With its tall mountains, lush rainforests, and tropical climate, Honduras is the second largest nation in Central America. Named for the deep waters near its coastlines, the nation is home to one of the last tropical rainforests in North America. The indigenous peoples of Honduras were defeated by the Spanish in 1538, and the nation gained its independence in 1821. As a result of political unrest across Central America, Honduras formed a relationship with the United States, causing resentment among their neighbors, such as El Salvador. Honduras is governed by a democratic civilian government with two political parties: Liberales and Nacionalistas.
Honduras is the second poorest nation in Central America (Nicaragua) and one of the poorest in the Western Hemisphere. Fifty-four percent of the population, campesinos, work in agriculture, yet one-third of the people are unemployed and 65% live below the poverty line. Hondurans sometimes refer to their nation as machista (macho, sexist) because men are viewed as more important by society.
About 95% of the population claim Christianity, and Roman Catholicism is the largest segment. The number of evangelical Christians has increased dramatically since the 1960s, and research has found that about 36% of the population agrees with evangelical beliefs. The biggest problems facing the Church are socio-economic issues, such as children at risk, HIV/AIDS, and gang violence. More than half of the population are children, and the streets are full of orphans and unwanted children who get pulled into the gang or sex trade lifestyle out of desperation. Pray that the Church and other ministries will reach out to these desperate children and that God would use His people to comfort those hurting across Honduras.