Honduras And Tegucigalpa 2

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View of Tegucigalpa from La Leona Park.

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 (4.5 mi) from the airport(SONY PCG-5K1L battery); part of the Concepción Reservoir just 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) southwest of the water plant.[68]

See also: Choluteca river basin and Water management in greater Tegucigalpa

The Central District shares borders with 13 other municipalities of Francisco Morazán:[19] (to the north) Cedros and Talanga; (south) Ojojona, Santa Ana, San Buenaventura and Maraita; (east) San Juan de Flores, Villa de San Francisco, Santa Lucía, Valle de Ángeles(SONY VGP-BPL12 battery), San Antonio de Oriente, and Tatumbla; (and to the west) Lepaterique. It is also bordered on the west by two municipalities of the Comayagua Department, Villa de San Antonio[69] and Lamaní, with the latter exactly at the quadripoint where the Central District, Lepaterique, Villa de San Antonio and Lamaní all meet(SONY VGP-BPS12 battery).

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.[70] Like much of central Honduras, the city has a tropical climate, though tempered by the altitude—meaning less humid than the lower valleys and the coastal regions—with even temperatures averaging between 19 °C (66 °F) and 23 °C (73 °F) degrees. (SONY VGP-BPS13 battery)

The months of December and January are coolest, with an average min/ low temperature of 14 °C (57 °F); whereas March and April—popularly associated with Holy Week's holidays—are hottest and temperatures can reach up to 40 °C (104 °F) degrees on the hottest day.[72] The dry season lasts from November through April and the rainy season from May through October.[73] There is an average of 107 rainy days in the year, June and September usually the wettest months(SONY VGP-BPS13Q battery).

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 (7.19 in) is the average monthly precipitation during the wet season. The wettest months of the rainy season are May—June and September—October, averaging 16.2 rainy days during each of those periods(SONY VGP-BPS13A/Q battery).

Hurricane Mitch

Aerial view of the capital after Hurricane Mitch, early November 1998.

Main article: Hurricane Mitch

Tegucigalpa, as with the rest of Honduras, experienced significant damaged by Hurricane Mitch, something of a magnitude Hondurans had not witnessed since Hurricane Fifi. Mitch destroyed part of the Comayagüela section of the city, as well as other places along the banks of the Choluteca River(SONY VGP-BPS13B/Q battery). 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. (SONY VGP-BPS13/B battery)

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(SONY VGP-BPS13B/B battery). The dam clogged the waters of the river and many of the low-lying areas of Comayagüela were submerged; historic buildings located along Calle Real were either completely destroyed or so badly damaged that repair was futile.

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. (SONY VGP-BPS13A/S battery) It has seen a rapid growth in the last 30 years[81] and only until recently has the government passed certain laws to establish city planning and zoning rules.[82] 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(SONY VGP-BPS21A/B battery), 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(SONY VGP-BPS21B battery).

Looking west towards the Juan A. Laínez Hill.

Downtown Tegucigalpa as viewed westward from the Honduras Maya Hotel.

The metropolitan area of Tegucigalpa and Comayagüela 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(SONY VGP-BPS21 battery).

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 Comayagüela(SONY VGP-BPS21/S battery). These two entities remain separated by the Choluteca River basin that runs between them.

Map showing Tegucigapa's contemporary Center, formed by over 40 neighborhoods.

The Tegucigalpa side of the District can be divided into five sections: 1) Centro Histórico (Historic Downtown); 2) Centro Contemporáneo or Zona Viva (Contemporary Downtown or Vibrant Zone); 3) North Tegucigalpa; 4) South Tegucigalpa; and 5) East Tegucigalpa(SONY VGP-BPS13AS battery):

1 - Centro Histórico or the Historic Downtown of Tegucigalpa is formed by the original neighborhoods that date back to its founding days. For years, this area remained neglected and rundown but in recent times, attempts have been made to revive the zone and bring back its colonial heritage. Several government offices, including the National Congress and City Hall as well as museums, parks, a cathedral and churches are located here(SONY VGP-BPS13S battery).

2 - Centro Contemporáneo is the contemporary, vibrant and modern downtown of Tegucigalpa. This area is formed by the neighborhoods encompassed east of the Choluteca River, south of the northern tributary, Rio Chiquito (which confluences with the Choluteca below the Mallol Bridge), west of the beltway (Anillo Periférico), and north of Armed Forces Blvd(SONY VGP-BPS13B/S battery).

The Marriot Hotel as seen from John Paul II Blvd in Colonia Los Profesionales.

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 Morazán which hosts several foreign embassies as well as upscale restaurants(SONY VGP-BPS13B/G battery). 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 Martín Hotel District. These include: Marriott Hotel, Clarion Hotel, Hotel El Centenario, Intercontinental, Honduras Maya, Plaza Del Libertador, Plaza San Martín, Hotel Alameda, Excelsior Hotel and Casino(SONY VGP-BPS14 battery).

Map showing the metropolitan area of the Central District dived into colored sections.

Boulevard Morazán and Avenida Los Próceres/Avenida La Paz are busy commercial corridors (running parallel of each other) and run through several neighborhoods home to foreign embassies, a hotel district, business establishments and corporate buildings(SONY VGP-BPL14 battery); including Los Próceres Comercial Park (Parque Comercial). 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 others—housing several financial institutions, government offices, hotels, etc(SONY VGP-BPS14/B battery).

3 - North Tegucigalpa is formed by both middle class and impoverished neighborhoods that lie above the surrounding hill immediately north of the historic downtown. Beyond these neighborhoods sits the United Nations National Park on the El Picacho Hill, one of the most popular destinations in the capital among its residents and visitors. Pass beyond the Park, stretching north and northwest of the city(SONY VGP-BPS14/S battery), upper income suburban neighborhoods such as El Hatillo, sit on the sides of the hills, surrounded by heavy vegetation.

4 - South Tegucigalpa is everything south of Boulevard Fuerzas Armadas. This area is home to Colonia Kennedy, the capital's largest neighborhood with more than 137,000 residents. South Tegucigalpa concentrates both middle class and poor neighborhoods. Two universities, UTH and UNITEC, are located just off the beltway in southern outskirt neighborhoods(SONY VGP-BPS14B battery).

5 - East Tegucigalpa concentrates mostly rural and impoverished neighborhoods, the result of improvised growth with little government funding and involvement. María Pediatric Hospital and the Basílica of Suyapa lie on the side of Anillo Períferico's eastern stretch.

Comayagüela as viewed from Juan A. Laínez Hill with the Central Bank of Honduras Annex building in the center(SONY VGP-BPS22 battery).

Comayagüela is found to the west bank of the Choluteca River and most of its urbanization is made up of lower income neighborhoods. Historically, Comayagüela 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(SONY VGP-BPS22 battery). With the construction of Mall Premier and City Mall, the latter to become the largest mall in the country, Comayagüela will be receiving another upgrade. There are an estimated 650,000 residents in Comayagüela contributing 58.3 percent of the 120 million lempiras (US$6.349 million) generated every day by commerce in the Central District.

The Comayagüela side of the capital can be divided into four sections: 1) Zona Centro (Downtown Comayagüela); 2) North Comayagüela; 3) South Comayagüela; and 4) West Comayagüela(SONY VGP-BPS18 battery):

1 - Zona Centro de Comayagüela is the downtown area of Comayagüela and also original founding grounds formed by its oldest barrios. These barrios are formed in a grid street plan style. Several government offices are located in this district, including the Central Bank of Honduras Annex building and the Criminal Bureau of Investigation (Dirección General de Investigación Criminal) as well as the National School of Fine Arts housed in the former City Hall building of Comayagüela, built in 1845(SONY VGP-BPS22/A battery).

Looking northeast from Comayagüela at the construction site of the upcoming shopping mall City Mall.

2 - North Comayagüela is formed by relatively recent post-Hurricane Mitch middle class residential developments that stretch onto the northern hills of Comayagüela, such as Colonia Cerro Grande, a continuously growing middle-class neighborhood on the northern outskirts(SONY VGP-BPS22A battery).

3 - South Comayagüela is by far the better-off region of Comayagüela. This area is found south and southwest of the airport, around Los Laureles Reservoir and south of Lepaterique Road (Carretera Lepaterique also known as Carretera al Batallón). Also a post-Hurricane Mitch area, it has grown in the last decade and includes some of Comayagüela's upper income communities that have erupted in the area and continues to spread out as newer suburban middle class developments are built(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ battery). Toncontín International, Metro Mall and upcoming City Mall are located in this area. Residencial la Arboleda and Residencial los Hidalgos are some of the growing upper income developments in the southern outskirts of Comayagüela.

4 - West Comayagüela is mostly impoverished neighborhoods spreading away from Zona Centro onto the surrounding slopes. Many of these neighborhoods came to be through improvised urbanization and lack proper infrastructure(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ11S battery). This area prevails north of Lepaterique Road and westward of Boulevard de la Comunidad Europea (European Community Blvd).

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.[88]

The 2010 Population Projections estimated that the Central District had a population of 1,126,534 residents,[89] continuing a trend of population growth in the city since the 2001 Census, which recorded 850,445 residents. (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ15T battery)

In 2004, there were 185,577 households with an average of 4.9 members per household.[91] Both the city's population and metro area are expected to double by 2029.[92]

The Human Development Index (HDI) 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 poverty—29.7 lived in moderate poverty and 17.9 in extreme poverty(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ15G battery). 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.[93]

In 2010, the average monthly income was L.8,321 (US$440.49), compared to the total national average of L.4,767 (US$252.35) and the national urban zone average of L.7,101 (US$375.91).

The ethnic and racial makeup of Tegucigalpa is strongly tied to the rest of Honduras.[96] 90 percent of the city-dwellers are predominantly mestizos with a small White-Hispanic minority(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ11L battery). They are joined by Chinese[97] and Arab immigrants,[98] the latter mostly from Palestine.[99] There are indigenous Amerindians and Afro-Honduran people as well.

Tegucigalpa by numbers:[100] 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 farmacies, 123 local emergency committees(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ11Z battery), 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(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ11M battery).

Health

In 2004, there were 67 public health care establishments in the Central District—five 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 (IHSS), the country's government-sponsored social insurance program(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ18M battery).

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(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ18 battery).

The Central District reports the third highest or 20.2 percent of the country's HIV/AIDS 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 (Both maternal and infant mortality rates are based on local and out-of-district residents who arrive to receive medical attention) (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ210CE battery). 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 (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31S battery)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 María Martínez y Cabanas (1842–1921).[101]

Other religious groups made their way at the beginning of the 20th century including the Quakers, who in 1914 began work in the nation’s capital. In 1946, missionaries of the Southern Baptist Convention first arrived in Tegucigalpa and in the 1950s(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31Z battery), 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(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31E battery). 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.[101]

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. (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31J battery)

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.[101]

Crime and violence

Honduras has the world's highest murder rate.[105] Honduras has been experiencing record-high violence in recent years. In 2010, the homicide rate in Francisco Morazán was 83.2 (per 100,000 inhabitants) compared to the national average of 86. (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31M battery)

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(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31B battery). The neighborhoods reporting the highest incidents of violent deaths are Barrio Concepción, 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 Comayagüela.[104]

In 2009, there were 246 motor vehicle-related deaths of which 52 percent were pedestrians, including bicyclists(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ32 battery); 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.[104]

Sky Residence Club, the tallest building in the city, standing at 318 feet (97 meters) in the Lomas del Mayab neighborhood.

HSBC main offices on Suyapa Blvd (former BGA bank building) (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ410 battery).

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 (US$151,214,182)[107] while in 2010 it was of L.2,366,993,208 (US$125.204.606) 57.9 percent or L.43.860 billion (US$2.318 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(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21 battery). and an unemployed person may spend as much as four months seeking employment.[112] 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 (73.2%), small businesses (9.63%), medium-sized businesses (7.47%), large companies (0.28%), and the remainder unreported (9.62%)(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21S battery).

The city's major economic sources are commerce, construction, services, textiles, sugar, and tobacco.[113] Economic activity is broken down as follow: commerce—including wholesale, retail, auto repair, household goods (42.86%); manufacturing industry (16.13%), hospitality—hotels and restaurants (14.43%), banking and real state (10.12%), social and personal services (8.94%), health-related services (3.90%), and others (3.60%).(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21M battery)

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.[115] Silver, lead and zinc are still mined in the outskirts of the city(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ38M battery).

Alfonso XIII, a condo high-rise in one the city's upper income communities, Lomas del Guijarro.

Nissan car dealership on Central America Blvd across the street from Plaza Miraflores Mall.

Honduran banks based in Tegucigalpa include Banco Atlántida (Bancatlan), Banco Continental, Banco Financiera Centroaméricana (Ficensa), Banco Financiera Comercial Hondureña (Ficohsa), Banco Hondureño del Café (Banchcafe) (Sony VGN-NR11S/S Battery), Banco Hondureño para la Producción y la Vivienda (Banhprovi), Banco de Occidente, Banco del País, Banco de los Trabajadores, the Central Bank of Honduras, the country's central banking public institution and Banco Nacional de Desarrollo Agrícola (Banadesa), also state-owned, with central offices located in Comayagüela(Sony VGN-NR11M/S Battery).

International financial institutions in Tegucigalpa include Banco de América Central-BAC Honduras (former Banco Mercantil-BAMER), Banco Lafise (Latin American Financial Services), Citibank, HSBC, the Inter-American Development Bank (IAB), the World Bank, and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE), with its headquarters located in Colonia Miramontes on Boulevard Suyapa. (Sony VGN-NR11Z/S Battery)

[edit]Foreign investment

Manufacturing assembly plants (maquiladoras) were introduced in Honduras in 1976.[118] 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. (Sony VGN-NR11Z/T Battery)

By the end of the 1990s and early 2000s (decade), 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. (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21E battery)

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 Cinépolis movie theaters(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21Z battery), which opened in 2010 in Cascadas Mall.[121] 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. (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21J battery)

Presidential House, official residence of the President of Honduras.

As capital of Honduras, as department head and as a municipality, the Central District seats three separate governments: national, departmental and municipal.[123] 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. (Sony VAIO VGN-FW11 battery)As a result, in late 1990, under Decree 134-90, the National Congress of Honduras enacted the Law of Municipalities (Ley de Municipalidades), defining the country's department and municipal institutions, representatives and their functions to give city government autonomy and decentralize it from the national government.[125]

While autonomous, the Central District is still influenced by the national government given the territory remains seat of government of the republic(Sony VAIO VGN-FW11M battery). 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.[126]

"Welcome to the Central District: Tegucigalpa and Comayagüela" sign at the municipality's limit line.

For all practical purposes the capital of Honduras is Tegucigalpa. However, politically and officially speaking, the Municipality of the Central District (DC for short) is the capital of Honduras and Tegucigalpa and Comayagüela are two entities within the district. (Sony VAIO VGN-FW11S battery) Traditionally, they are regarded as twin or sister cities in part because they were originally founded as two distinct cities.[127] 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.[15]

The current Constitution of Honduras, under Chapter 1, Article 8, states (translated), "The cities of Tegucigalpa and Comayagüela, jointly(Sony VAIO VGN-FW21E battery), constitute the Capital of the Republic."[12] Furthermore... Chapter 11, Article 295, states (translated) "The Central District consists of a single municipality made up of the former municipalities of Tegucigalpa and Comayagüela";[13] however, municipalities in Honduras are defined as political entities similar to counties, and they may contain one or more cities(Sony VAIO VGN-FW21J battery). For example, in the Department of Atlántida, La Ceiba is the largest city—being also the third largest in Honduras—both in terms of population and metropolitan area;[128] however, Tela, one of the eight municipalities of Atlántida, is the biggest municipality in terms of physical administrative area in that department.[129] Since the Municipality of Tela is not considered the entire city of Tela, it is not bigger than La Ceiba(Sony VAIO VGN-FW21L battery).

There are an additional of 41 villages and 293 hamlets through the Central District Municipality.[63] These may be assigned deputy mayors (alcalde auxiliar) to serve as local representatives.

National and departmental governments

The National Institute of Statistics (INE) and the Attorney General's office (Ministerio Público) in Residencial Lomas del Guijarro.

United States Embassy on Laz Paz Avenue(Sony VAIO VGN-FW41M battery).

Tegucigalpa is the political and administrative center of Honduras.[130] It is also the seat of government of the Francisco Morazán department.[131] All three branches of the national government as well as their immediate divisions—including the 16 departments of the Executive Branch,[132] the National Congress,[133] the Supreme Court of Justice,[134] the Armed Forces and National Police headquarters—are located in the city(Sony VAIO VGN-FW41M/H battery). Most public agencies and state-owned companies are headquartered in the capital as well.[22]

[edit]Local government

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 (Alcaldía Municipal del Distrito Central or AMDC) is the city's governing authority. As established by current city governing law, AMDC is structured as a municipal corporation(Sony VAIO VGN-FW21M battery), 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[136] and a vice mayor to serve as acting mayor when required and to oversee functions within AMDC as instructed by the mayor(Sony VAIO VGN-FW21Z battery).

Ten aldermen (regidores) 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(Sony VAIO VGN-FW32J battery). 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 (Consejo de Desarrollo Municipal) which serves as an advising cabinet on all the areas of issues of the city such as human development, public safety, utilities, etc(Sony VAIO VGN-FW17W battery).

Government Civic Center housing the Supreme Court of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The current mayor of the Central District is Ricardo Álvarez (PNH)[140] who is serving his second term (2006–2010, 2010–2014) after winning reelection in 2009.[141] Alvarez is the first candidate to win a consecutive reelection, he is the seventh person to serve as mayor of the Central District since local elections were restored in 1986(Sony VAIO VGN-FW31E battery), (prior to 1986, the Central District local government, known as Consejo Metropolitano (Metropolitan Council), was appointed by the President); and this is the eighth elected mayoral term since then.

Of the 10 aldermen currently serving, six are men and four are women. Six belong to the National Party while another two belong to the Liberal Party; one alderman belongs to the Democratic Unification Party and the other is Independent. (Sony VAIO VGN-FW139E battery)

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 (Secretaría del Interior y Población), formely Secretaría de Gobernación y Justicia.

Law enforcement

Law enforcement in the city is the responsibility of the National Police of Honduras, the nationwide police force. (Sony VAIO VGN-FW139E/H battery) The National Police maintains its headquarters in the Central District in Colonia Casamata. The Metropolitan Police Headquarters No. 1 (Jefatura Metropolitana 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 Edén, Police District 1-2 El Mandén, Police District 1-3 San Miguel(Sony VAIO VGN-FW31M battery), Police District 1-4 Kennedy, Police District 1-5 El Belén, Police District 1-6 La Granja and Police District 1-7 San Francisco. For 2011, the Secretary of Security designated L.2.162 billion (US$114.283 million) to law enforcement and criminal investigation in the Central District.

As established by the Law on Police and Social Coexistence (Ley de Policía y Convivencia Social), municipalities can fund their own municipal police (Policía Municipal) and the Central District currently operates a Municipal Police force of 160 officers(Sony VAIO VGN-FW31J battery). The Municipal Department of Justice (Departamento Municipal de Justicia) through its Municipal Police Court (Juzgado de Policía Municipal) enforces and prosecutes local law offenses.

The Public Ministry (Ministerio Público) 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(Sony VAIO VGN-FW31Z battery). The Attorney General of the Republic (Procuraduría General de la República) is the country's chief legal representative and prosecutes crimes on behalf of the state.[146]

United Nations National Park on El Picacho Hill north of Tegucigalpa.

Tegucigalpa is a colonial city with a history spanning for more than 400 years. According to the National Chamber of Tourism of Honduras (CANATURH), the city is visited by at least 250,000 tourists every summer.[147] For Easter 2011, at least 300,000 visitors arrived to the city. (Sony VGN-NR11Z Battery)

Colorful Sawdust carpets being prepared in the streets before the Easter Week religious processions through downtown Tegucigalpa.

The Fair of the Capital (Feria de la Capital or Feria capitalina) 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. (Sony VGN-NR11S Battery) 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 (Feria del Caballo y la Cultura) taking place in the month of November. There is also a Christmas Fair in the month of December.

Monument of the Absent Soldier in Comayagüela on Anillo Periférico at the Military Hospital exit.

Some of the parks in the city include Parque La Leona, Parque Herrera, Parque Del Soldado, Parque Juan A. Lainez(Sony VGN-CR11Z Battery), Plaza España, 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.[151] La Tigra National Park lies several kilometers north of the city and covers an area of 93.9 square miles (243 km2). 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(Sony VGN-CR11S Battery).

Some of the popular landmarks include the Metropolitan Cathedral, the former Presidential Palace (now a museum), the National University, the Basilica of the Virgin of Suyapa, La Merced Church, and the Manuel Bonilla Theater.[152]

There are several charming colonial villages within easy driving distance from Tegucigalpa: Santa Lucia (12 km/7 mi away), Valle de Angeles (21 km/13 mi away), Ojojona, Yuscarán and San Juancito(Sony VGN-CR11M Battery). 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[155] and El Heraldo, the more conservative.[156] There are three other daily papers printed in the city: El Libertador, El Patriota, and Tiempos del Mundo(Sony VGN-CR11E Battery). 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[158] and the sports newspaper and fashion magazine, Diez[159] and Estilo, respectively; divisions of La Prensa. Voz el Soberano and Revistazo are political watchdog online publishers(Sony VGN-CR21E Battery).

There are currently eight channels broadcasting on VHF (3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13) and 12 channels on UHF (21, 30, 33, 36, 39, 45, 48, 51, 54, 57, 66, 69) 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. (Sony VGN-CR21S Battery)

There are five television networks based in Tegucigalpa: Televicentro Corporation, the largest television media conglomerate in the country which operates three television networks: Compañia Televisora Hondureña (Channel 5), Telesistema Hondureño (channels 3 & 7) and Telecadena 7 & 4 (Channel 7). The other four networks are Channel 11[163] owned by Grupo Continental & R. Media;[164] Televisión Educativa National-TEN (Channel 10) (Sony VGN-CR21Z Battery), a public broadcasting network featuring the Telenoticiero Abriendo Brecha[166] newscast; Maya TV (Channel 66), 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.[168][169] Emisoras Unidas,[170] 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 Éxitos 88.1 FM, Radio Satélite 790 AM, XY Honduras 90.5 FM, Radio HRN 92.9 FM(Sony VGN-CR31S Battery).

The following radio stations are based in Tegucigalpa: 88.7 Radio Globo Honduras,[172] 91.1 Radio Kairos, 91.7 Estereo La Buenisima, 93.5 Radio Cadena Voces,[173] 94.7 Radio America,[174] 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,[175] 104.3 Momentos FM Estereo(Sony VGN-CR31E Battery), 104.9 Estereo Amor, 106.7 Radio CHN-Cadena Hondureña de Noticias, and 107.3 W-107 Radio del Flow.

Courtyard in the Chiminike children's museum located off Armed Forces Blvd in the Government Civic Center complex.

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 (Museo para la Identidad Nacional), founded in 2006; the National Anthropology and History Museum or Villa Roy National Museum (Museo Nacional de Antropología e Historia-Museo Nacional Villa Roy) (Sony VGN-CR31Z Battery), founded in 1976 on the former residence of President Julio Lozano Díaz (1954–1956) and reopened after a complete restoration in 1997;[178] the National Art Gallery (Galería de Arte Nacional), founded in 1996;[179] the Republic History Museum (Museo Histórico de la República), founded in 1993;[180] the Museum of Man (Museo del Hombre), founded in 1989,[180] the Telecommuncations Museum (Museo de las Comunicaciones), founded in 1985; the Military History Museum (Museo Histórico Militar), founded in 1983;[180] and the Archaeological Museum (Museo Arqueológico) (Sony VGN-CR41Z Battery).

The Natural History Museum (Museo de la Historia Natural) is located within the National Autonomous University of Honduras.[181] The Numismatic Museum (Museo Nimismático Rigoberto Rojas) was founded in 1993 and is located in Comayagüela next to the Central Bank of Honduras Annex building.[182] There is a children's museum, (Centro Interactivo de Enseñanza CHIMINIKE), founded in 2003(Sony VGN-CR41S Battery), located on Blvd. Fuerzas Armadas within the Government Civic Center complex, which also houses the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Supreme Court of Justice.

North entrance of Multiplaza Mall as seen from the parking lot.

Other places of cultural interest are the Colonial Museum (Museo Colonial) located in Casa Cural, the Cultural Center of Spain in Tegucigalpa - CCET, founded in 2007; and Sala Bancatlán, located in Plaza Bancatlán of Banco Atlántida.[180] The Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History, founded in 1952, promotes cultural heritage and manages several museums throughout Honduras. (Sony VGN-CR41E Battery) There is an art and history museum, Santa María de los Ángeles, in Valle de Ángeles, 27 km/17 mi northwest of Tegucigalpa.

Main article: Cuisine of Tegucigalpa

There is a variety of restaurants of different cuisine styles and origin in Tegucigalpa. Locals and visitors alike can enjoy of several restaurants serving traditional Honduran dishes as well, either from a typical streetside vendor or family restaurant to upscale food establishments. (Sony VGN-CR42Z Battery)

MetroMall in Comayagüela on Armed Forces Blvd just north of Toncontín International.

Ongoing construction of City Mall across the road from Toncontín International Airport.

The centre of shopping in Tegucigalpa is Multiplaza, a 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 (Sony VGN-CR42S Battery) (running parallel to each other) and Central America Blvd (crosswise). Other busy corridors are the Francisco Morazán Blvd and Los Próceres Ave/La Paz Ave to the north of the city.

Sports

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. (Sony VGN-CR42E Battery)

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.[190] There is a sports facility known as Olympic Village Sports Complex (Complejo Deportivo Villa Olímpica) hosting several Olympic sports such as boxing, archery, tennis and tae-kwon-do; it is located north of the National University-UNAH(Sony Vaio VGN-CR11S/L Battery).

Jesus' Sacred Heart campus in Comayagüela of the Catholic University of Honduras (UNICAH).

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 (US$484.9 million) of the national public education budget (equal to 42.1 percent of total) to the Central District(Sony Vaio VGN-CR11S/P Battery).

The public and private education system in Tegucigalpa is divided into 16 school districts (distritales).[192] All districts are part of the Departmental Directorate of Education (Dirección Departamental de Educación), 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(Sony Vaio VGN-CR11S/W Battery). In 2003, there were a total of 287,517 students enrolled throughout the municipality—28,915 in preschool, 159,679 in elementary school, and 98,923 in middle or high school.

There are about 147 bilingual schools in Tegucigalpa.[194] The American School of Tegucigalpa is considered among the country's top private schools with its K-12 education program costing a total of L.1.366 million (US$72,248) for all years (amount based on 10-11 academic year) (Sony Vaio VGN-CR11Z/R Battery). Other popular private/bilingual schools include International School Tegucigalpa (K-12, Christian), Discovery School (K-12, secular), Los Pinares Academy (E-HS, Christian), DelCampo International School (MS-HS, secular), Dowal School (K-12, secular), Liceo Franco-Hondureño (K-12, French), Magic Castle Preschool (K), and Macris School (E-HS, Catholic).

There are two modalities in regards to the school calendar: American Period (August to July), mostly used by private and bilingual schools(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13/B Battery); and Latin Period (February to November), used by public schools.[195]

José Cecilio del Valle University (UJCV) in Colonia Humaya.

There are 12 universities in Tegucigalpa, including three state-funded higher education institutions.[196]

The National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH), 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-Copán, UNAH-Choluteca(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13/L Battery), UNAH-Juticalpa, UNAH-Valle del Aguán, and University Technological Center UNAH–Danlí.[197] It employs 4,980 people throughout its campuses at an average annual salary of L.241,184 (US$12,747).

The other two publicly-funded institutions are Francisco Morazán National Pedagogic University (UPNFM), founded in 1989, focusing on preparing future educators in several disciplines.[198] and the National Institute of Professional Formation (INFOP) (Sony Vaio VGN-CR13/P Battery), founded in 1972, focusing on economic and social development disciplines. The National University of Agriculture (UNA), founded in 1950, also state-funded and located in Catacamas, Olancho, maintains an liaison office in Tegucigalpa.

There are 10 private universities in Tegucigalpa:

All barrios and colonias in Tegucigalpa can be accessed by automobile, although some neighborhoods in the city suffer from unpaved(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13/R Battery), narrow, or hilly streets making them difficult to maneuver.[205] 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(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13/W Battery).

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(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G Battery). In the last decades, several of the boulevards and avenues have bee retrofitted with grade separations to ease up the flow of traffic.

Map showing the network of roads and highways throughout the Central District and its borders.

The Honduras Department of Public Works, Transportation and Housing (SOPTRAVI) presently divides the country's highway network into international routes (ruta internacional), national routes[disambiguation needed] (ruta nacional) (Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G/B Battery), and provincial routes (ruta vecinal). These are assigned numbers; however, they are more often identified using their physical destinations (e.g. Tegucigalpa-Danlí highway) rather the number itself since road signage is scarce.

International routes are given a "CA-" designation followed by a highway number (i.e. CA-1) which can be of one or two digits enclosed in a highway shield. "CA-" highways are part of the Central American highway network (hence the "CA" letters) (Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G/L Battery) 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 (north and south) and CA-6 (east); and national highways 15 (north), 25 (northeast) and 33 (southwest) (Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G/W Battery).

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 Atlántida Department, connecting to La Ceiba and into Colón Department and its major cities(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G/P Battery)

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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 Paraíso Department, passing through Danlí and El Paraiso municipalities eventually reaching the Nicaraguan border(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G/R Battery).

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 Colón Department(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13T/L Battery).

Highway 25 runs northeast of the Central District and connects to the municipalities of Santa Lucía, Valle de Ángeles 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(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13T/P Battery).

Anillo Periférico (beltway) at the Suyapa Boulevard overpass near Basilica of Suyapa.

Heading westbound on Armed Forces Blvd near the Metro Mall interchange.

The Anillo Periférico (beltway or ring road) and Boulevard Fuerzas Armadas (Armed Forces Blvd) are the city's two expressways—equipped with center dividers, interchanges, overpasses and underpasses—allowing for controlled-access traffic. These connect with the city's other major boulevards: Central America Blvd, Suyapa Blvd, European Community Blvd(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13T/R Battery), Kuwait Blvd—which 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. (Sony Vaio VGN-CR13T/W Battery) The current city administration has green lit several road infrastructure projects to help reduce traffic congestion and improve the overall aspect of the city.

Public transportation

"School buses"-turned public transportation buses in Tegucigalpa.

Public transportation in Tegucigalpa and Comayagüela 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(Sony Vaio VGN-CR150E/B Battery). 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(Sony Vaio VGN-CR21/B Battery).

The public transportation system in Tegucigalpa is, however, highly disorganized.[208] 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(Sony Vaio VGN-CR21E/L Battery). 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 (IAB). The BRT system will be solely managed by the Central District government(Sony Vaio VGN-CR21E/P Battery).

National and int'l ground transportation

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.[211] There is no central bus terminal in the city; in turn, there are several bus stations scattered throughout the city, particularly most in Comayagüela, and some of these stations are operated directly by the bus company serving from there(Sony Vaio VGN-CR21E/W Battery). Tegucigalpa is connected with the rest of Central America and Mexico through its international bus lines. Buses leave for Guatemala, El Salvador,[212] Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Mexico everyday.

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