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Places Around Tegucigalpa

Tegucigalpa

Gracias

Lake Yojoa

Comayagua

Ocotepeque

Honduran Highlands

La Entrada

Lempira

Corquin

Juticalpa

Copan Ruinas

General View

Tegucigalpa (Hondurans in general, and people familiar with the city, shorten it to " Tegus ", while most locals actually use the full name) is a great example Central America of urban sprawl gone amok, spread out across very hilly terrain.. Of course, the city, a 400 year old mining center, has a depth that is there for those with time and nerve to find it.. It has a plethora of interesting, if decaying, old colonial buildings, and many old stone streets winding intriguingly up steep hills to hidden parks, stone steps, and old houses..

The defining event in recent Honduran history, and that of Tegucigalpa also, is Hurricane Mitch, which devastated the country in 1998. Mitch reportedly set the country back 50 years.. Tegus is still recovering from the massive flooding of the river, and equally massive landslides, both triggered by the rampant deforestation of the hills surrounding the city. Indeed, signs of whole colonias (neighbourhoods) having slid off steep hills are still evident. Workers continue to toil daily in the river, removing silt deposited by the flooding. Many or most people lost friends and relatives during the crisis..

General Info

Tegucigalpa, commonly referred to as Tegus, is the capital of Honduras and seat of government of the Republic, along with its twin sister Comayagela.. Claimed on September 29, 1578 by the Spaniards, it became the country's capital on October 30, 1880 under President Marco Aurelio Soto.. The current Constitution of Honduras, enacted in 1982, names the sister cities of Tegucigalpa and Comayagela as a Central District to serve as the permanent national capital, under articles 8 and 295.. During the short lived Constitution of the Republic of Central America of 1821, Tegucigalpa served as a Federal District and capital of then newly formed as one nation the states of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras..

After this failed attempt to maintain a Central American republic, Honduras returned to become an individual sovereign nation and on January 30, 1937, Article 179 of the 1936 Honduran Constitution was reformed under Decree 53 to established Tegucigalpa and Comayagela as a Central District.. Tegucigalpa is located in the southern central highland region of Honduras in the department of Francisco Morazn of which it is also the departmental capital. It is situated in a valley, surrounded by mountains and both Tegucigalpa and Comayagela, being sister cities, are physically separated by the Choluteca River..

The Central District is the largest of the 28 municipalities in the Francisco Morazn department.. Tegucigalpa is Honduras' largest and most populous city as well as the nation's political and administrative center. Tegucigalpa is host to 25 foreign embassies and 16 consulates in addition to being the home base of several state owned entities such as ENEE and Hondutel, the national energy and telecommunications companies, respectively.. The city is also home to the country's most important university, the National Autonomous University of Honduras, as well as the national soccer team..

The capital's international airport, Toncontn, is notorious around the world for its extremely short runway for an international airport and the unusual maneuvers pilots must undertake upon landing or taking off to avoid the nearby mountains.. The Central District Mayor's Office is the city's governing body, headed by a mayor and 10 aldermen forming the Municipal Corporation. Being the department's seat as well, the governor's office of Francisco Morazn is also located in the capital.. In 2008, the city operated on an approved budget of 1.555 billion lempiras. In 2009, the city government reported a revenue of 1.955 billion lempiras..

Tegucigalpa's infrastructure has not kept with the population growth. Deficient urban planning, densely condensed urbanization, and poverty are ongoing problems. Heavily congested roadways where current road infrastructure is unable to efficiently handle the over 400,000 vehicles create havoc on a daily basis.. Both current national and local governments have taken approaches at improving or increasing infrastructure as well as to reducing poverty in the city..

What To See

Parque La Leona, is an old neighbourhood in the center of Tegus, overlooking the central park. It is a bit of a labyrinth to make your way up the old steep windy streets to arrive at parque La Leona, but it is a nice park, with a beautiful view, and a relaxed atmosphere.. If walking, if you start facing the front door of the basilica in the central park, head to your left, and just keep walking up hill, and you will almost certainly hit the park as long as you continue upwards.. Or ask someone in the area. In the park there is a little store / restaurant that sells typical Honduran food and has a patio overhanging from the park, with a spectacular view of the city, the valley, and the hills..

Parque el Picacho, is a park overlooking the city which takes its name from the huge statue of Jesus Christ, also called " Cristo el Picacho ", which is visible from almost any point in the city.. Free parking is available at the entrance of the park, and entrance to the park is a nominal fee (around 5 USD). The views from the park are gorgeous. The park is well maintained, clean, and seemingly not very busy (though likely busier on weekends).. To get to the park if you don't have a car, you can take the rapidito bus that passes the park on the way to El Hatillo. The bus leaves from a few blocks north of the central park..

If you walk to the end of the Calle Peotanal that begins in front of the basilica, and follow it to the end, through the black gates, past the Museo de Identidad Nacional, all the way to the Bonillo Theatre, take a left there on the far side of the theatre, walk up one block and the bus leaves on the right.. Or just ask someone in this area. On the rapidito ask the fare taker to tell you when to get off for Picacho (about a 5 10minute walk in to the park gate, then a further 15 to the big Jesus)..

The bus ride takes around 15 to 20 minutes.. National Zoo, on the same hill as the Picacho statue, with tropical animals such as monkeys, bright colored parrots, and others. There is a separate entrance fee to enter the zoo.. While not a horrible zoo, and worth seeing if you don't mind dropping a few dollars on the entrance fee, the zoo features mostly lethargic animals, the larger ones often noticeably insane as a result of their encagement.. The zoo has a variety of monkeys, crocodiles, a jaguar, tapirs (anteaters), snakes, a collection of various raptors, and others..

Museo para la Identidad Nacional (National Identity Museum), Calle El Telegrafo. Museum of Honduran history and art. Gets good reviews on other sites.. Museo Arqueologico (Archaeology Museum)..

What To Do

Movies The Mall Multiplaza has a Cinemark theater on the third floor. Showtimes for popular movies frequently are half English with Spanish subtitles, and half dubbed in Spanish. For films and showtimes, select " Honduras - Multiplaza) from the dropdown on the right.. As of 2009, tickets are L63 / person.. Karaoke. There's a karaoke bar a few blocks west of Parque Central. There's no song list, so you just need to think of songs and hope they have them. They seem to have a good number of the more popular English karaoke songs (aka Beatles), otherwise you can sing Spanish songs..

They also have cheap beer and they serve you small snacks (crackers with tuna on them) at no extra charge while you're sitting down.. Parque de la Paz, Just south of the Estadio Nacional. From the top you can see great panoramic views of Tegucigalpa, and the Peace Monument itself is also worth the trip up to see.. However, see below for VERY important safety instructions.. St. Michael's Cathedral, Los Dolores Church, and San Francisco Church. These are all old Catholic churches well worth visiting, and La Merced and the Basilica de Suyapa are really good, too..

While not up to the level of a place like Cartagena, Colombia, such older churches are a nice surprise to the tourist who isn't aware that Tegucigalpa has older, Colonial era attractions as well..

How To Get In

There are a number of bus international bus lines running to Tegus from other Central American capitals. These offer first class, very comfortable service at a reasonable price. A trip from Managua, San Salvador, or Guatemala City would cost between 20-40 USD.. Ticabus, is the most affordable and frequented by backpackers. Hedman Alas, Nicabus, and King Quality, are other first class, reliable bus companies. Of course, it is also possible to travel on less comfortable, less expensive lines, but this is difficult or impossible to plan from afar..

Internal travel in Honduras is easy enough, and made more easy thanks to the excellent transportation guide published by the Honduran tourism magazine called Honduras Tips, and available online at their website.. Travel from La Ceiba, on the north coast, Empresa de Bus Cristina provides good service, at around 10USD for the 7 8h trip.. 95% of buses coming to Tegus arrive into Comayaguela, the sister city of Tegucigalpa. It is also reputedly one of the more dangerous parts of the city. If arriving to Comayaguela after dark, do not walk around looking for a place to stay..

Even in the day, walking from bus stations in Comayaguela to a hotel or hostel any distance away would be a bit risky.. Airlines offering international service to Tegus include;. Copa (San Jose, CR and Panama). TACA (Miami, San Salvador, Guatemala, and San Jose, CR). Tegus has a very nice, modern airport, though there are few budget flights to the city.. Possibly less expensive is to fly to San Pedro Sula to the north and closer to the resorts on the Caribbean coast and take a bus from there to Tegucigalpa via Hedman Alas, Transportes Viana or any one of many other less expensive operators..

Taxis from the airport to downtown may be negotiated to ~ L100 as of June 2009..

Videos

What To Do

Movies The Mall Multiplaza has a Cinemark theater on the third floor. Showtimes for popular movies frequently are half English with Spanish subtitles, and half dubbed in Spanish. For films and showtimes, select " Honduras - Multiplaza) from the dropdown on the right.. As of 2009, tickets are L63 / person.. Karaoke. There's a karaoke bar a few blocks west of Parque Central. There's no song list, so you just need to think of songs and hope they have them. They seem to have a good number of the more popular English karaoke songs (aka Beatles), otherwise you can sing Spanish songs..

They also have cheap beer and they serve you small snacks (crackers with tuna on them) at no extra charge while you're sitting down.. Parque de la Paz, Just south of the Estadio Nacional. From the top you can see great panoramic views of Tegucigalpa, and the Peace Monument itself is also worth the trip up to see.. However, see below for VERY important safety instructions.. St. Michael's Cathedral, Los Dolores Church, and San Francisco Church. These are all old Catholic churches well worth visiting, and La Merced and the Basilica de Suyapa are really good, too..

While not up to the level of a place like Cartagena, Colombia, such older churches are a nice surprise to the tourist who isn't aware that Tegucigalpa has older, Colonial era attractions as well..

How To Get In

There are a number of bus international bus lines running to Tegus from other Central American capitals. These offer first class, very comfortable service at a reasonable price. A trip from Managua, San Salvador, or Guatemala City would cost between 20-40 USD.. Ticabus, is the most affordable and frequented by backpackers. Hedman Alas, Nicabus, and King Quality, are other first class, reliable bus companies. Of course, it is also possible to travel on less comfortable, less expensive lines, but this is difficult or impossible to plan from afar..

Internal travel in Honduras is easy enough, and made more easy thanks to the excellent transportation guide published by the Honduran tourism magazine called Honduras Tips, and available online at their website.. Travel from La Ceiba, on the north coast, Empresa de Bus Cristina provides good service, at around 10USD for the 7 8h trip.. 95% of buses coming to Tegus arrive into Comayaguela, the sister city of Tegucigalpa. It is also reputedly one of the more dangerous parts of the city. If arriving to Comayaguela after dark, do not walk around looking for a place to stay..

Even in the day, walking from bus stations in Comayaguela to a hotel or hostel any distance away would be a bit risky.. Airlines offering international service to Tegus include;. Copa (San Jose, CR and Panama). TACA (Miami, San Salvador, Guatemala, and San Jose, CR). Tegus has a very nice, modern airport, though there are few budget flights to the city.. Possibly less expensive is to fly to San Pedro Sula to the north and closer to the resorts on the Caribbean coast and take a bus from there to Tegucigalpa via Hedman Alas, Transportes Viana or any one of many other less expensive operators..

Taxis from the airport to downtown may be negotiated to ~ L100 as of June 2009..

How To Get Around

The football (soccer) stadium is a great central point for learning your bearings map wise of the city. Several of the larger roads meet in a round about that uses the stadium as its hub.. As of June 2009, taxis (directos) will cost ~ L80 for a 20 minute cross town trip. Negotiating for the price (before getting in) is expected. Taxi drivers are a bit wild, so buckle up (oops, they don't have seatbelts).. Prices increase with number of passengers and late at night. Don't be afraid to walk away from an expensive offer - taxis are everywhere and you'll likely win the negotiation by walking away..

Colectivos, like the city buses, run set routes from one point to another. If you see a long line of people weaving down a side walk, this is most likely a collectivo line.. As of June 2009, colectivos cost L11 / person.. As of March 2007, Buses were 3 Lempira ($0 16) but run set routes that most visitors won't know.. There are common bus stops throughout the town, but are unlabeled. Find a large group of people standing on the sidewalks for the largest selection of bus routes. To know the main destinations of the buses, look on the front of the bus above the windshield..

Most buses operate to distinct neighborhoods and link to El Centro or the market in Comayaguela. In the market in Comayaguela you can also find many inter city buses with various prices and various levels of comfort, ranging from the most common chicken bus to double decker luxury buses..

What To Buy

The Mall Multiplaza is a two story, top of the line mall, just like you would find in any of the biggest cities in the United States. Overpriced and somewhat opulent, but a nice place.. Cascadas Mall the newest mall in Tegus located close to the airport is very modern and has many US restaurants such as Applebees inside it. Nopt as popular as Multiplaza. San Isidrio Market down by the river. You can walk around the 16 square blocks of true Honduran markets and see where the Hondurans who can't afford to shop at the mall go to buy their things..

Women travelers will be more comfortable with a male companion. The market gets " earthier " the nearer the river you get. If a local warns you that you are heading into an unsafe area of the market, thank them and backtrack..

What To Eat

Tegus has a unhealthy variety of American food restaurants; McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Subway, etc All follow " home office " food preparation procedures and travelers can eat at them without fear of getting sick.. The food court of Multiplaza will do for on the go meals.. Tipping in Honduras is 10%. Tipping is not generally expected at smaller restaurants but always appreciated.. La Cumbre, ☎ + 504 2211 9000. The nicest restaurant in town ($20 / person or so) on top of the " mountain " of " El Hatillio. " The food is awesome as is the spectacular view of the city..

Get there about 5; 00PM to enjoy the daytime, sunset and evening views of Tegus all in one sitting.. La Milonga is an Argentinian restaurant in the part of town called La Palmira. It is a mid to up scale restaurant, where meals are 100-140 lempiras (5 8 $) per person.. They have a good menu full of healthy and delicious food, of which the tomato soup is particularly recommended. They also have a reasonably priced wine menu featuring Argentinian imports, and delicious L40 licuados.. La Terraza de Don Pepe a well known eating establishment just off the central park, which serves typical Honduran food at better quality and slightly higher prices than your everyday Honduran comedor. Good for travellers looking to sample the local food while taking little risk of tainted food..

The location, on the second story, overlooking the street below (hence the name of the restaurant) is nice. The entrance however is very hidden... But there is a sign.. It is on the street to the east side of the park, one or two blocks to the north.. Duncan Maya is located just off the park, on the same street as La Terasa, but a bit closer to the park. It is on street level. Duncan Maya is often open later than other places in the area and at a certain hour will be your only alternative to fast food places..

That being said, the food is greasy and a bit over priced. But, they do sometimes have live bands at night (very loud), and it's a must for the " local " experience.. Their " bistec de caballo " (yes, horse steak) is excellent.. Casa Maria, Col Castano Sur Ave Ramon E Cruz 202 (From Banco Ficensa on Blvd Morazan, go a block and a half down the hill It will be on your left).. Some of the best food in the city, with a variety of international cuisine including French, Italian, and Nicaraguan. Prices are not too expensive with the average plate costing around $15 - $20..

Staff and the owners are friendly and speak excellent English. They have a good selection of wines.. Asados El Gordo has a few locations throughout the city and one on the road to Santa Lucia. Some of the best " parrilladas " or meat fests in the city accomponied by traditional sides such as beans, platanos, avocado, cheese, mantequilla (crema), and the oh so necessary tortilla.. Very moderately priced (last time I went we had a " parrillada para dos " which included grilled chicken, chorizo, grilled steak, two plates of the sides mentioned above, and two drinks for just around $20, no need to mention there was enough food leftover for another person to eat).

Options For Drink

Friday and Saturday nights after nine may get a tiny bit dangerous as the alcohol content in the patrons goes up.. In Honduras, empty beer bottles are left on the tables until the bill is paid, so you can get a very quick visual indication of where cooler heads will prevail and where tempers may rise just by looking.. Beers range in price from L12 to L30 depending on where you buy them. The cheapest way to go is to buy bottles from a store, however to do this, or at least to get the cheapest price, you need to have a supply of empties to exchange for new ones..

You will have to pay more the first time to buy the bottles, but then you've got the cycle going.... Decent rum is incredibly inexpensive in supermarkets (think $6 / bottle for what would be $25 elsewhere).. Honduras has four national beers, Salva Vida, Imperial, Port Royal, and Barena. They are all quite similar, all lagers. Port Royal is a bit skunkier, and Imperial may be a bit more flavorful.. The local hootch, known as " guaro " presumably deriving from " aguardiente " (fire water), comes in two brands, Tatascan and Yuscaran. This is cheap, strong cane liquor, the choice selection of drunks in Honduras..

At 40% alcohol, a litre of this stuff could run you as little as a dollar. Probably best to avoid... or a one time occasion..

Where To Sleep

Several cheap hotels can be found 15 minutes east of the center on Avenida Gutenberg. There are also many economical hotelitos and hospedajes (as well as some upmarket ones) around Inglesia Los Dolores, 5 calle.. Granada 1 About 13 USD per night for a single.. Hotel Nankin Cost. About 12 USD per night for a single.. Hospedaje Cosmopolitan. About 4 USD per night for a single.. Real InterContinental Tegucipalga, Av. Roble, frente a Mall Multiplaza, ☎ + 504 2902700, fax; + 504 2312828. Check in; 01232010, check out; 01282010..

The Real InterContinental Tegucipalga offers visitors to the capital 157 rooms, 7 suites, rooms and executive floors for guests who are the hotel for business. Also a restaurant, gym, pool, spa, among other services. Prices range between $100 - $600 5 days.. Tegucigalpa Marriott Hotel Just 6 miles from Tocontin International Airport, the Tegucigalpa Marriott is in the new city center, a short distance from the Multiplaza Mall. Has an executive lounge, meeting rooms, outdoor pool, fitness center and first rated restaurants..

Clarion Hotel Real Tegucigalpa, Juan Manuel Galvez, 1521, ☎ + 504 286 6000, fax; + 504 286 6001. Clarion Hotel Real Tegucigalpa is located near the Cas Presidencial. In the vicinity of the hotel include cafes, bars and meeting rooms.. It offers free shuttle service from the International Toncontin airport to hotel and vice versa. The 167 rooms for its guests by offering access to high speed Internet, fitness center and an outdoor pool surrounded by a spacious sundeck.. Prices range between $100 - $350..

Hotel Paseo Miramontes. Only 4 km. from the International Airport and in the vecinity of shopping malls, government offices, banks and the vibrant sector of the city, HPM provides personalized quality service at an excellent price.. Hotel Capital, Ave.. Cervantes Calle Las Damas (3 blocks east of Central Park), ☎ 22200156NOCC. Check out; 1300. Centrally Located in the historic district. Free Cable.. Aparthotel Paseo La Leona, 709 Paseo La Leona (2 Blocks North of Central Park), ☎ 22370070NOCC. Check out; 1300. Free Cable and High Speed WiFi. Security. Parking..

Extended Stay rates available. $29..

How To Stay Safe

The most important rule for street safety in Tegucigalpa is to never walk anywhere after dark. Are there areas of the city that are safe to walk in after dark ? Yes. As an (assumedly) short term traveler, do you know what they are ?. In general, no one in Honduras will intervene during a crime. They do not want to get involved and reap the anger of the perpetrator. They will look the other way and walk right on by.. Take special care at night. It is common for a foreigner to be robbed on the streets of Tegucigalpa at night. Thieves will stake out areas near tourist hotels, especially the Hotel Maya..

Cars are commonly broken into in broad daylight and the thieves don't even bother wearing masks. If you are driving, it is always worth it to pay to park in a guarded lot.. Follow these general guidelines;. Keep to the main parts of the city and don't be tempted to go to places that you are not sure of.. Keep to the main roads and avoid short cuts down back alleys etc. Never walk at night in the center of the city even for a short distance - always take a taxi.. Be particularly wary of people hanging around outside hotels; it is a favorite place to catch tourists and mug them..

Ignore the street children and people coming up to you in the streets with hard luck tales. Street children can become violent and the latter may be part of an elaborate scam or they might just simply be pick pockets.. The best thing to do is just to walk on and ignore them.. Do not carry large sums of money when shopping and do not wear expensive jewelry.. Do not accept food and drink from strangers; visitors have known to be drugged and then robbed.. If you must carry large sums of money or valuable possessions, carry two wallets; Keep one hidden with most of your money in it. The other should be in the most common place, your back pocket..

Keep 5-10 US $ in the wallet, and a few stray lempiras. The lempiras can go to beggars (they tend to be persistent), and the dollars to appease any possible robbers.. Typically 5-10 US $ is viewed as a days salary in Honduras, and just may be enough to appease a robber without sacrificing your larger stash. Use caution, as there is no such thing as a predictable thief in Honduras.. If you shop at the Mercado San Isidro in Comayaguela, don't go after dark and don't carry a lot of valuables with you. Even in the daytime there are pickpockets and " grab and run " thieves in the market..

And definitely don't walk around in Comayaguela itself (apart from the market area) at ANY time, day or night.. It IS possible to go to Parque de la Paz and take panoramic pictures from the top as well as a picture of the monument itself. However, you must be very careful. Do not ever walk up the hill by yourself or even in a small group.. Have a reliable taxi or tourist guide drive you up and make sure not to wander around too much when you're at the summit. It ought to go without saying that this is only possible in the daytime..

Where To Go Next

Copan Ruinas - A small town named after the nearby ruins of an ancient Mayan city.. Nicaragua - There are direct buses to Managua with connections to go further south.. El Salvador - Direct buses are available to go to San Salvador.. " Valle de Angeles " (Valley of the Angels) A small tourist town is 25 miles away from Tegus and is a great place to do all of your tourist shopping (a little cheaper than airport prices) and the home of the best restaurant in all of Honduras - " La Casa de mi Abuela " (My Grandmother's House)..

Generally slow service (nothing new in Honduras) but so very, very worth it. Definitely get an order of the anafres (tortilla chips in bean and cheese sauce)..

History

Tegucigalpa was founded by Spanish settlers as Real de Minas de San Miguel de Tegucigalpa on September 29, 1578 on the site of an existing native settlement of the Pech, Tolupans and the Twahkas.. The first mayor of Tegucigalpa was Juan de la Cueva, who took office in 1579. The Dolores Church, the San Miguel Cathedral, the Casa de la Moneda, and the Immaculate Conception Church were some of the first important buildings constructed.. Almost 200 years later, on June 10, 1762, this mining town became Real Villa de San Miguel de Tegucigalpa y Heredia under the rule of Alonso Fernndez de Heredia, then acting governor of Honduras..

The late 18th and early 19th centuries saw disruption in Tegucigalpa's local government, from being extinguished in 1788 to becoming part of Comayagua in 1791 to returning to self city governance in 1817.. In 1817, then mayor Narciso Mallol started the construction of the first bridge, a ten arch masonry, connecting both sides of the Choluteca River. Upon completion four years later, it linked Tegucigalpa with her neighbor city of Comayagela.. In 1821, Tegucigalpa legally became a city. In 1824, the first Congress of the Republic of Honduras, declared Tegucigalpa and Comayagua, then the two most important cities in the country, to alternate as capital of the country..

After October 1838, following Honduras' independence as anud single Republic, the capital continued to switch back and forth between Tegucigalpa and Comayagua until October 30, 1880, when Tegucigalpa was declared the permanent capital of Honduras by then president Marco Aurelio Soto.. A popular myth claims that the society of Comayagua, the long time colonial capital of Honduras, publicly disliked the wife of President Soto, who took revenge by moving the capital to Tegucigalpa.. A more likely theory is that the change took place because President Soto was an important partner of the Rosario Mining Company, an American silver mining company, whose operations were based in San Juancito, close to Tegucigalpa, and he needed to be close to his personal interests..

By 1898, it was decided that both Tegucigalpa and Comayagela, being neighbor cities on the banks of the Choluteca River, would form the capital, but with separate names and separate local governments.. During this period, both cities had a population of about 40,000 people.. Between the 1930s and 1960s, Tegucigalpa continued to grow reaching a population of over 250,000 people, giving way to what would become one of the biggest neighborhoods in the city, the Colonia Kennedy; the nation's autonomous university, the UNAH; and the construction of the Honduras Maya Hotel..

It still remained relatively small and provincial until the 1970s, when migration from the rural areas began in earnest. During the 1980s, several avenues, traffic overpasses, and large buildings were erected, a relative novelty to a city characterized until then by two story buildings.. However, lacking the enforcement of city planning and zoning laws, it led to highly disorganized urbanization. This lack of proper urbanization as the population has grown is evident on the surrounding slopes of the several hills in the city where some of the city's most impoverished neighborhoods have prevailed..

On October 30, 1998, Hurricane Mitch devastated the capital, along with the rest of Honduras. For five days, Mitch pounded the country creating devastating landslides and floods, causing the death of thousands as well as heavy deforestation and the destruction of thousands of homes.. A portion of Comayagela was destroyed along with several neighborhoods on both sides of the Honduran capital. After the hurricane, infrastructure in Tegucigalpa was severely severed. Even 12 years later, remnants of Hurricane Mitch are still visible specially along the banks of the Choluteca River..

Today, Tegucigalpa continues to sprawl far beyond its former colonial core towards the east, south and west, creating a large but disorganized metropolis.. In an effort to modernize the capital, increase its infrastructure and improve the quality of life of its inhabittants, the current administration has passed several ordinances and projects to turn the city around within the upcoming years..

Economy

The Central District has an economy equal to 19.3 percent of country's GDP. In 2009, the city's revenue and expenditures budget was of L.2,856,439,263 while in 2010 it was of L.2,366,993,208 57.9 percent or L.43.860 billion of the country's national budget is spent within the Central District.. The District's active labor force is of 367,844 people of which 56,035 are employed in the public sector. In 2009, the unemployment rate in Tegucigalpa was 8.1 percent. and an unemployed person may spend as much as four months seeking employment..

There are 32,665 business establishments throughout the capital, the most of any city in the country. The size of these businesses is broken down as follow micro enterprises, small businesses, medium sized businesses, large companies, and the remainder unreported.. The city's major economic sources are commerce, construction, services, textiles, sugar, and tobacco.. Economic activity is broken down as follow commerceincluding wholesale, retail, auto repair, household goods; manufacturing industry, hospitalityhotels and restaurants, banking and real state, social and personal services, health related services, and others..

The industrial production taking place in the region include textiles, clothing, sugar, cigarettes, lumber, plywood, paper, ceramics, cement, glass, metalwork, plastics, chemicals, tires, electrical appliances, and farm machinery.. Maquiladora duty free assembly plants have been established in an industrial park in the Amarateca valley, on the northern highway. Silver, lead and zinc are still mined in the outskirts of the city.. Honduran banks based in Tegucigalpa include Banco Atlntida, Banco Continental, Banco Financiera Centroamricana, Banco Financiera Comercial Hondurea, Banco Hondureo del Caf, Banco Hondureo para la Produccin y la Vivienda, Banco de Occidente, Banco del Pas, Banco de los Trabajadores, the Central Bank of Honduras, the country's central banking public institution and Banco Nacional de Desarrollo Agrcola, also state owned, with central offices located in Comayagela..

International financial institutions in Tegucigalpa include Banco de Amrica Central BAC Honduras, Banco Lafise, Citibank, Davivienda, the Inter American Development Bank, the World Bank, and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, with its headquarters located in Colonia Miramontes on Boulevard Suyapa.. Manufacturing assembly plants were introduced in Honduras in 1976. While their contribution to the economy remained small, they boomed at the beginning of the 1990s, mostly concentrating in northern Honduras but after the mid 1990s they were expanded to the central region, including Tegucigalpa..

By 2005, at least 6 maquiladoras operated in the Central District.. By the end of the 1990s and early 2000s, Tegucigalpa continued to be a focus city for the development of industrial parks. The main obstacle to establish factories in Tegucigalpa has been facilitating infrastructure to provide efficient access between the capital and country's economic hubs San Pedro Sula and Puerto Cortez.. While foreign investment manufacturers and exporters have focused in northern Honduras, the presence of multinational corporations is evident in Tegucigalpa. Popular retail, restaurant, and hospitality American branded franchises prevail throughout the Honduran capital; such as Walmart, McDonalds, Marriot, among others..

Companies from other countries such as Mexico, have also made their presence with arrivals like Cinpolis movie theaters, which opened in 2010 in Cascadas Mall. Foreign real estate and property developers operate in the capital District as well, such as Grupo Roble of the Multiplaza malls.. Tegucigalpa's economic challenges are tied to those of the rest of the country, such as overcoming crime, anomalies in the judicial system, educational backwardness, and deficient infrastructure in order to continue to encourage foreign investors and permit growth of local entrepreneurs..

Culture

Tegucigalpa is a colonial city with a history spanning for more than 400 years. According to the National Chamber of Tourism of Honduras, the city is visited by at least 250,000 tourists every summer.. For Easter 2011, at least 300,000 visitors arrived to the city.. The Fair of the Capital is a celebration happening every year in the month of September to commemorate the city's anniversary. Several festivities occur during this time including book fairs, art expositions, concerts and a parade.. The 2010 Fair was suspended due to heavy rain and flooding in the region. For 2011, the fair was scheduled to run from September 26 until October 13. Another yearly event is the Fair of the Horse and Culture taking place in the month of November..

There is also a Christmas Fair in the month of December.. Some of the parks in the city include Parque La Leona, Parque Herrera, Parque Del Soldado, Parque Juan A Lainez, Plaza Espaa, Plaza del Libertador, and Central Park, the latter located in the heart of the historic center which leads to Paseo Liquidambar, a pedestrian zone street.. La Tigra National Park lies several kilometers north of the city and covers an area of 93.9 square miles. The United Nations National Park on El Picacho Hill just north above the city offers a great view of the city and hosts the Picacho Metropolitan Zoo..

Some of the popular landmarks include the Metropolitan Cathedral, the former Presidential Palace, the National University, the Basilica of the Virgin of Suyapa, La Merced Church, and the Manuel Bonilla Theater.. There are several charming colonial villages within easy driving distance from Tegucigalpa Santa Lucia, Valle de Angeles, Ojojona, Yuscarn and San Juancito. Each has its own distinct character and sense of history and all of them make easy day trips out of the city.. Tegucigalpa is home to two of the nation's four most important newspapers La Tribuna, the liberal and leading newspaper in the city and El Heraldo, the more conservative. There are three other daily papers printed in the city El Libertador, El Patriota, and Tiempos del Mundo..

Hondudiario, Proceso Digital, and Honduras Weekly are online only newspapers based in the capital, the latter offered in English. La Gaceta is the Honduran government's official newspaper, printed and published in the capital.. Tegucigalpa is also served by the rest of country's newspapers, including La Prensa and El Tiempo from San Pedro Sula and the sports newspaper and fashion magazine, Diez and Estilo, respectively; divisions of La Prensa.. Voz el Soberano and Revistazo are political watchdog online publishers..

There are currently eight channels broadcasting on VHF and 12 channels on UHF in the Central District region from TV networks of the major cities in the country. Cable Color, based in Tegucigalpa, is one of the major cable TV providers in the country.. There are five television networks based in Tegucigalpa Televicentro Corporation, the largest television media conglomerate in the country which operates three television networks Compaia Televisora Hondurea, Telesistema Hondureo and Telecadena 7 amp; 4 The other four networks are Channel 11 owned by Grupo Continental amp; R Media; Televisin Educativa National TEN, a public broadcasting network featuring the Telenoticiero Abriendo Brecha newscast; Maya TV, and Telered 21 which has its principal offices in San Pedro Sula..

There are 24 FM radio stations and 28 AM stations transmitting into or from Tegucigalpa.. Emisoras Unidas, the largest radio conglomerate in the country, is headquartered in Tegucigalpa and operates 94 SU 94.1 FM, Rock N ' Pop 92.3 FM, Vox 101.9 FM, Suave 102.5 FM, Sterio xitos 88.1 FM, Radio Satlite 790 AM, XY Honduras 90.5 FM, Radio HRN 92.9 FM. The following radio stations are based in Tegucigalpa 88.7 Radio Globo Honduras, 91.1 Radio Kairos, 91.7 Estereo La Buenisima, 93.5 Radio Cadena Voces, 94.7 Radio America, 95.9 Radio Panamericana, 97.1 La 97 FM Radio, 97.7 Stereo Azul, 100.1 Super 100 Estereo, 101.3 Radio Nacional de Honduras, 103.1 Tu Alternativa, 103.7 Stereo Luz, 104.3 Momentos FM Estereo, 104.9 Estereo Amor, 106.7 Radio CHN Cadena Hondurea de Noticias, and 107.3 W 107 Radio del Flow..

There are 14 museums in Tegucigalpa. Most of the popular museums are located around historic center of the city.. These include the National Identity Museum, founded in 2006; the National Anthropology and History Museum or Villa Roy National Museum, founded in 1976 on the former residence of President Julio Lozano Daz and reopened after a complete restoration in 1997; the National Art Gallery, founded in 1996; the Republic History Museum, founded in 1993; the Museum of Man, founded in 1989, the Telecommuncations Museum, founded in 1985; the Military History Museum, founded in 1983; and the Archaeological Museum..

The Natural History Museum is located within the National Autonomous University of Honduras. The Numismatic Museum was founded in 1993 and is located in Comayagela next to the Central Bank of Honduras Annex building.. There is a children's museum,, founded in 2003, located on Blvd. Fuerzas Armadas within the Government Civic Center complex, which also houses the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Supreme Court of Justice.. Other places of cultural interest are the Colonial Museum located in Casa Cural, the Cultural Center of Spain in Tegucigalpa - CCET, founded in 2007; and Sala Bancatln, located in Plaza Bancatln of Banco Atlntida..

The Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History, founded in 1952, promotes cultural heritage and manages several museums throughout Honduras. There is an art and history museum, Santa Mara de los ngeles, in Valle de ngeles, 27 km or 17 mi northwest of Tegucigalpa.. There is a variety of restaurants of different cuisine styles and origin in Tegucigalpa. Locals and visitors alike can enjoy several restaurants serving traditional Honduran dishes as well, either from a typical streetside vendor or family restaurant to upscale food establishments..

The center of shopping in Tegucigalpa is Multiplaza, the most exclusive, multi level indoor shopping mall that includes design name stores, a major grocery store, a movie theater complex, restaurants, and banking.. This mall is located on John Paul II Blvd, forming one of the busiest commercial districts in the capital around the John Paul II Blvd and Suyapa Blvd corridors and Central America Blvd. Other busy corridors are the Francisco Morazn Blvd and Los Prceres AveLa Paz Ave to the north of the city..

Shopping malls of considerable size in Tegucigalpa include. Tegucigalpa is home of the largest shopping mall in Central America after the opening of City Mall in early 2012, which houses more than 300 shopping stores, restaurants, cafes, and nighlife areas.. Tegucigalpa is home to Club Deportivo Olimpia and Club Deportivo Motagua, members of the Honduran National Soccer League. Between the two teams, they have won more than 30 championships. The Tiburcio Carias Andino National Stadium is the multi purpose venue hosting the national and international soccer games taking place in the capital..

Inter city school sports championships take place in Tegucigalpa as well.. The National College of Engineers Coliseum, west of the city near UNAH, is a basketball arena occasionally fitted as a music concert venue as well.. There is a sports facility known as Olympic Village Sports Complex hosting several Olympic sports such as boxing, archery, tennis and tae kwon do; it is located north of the National University UNAH..

Geography

Tegucigalpa is located on a chain of mountains at elevations of 935 metres on its lowest points and 1,463 metres on its highest suburban areas. Like most of the interior highlands of Honduras, the majority of Tegucigalpa's current area was occupied by open woodland.. The area surrounding the city continues to be open woodland supporting pine forest interspersed with some oak, scrub, and grassy clearings as well as needle leaf evergreen and broadleaf deciduous forest.. The metropolitan area of both Tegucigalpa and Comayagela cover a total area of 77.6 square miles while the entire Municipality of the Central District covers a total area of 539.1 square miles. Geological faults have been identified in the District's high regions surrounding the capital which are a threat to the neighborhoods on and below the hills..

The Choluteca River, which runs crossing the city from south to north, physically separates Tegucigalpa and Comayagela. El Picacho Hill, a rugged mountain of moderate height convert rises above the downtown area; several neighborhoods, both upscale residential and lower income, are located on its slopes.. The city consists of gentle hills, and the ring of mountains surrounding the city tends to trap pollution. During the dry season, a dense cloud of smog lingers in the basin until the first rains fall..

Tucked in a valley and bisected by a river makes Tegucigalpa prone to flooding during the rainy season, as experienced to the fullest during Hurricane Mitch and to a lesser degree every year during the rainy season.. Despite being several thousand feet above sea level, the city currently lacks an efficient flood control system, including canals and sewerage powerful enough to channel rain water back into the river to flow down to the ocean.. The river itself is a threat since it isn't deep enough below the streets nor there are levies high enough to prevent it from breaking out. There are currently more than 100 neighborhoods deemed zones of high risk, several of them ruled out as uninhabitable in their entirety..

There is a reservoir, known as Embalse Los Laureles, west of the city providing 30 percent of the city's water supply as well as a water treatment plant south of the city about 7.3 kilometres from the airport; part of the Concepcin Reservoir just 6 kilometres southwest of the water plant.. The Central District shares borders with 13 other municipalities of Francisco Morazn Cedros and Talanga; Ojojona, Santa Ana, San Buenaventura and Maraita; San Juan de Flores, Villa de San Francisco, Santa Luca, Valle de ngeles, San Antonio de Oriente, and Tatumbla; Lepaterique..

It is also bordered on the west by two municipalities of the Comayagua Department, Villa de San Antonio and Laman, with the latter exactly at the quadripoint where the Central District, Lepaterique, Villa de San Antonio and Laman all meet.. Teguicigalpa features a more moderate form of a tropical wet and dry climate. Of the major Central American cities, Tegucigalpa's climate is among the most pleasant due to its high altitude.. Like much of central Honduras, the city has a tropical climate, though tempered by the altitudemeaning less humid than the lower valleys and the coastal regionswith even temperatures averaging between 19 C and 23 C degrees..

The months of December and January are coolest, with an average min low temperature of 14 C; whereas March and Aprilpopularly associated with Holy Week's holidaysare hottest and temperatures can reach up to 40 C degrees on the hottest day.. The dry season lasts from November through April and the rainy season from May through October. There is an average of 107 rainy days in the year, June and September usually the wettest months.. The average sunshine hours per month during the year is 211.2 and the average rainy days per month is 8.9. The average sunshine hours during the dry season is 228 per month while 182.5 millimetres is the average monthly precipitation during the wet season..

The wettest months of the rainy season are MayJune and SeptemberOctober, averaging 16.2 rainy days during each of those periods.. Tegucigalpa, as with the rest of Honduras, experienced significant damage by Hurricane Mitch, something of a magnitude Hondurans had not witnessed since Hurricane Fifi. Mitch destroyed part of the Comayagela section of the city, as well as other places along the banks of the Choluteca River.. The storm remained over Honduran territory for five days, dumping heavy rainfall late in the rainy season. The ground was already saturated and could not absorb the heavy precipitation, while deforestation and debris left by the hurricane led to catastrophic flooding throughout widespread regions of the country, especially in Tegucigalpa..

The heavy rain caused flash floods of Choluteca's tributaries, and the swollen river overflowed its banks, tearing down entire neighborhoods and bridges across the ravaged city. The rainfall also triggered massive landslides around El Berrinche Hill, close to the downtown area.. These landslides destroyed most of the Soto neighborhood, and debris flowed into the river, forming a dam. The dam clogged the waters of the river and many of the low lying areas of Comayagela were submerged; historic buildings located along Calle Real were either completely destroyed or so badly damaged that repair was futile..

Cope

Greece, Boulevard Marazan, Col Palmira Casa 2018, ☎ + 504 234-1415, fax; + 504 234-1922.. Japan, Col San Carlos, Calzada Rep Paraguay, ☎ + 504 236-5511, fax; + 504 236-6100.. United States, Avenida La Paz, ☎ + 504 2236-9320, fax; + 504 2236-9037..

Demographics

As of 2011, following the trend of population growth between 1988 and 2001 of 2.79 percent, the population of Tegucigalpa is estimated anywhere between 1.2 and 1.3 million people.. The 2010 Population Projections estimated that the Central District had a population of 1,126,534 residents, continuing a trend of population growth in the city since the 2001 Census, which recorded 850,445 residents.. In 2004, there were 185,577 households with an average of 4.9 members per household. Both the city's population and metro area are expected to double by 2029..

The Human Development Index is the highest in the country measured at 0.759 in 2006. During the same year, 47.6 percent of the Central District's population lived in poverty29.7 lived in moderate poverty and 17.9 in extreme poverty.. Life expectancy in the District as of 2004 is 72.1 years. By 2010, 4.9 percent of the population remained illiterate, compared to the national rate of 15.2 percent.. In 2010, the average monthly income was L.8,321, compared to the total national average of L.4,767 and the national urban zone average of L.7,101..

The ethnic and racial makeup of Tegucigalpa is strongly tied to the rest of Honduras. 90 percent of the city dwellers are predominantly mestizos with a small White Hispanic minority. They are joined by Chinese and Arab immigrants, the latter mostly from Palestine.. There are indigenous Amerindians and Afro Honduran people as well.. Tegucigalpa by numbers 4 theaters, 12 marketplaces, 12 pedestrian bridges, 12 universities, 14 hospitals, 14 museums, 28 supermarkets, 40 movie screens, 64 health centers, 64 signal light controlled intersections, 87 middle school and high schools, 100 pharmacies, 123 local emergency committees, 170 restaurants, 200 parks or plazas, 200 sports facilities, 400 firemen, 600 volunteer workers, 892 neighborhoods classified as barrios and colonias, 12 hundred physicians, two thousand public transportation vehicles, 12 thousands taxis, 60 thousand unable to read.

or write, and 140 thousand with direct access to potable water only.. In 2004, there were 67 public health care establishments in the Central Districtfive national hospitals, 22 health centers in the metropolitan area, 37 health centers throughout the rural areas, and three peripheral clinics.. There are several private hospitals in the city as well as hospitals run by the Honduran Social Security Institute, the country's government sponsored social insurance program.. In 2003, only 58.5 percent of the employed population contributed to IHSS while the rest who remain uninsured were attributed to being employed in the informal sector or being domestic workers. Overall, only 26.5 percent of the Central District's population is covered by public health care..

The Central District reports the third highest or 20.2 percent of the country's HIVAIDS incidents with 5,674 living with the virus. During 2004, there were 258 new diagnoses of HIV infection in the Central District.. In 2000, the maternal mortality rate in the city was 110 of every 100,000 births of which 62.3 percent were women ages 20 to 35. In 2001, the infant mortality rate was 29 per 1000 live births.. In 2005, it was estimated that 101 of every 10,000 residents suffered of a physical or mental disability..

As with the rest of Honduras, Roman Catholicism is the dominating religion in the Central District and while at some point they made up as much as 95 percent of the population, contemporary estimates as recent as 2007 put them at 47 percent while Protestants make up as much as 36 percent.. Their history in Tegucigalpa began around 1548 with the Spanish setting up Mercedarian missionaries as part of their conversion efforts of the native communities. By 1916, the Diocese of Comayagua was relocated and renamed the Diocese of Tegucigalpa, and it was elevated to Archdiocese under Archbishop Santiago Mara Martnez y Cabanas..

Other religious groups made their way at the beginning of the 20th century including the Quakers, who in 1914 began work in the nations capital. In 1946, missionaries of the Southern Baptist Convention first arrived in Tegucigalpa and in the 1950s, the National Convention of Baptist Churches and the Eastern Mennonite Board of Missions followed.. The Assembly of God missionaries entered Honduras in the late 1940s and today maintain a mega church in Tegucigalpa with more than 10,000 members.. The Church of God of Cleveland, Tennessee established in Tegucigalpa in 1951, the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel followed in 1952, and by the late 1950s, the Evangelical Alliance of Honduras was established..

The Prince of Peace Pentecostal Church, founded in Guatemala City, began its ministry in Honduras during the 1960s. During the 1970s, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement began to grow among the upper classes in Tegucigalpa.. The Christian Love Brigade Association arrived in Tegucigalpa in 1971, the Abundant Life Christian Church was founded in 1972, the Cenacle Christian Center of Charismatic Renewal began in 1978 and the Living Love Groups started in 1978.. The Presbyterian Church in Honduras member churches are mainly concentrated mainly within 150 km in Tegucigalpa. The first Presbyterian congregation was planted in 50 years ago, by the National Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Guatemala..

Today, they are many religious groups in Tegucigalpa including a Jewish community, the Jehovah's Witnesses and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints that is currently building a new temple in the city.. Honduras has the world's highest murder rate. Honduras has been experiencing record high violence in recent years. In 2010, the homicide rate in Francisco Morazn was 83.2 compared to the national average of 86.. In 2009, the Central District reached a homicide rate of 72.7 with authorities recording 792 intentional homicides and 151 involuntary homicides; this averaged to 66 murders per month or two per day. 85.6 percent of the deaths were committed by firearm and 39 percent were linked to organized crime..

91 percent of the victims were men and 81.2 were ages 15 to 39.. The neighborhoods reporting the highest incidents of violent deaths are Barrio Concepcin, Colonia Nueva Capital, Colonia Villa Nueva Norte, Colonia Cerro Grande, Colonia El Carrizal No 1, Colonia el Carrizal No 2, Colonia Flor Del Campo, Colonia La Sosa, Colonia Las Brisas, and Barrio Centro de Comayagela.. In 2009, there were 246 motor vehicle related deaths of which 52 percent were pedestrians, including bicyclists; 39 percent were caused by private vehicle and 12 percent by public transportation vehicle..

In the same year, there were 69 deaths reported as suicides of which were most common in the age bracket of 20 to 29 and 30 to 35, while 76.9 percent of them were men..

Education

Tegucigalpa serves as the national education center, hosting most of the universities and higher education institutions in the country. For 2011, the national government allocated L 9.175 billion of the national public education budget to the Central District.. The public and private education system in Tegucigalpa is divided into 16 school districts. All districts are part of the Departmental Directorate of Education, which in turn is a part of the country's Secretary of Education.. There are 1,235 public schools in the Central District broken down as 488 preschools, 563 elementary schools, and 184 middle and high schools. In 2003, there were a total of 287,517 students enrolled throughout the municipality28,915 in preschool, 159,679 in elementary school, and 98,923 in middle or high school..

The literacy rate, as of 2011, is at 80. There are about 147 bilingual schools in Tegucigalpa. The American School of Tegucigalpa, Discovery School, DelCampo International School, Los Pinares Academy and International School of Tegucigalpa are considered the most expensive private schools of the city.. Total K 12 tuition of The American School of Tegucigalpa costs a total of L.1.366 million for all years. These five private schools are highly recognized by American institutions such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the American School of Tegucigalpa is the only one that has the International Baccalaureate..

Most of their students study abroad. Other popular privatebilingual schools include Elvel School, Dowal School, La Estancia School, Liceo Franco Hondureo, Magic Castle Preschool, and Macris School, and ABC Educational Center.. There are two modalities in regards to the school calendar American Period, mostly used by private and bilingual schools; and Latin Period, used by public schools.. There are 12 universities in Tegucigalpa, including three state funded higher education institutions.. The National Autonomous University of Honduras, founded in 1847, is the country's most important university and operates eight regional campuses in several other cities in the country UNAH Valle de Sula, UNAH La Ceiba, UNAH Comayagua, UNAH Copn, UNAH Choluteca, UNAH Juticalpa, UNAH Valle del Agun, and University Technological Center UNAHDanl..

It employs 4,980 people throughout its campuses at an average annual salary of L.241,184.. The other two publicly funded institutions are Francisco Morazn National Pedagogic University, founded in 1989, focusing on preparing future educators in several disciplines. and the National Institute of Professional Formation, founded in 1972, focusing on economic and social development disciplines.. The National University of Agriculture, founded in 1950, also state funded and located in Catacamas, Olancho, maintains an liaison office in Tegucigalpa..

There are 10 private universities in Tegucigalpa. There is also two higher education centers the Technological University Center, part of UNITEC; and Guaymura University Center, founded in 1982..

External Links

Coordinates 140500N 871300W 14.0833N 87.2167W 14.0833; -87.2167.

Government

As capital of Honduras, as department head and as a municipality, the Central District seats three separate governments national, departmental and municipal. Prior to 1991, the central government held great jurisdiction over the execution of city management across the country, leading to uneven representation and improper distribution of resources and governance.. As a result, in late 1990, under Decree 134-90, the National Congress of Honduras enacted the Law of Municipalities, defining the country's department and municipal institutions, representatives and their functions to give city government autonomy and decentralize it from the national government..

While autonomous, the Central District is still influenced by the national government given the territory remains seat of government of the republic. Major changes in public policy and funding of major city projects usually reach the Office of the President prior to approval by the District's local government.. Legally and politically speaking, the capital of Honduras is the Municipality of the Central District, and Tegucigalpa and Comayagela are two entities within the district. However, nearly all governmental institutions are on the Tegucigalpa side, so for all practical purposes Tegucigalpa is the capital..

Traditionally, they are regarded as twin or sister cities in part because they were originally founded as two distinct cities. When the Central District was formed on January 30, 1937 under Decree 53 of reformed Article 179 of the 1936 Honduran Constitution, both cities became one political entity sharing the title of Capital of Honduras.. The current Constitution of Honduras, under Chapter 1, Article 8, states, " The cities of Tegucigalpa and Comayagela, jointly, constitute the Capital of the Republic. " Furthermore... Chapter 11, Article 295, states " The Central District consists of a single municipality made up of the former municipalities of Tegucigalpa and Comayagela "; however, municipalities in Honduras are defined as political entities similar to counties, and they may contain one or more cities..

For example, in the Department of Atlntida, La Ceiba is the largest citybeing also the third largest in Hondurasboth in terms of population and metropolitan area; however, Tela, one of the eight municipalities of Atlntida, is the biggest municipality in terms of physical administrative area in that department.. Since the Municipality of Tela is not considered the entire city of Tela, it is not bigger than La Ceiba.. There are an additional of 41 villages and 293 hamlets through the Central District Municipality. These may be assigned deputy mayors to serve as local representatives..

Tegucigalpa is the political and administrative center of Honduras. It is also the seat of government of the Francisco Morazn department.. All three branches of the national government as well as their immediate divisionsincluding the 16 departments of the Executive Branch, the National Congress, the Supreme Court of Justice, the Armed Forces and National Police headquartersare located in the city.. Most public agencies and state owned companies are headquartered in the capital as well.. City government takes form in a mayor council system and is regulated under the Law of Municipalities which came into effect on January 1, 1991. The Central District Municipal Government is the city's governing authority..

As established by current city governing law, AMDC is structured as a municipal corporation, which is the deliberative legislative body, voter elected, and highest authority within the municipality.. The Municipal Corporation is formed by a mayor serving as chief executive, general administrator and legal representative of the municipality and a vice mayor to serve as acting mayor when required and to oversee functions within AMDC as instructed by the mayor.. Ten aldermen are also members of the Municipal Corporation who along with the mayor execute the duties as described in the Law of Municipalities, including management, budgeting, and local law and ordinance legislation..

A general manager, appointed by the mayor, is to served as chief comptroller to keep management of city funds and their allocation. A municipal secretary, also appointed by the mayor, serves as the city clerk in charge of keeping record of all official proceedings.. The Municipal Corporation also counts with a Municipal Development Council which serves as an advising cabinet on all the areas of issues of the city such as human development, public safety, utilities, etc. The current mayor of the Central District is Nasry Asfura who is serving his first term after winning the election in 2013..

He is the eight person to serve as mayor of the Central District since local elections were restored in 1986,, was appointed by the President; and this is the ninth elected mayoral term since then and the fourth consecutive elected Mayor from the National Party.. Of the 10 aldermen currently serving, seven are men and three are women. Five belong to the National Party while another two belong to Libertad y Refundacin; two aldermen belong to the Liberal Party and the other is from the Anti Corruption Party..

Both the city mayor and aldermen are elected to 4 year terms by voters of the Central District. Removal of the mayor or any alderman for any cause is reserved to the Ministry of Interior and Population, formerly Secretara de Gobernacin y Justicia.. Law enforcement in the city is the responsibility of the National Police of Honduras, the nationwide police force. The National Police maintains its headquarters in the Central District in Colonia Casamata. The Metropolitan Police Headquarters No 1 is the police department in charge of law and order in the city..

It operates seven police districts throughout the metropolitan area. These are Police District 1-1 El Edn, Police District 1-2 El Mandn, Police District 1-3 San Miguel, Police District 1-4 Kennedy, Police District 1-5 El Beln, Police District 1-6 La Granja and Police District 1-7 San Francisco.. For 2011, the Secretary of Security designated L.2.162 billion to law enforcement and criminal investigation in the Central District.. As established by the Law on Police and Social Coexistence, municipalities can fund their own municipal police and the Central District currently operates a Municipal Police force of 160 officers. The Municipal Department of Justice through its Municipal Police Court enforces and prosecutes local law offenses..

The Public Ministry is the district attorney with nationwide jurisdiction in charge of prosecuting crimes on behalf of the people. It is also headquartered in the Central District and maintains regional prosecution offices throughout the country.. The Attorney General of the Republic is the country's chief legal representative and prosecutes crimes on behalf of the state..

Etymology

Most sources indicate the origin and meaning of the word Tegucigalpa is derived from the Nahuatl language.. The most widely accepted version suggests that it comes from the Nahuatl word Taguz galpa, which means " hills of silver ", but this interpretation is uncertain since the natives who occupied the region at time were unaware of the existence of mineral deposits in the area.. Another source suggests that Tegucigalpa derives from another language in which it means painted rocks, as explained by Leticia Oyuela in her book " Minimum History of Tegucigalpa ". Other theories indicate it may derive from the term Togogalpa which refers to tototi and Toncontn, a small town near Tegucigalpa..

In Mexico, it is believed the word Tegucigalpa is from the Nahuatl word Tecuztlicallipan, meaning " place of residence of the noble " or Tecuhtzincalpan, meaning " place on the home of the beloved master ".. Honduran philologist Alberto de Jess Membreo, in his book " Indigenous Toponymies of Central America ", states that Tegucigalpa is a Nahuatl word meaning " in the homes of the sharp stones " and rules out the traditional meaning " hills of silver " arguing that Taguzgalpa was the name of the ancient eastern zone of Honduras..

Cityscape

Situated in a valley and surrounded by mountain ranges, Tegucigalpa is hilly with several elevations and few flat areas. The city is also highly disorganized, particularly around its oldest districts.. It has seen a rapid growth in the last 30 years and only until recently has the government passed certain laws to establish city planning and zoning rules. Surface roads can be narrow with the most important avenues carrying no more than two or three lanes running in each direction, adding to the problem of heavy traffic congestion..

Several of the main boulevards have been equipped with interchanges, overpasses and underpasses, allowing for sections of controlled access highways but considering that even the city's beltway does not entirely circle the city, the roads are generally limited access.. Intense webs of electrical and telephone lines above the streets are a common sight in the capital, and virtually in all Honduran cities, since implementation of underground utility lines has only been adopted in the recent years..

The metropolitan area of Tegucigalpa and Comayagela is officially divided into barrios and colonias and there are currently 892 of them. Colonias represent relatively recent 20th century middle class residential suburbs, some known as residenciales for their upper income development, and these are continuously spreading while the barrios are old inner city neighborhoods.. While the city administration divides the capital into barrios and colonias, the fact that there are hundreds of them, makes it difficult to define the city's different regions, especially for those not familiar with the Central District..

To have a better understanding of the city's regions, the metro area of the Central District can essentially be divided, first, into two sections Tegucigalpa and Comayagela. These two entities remain separated by the Choluteca River basin that runs between them.. The Tegucigalpa side of the District can be divided into five sections 1 Centro Histrico; 2 Centro Contemporneo or Zona Viva; 3 North Tegucigalpa; 4 South Tegucigalpa; and 5 East Tegucigalpa. This section of the city is perhaps the best developed and properly urbanized. It is formed by more than 40 neighborhoods, many of them wealthy middle class residential areas such as Colonia Palmira to the east of the historic center, on Boulevard Morazn which hosts several foreign embassies as well as upscale restaurants..

Other upscale neighborhoods are Lomas del Guijarro, Loma Linda and Lomas del Mayab which house most of the apartment complexes in the city.. The leading hotels of the city are found around these neighborhoods, including within the Plaza San Martn Hotel District. These include Marriott Hotel, Clarion Hotel, Hotel El Centenario, Intercontinental, Honduras Maya, Plaza Del Libertador, Plaza San Martn, Hotel Alameda, Excelsior Hotel and Casino.. Boulevard Morazn and Avenida Los PrceresAvenida La Paz are busy commercial corridors and run through several neighborhoods home to foreign embassies, a hotel district, business establishments and corporate buildings; including Los Prceres Comercial Park..

Boulevard Suyapa and Boulevard Juan Pablo II are located south of the aforementioned boulevards and they also form a busy commercial and financial district stretching through several neighborhoods such as Colonia Los Profesionales where the Presidencial House is located; Colonia Florencia Norte where Multiplaza Mall is located; Colonia Miramontes, among othershousing several financial institutions, government offices, hotels, etc. Comayagela is found to the west bank of the Choluteca River and most of its urbanization is made up of lower income neighborhoods. Historically, Comayagela has remained less developed than the other side of the capital, some citing insufficient contribution from public officials..

In recent years, this western side of the capital has seen some growth and improvement such as the opening of Metromall near the airport. With the construction of Mall Premier and City Mall, the latter to become the largest mall in the country, Comayagela will be receiving another upgrade.. There are an estimated 650,000 residents in Comayagela contributing 58.3 percent of the 120 million lempiras generated every day by commerce in the Central District.. The Comayagela side of the capital can be divided into four sections 1 Zona Centro; 2 North Comayagela; 3 South Comayagela; and 4 West Comayagela.

Transportation

All barrios and colonias in Tegucigalpa can be accessed by automobile, although some neighborhoods in the city suffer from unpaved, narrow, or hilly streets making them difficult to maneuver. A grid of surface streets and a network of major avenues and boulevards cross through the major areas of the capital.. However, the most transited roads suffer from heavy traffic congestion due to the region's geography and disorganized urbanization.. An estimate of 400,000 vehicles take on the city streets and roads everyday. The oldest districts were not built with the advent of the automobile in mind and therefore lack efficient roadways to accommodate the overwhelming amount of vehicles..

Newer developments, such as the malls, have been built with the car in mind allowing for large parking lots to accommodate their visitors. In the last decades, several of the boulevards and avenues have been retrofitted with grade separations to ease up the flow of traffic.. The Honduras Department of Public Works, Transportation and Housing presently divides the country's highway network into international routes, national routes, and provincial routes. These are assigned numbers; however, they are more often identified using their physical destinations rather the number itself since road signage is scarce..

International routes are given a " CA - " designation followed by a highway number which can be of one or two digits enclosed in a highway shield. " CA - " highways are part of the Central American highway network that interconnects Honduras with its neighboring countries as part of the Pan American Highway.. National highways are assigned a two or three digit number and provincial routes are assigned a three digit number.. There are five highways connecting the Central District to the bordering municipalities and the rest of the country. These are Central American highways CA 5 and CA 6; and national highways 15, 25 and 33..

CA 5 North connects the Central District to Comayagua Department going through Comayagua City and further north to Cortes Department and into San Pedro Sula where it connects to highways CA 4 and CA 13, one heading west connecting through the western departments until it reaches the Guatemalan border and the other traveling east towards Atlntida Department, connecting to La Ceiba and into Coln Department and its major cities.. CA 5 South connects to the municipalities of Ojojona, Santa Ana, and San Buenaventura and then enters Choluteca Department and later Valle Department, becoming highway CA 1 which travels to the west towards Nacaome and into El Salvador and to the east to Choluteca City and into Nicaragua, near the Gulf of Fonseca..

CA 6 connects to municipalities Maraita and San Antonio de Oriente and continues east into El Paraso Department, passing through Danl and El Paraiso municipalities eventually reaching the Nicaraguan border.. Highway 15 runs north through the bordering municipality of Talanga, it later enters the municipality of Guaimaca and then junctions with highway 43 which connects to Yoro department. Highway 15 continues northeast and enters Olancho Department, continuing until junction with highways 41 and 39 which lead to Coln Department..

Highway 25 runs northeast of the Central District and connects to the municipalities of Santa Luca, Valle de ngeles and San Juan de Flores. Highway 33 travels southwest and connects to the municipality of Lepaterique.. About 30 other provincial roads connect to the towns and villages outside the urban area of the Central District.. The Anillo Perifrico and Boulevard Fuerzas Armadas are the city's two expresswaysequipped with center dividers, interchanges, overpasses and underpassesallowing for controlled access traffic..

These connect with the city's other major boulevards Central America Blvd, Suyapa Blvd, European Community Blvd, Kuwait Blvdwhich are essentially limited access roadways as they have been equipped with interchanges but may lack underpasses or overpasses to bypass crossing surface road traffic.. Despite a network of major highways, none reach directly into the historic downtown, forcing drivers to rely heavily on surface streets. Like in most Central American cities, orientation and driving may be difficult to first time visitors due to the nature of how streets are named, insufficient road signage and the native's driving behavior..

The current city administration has green lit several road infrastructure projects to help reduce traffic congestion and improve the overall aspect of the city.. List of major thoroughfares in the Central District, including urban core arteries and outskirt roads. Public transportation in Tegucigalpa and Comayagela is based on buses and taxis and they currently cover 71 percent of the capital's road migration. Bus routes are named based on the neighborhood they cover. For example, routes that travel from the downtown area to UNAH are labeled Centro UNAH or Centro Multiplaza UNAH..

Taxis are the quickest way to move around the city after personal auto transportation. Taxis are popular for short distance trips or trips that required a sense of urgency. Taxis are relatively cheap for the international tourist.. They are not the cheapest form of public transportation for the locals, however. There are over 12,000 taxis in the Central District.. The public transportation system in Tegucigalpa is, however, highly disorganized. Being a for profit business, it encourages competition between the fleet owners where revenue is the priority while heavily ignoring the quality and efficiency of the service..

Public transportation regulation is heavily flawed. Bus drivers must compete for the passengers in order to bring the highest earnings possible while becoming a hazard for other drivers and pedestrians and contributing to traffic jams.. There is currently an overflow of public transportation vehicles on the roads. The government has declared its public transportation system as oversupplied and inefficient.. There is currently a project underway to give the public transportation system an upgrade with the addition of a bus rapid transit fleet. In late May 2011, the National Congress approved the project under a new law as part of the financing deal with the Inter American Development Bank..

The BRT system will be solely managed by the Central District government.. Tegucigalpa is connected with the rest of the country through its city to city bus services. There are several bus lines connecting the capital with the rest of Honduras.. There is no central bus terminal in the city; in turn, there are several bus stations scattered throughout the city, particularly most in Comayagela, and some of these stations are operated directly by the bus company serving from there.. Tegucigalpa is connected with the rest of Central America and Mexico through its international bus lines. Buses leave for Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Mexico everyday..

Toncontn International Airport, serves as the main airport in and out of Tegucigalpa. It is currently served by three domestic airlines and six international airlines connecting the capital to three cities in the United States and four cities in Central America as well as four cities within Honduras.. The airport is frequently criticized as being dangerous; due to its location next to a sierra, short runway, and difficult approach. Large commercial jets are required to execute a tight hairpin left turn at very low altitude to land on the short runway..

International airline pilots flying into Toncontn receive additional, specific training for the Toncontn approach.. Toncontn has been improved by the work of the Airport Corporation of Tegucigalpa, which is owned by TACA of El Salvador. It is currently managed by InterAirports, the company hired by the government of Honduras to manage the four airports in the country.. The airport authority and the government of Honduras resumed the airport relocation talks in April 2011 and announced that work on the new Palmerola airport would start by the fall of 2011 after years of efforts to replace Toncontn International with an airport at Palmerola in Comayagua where the Soto Cano Air Base is located..

However, on a September 25, 2011 update, President Lobo stated officials were still " evaluating the pros and cons " of constructing the new airport.. This comes three years after former President Manuel Zelaya had announced that all commercial flights would be transferred to Soto Cano Air Base; however, work on the new terminal at Soto Cano was then cancelled after Zelaya was removed from office on 28 June 2009 in the 2009 Honduran coup d'tat.. Upon realization of the Palmerola airport, international flights to and from Toncontn would continue to operate but would be limited to small aircraft..