Honduras is a small country in Central America that is bordered by Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. The region was controlled by Spain from the 16th century until independence was achieved through the Mexican Empire in 1821. Honduras left this empire and became a sovereign nation in 1838. Let’s take a look at some more fun facts about Honduras.
Interesting Facts About Honduras
The total land area of Honduras is 112,492 km2 (43,278 sq mi). The country has a population of approximately 7.5 million. Although these figures are small by world standards it is actually the 2nd largest country in Central America in terms of area and population!
After independence he capital city of Honduras switched between Tegucigalpa and Comayagua until 1880 when Tegucigalpa was officially declared the permanent capital city by the president. Tegucigalpa is also the largest city in the country with a metropolitan population of approximately 1.3 million.
Spanish is the official language of the country and is spoken by 94% of the population as a first language. English and a number of other native languages are also recognised as regional languages.
The national flower of Honduras is the orchid Rhyncholaelia digbyana. The national tree is the Honduras Pine. The national mammal is the White-tailed Deer and the national bird is the Scarlet Macaw.
The national flag consists of 3 horizontal stripes (bottom and top are blue with a white center stripe) and five stars which represent the 5 countries of the Central American Union (Honduras is represented by the center star).
One of the most important ingredients in Honduran cuisine is coconut, which is used in both sweet and savory foods.
Most Hondurans identify as Roman Catholic and this is the most common religion.
In 1998 Hurricane Mitch caused devastation to Honduras leaving more than 14,000 dead and causing more than $3.8 billion of damage. This hurricane was a category 5 storm (the strongest on the scale) and brought a massive amount of rain and a large storm surge. The hurricane damaged crops, up to 80% of the country’s transport systems, caused flooding and mudslides, and destroyed entire villages!
The most popular sport in Honduras is football (soccer) and the national team has qualified for 2 World Cup Finals. The top national league of Honduras was founded in 1964 and has 10 teams. Club Deportivo Olimpia is the most successful team with 25 championships as of 2012.
In 1969 growing tensions between Honduras and El Salvador led to a war after El Salvador beat Honduras in a World Cup qualifying match. This is now known as the Football War. The fighting only lasted 4 days, but over 3000 people lost their lives in the conflict.
The country is mountainous, but there are narrow plains along the coast. The climate of the country is tropical in the lowlands with cooler weather at higher altitudes. The country is home to a number of plant and animal species and many regions are now protected. The most famous of these is the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve, which was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982.
The literacy rate in Honduras in about 84% with a school enrollment rate of 94%. However, the school completion rate may be as low as 40%.