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Tegucigalpa, banana plantations, Caribbean Sea, Republica, deep waters

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Honduras, country in Central America, extending from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Honduras is a rugged, mountainous country with a fringe of lowlands along the Caribbean coast. Explorer Christopher Columbus landed here in 1506 and named the land Honduras (Spanish for “depths”) for the deep waters off the Caribbean coast. The country’s official name in Spanish is Republica de Honduras. The capital and largest city is Tegucigalpa.

From the 16th century to the early 19th century, Honduras was part of the vast colonial empire of Spain. In the 20th century it came under the influence of big fruit companies from the United States that established banana plantations there. For a long time bananas were the mainstay of the Honduran economy. Although the economy has become more diversified, Honduras remains primarily an agricultural society. Its wealth is controlled by a small minority, and its people are among the poorest in the Western Hemisphere.


For younger readers

Haynes, Tricia. Honduras. Chelsea House, 1998. For readers in grades 4 to 7.

McGaffey, Leta. Honduras. Marshall Cavendish, 1999. In the Cultures of the World series, for readers in grades 5 to 9.


Abrams, Elliot Marc. How the Maya Built their World. University of Texas Press, 1994. A study of the elaborate Maya buildings of Copan, Honduras.

Chamberlain, Robert S. The Conquest and Colonization of Honduras. Octagon, 1967. Solid coverage of Honduras during the early 16th century.

Fash, William L. Scribes, Warriors and Kings: The City of Copan and the Ancient Maya. Thames & Hudson, 1991. An introduction to the ancient Maya civilization that once prospered in the Copan valley of Honduras.

Schulz, Donald E. The United States, Honduras, and the Crisis in Central America. Westview, 1994. A study of relations between Honduras and the United States since 1980.


Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation.

Article key phrases:

Tegucigalpa, banana plantations, Caribbean Sea, Republica, deep waters, agricultural society, mainstay, Western Hemisphere, Caribbean coast, Pacific Ocean, largest city, depths, capital, people, Honduras, Central America, United States, Spanish, century, wealth

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