Orality is the main asset and the predominant form of communication in Honduras, and it is part of the identity of the different indigenous peoples in the national territory, which include Garífuna, Pech, Tolupán, Lenca, Miskito, Maya-Chortis, English-speaking blacks, Tawahka and also Ladinos.
The oral culture is present in the different media and forms of communication in the 18 departments of the country, which has 9.2 million inhabitants as of 2019, 51 percent of which are women and 49 percent men, mainly living in urban areas (54 percent according to INE). Orality also marks the use of social networks, especially Facebook and mobile telephony with WhatsApp. There are also television programs debating various subjects, which arouse great interest in the audiences, or presenting trivial discussions, in which the life of a certain known or unknown character is debated generating the higher rankings, with influence on other print and digital press media who report about those shows. It is the case of the Hable como Habla (speak as you speak) programme.
Traditional Honduran folk culture is at the foundation of the national identity. Quoting the book La Sigualepa by anthropologist Mario Ardón Mejía (2017), “we find it in the ways of relating between people, nature and the environment.” Traditional music is played with instruments made with leather, bamboo, ropes, jícaras, wood, bait and snails. With these and other materials, elaborate drums, carambas, marimba, sacabuche and more, are made as means to reaffirm culture and tradition. As a result the development of the music market has been more focused on popular music. A public voice with resonance and influence among the decision makers was the late musician, singer and author Guillermo Anderson, who promoted love for the country and nature in his melodies and sang to the migrant population with his song El Encarguito. He was made fashionable by the increasing migratory wave of Hondurans to the countries of the North. Meanwhile, in the Garífuna music, Pilo Tejeda, who has popularised the snail soup gastronomy of Afro-descendant peoples in Honduras, is very popular.
In the literary tradition, since colonial times, magical stories, legends, myths and jokes have been the main trends. Topics originate in traditional popular theatre (Moors and Christians, giants, paisanazgo, mojigangas), pastoral games and children's songs, lauds or praises, sayings and more. Traditional games, festivals, are present at times defined in the national calendar; the municipality of San Marcos in Santa Barbara, in the West, is recognised as the Capital of Traditional Games, by executive decree. Also in the West, in Trinidad, the ancestral tradition of burning giant chimneys has been recovered, as a form of popular expression to address issues that concern the population such as politics, corruption, environmental care.
The development of cinema and audiovisuals is still weak. However, Honduran filmmakers have managed to stage several film proposals of technical and argumentative quality. The lack of a film law has made it difficult for the creative economy to develop, according to Mario Hernan Mejia, Art Director of the UNAH, "even in Honduras, the creative economy in art is a challenge for audiovisual, and incorporates other disciplines understanding this, such as the one around cinema: Advertising, social networks, refreshments, media, cinemas, we must move forward so that the creative economy contributes to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).” Morazán, a dramatic film of 2017 directed by Hispano Duron, was selected as the Honduran entry for the Best Foreign Language Film in the 90th Academy Awards, but it was not nominated.
Theatre is also one of the widely used forms of communication, mainly in the rural area of western Honduras and in the capital of the country, Tegucigalpa, where it occupies an important place as a form of expression of the reality and context of country. Popular street theatre still maintains some presence and is used by the organisations of the popular movements as a piece of militant art.
Religion and spirituality are part of the manifestations and forms of expression, along with topics such as rapprochement between peoples, nature, care of the natural resources, including water, land and mother earth as the original peoples refer to. The religious traditions, like the composturas, the guancasco, the dances of Moors and Christians (by the Garífunas communities and in Yauyupe and El Paraìso), of Diablitos (in Comayagua) combine elements from neighboring towns, but also from other cultures that have settled in the territory (Mejia, Folklore Literario Hondureño, 2017).
The ongoing effort of the international community through financial aid has impacted the reopening of the open town council, an entity more used in the interior of the country, making important decisions that affect the population of the municipality and taking a leading role in local governments and civil society and community organisations. Another entity that affects the decision-making and investment in the territories with poorest households in rural areas, are the comunidades.
As for women and young people, who are the majority groups within the Honduran population, the spaces through which they communicate are different. Women do it from home, in the neighbourhood, at work, church, school and in educational and health centers. Some women are organised in housewives clubs and community organisations; they participate above all to achieve improvements in their communities and neighbourhoods. They also use their mobile phone to access the internet and communicate through Facebook or WhatsApp. On the other hand, some of the young population express themselves through gangs involved in violence and minor robbery, some end up entering into organised crime and drug trafficking gangs. It is important to point out that these are not the majority of the young population; the rest uses sports, football especially, as a space to share, in neighbourhood fields and courts. Football is the main sport, and it even manages to paralyse the country, especially when the national team is playing. The phenomenon is also linked to violence among rival supporters.