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Honduras

The second-largest country in Central America, Honduras shares its borders with Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Mountains, valleys, and fertile plains make up most of the terrain. The climate is tropical with cooler temperatures in the mountains.

  • Population: 7,935,800
  • Life Expectancy: 74 years
  • Access to Safe Water: 89%
  • School Enrollment: 97%
  • Land Mass: 43,278 sq. mi.
  • Literacy Rate: 85%
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate: 23/1000
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): 2,070

Facts about Honduras

Economic Development

Honduras is among the poorest countries in Latin America. While only about 4 percent of the workforce is unemployed, 60 percent of Hondurans live below the poverty line.

Disaster Response

Honduras has a high vulnerability to natural disasters and is third among the most at-risk countries in the world.

Child Protection

Violence has been increasing within the country and affects mostly children and youth. Honduras also has the world’s highest murder rate. There are about 85 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, largely due to gangs and drug trafficking.

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Progress in Honduras

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors. World Vision was able to work alongside communities to accomplish the following in 2014.

  • We partnered with local churches to teach children and their families about responsibility, leadership, self-esteem, moral values, and the love of Jesus Christ.

  • Community members were trained in child rights and protection to help ensure that children are cared for, protected, and participating in their families and communities.

  • Through capacity training and advocacy, community-based organizations were empowered to address issues that affect children's well-being. With our help, they designed and implemented their own development projects to benefit children, focused primarily on improving infrastructure such as schools, roads, sewers, and housing for vulnerable families.

  • Entrepreneurs were equipped with skills and training to help them start or expand businesses and increase their income. We also helped establish savings groups, which offer interest-earning savings accounts and small, affordable business loans to families who otherwise may not have access to basic financial services.

  • Our peer tutoring program helped struggling students improve their math and reading skills. In addition, we equipped teachers with educational materials to strengthen the quality of education and worked with community-based organizations to improve school facilities.

  • With our help, families started community and backyard gardens to increase the availability of nutritious food. We also helped farmers improve the management and diversification of their crops to contribute to the community’s food security and supply agricultural products to local markets.

  • Families were trained in early childhood care and nutrition for children younger than age 5 to ensure children's proper development and reduce malnutrition. Families, caregivers, and volunteers also learned about proper hygiene and sanitation practices (personal, household, and water and latrine use) to prevent diseases. Children with serious medical conditions were assisted with the support of local partners.

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    World Vision in Honduras Today

    World Vision is committed to partnering with the people of Honduras to improve their lives today and to help enact sustainable solutions for the future of their children, families, and communities. World Vision’s child sponsorship program plays a vital role in this partnership, with donors from the United States sponsoring more than 24,700 girls and boys. In addition to sponsorship, World Vision operates other programs that benefit communities in Honduras. Highlights include:

    • Promoting nutrition and health practices of children from 5-12 years old as well as pregnant women and infants.
    • Improving education by creating tutoring programs and educational centers to assist children in school.
    • Increasing families’ access to clean water and sanitation, as well as offering training in sanitation and hygiene basics.

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    World Vision History in Honduras

    World Vision began ministering to the people of Honduras in 1974 by providing financial support to help those affected by Hurricane Fifi, a storm that killed 1,200 people and left thousands homeless. Since then, some of World Vision’s major accomplishments have included:

    • Assisting refugees from neighboring Nicaragua with food, tents, and emergency kits in the late 1970s.
    • Helping people affected by drought and floods throughout the 1980s.
    • Providing medical and dental care, nutritional supplements, and school supplies for children in need in the 1980s.
    • Supplying families affected by Hurricane Mitch with food, blankets, and medicine, as well as helping them rebuild their communities, since 1998.
    • Offering microloans to small business entrepreneurs to improve the quality of life in southwest Honduras since the 1990s and into the 21st century.

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    Geography & People

    Geography and people

    The second-largest country in Central America, Honduras shares its borders with Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Mountains, valleys, and fertile plains make up most of the terrain. The climate is tropical with cooler temperatures in the mountains.

    Natural resources are plentiful and include timber, gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, iron ore, coal, fish, and hydropower.

    Most Hondurans are mestizo — a mix of Amerindian and European ancestry. Spanish is the official language, but residents also speak English and several Amerindian dialects.

    Hondurans use both of their parents’ surnames. They use the father’s name as the family name, but the mother’s last name comes at the end of the full name. Women keep their surnames when they marry.

    History

    Honduras, along with four other Central American nations, declared independence from Spain in 1821 to form a federation of Central American states. Over a decade later, Honduras left the federation and became fully independent.

    After decades of military rule, democracy returned in 1982. The 1990s brought economic reform when the government administration helped to reduce inflation, restore economic growth, and hold down spending.

    Reform, however, slowed in 1998 with the arrival of Hurricane Mitch. The hurricane killed over 7,000 Hondurans, injured another 13,000, and caused $3.8 billion in damage. Nearly one-third of the highway infrastructure was destroyed along with thousands of homes, displacing 1.5 million people.

    The Honduran government collaborated with international relief organizations to help get the country back on its feet. The government has continued to focus on reform over the years. Democratic elections resumed in 2010 after a 2009 military coup.

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    Prayer Requests for Honduras

    • Please pray for the success of our advocacy efforts in promoting new laws for children’s welfare, health, and safety, and for effective collaboration with national government agencies that seek to protect children.
    • Pray also for wisdom for the 686 pastors and church leaders trained in theology and children’s ministry through World Vision’s Christian Witness Program in Honduras.