Nestled among Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua, Honduras is a tropical paradise of rainforests, clear waters and fresh fruit. The small country has Mayan roots that date at least as far as 1000 B.C. to the Copan city-state, which was abandoned around A.D. 900. The area remained quiet until Columbus arrived in 1502. The Spanish settled in Honduras in 1525 and maintained control until Dutch pirates took possession in 1643. The Spanish resettled in 1787, and in 1821, Honduras resisted control from Spain. After a conflict between conservatives and liberals, Honduras broke from Mexico and became its own state in 1838. Tensions rose in 1906 between Honduras and Nicaragua over a stretch of land on the Mosquito Coast and worsened after Honduras and Colombia signed the Caribbean Sea Maritime Limits Treaty in 1986. After a ratification of the treaty in 1999, Nicaragua became upset with Honduras, claiming Honduras had no right to the territory, an area rich in resources such as petroleum and fish. Members from both sides signed an agreement on March 16, 2001, that eased the dispute.



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