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Wednesday, 22 July 2015


Christopher Columbus became the first European to visit Honduras when he landed at Guanaja in the Bay Islands off the country's coast on July 30, 1502, during his fourth voyage.

Honduras literally means "depths" in Spanish. The country's name may refer to Columbus's alleged quote that "Gracias a Dios que hemos salido de esas Honduras" ("Thank God we have departed from those depths").

Honduras became independent from Spain in 1821 and was for a time part of the First Mexican Empire until 1823 when it became part of the United Provinces of Central America federation. After 1838 it was an independent republic and held regular elections.

In the late nineteenth century thousands of workers came to the north coast of Honduras to work in the banana plantations. The banana exporting companies built an enclave economy in northern Honduras, controlling infrastructure and creating self-sufficient, tax exempt sectors that contributed relatively little to economic growth. In 1904 writer O. Henry coined the term "Banana republic" to describe Honduras.

In 1969 Honduras and El Salvador fought what would become known as the Football War. The relationship between the two neighbors was already acrimonious and reached a low when El Salvador beat Honduras in an elimination match as a preliminary to the World Cup. Tensions escalated and on July 14, 1969 the Salvadoran army launched an attack on the Honduran army. After the week-long war as many as 130,000 Salvadoran immigrants were expelled.

Honduras had a population of 8,143,564 in 2011. The population comprises 90% Mestizo (mixed Amerindian and European), 7% Amerindian, 2% Black, 1% White.

Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world. There were a total of 7,172 murders in Honduras in 2012, a rate of 90.4 per 100,000 population.

San Pedro Sula in Honduras was the most dangerous city in 2015 with a homicide rate of 171 in 100,000.

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