Honduras Overview Part II

Colonial period

In 1539 Honduras was incorporated into the General Captaincy of Guatemala and remained in that condition throughout the colonial period. With the discovery of silver mines in its territory, between 1570 and 1580, numerous groups of immigrants arrived in the country, while the coast of the Caribbean Sea was transformed into a meeting place for pirates. Later, the region was invaded by English loggers, who already in the late 18th century controlled the Mosquito coast.


In 1821, with Mexico already independent, the provinces that belong to the General Captaincy of Guatemala broke their ties with Spain and, in the following year, they joined the Mexican Empire of Agustín de Itúrbide, from which they separated a year later, to form the Central American Federation. The Federation was initially governed by Manuel José Arce, and later by Francisco Morazán. Disagreements between member countries led to its dissolution, and member states became independent. On November 5, 1838 Honduras proclaimed itself a sovereign and independent state and, at the beginning of the following year, a constituent assembly approved its first constitution. However, on several occasions, Honduras has supported attempts to partially or completely reconstitute the former Central American union. The first constitutional president was conservative Francisco Ferrera, who came to power in 1841. Conservatives dominated the country until 1876, when the liberal Marco Aurélio Soto took over the government. Four years later, a new constitution was promulgated. In the last decades of the 19th century, Honduras suffered interference from Guatemala in its internal affairs.

In the early years of the 20th century, the president of Nicaragua, José Santos Zelaya, imposed Manuel Bonilla as president of Honduras, a fact that plunged the country into a period of internal rebellions, between 1911 and 1912. Under the pretext of controlling anarchy, the United States they intervened in the country and sent troops to protect the interests of banana companies. The political turmoil continued until 1932, when General Tiburcio Carías Andiro took power and, as president, governed the country in a dictatorial manner. In 1949, he was succeeded by Juan Manuel Gálvez, who tried to restore normalcy. But between 1954 and 1956 the country fell under the dictatorship under the administration of Júlio Lozano Díaz, deposed by a junta headed by Colonel Hector Caraccioli. The country did not have a peaceful election until 1957. The winner was the liberal Ramón Villeda Morales,

The so-called “football war” with El Salvador, due to demographic conflicts and economic problems, was resolved with the intervention of the Organization of American States (OAS). In 1971, Ramón Ernesto Cruz was elected president, but the following year General Osvaldo López Arellano returned to power after a coup. In 1975 López Arellano was deposed by Colonel Juan Alberto Melgar Castro, in turn forced to resign in 1978, when General Policarpo Paz García assumed power. In 1981, after nine years of military rule, Roberto Suazo Córdova of the Liberal Party won the presidential election. In 1986 there was the first transfer of power in the country’s history without direct military interference, with the election of the liberal José Azcona del Hoyo.

In 1989 Rafael Leonardo Callejas, of the National Party, won the elections and the following year an economic adjustment plan led to the banana planters’ strike, which ended with the intervention of the Army. The early 1990s found the country still agitated by internal differences, aggravated by the fight against three guerrilla groups. On September 11, 1992, the conflict with El Salvador ended with the intervention of the International Court of Justice, which definitively drew the territorial limits of the two countries.

Political institutions

According to the 1982 constitution, power is exercised by the president of the republic, who must be elected by popular vote for a four-year term. Legislative power is unicameral, and the chamber consists of 128 members. However, supreme power rests with the Superior Council of the Armed Forces, which has complete autonomy over national security issues.


The country has a social security system that provides assistance for sickness, maternity, orphanage, unemployment, accidents at work and occupational diseases, as well as subsidies to family and elders. Guarantees for employees are ensured in the labor code.

According to youremailverifier.com, Spanish is the official language, but part of the population still speaks their native languages. The dominant religion is Christian – Catholic or Protestant – and there are small groups of Jews, Buddhists and Muslims. Education between 7 and 15 years old is free and the responsibility of the state. The National Autonomous University of Honduras operates in Tegucigalpa. (For membership data, see DATAPEDIA.)


In the Honduran territory are the Mayan ruins of Copán, whose magnificent monuments, decorated with large sculpted figures, evoke the grandeur of that Central American civilization. Colonial architecture is typical of Spanish Baroque. The cathedral of Tegucigalpa, completed in the 1760s, shows evident similarities with the cathedral of the city of Antigua Guatemala. The most curious historic monument in Honduras is the cathedral of Comayagua, in which the decorative euphoria gave the symbols of the Conception an American tropical sense.


The first personality to stand out in Honduran letters was José Cecilio del Valle, a polygraph with encyclopedic knowledge and who dedicated his life to the cause of the unification of Central America. Romantic poetry emerged modestly with Manuel Molina Vigil, but literary traditionalism survived until the 20th century with Luis Andrés Zúñiga, whose Fables (1917) were reissued several times.

The modernist period revealed the poetry of Juan Ramón Molina, the greatest Honduran poet, who received a strong influence from Rubén Darío. The edition of his poetry in the volume Tierra, mares y cielos (1911) is due to Froilán Turcios, also a modernist, author of fantastic tales and novels in a far-fetched style. The most famous name in Honduran literature is Rafael Heliodor Valle, historian, poet and journalist. Also noteworthy are Arturo Mejía Nieto, Claudio Barrera, who was influenced by César Vallejo and Pablo Neruda, and Roberto Sosa, the poet of Los Pobres.

Visual arts

Honduran painting was strongly influenced by the Spanish heritage. The most important artists in the 20th century were landscape painter Carlos Garay and Antonio Valásquez.

Honduras Culture