The center of the country originally was covered with pine and broadleaf forests of oak and other trees, but much of the pine forest has been logged and much of the oak forest has been cut for farming.The north coast was once primarily rain forest, but much of it has been cleared for commercial banana plantations. It includes the "Mosquito Coast," which is actually a long series of white sand beaches and freshwater lagoons.The Miskito and Tawahka people live in the rain forests of the eastern lowlands, and in similar lands in neighboring areas of Nicaragua.
The capital city, Tegucigalpa, was chosen because it is near the geographic center of the country. The population did not reach one million until 1940.It completely fills a small, deep valley in the headwaters of the Choluteca River, in the central highlands. The major ethnic group include the Chortí, a native people with a population of about five thousand in the department of Copán.Regional traditions exist in the south (Choluteca and Valle) and the north coast as well as among the minority ethnic groups.All these people self-identify as Hondurans, however.Spanish-speaking people in the center of the country are the most numerous and are culturally dominant.
They do not use a special name to refer to themselves or their region. The nation has an area of 43,266 miles (112,492 square kilometers). The physical environment is tropical, with a long dry season (six months or more) in the south and the interior and a shorter dry season in the north.
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The Jicaque group in Yoro is much larger and has been almost completely assimilated into the national culture.