The name of the country means "depths.
Regional traditions exist in the south Choluteca and Valle and the north coast as well as among the minority ethnic groups. All these people self-identify as Hondurans, however. Spanish-speaking people in the center of the country are the most numerous and are culturally dominant. They do not use a special name to refer to themselves or their region. Location and Geography. The nation has an area of 43, milessquare kilometers. Honduras is in the middle of Central America.
The physical environment is tropical, with a long dry season six months or more in the south and the interior and a shorter dry season in the north. The center of the country originally was covered with pine and broadleaf forests of oak and other trees, but much of the pine forest has been logged and much of the oak forest has been cut for farming. The north coast was once primarily chat hondureno forest, but much of it has been cleared for commercial banana plantations.
The northeast is called the Mosquitia. It includes the "Mosquito Coast," which is actually a long series of white sand beaches and freshwater lagoons. Inland from the coast, the Mosquitia has one of the last great stands of tropical rain forest left in North America, plus pine woods and grasslands.
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Different ethnic groups live in specific environments. The Miskito and Tawahka people live in the rain forests of the eastern lowlands, and in similar lands in neighboring areas of Nicaragua. The Pech and Jicaque people live in some of the more remote areas in the central highlands.
Hispanic-Hondurans live in the north, south, and center of the country.
The capital city, Tegucigalpa, was chosen because it is near the geographic center of the country. It completely fills a small, deep valley in the headwaters of the Choluteca River, in the central highlands. Honduras had a population of 5, in Inthe population was only 93, The pre-Hispanic population was probably much higher, but conquest, slavery, and disease killed many people.
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The population did not reach one million until The Lenca language is extinct, and culturally the Lenca are similar in many ways to the other Spanish-speaking people in the country. The Lenca population is about one hundred thousand. The Jicaque group in Yoro is much larger and has been almost completely assimilated into the national culture. They speak a Macro-Chibchan language and have a population of under three thousand. The Tawahka are a native chat hondureno chat hondureno the department of Gracias a Dios in the Mosquitia. Tawahka is a Macro-Chibchan language that is very closely related to Sumo, which is spoken in Nicaragua.
Most Tawahkas also speak Misquito and Spanish.
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The Tawahka population is about seven hundred. The Misquitos are a native people with some African and British ancestry who reside in the department of Gracias a Dios in the Mosquitia. Misquito is a Macro-Chibchan language, although most Misquitos speak fluent Spanish. The Misquito population is about thirty-four thousand. They originated on the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent during colonial chat hondureno from escaped slaves who settled among a group of Arawak-speaking Carib Indians and adopted their native American language.
The Bay Islanders are an English-speaking people who are long settled in the Caribbean. Some are of African descent, and some of British descent. The Bay Islanders population is about twenty-two thousand. Linguistic Affiliation. Spanish is the dominant national language. Although originally imposed by the conquistadores, it has been widely spoken in Honduras for over two hundred years. Almost all residents speak Spanish, although some also speak English or one of the Native American languages discussed in the chat hondureno.
Honduran Spanish has a distinct accent. Hondurans use some words that are not heard in other Spanish-speaking countries, and this gives their speech a distinctive character. In spite of the war with El Salvador and tense relations with Nicaragua, the Honduran people feel that they are chat hondureno of a larger Central American community. There is still a sense of loss over the breakup of Central America as a nation.
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Factory goods are not labeled "made in Honduras," but "Central American product, made in Honduras. Some people complain that there is little point celebrating independence from Spain, since Honduras has become virtually a colony of the United States.
ByColumbus Day had become a day of bereavement, as Hondurans began to realize the depth of cultural loss that came with the Spanish conquest. May Day is celebrated with parades and speeches. In the s, the national government found this symbol of labor unity threatening and called out the army to stand with rifles before the marching workers.
Emergence of the Nation. They held Nicaragua until they were expelled in by Nicaraguan regular troops and volunteer fighters.
In Walker invaded Honduras, at Trujillo, where he ended up before an army firing squad. United States banana companies dominated Honduran politics after Fruit companies were able to choose presidents and as late as the s were powerful enough to refuse to pay chat hondureno taxes imposed on banana chat hondureno by the military government. A letter by a U. National Identity. Because of the relationship of Honduras with the United States, the national culture often is defined in opposition to that of the United States.
Hondurans feel an affinity with other Latin Americans and Central Americans, although this is mixed with fear and resentment of some neighboring countries, especially El Salvador and Nicaragua. The Spanish conquest was a violent episode of genocide and slavery.
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It produced a people with blended European, native American, and African ancestry. Many Latin American countries have a similar large ethnic group called mestizos or criollos, but what is unusual about Honduras is that the Spanish-speaking people of mixed ancestry, who make up about 88 percent of the population, proudly call themselves indios Indians.
Ethnic Relations. Music, novels, and chat hondureno shows circulate widely chat hondureno Spanish-speaking countries and contribute to a sense of Latin culture that transcends national boundaries. Ethnic relations are sometimes strained. For centuries, most indigenous peoples lost their land, and the nation did not value their languages and cultures. Because the Islanders speak English, they are able to work as sailors on international merchant ships, and despite their isolation from the national culture, they earn a higher income than other residents.
Arab-Hondurans are descended from Christian Arabs who fled Muslim persecution in the early twentieth century after the breakup of the Ottoman Empire. Many have successful businesses. Some Hispanic-Hondurans envy the economic status of Arab-Hondurans, who are usually called turcos, a name they dislike since they are not of Turkish descent.
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Many of the original Arab immigrants carried passports of the Ottoman Empire, whose core was Turkey. In the cities, houses are made of store-bought materials bricks, cement, etc. In the countryside, each ethnic group has a distinct architectural style. Most of the homes of poor rural people are made of local materials, with floors of packed earth, walls of adobe or wattle and daub, and roofs of clay tiles or thatch.
The kitchen is usually a special room outside the chat hondureno, with a wood fire built on the floor or on a Rural homes vary in style but are usually made of local materials. Porches are very common, often with one or more hammocks. The porch often runs around the house and sometimes connects the house to the kitchen. When visiting a rural home, one is received on the breezy porch rather than inside the chat hondureno.
The porch is used like the front parlor.
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The house is often plastered with mud, and people paint des on it with natural earths of different colors. A central plaza forms the heart of most towns.
Important government buildings face it, as does a Catholic chapel or cathedral.