Honduras, officially the Republic of Honduras (Spanish: República de Honduras) is a country in Central America, bordering Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. To the north, Honduras is bordered by the Caribbean Sea, to the south by the Gulf of Fonseca, part of the Pacific Ocean. The capital and largest city of the country is Tegucigalpa located in the Distrito Central.
When Christopher Columbus set foot in 1502, Honduras was mainly inhabited by Lencas and Mayans. Until 1821 the area was under Spanish rule. For the first few years after independence, it was part of the United States of Central America, which fell apart in 1840. Honduras came under the influence of Guatemala, and later especially the United States. The influence of banana companies in the country became so great that it was referred to as the 'banana republic'. In the twentieth century, democratic and dictatorial rule alternated, and Honduras fought the football war with El Salvador.
The country is divided into eighteen departments and 282 municipalities.
Honduras is located on the isthmus of Central America. The Gulf of Honduras, part of the Caribbean Sea, is located to the north of the country, and to the south, the country has a short coastline with the Pacific Ocean. The eastern point of the country is Cape Gracias a Dios, located where the Coco flows into the Caribbean Sea.
The Bay Islands in the Caribbean Sea and the Islas Santanilla (Swan Islands) are also part of Honduras. The country is mainly mountainous, although there are also low plains in the north and on the coasts.
In Honduras, the nature reserve Río Plátano and Pico Bonito are the national park near La Ceiba with its mountain peak of 2435m altitude.
The capital is Distrito Central, a merger of Comayagüela and Tegucigalpa.
The other municipalities with more than 100,000 inhabitants are: Catacamas, Choloma, Choluteca, Comayagua, Danlí, El Progreso, Juticalpa, La Ceiba, Olanchito, Puerto Cortés, San Pedro Sula, Siguatepeque, Tela and Villanueva.
Honduras is a democracy and a republic. The country is an old colony of Spain and gained its independence in 1821. The current constitution dates from 1982. The country is headed by the president, who is also the head of government. Elections are held every four years. Honduras has a unicameral parliament, the National Congress, consisting of 128 members. There is one member and one deputy member for every 35,000 eligible voters.
The main parties are the conservative or national Partido Nacional de Honduras PNH and the liberal Partido Liberal de Honduras PLH.
On June 28, 2009, President Manuel Zelaya was removed from office. This happened as a result of his decision, declared illegal by the legislator and the judiciary, to call a referendum, in order to be able to decide on the setting up of a constituent assembly to rewrite the constitution. Zelaya's opponents, including Roberto Micheletti, suggested this as a measure to allow for the president's re-election. During the seizure of power by Zelaya's political opponents, in which the army was involved, Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas was also imprisoned. After Zelaya was ousted, several days of violent street riots followed between Zelaya supporters and the security forces.
After elections on November 29, 2009, Porfirio Lobo, then 62, of the National Conservative Party (Conservador Partido Nacional) was sworn in as president on January 27, 2010. His term ended on January 27, 2014. He was succeeded by Juan Orlando Hernández.
Data on population numbers differ. Figures indicate that Honduras has a population size of 5 million to 7 million, and mostly