La Esperanza is the capital city and a municipality of the same name of the department of Intibucá, Honduras. The city of La Esperanza is merged indistinguishably with the city of Intibucá, the head of the neighboring municipality of Intibucá. Intibucá is the older of the two cities and was originally a Lenca community, while La Esperanza is the newer ladino community.
The two cities, often called the twin cities, while distinct with separate municipal governments, are generally referred to jointly as La Esperanza, and are separated only by a street that crosses town. La Esperanza is famous for having the coolest climate in Honduras and for being the heart of the Ruta Lenca, a region of Lenca ethnic influence that spans Honduras from Santa Rosa de Copan to Choluteca.
Maya and Lenca people from pre-Columbian times who formed two settlements called Eramani and Lentercala originally occupied the area. In 1647, Mayor Francisco de La Cerda was appointed by the Spanish throne to officially demarcate the territory of the indigenous population.
He divided the land into two jurisdictions, not corresponding to the Eramani and Lentercala sites, and created boundaries and names for the surrounding small communities. Over time, the two jurisdictions developed a rivalry, especially over land. The cities grew in population especially in the 1800s and La Esperanza was named a villa on September 22, 1848. La Esperanza officially became a city in 1883 when the department of Intibucá was formed by separating from the neighboring department of Lempira, then called Gracias.
In 2002, permits were obtained by the Consorcio de Inversiones SA de CV (CISA) to build a hydroelectric dam on the Rio Intibucá over an abandoned hydro project. Called the La Esperanza Hydro Project after the city, the dam began producing electricity for the surrounding communities in 2003, but its phase two expansion was not completed until 2006. The project was the first in the world to generate Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).
La Esperanza sits at an altitude of 1700 meters, making it the highest city in Honduras. It is bisected by the Rio Intibucá, which runs from the municipality of Intibucá through the municipality of La Esperanza. La Esperanza is situated in a relatively flat mountain valley, bordered by two chains of mountains, the Sierra de Puca Opalaca to the north and Montaña Zapochoco to the Southeast. The area of the La Esperanza municipality is 138.8-km2 and Intibucá 531 km2.
La Esperanza experiences two distinct seasons: the rainy season/winter from May to October and the dry season/summer from November to April. The rainiest months are June and September, and the driest months February and March. During the winter, it rains primarily in the afternoon and the intense showers often make small dirt roads into the surrounding mountain communities impassable.
La Esperanza receives average annual precipitation of 1400 mm. Due to its high altitude; La Esperanza has a cooler climate than most of Honduras, with an average annual temperature of 18.6°C (65.5°F). Temperatures in December and January often fall into the 40’s at night. Hail has been reported on occasion, but it has never snowed. In the summer, high temperatures reach the 80’s, but with low average humidity around 76%.
The predominant ethnic group is the Lenca people, who have existed in this region of Honduras since pre-Columbian times. The Lenca are the largest ethnic group in Honduras, numbering just over 100,000. The Lenca once had a distinct language, which is now lost, however other traditional customs still exist such as the production of textiles and pottery, dances, and clothing. The Lenca people, particularly women, can be recognized by their unique style of dress including brightly colored dresses and woven headscarves called pañuelos.
Daily Lenca fresh produce market
Life in La Esperanza and Intibucá is centered primarily on agriculture, which is the mainstay of most residents, especially the Lenca people. Due to its uniquely cool climate, the department is able to produce products that other departments cannot including potatoes, strawberries, and apples. La Esperanza is famous for its daily farmers market, which draws vendors and shoppers from around the department.
Lenca farmers arrive from the surrounding communities and sell their fruits and vegetables in the street while some La Esperanza residents manage permanent wooden stalls. Produce available includes lettuce, spinach, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, yucca, onions, cilantro, apples, blackberries, mangoes, pineapple, bananas, platanos, avocadoes, grapes, peaches and strawberries. The busiest market days are Saturday and Sunday.
PROTEJA SU PAGINA RED A PRECIOS MUY COMODOS