Honduras People, Language & Religion - Allo' Expat Honduras
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People, Language & Religion


The vast majority (90%) of the Honduran people are mestizo, a mixture of white and Amerindian. About 7% of the population is Amerindian, the largest proportion being in the Copán area near the Guatemalan border. Blacks or Afro-Honduran (about 2%), live mostly along the north coast. The black population is mostly of West Indian (Antillean) origin, the descendants of indentured labourers brought mostly from Jamaica and Haiti. The Garifuna (people of mixed Amerindian and African ancestry) live along the north coast and islands. This ethnic group, estimated at 150,000 people, has it origin in the expulsion of black people who refused to be slaves, by the British authorities, from the island of St. Vincent during the 18th century after the Carib Wars. Perhaps 1% of the population is white, chiefly of Spanish origin.

Honduras hosts a significant Palestinian community (the vast majority of whom are Christian Arabs). The Palestinians arrived in the country in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, establishing themselves especially in the city of San Pedro Sula. The Palestinian community, well integrated in Honduras, is prominent in business, commerce, banking, industry, and politics. There is also an East Asian community that is primarily Chinese descent, and to a lesser extent Japanese. Korean, Ryukyuan, Vietnamese also make up a small percentage due to their arrival to Honduras as contract labourers in the 1980s and 1990s. There are also an estimated 1000 Sumos (or Mayangnas) that live in Honduras, the majority of whom reside on the Caribbean coast.


The Spanish language is the predominant language, while (pidgin) English is spoken along the Caribbean and the Islas de la Bahia Department. Indigenous Amerindian languages (in several dialects) and Garifuna are also spoken, though English is becoming more popular everywhere where it was not widely spoken, due to efforts by the government, including making English the second language . Along the northern coast live communities of garifuna speakers who maintained a separate culture.


Religious freedom is guaranteed by the constitution of 1982. The Roman Catholic Church reports a membership that comprises slightly more than 80% of the country's total population. However, according to estimates based on a 2002 poll of citizens 18 or older, only 63% of the population identify themselves as Roman Catholic. Approximately 23% report themselves to be evangelical Christians, and 14% designate themselves as belonging to other religious groups. The remainder were either "others" or provided no answer.

The primary faiths include Roman Catholicism, Judaism, Greek Orthodox, Episcopalian, Lutheran, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mennonite, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Union Church and about 300 evangelical Protestant churches (including the Abundant Life, Living Love and the Grand Commission church).