Etiquette in Honduras

Honduras, located between Guatemala and Nicaragua, has a population of over 8 million inhabitants.

The official language is Spanish, although many Hondurans have a basic understanding of English, especially in tourist and urban centers.

Honduras is a constitutional republic, however elections are often filled with controversy and under intense political turmoil.

Over 80% of the population is Roman Catholic, with a growing number of Protestants, now numbering over 10%.

The currency is the Lempira.

Business Negotiation Etiquette

Personal friendships, the desire to please, and the Hondurans’ respect for individual dignity and honor affect many of the business practices in Honduras.

Businesspeople are looking for long-term relationships built on mutual trust and reliability. Spend time building a relationship and plan for several visits and a slower pace of negotiations. Do not start discussing business until you personal relationship has a firm foundation.

Never pull rank, publicly criticize or do anything else that may cause someone to lose face. Hondurans are also very status conscious, so include someone from higher-level management directly in your negotiations.

To avoid a miscommunication because of a Honduran’s strong desire to please, phrase your questions carefully. For example, if you ask if the store is open at 8 am, you will likely get a positive response. Not because it is true, but because they will think this is the answer you want to hear. Instead, ask questions that involve more detail than a yes or a no, such as “What time does the store open?”. This same concept applies to business agreements. Be sure to put everything in writing, as you may get a verbal “yes” out of politeness.