H O N D U R A S       

The Maya city of Copán is a beautiful city that rose and declined seven centuries before Columbus set foot on Honduras.

Copán was considered to be one of the greatest ceremonial center or temple cities of the  Maya empire.

The Mayans have been called the "Greeks of the New World" because of their fantastic achievements in architecture, stone construction, painting, sculpture, astronomy and other artistic and scientific developments.

The Mayas
The Ruins of Copán represent the highest artistic and cultural achievement of the ancient Maya Civilization. The extensive grounds of the Archaeological park embrace the remains of many majestic temples and pyramids decorated with thousands of fragments of architectural sculpture. Copán  was restored in 1839 after its discovery in a thick jungle

Honduras Today

UNESCO proclaimed Copán a World Heritage Site in 1980. Today, it's rich stone sculptures and intricate hieroglyphs make Copán a must-see place for travelers .

Between 16th and 19th centuries, the Spaniards more or less controlled the government of Honduras. The only Indians of Honduras which today still maintain something of a culture and a language of their own are the "Zambo" or the "Mosquitos" Indians of the mosquitia coasts. The mosquitos who played various parts in the wars between the English and the Spanish and internal civil wars of the country have survived to the present era and have much the same culture and practices as were first recorded centuries ago.

People -- There are almost 2,000,000 people in Honduras living mostly in rural regions. Social classes are complicated and often are determined by family genealogy, wealth, occupation, education, place of birth and skin color.

Mestizo, the name given to people of Spanish and Indian ancestry, represent about 91% of the total population

Spanish is the principal language and is spoken throughout the country, although English (spoken with a broad Caribbean accent) is the language of choice in the Bay Islands.

The remaining Indian tribes have their own distinct languages.

Honduran crafts include woodcarving (notably wooden instruments), basketry, embroidery and textile arts, leather craft and ceramics. The country's food is based around beans, rice, tortillas, fried bananas, meat, potatoes, cream and cheese.

The coming of Europeans resulted in the downfall of most of the cultures of the Central American and Northern Andean region. Few of the chiefdoms survived beyond the 17th century, and none exists in similar form today.


The Garifuna
The Garifuna (pronounced Ga-RIF-una), or Black Caribs, are a unique cultural and ethnic group. They first appeared in this area over 300 years ago, when escaped and shipwrecked slaves mixed with the native Caribs who had given them a place to stay on Saint Vincent Island. The Garifuna adopted the Carib language but kept their African musical and religious traditions, against the demands of the island's colonial masters.

Jicaques -  Jicaque Indians of the northwest coast of Honduras. Their culture is similar to that of the Sumo and Miskito of northeastern Nicaragua. The Jicaque are an agricultural people, growing sweet manioc (yucca), bitter manioc, beans, and corn (maize) . Fishing and hunting provide other food. Domesticated animals are now common.

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