Honduras is a mountainous country in Central America with access to both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It shares borders with Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.
Honduras is 43,433 square miles compared to Michigan, which is 96,716 square miles.
The population of Honduras is 8.5 million and about half the people live in urban centers and half live in rural settings. 60% of the entire population lives in poverty which 35% live in extreme poverty. In the rural areas, including the mountain villages where HHOP works, 63% are poor and 50% are extremely poor.
The United Nations Low-Income Food-Deficit Country (LIFDC) 2014 listing for all the Americas, only lists Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Honduras is the second poorest country in Central America.
The birthrate is 23.66/1000 and the infant mortality rate (children less than 1 year old) is 18.22/1000. This compares to the US infant mortality rate of 6.17/1000, which is not as good as Monaco’s at 1.8/1000. The mortality rate among the rural mountain communities has been as high as 65% for children under the age of 5
The people of Honduras are mostly Spanish decent. There are 9 recognized indigenous and African American minority groups but they comprise only 6.5% of the population. Columbus explored Honduras in 1502 and the Spaniards controlled the country until 1821. Honduras became an independent country in 1838, one year later than Michigan became a state.
Honduras has a long history of strife and government instability. In 1969 El Salvador invaded Honduras and 5000 people died. On January 27, 2014. Juan Orlando Hernandez took office as president and there is cautious optimism that the country will prosper under his leadership.
In the mountains, coffee has become the major cash crop. Coffee bushes are planted on steep hill sides and must be hand picked. Bananas, citrus, beef, timber, and shrimp are the other major exports. Textiles and clothing are the main industries in the country. 28% of the country is in agriculture, employing 39% of the population. The GDP per capita is about US$2500/year.