A country in Central America, the Republic of Honduras is bordered by Guatemala to the west, Nicaragua to the southeast, El Salvador to the southwest, the Pacific Ocean to the south, and the Gulf of Honduras to the north. The country gained its independence and became a republic in 1821. It suffered from political instability and social conflicts that impacted the country’s economic growth. Additionally, its economy relies primarily on agriculture, it is susceptible to natural catastrophes.
The Honduras lempira has been the national monetary unit of the country since its introduction in 1931. Named after the Lenca Indians’ war chief who led the defense against the attempts of Francisco Montejo to conquer the Honduras province, the lempira or the “lord of the mountain range”.
On July 1, 1950, the Central Bank of Honduras took over the production of paper money. As they had limited time to make printing plates on its first day of operation, they used the plates of Banco de Honduras for printing its 5-lempira banknotes. The designs of other denominations were based on a competition among Honduran artists, bearing historical figures on the front and various vignettes on the back. The obverse designs were retained on subsequent issues but the vignettes on the reverse of the notes were entirely new.
The 1976 - 2010 issues bear all-new designs, featuring on the obverse portraits of prominent personalities in the history of Honduras. In 1993, the bank introduced another set of notes with the reverse design in a vertical orientation.
Finally, in 2012, banknotes that include embossed Braille dots and vertical bars in high-relief to aid the visually-impaired were put into circulation.