Two mountain ranges divide Honduras, and tropical lowlands lie along both coasts. The climate varies according to altitude with higher regions being tem-perate and the lowlands tropical. The rainy season lasts from June to October.

Honduras is the poorest country in Central America. Eighty-seven percent of the people are peasants of Indian and Spanish ancestry, and malnourishment is widespread. Honduras is primarily an agricultural country, with bananas, coffee, timber, beef, and sugar production as major exports.

Mayan civilization flourished in Honduras centuries before Columbus arrived in 1502. Honduras became independent from Spain in 1821 and from a federation of Central American countries in 1838. Since then, frequent revolutions have marked the country's history. During a stable period from 1955 to 1957 important social progress was made. An elected civilian government took power in 1982, the country's first in ten years. The government is now concerned with land distribution, a literacy campaign, and raising wages.

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