Republic of Honduras
República de Honduras

LOCATION: Situated in Central America, Honduras has a total area of 112,090 sq km (43,278 sq mi), with a length of 663 km (412 mi) ene–wsw and 317 km (197 mi) nnw–sse. Comparatively, the area occupied by Honduras is slightly larger than the state of Tennessee. It is bounded on the n and e by the Caribbean Sea, on the s by Nicaragua and the Gulf of Fonseca, on the sw by El Salvador, and on the w by Guatemala, with a total boundary length of 2,340 km (1,454 mi), of which 820 km (509 mi) is coastline.

CAPITAL: Tegucigalpa

FLAG: The national flag consists of a white horizontal stripe between two blue horizontal stripes, with five blue stars on the white stripe representing the five members of the former union of Central American provinces.

ANTHEM: Himno Nacional, beginning “Tu bandera es un lampo de cielo” (“Thy flag is a heavenly light”).

MONETARY UNIT: The lempira (l), also known as the peso, is a paper currency of 100 centavos. There are coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 centavos, and notes of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 lempiras. l1 = $0.05285 (or $1 = l18.92) as of 2005.

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES: The metric system is the legal standard; some old Spanish measures are still used.

HOLIDAYS: New Year’s Day, 1 January; Day of the Americas, 14 April; Labor Day, 1 May; Independence Day, 15 September; Birthday of Francisco Morazán, 3 October; Columbus Day, 12 October; Army Day, 21 October; Christmas, 25 December. Movable religious holidays include Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.

CLIMATE:The northern Caribbean area and the southern coastal plain have a wet, tropical climate, but the interior is drier and cooler. Temperature varies with altitude. The coastal lowlands average 31°c (88°f); from 300 to 760 m (1,000 to 2,500 ft) above sea level the average is 29°c (84°f); and above 760 m (2,500 ft) the average temperature is 23°c (73°f). There are two seasons: a rainy period, from May through October, and a dry season, from November through April. Average annual rainfall varies from over 240 cm (95 in) along the northern coast to about 84 cm (33 in) around Tegucigalpa in the south. The northwest coast is vulnerable to hurricanes, of which the most destructive, Hurricane Fifi in September 1974, claimed some 12,000 lives, caused $200 million in property damage, and devastated the banana plantations.