Honduras is yet another of the seven countries in Central America (along with Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Panama). Its name means “depths,” perhaps a reference to the deep harbor located at the Bay of Trujillo, which was visited by Christopher Columbus on Aug. 14, 1502. An intriguing story states that, upon arrival on the coast, Columbus said, “Thank God we have departed from those depths” — meaning the ocean, so that, oddly, the land came to be called for the ocean’s name.
Incidentally, it was once called “Spanish Honduras” informally, to distinguish it from “British Honduras,” now known as Belize. Belize is the only English-speaking country in the mainland Americas south of the United States. Honduras, like most countries in Latin America, has Spanish as its official language.
Anyway, it’s located on an east-west portion of the Central American mainland, squeezed between Guatemala to the west and Nicaragua on the southeast. El Salvador occupies much of its southern border (on the west); the Pacific Ocean takes up the rest. The entire northern border is the Caribbean Sea.
Before the Spanish incursion, the Mayas and other lesser Mesoamerican cultures occupied the area. In the first recorded encounter between the Spanish and the Maya, Columbus’ brother Bartholomew stole cargo from a Mayan trading vessel. He also impressed the ship’s elderly captain into service as an interpreter.
With the Spanish came the Roman Catholic religion, so that native religions have ceased to exist in any pure form, though many folk practices survive. The Catholic hegemony is decreasing, however, as Protestant church membership is on the rise.
Independent from Spain since 1821, Honduras has suffered frequent social and political upheavals. In recent years, things had become more stable until a coup in 2009. Its most dubious claim to fame is that Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world.
It is one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere. With a primarily agricultural economy, it is especially vulnerable to natural disasters, including hurricanes.
Which word above means:
2. invasion, aggressive entry
3. goods in transit
4. doubtful, questionable
5. in the center of America
6. deep-water place for ships to land
7. in a casual way
8. open to damage or injury
9. ship or boat
10. deep places