Capital | Tegucigalpa
Population | 8,143,564 (July 2011 est.)
Area | 112,090 SQ KM
Official Language | Spanish
Holidays | Independence Day, 15 September (1821)
Currency | Lempira (HNL)
Time Zone | UTC -6
Best Time to Visit | May to June for the festivals.
Connecting with the Culture | Diving in the warm, crystal-clear waters of Islas de la Bahía. Fossicking through the pyramids and temples of Copán Ruinas. Visiting the Spanish colonial mountain town of Garcias. Experiencing the spectacular cloud forest of Parque Nacional Celaque. Exploring the Río Plátano biosphere at La Mosquitia, where monkeys, toucans and jaguars roam the forests. Taking the eight-hour boat ride up the Río Plátano to Las Marías through virgin rainforest.
Read | El Gran Hotel by Guillermo Yuscarán (one of Honduras’ most celebrated writers) or The Soccer War by Ryszard Kapuscinski, which is about the 100-hour war between Honduras and El Salvador known as the Guerra de Fútbol (The Football War).
Listen | to Garífuna band Los Menudos.
Watch | El Espiritu de mi Mama (Spirit of my Mother) directed by Ali Allie, about a young Garífuna woman.
Eat | coconut bread or casaba (a crispy flat bread common throughout the Caribbean).
Drink | Port Royal or Salva Vida beer.
In a Word | Buenos Dias (good day)
Characteristics | The Mosquito Coast; inexpensive diving; Copán Ruinas; the brief Football War; howler monkeys.
Surprises | Islas de la Bahía form part of the second-largest barrier reef in the world; Honduras is experiencing the most rapid urbanization in Central America.
NEWS ABOUT HONDURAS
Honduras Teachers, Doctors on Strike
(HN, 7/4/12) - Thousands of public-sector doctors & teachers protested in the Honduran capital for a 2nd day against a delay in payment of their salaries in June. The government “has not paid the majority of teachers the salary they are owed for this month,” union leader Orlando Mejia told reporters. More than 2.5 million public-school students missed classes Monday & Tuesday due to the strike of some 61,000 teachers, who are paid an average monthly wage of $350. In a statement, teachers demanded that “President Porfirio Lobo meet payment dates of the 20th of each month.” They also complained about getting bank deposits many days after deposit dates. The doctors’ strike also seeks payment of a wage adjustment for the 1st half of 2012, & comes on top of a month-long walkout by 2,600 auxiliary nurses. (Read more at the Tico Times)