Gracias a Dios Department

Coordinates: 15°16′N 83°46′W / 15.267°N 83.767°W / 15.267; -83.767
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Gracias a Dios Department
Departamento de Gracias a Dios
Location of Gracias a Dios in Honduras
Location of Gracias a Dios in Honduras
Coordinates: 15°16′N 83°46′W / 15.267°N 83.767°W / 15.267; -83.767
Country Honduras
Founded21 February 1957
Capital cityPuerto Lempira
 • TypeDepartmental
 • GovernorAlberto Samuel Haylock (2014-2022) (PNH)
 • Total15,876 km2 (6,130 sq mi)
 • Total94,450
 • Density5.9/km2 (15/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CDT)
Postal code
ISO 3166 codeHN-GD
HDI (2017)0.526[1]
low · 17th
Statistics derived from Consult INE online database: Population and Housing Census 2013[2]

Gracias a Dios (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈɡɾasjas a ˈðjos]; "Thanks to God", or "Thank God") is one of the 18 departments (departamentos) into which Honduras is divided. The departmental capital is Puerto Lempira; until 1975 it was Brus Laguna.[citation needed]


Once a part of the Mosquito Coast, it was formed in 1957 from all of Mosquitia territory and parts of Colón and Olancho departments, with the boundary running along 85° W from Cape Camarón south. The department is rather remote and inaccessible by land, although local airlines fly to the main cities.[citation needed]


Gracias a Dios department covers a total surface area of 16,997 km² and, in 2015, had an estimated population of 94,450.[citation needed]

Although it is the second largest department in the country, it is sparsely populated, and contains extensive pine savannas, swamps, and rainforests. However, the expansion of the agricultural frontier is a perennial threat to the natural bounty of the department.[citation needed]

The department contains the Caratasca Lagoon, the largest lagoon in Honduras.[citation needed]


At the time of the 2013 Honduras census, Gracias a Dios Department had a population of 90,795. Of these, 81.15% were Indigenous (79.70% Miskito, 0.95% Mayangna), 16.30% Mestizo, 1.58% Black or Afro-Honduran, 0.82% White and 0.15% others.[3]


Gracias a Dios is known to be a place of relatively high crime. Due to its remoteness and the Honduran government having a relatively low ability to fight crime, trafficking of narcotics is common in Gracias a Dios. Criminal organizations are also common in the area.[4]


  1. Ahuas
  2. Brus Laguna
  3. Juan Francisco Bulnes
  4. Puerto Lempira
  5. Ramón Villeda Morales
  6. Wampusirpi


  1. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  2. ^ "Consulta Base de datos INE en línea: Censo de Población y Vivienda 2013" [Consult INE online database: Population and Housing Census 2013]. Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE) (in Spanish). El Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE). 1 August 2018. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  3. ^ Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE), bases de datos en línea
  4. ^ U.S. Department of State (2016-08-04). Honduras Travel Warning. 4 August 2016. Retrieved on 2016-09-15 from Archived 2017-11-24 at the Wayback Machine.

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