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Country Profile

Honduras

Honduras is a democracy with a developing economy. The national language is Spanish, although English is often spoken in the Bay Islands. The climate is generally pleasant and temperate, with dry and wet seasons. During the dry season from February into May, widespread forest fires and agricultural burning can lead to severely degraded air quality throughout the country possibly causing respiratory problems and airport closures. The terrain includes mountainous areas, coastal beaches, and jungle lowlands. Facilities that would normally be used by tourists, including hotels and restaurants, are generally adequate in the capital city of Tegucigalpa, in San Pedro Sula, Tela, La Ceiba, the Bay Islands, and near the Copan ruins. Large sections of the country, however, lack basic public services or even a governmental presence. Currency exchange is readily available at banks and hotels in the major cities. Read the Department of State Background Notes on Honduras for additional information.

Honduras

   
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 COUNTRY OVERVIEW
Country Name: Honduras
Continent: Central America
Capital City: Tegucigalpa
Boundary Countries:

Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua

Recommended Hospitals in Capital:

Hospital Del Valle (San Pedro Sula), Hospital y Clinicas Viera (Tegucigalpa) Hospital La Policlinica (Comayaguela), La Lima Medical Center (Cortes), Hospital Vincente D’Antoni (La Ceiba), Hospital Quirurgico Clinica Medica Maya (La Lima), Centro Medico Cemesa (San Pedro Sula), Centro Medico de Emergencia Suyapa (San Pedro Sula), Hospital Evangelico Siguatepeque, Centro Medico Honureño (Tegucigalpa), Honduras Medical Center (Tegucigalpa), Hospital Dime (Tegucigalpa), Hospital Infantil Privado- Tegucigalpa, Las Lomas Medical Center (Tegucigalpa), Mater del Centro de Medicina Integral para la Mujer (Tegucigalpa)

Main Cities:

Tegucigalpa, Puerto Castilla, La Ceiba, Puerto Cortés, San Pedro Sula, Choluteca, Danlí, San Lorenzo, Choluteca, Tela, Juticalpa, Comayagua, Santa Rosa de Copán

Country Size: 112,090 sq km
Population: 7, 483,763

 

COUNTRY GENERAL INFORMATION
Language:

Spanish, Amerindian dialects

Currency: lempira (HNL)
Predominant Religions:

Roman Catholic 97%, Protestant 3%

National Holidays: Independence Day, 15 September (1821)
Economic Status:

Honduras, the second poorest country in Central America and one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, with an extraordinarily unequal distribution of income and massive unemployment, is banking on expanded trade under the US-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and on debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative.

Security:

Army, Navy, (includes Naval Infantry), Honduran Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Hondurana, FAH)

US Presence:
U.S. Embassy Tegucigalpa
Avenida La Paz
Tegucigalpa M.D.C.
Honduras
Phone: (504) 2236-9320
Document Requirements:

A U.S. passport valid for at least three months from the date of entry is required to enter Honduras.Though not required by law, some travelers have reported difficulty departing Honduras using a passport with less than three months of validity beyond the date of departure. A visa is not required, but tourists must provide evidence of return or onward travel.Parents should not rely on birth certificates for their children’s travel; rather, prior to travel they should obtain U.S. passports for infants and minors born in the United States.U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a photocopy of their U.S. passports with them at all times, so that if questioned by local officials proof of identity and U.S. citizenship are readily available.

In June 2006, Honduras entered a “Central America-4 (CA-4) Border Control Agreement” with Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.Under the terms of the agreement, citizens of the four countries may travel freely across land borders from one of the countries to any of the others without completing entry and exit formalities at Immigration checkpoints.U.S. citizens and other eligible foreign nationals who legally enter any of the four countries may similarly travel among the four without obtaining additional visas or tourist entry permits for the other three countries.Immigration officials at the first port of entry determine the length of stay, up to a maximum period of 90 days.Foreign tourists who wish to remain in the four country region beyond the period initially granted for their visit are required to request a one-time extension of stay from local immigration authorities in the country where the traveler is physically present, or travel outside the CA-4 countries and reapply for admission to the region.Foreigners “expelled” from any of the four countries are excluded from the entire “CA-4” region. In isolated cases, the lack of clarity in the implementing details of the CA-4 Border Control Agreement has caused temporary inconvenience to some travelers and has resulted in others being fined more than one hundred dollars or detained in custody for 72 hours or longer.

For more information concerning entry and exit requirements, travelers may contact the Embassy of Honduras at 3007 Tilden Street NW, Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 966-7702, or a Honduran consulate in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Miami, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Phoenix, or San Francisco. The Honduran government also retains an Honorary Consul in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Honduran Embassy’s e-mail address is embhondu@aol.com. Interested individuals may visit the Honduran Embassy’s web site for additional contact information through http://www.hondurasemb.org/. For tourist information or suggestions, please contact the Honduras Institute of Tourism at 1-800-410-9608 (in the United States) or at 1-800-222-TOUR (8687) (within Honduras only) or visit the web site at http://www.hondurastips.honduras.com/.

Major Airports:

Airports:  116, Airports w/paved runways:  11
Tegucigalpa – Toncontin International Airport (TGU/MHTG)
Tegucigalpa Airport, Honduras, PO Box 30120, Tegucigalpa, HONDURAS
Tegucigalpa Airport, Honduras, Aeroport International de Toncontin, Tegucigalpa, MCD, HONDURAS
Tel: +504 (0)233 1115, +504 (0)233 7613
Fax: +504 (0)233 3683, +504 (0)234 2402
Customs, hours: 12:00-0:00 UTC

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

The United States Department of State issued a Travel Alert for Honduras, which was updated on July 24, 2009. This information is available at: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_4526.html

The Department of State alerts American citizens to the current unstable political and security situation in Honduras, and recommends that American citizens defer all non-essential travel to Honduras until further notice.  This Travel Alert expires on October 20, 2009.

On June 28, the Honduran military ousted President Manuel Zelaya and sent him out of the country.  There are military or police checkpoints throughout Tegucigalpa, and there have been frequent demonstrations.

The Department of State recommends that American citizens in Honduras defer any unnecessary travel within the country.  The Government of Honduras has announced daily curfews with varying hours.  The Embassy strongly recommends that American citizens monitor local TV and radio each evening for current curfew times and abide by these restrictions.  The U.S. Embassy limits the travel of its staff within Honduras to necessary trips.  The decision to lift or continue those restrictions will be made on a day-to-day basis.

There have been regular demonstrations at various locations around Tegucigalpa including the Presidential palace, Toncontin International Airport, the National Congress, the Organization of American States and the United Nations.  Demonstrators have also blocked roads intermittently throughout the country.  Demonstrations both against and in favor of the new regime are expected to continue in the coming days throughout the country. Demonstrations to date have been generally non-violent with few reports of injuries, but Americans are reminded that peaceful demonstrations can turn violent with little or no warning.

Honduras’ borders remain open, and the airports remain open for regularly scheduled flights.  Continental Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta Airlines continue to operate flights as usual, though this is subject to change.  Those with flights scheduled with American Airlines may wish to call (504) 216-4800 (Honduras) or 1-800-433-7300 (United States).  Those traveling with Delta Airlines may wish to call 1-800-241-4141 (United States and Central America) or (504) 550-1616 (San Pedro Sula).  Those with flights scheduled with Continental Airlines may wish to call (504) 220-0999 (Tegucigalpa), (504) 557-4141 (San Pedro Sula), or 1-800-231-0856 (United States).  Taca Airlines and its affiliates have cancelled domestic flights for reasons unrelated to the political unrest.

The U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa strongly recommends that U.S. citizens avoid large gatherings and not try to pass roadblocks if they encounter them.  U.S. citizens should monitor the situation via media sources, including TV and radio when possible, and via the internet.

Barring changes in the security situation, the Consular Section will be open for normal business.  This includes the immigrant, non-immigrant and American Citizens Services units at the Consular Section at the US Embassy in Tegucigalpa and the American Citizen Services unit at the Consular Agency in San Pedro Sula.

The U.S. Embassy is located on Avenida La Paz in Tegucigalpa; telephone (011 504) 238 5114, after hours telephone (011 504) 236 8497; Consular Section fax (011 504) 238 4357; E-mail:  usahonduras@state.gov Webpage:   http://honduras.usembassy.gov.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Internet website (http://travel.state.gov), where the current Travel Warnings and Public Announcements, including the Worldwide Caution, can be found.  Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Americans living or traveling in Honduras are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department’s travel registration website (https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs), and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Honduras.  Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.

Political demonstrations sometimes disrupt traffic, but they are generally announced in advance and are usually peaceful. Travelers should avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place, and they should stay informed by following the local news and consulting hotel personnel and tour guides. Demonstrators frequently block public roads, sometimes for many hours, in or to press for concessions from the Government of Honduras. The Government rarely seeks to disperse the demonstrators. U.S. citizens should never try to pass such roadblocks. While the Honduran side of the Honduras-Nicaragua border has been largely cleared of land mines, travelers should exercise caution there.
Crime is endemic in Honduras and requires a high degree of caution by U.S. visitors and residents alike. U.S. citizens have been the victims of a wide range of crimes, including murder, kidnapping, rape, assault, and property crimes. Fifty-three U.S. citizens have been murdered in Honduras since 1995, with a very significant recent increase, and most cases remain unresolved. Kidnapping of U.S. citizens has occurred in Honduras, including two incidents in 2006. Poverty, gangs, and low apprehension and conviction rates of criminals contribute to a high crime rate, including horrific acts of mass murder.

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total:  25.21 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth:  TOTAL 69.35 years  (male 67.78/female 70.99)

 

Immunization Indicators:

Required: None

Recommended: Hep A & B, Typhoid, MMR booster

Infectious Disease Concerns:

Dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis, and American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease)are diseases carried by insects that also occur in this region. Myiasis (botfly) is endemic in Central America.

Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Medical care in Honduras varies greatly in quality and availability.  Outside Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, medical care is inadequate to address complex situations. Support staff facilities and necessary equipment and supplies are not up to U.S. standards anywhere in Honduras. Facilities for advanced surgical procedures are not available. Wide areas of the country, including the popular tourist areas of the Bay Islands, do not have a general surgery hospital.  Ambulance services are limited in major cities and almost non-existent elsewhere.

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 1
Referrals: 30
View Network Providers
Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Scuba diving is popular in the Bay Islands, but the limited medical facilities there pose a special risk in the event of an emergency.  There is a decompression chamber on Roatan and Utila for divers, but no advanced medical care on either island for diving related accidents.  Mosquito-borne illnesses are an ongoing problem in Honduras. All persons traveling in Honduras, even for a brief visit, are at risk of contracting malaria. The country regularly suffers from outbreaks of dengue fever during the rainy season. Severe air pollution, which can aggravate or lead to respiratory problems, often occurs throughout the country during the dry season due in large part to widespread forest fires and agricultural burning. Individuals traveling to Honduras should ensure that all their routine vaccinations are up to date. Vaccination against Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B is strongly recommended. 

Communications Info:

Country Calling Code:  +504
Internet Country Code:  .hn

 



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