With over half the population living in poverty, it's little surprise that an estimated 15% of Hondurans have left in search of work elsewhere. While some have moved to Spain, Mexico or Nicaragua, the majority has moved to the United States.
Honduras is a poor country; estimated to be the fourth poorest in the western hemisphere, in fact. Once a thriving 'banana republic', some natural disasters, poor management of the land and privatization of the natural resources that it does have, Honduras now qualifies for unilateral debt relief as part of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative.
It is estimated that there are 1.2 million unemployed people in Honduras, equating to approximately 28% of the population. There is an excess of unskilled, uneducated laborers, with only 25,000 people a year graduating from the National Institute of Professional Training.
Agriculture still makes up 14% of the Gross Domestic Product and 39% of the workforce, with coffee being the number one export at 22%, followed by bananas. The two main fruit growing companies, Chiquita and Dole, are privately owned, so little of the wealth from these giants stays in Honduras. Similarly, the gold, silver, zinc and lead mines brought little wealth to Hondurans, on account of being privately owned, and with ores being shipped to the United States and Europe for refining. Coffee producers, however, tend to be family owned and run, with a number even having turned to more lucrative organic farming.
The manufacturing industry in Honduras is still underdeveloped, with the bulk of export being textiles. A number of assembly houses called maquiladoras also exist, whereby materials are brought in, products assembled, and the finished product exported. The lion's share of exports from Honduras goes to the United States.
More recently, as with many countries, the balance has tipped from agriculture and exports to service and information-led industries, with services accounting for 58% of the GDP and 60% of the workforce.
Due to the lack of skilled workers, expats moving to Honduras for work can find job opportunities. In anything from administration to IT or hospitality, there are vacancies posted on a number of websites regularly, including Encuentra24 and Career Jet. It would be advisable to have some ability to speak Spanish, but there are jobs in education and teaching English as a foreign language, also. Just as with most other places, when looking for work, it's a good idea to network. Using websites such as LinkedIn can enable you to make connections with key Hondurans before moving.
Expats living in Honduras will only be taxed on income earned in Honduras, and not on existing earning or pensions from their native land. Income taxes range from 10 - 25%. Capital gains earned by expats from selling property in Honduras are taxed at a flat rate of 10%. There is also a 12% sales tax.