Honduras Population, Politics and Economy
Population in Honduras
The population is concentrated in the highlands of northwestern Honduras, the area around Tegucigalpa and the Pacific coast in the south. About 90% of the Honduran population is ethnically mestizo, descendants of European colonialists and immigrants, and the country’s indigenous people. The rest of the population is made up of 7% indigenous people, 2% blacks and 1% Europeans.
The Garifuna, who have Indian and black African ancestors, live mainly in coastal villages on the entire Caribbean coast of Honduras, Belize and z. T. Nicaragua and Guatemala. They have retained a completely independent culture and still speak the Garífuna language, which is one of the Arawak languages.
In the interior of the country and in Mosquitia there are still small groups of indigenous people. They have withdrawn to mountain valleys that are difficult to access, where they are cut off from education, health and politics. Some tribes of river Indians roam the forests on the Caribbean coast as hunters and gatherers.
According to directoryaah, the high population growth of 1.7% in Honduras is increasing the rural exodus and causing urban slums to grow. More than half of the population lives below the poverty line, a fifth are illiterate. The poor educational and professional level of education of the population is in turn a reason for the shortage of skilled workers, which hinders development in all areas of society.
Politics and economics in Honduras
According to the 1982 constitution, Honduras is a democratic constitutional state. Separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary are guaranteed. Traditionally, the President, who has extensive powers, plays a predominant role. The president is directly elected by the people for four years. An extension of the term of office is excluded. The unicameral national congress consists of a total of 128 representatives from the political parties. The Supreme Court has nine judges jointly appointed by the government and parliament, and their term of office is seven years. Recent institutional reforms have created a national audit office and a supreme electoral court.
In addition to agriculture on the fields and plantations that make up approx. 12% of the country’s area, forestry is an important branch of the economy in Honduras, but at the expense of the ecological damage to the tropical rainforest and thus the country’s tourism potential. According to ebizdir, the service sector, which also includes tourism, now generates almost 50% of GDP.
With the help of foreign capital and foreign companies, which are primarily interested in the rich deposits of silver, zinc, lead, as well as iron ore, coal, copper and antimony, Honduras has taken the first steps towards industrialization. However, real unemployment in Honduras is 40 percent.
Transport network in Honduras
The road network in Honduras is around 13,600 kilometers long and around 20 percent paved. The Panamericana runs 160 kilometers through Honduras and connects the country with Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador. Weatherproof roads lead from the capital Tegucigalpa to San Pedro Sula, Puerto Cortés, La Ceiba and the most important cities on the Caribbean coast and the Golfo de Fonseca in the south. Driving after dark is not recommended. It is advisable to use off-road vehicles away from the highways. As the main means of public transport, long-distance buses run regularly between the larger cities.
The rail network in Honduras, which was built mainly for the transport of bananas, stretches for almost 700 kilometers along the north coast. There are only three railway lines in the north of the country, but they have not been in operation since 2007. Reconstruction has started and a first section within San Pedro Sula has already been put back into operation.
The mountainous character of the country makes the airplane an important means of transport. Three international airports in Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula and Roatan Island Airport as well as over 100 small airfields are in operation. The domestic airlines connect Tegucigalpa with the country’s provincial cities on a daily basis. There are over 30 airports for business and charter traffic. Even remote regions are regularly served by light aircraft. Lake Yojoa and a number of rivers are navigable. Ferries operate between the ports on the Caribbean and Pacific coasts. From La Ceiba and Puerto Cortés there are connections to the Islas de la Bahía several times a week.
Cities and regions in Honduras
Honduras is divided into 18 administrative districts, so-called Departamentos. The capital and largest city of Honduras with over 1 million residents is the mountain city of Tegucigalpa in the southern part of the country. The city offers some attractions such as the La Leona Park, the Cathedral of St. Archangel Michael of the Archdiocese of Tegucigalpa, the former Presidential Palace, the Basilica of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Suyapa and numerous museums on the history and culture of Honduras.
The largest city in the north and at the same time an important trading center is the city of San Pedro Sula with approx. 640,000 residents. The city serves as a starting point for many different tourist destinations such as the Mayan Copán ruins, Lake Yojoa or the Pulhapanzak waterfalls. Also in a short distance are the towns of Puerto Cortés and Omoa with their long beaches.
(189,000 residents) and Puerto Cortés (65,000 residents) are the largest port cities on the Caribbean coast. La Ceiba is considered the gateway to the Islas de la Bahía.