Gracias a Dios Department
Gracias a Dios (Spanish: Thank God) is one of the 18 departments (departamentos) into which the Central American nation of Honduras is divided. The departmental capital is Puerto Lempira; until 1975 it was Brus Laguna. 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, though local airlines fly to the main cities.
Gracias a Dios department covers a total surface area of 16,630 km² and, in 2005, had an estimated population of 76,278. Though 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.
It contains the Caratasca Lagoon, the largest such lagoon in Honduras.
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