The first migration of Jews to Honduras was probably in the form of Conversos, or Jews forced to convert to Christianity who secretly continued to practice Judaism, who went to Honduras with Christopher Columbus. This population is uncertain, however, and true migration of Jews to Honduras began in earnest in the late 1800s, mostly from Central Europe. In the 1920s, the Honduran government began to actively encourage immigration and received many Jewish immigrants. Few Jews were granted visas during and after the Second World War, although some did receive permission to enter, owing mainly to their connections to or relationships with Jews already residing in Honduras. In 1947, there were fewer than 140 Jews living in Honduras, a number that rapidly declined due to intermarriage and lack of Jewish education. The community received a new lease on life beginning in the 1970s and 1980s, when Israelis arrived to help the community.
Today, the Jewish community of Honduras is located primarily in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, with a few surviving Jews remaining in La Cieba. Although Tegucigalpa’s only synagogue was destroyed in the 1998 Hurricane Mitch, one of the two Torah scrolls was found in the rubble and restored. The synagogue has since been repaired and is the only synagogue in Tegucigalpa. San Pedro Sula also has a functioning synagogue. There is no full-time Chabad presence, although the Chabad “Roving Rabbis” program does stop there to learn with the citizens.
I spend most of my time in Honduras Scuba diving of Utila, which is one of the cheapest places in the world to dive. There is always a solid group of divers there.
An old fisherman showed up every morning on the jetty right outside my room selling fresh tuna and king fish at about $1/lb. Some Korean divers taught me to eat the tuna fish raw. They called it sashimi. I also found some giant bags of kosher corn chips for sale.
Interesting was seeing manischewitz wine for sale in many shops in Honduras. One shop keeper explained that, the people in Honduras like the sweet wine. So if you’re looking for kosher Kiddush wine you may be able to find it in a liquor shop in Honduras