Honduras was home to several important Mesoamerican cultures, most notably the Maya, prior to being conquered by Spain in the sixteenth century. The Spanish introduced Roman Catholicism and the now predominant Spanish language, along with numerous customs that have blended with the indigenous culture. The country became independent in 1821 and has since been a republic, although it has consistently endured much social strife and political instability.
Honduras spans an area of about 112,492 km² and has a population exceeding eight million. Its northern portions are part of the Western Caribbean Zone.
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