Background: Formerly part of Spain’s vast New World holdings, Honduras became independent in 1821. After two and a half decades of predominantly military regimes, a freely elected civilian government came to power in 1982. During the 1980s. Honduras supported the anti-Sandinista rebels who fought against the Marxist government of Nicaragua and was an ally of the Salvadoran government in its fight against the guerrillas. Geography
Location: Central America, Caribbean coast between Guatemala and Nicaragua, and Pacific coast between El Salvador and Nicaragua.
Geographical coordinates: 15° 00′ N. latitude, 86° 30′ W e.
Reference map: Central America and the Caribbean.
Area: total: 112,090 km2; land surface area: 111,890 km2; water surface area: 200 km2
Comparative area: somewhat smaller than Tennessee.
Land borders: total: 1,520 km; with neighboring states: with Guatemala 256 km, with El Salvador 342 km, with Nicaragua 922 km.
Coastline: 820 km.
Maritime claims: neutral waters: 24 nautical miles; continental shelf: natural limits of the water area or 200 nautical miles; exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: subtropical in the plains, temperate in the mountains.
Relief: predominantly mountainous inland, narrow coastal plains.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m; highest point: Mount Las Minas 2,870 m.
Natural resources: timber, gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, iron ore, antimony, coal, fish, hydropower.
Land use: arable land: 15%; cultivated land: 3%; pastures: 14%; forests and plantations: 54%; others: 14% (1993 est.).
Irrigated lands: 740 km sq. (1993 est.).
Natural hazards: frequent but mostly weak earthquakes; devastating hurricanes and floods along the Caribbean coast.
Current environmental issues: urban population growth; reduction in forest area as a result of logging and land clearing for agricultural purposes; further pollution and soil erosion is accelerated by uncontrolled tillage and land mismanagement such as badlands cultivation; pollution of Lake Yohoa (which is the largest source of fresh water in the country) by mining enterprises, as well as pollution of some rivers and streams with heavy metals; Hurricane Mitch caused severe damage to the environment.
International agreements on environmental protection: member: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Pollution, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 1983, Tropical Timber 1994, Wetlands; signed but not ratified: no.
Note to the section “Geography”:
Population: 6,406,052; note: estimates for this country take into account rising AIDS deaths; due to the spread of AIDS, life expectancy, population size and population growth may actually be lower, and child mortality and overall mortality rates correspondingly higher; there may also be changes in age structure and sex ratios (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 42.22% (male 1,381,813; female 1,322,684); 15 to 64 years old: 54.21% (male 1,719,593; female 1,753,003); over 65: 3.57% (male 108,271; female 120,678) (2001 est.)
Population growth: 2.43% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 31.94 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 5.52 deaths/1000 people (2001 est.).
Migration: -2.12 people / 1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male/female; under 15: 1.04 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 0.98 male/female; over 65: 0.9 male/female; for the general population: 1 male/female. (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 30.88 deaths/1000 newborns (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 69.35 years; men: 67.51 years; women: 71.28 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 4.15 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 1.92% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 63,000 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: 4,200 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Honduran; adjective: Honduran.
Ethnic groups: mestizos (descendants of Indians and Europeans) 90%, Indians 7%, blacks 2%, whites 1%.
Believers: Catholic 97%, Protestant minority.
Language(s): Spanish, Indian dialects.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 72.7%; men: 72.6%; women: 72.7% (1995 est.). State Name:
conventional long form: Republic of Honduras;
conventional short form: Honduras; local long form: Republica de Honduras local short form: Honduras.
State structure: democratic constitutional republic. See a2zgov.com to know more about Honduras government and politics.
Administrative divisions: 18 departments: Atlantis, Valle, Gracias a Dios, Intibuca, Islas de la Bahia, Yoro, Colon, Comayagua, Copan, Cortes, La Paz, Lempira, Ocotepeque, Olancho, Santa Barbara, Francisco Morazan, Choluteca, El Paraiso. Independence on September 15, 1821 (until 1821 – a colony of Spain).
National holiday: Independence Day, September 15 (1821).
Constitution: adopted January 11, 1982, entered into force January 20, 1982; amended 1995.
Legal system: derived from Roman and Spanish civil law, growing influence of English common law; recent judicial reforms eliminated the use of the Napoleonic Code in judicial practice and introduced an adversarial judicial system; subject to the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal and mandatory.
chief of state: President Carlos Roberto FLORES Facus-se (since 27 January 1998); note – the president is both head of state and head of government;
head of the government: President Carlos Roberto FLORES Facusse (since January 27, 1998); note – the president is both head of state and head of government;
Government: cabinet appointed by the president; elections: the president is elected by popular vote for a term of 4 years; elections last held 30 November 1997 (next to be held 25 November 2001); election results: Carlos Roberto FLORES Facusse elected president; Percentage of votes won: Carlos Roberto FLORES Facusse (PL) 50%, Nora de MELGAR (PNH) 40%, others 10%.
Legislature: unicameral National Congress (128 seats; members elected by popular vote for 4-year terms); elections: elections last held on 30 November 1997 (next to be held on 25 November 2001); election results: distribution of votes between parties: PL 46%, PN 38%, PINU-SD 4%, PDC 2%, PUD 2%; distribution of seats among parties: PL 67, PN 55, PINU-SD 3, PDC 2, PUD 1.
Judiciary: Supreme Court, judges are elected for 4 years by the National Congress.
Political parties and leaders: Christian Democratic Party (PDC) (Efrain DIAZ Arrivillaga, President); Democratic Unification Party (PUD) (Marias FUNES Valladares, President); Liberal Party (PL) (Carlos Roberto FLORES Facusse); National Renewal and Unity Party-Social Democratic Party (PINU-SD) (Olban VALLADARES, president); National Party of Honduras (PN) (Carlos URBIZO, president).
Political influence groups and their leaders: Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Honduras (CODEH); Confederation of Honduran Workers (STN); Coordinating Committee of People’s Organizations (CCOP); General Confederation of Workers (CGT); Honduran Council for Private Enterprise (SONER); National Association of Honduran Peasants (ANACH); National Union of Peasants (UNC); People’s Bloc (BP); United Federation of Honduran Workers (FUTH).
Participation in international organizations: BCIE, CACM, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), MINURSO, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO.
Diplomatic representation in the USA: Head of Mission: Ambassador Hugo NOE PINO; office: Suite 4-M, 3007 Tilden Street NW, Washington, DC 20008; phone:  (202) 966-7702; fax: [\) (202) 966-9751; consulates general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico); consulates: Boston, Detroit, Jacksonville.
US Mission: Head of Mission: Ambassador Frank ALMAGUER; Embassy: Avenida La Paz, Apartado Postal No. 3453, Tegucigalpa; postal address: American Embassy, APO AA 34022, Tegucigalpa; phone:  238-5114, 326-9320; fax:  236-9037.
Flag Description: three equal horizontal bands of blue (top and bottom) and white with five blue five-pointed stars arranged in an X in the center of the white band; the stars symbolize the members of the former Federal Republic of Central America: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua; reminiscent of the flag of El Salvador, which has a round emblem in the center of the white stripe, along the edge of which is the inscription REPUBLICA DE EL SALVADOR EN LA AMERICA CENTRAL; also resembles the flag of Nicaragua, on which a triangle is placed in the center of the white stripe, surrounded by the inscriptions REPUBLICA DE NICARAGUA above and AMERICA CENTRAL below.