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.
The name of the country means "depths." It was so named by Christopher Columbus on his fourth voyage because of the deep waters at the mouth of the Tinto o Negro River off the Mosquito Coast.
Regional traditions exist in the south (Choluteca and Valle) and the north coast as well as among the minority ethnic groups.
Only those in Montaña de la Flor still speak the Tol (Jicaque) language, which is in the Hokan family.
The Jicaque group in Yoro is much larger and has been almost completely assimilated into the national culture.
The Garífuna are a people of African descent with some native American ancestry.
They originated on the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent during colonial times from escaped slaves who settled among a group of Arawak-speaking Carib Indians and adopted their native American language.The Pech and Jicaque people live in some of the more remote areas in the central highlands.The Chortí and Lenca peoples live in the rugged western highlands.The Garífuna people live along the Caribbean Coast of Central America, from Belize to Nicaragua.The Miskito and Tawahka people live in the rain forests of the eastern lowlands, and in similar lands in neighboring areas of Nicaragua.There are about nineteen thousand Jicaque in Yoro and about two hundred in Montaña de la Flor.