Spanish conquest of Honduras

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The territory that comprises the Republic of Honduras, one of the five states of Central America, was claimed in 1502 for the king of Spain after the arrival of Christopher Columbus on his fourth and final trip to the New World. In March 1524, Gil González Dávila became the first Spaniard to arrive in what is now Honduras with the intention of conquest. He founded the settlement of San Gil de Buena Vista, from where he pacified the Indians.[1]

Hernán Cortés, motivated by reports of the wealth of the country, sent two expeditions; one by land and another by sea. He entrusted the first to Pedro de Alvarado, and the second to Cristóbal de Olid. The latter betrayed Cortés' trust, and Cortés set out from Mexico in command of an expedition that lasted almost two years and ended, after many of dangers and deprivations, in Trujillo.

When he arrived in Honduras, Cortés introduced European livestock and founded the city of Natividad de Nuestra Señora, near Puerto de Caballos. On 25 April 1526, before returning to Mexico, Cortés appointed Hernando de Saavedra as governor of Honduras, and left instructions to treat the natives fairly.

On 26 October 1526, Diego López de Salcedo was appointed governor of Honduras to replace Saavedra. The following decade was marked by personal ambitions of individual conquistadores interfering with governmental organisation. Spanish colonists rebelled against one of their leaders, and the Indians rebelled against their overlords, and against their ill treatment.

Salcedo, seeking to enrich himself, clashesed with Pedrarias Dávila, governor of Castilla de Oro, who desired to add Honduras to his own dominions. In 1528, Pedrarias Dávila arrested Salcedo and forced him to yield a portion of the territory of Honduras, but King Charles V rejected the settlement.

After the death of Salcedo in 1530, the colonists became the arbiters of power, installing and deposing governors. As a response to the growing anarchy, the colonists requested that Pedro de Alvarado intervene. With the arrival of Alvarado in 1536, the chaos diminished, and the region remained under authority.

In 1537, Francisco de Montejo was appointed governor. As soon as he arrived in Honduras, he cancelled the land distribution carried out by Alvarado. His captain, Alonso de Cáceres, had been responsible for putting down the Indian uprising of 1537 and 1538, lead by the Lenca ruler Lempira. In 1539, strong disagreements over governance of the region between Montejo and Alvarado attracted the attention of the Council of the Indies. Montejo relocated to Chiapas, while Alvarado became governor of Honduras.


Honduras is situated in the heart of Central America; it covers an area of 112,090 square kilometres (43,280 sq mi) and is the second-largest country in Central America. The interior is mostly mountainous.[2] It is bordered to the north by the Caribbean Sea, to the west by Guatemala, to the southwest by El Salvador, and to the southeast by Nicaragua. In the extreme south, Honduras has a portion of coastline on the Gulf of Fonseca, providing access to the Pacific Ocean.[3] The Caribbean coast extends for 820 kilometres (510 mi),[2] while the Pacific coast of the Gulf of Fonseca extends for 153 kilometres (95 mi).[4]

The country is divided into four principal geographic regions, the largest of which consists of the mountainous highlands which cover approximately two-thirds its territory.[4] The highest mountain range in the highlands is the Sierra del Merendón; it runs from the southwest to the northeast and reaches a maximum altitude of 2,850 metres (9,350 ft) above mean sea level at Cerro Las Minas. The Nombre de Dios mountains runs south of the Caribbean coast; it is less rugged and has a maximum altitude of 2,435 metres (7,989 ft). The Entre Ríos mountains lay along a section of the Nicaraguan border. The highlands are punctuated by a number of fertile flat-floored valleys, lying at an altitude of between 300 and 900 metres (980 and 2,950 ft).[5] The Sula Valley runs from the Caribbean to the Pacific, offering a route between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans;[6] it contains Honduras' most important river, the Ulúa River, which flows 400 kilometres (250 mi) northeast into the Gulf of Honduras.[7]

The Mosquito Coast is located in the east, near the Nicaraguan border, and consists of dense rainforest. The Caribbean lowlands form a thin strip along the coast.[4] The central portion of the Caribbean lowlands is only a few kilometers in width, but in the east and west it they form wide coastal plains.[6] A smaller lowland region exists in the south around the Gulf of Fonseca,[4] extending along a 25-kilometre (16 mi) wide strip on its north coast.[6] The Bay Islands lie off the Caribbean coast. The three large islands are Roatán, Utila, and Guanaja. Minor islands include Barbareta, Cayos Cochinos, Helene and Morat. There are also over 60 minor islets.[8]


Honduras has a tropical climate, divided into wet and dry seasons. Most rainfall occurs between May and September. The warmest month is April, and the coolest is January. In the highland valleys such as at Tegucigalpa, temperature varies between a minimum of 23 °C (73 °F) and a maximum of 30 °C (86 °F). At altitudes of over 2,000 metres (6,600 ft), frost sometimes forms.[7]

Honduras before the conquest[edit]

Map of approximate extent of indigenous ethnic groups in 16th-century Honduras

When the Spanish first arrived in what is now Honduras, the population is estimated to have been around 800,000, concentrated in the western and central regions.[9] Honduras is considered to have been a frontier region between Mesoamerica and the less complex societies to the south and southeast that were outside the direct Mesoamerican sphere of influence, although at times contact was direct and intense.[10] Much of Honduras is considered to have belonged to the so-called Intermediate Area, generally viewed as a region of lesser cultural development located between Mesoamerica and the Andean civilizations of South America.[11] Cultural developments were closely related to those taking place in what is now El Salvador and Nicaragua, but also reflected cultural contacts with the Maya civilization and other Mesoamerican cultures such as those of the coast of the Gulf of Mexico and the central highlands of Mexico.[10] The Pech people (formerly known as the Paya) occupied territory in the northeast of Honduras, possibly since antiquity. A similar scenario is proposed for those groups speaking Misumalpan languages, such as the Miskito and Sumu peoples. The Sumu, Pech and Miskito had cultural affinities to the south and east. The Lenca people occupied territories in central and southwestern Honduras, although linguistically related groups further southeast, they had strong cultural links to Mesoamerica. The Jicaque people also occupied lands in the region,[12] in an area along the Atlantic coast from the Ulúa River east to an area between the Leán and Cuero rivers, and extending to the Nombre de Dios mountains.[13] The Chorotega and the Pipil were both peoples belonging to the Mesoamerican cultural zone and fully partaking in it; the Pipil were found along the northern limits of Honduras,[12] while the Chorotega occupied territory in the south, around the Gulf of Fonseca.[14] The islands of the Gulf were inhabited by Lenca and Nahuas.[15] There are strong indications from early colonial documents that the important settlements of Naco and Quimistan, in the northwest, were multiethnic, inhabited by Pipil and Lenca or Maya, or all three.[16] Those groups in the northeast of Honduras were relatively isolated culturally, and not fully integrated into the exchange networks of either Mesoamerica or the Intermediate Area.[11] The western fringe of Honduras was occupied by Maya peoples, the Ch'ol and the Ch'orti'. The Ch'ol occupied the region around the Amatique Bay and along the lower Chamelecón River. The Ch'orti' inhabited the upper reaches of the Chamelecón River and the Sensenti Valley.[13]

Background to the conquest[edit]

Christopher Columbus discovered the New World for the Kingdom of Castile and Leon in 1492. Private adventurers thereafter entered into contracts with the Spanish Crown to conquer the newly discovered lands in return for tax revenues and the power to rule.[17] In the first decades after the discovery of the new lands, the Spanish colonised the Caribbean and established a centre of operations on the island of Cuba.[18] In the first two decades of the 16th century, the Spanish established their domination over the islands of the Caribbean Sea, and used these as a staging point to launch their campaigns of conquest on the continental mainland of the Americas.[19] The Spanish, under Hernán Cortés, overran the Aztec Empire between 1519 and 1521; the conquest of Central America that followed was effectively an extension of that campaign; Cortés himself took an active part in the conquest of Honduras from 1524–1525.[20]


16th-century Spanish helmet

The conquistadors were all volunteers, the majority of whom did not receive a fixed salary but instead a portion of the spoils of victory, in the form of precious metals, land grants and provision of native labour.[21] Many of the Spanish were already experienced soldiers who had previously campaigned in Europe.[22] The 16th-century Spanish conquistadors were armed with broadswords, rapiers, crossbows, matchlocks and light artillery. Mounted conquistadors were armed with a 3.7-metre (12 ft) lance, that also served as a pike for infantrymen. A variety of halberds and bills were also employed. As well as the one-handed broadsword, a 1.7-metre (5.5 ft) long two-handed version was also used.[23] Crossbows had 0.61-metre (2 ft) arms stiffened with hardwoods, horn, bone and cane, and supplied with a stirrup to facilitate drawing the string with a crank and pulley.[24] Crossbows were easier to maintain than matchlocks, especially in the humid tropical climate of the Caribbean region.[25]

Metal armour was of limited use in the hot, wet tropical climate. It was heavy and had to be constantly cleaned to prevent rusting; in direct sunlight, metal armour became unbearably hot. Conquistadores often went without metal armour, or only donned it immediately prior to battle.[26] They were quick to adopt quilted cotton armour based upon that used by their native opponents, and commonly combined this with the use of a simple metal war hat.[27] Shields were considered essential by both infantry and cavalry; generally this was a circular target shield, convex in form and fashioned from iron or wood. Rings secured it to the arm and hand.[23]


Honduras was a relatively poor province and did not attract the most distinguished conquistadors. Most conquistadors and colonists who ventured to Honduras desired to return quickly to Spain with newly acquired wealth and improved social status, and were therefore looking for immediate enrichment. The progress of conquest was based on the distribution of encomienda rights and land concessions. The encomiendas established in Honduras were small, and did not generate rapid income.[28] Social advancement was gained by overlordship of natives within the encomienda system.[29] In Honduras, the conquistadors gained immediate income by selling natives into slavery on the Caribbean islands and in Panama, and by mining activities. This in turn resulted in a reduction of indigenous population levels in Honduras, with a rapid drop in economic production during the first half of the 16th century. On the whole, the Spanish colonists were unwilling to invest time and resources into the long-term development of the agricultural production of their encomiendas in Honduras.[30]

The Spanish established colonial settlements to extend their power over the surrounding territory, and to serve as administrative centres. They preferred to locate these towns in areas with dense native populations, or close to easily exploitable mineral wealth. Many Spanish towns were founded close to pre-Columbian centres of population. Trujillo was founded near the native settlement of Guaimura, and Comayagua was founded upon a pre-existing town of the same name.[31] In the first half of the 16th century, towns were abandoned or moved for a variety of reasons, including native attacks, harsh conditions, and the spread of disease. In many cases, towns were moved for purely political reasons owing to infighting between Spanish factions, with those currently in power seeking to undermine the work of those who had come before them.[32] The frequent relocation of colonial towns and the reallocation of encomiendas served to prolong political instability, and delay the progress of the conquest.[33]

Colonial organisation[edit]

Comayagua, originally called Nueva Valladolid de Comayagua ("New Valladolid of Comayagua") and Valle de Santa María de Comayagua ("Valley of Saint Mary of Comayagua"), was established as one of four top-tier gobiernos in Central America that served as administrative centres for commerce and industry. Less important centres, such as Tegucigalpa, were established as alcaldías mayores, and more sparsely colonised areas as corregimientos. A corregimiento was composed of a number of indigenous settlements, referred to as pueblos de indios ("Indian villages"). The colonial corregidor governed the corregimiento, but native officials were also appointed, consisting of the alcalde (or mayor) and his regidores, or councillors. All levels of colonial government were concerned with the collection of tribute and the organisation of native labour.[34]

In 1544, the Spanish established the Audiencia de los Confines in Gracias a Dios (now Gracias, in Lempira Department, and not to be confused with the cape of the same name).[35] This location in western Honduras was selected for its central location in Central America, and was a centre for mining with a high indigenous population. The Audiencia was established as the administrative centre governing Honduras, Chiapas, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, Tabasco, and Yucatán. It was thought that this location would support the Audiencia of Guatemala.[34]


Columbus' fourth voyage

On 30 July 1502, during his fourth voyage, Christopher Columbus arrived at Guanaja, one of the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras. He sent his brother Bartholomew to scout the island. As Bartholomew explored the island with two boats, a large canoe approached from the west, apparently en route to the island. The canoe was carved from one large tree trunk and was powered by twenty-five naked rowers.[36] Curious as to the visitors, Bartholomew Columbus seized and boarded it. He found it was a Maya trading canoe from Yucatán, carrying well-dressed Maya and a rich cargo that included ceramics, cotton textiles, yellow stone axes, flint-studded war clubs, copper axes and bells, and cacao.[37] Also among the cargo were a small number of women and children, probably destined to be sold as slaves, as were a number of the rowers. The Europeans looted whatever took their interest from amongst the cargo and seized the elderly Maya captain to serve as an interpreter; the canoe was then allowed to continue on its way.[38] It is likely that news of the piratical strangers in the Caribbean passed along the Maya trade routes.[39]

A few days after this first encounter,[35] on 14 August 1502,[40] Columbus arrived on the mainland of Honduras.[35] He dropped anchor at a place he named as Punta Caxinas, afterwards it was generally known as the Cape of Honduras, near the modern town of Trujillo. He claimed possession of the territory for the king of Spain, and was greeted in a friendly manner by the coastal inhabitants.[40] After this he sailed eastward along the coast, struggling against gales and storms for a month, until the coast turned southward along what is now the east coast of Honduras, and he entered calmer waters. The Spanish named this point Cabo Gracias a Dios, giving thanks for their liberation from the storms.[41] Colombus sailed on southwards as far a Panama, before turning back into the Caribbean Sea to be wrecked off Jamaica, before being rescued and taken to Hispaniola, and from there returning to Spain.[42]

Prelude to conquest[edit]

Pedro Arias Dávila, governor of Castilla de Oro

The Spanish had founded Santo Domingo on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola in the 1490s.[43] After the discovery of Honduras by Columbus in 1502, no concerted effort to conquer the territory took place until 1524.[35] From Hispaniola, the Spanish launched expeditions and campaigns of conquest, reaching Puerto Rico in 1508, Jamaica in 1509, Cuba in 1511, and Florida in 1513.[44] In the two-decade gap between the discovery of Honduras and attempts at colonisation, the Spanish also established themselves in Castilla de Oro (modern Panama), and from there various expeditions were launched northwards involving notable conquistadors such as Pedrarias Dávila, Gil González Dávila, and Francisco Hernández de Córdoba (not to be confused with the conquistador of the same name involved in the Spanish conquest of Yucatán.[42]

In 1508, the Caribbean coast of Honduras was superficially explored by Spanish navigators Juan Díaz de Solís and Vicente Yáñez, but the focus of their expeditions lay further to the north. In the 1510s, expeditions from the Spanish settlements on Cuba and Hispaniola reported that the Bay Islands were inhabited.[45]

The Spanish heard rumours of the rich empire of the Aztecs on the mainland to the west of their Caribbean island settlements and, in 1519, Hernán Cortés set sail with eleven ships to explore the Mexican coast.[18] By August 1521 the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan had fallen to the Spanish.[46] Within three years of the fall of Tenochtitlan the Spanish had conquered a large part of Mexico, extending as far south as the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. The newly conquered territory became New Spain, headed by a viceroy who answered to the Spanish Crown via the Council of the Indies.[47]

The first efforts to conquer Honduras were launched from several different areas of the Spanish Indies, including Hispaniola, Mexico, and Panama. This resulted in jurisdictional disputes over the territory that delayed the progress of the conquest.[48]

First expeditions[edit]

Early settlements and regions of 16th-century Honduras

The first four decades of conquest were an extremely turbulent period; domination of Honduras was not achieved until 1539.[35] The initial foci of Spanish settlement were Trujillo, Gracias a Dios, and the areas around Comayagua and San Pedro Sula. Unlike in Mexico, where swift conquest was assisted by centralised indigenous power structures, there was no unified political organisation to overthrow; this hindered the incorporation of the territory into the Spanish Empire. It was sometimes the case that the Spanish would conquer an area and move on, just for it to immediately rise in rebellion. Conquest was also hindered by Spanish infighting.[35] On several occasions, formerly conquered indigenous peoples rose up to massacre the Spanish colonisers.[34] Initial Spanish efforts concentrated on establishing a presence along the Caribbean coast, with the founding of settlements such as Buena Esperanza, San Gil de Buena Vista, Triunfo de la Cruz, and Trujillo. Soon after, expeditions began to penetrate inland, against stiff indigenous resistance.[49] In 1522, the natives of the Olancho valley rose up and massacred the occupying Spanish forces.[34]

In 1522, Gil González Dávila and Andrés Niño set out from Panama along the Pacific coast. During this early expedition, they explored the south coast of what would become Honduras, entering the Gulf of Fonseca.[50] Upon their return to Panama, governor of Panama Pedro Arias Dávila (better known by the name of Pedrarias Dávila) decided to claim the territory they had explored.[30] While Gil Gónzalez Dávila was in Santo Domingo organising a new expedition to Central America, Pedrarias Dávila sent Francisco Hernández de Córdoba to establish his jurisdiction over the region.[51]

During a later expedition, González Dávila explored the Atlantic coast of Honduras, and founded a settlement that he named San Gil de Buena Vista, the exact location of which is unknown.[48]

Rival conquests in the 1520s[edit]

Cristóbal de Olid

A year after González Dávila's discovery of the Gulf of Fonesca, various Spanish expeditions set out to conquer the territory of Honduras.[45] These expeditions were launched southwards from Mexico and Guatemala, and northwards from Panama; their rival captains clashed in Honduras, resulting in attempts at conquest of the natives being punctuated by battles between competing Spanish forces, and infighting within individual Spanish groups. The various Spanish groups also fielded indigenous auxiliaries to support their efforts.[52]

In 1523, Hernán Cortés organised two expeditions towards Central America from Mexico, one by land and the other by sea. He commissioned the first to Pedro de Alvarado and the second to Cristóbal de Olid. Alvarado initiated the conquest of Guatemala,[48] and then set out on an expedition into Honduras.[53] Olid began the conquest of Honduras' interior,[48] arriving in 1524,[52] but soon set himself up independently of Cortés.[48]

Gil González Dávila set out from Santo Domingo in the same year,[52] and launched a campaign of conquest in the mountainous region dividing Honduras from Guatemala.[54] González Dávila landed on the north coast, with authorisation to conquer Honduras from the king, after having sent the royal fifth of his proceeds from campaigns in Panama and Nicaragua, a sum totalling 112,524 gold castellanos.[55] González left some of his men under the command of Francisco Riquelme at San Gil de Buena Vista, on the north coast, and marched inland in search of a route to the Pacific. In the Olancho Valley he received word that Francisco Hernández de Córdoba was somewhere nearby. Hernández sent out an advance party led by Gabriel de Rojas, who was received in peace by González Dávila. González instructed Rojas that, as a subordinate of Pedrarias, Córdoba had no rights over the territory, and that he would not permit any action there. Rojas reported back to Córdoba, who immediately dispatched soldiers under the command of Hernando de Soto to capture González Dávila;[56] they set out from Nicaragua.[53] The forces of Gónzalez Dávila clashed with those of Soto at Toreba in Olancho; the exact site of the battle is unknown but was probably close to the modern settlement of Silca.[55] Hernando de Soto camped at Toreba, where González Dávila caught him by surprise with a night-time assault supported by cavalry, crossbowmen and arquebusiers. A number of Soto's men were killed in the fighting that followed, until González sued for peace, giving him time for reinforcements to arrive, at which time he launched a renewed assualt. González Dávila succeeded in capturing Soto, along with 130, 000 pesos. Although he had won the day, González was aware that Córdoba was unlikely to let matters rest, and he also received news that Cristóbal de Olid had arrived on the north coast. Not wishing to be surrounded by hostile Spanish rivals, González set Soto free and rushed north with ten horsemen and twenty infantry.[57]

Olid disembarked in northern Honduras with 360 Spaniards and 22 horses,[57] and founded Triunfo de la Cruz, still known by this name, near the modern port of Tela.[58] He then carried out a campaign of conquest in what is now western Honduras, subjugating the heavily-populated towns of Naco and Tencoa, which did little to resist.[35]

After leaving most of his companions on the banks of the Dulce river; González was captured by Cristóbal de Olid and was held prisoner in Naco.[59]

Hearing of Olid's rebellion,[52] and of his clash with Gónzalez, Cortés sent his cousin Francisco de las Casas to bring the rival captains into line,[60] but the fleet was caught in a storm and wrecked upon the Honduran coast.[57] The survivors were captured by Olid,[61] and las Casas was imprisoned with González in Naco. Olid sent one of his captains, named Briones, to conquer more territory. Instead, Briones marched towards New Spain with his forces,[59] arriving in the Guatemalan Highlands in the first half of 1525, where his men assisted in Pedro de Alvarado's campaigns against the highland Maya.[62] In 1525, the Real Audiencia of Santo Domingo, based in Hispaniola, sent Pedro Moreno to Honduras in a separate attempt to mediate between Olid and Gónzalez.[63]

Death of Cristóbal de Olid[edit]

Captain Briones' abandonment of Honduras resulted in a significant weakening of Olid's forces. Las Casas and González Dávila took advantage of this opportunity, and of Olid's excessive trust in his prisoners, to attack Olid and escape from their confinement. Olid was executed by having his throat cut in the plaza at Naco.[59] A court in Mexico subsequently condemned Las Casas and González Dávila for their execution of Olid, but neither was ever punished.[53]

With the death of Olid, those Spanish remaining in Honduras divided into several groups.[64] The majority remained in the territory, under the command of Francisco de las Casas.[62] He founded Trujillo in May 1525, in the largest sheltered bay on the Caribbean coast of Central America.[65] Once he had settled the colonists there, las Casas returned to Mexico via the Pacific coast of Guatemala.[62]

Hernán Cortés and Hernando de Saavedra[edit]

Hernán Cortés

Hernán Cortés only received sporadic reports of developing events in Honduras, and became impatient for its incorporation under his command. Hopeful of discovering new riches, he decided to travel to Honduras in person.[66] Cortés left Tenochtitlan on 12 October 1524 with 140 Spanish soldiers, 93 of them mounted, 3,000 Mexican warriors, 150 horses, a herd of pigs, artillery, munitions and other supplies. En route, he recruited 600 Chontal Maya carriers. The journey from Lake Petén Itzá to Lake Izabal, both now in Guatemala, was extremely arduous, and Cortés lost many men and horses.[67] He crossed the Dulce River to the settlement of Nito, somewhere on the Amatique Bay,[68] with about a dozen companions, and waited there for the rest of his army to regroup over the next week.[69] By this time the remnants of the expedition had been reduced to a few hundred.[70]

Cortés arrived in Honduras in 1525,[53] bringing livestock with him.[71] He rapidly imposed his authority over the rival Spanish factions there, as well as some native groups.[53] He founded the settlement of Trujillo on the coast,[53] and Natividad de Nuestra Señora near Puerto de Caballos,[71] and claimed jurisdiction over Honduras, although its extent was still unknown; he then installed his cousin Hernando de Saavedra as governor of the new territory.[53]

While in Trujillo, Cortés received messengers from Papayeca, a large native town some seven leagues away, and Champagua (now known as Chapagua), another nearby town. Both of these settlements were inhabited by Nahuas. Cortés recorded the names of two Nahua rulers as Pizacura and Mazatl.[72] Pizacura resisted Cortes' overtures and refused to swear fealty; Cortés sent Spanish cavalry and infantry, accompanied by a great number of Indian auxiliaries. They launched a night attack upon Pizacura's village in the Agalta valley, and captured the Nahua leader with a hundred of his people. The majority were enslaved, while Pizacura was held as a prisoner with two other nobles, and a young man whom Cortés suspected of being the true leader of his people. Pizacura claimed that his resistance was instigated by Mazatl, who opposed peace with the Spanish invaders. Cortés captured Mazatl and asked him to order his subjects to return to their abandoned villages. Mazatl refused, so Cortés hanged him in Trujillo.[73]

Gabriel de Rojas was still in Olancho, and was told by native informants of new Spanish arrivals in Trujillo. He sent a letter and gifts with messengers, who met Gonzalo de Sandoval, who was imposing Spanish control over Papayeca at that time, then proceed onwards to Cortés at Trujillo. Cortés at first responded in a friendly manner to Rojas' overtures. However, upon receiving complaints from native informants, he dispatched Sandoval with ten cavalry to hand papers to Rojas, ordering him out of the territory, and to release any Indians and their goods that he had seized. Sandoval was under orders to either capture Rojas, or expel him from Honduras, but in the event was unable to do either,[74] due to the intervention of other Spaniards present who tried to calm the situation.[73] While the two groups were still gathered, Rojas received orders from Francisco Hernández de Córdoba to return to Nicaragua to assist him against his rebellious captains,[73] while Sandoval returned to face Cortés' displeasure.[74]

When Cortés received news that Pedro Moreno would be arriving soon with many colonists, and official documents from the Audiencia of Santo Domingo, he decided against further exploration of Honduras and instead returned to Mexico,[49] leaving on 26 April 1526.[53] He took Pizacura to Mexico with him, where he died not long afterwards of a fatal illness.[72] Cortés left Saavedra with instructions to treat the natives fairly,[71] however his actions reopened underlying divisions between rival groups of colonists.[53] Saavedra rapidly established rule over the department of Olancho;[53] he sent Bartolomé de Celada inland to find a good location for a new Spanish town. He founded Frontera de Cáceras upon the savannah of the Olancho valley, near the Indian towns of Telica and Escamilpa.[75]

When Moreno arrived in Trujillo, he named Juan Ruano as captain of the colonists there, and placed the settlement under the jurisdiction of the Audiencia of Santo Domingo.[49] On 30 August 1526, the Audiencia Real of Santo Domingo officially appointed Diego López de Salcedo as governor of Honduras, and ordered all rival claimants out of the colony.[53]

On the other hand, Pedrarias Dávila, who had a great opinion of the wealth of the territory, claimed that Honduras formed part of the district of Castilla de Oro. For this reason, he disagreed with governor Hernando de Saavedra. Pedrarias authorised an expedition into Honduran territory, which was led by captains Benito Hurtado and Gabriel de Rojas.[1] They left Nicaragua with some soldiers and two pieces of artillery, penetrated the valley of Olancho, and launched a surprise attack upon the people posted there by Saavedra. They next marched against Puerto de Caballos, but the governor of Honduras, informed of these events, sent out his forces and defeated the invaders.[76]

Native rebellion[edit]

Juan de Grijalva died in Olancho at the hands of the natives

In the meantime the Honduran Indians, exasperated by their cruel treatment at the hands of the Spanish, stopped working, imagining that they would not then have to support the Spaniards, who would soon leave the country. This did not produce the desired results and, to the contrary, the natives suffered even more; they therefore decided to fight for their freedom, and attacked the Spanish at Puerto de Caballos, killing many and forcing the rest to flee.[77][76] Saavedra remained in Trujillo, knowing that another person had already been named governor, and merely advised his defeated compatriots to withdraw to the territory of a chief who was friendly towards the Spanish.[1]

Diego López de Salcedo[edit]

Diego López de Salcedo was appointed governor by the king; he arrived in Trujillo on 26 October 1526.[71] Salcedo and his successors immediate successors promoted their own personal ambitions over the good government of Honduras, sowing division amongst the colonists, and instituting harsh policies against the indigenous population. In 1527 the natives rebelled against their brutal treatment. The punishment meted out to the rebellious Indians only served to incite further revolts.[71]

Salcedo moved Trujillo upslope from its previous swampy location.[65] In 1528, Salcedo speny a month in the Olancho Valley, which at this time was likely to have been inhabited by Pech. He attempted to bring the inhabitants under his control, spurring them into preparation to resist further Spanish incursions.[78]

Salcedo clashed with Pedrarias, governor of Nicaragua, who was attempting to enforce his own claim over Honduras.[71] Pedrarias arrested Salcedo in 1528 and forced him to relinquish some of his territory, although the settlement was later rejected by the Spanish monarch.[71] Pedrarias kept Salcedo prisoner for seven months. He released him after coming to an agreement in which Salcedo agreed to pay him 20,000 pesos in gold. López de Salcedo, defeated, reestablished himself in Trujillo. After a short while, he organised an expedition to the Naco valley, but died before it could be executed.[76][79]

Ch'orti' resistance[edit]

At time of the conquest, Copan Galel a lord of the Ch'orti' Maya of what is now western Honduras. In 1530, this lord led the Ch'orti' resistance against a Spanish campaign under the command of Hernando de Chávez and Pedro Amalín. Ch'orti' resistance was crushed by the following year.[80]


After 1530, it was the colonists themselves who held the keys to power, installing new governors and removing them from office.[71] By 1534, the Spanish colony in Honduras was close to collapse.[53] Trujillo had a population of less than two hundred; it was the only Spanish settlement in Honduras, and very little territory beyond the town itself had been conquered.[35] The Spanish were beset by infighting, and had provoked widespread indigenous uprisings. Simultaneously, the native population had collapsed as a result of disease, mistreatment, and the export of large numbers to work on the sugar plantations of the Caribbean islands.[53]

Before dying, López Salcedo appointed contador Andrés de Cereceda as his successor. But the colonists of Trujillo were "restless and rebellious"; they refused to accept the nomination of Cereceda because it was against their interests, and provoked great disturbances.[76]

The "rebels" claimed that rightful governorship belonged to Vasco Herrera, who had already acted as lieutenant in the absence of Salcedo. The "honourable and peaceful residents" then proposed that both govern together. They swore oaths in the church, but as soon as they left it they began to scheme one against the other.[76]

These disputes were observed by the Indians, who were always attentive and ready to seize the moment to rebel. In the Juticalpa valley, which had a population of sixty Spaniards, the Spanish discovered some very rich gold mines and gold-panning sites. The natives, who were forced to work them, frequently rose up and fled to the forests, concealing great quantities of gold there. Captain Alonso Ortiz, head of the Juticalpa colony, was able to appease them and persuade them to return.[76]

The Nahuas of Papayeca rebelled against the excessive cruelty of Andrés de Cereceda under their leader Picecura,[nb 1] and fled to the wilds. In 1531, Vasco de Herrera attempted to bring them back to their settlements.[72]

Deaths of Vasco Herrera and Diego Méndez[edit]

"In that circumstance arose a new element of discord", Diego Méndez, who had governed Honduras when López Salcedo was in Nicaragua. Claiming that his powers had not been revoked, he claimed to be governor of Honduras. He began to plot against the governors, Vasco Herrera and Andrés de Cereceda. Herrera denounced Diego Méndez as a traitor, and threatened any who supported him with the death penalty. The colony was wracked by new uncertainties.[1]

Diego Méndez took refuge in a church, and stayed there until the soldiers left the city, sent by Vasco Herrera in pursuit of the rebellious natives. Diego Méndez left the church and went with forty supporters to attack Herrera's residence. They killed him and dragged his corpse to the town square.[1]

The Spanish rebels demanded that Cereceda share the governorship with Méndez. Cereceda accepted out of fear. After 35 days captain Juan Ruano arrived, who had been campaigning against the natives when he received news of events in Trujillo. Ruano and Cereceda met and decided to get rid of Méndez. One night, with twenty armed colonists, among them the most distinguished residents of Trujillo, they went to Méndez' house and arrested him. He was tried, and executed as a traitor. Cereceda consolidated his power and ordered Méndez's supporters to be hung. With this the colony of Trujillo at last had peace.[1]

Pedro de Alvarado[edit]

Pedro de Alvarado

In the mid 1530s, the province was divided into two by the Spanish authorities, under the names of Honduras and Higueras. Higueras formed the western portion.[53] At this time, the natives of western Honduras resisted Spanish incursions, their efforts were led by Sicumba (also spelled Coçumba) in the Ulúa valley.[52] Royal grants for conquest had been issued for the same general region to Diego Alvítez, who held the title of governor of Honduras-Higueras, Pedro de Alvarado, who held the title of governor of Guatemala, and Francisco de Montejo, the elder, who was governor of Yucatán.[35] The political instability in the province resulted in the colonist requesting help from Alvarado;[71] consequently he invaded Higueras in 1536, accompanied by indigenous Guatemalan auxiliaries; he was attracted by reports of gold, and also wished to prevent the complete abandonment of the territory by the Spanish. He successfully established profitable gold and silver mines in Higueras.[53]

Diego Albitéz arrived in Honduras in 1532 to relieve Andrés de Cereceda. Albitéz carried an order from the king to the effect that "in no way, under no circumstances, should the Indians be enslaved, nor should such use of them be made even if they are rebellious." But "Albitez died just a few days after his arrival."[81]

Cereceda remained in charge, and his authority was notably strengthened. While he was in power, he committed an innumerable of acts of cruelty against the indigenous population. There was no respect for authority in the colony, and crime was rampant.

A smallpox epidemic swept through the native population, causing much suffering. The shortages were terrible, resulting in dramatic price rises. This motivated Cereceda to move the colony to the Naco valley, abandoned the residents of Trujillo to their fate.

The situation, exasperated the people of Honduras, driving them to request help Pedro de Alvarado, the governor of Guatemala, by means of Diego García de Celis, the treasurer. "Alvarado received the petition, and resolved to go personally to help them".[77] When he arrived in Naco, Cereceda resigned and Alvarado took control of the province of Honduras. Alvarado..."appointed officials to administer justice, and laid down measures to pacify the country".[77]

Once this was done, Pedro de Alvarado placed the greater part of his people under the command of Juan de Chávez, and sent them to look for a suitable place to found a new settlement. After an arduous search, in which they had to cross mountains and travel many leagues, they found a plain traversed by a river. There exclaimed Gracias a Dios ("Thank God!"), and gave this name to the new settlement. Alvarado divided the land between the colonists and commanded them to gather livestock and other necessities to support the new colony.

In 1536, Pedro de Alvarado founded San Pedro Sula beside the Indian settlement of Choloma, with the name of Villa de Señor San Pedro de Puerto Caballos.[82] The natives of the Sula valley, led by their cacique Sicumba, put up fierce resistance against Alvarado's forces.[34] Alvarado defeated Sicumba with the assistance of Guatemalan auxiliaries, and brutally suppressed native resistance. The merciless treatment of the indigenous population only served to fuel their hatred of the invaders.[52]

The Spanish found rich gold mines in the area around Gracias, and the city prospered. Around the middle of July 1536, when Pedro de Alvarado had established order in Honduras, he sailed from Puerto de Caballos to Spain in order to deal with legal difficulties.[83]

In 1536, the Spanish founded the town of Gracias a Dios to provide better communication between Honduras and Guatemala. Pedro de Alvarado used the town of Tencoa as a base of operations, and sent his brother Gonzalo with 40 Spanish soldiers, and an unspecified number of indigenous allies, to establish the new town.[35] The natives around Gracias a Dios where not completely subjugated, however, and there were violent indigenous rebellions in the province until around 1539.[84] In that year the natives of Yamala, near Tencoa, rebelled; the Spanish responded by burning the Indians' homes and storehouses.[34]

Francisco de Montejo, Alonso de Cáceres, and the Lenca rebellion[edit]


In 1537, Francisco de Montejo took up the post of governor, and annulled those encomiendas distributed by Pedro de Alvarado. This resulted in Alvarado's supporters resisting Montejo and his appointees. Montejo assigned Alonso de Cáceres as his captain in Honduras.[71]

In December 1537, under orders from Montejo, Alonso de Cáceres founded the town of Comayagua.[71] After Alvarado's brutal suppression of western Honduras, indigenous resistance against the Spanish had coalesced around the Lenca warleader Lempira,[85] who was reputed to have led an army of thirty thousand native warriors.[34] Lempira's base of operations was his hilltop fortress at Peñol de Cerquín. Lempira also attracted support from the native inhabitants Comayagua valley, and the San Pedro mountains.[31] Resistance continued from 1537 into 1538, until Lempira and his forces were defeated in battle by the Spanish, led by Alonso de Cáceres.[71]

In 1539, the fledgling colonial town of Villa de Señor San Pedro de Puerto Caballos was moved three leagues to the south and was given the new name of San Pedro de Puerto Caballos. At this time it consisted of just twelve palm-thatched houses imitating the native style of construction.[82] By 1539, the power struggle between Alvarado and Montejo drew the attention of the Council of the Indies; as a result Alvarado once again became governor of Honduras, while Montejo left for Chiapas.[71]

Olancho and the east in the 1540s[edit]

Indigenous resistance was stubborn, and Montejo did not complete the conquest of western and central Honduras until 1539. Once he had established Spanish control there, he headed east to pacify the Olancho valley. Although the conquest of the west and centre of the territory was difficult, and the natives were well organised, resistance in the east took much longer to put down, and rebellions there lasted throughout the colonial period.[31]

The Spanish found the town of San Jorge de Olancho, probably in 1540, on the bank of the Olancho river close to Pech territory.[86] Throughout the 1540s, the inhabitants of the mining district of Olancho launched revolts against their harsh treatment by their Spanish overlords, with notable uprisings occurring in 1542, 1544, and 1546. The greatest of these was the rebellion of 1544, which coincided with rebellions in Comayagua, San Pedro and Nueva Segovia, and may have been an attempt to relaunch the coordinated resistance of the 1530s.[31]

Province of Taguzgalpa[edit]

By the end of the 16th century, eastern Honduras was still beyond the frontier of conquest. The region was known as Taguzgalpa, stretching from Trujillo in the north, to the valleys of Olancho, Jamastran and Agalta in the west, to the Guayape and Guayambre rivers in the south, and the Caribbean Sea in the east. The territory was well populated by a diverse range of indigenous peoples,[87] including Lencas, Nahuas and Misumalpas.[88] The exact political composition of the territory was unknown to the Spanish, such that the Spanish Crown prohibited campaigns of conquest and reduction in Taguzgalpa owing to ignorance of its makeup.[89]

The earliest known account of the unconquered region of Taguzgalpa is a letter to the king sent by Cristóbal de Pedraza, first bishop of Honduras, in 1544. He travelled east across the mountains from Trujillo with local allies, and spoke to the Nahua-speaking indigenous inhabitants he found there. These claimed that the capital of the province was a town of the same name, famous for its gold smelting industry. The bishop explored no further, and three follow-up expeditions became lost in the difficult terrain. The region appeared to have no permanent settlements, which hindered Spanish methods of conquest, and it gained a reputation for being a "land of war" inhabited by savages.[89]

The task of incorporating eastern Honduras into the Spanish Empire fell to the evangelising efforts of Spanish missionary orders. The earliest Franciscan missionaries, at the beginning of the 17th century, attempted to convert the natives in their own settlements. It soon became obvious that this was impractical, given the paucity of available missionaries, and the wide dispersal of Indian villages and towns. The friars changed their tactics, and gathered the natives in mission towns, known as reducciones.[90]

Annexation of Honduras to Guatemala[edit]

Pedro de Alvarado's audience with the court of Madrid went well for him. He was permitted to govern Guatemala for a further seven years.[1] Upon his return, he disembarked with his troops at Puerto de Caballos for a visit that lasted about twenty-five days. From there he left for San Pedro Sula, en route to Gracias.

Before arriving there, he met with the bishop elect, Cristóbal de Pedraza, who had been appointed by the Spanish crown to mediate between Alvarado and Montejo. Montejo had stripped Alvarado's people of their lands, and dispute over the government of Honduras needed to be resolved.[1]

Both governors met in Gracias, and came to an agreement over the dispute over Honduras. Pedro de Alvarado handed the governorship of Chiapas to Montejo, together with the encomiendas of Suchimilco in New Spain; Alvarado also paid two thousand pesos that Montejo owed to people in Honduras.[91]

Pedro de Alvarado wrote to the king and proposed that the government of Honduras be combined with that of Guatemala. Alvarado assured the King that Honduras could give more than 100,0000 pesos to the royal treasury, since during the time that Alvarado was there, it produced nothing.[1]

Francisco de Montejo also wrote him to the king, "but in his letters, he claimed that Bishop Pedraza was biased, and that he only yielded the governorship of Honduras because he was forced to do so, that Alvarado had disturbed everything with his arrival, and asked the king that he not approve the agreement. It conceded more to Alvarado and the king as opposed to what was the requested by Montejo; the said agreement was approved and the government of Honduras was attached to that of Guatemala".[1]

Historical sources[edit]

Bishop Cristóbal de Pedraza wrote a Relación that he dated 18 May 1539; it described the unsettled conditions in the newly established province. Gonzalo de Alvarado produces his Probanza on 19 July 1555, also describing the general instability of the region of what is now western Honduras.[35] Hernán Cortés described his expedition to Honduras in the fifth letter of his Cartas de Relación.[92] Bernal Díaz del Castillo described Cortes' expedition to Honduras in his Historia verdadera de la conquista de la Nueva España ("True history of the conquest of New Spain"),[93] which he completed some 40 years after the campaigns it describes.[94]


  1. ^ Picecura was apparently a different leader from Pizacura, who Cortés had taken to Mexico.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Vera, Robustiano, ed. (1899). Apuntes para la Historia de Honduras. Santiago, Chile: Imp. de "El Correo". Retrieved 3 January 2011. 
  2. ^ a b McGaffey and Spilling 2010, p. 7.
  3. ^ ITMB 2000. McGaffey and Spilling 2010, p. 7.
  4. ^ a b c d McGaffey and Spilling 2010, p. 8.
  5. ^ McGaffey and Spilling 2010, p. 9.
  6. ^ a b c McGaffey and Spilling 2010, p. 10.
  7. ^ a b McGaffey and Spilling 2010, p. 14.
  8. ^ McGaffey and Spilling 2010, p. 12.
  9. ^ García Buchard, p. 1.
  10. ^ a b Lara Pinto and Hasemann 1993, p. 11.
  11. ^ a b Lara Pinto and Hasemann 1993, p. 14.
  12. ^ a b Lara Pinto and Hasemann 1993, p. 13.
  13. ^ a b Lara Pinto and Hasemann 1993, p. 16.
  14. ^ Lara Pinto and Hasemann 1993, p. 17.
  15. ^ Lara Pinto and Hasemann 1993, p. 20.
  16. ^ Lara Pinto and Hasemann 1993, p. 21.
  17. ^ Feldman 2000, p. xix.
  18. ^ a b Smith 1996, 2003, p. 272.
  19. ^ Barahona 1991, p. 69.
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  21. ^ Polo Sifontes 1986, pp. 57–58.
  22. ^ Polo Sifontes 1986, p. 62.
  23. ^ a b Pohl and Hook 2008, p. 26.
  24. ^ Pohl and Hook 2008, pp. 26–27.
  25. ^ Pohl and Hook 2008, p. 27.
  26. ^ Pohl and Hook 2008, p. 23.
  27. ^ Pohl and Hook 2008, p. 16, 26.
  28. ^ Newson 1986, 2007, p. 143.
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    Clendinnen 2003, p. 3.
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  41. ^ Chamberlain 1953, 1966, pp. 9-10.
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  44. ^ Deagan 1988, p. 199.
  45. ^ a b Leonard 2011, p. 18.
  46. ^ Smith 1996, 2003, p. 276.
  47. ^ Coe and Koontz 2002, p. 229.
  48. ^ a b c d e Barahona 1991, p. 70.
  49. ^ a b c Barahona 1991, p. 72.
  50. ^ Barahona 1991, p. 70. Newson 1986, 2007, p. 144.
  51. ^ Newson 1986, 2007, pp. 144-145.
  52. ^ a b c d e f Newson 1986, 2007, p. 145.
  53. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Leonard 2011, p. 19.
  54. ^ Recinos1952,1986, p. 111. Leonard 2011, p. 18.
  55. ^ a b Sarmiento 1990, 2006, p. 17.
  56. ^ Sarmiento 1990, 2006, p. 18.
  57. ^ a b c Sarmiento 1990, 2006, p. 19.
  58. ^ Pastor 1988, 2011, p. 47.
  59. ^ a b c Recinos 1952, 1986, p. 111.
  60. ^ Recinos 1952, 1986, p. 111. Leonard 2011, pp. 18–19. Van Davidson 1994, p. 317.
  61. ^ Sarmiento 1990, 2006, p. 20.
  62. ^ a b c Recinos 1952, 1986, p. 112.
  63. ^ Barahona 1991, pp. 71–72.
  64. ^ Recinos 1952, 1986, pp. 111–112.
  65. ^ a b Van Davidson 1994, p. 317.
  66. ^ Chamberlain 1953, 1966, p. 16.
  67. ^ Sharer and Traxler 006, pp. 761–762.
  68. ^ Feldman 1998, p. 6.
  69. ^ Sharer and Traxler 2006, p. 762.
  70. ^ Webster 2002, p. 83.
  71. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Olson and Shadle 1991, p. 284.
  72. ^ a b c de Jesús Lanza et al. 2003, p. 43.
  73. ^ a b c Sarmiento 1990, 2006, p. 22.
  74. ^ a b Sarmiento 1990, 2006, p. 21.
  75. ^ Van Davidson 1994, p. 318.
  76. ^ a b c d e f Milla, José, ed. (1879), Historia de la América Central: desde el descubrimiento del país por los españoles (1502) hasta su independencia de la España (1821) [History of Central America: From the Discovery of the Country by the Spaniards (1502) to its Independence from Spain (1821)] (in Spanish), Guatemala: Establecimiento Tipográfico de El Progreso, retrieved 24 January 2011 
  77. ^ a b c Gómez Carrillo, Agustín, ed. (1892), Compendio de la Historia de América Central .
  78. ^ de Jesús Lanza, Rigoberto et al. 2003, p. 44.
  79. ^ González Saravia, Miguel (1881). Compendio de la historia de Centro-América. Guatemala. Retrieved 28 January 2011. 
  80. ^ Herranz Herranz 1994, 89.
  81. ^ Revista de Cuba: periódico mensual de ciencias, derecho. 1882.
  82. ^ a b Van Davidson 1994, p. 321.
  83. ^ Aguirre Cinta, Rafael (1899). Lecciones de historia general de Guatemala: desde los tiempos primitivos (in Spanish). Paris. Retrieved 28 January 2011. 
  84. ^ Black 1995, pp. 32–33.
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  86. ^ de Jesús Lanza et al. 2003, p. 44. Sarmiento 1990, 2006, p. 43.
  87. ^ Lara Pinto and Hasemann 1993, p. 25.
  88. ^ Lara Pinto and Hasemann 1993, pp. 25–26.
  89. ^ a b Lara Pinto and Hasemann 1993, p. 26.
  90. ^ García Buchard, p. 5.
  91. ^ Fernández de Oviedo, Gonzalo (1887). Historia general y natural de las Indias, Islas y Tierra-Firme del Mar (in Spanish). Madrid. Retrieved 28 January 2011. 
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  94. ^ Díaz del Castillo 1632, 2005, p. 5.


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Further reading[edit]

Brady, Scott (2003) "Honduras' Transisthmian Corridor: A Case of Undeveloped Potential in Colonial Central America". Revista Geográfica No. 133 (Jan–Jun 2003), pp. 127–151. Mexico City, Mexico: Pan American Institute of Geography and History.
Chamberlain, Robert S. (1946) "The Founding of the City of Gracias a Dios, First Seat of the Audiencia de los Confines". The Hispanic American Historical Review Vol. 26, No. 1 (Feb., 1946), pp. 2-18. Durham, North Carolina, US: Duke University Press. doi:10.2307/2507690. – via JSTOR (subscription required).
Henderson, John S. (Autumn, 1977) "The Valley de Naco: Ethnohistory and Archaeology in Northwestern Honduras". Ethnohistory Vol. 24, No. 4, pp. 363–377. Durham, North Carolina, US: Duke University Press. doi:10.2307/481388.  – via JSTOR (subscription required).
Molina Chocano, Guillermo (1977) "Estructura productiva e historia demografica (Economía Desarrollo de la población en Honduras)". Anuario de Estudios Centroamericanos No. 3 (1977), pp. 161-173. San José, Costa Rica: Universidad de Costa Rica.  – via JSTOR (subscription required).
Newson, Linda (1992). "Variaciones regionales en el impacto del dominio colonial español en las poblaciones indígenas de Honduras y Nicaragua." Mesoamérica, vol. 24, Dec 1992, pp. 297–312. Antigua, Guatemala, Guatemala and South Woodstock, Vermont, US: CIRMA and Plumsock Mesoamerican Studies. ISSN 0252-9963.
Offen, K. H. (2002) "The Sambo and Tawira Miskitu: The Colonial Origins and Geography of Intra-Miskitu Differentiation in Eastern Nicaragua and Honduras." Ethnohistory, vol. 49 no. 2, pp. 319–372.  – via Project MUSE (subscription required).
Offen, K. (2015) "Mapping Amerindian Captivity in Colonial Mosquitia." Journal of Latin American Geography, vol. 14 no. 3, pp. 35–65. doi:10.1353/lag.2015.0042..  – via Project MUSE (subscription required).
Rivas, Ramón D. (2000) [1993]. Pueblos Indígenas y Garífuna de Honduras: Una caracerización (in Spanish). Tegucigalpha, Honduras: Editorial Guaymuras. Colección CÓDICES (Ciencias Sociales). ISBN 99926-15-53-2. OCLC 30659634
Thompson, J. Eric. S. (1966) "The Maya Central Area at the Spanish Conquest and Later: A Problem in Demography". Proceedings of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland No. 1966, pp. 23–37. London, UK: Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. doi:10.2307/3031712.  – via JSTOR (subscription required).
Valle, Rafael Heliodoro (1950) Cristóbal de Olid, conquistador de México y Honduras (in Spanish). Mexico City, Mexico: Editorial Jus. OCLC 39541394
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