A significant amount of money comes into Honduras from the United States each year and some money flows in the other direction as well. In 2016, more than U.S. $3.36 billion was sent from the U.S. to Honduras as remittances. In the same year, around U.S. $10 million made its way from Honduras to the U.S. Total trade of goods and services between the two countries stood at around U.S. $11.2 billion in 2016.
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The U.S. dollar has been used as the official currency of the United States since 1792. Other regions where it is used as a sole currency include Ecuador, El Salvador, the Federated States of Micronesia, two British Overseas Territories, the Caribbean, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the British Virgin Islands.
Countries such as Belize, Panama, Haiti, Zimbabwe, Costa Rica, and Myanmar permit the use of the U.S. dollar use alongside other currencies. Currencies of some countries such as Aruba, the Bahamas, Oman, and Venezuela are still pegged to the U.S. dollar.
|Nicknames||Buck, moolah, paper, dough, dead presidents, |
bones, greenback, green
|Bank notes||$1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100|
|Coins||1c, 5c, 10c, 25c, 50c, $1|
The Honduran lempira has been the official currency of Honduras since 1931. It replaced the peso, which served as legal tender of the country from 1862 to 1931. The Honduran currency is named after a 16th-century a ruler of the region’s indigenous people, Lempira, who is fabled to have led an unsuccessful resistance against the Spanish.
While the lempira is the only official currency of Honduras, the acceptance of the U.S. dollar in popular tourist areas is common.
Upon its introduction, the lempira was at par with the peso. While the lempira was introduced in 1931, it went to serve as a monetary standard only after the founding of the Central Bank of Honduras that was responsible for producing paper money from 1950. Before this, there were only two banks in Honduras and people had little to no access to banking services.
The Central Bank introduced 50 lempira notes in 1951, 100 lempira notes in 1975, and 500 lempira notes in 1995. In January 2010, it released the country’s first polymer notes.
|Bank notes||L1, L2, L5, L10, L20, L50, L100, L500|
|Coins||5, 10, 20, 50 centavos|
U.S. Dollar / Honduran Lempira Historical Rates
Honduras gained independence from Spain around two centuries ago. However, its history of political instability plagues the country even now, and it remains among the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere. Honduras, through a story written by O. Henry, is the place that is credited to having been the first “Banana Republic”.
Toward the late 1980s, two Honduran lempiras valued at one U.S. dollar. The lempira devalued noticeably after that, but witnessed some stability around 2005, trading at 19 lempiras to the dollar. This period of stability continued until mid 2011, after which is devalued almost consistently again. By June 2017, it has crossed the 23 lempiras to the dollar mark. While it has maintained relative stability since then, it breached the 24 lempiras to the dollar mark for the first time in June 2018.
USD/HNL in the last five years
|U.S. $1 =|
|1 July, 2013||L 20.3195|
|1 July, 2014||L 20.8715|
|1 July, 2015||L 21.9520|
|1 July, 2016||L 22.4925|
|1 July, 2017||L 23.2335|
USD/HNL in the last five months
|U.S. $1 =|
|1 March, 2018||L 23.6500|
|1 April, 2018||L 23.6500|
|1 May, 2018||L 23.9100|
|1 June, 2018||L 24.0300|
|1 July, 2018||L 23.8510|
What Affects USD/HNL Exchange Rates?
The economy of Honduras, as is the case with most countries in Latin America, is closely linked to the United States. The U.S. remains Honduras’ main trading partner and is responsible for around two-thirds of the foreign direct investment in the country. In addition, remittances sent from the U.S. to Honduras account for around 28% of the country’s GDP. Any negative impact on trade or relationships between the two countries tends to affect the value of the lempira adversely.
Monetary policies set by both countries may affect the how the USD/HNL currency pair performs. For instance, some experts suggest that the lempira devalued significantly after 2011 because of the Central Bank of Honduras’ introduction of an exchange rate band. Besides, other than a few relatively recent Asian led investments in the region, Honduras still relies on the U.S. for trade to a large extent.
Sending money from the U.S. to Honduras or in the other direction requires that you pay close attention to the USD/HNL exchange rate you get. Bear in mind that most banks tend to add steep markups to existing market rates, and you might be better off turning to a specialist overseas money transfer company instead.