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Travel Honduras & the Bay Islands

Background:
Once part of Spain's vast empire in the New World, Honduras became an independent nation in 1821. 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 Marxist Nicaraguan Government and an ally to Salvadoran Government forces fighting leftist guerrillas. The country was devastated by Hurricane Mitch in 1998, which killed about 5,600 people and caused approximately $2 billion in damage.
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This is copied from the US CIA The World Factbook on Honduras and as such, is in the "public domain" and not copyrighted. Students and teachers can click here for more information and resources.
Geography
Location:
· Central America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and Nicaragua and bordering the Gulf of Fonseca (North Pacific Ocean), between El Salvador and Nicaragua Geographic coordinates:
· 15 00 N, 86 30 W
Map references:
· Central America and the Caribbean
Area:
· total: 112,090 sq km
· land: 111,890 sq km
· water: 200 sq km
Area - comparative:
· slightly larger than Tennessee
Land boundaries:
· total: 1,520 km
· border countries: Guatemala 256 km, El Salvador 342 km, Nicaragua 922 km Coastline:
· 820 km
Belize map Maritime claims:
· territorial sea: 12 nm
· contiguous zone: 24 nm
· exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
· continental shelf: natural extension of territory or to 200 nm

Climate:
· subtropical in lowlands, temperate in mountains
Terrain:
· mostly mountains in interior, narrow coastal plains
Elevation extremes:
· lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
· highest point: Cerro Las Minas 2,870 m
Natural resources:
· timber, gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, iron ore, antimony, coal, fish, hydropower
Land use:
· arable land: 9.53%
· permanent crops: 3.21%
· other: 87.26% (2005)
Irrigated land:
· 760 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
· frequent, but generally mild, earthquakes; extremely susceptible to damaging hurricanes and floods along the Caribbean coast
Environment - current issues:
· urban population expanding; deforestation results from logging and the clearing of land for agricultural purposes; further land degradation and soil erosion hastened by uncontrolled development and improper land use practices such as farming of marginal lands; mining activities polluting Lago de Yojoa (the country's largest source of fresh water), as well as several rivers and streams, with heavy metals
Environment - international agreements:
· party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
· signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
· has only a short Pacific coast but a long Caribbean shoreline, including the virtually uninhabited eastern Mosquito Coast

Click on this image for a printable version of the map
Click on map to get a printable version

People
Population:
· 7,326,496
· note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
· 0-14 years: 39.9% (male 1,491,170/female 1,429,816)
· 15-64 years: 56.7% (male 2,076,727/female 2,077,975)
· 65 years and over: 3.4% (male 113,747/female 137,061) (2006 est.)
Median age:
· total: 19.5 years
· male: 19.1 years
· female: 19.8 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
· 2.16% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
· 28.24 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
· 5.28 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
· -1.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
· at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
· under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
· 15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
· 65 years and over: 0.83 male(s)/female
· total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
· total: 25.82 deaths/1,000 live births
· male: 29 deaths/1,000 live births
· female: 22.47 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
· total population: 69.33 years
· male: 67.75 years
· female: 70.98 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
· 3.59 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
· 1.8% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
· 63,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
· 4,100 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
· noun: Honduran(s)
· adjective: Honduran
Ethnic groups:
· mestizo (mixed Amerindian and European) 90%, Amerindian 7%, black 2%, white 1%
Religions:
· Roman Catholic 97%, Protestant 3%
Languages:
· Spanish, Amerindian dialects
Literacy:
· definition: age 15 and over can read and write
· total population: 76.2%
· male: 76.1%
· female: 76.3% (2003 est.)

Honduras Flag Government
Country name:
· conventional long form: Republic of Honduras
· conventional short form: Honduras
· local long form: Republica de Honduras
· local short form: Honduras
Government type:
· democratic constitutional republic
Capital:
· Tegucigalpa
Administrative divisions:
· 18 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Atlantida, Choluteca, Colon, Comayagua, Copan, Cortes, El Paraiso, Francisco Morazan, Gracias a Dios, Intibuca, Islas de la Bahia, La Paz, Lempira, Ocotepeque, Olancho, Santa Barbara, Valle, Yoro
Independence:
· 15 September 1821 (from Spain)
National holiday:
· Independence Day, 15 September (1821)
Constitution:
· 11 January 1982, effective 20 January 1982; amended 1995
Legal system:
· rooted in Roman and Spanish civil law with increasing influence of English common law; recent judicial reforms include abandoning Napoleonic legal codes in favor of the oral adversarial system; accepts ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage:
· 18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch:
· chief of state: President Manuel ZELAYA Rosales (since 27 January 2006); First Vice President Elvin Ernesto SANTOS (since 27 January 2006); Second Vice President (vacant); Third Vice President (vacant); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
· head of government: President Manuel ZELAYA Rosales (since 27 January 2006); First Vice President Elvin Ernesto SANTOS (since 27 January 2006); Second Vice President (vacant); Third Vice President (vacant); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
· cabinet: Cabinet appointed by president
· elections: president elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 27 November 2005 (next to be held November 2009)
· election results: Manuel ZELAYA Rosales (PL) elected president - 49.8%, Porfirio "Pepe" LOBO Sosa (PN) 46.1%, other 4.1%
Legislative branch:
· unicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional (128 seats; members are elected proportionally to the number of votes their party's presidential candidate receives to serve four-year terms)
· elections: last held 27 November 2005 (next to be held November 2009)
· election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PL 62, PN 55, PUD 5, PDC 4, PINU 2
Judicial branch:
· Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (judges are elected for seven-year terms by the National Congress)
Political parties and leaders:
· Christian Democratic Party or PDC [Saul ESCOBAR Andrade]; Democratic Unification Party or PUD [Matias FUNES]; Liberal Party or PL [Patricia RODAS]; National Innovation and Unity Party or PINU [Olban F. VALLADARES]; National Party of Honduras or PN [Gilberto GOLDSTEIN]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
· Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Honduras or CODEH; Confederation of Honduran Workers or CTH; Coordinating Committee of Popular Organizations or CCOP; General Workers Confederation or CGT; Honduran Council of Private Enterprise or COHEP; National Association of Honduran Campesinos or ANACH; National Union of Campesinos or UNC; Popular Bloc or BP; United Confederation of Honduran Workers or CUTH
International organization participation:
· BCIE, CACM, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (subscriber), ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
· chief of mission: Ambassador Norman GARCIA Paz
· chancery: Suite 4-M, 3007 Tilden Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
· telephone: [1] (202) 966-7702
· fax: [1] (202) 966-9751
· consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco
· honorary consulate(s): Boston, Detroit, Jacksonville
Diplomatic representation from the US:
· chief of mission: Ambassador Charles A. FORD
· embassy: Avenida La Paz, Apartado Postal No. 3453, Tegucigalpa
· mailing address: American Embassy, APO AA 34022, Tegucigalpa
· telephone: [504] 236-9320
· fax: [504] 236-9037
Flag description:
· three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), white, and blue with five blue, five-pointed stars arranged in an X pattern centered in the white band; the stars represent the members of the former Federal Republic of Central America - Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua; similar to the flag of El Salvador, which features a round emblem encircled by the words REPUBLICA DE EL SALVADOR EN LA AMERICA CENTRAL centered in the white band; also similar to the flag of Nicaragua, which features a triangle encircled by the word REPUBLICA DE NICARAGUA on top and AMERICA CENTRAL on the bottom, centered in the white band

Economy
Economy - overview:
· Honduras, one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere with an extraordinarily unequal distribution of income and massive unemployment, is banking on expanded trade under the US-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and on debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. The country has met most of its macroeconomic targets, and began a three-year IMF Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PGRF) program in February 2004. Growth remains dependent on the economy of the US, its largest trading partner, on continued exports of non-traditional agricultural products (such as melons, chiles, tilapia, and shrimp), and on reduction of the high crime rate.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
· $20.21 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
· $7.842 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
· 4% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
· $2,800 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
· agriculture: 12.7%
· industry: 31.2%
· services: 56.1% (2005 est.)
Labor force:
· 2.54 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
· agriculture 34%, industry 21%, services 45% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate:
· 28% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line:
· 53% (1993 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
· lowest 10%: 0.6%
· highest 10%: 42.7% (1998)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
· 55 (1999)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
· 9.2% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
· 27% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
· revenues: $1.693 billion
· expenditures: $1.938 billion; including capital expenditures of $106 million (2005 est.)
Public debt:
· 70.5% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products:
· bananas, coffee, citrus; beef; timber; shrimp
Industries:
· sugar, coffee, textiles, clothing, wood products
Industrial production growth rate:
· 7.7% (2003 est.)
Electricity - production:
· 4.338 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - consumption:
· 4.369 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
· 0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
· 335 million kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
· 0 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption:
· 37,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
· NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
· NA bbl/day
Natural gas - production:
· 0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
· 0 cu m (2003 est.)
Current account balance:
· $-456 million (2005 est.)
Exports:
· $1.726 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:
· coffee, shrimp, bananas, gold, palm oil, fruit, lobster, lumber
Exports - partners:
· US 54.4%, El Salvador 8.1%, Germany 5.9%, Guatemala 5.4% (2004)
Imports:
· $4.161 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities:
· machinery and transport equipment, industrial raw materials, chemical products, fuels, foodstuffs (2000)
Imports - partners:
· US 37.5%, Guatemala 6.9%, Mexico 5.4%, Costa Rica 4.3%, El Salvador 4% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
· $2.23 billion (2005 est.)
Debt - external:
· $4.675 billion (2005 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
· $557.8 million (1999)
Currency (code):
· lempira (HNL)
Exchange rates:
· lempiras per US dollar - 18.92 (2005), 18.206 (2004), 17.345 (2003), 16.433 (2002), 15.474 (2001)
Fiscal year:
· calendar year

Communications
Telephones - main lines in use:
· 390,100 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
· 707,200 (2004)
Telephone system:
· general assessment: inadequate system
· domestic: NA
· international: country code - 504; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); connected to Central American Microwave System
Radio broadcast stations:
· AM 241, FM 53, shortwave 12 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
· 11 (plus 17 repeaters) (1997)
Internet country code:
· .hn
Internet hosts:
· 4,763 (2005)
Internet users:
· 223,000 (2005)

Transportation
Airports:
· 116 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
· total: 11
· 2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
· 1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
· 914 to 1,523 m: 3
· under 914 m: 3 (2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
· total: 105
· 1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
· 914 to 1,523 m: 19
· under 914 m: 84 (2005)
Railways:
· total: 699 km
· narrow gauge: 279 km 1.067-m gauge; 420 km 0.914-m gauge (2004)
Roadways:
· total: 13,603 km
· paved: 2,775 km
· unpaved: 10,828 km (1999)
Waterways:
· 465 km (most navigable only by small craft) (2005)
Merchant marine:
· total: 131 ships (1000 GRT or over) 356,805 GRT/518,767 DWT
· by type: bulk carrier 9, cargo 66, chemical tanker 6, container 1, liquefied gas 1, livestock carrier 1, passenger 4, passenger/cargo 5, petroleum tanker 27, refrigerated cargo 8, roll on/roll off 2, specialized tanker 1
· foreign-owned: 43 (Canada 1, China 3, Egypt 1, Greece 3, Hong Kong 2, Indonesia 1, Israel 1, Japan 4, South Korea 6, Lebanon 1, Mexico 1, Singapore 12, Taiwan 2, Tanzania 1, Turkey 1, US 2, Vietnam 1) (2005)
Ports and terminals:
· Puerto Castilla, Puerto Cortes, San Lorenzo, Tela

Military
Military branches:
· Army, Navy (includes Naval Infantry), Air Force
Military service age and obligation:
· 18 years of age for voluntary two-three year military service (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
· males age 18-49: 1,448,369 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
· males age 18-49: 955,019 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
· males: 77,399 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
· $52.8 million (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
2.55% (2005 est.)

Transnational Issues
Disputes - international:
· in 1992, International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled on the delimitation of "bolsones" (disputed areas) along the El Salvador-Honduras border, but despite Organization of American States (OAS) intervention and a further ICJ ruling in 2003, full demarcation of the border remains stalled; the 1992 ICJ ruling advised a tripartite resolution to a maritime boundary in the Gulf of Fonseca with consideration of Honduran access to the Pacific; El Salvador continues to claim tiny Conejo Island, not mentioned in the ICJ ruling, off Honduras in the Gulf of Fonseca; Honduras claims Sapodilla Cays off the coast of Belize, but agreed to creation of a joint ecological park and Guatemalan corridor in the Caribbean in the failed 2002 Belize-Guatemala Differendum, which the OAS is attempting to revive; Nicaragua filed a claim against Honduras in 1999 and against Colombia in 2001 at the ICJ over a complex dispute over islands and maritime boundaries in the Caribbean Sea
Illicit drugs:
· transshipment point for drugs and narcotics; illicit producer of cannabis, cultivated on small plots and used principally for local consumption; corruption is a major problem; some money-laundering activity

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