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Honduras located in Central America’s eastern coast, is a country characterized by pristine beaches, lush jungles, breathtaking mountains, and fascinating ancient ruins.
Over the last two decades, Honduras has seen a strengthening of its democratic system and civic participation, however according to Honduras’ MDG report the country’s unstable economy remains the greatest challenge for its continued and progressive development.
Due to economic and meteorological reasons, the country is vulnerable to external shocks of all kinds. Recently the global coffee price crash hit the country’s key export market, and a 28 % appreciation of the Lempira in 1997-2001 combined with the U.S. economic slowdown hit exports in general. The influx of emergency and development assistance following Hurricane Mitch was the key factor in driving up the currency.
The country’s propensity to having natural disasters remains high, and is exacerbated by the uncontrolled clearing of mountain woodlands and tropical rainforest. These have weakened the country’s natural defenses against major storms.
Today about 25% of the country’s population finds itself in a vulnerable situation as their regions are still recovering from Mitch.
Another major problem faced by Honduras today is the proliferation of gangs. The lack of opportunities faced by the young Hondurans have made the country fertile ground for the spread of the Maras phenomenon. Today Mara’s violence makes the country’s already precarious situation, even more problematic. Controlling gang violence is a pressing need that curtails investment in national development.
The incomes of most Hondurans remain below the poverty line, however, due to increased public spending on health and education the country today shows some promising results.
Over the past decade vaccination programs reached virtually the entire population, maternal mortality fell from 182 per 100,000 live births to 108 per 100,000, a 38 percent reduction, chronic malnutrition in children aged 1-5 fell from 44 percent in 1987 to less than 33 percent in 2001; and primary school attendance rose from 78 percent in 1980 to 85 percent in 2002.
Honduras has a Human Development Index of 0.625, ranked 121. The life expectancy rate is 72.5 years and the adult literacy rate is 83.6% for those 15 years and older. The GDP per capita in Honduras in $3,488 and Gini index is a high 57.7.
Communities in Honduras
Faces Voices and Places Honduras