Hispanic-Hondurans live in the north, south, and center of the country. The pre-Hispanic population was probably much higher, but conquest, slavery, and disease killed many people.
The capital city, Tegucigalpa, was chosen because it is near the geographic center of the country. The population did not reach one million until 1940.
Tawahka is a Macro-Chibchan language that is very closely related to Sumo, which is spoken in Nicaragua. Misquito is a Macro-Chibchan language, although most Misquitos speak fluent Spanish.
The Misquito population is about thirty-four thousand.
Some are of African descent, and some of British descent. Although originally imposed by the conquistadores, it has been widely spoken in Honduras for over two hundred years.
The Bay Islanders population is about twenty-two thousand. Almost all residents speak Spanish, although some also speak English or one of the Native American languages discussed in the previous paragraph. Hondurans use some words that are not heard in other Spanish-speaking countries, and this gives their speech a distinctive character. In spite of the 1969 war with El Salvador and tense relations with Nicaragua, the Honduran people feel that they are part of a larger Central American community.
They originated on the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent during colonial times from escaped slaves who settled among a group of Arawak-speaking Carib Indians and adopted their native American language.
The north coast was once primarily rain forest, but much of it has been cleared for commercial banana plantations. It includes the "Mosquito Coast," which is actually a long series of white sand beaches and freshwater lagoons.
Inland from the coast, the Mosquitia has one of the last great stands of tropical rain forest left in North America, plus pine woods and grasslands.
There are about nineteen thousand Jicaque in Yoro and about two hundred in Montaña de la Flor.
The Pech are a native people in the departments of Olancho and Colón, with a few living in Gracias a Dios in the Mosquitia.
The Garífuna people live along the Caribbean Coast of Central America, from Belize to Nicaragua.