Honduras Travel Information

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Honduras > Map Economy History

Facts About Honduras

Background: Part of Spain's vast empire in the New World, Honduras became an independent nation in 1821. After two and one-half decades of mostly military rule, a freely elected civilian government came to power in 1982. During the 1980s, Honduras proved a haven for anti-Sandinista contras fighting the Marxist Nicaraguan Government and an ally to Salvadoran Government forces fighting against leftist guerrillas.
Government type: democratic constitutional republic
Capital: Tegucigalpa
Currency: 1 lempira (L) = 100 centavos

Geography of Honduras

Location: Middle America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and Nicaragua and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between El Salvador and Nicaragua
Geographic coordinates: 15 00 N, 86 30 W
total: 112,090 sq km
land: 111,890 sq km
water: 200 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 1,520 km
border countries: Guatemala 256 km, El Salvador 342 km, Nicaragua 922 km
Coastline: 820 km
Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: natural extension of territory or to 200 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate: subtropical in lowlands, temperate in mountains
Terrain: mostly mountains in interior, narrow coastal plains
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Cerro Las Minas 2,870 m
Natural resources: timber, gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, iron ore, antimony, coal, fish, hydropower
Land use:
arable land: 15%
permanent crops: 3%
permanent pastures: 14%
forests and woodland: 54%
other: 14% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 740 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: frequent, but generally mild, earthquakes; damaging hurricanes and floods along Caribbean coast
Environment - current issues: urban population expanding; deforestation results from logging and the clearing of land for agricultural purposes; further land degradation and soil erosion hastened by uncontrolled development and improper land use practices such as farming of marginal lands; mining activities polluting Lago de Yojoa (the country's largest source of fresh water) as well as several rivers and streams with heavy metals; severe Hurricane Mitch damage.
Environment - international agreements:
party to:  Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: has only a short Pacific coast but a long Caribbean shoreline, including the virtually uninhabited eastern Mosquito Coast.

More Geography

People of Honduras

About 90% of the population is mestizo. There also are small minorities of European, African, Asian, Arab, and indigenous Indian descent. Most Hondurans are Roman Catholic, but Protestant churches are growing in number. Spanish is the predominant language, although some English is spoken along the northern coast and is prevalent on the Caribbean Bay Islands. Several indigenous Indian languages and Garifuna (a black Caribe/African language) also are spoken. The restored Mayan ruins near the Guatemalan border in Copan reflect the great Mayan culture that flourished there for hundreds of years until the early 9th century.

Population: 6,975,204 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  42.22% 
15-64 years:  54.21% 
65 years and over:  3.57% 
Population growth rate: 2.16% 
Birth rate: 31.94 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 5.52 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: -2.12 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 30.88 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  69.35 years
male:  67.51 years
female:  71.28 years 
Total fertility rate: 4.15 children born/woman 
noun: Honduran(s)
adjective: Honduran
Ethnic groups: mestizo (mixed Amerindian and European) 90%, Amerindian 7%, black 2%, white 1%
Religions: Roman Catholic 97%, Protestant minority
Languages: Spanish, Amerindian dialects
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 72.7%
male: 72.6%
female: 72.7% (1995 est.)

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Honduras > Map Economy History