Spanish sailors referred to the coastal waters as “honduras”, “depths”, as the sea on the coast is very deep and they had to search for a long time before they found a suitable anchorage.
The Central American state of Honduras borders El Salvador in the southwest, Guatemala in the west and Nicaragua in the southeast. In the north and northeast the country borders on the Caribbean Sea, in the southwest it has 80 km of coastline on the Pacific Ocean.
The time difference between Germany and Honduras is -6 hours.
Three quarters of the country is occupied by the Honduran mountains, which culminate in Cerro Las Minas at 2,849 m. The north-south extension is 330 km, the west-east extension 650 km. On the coasts there are swampy lowlands with larger lagoons.
When Christopher Columbus landed on the Caribbean coast in 1502, he met various Indian tribes that were subjugated by the Spanish troops from 1523. The Spaniards were particularly interested in the rich silver and gold deposits. Honduras became part of the General Capitanate of Guatemala until it declared itself independent in 1821. Then it belonged to the Central American Federation. In 1838 Honduras became sovereign. Long-lasting border disputes with Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador, which were also fought with weapons, shaped the time in the 19th century. English pirates and traders also controlled the areathe coastline of the Caribbean until well into the 19th century and maintained bases on the Islas de la Bahía. In the 20th century, the USA intervened in the armed conflict and helped the American company “United Fruit Company” to gain supremacy. From 1920 Honduras was the most important banana exporter in the world. Since the profits remained in the upper class, there were repeated coups. The illegal immigration of thousands of El Salvadorans who illegally appropriated land in Honduras exacerbated the situation in the country. On June 17, 1969, the clashes between Honduras and El Salvador escalated after a qualifying match for the 1970 World Cup in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras. After the riot, Honduras began expelling thousands of illegal immigrants, which in turn prompted El Salvador to invade Honduras. At the end of July, after mediation by the OAS, the Organization of American States, a ceasefire was reached. The final peace agreement did not take place until 1980. The so-called “football war” had already cost 20,000 lives.
Ultimately, constitutional reforms limited the power of the military and stabilized conditions in the country, but one fifth of the state budget is still accounted for by defense.
Flora and fauna
Mangroves grow on the coastlines, otherwise there is an evergreen tropical rainforest with lots of ferns and orchids or cloud forests. There are numerous species of reptiles (snakes, lizards and iguanas). The formerly indigenous animals such as puma, tapirs and mountain cats have been almost exterminated.
In Honduras, large parts of the country are used to grow tropical fruits for export purposes, which is why it is often referred to as the “banana republic”. Bananas are grown in the Caribbean in the northwest on the coastal plains, as well as on the hill country. Another important fruit is the coconut, which is also grown on the Caribbean coast and whose oil and milk are part of many dishes in this area. The trunk and leaves are used to build huts. Visit weddinginfashion for Economy of Central America.
Pitch pine trees and coffee are planted inland. Due to the numerous hurricanes, the expansion and maintenance of the transport system is extremely problematic, which also has a negative effect on trade. 40% of the people live below the poverty line, the majority of the farmers are small farmers who produce May, beans, millet and plantains mostly for their own needs, while large foreign landowners export most of the fruit. Many plantations were devastated by hurricane “Mitch” and the export economy almost came to a standstill. Another popular export item is shellfish. 30% of the workforce is employed in fishing or agriculture. The industry is only of minor importance, mostly agricultural products are processed here. Tourism has meanwhile achieved greater economic importance.
90% of the 8 million residents of Honduras are mestizos, descendants of Europeans and Indians. 7% are pure-blooded Indians, mostly Maya, who mainly live in mountain valleys in the west. On the Caribbean coast you can find many blacks, mulattos and zambos, descendants of Indians and blacks. This population group, who speak English very well in addition to Spanish, makes up around 2% of the population. They had a lot of contact with the English pirates and traders who controlled the coasts until the 19th century.
On the coast in the northeast, named after the Indian tribe of the Misquito, the Indians belonging to the Chibcha family still live according to old traditions. Mayans and their ceremonial buildings can be found mainly in the west on the border with Guatemala.
The predominant religion is Catholicism, 10% of the population belong to Protestant churches.
In addition to the official language Spanish, English is spoken on the Caribbean coast, and the ancient Indian languages in the remote areas of the Maya and Chibcha.
Food and drink
The staple foods include corn, rice, and beans. And tortillas are served with almost every dish – even for breakfast. The menu includes anafre, a starter made from melted cheese and beans, and many soups, such as the sopa de mondongo with beef offal or the sopa de caracol with giant sea snails cut into strips. In the north of Honduras, a lot is prepared with coconut or coconut milk.
You can drink freshly tapped Danli, a corn beer, or the well-known beer made from hops and malt. The high- proof palm wine and the spicy yuscarán (a sugar cane schnapps) should rather be consumed with caution.
To enter Honduras, travelers need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months. No visa is required for stays of less than 90 days.
Current information on vaccinations can be obtained from your family doctor or the website of the Center for Travel Medicine (CRM).
Security / drugs
Current travel advice can also be found at https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/
There is an urgent warning against drug use and trafficking, even in the smallest quantities.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
In Germany https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/
In Austria https://www.bmaa.gv.at/
In Switzerland https://www.eda.admin.ch/
Frequently asked questions about Honduras
What are the entry requirements for Honduras?
German citizens with a passport that is valid for at least 6 months upon entry will usually receive a 90-day residence permit free of charge when entering the airports and borders. For travelers in the so-called CA-4 area (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua), the special rule applies that a tourist stay of a maximum of 90 days (in the entire area!) Is permitted. When entering Honduras from another CA-4 state, travelers will not receive any exit and entry stamps.
What vaccinations do you need to travel to Honduras?
When entering from yellow fever endemic areas, a yellow fever vaccination is mandatory. For short trips to Honduras we recommend vaccination against hepatitis A. For long-term stays you should also be vaccinated against hepatitis B, typhoid and rabies. We definitely recommend taking out health insurance abroad with repatriation.