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is a Spanish word that literally translates to "depths." However, there
is some doubt that this is the origin of the country name as some people contend
the origin comes from the Leonese (a Spanish dialect) word fondura, which
means "anchorage" and was originally given to the area around Trujillo.
The entire region of Honduras was not called so until the late 1500s.
WARNING: Violence is rampant
in Honduras, please read this travel
warning before going!
Honduras is full of rivers, which makes life in the region quite livable. The land
is also fertile due to the rains and these rivers as most of the people live close
to these waterways in the northwest where the land is flatter and more easily accessible.
This land is the base of the people's culture as the people in the past and
today have been heavily reliant on agriculture.
Prior to the arrival of the Spanish the region was home to very colorful and diverse
people, most of whom were related to the Mayans. These people spoke numerous languages,
dressed in various styles, lived differing lifestyles, and had a wide selection
of foods from the region. However, this diversity was forever altered, if not destroyed,
with the arrival of the Spanish.
The flag of Honduras is based off
the former flag of Central America; the two blue bands represent the Pacific Ocean
and Caribbean Sea, while the white stripe is for the land in the middle, as well
as the peace and prosperity of the people. In the middle there are five stars, each
representing one of the former members of the Federal Republic of Central America:
Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
Name: Republic of Honduras
Independence: September 15, 1821
Population: 8,448,465 (2013 estimate)
Ethnicity: Mestizo & others
Religion: Roman Catholic
Spanish culture quickly overtook the indigenous cultures due to the rapid spread
of European diseases, which killed many of these people. For those who survived,
many were killed in wars with the Spanish. Most of the surviving locals intermarried
the Spanish and today almost the entire country is "mestizo," which is
a combination of these people. However, the culture that exists today is heavily
influenced by the Spanish with only small details reminding people of the indigenous
cultures. The most pronounced aspects of these past cultures come in the form of
food, language, and dress, but only to a small degree. The Spanish culture dominated
in the form of lifestyle, religion (Catholicism), and language as nearly everyone
in Honduras today speaks Spanish.
The Spanish also brought in slaves from Africa for a brief period of time, but just
as this began the economy declined so there are few African influences in the country,
although in some areas there tends to be a bit of a Caribbean flair, which was also
inspired by African cultures and influences. Honduras began to grow economically
when the banana industry expanded; this led to another massive shift in the culture
and way of life for the people as most jobs shifted to this industry.
The banana industry changed the culture in Honduras forever by putting most of the
people in the fields planting and picking this food as foreign countries, primarily
the United States, spent millions of dollars to build up the country's infrastructure
to transport the bananas. Communication and transportation vastly improved, but
so too did foreign dominance as historic cultural aspects were forgotten in place
of financial gain or mere survival for some. Today, the people are regaining control
over their country and re-introducing many historic aspects of their culture, but
agriculture continues to dominate the economy and lifestyle.
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