Honduras remained under Spanish control until 1821, when the country gained its independence. Mexico annexed it as a territory for a short time, but Honduras joined the United Provinces of Central America in 1823. The federation fell apart 15 years later, but restoring Central American unity remained the chief goal of Honduran foreign policy for nearly the next century.
Honduras, like some other Central American countries, came to be practically run by the United Fruit Company, which established banana plantations in all of the arable lands in the country. The term “banana republic” was coined from this era of American history. The United Fruit Company dominated the economic and other infrastructures of Honduras until 1954. Banana workers across the country went on strike due to inhumane working conditions, and the company’s influence in Honduras began to crumble.
The banana workers’ strike paved the way for a liberal reform in Honduras. A new constitution was ratified in 1957, along with a new labor code. Unfortunately, political unrest ensued in the following decades, including a brief war with El Salvador and several coups.
The United States established a military presence in Honduras during the 1980s to aid the Nicaraguan Contras and the El Salvadoran military. The U.S. was also involved in Honduran politics, pressuring the government to call democratic elections. Several questionable elections took place in the ‘80’s, and Honduras became a staging ground for the Contras in Nicaragua. When the war ended in Nicaragua, Honduras began to establish stability and peace. A cruise to Honduras today will land in a country without conflict.