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Honduras

Location     Size     Currency     Different Holidays     The Flag     Ethnic Groups     Safety

The Country

Location

Honduras is in Central America, bordering Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. 

Size

It is a little bigger in land mass than Tennessee with large, sharp mountains jutting into the blue sky. 

Currency

  • The Honduran currency is the lempira, and it is named after an Indian chief that fought to death against the Spanish conquerors. It is assumed that a lempira bill has an image representing the face of the legendary chief Lempira, but instead contains the image of an American Red Indian.

Different Holidays

  • September 10th is Children’s Day (Dia del Niño)
  • September 15th is celebrated as Independence Day (Dia de Independencia) in Honduras, which coincides with that of the other countries in Central America.
  • Father's Day is celebrated in March, not in June.
  • New Year's Eve is celebrated with the 'burning man' (scarecrow filled with fireworks - representing the old passing away and the new year).
  • Instead of just Good Friday and Easter, Honduras celebrates Semana Santa or Holy Week.  Most people travel to be near some body of water and go swimming, yet there are colorful carpets made of sawdust in the main cities and a religious procession. 
Burning Man Sawdust carpets

The Flag

  • In the central stripe there are five blue stars representing the five republics of Central American Union, and the central star represents Honduras.

 

Honduran Flag
Map of Honduras by departments

 

The People

Ethnic Groups

Honduras is blessed with a population of great ethnic diversity.

  • The predominant ethnic group in Honduras are the "mestizo" - people of mixed native and European (mostly Spanish) ascent.  Mestizos account for over 93% of the population of Honduras. 
  • There are several other minority ethnic groups.  Amongst them are people who descend from native tribes that were in our territory before the Spanish arrived:  Lencas, Chortís, Tolupanes, Pech, Tawahkas, and Miskitos. 
  • There is also another important group, called the Garífunas, who descend from African slaves from the Caribbean islands and are a relatively recent addition to the Honduran family.
  • There are many people of Afro-Caribbean ascent living in The Bay Islands.

 

Safety in Honduras

The U.S. State Dept. lists Honduras as a very dangerous place with lots of murders. The vast majority of violence is either within the drug community or domestic violence within families. North Americans visiting or volunteering in Honduras are rarely subject to violence. The vast majority of people who are victims of violence in Honduras fall into one of these categories: those involved with drugs or drug related people; those in romantic relationships with a married person; and those who make poor decisions with respect to social activities in bars or clubs. Theft is another issue.  We advise people to be 'street smart' (similar to how you prepare and behave in NYC or Boston).  This includes keeping expensive items and money out of sight, locking car doors, and being aware of your surroundings at all times. 

 

 

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Marcy Fenn

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