Honduras is a country in northern Central America, bordered to the west by Guatemala, to the south west El Salvador, to the south east by Nicaragua, to the south by the Pacific Ocean and to the north by the Gulf of Honduras and the Caribbean Sea. Belize (formerly "British Honduras") is 75 km away across the Bay of Honduras.
The Pre-Columbian city of Copán is a locale in extreme western Honduras, in the Copán Department, near to the Guatemalan border. It is the site of a major Maya kingdom of the Classic era. The kingdom, anciently named Xukpi (Corner-Bundle), flourished from the 5th century AD to the early 9th century, with antecedents going back to at least the 2nd century AD. The Maya civilization decayed and by the time the Spanish came to Honduras the once great city-state of Copán was overrun by the jungle.
After the Spanish discovery and subsequent conquest, Honduras became part of Spain's vast empire in the New World. The Spanish ruled Honduras for approximately 3 centuries.
Honduras became a state in the United Provinces of Central America in 1821, and an independent republic with the demise of the union in 1840.
The Football War of 1969 was fought with El Salvador.
After two and a half decades of mostly military rule, a freely elected civilian government came to power in 1982. During the 1980s, Honduras was used by anti-Sandinista contras fighting the Nicaraguan government and an ally to Salvadoran government forces fighting against leftist guerrillas.
Hurricane Mitch devastated the country and wrecked its economy in 1998.