Monday, 25 June 2012

HONDURAS




HONDURAS COPAN
Honduras and its people are poor but their history is rich. It is situated north of Nicaragua and has the Caribbean Sea with the Gulf of Honduras on one side and the Pacific Ocean with the Gulf of Fonseca on the other. On the Pacific coast, which is short, the country is rugged and often inhospitable. On the Caribbean side the country is long, low-lying. The climate is hot and steamy by the sea but cooler in the hills. The population live mostly in the hills.

MAYA TEMPLE

MAYA BUILDING
By the western town of Copan are the remains of Mayan city which was built around 500 AD. This ancient city has a ruin of a Ball Court. It is believed that there were ceremonial games which were similar to the Greek Olympics. An archaeological dig around the Main Court stela (carved column) at the Mayan ruins of Copan is hoping to find more answers. The Mayan Empire had its height between 200 AD and 900 AD. It still existed till the Spaniards arrived in the 16th century.

FORT BUILT BY THE SPANISH TO KEEP THE ENGLISH PIRATES OUT
Honduras won their independence in 1821. This followed a succession of unstable government. In 1969 the so called 'Soccer War' broke out against El Salvador. It followed an explosion of violence at a football match between the two countries and went out of control. The war, which followed, was about a border dispute and finished officially in 1980. After that Honduras became more stable but in the remote north-east the Nicaraguan guerrillas used it in their war against the Sandinistas. The economy was improved by Foreign aid via the World Bank.
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In the past, Honduras was the biggest exporter of bananas. Nowadays, it still exporting great amount of bananas but they also export coffee, beef of large quantities, as well as pine, oak and valuable mahogany. These woods still cover large amounts of the mountains.
In comparison to the neighbouring El Salvador; Honduras is five times as big and has the same number of people as El Salvador. The people are descendant from Indians and Spaniards but the ruling class are pure Spanish.
Hondurans grow maize and beans for their own consumption and live in houses made of mud and wattle. A few factories making soap and cigarettes for their own use. They mainly trade with the US and US companies own the plantation and the mining operation. The plantations on the Caribbean coast have black workers who are descendant of African Slaves.
Most of the industry and government were under foreign control. The top company of foreign-owned companies was United Fruit Company and it was owned by the USA. 1954 the workers went on strike and better conditions as well as less power of the Americans was achieved. Nowadays, the foreign influence still exists but more power is now in the hands of the Hondurans.
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