Catholicism is the main religion in Honduras – though American Evangelical missionary groups are having an impact – and with it come traditional values and roles. Family is very important, and children tend to grow up and settle close to their parents, though increasingly Honduran youngsters are going to the US in order to send back some money. Anti-gay attitudes are prevalent, and while not illegal, public displays of affection between same-sex couples are frowned upon.
Hondurans are very friendly, and, on the whole, glad to have visitors in their country and keen to tell you about where they come from. Greeting shop assistants is polite, and in smaller towns a simple “buenos días” can win you new friends in no time. Of Honduras’s population, 85–90 percent are ladino (a mix of Spanish and indigenous people). The rest of the country is made up of a mixture of ethnic minorities. Prominent groups include the Maya Chorti in the department of Copán; the Lenca, with their traditional clothing, found along the Ruta Lenca in the area around Santa Rosa de Copán; and the Miskitos in La Mosquitia.
A ten percent tip is the norm for waiters and tour guides, but is not expected in taxis. Haggling is not widespread, but a bit of gentle negotiation can earn you a discount at a hotel or a lower price with a taxi driver.