Honduras is known throughout the world for its coffee, bananas, pineapples, and palm. Tourists journey to Honduras’ Bay Islands for scuba diving, and, recently, Honduras has begun to take part in the eco-tourism boom as outsiders begin to appreciate the country’s beauty.
Despite its natural resources and the potential of its 8.5 million people, the country faces a number of serious challenges. Income inequality in Honduras is the highest of any Latin American country. Many Hondurans lack meaningful employment opportunities. Almost 70% of Hondurans earn less than $1,200 a year, and one in five Hondurans living in rural areas live in extreme poverty, earning less than $700 each year—less than $1.90 per day.
Education for most lasts only until the sixth grade, with 90% of students repeating a grade. Often, teachers have to teach up to six grades at one time. Each year, 100,000 primary school students drop out to help their family economically, and only 30% of Honduran children ever attend high school. Far fewer graduate.
Finally, Honduras’ homicide rate topped the world for part of the last decade, and while the rate no longer leads the world, the threat of violence affects millions of lives on a daily basis.
other honduras facts
- "Honduras" literally means "great depths". The name is attributed to Christopher Columbus, who is said to have been referencing the deep waters just off the coast.
- The five stars on the Honduran flag represent the five countries of Central America.
- More than 50% of the country lives below poverty levels.
- Honduran money is called the Lempira, named after a native who died fighting the Spaniards.
- Honduras is 80% mountainous.
- The Bay Islands sit on the second largest coral reef in the world.