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maanantai 2. maaliskuuta 2015

Honduras, Cool Facts #17

16. El Salvador <=                                                                                                     => 18. Guatemala 


1. Origins of the name 

Honduras got its name from the depths of the surrounding ocean. The name Honduras comes from the Spanish word "hondura" which means "depth". It's alleged that Columbus said "Gracias a Dios que hemos salido de esas honduras" which means "Thank God we have departed from those depths". In the beginning Honduras was the name of the eastern part and Higueras the western part of the province. Later the whole province was called Honduras.



2. Tegucigalpa 

Tegucigalpa is the capital of Honduras. It means "silver mountain" in an indian language called Nahuatl. The Honduran mountains contained gold and silver which attracted the conquistadors.



3. Foreign Banana Companies

Most of the fertile lands are owned by the multinational banana corporations. They built also harbors, tax-free areas and also the country's only railway connections in the early 1900s. The companies had even their own security forces to secure the order in the property they owned. The exploitation of the cheap Honduran labour has caused a lot of coups and strikes. In the early 1900s the three biggest banana companies at the area were United Fruit Company, Standard Fruit Company and Cuyamel Fruit Company. The term banana republic was first applied to Honduras because of the high influence of the banana companies on the whole society and politics of the country.



4. Violence

Honduras has the most civil murders in the world. The rate is 90 murders/100,000 people. It's quite much since the second country Venezuela has 54/100,000 and countries like Irak and Afghanistan have 8 and 6,5 murders per 100,000 people.
The Honduran city San Pedro Sula is the most violent city in the world and the murder rate is approximately 170/100,000 there. Luckily I survived the one day I stayed in San Pedro Sula going towards the island of Utila.



5. Stars in the Flag

Between the years 1823 and 1840 Honduras was a part of the Federal Republic of Central America. The five stars in the current flag is a wish that the Federation would be re-established some day. The five countries in the Federation were Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Well Los Altos and Mosquito Coast were separate provinces in the federation but later Los Altos merged into Guatemala and Mosquito Coast into Nicaragua and a small part to Honduras.



Honduras is famous for: 

Cheap diving license
Deep waters
Copan ruins


Timeline

1502 Columbus lands to Honduras and claims it to Spain. Mines are set up and slaves brought from Angola.
1700s British migrants rule together with the Miskito indians the Mosquito Coast.
1821 Honduras declares independence but Mexico conquers it.
1823 After the Mexican occupation the Federal Republic of Central America is established together with El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
1838-40 Civil War and the Federation breaks up.
1851 and 1894 failed attempts to return the Federation with El Salvador and Nicaragua.
1821-76 The regime changes 85 times.
1900s Banana companies set up plantations in the north and build harbors and still the only railway connections.
1954 Banana workers' general strike.
1955 Military coup.
1969 Football War against El Salvador for 4 days.
1982 The contras of Nicaragua attack the sandinists from Honduras.
2009 The last military coup.

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honduras
Maailman liput maat ja historia - Kimmo Kiljunen

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