Honduras is a democratic republic in Central America. It was formerly known as Spanish Honduras to differentiate it from British Honduras (now Belize).The country is bordered by Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, the Pacific Ocean at the Gulf of Fonseca, and Gulf of Honduras, a large inlet of the Caribbean Sea. Its size is just over 110,000 km˛ with an estimated population of almost 7,500,000.

Archaeologists have demonstrated that Honduras had a rich, multi-ethnic prehistory. An important part of that prehistory was the Mayan presence around the city of Copán in western Honduras, near the Guatemalan border. A major Mayan city flourished during the classic period (150-900) in that area. The Mayan civilization began a marked decline in the ninth century, but there is evidence of people still living in and around the city until at least 1200. By the time the Spanish came to Honduras, the once great city-state of Copán was overrun by the jungle.

After the Spanish discovery, Honduras became part of Spain's vast empire in the New World within the Kingdom of Guatemala. The Spanish ruled what would become Honduras for approximately three centuries.

Spain granted independence to Honduras, with the rest of the Central American provinces on September 15, 1821. In 1822 the United Central American Provinces decided to join the newly declared Mexican Empire of Iturbide. The Iturbide Empire was overthrown in 1823 and Central America separated from it, forming the Federal Republic of Central America, which disintegrated in 1838. As a result the states of the republic became independent nations.

In 1969, Honduras and El Salvador fought what would become known as the Football War. Contributing factors in the conflict were a boundary dispute and the presence of thousands of Salvadorans living in Honduras illegally. After the week-long football war in July 1969, many Salvadoran families and workers were expelled. El Salvador had agreed on a truce to settle the boundary issue, but Honduras later paid war damage costs for expelled refugees.

During the 1980s, the United States established a very large military presence in Honduras with the purpose of supporting the anti-Sandinista Contras fighting the Nicaraguan government, and to support the El Salvador military fighting against the FMLN guerrillas.

In 1998, Hurricane Mitch caused such massive and widespread loss, obliterated about 70% of the crops and an estimated 70-80% of the transportation infrastructure, including nearly all bridges and secondary roads. Across the country, 33,000 houses were destroyed, an additional 50,000 damaged, some 5,000 people killed, 12,000 injured and total losses estimated at $3 billion USD.