Diving into the depths

Trip Start Jan 04, 2009
Trip End Jan 12, 2009

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Flag of Honduras  ,
Saturday, January 3, 2009

There is so much about this country that I never knew: Honduras gained independence from Spain in 1821 and is now a democratic republic.  About the size of Prince Edward Island, the country borders Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, and a warm body of water in the northeastern part of the Caribbean Sea.  The capital is Tegucigalpa (say that three times fast).  About 7.5 M people live in the country, most in the capital.  Numbers drastically vary but Hurricane Mitch killed between 5 and 25 thousand people in 1998 and since then the economy has been making a slow comeback.  The average age of a Honduran is 19 or 20.  AIDS is prevalent.  A little more than 70 Canadian dollars gets you one thousand Lempira.  I wonder what you can buy with a thousand lempira.  In 1502, Christopher Columbus landed on the Bay Islands/ Islas de la Bahia (that is close to where we are staying and I hope we will get there on a day excursion). 

Honduras literally means 'depths' in Spanish.  There is an area on the east coast that our atlas names Gracias a Dios.  On first glance I thought it meant 'thanks to God',  wow, that must be a pretty place! Senica thought it sounded like a hellish place. Turns out he was right and it was named Gracias a Dios as in 'thank you God for getting us out of those depths'. Hmm, hard to imagine wanting to leaving this tropical paradise - the more I learn, the more I am sorry we will ever have to leave!!
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