Honduras lies on the Central America Mainland Bridge. The natural area of the country is characterized by the mountains of the American Cordilleras. Only on the Caribbean coast are there lowlands, the humid plains of the Mosquitia. Due to the tropical climate, large parts of the country are covered by rain and cloud forests. Honduras is a poor developing country and has long been considered a prototype for a dependent banana republic.
As one of the 3 countries starting with H according to COUNTRYAAH, Honduras is located roughly in the middle of the mainland bridge Central America between the Caribbean Sea in the east and the Pacific in the west, to which it has only a narrow entrance (Fonseca Bay).
Neighboring states are Guatemala in the west, El Salvator in the south and Nicaragua in the east. Honduras is just under the size of Greece. Its capital is Tegucigalpa, located in the central highlands.
Honduras consists of more than 70% mountain ranges that belong to the American Cordilleras. Several mountain ranges rise to over 2000 m in the east of the country. Between them lie plateaus and basins, which consist of volcanic soils and are very fertile.
The north-east of the country occupies a wide plain with moist, z. Sometimes swampy lowlands, the so-called mosquitia. The country’s tropical climate is under the constant influence of the northeast trade winds. In the hot, humid, only very sparsely populated lowlands on the Caribbean coast and on the eastern slopes of the mountains, tropical rainforest grows, which turns into cloud forest in the higher mountain regions.
The drier mountain valleys and plateaus in the rain shadow are primarily used for agriculture and are the main settlement areas in the country.
Important data about the country
|112 088 km²
|63 residents / km²
|Growth of population:
|2.3% / year
|Form of government:
|Mixed race 90% (mestizos, mulattos), Indians 7% (mostly Maya), whites 1%
|Spanish as the official language
|Catholics 85%, Protestants 10%
|Tropical alternately humid with year-round precipitation, average temperature in Tegucigalpa in January 19 °C, in May 24 °C
|Forest 34%, pasture land 30%, arable land 16%
|Main export goods:
|Bananas, coffee, sugar, shellfish
|Gross domestic product:
|$ 6,978 million (2003)
(share of GDP, 2003)
|Industry 31%, agriculture 13%, services 56%
|Gross National Product:
|US $ 970 / residents (2003)
Honduras is the poorest developing country on the Central American land bridge with poorly developed industrial production. High foreign debts, a record rate of inflation and an unemployment rate of around 40% characterize the economic situation in the country, in which almost half of the population lives below the poverty line.
In November 1998, Hurricane Mitch wreaked havoc on the Honduran economy for years. With its one-sided economic structure, the country was long regarded as the prime example of a dependent banana republic. Honduras was one of the world’s largest banana exporters. American corporations in particular dominated and still control the banana production on the large plantations on the Caribbean coast. They also largely dominated the country’s economy and had a great influence on the country’s politics and government.
In the meantime the range of agricultural products has become broader and the bananas have been replaced by coffee as the most important export good; Little has changed in the basic economic situation.
In 1502, on the north coast of Honduras, COLUMBUS first set foot on the American mainland. After that, until its independence in 1821, Honduras shared the fate of many countries in Central and South America: subjugation by Spanish conquerors, extensive extermination of the indigenous people, Spanish colony.
But even after gaining state independence, the history of the country has been overshadowed up to the present by border conflicts, rebellions, overturns, the rule of cruel dictators and, not least, by military interventions by the USA to secure its influence.
The so-called “football war” with El Salvator in 1969/70 caused a worldwide sensation. Its real cause was illegal immigrants from the hopelessly overpopulated El Salvator who had taken possession of land in Honduras. The occasion, however, was a lost international soccer match, after which tensions erupted into violent war-like clashes between the two countries.