduras remained the poorest and least developed country in Central America. By 1910 American companies controlled most of the banana plantations, and banana production was the main industry. Honduras was nicknamed the “banana republic. The political and economic life of Honduras came under U.S. control. From the early twentieth century until the late 1980s, dictatorial and military regimes influenced by the U.S. United Fruit Company were in power almost constantly.

Nature

Most of the territory of Honduras is occupied by forested mountains and highlands. The highest ranges rise to 2,700 meters above sea level. A deep valley cuts the mountainous area from north to south, from the mouth of the Ulua River to the Gulf of Fonseca. The length of the valley is 280 km. The Caribbean coast is dominated by mountain ranges with steep slopes and sharp ridges. The northeast of the country is sparsely populated, as there is a marshy lowland area, the Mosquito Coast, with a huge lagoon, Caratasca.

Honduras has a tropical, trade wind climate, with fairly sharp differences in precipitation between the windward (northern and eastern) and leeward mountain slopes. Precipitation is heaviest in the eastern part of the country, on the coast and on the slopes of the mountains open to winds from the sea. Most of Honduras lies in a moderately hot zone. Monthly average temperatures range from +22 C to +26 C in the lowlands, from +10 C to +22 C in the highlands. The tourist season on the Caribbean coast lasts from February to April. There are frequent strong hurricanes that can cause serious damage. In October 1998, Hurricane Mitch killed about eight thousand people.

The forests of Honduras are home to valuable species of trees, especially in the nearly impenetrable lowlands of the Mosquito Coast and on the slopes of the nearby mountains. The fauna of Honduras is rich and varied: bears, deer, monkeys, tapirs, badgers, coyotes, wolves, foxes, jaguars, cougars, lynxes, ocelots, panthers, alligators, crocodiles, iguanas, etc. Major rivers: Ulua, Aguan, Patuca, Coco. National parks: La Tigra, Rio Plateno.

Politics

Honduras is a unitary presidential republic. According to the constitution the legislative power is vested in the unicameral National Congress (Congreso Nacional), which consists of 128 deputies. Annual sessions of the National Congress are held from January 25 to December 31. The National Congress elects the head and members of the Supreme Court, the prosecutor of the republic and their deputies. The Congress also approves the draft budget, which is presented by the executive branch, decides on the attraction of loans and foreign capital.

Executive power is exercised by the president along with ministers of state. There are also three vice presidents. The president is the head of state, commander in chief of the armed forces, and guarantor of the constitution, elected for 6 years through a general election. He issues decrees, participates in issuing laws, submits projects to the National Congress, issues decrees if urgent measures in the economic or financial spheres are necessary and monitors the collection of taxes and financial activities. The president also appoints and dismisses ministers and deputy ministers, presidents and vice presidents of state banks.

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The president, vice presidents and members of the National Congress are elected in popular elections for four-year terms by direct, equal, secret and compulsory suffrage of citizens over the age of 18. The president and vice presidents may not be reelected for a second term. Deputies are elected by proportional representation in 18 constituencies.

The judiciary is represented by a Supreme Court of nine members and seven deputies, as well as local courts. There is an independent National Electoral Tribunal, which consists of representatives of the Supreme Court and registered political parties, to conduct election procedures.

Economy

Honduras is an economically underdeveloped Latin American country, dependent on foreign capital and, in the last few years, on foreign economic aid. In 1998, its national income was estimated at $9.7 billion ($1,820 per capita). In 1996, 79% of the population was below the official poverty line. The country’s high foreign debt, inflation (which was 30 percent in 1994) that continues now, uneven income distribution, and heavy dependence on exports of agricultural products whose prices on world markets are prone to fluctuations all contribute to the country’s extremely precarious economic situation. In the early 1990s, about 10 percent of the economically active population was unemployed and another 40 percent were partially unemployed. As a result of a series of devastating hurricanes and floods between 1998 and 2001. Honduras suffered enormous material losses. A number of donor countries have therefore begun to provide regular economic assistance to Honduras, in accordance with decisions of the Consultative Group on Central America, in the range of 300 to 600 million dollars a year – in 2006 the amount was estimated to be 490 million dollars a year. The economy is based on agro-industrial sectors specializing in the production of export goods: bananas, coffee, sugar, tropical fruits, palm oil, tobacco products, beef and frozen seafood (mainly shrimp), as well as companies for their processing. They employ more than half of the total economically active population. The remaining half of the able-bodied population is engaged in the wood harvesting, furniture and household appliances production, as well as in construction materials. There are several enterprises producing lead and zinc concentrates. The mining industry is based basically on branches of foreign corporations on extraction of silver, gold and antimony ores. Intensive oil exploration is under way off the Caribbean Sea. In the last two decades, “free economic zones” have developed considerably in the north of the country, where over 80 factories and workshops producing textiles, footwear, housewares, electrical goods, a wide range of food and beverage products are located. In recent years, with government support (tax incentives, targeted loans, combating the illegal importation of cheap food from neighboring countries) more dynamically began to develop the agricultural sector, producing goods mainly for domestic consumption, especially rice, corn, beans, vegetables, as well as meat and dairy products. The Government of Manuel Zelaya continues to provide multifaceted assistance to different categories of producers in order to ensure “food independence” in basic commodities, including meat and dairy products.

Traditionally two types of economy coexisted in Honduras; one characteristic of the colonial settlement areas within the central highlands, the other of the Caribbean coast, where American banana companies created their own enclaves near export plantations. U.S. company plantations use the most modern production methods in the farming areas, and a network of railroads and highways has been built to serve the plantations and export the produce. The highlands of the country remain isolated and economically inert. The economy of the central highlands is based on mining and subsistence agriculture; the large estates that have existed here since the colonial era specialize primarily in cattle ranching.

History

The territory of modern Honduras was inhabited by the Lenca, Paya, and Hikake (of the Paya language group) tribes, who lived in a primitive communal system. Their main occupations were slash-and-burn farming, hunting and fishing. In the III-IX centuries AD the Maya Indians displaced the local Indian tribes on the less fertile mountain slopes. Unlike the indigenous Amerindian tribes, the Maya had a written language, knew trades, cultivated corn, created architectural masterpieces of stone, built roads, and had a strong and mobile army. Honduras was home to one of the major centers of Mayan culture, the city of Copan. Until the beginning of the 16th century, the territory of the republic bore the name Igueras or Ibueras, about the origin of which there are still disputes. In 1502 the southern coast of Honduras was discovered by Christopher Columbus, and 22 years later the full-scale conquest of the country began. In 1536 the Indians, led by Chief Lempira, launched a failed Indian war against the Spanish colonizers. Lempira died as a result of a conspiracy; his detachment was soon defeated and dispersed. In the mid-16th century. Honduras was part of the captaincy-general of Guatemala. Feudal relations began to take shape in Honduras, dominated by large Spanish landholdings. By the early 18th century the economy was based on silver mining, with the main mines located near the future capital, Tegucigalpa. The Indian population was mercilessly exterminated, dying out from hard labor on the plantations and in the gold and silver mines. Indian uprisings did not bring the desired relief to the native population and were brutally suppressed. In the 17th and 18th centuries Spanish colonizers increased the influx of negro slaves from Africa. In the early 19th century Honduras was an arena of struggle in the all-American liberation movement of the Spanish colonies, and on September 15, 1821, it declared its independence from Spain. During this period, political parties began to take shape in Honduras — conservatives, landowners, and liberals, parties of the emerging bourgeoisie — that competed against each other and, in 1821, led to the victory of the conservatives, who succeeded in having Honduras annexed to Mexico. In 1823, Honduras became part of the federation of the United Provinces of Central America. In the federation, however, there was a long-standing struggle between the liberals, who were in favor of a federalist form of government, elimination of the privileges of the clergy and a land reform, and the conservatives, who were in favor of maintaining the privileges of the church and the military and a centralized state. In the civil war that followed, the famous Honduran-born liberal Francisco Morazán Quesada played an important role and became a national hero. In 1829, an army under his command occupied Guatemala City. The federal constitution was restored, and in 1830. Morazán was elected president. Unabated internecine strife led to the dissolution of the federation and in 1838 a declaration of independence of Honduras from Spain was proclaimed, and in January 1839 the first constitution was adopted.

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But the long-awaited freedom did not last long. In 1842-52. Britain gained control of the islands off the coast of Honduras and part of the Mosquito Coast. Fearing the rise of the British, U.S. ruling circles reminded Great Britain of the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty (1850), under which both countries relinquished colonial possessions in Central America. As a result of political struggles, Britain had to return the territories it had seized in 1859. In 1860, with the support of the U.S. government, an American detachment invaded Honduras and was soon destroyed by the local authorities. In 1884 the Americans imposed on Honduras a so-called treaty in which Honduras received a bonded loan in exchange for land for the establishment of banana plantations and railroads. Due to the great demand for bananas in the foreign market, American companies expanded their plantations in Honduras, continuing to build railroads and highways to transport bananas and gradually subjugating other sectors of the country’s economy to their influence. In 1902 the United Fruit Company of the United States (UFCO) plantations were established, and in 1905 the Standard Fruit and Steamship Company interfered with the political and economic life of Honduras, hindering the development of the local economy and infrastructure. Harsh labor conditions on plantations and brutal exploitation of agrarian workers caused riots, which were suppressed by U.S. troops in 1905, 1907, 1911, and 1912. The crisis of 1929-33 sharply worsened the situation of the masses, which sparked a series of new uprisings . With the support of American industrialists, the terrorist dictatorship of T. Carias Andino was established in Honduras, who banned all democratic organizations and gave the United Fruit Company new powers to seize land for plantations in 1935. In 1942, the United States occupied the Suon Islands of Honduras and built an airfield and a radio station there, effectively turning the islands into a military base. The defeat of Nazi Germany and its satellites contributed to the growth of the strike movement and the deployment of mass anti-government and anti-imperialist demonstrations. In 1949, Cariás Andino resigned under pressure from the popular movement; the U.S. apprentice, former Minister of War J. M. Galvez (1949-54), came to power. Under him, the U.S. turned Honduras into a springboard for an armed invasion of Guatemala in 1954. The popular movement became increasingly active. In May 1954, there was a general strike of banana plantation workers, as a result of which the United Fruit Company had to meet workers’ demands. In the presidential elections of 1954, the Liberal R. Viléda Morales won, but under the pressure of the United States the results of the elections were declared invalid and Vice President J. Lozano Diaz became provisional president. Unrest continued in the country. Diaz’s dictatorship lasted two years. In October 1956 the military circles carried out a coup d’etat and within a year a military junta was in power. In the elections of December 1957 Viléda Morales won again. The Morales government had great difficulty in nationalizing a railroad, introducing a labor code, and drafting an agrarian reform law. However, already in 1960 a decree prohibiting democratic publications was adopted and in 1961 diplomatic relations with the revolutionary government of Cuba were severed.

In October 1963 the Morales government was overthrown in a military coup led by Colonel O. Lopez Arellano, commander of the armed forces. In February 1965 the military junta held elections to the National Constitutional Assembly. The conservatives won. In March 1965 the assembly proclaimed López Arellano president. López Arellano repressed democratic organizations, banned political parties (with the exception of the ruling and Liberal parties), and introduced censorship of the press. In July 1969 an armed conflict, instigated by the United States, broke out between Honduras and El Salvador. The consequences of the conflict forced Arellano to liberalize the regime somewhat. In January 1971, the Liberal and Nationalist (Conservative) parties reached an agreement that maintained the two-party system. In June 1971, the conservative Ramon E. Cruz became president.

In November 1981 Honduras returned to civilian rule, but the military maintained a strong influence on politics. The state has had a constitution in place since January 20, 1982.

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Honduras

Honduras Anthem.

Honduras

The red Ara symbol of Honduras. The author of the photo is Maria Fernanda Pavanello.

Honduras is a state in Central America that has been a household name since Soviet times. It is a “banana republic” in the literal sense of the word, with a poor population, high crime rates and frequent shootings. Despite the danger, it attracts extreme adventurers and lovers of unusual places.

And no wonder – Honduras has preserved the ruins of the ancient Mayan civilization and unique pre-Columbian era buildings, hospitably greet guests with colorful Indian settlements, where you can learn the traditions and life of the tribes. Catholic cathedrals and monasteries rise among the low-rise buildings in the town squares. Complementing the picture of tropical nature with picturesque mountains and plains, thick pine forests, full-flowing mountain rivers, mangroves, cozy bays and endless white beaches.

Honduras is also the land of the impossible. Here the president can be removed from power by court order. In addition, in the republic, the president is prohibited from re-election. Also known case, when between Honduras and El Salvador war broke out, the formal occasion for which was a soccer match. The confrontation lasted only 6 days, but during that time several thousand people died.

Was the country named Honduras?

Red Ara, the symbol of Honduras

From Spanish the name of the country translates as “depth”. There is a legend according to which this land was named by the navigator Christopher Columbus during his fourth expedition to the New World in 1502. After a powerful storm that almost sunk his ships, he thanked God for the way out of these depths. In the original his words were, “Gracias a Dios que hemos salido de esas honduras!”

Caracara, Gracias a Dios, Honduras. The author of the photo is Alex Lamarox.

The truthfulness of this legend is unknown, but the eastern cape and the southern department of the country are named Gracias a Dios. Up to the end of the sixteenth century, only the eastern part of the open coast, around the Cape of Grace, was considered the territory of Honduras. Then it was fixed for the whole territory of the country.

In the Soviet era there was a popular ironic saying “the wrong country was called Honduras,” which later became a phraseology and became firmly entrenched in people’s minds. The original authorship is unknown, but the phrase was voiced publicly by Russian TV host and humorist Nikolai Fomenko.

The peculiar attitude toward Honduras can be traced back to the Soviet comedy “Afonja,” where one character says, “Something about Honduras bothers me. Perhaps this expression was the source for further humor.

Caracara, Gracias a Dios, Honduras

The Indian Age.

Toucan, Roatan Island, Honduras. Photo by Don Leslie.

Scholars have very little information about the pre-colonial period of life in Honduras. In ancient times, these lands were inhabited by numerous Amerindian tribes, among them the Maya, Lenca, Hicaca, and others. They were characterized by a primitive communal way of life, and among the occupations were cultivation of the land, fishing and hunting.

In the second century the Maya became the dominant tribe on the fertile plains, forcing other groups to move to the slopes of the mountains. The Maya were very different from other indigenous Indian groups in their level of development. For example, they had a written language, a calendar, and widespread craftsmanship and martial arts. The Maya thoroughly built fortified cities of stone and paved roads, cultivated corn in the fields.

In Honduras the largest example of Maya achievements is preserved – the ancient city of Copan. The mound has long been hidden among the dense forest in the west of the country and was only discovered by archaeologists in 1839. For researchers it is still a mystery, what made the Maya to leave the settled land in the IX century and move to the Yucatan Peninsula in the southern region of modern Mexico.

Toucan, Roatan Island, Honduras

Tomb of Copan

Copan, Honduras. Photo by goodhike.

Copan was the center of a vast ancient Mayan kingdom Shukuup, which also covered the territory of neighboring Guatemala. Today, the ruins are an open-air archaeological museum of 24 square meters.

Copan, Honduras

Archaeologists have restored dwellings, temples and plazas and a ball stadium. In the central part of the settlement there are steles and an architectural complex with palaces and temples, known as the Acropolis. Kopan dynasty lasted about 400 years, during this time the buildings reached an area of 600×300 meters. The buildings of an earlier period are hidden under the later constructions. To the east, part of the terraces of the complex was destroyed by the Kopan River. Archaeologists have changed the course of the river to avoid the subsequent destructive effects of water.

Maya Kingdom, Capán, Honduras. Photo by goodhike.

The stelae depicted both the kings themselves and their predecessors and the gods who guarded the valley. Among the decorations of the stadium are the parrots ara carved in stone and the staircase with the longest inscription in ancient hieroglyphics. Only the first 15 of the 63 steps have survived in the original order, the rest had to be recreated by archaeologists.

Visitors to Copan can also walk through the mysterious tunnels, visit the tomb of the 16th Copan king plundered in ancient times or look into the temple. Also available to visit is the Museum of Mayan Sculpture, which contains sculptures found during excavations and reconstructed fragments of architectural structures. Thus, the temple of Rosalila was fully restored in real size. It was buried in antiquity under later structures. The exact appearance of the building with its painted facades was restored thanks to tunnels eroded by the river.

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The site also contains the residences of Mayan courtiers and noble families, modest dwellings of commoners, and houses of merchants. In addition to steles and altars, the museum in the main square of Ruinas displays ancient jewelry, jadeite and pottery found in the tombs. There are also elements of the equipment of ball players and items for witchcraft, presumably from the burial place of a shaman.

Mayan Kingdom, Qapan, Honduras

Colonial period

Cathedral of San Miguel the Archangel, Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Photo by 2onzeroad.

Honduras is the first land where Europeans set foot in the Americas. In his previous three expeditions, Columbus landed with his crew in the Caribbean islands. Two decades later Cortes, the famous conqueror of Mexico, arrived here with a band of conquistadors searching for gold and silver deposits. Spanish rule was established as a result of the colonization of the country. At the found deposits of precious metals emerged the first European settlements, among which was Tegucigalpa, the future capital of the country.

The locals under the leadership of chief Lempira offered fierce resistance to the Spanish colonizers, but the war was lost. Lempira was killed by the conspirators during the negotiations which resulted in the defeat of the Indians. The national currency was later named after him.

In addition to the colonizers, the Caribbean coast was often raided by pirates. It is believed that the famous pirate Captain Kidd made a stash of looted treasure on one of the islands of Honduras. This story was the basis for the work of Robert Stevenson’s Treasure Island. English runaway convicts arrived here as well.

In the second half of the 16th century, the country was part of the captaincy-general of Guatemala. Large land holdings of Spanish feudal lords were formed here.

By the seventeenth century the economy was centered on the mining of precious metals, with Tegucigalpa as its center. Natives were driven to the mines and plantations. Eventually the Indians were completely exterminated by hard physical labor and bloody rebellions. Then colonizers began importing hardy African slaves.

San Miguel Archangel Cathedral, Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Years of Independence.

Sloth, Honduras. The author of the photo is Brody Bosica.

In the early nineteenth century, the country became a platform for liberation struggles against Spanish colonization throughout the Americas. Honduras declared its independence from Spain in the 1920s, and then, at the initiative of the Conservative Party, the federation became part of the Union of Central American Provinces. The country was plagued by violent civil wars. In 1838 the Central American federation broke up, and all the republics became independent.

Honduras also constantly came into conflict with neighboring countries, and the power struggle between liberals and conservatives repeatedly led to military coups. At the end of the century, foreign investment began to flow into the country, extensive banana plantations were created, railroads and highways were laid, and seaports were equipped.

In the middle of the twentieth century, the state often experienced unrest, strikes by banana plantation workers, and coups d’état when a military junta seized power. The most striking reformer of the liberal party was President Viléda Morales. He nationalized the railroad, introduced a code of workers’ rights, and prepared an agrarian reform. But his rule was short-lived as the government was overthrown in a military coup. The junta suppressed democratic changes in every way, carried out repression of dissenters, and introduced censorship of the press. Only the conservative and liberal parties were allowed in the country.

Also in 1969, there was an armed conflict between El Salvador and Honduras called the “soccer war. The reason for the attack was that the Salvadoran team lost a soccer match. The fighting continued for 6 days, and the death toll ranged from 2 to 7 thousand people.

Today, the government in Honduras has become more liberal, but the strong influence of the military in politics remains. For example, one of the presidents of the country tried to hold a referendum for a second term, but was removed from office by the military, expelled and declared a traitor.

Sloth, Honduras

Life in Honduras.

A hummingbird, Roatan Island, Honduras. Photo by Don Leslie.

Education in Honduras is free and available to all segments of society, but because of the difficult financial situation, most children complete only a few grades. Many of them work from the age of 7 or 8, and most are illiterate and cannot read. Only 31% of all children who should be getting an education are sitting at desks in secondary school. There are only three institutions of higher education, including a school of agriculture and a private university in Tegucigalpa.

Most people on the streets are armed, and stores and banks are guarded by police officers with machine guns. In some areas there are many beggars, cripples, drug addicts, and beggars. Some institutions in the capital, including hostels for travelers, are surrounded by high barbed wire fences for security purposes.

It is dangerous for tourists to be outside at night, so they are sometimes escorted free of charge by armed patrols. During the day there is a risk of robbery, kidnapping and other crimes. Therefore, tourists in Honduras are advised to visit only certain areas and beaches, preferably not alone. When robbed, it is better not to resist, as criminals often act in groups and have weapons. Do not carry large sums of money and jewelry.

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The economy of Honduras relies heavily on exports and remittances from natives who have gone to work in other countries. Honduras exports coffee, seafood, cigars, bananas and tropical fruits, gold, palm oil, fruit, and timber to neighboring countries.

More than half of the population (59%) is below the poverty line and just survives on about a dollar a day. Because of poverty, young Hondurans join gangs that have shootouts. Conflicts here are solved with firearms and machetes. Murders are committed every day and reported on the front pages of the newspapers.

Colibri, Roatán Island, Honduras

Outside the cities.

Comayagua, Honduras. Photo by Adolfo Carranza Pereira.

But Honduras is a unique and diverse state, full of contrasts. Once you leave the big cities, shocking in their way of life, you find yourself in a tropical paradise. Here you can relax on the wide white beaches of the Caribbean Sea, enjoy the coolness of the lush greenery in the national parks and biosphere reserves, swim with dolphins or go on an educational tour to the monuments of the Mayan era. Honduras has bird and iguana parks, thermal springs, and contact zoos. In Comayagua, the convent of San Francisco, which was built in 1584, is open to the public.

There are excursions for tourists to see tankers sunk in local waters and visits to authentic villages of local tribes. The Lenca Indians and the dark-skinned Garifuna people are considered the largest indigenous populations. When visiting small settlements, travelers the opportunity to see the life and living conditions of the Indians, to observe the unusual dance in frightening masks and taste unusual food. Thus, the Yabu Indians bake bread made from finely grinded wood to flour. The locals are very hospitable, friendly, and good-natured.

Comayagua, Honduras

The cultural traditions of Honduras were influenced by the Maya Indians and later by the Catholic Church. Interestingly, certain Catholic saints are venerated in different towns and villages. Numerous carnivals and festivals are held in their honor. The enchanting festivals are accompanied by folk processions, costumed performances, musical performances, rousing dances and fireworks.

La Mosquitia, Honduras. Photo by isttrip1.

The picturesque landscapes are long-remembered – the wild tropical jungle of La Mosquitia, mountain slopes covered with pine and oak forests, grassy savannahs. From the trip, in addition to vivid impressions can bring unusual souvenirs – handicrafts, ceramics, hammocks, mahogany boxes, dolls made of corn, jade figurines, jewelry made of coconut shells, cigars, coffee.

Beach Vacation

La Mosquitia, Honduras

Honduras is little visited by tourists, so here you can enjoy a secluded vacation, admire the unspoiled nature away from the noisy crowds and a break from civilization. The most picturesque beaches are island, scattered near the northern coast and surrounded by the Great Coral Reef. Here you can take part in fishing and snorkeling, admiring the colorful tropical fish, algae

Roatán Island, Honduras. Photo by Susan Hul.

Roatan Island, Honduras

Ecotourism enthusiasts head to the picturesque island of Roatan, where the water is stunningly crystal clear along the coast. Stylish bungalow hotels are set on the shore. At certain times of the year, you can watch baby sea turtles being born here. There are excellent conditions for diving, deep-sea diving, and swimming with dolphins. There are several distinctive settlements on the island, a visit to which will allow you to learn a lot of new information.

Tela, Honduras. Photo by graemefoster.

White sandy beaches with turquoise water stretch around the coast near the town of Tela, which is located next to the Jeanette Kawas National Park. The beaches in Trujillo are also worth a visit. On the northern coast of the Caribbean Sea is the resort of Puerto Cortez. In July, a traditional festival is held there.

Tela, Honduras

National Cuisine of Honduras

Orchata, Honduras. The author of the photo is Nacho Pintos.

It is impossible to visit the country without tasting the local dishes. The cuisine of Honduras also absorbed the Indian and Spanish culinary traditions. The basis of the diet is corn, rice, beans, fish and seafood, meat, and fruit. All dishes are richly seasoned with spices and spicy herbs, which gives them a spicy taste. Popular local dish is clam soup, tender fish dumplings and unusual seafood fritters.

Small restaurants, canteens, and cafes serve tortillas with beans and cheese, and sometimes also with meat. The filling may also contain fruit. In Honduras, a special unsweetened variety of banana is widely used in dishes. It is fried or shredded and served as a garnish to fish or beef. The fried banana slices are called “platanos” and the crispy chips are called “tostones”. Crab, a fruit dessert with pineapple and corn tamales are also worth tasting.

In Honduras, they make unsweetened cakes, the dough for which consists of corn, cheese, and ham. Such a dish is prepared in many establishments in the country. Utensils and cutlery are replaced by maize tortillas. Even first courses are served in them.

Orchata, Honduras

The traditional non-alcoholic drink is the local coffee, but locals can afford only inexpensive varieties. It is also common here to drink Orchata, a sweet, spicy drink made from rice. Fruit drinks diluted with water and coconut milk are also popular. The traditional liqueur guaro is made on the basis of sugar cane. Interestingly, Hondurans do not drink alcohol at home at dinner or lunch. They usually go to a bar where they drink Indian chicha made from sugar cane and pineapple peels, beer, and wine. More than a hundred varieties of rum are also produced in the country.

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