Honduras is a country in northern Central America, bordered to the west by Guatemala and El Salvador, to the south by Nicaragua and the Pacific Ocean and to the north by the Gulf of Honduras and the Caribbean Sea. Belize (formerly "British Honduras") is 75 km away across the Bay of Honduras.
Main article: History of Honduras
Part of Spain's vast empire in the New World, Honduras became a state in the United Provinces of Central America in 1821, and became an independent republic at the demise of the union in 1840.
The Football War of 1969 was fought with El Salvador.
After two and a 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 Nicaraguan government and an ally to Salvadoran government forces fighting against leftist guerrillas.
Hurricane Mitch devastated the country and wrecked its economy in 1998.
Main article: Politics of Honduras
See also: President of Honduras
Main article: Departments of Honduras
Honduras is divided into 18 departments.
Main article: Geography of Honduras
Honduras borders the Caribbean Sea with its north coast and the Pacific Ocean south, by the Gulf of Fonseca. The climate varies from subtropical in lowlands to temperate in mountains. The central and southern regions are relatively less humid than the north coast.
Honduran terrain consists mainly of mountains (80%), but there are narrow plains along the coasts and various locations inland.
Natural resources include timber, gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, iron ore, antimony, coal, fish, and hydropower.
Main article: Economy of Honduras
Honduras spent the year 1999 primarily recovering from Hurricane Mitch, which killed more than 5,000 people and caused about US$3 billion in damage. Although it is slated to receive about US$2.76 billion in international aid, the economy shrank 3% with widening current account and fiscal deficits in 1999. Nevertheless it met most of its macroeconomic targets. Honduras may also get relief from its US$4.4 billion external debt under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. Under the presidency of Ricardo Maduro the economy has grown. That is, its GDP has increased but the distribution of wealth remains very polarized.
Main article: Demographics of Honduras
The population of Honduras is predominantly of Mestizo descent and Roman Catholic faith.
Main article: Culture of Honduras
Main article: Environment, Conservation of biological diversity, and issues in Honduras
The Mesoamerican region, the landmass that extends from Southern Mexico to Panama is known for its high diversity of species, and thus, often called a biodiversity hotspot. Like the rest of the countries in the region, Honduras contains a relatively high diversity of biological resources and indigenous cultures. For instance, it is believed that approximately 6,000-8,000 species of vascular plants are distributed across the country. The number of reptiles and amphibians species recorded so far is around 245; birds can be between 650-700 species, and mammal species are close to 110.
Climate: Geology: Ecosystems: Species: Environmental Issues: Deforestation: Soil erosion: Pollution of water: Air pollution Pollution of soil: Decreasing biodiversity: Poverty and Environmental health: Urban environment: Conservation and sustainable development in recent years 1: Involvement of civil society throughout the NGO movement. Conservation and sustainable development in recent years 2: Special projects funded by International agencies The Cayos Cochinos Archipelago: Spearheading the Protection and Sustainable Use of Valuable Marine Resources in the Honduran Caribbean.
The patron saint of Honduras is the Virgin of Suyapa. One of Honduras' best known writers is Ramón Amaya Amador. Oscar Andres Rodriguez is a Cardinal who is a potential candidate for Pope in the Papal conclave, 2005.
Note: Some of these articles are based on text from the CIA World Factbook 2000 and the U.S. Department of State website.