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Tuesday 18th December
Honduras Facts
Cerro Las Minas, in the Celaque National Park, is the highest point in Honduras (2,870 m).

The region of Mosquitia, which stretches along the Caribbean coast from Nicaragua to Honduras, is named after the indigenous Miskito people.

The Maya people were early inhabitants of Honduras. They also lived in southern Mexico, Belize, El Salvador and Guatemala.

The ancient city of Copan, a World Heritage site, is one of the most important sites of the Mayan civilization.

Copan was a centre of learning. Subjects studied included mathematics and astronomy.

Christopher Columbus landed in Honduras in 1502.

Hernan Cortes, who conquered Mexico, established settlements in Honduras in 1524.

Tegucigalpa, the capital city of Honduras, was once a silver mining town.

The Bay Islands, three large islands and a number of islets in the Caribbean, belong to Honduras.

The main Bay Islands are Guanaja, Roatan and Utila.

A number of people of people from Britain colonized the Bay Islands.

After an uprising in the Caribbean island of St Vincent in the 1790s, the British deported five thousand Carib people to the the island of Roatan off the coast of Honduras.

In 1821 Honduras gained independence from Spain but was annexed by Mexico.

Following independence from Mexico, Honduras joined Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua in the United Provinces of Central America.

Honduras left the United Provinces of Central America and declared independence in 1840.

Towards the end of the nineteenth century, American companies invested in banana plantations in Honduras.

In 1969 a war with El Salvador began at a football match. This was known as the Soccer War. The war lasted less than a week but a peace treaty was not signed until many years later.

At the beginning of 1989 General Alvarez, the Honduran armed forces chief, was assassinated.

In 1974 ten thousand people in Honduras were killed by Hurricane Fifi.

Hurricane Mitch (1998) caused the death of five thousand six hundred people.

Towards the end of 2005, Gamma, a tropical storm, killed over thirty people and made many thousands homeless.

The brother of Wilson Palacios, the Honduran international footballer, was kidnapped in 2007.

In October 2007 president Manuel Zelaya visited Cuba, the first official visit by a Honduran president in 46 years.

In May 2009 a 7.1 magnitude quake struck off the coast of Honduras killing five people and causing widespread damage.

In June 2009 President Zelaya was removed from office by the military and forced into exile. The organisation of American states (OAS) suspended Honduras. However, in September Mr Zelya returned to Honduras and took refuge in the Brazilian embassy. In November Porfirio Lobo Sosa won the presidential election while congress rejected the proposal that Mr Zelaya be allowed to return to office.

In January 2010 Mr Zelya went into exile in the Dominican Republic. In February the government announced that diplomatic relations had been restored with 29 countries following its isolation after the coup. In March the US resumed its aid programme, which had been suspended after the coup. In May a "truth commission" investigated the 2009 coup in a move to restore the country’s international standing. In December Mexico and Honduras agreed to work together to prevent kidnap attacks on Honduran illegal migrants on their way to the US.

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