40 Vacations - Travel Guides - Destination Honduras
Once under Spanish control, Honduras was declared an independent nation in 1821. Most of the local population in Honduras belongs to the Garifuna society, also called ‘Black Caribs'. The society originated during the seventeenth century in San Vicente, almost a century after conquering Central America, South America, and the lower Antilles.
Honduras's current state of affairs represents the economy of a typical banana republic, where tourism is one of the main sources of income apart from export of agricultural produce. Its scenic beauty, slow pace of life and the hospitality of the local people attract a number of tourists to Honduras. In spite of being an economically poor country, Honduras has plenty to offer to tourists such as unspoiled beaches, lush green jungles, spectacular mountains, rivers, and captivating ancient ruins. The country has become the most popular destination for low budget adventure tourists as activities such as inexpensive scuba diving, river rafting, and mountain treks are available at very affordable rates.
Economically, the country is one of the poorest in the region and is characterized by extreme lopsided distribution of income and massive unemployment. In recent years, the country has sought help from developed countries and international funding agencies for developing its infrastructure and setting up of major industries such as oil, steel, communications and others that are necessary for any country's growth and development. The country has recently signed a trade agreement on expanded trade under the US-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). The country is also a beneficiary of debt relief agreement signed under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative.
After achieving a significant portion of its macroeconomic targets since 2001, Honduras began working on a 36 month IMF Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PGRF) program in February 2004. In the present scenario, Honduras' economy remains dependent on US, which is its largest trading partner. Main products that are exported to the US include melons, chilies, tilapia, and shrimp.