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Honduras (Spanish: República de Honduras) is a country in Central America and has 8 million inhabitants and is 3 times the size of the Netherlands. The capital is Tegucigalpa.
According to ABBREVIATIONFINDER, Honduras is largely located on the Caribbean Sea to the north, but also has a short coastline on the Pacific Ocean to the south. The country measures a maximum of 650 kilometers from west to east and 320 kilometers from north to south. Honduras borders Nicaragua to the south, El Salvador to the southwest and Guatemala to the west. About 80% of the country consists of mountainous terrain with several mountain ridges with peaks of more than 2,000 meters. The 2,870 meter high Cerro Las Minas is the highest point in Honduras. However, the extreme east of Honduras consists of lowland jungle, a region called La Mosquitia. The country has quite a few rivers but no really big rivers. The Río Ulúa is the most important of these. Honduras has a tropical climate that varies according to altitude. In the lowlands, temperatures are around 32°C all year round. In the higher capital Tegucigalpa the temperatures are between 25 and 30°C. The higher mountains have a cooler climate, but the highest mountains of Honduras are also below the tree line and snowfall does not occur.
Honduras has more than 9 million inhabitants, it is the most populous country in Central America after Guatemala. See Honduras population density. Honduras has two large urban regions, the capital Tegucigalpa, which has more than 1.1 million inhabitants, followed by San Pedro Sula, which, together with the suburb of Choloma, also has almost 1 million inhabitants. Honduras has 5 cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants. The population is fairly evenly distributed in the highlands and the coastal region, except for the eastern lowlands. Honduras has only one real port city, Puerto Cortés on the Caribbean coast.
The inhabitants of Honduras are 90% Mestizo, a mix of European and Indo-American. 7% are indigenous, 2% African and 1% white. Africans mainly live in the Caribbean coastal region, like everywhere in Central America. They are descendants of runaway slaves from the Caribbean. Honduras has a large diaspora, it is estimated that more than 1 million Hondurans live in the United States. Spanish is spoken in Honduras, in addition there are indigenous languages that are spoken by a small part of the population.
Honduras has an underdeveloped economy and is one of the poorest countries in Central America, due to corruption, internal conflict and natural disasters. About half of Hondurans live in poverty. Unlike countries further south, Honduras has a fairly important manufacturing industry, especially textile products form a large part of Honduras’ exports. In addition, many Hondurans work in agriculture and the informal economy.
In 1502, Columbus landed in what is now Trujillo on the north coast of Honduras. From 1524 the Spaniards began to colonize Honduras. However, the Spaniards never managed to gain complete control of the inaccessible east. Honduras gained independence from Spain in 1821 and was then part of Mexico for two years, after which it was part of the United States of Central America. Honduras became an independent republic in 1838. At the end of the 19th century, Honduras was developed with the construction of infrastructure for the export of tropical products, especially in the north of the country. American fruit companies had de facto power in parts of Honduras, giving the name “banana republic” to Honduras for the first time in 1904. The north of the Mosquito Coast belonged to Nicaragua until 1960, after which it was assigned to Honduras. This area actually had little economic value, it consists of inaccessible jungle, the modern department of Gracias a Dios has less than 100,000 inhabitants and has no cities. In 1969 the short “football war”fought. Much of today’s infrastructure in Honduras was built in the 1970s. In 1998, the country was hit by Hurricane Mitch, which caused massive damage to agriculture and infrastructure and set the country back decades. Nearly all bridges and secondary roads in Honduras were destroyed.
A 2×2 road in Honduras.
The main road network (Red Vial Nacional) covered 14,044 kilometers in 2015, of which 21.2% (2,977 kilometers) was paved. The rest is a gravel road or sand road. There are no real highways in Honduras, but there are a number of 2×2 roads, especially in and around the capital Tegucigalpa. Due to the mountainous nature, traveling by road is often a time-consuming affair, but there are no alternatives. The road network is often in poor condition due to natural disasters such as landslides and floods. Most roads run in the central part of Honduras, in the east there are hardly any roads, this area consists of densely forested jungles. Honduras has two major border crossings with each neighboring country. The main transit route leads from the Nicaraguan border via Choluteca, Tegucigalpa and Siguatepeque to the border with Guatemala.
The road network in Tegucigalpa is somewhat structured, with some 2×2 roads built to higher design standards, with a greater number of grade separated crossings, sometimes cloverleaf. There is one 2×2 road running east-west through the town and there is a west 2×2 bypass. There is also an eastern bypass. The road network around the center is built in a grid, typical of Latin American cities. Eventually Tegucigalpa should get a full 2×2 ring road. The ring road of Tegucigalpa is called the Anillo Periférico.
The condition of the road network varies greatly. Approximately 60% of the paved roads are in good and 35% in reasonable condition. Of the unpaved roads, 65% is in poor condition and 23% in fair condition. In total, 37% of the national road network was rated as good in 2002.
|Rutas nacionales in Honduras
|CA1 • CA2 • CA3 • CA4 • CA5 • CA6 • CA7 • CA10 • CA11 • CA11A • CA13
In the 1980s it became clear that the condition of the Central American road network was rapidly deteriorating due to the lack of maintenance. From the early 1990s, a lot of money was therefore invested in the modernization of the road network. That is why it was decided in 1993 to set up a national road fund (Fondo Vial de Honduras). This road fund was established in 1999 in its final version.
In 1998, Honduras was hit by Hurricane Mitch, a Category 5 hurricane. The damage was catastrophic, killing 14,600 people in the country and destroying almost the entire infrastructure, mainly due to landslides and flooding after extreme rainfall. It is estimated that 70-80% of the road infrastructure was damaged or destroyed, including most bridges and secondary roads. The traffic infrastructure was rebuilt in phases in the following 5 years.
The rutas centroamericanas in Honduras.
The road network is managed by the Secretaría de Infraestructura y Servicios Públicos (Insep), known until 2014 as the Secretaría de Obras Públicas, Transporte y Vivienda de Honduras (SOPTRAVI), the Honduran ministry responsible for public works, transport and housing. The executive agency is the Dirección General de Carreteras.
The road network is administratively divided into three road classes;
- Red Principal: 3,199 km, 76% paved
- Red Secundaria: 2,565 km, 14% paved
- Red Vecinal: 7,839 km, 0% paved
There are three road number layers in Honduras, similar to neighboring Guatemala.
- Ruta centroamericana: the main road network
- Ruta nacional: the secondary main road network
- Ruta vecinal: the secondary road network
The rutas centroamericanas are actually the only major and mostly paved roads in Honduras. The rutas nacionales often have only limited regional importance and are often short. These have a two digit number. The rutas vecinales are secondary roads that are almost always unpaved and have a three-digit number.
See list of rutas nacionales in Honduras.
The rutas nacionales of Honduras are numbered from RN15 to RN99. Almost all numbers are in use. Many routes are very short, often branching off from other roads to small places of some regional importance. Many rutas nacionales are unpaved. Only a few rutas nacionales pass through multiple departments.
The signage in Honduras is similar to what one finds elsewhere in Central America, green signposts with white capital letters and plump arrows. There are also blue boards with the same layout. Road numbers are indicated on a green shield with a white frame.