Three horizontal bands of blue, white, and blue with five blue, five-pointed stars in the center; the stars represent the members of the former Federal Republic of Central America - Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua; compare to the flags of Nicaragua and Honduras.

Honduras is a Central American nation with  a short Pacific coast and a long Caribbean coast, including a nearly uninhabited part of the

Mosquito Coast. Honduras is situated between Guatemala and Nicaragua. It borders the Gulf of Fonseca on the Pacific side between El Salvador and Nicaragua.

NAME: República de Honduras. The name has three etymologies: (1) Guaymuras (a town named by Columbus); (2) Higueras (for gourds from the Jicaro tree, that Columbus and his crew saw floating off the coast; (3) Honduras = "depths", when Columbus said: Thank God we have left these "depths"/ honduras. The last etymology is most likely.
POPULATION: 8,000,000 (2010)
ETHNIC GROUPS: Mestizo (90%); Amerindian (7%)
CAPITAL: Tegucigalpa, (1,200,000)
INDEPENDENCE DAY: September 15, 1821 (independence from Spain)
LANGUAGES: Official language: Spanish
RELIGION:   Roman Catholic (97%)
LIFE EXPECTANCY: Men (68); women (71)
GOVERNMENT: Democratic constitutional republic
            President: President Porfirio Lobo Sosa (2010 - present)
            Legislature: Unicameral National Congress
MILITARY: Army, Navy (Naval Infantry), Fuerza Aérea Hondureña, FAH
ECONOMY: Exports: sugar, coffee, textiles, clothing, and wood products.
MONEY: lempiras (HNL); 18.9 HNL / $1.00 USD 
GEOGRAPHY: Honduras is mostly mountainous in the interior, and it has narrow coastal plains by the Caribbean and the Pacific. It is subtropical in the lowlands and temperate in the mountains.

Honduras’ national bird is the Scarlet Macaw. It is native to the lowland humid evergreen tropical forest regions in the Americas, from southern Mexico to the Amazonian basin in eastern Peru and throughout Brazil. It has been widely exterminated by capture by human beings for the pet trade and by destruction of its habitat. According to Lora Kim Joyner (liberatingwings.com) only 200 Scarlet Macaws remain in the wild in the Maya Biosphere near Flores and Tikal. The bird measures up to 36 inches long, and it can weigh up to 2.5 pounds. Half of the Macaw’s length is made up by its typical pointed tail. Feathers are mostly scarlet, but its rump and and tail feathers are light blue; its upper wings are are yellow; the upper sides of the flight feathers and the tips of its tail feathers are dark blue; the bottom sides of its wings and tail feathers are dark red with a golden glow. Thay make loud, squawks, squeaks and screams in their throats, and their cries can reach many miles away.





11,000 BCE (or up to 34,000 BCE): pre-Colombian settlers

300BCE-900CE       Honduras was at the southern edge of the Mayan civilization including the important center at Copán.

1502             Columbus coasted along the Caribbean shores of Honduras. He landed at a place on the middle of the northern coast he named Punta de Caxinas, and he called the region of the coast Golfo de Honduras (“depths”) because the water was so deep in this area. (What is the HUM 2461 term for this process?)

1524             Hernán Cortés ordered a town named Triunfo de la Cruz (“triumph of the cross;” why this name?) built near Punta de Caxinas. The name Triunfo de la Cruz was later changed to Trujillo, which became Honduras’ first capital. Because of pirate attacks along the coast, the capital was moved to Comayagua in 1540: find it 80 miles NW of Tegucigalpa.

1525             Cortés came to Honduras on his disastrous expedition with the Aztec emperor Cuauhtémoc looking for gold and adventure.

1539             Pedro de Alvarado completed Spanish control over Guatemala and Honduras under his command.

1540             The capital of this part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain (Nueva España) was moved to Santiago de Guatemala (now called Antigua Guatemala), but Honduras retained its own local capital.

1821             Honduras became independent from Spain.

1821-1838    Honduras became part of the United Provinces of Central America.

1880             The capital was moved to Tegucigalpa, Honduras’ current capital.

1929             United Fruit Company (of USA) became major owner of land and produce in Honduras.

1932-1948    Dictatorship of Tiburcio Carías.

1960-1982    Military dictatorships ruled the country.

1982             Democratic elections were held, and the current Constitution was promulgated.

1995             Honduras joined the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), a free-trade zone.

1998             A hurricane devasted the country killing nearly 6,000 people.

2006             President Manuel Zelaya Rosales was elected president.

2009             Coup d’état (golpe de estado) by military against President Zelaya. Announced reason: military, congress, and courts were opposed to a referendum President Zelaya attempted to hold ostensibly so that he could run for president again when his current term was up in January, 2010 (Honduras has one four-year term limits for presidents).

2010             Porfirio Lobo Sosa (b. 1947) becomes President; Manuel Zelaya begins exile in La República Dominicana; President Lobo authorizes amnesty for Zelaya and his alleged crimes.



            Christian Democratic Party (PDC)

            Democratic Unification Party (PUD)

            Liberal Party (PL)

            National Innovation and Unity Party (PINU)

            National Party of Honduras (PN; center-right conservative)



A Honduran is known familiarly in Spanish as catracho /-a. The word comes from Nicaraguans who referred to hondureños by the last name of French Honduran Gen. Florencio Xatruch. This general led the Honduran army against the invasion by American adventurer William Walker in 1857.