Ready For Take Off

August 24, 2008

Today’s entry brought to you by…

Eva

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Our inaugural trip to Honduras is almost here. We hope our journey will be eventful and using our lenses and blog we can bring you along with us.

Quick facts introducing Honduras:
• Honduras is located in Central America, bordering Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua
• Capital city: Tegucigalpa
• Population: 7.5 million, 90% people of mixed European and indigenous ancestry, 7% indigenous population, 2 % people of African descent
• Predominantly Catholic, with strong growth in Protestant faith experienced lately
• Languages: Spanish, Amerindian dialects and English, especially at the Bay Islands
• Currency: lempira; exchange rate: $1=18.89 lempira

Economy:
• Honduras, one of the poorest countries in the Central America
• High unemployment rate close to 30%
• 50% of population living below the national poverty level
• Economy heavily relies on agricultural products, particularly coffee and bananas
• In recent years, Honduras economy grew slightly, communication sector was open for private enterprises, however the gap between rich and poor continues to expand

Politics:
• Independent since 1821 from Spain and since 1838 from the United Provinces of Central America
• Honduras is a constitutional republic, with three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial
• Executive: Presidential elections are held every four years. Current president Manuel Zelaya was sworn in January 2006.
• Legislative branch: unicameral Congress with 128 representatives elected to serve for four years.
• Judicial branch: 15 Judges are elected for a term of 7 years by the National Congress
• Main political parties: Christian Democratic Party (PDC), Democratic Unification Party (PDU), Liberal Party, (LP), National Innovation and Unity Party, and National Party of Honduras
• President Manuel Zelaya was elected on the promises of improving the economy, and curbing the violence, in particular gang violence

Environment:
• Amazing flora and fauna, ranging from rain forests to savannahs and from parrots to whale sharks
• Home to diversified wildlife: amphibians, mammals and reptiles
• Serious environmental concerns: deforestation, global warming and overfishing
• Many species put on endangered species list

Sources:
UNDP Human Development Report
The Library of Congress
US Department of State
Lonely Planet: Honduras and the Bay Islands

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