Latin America

Deadly storms ravaged fruit crops in Central America’s original banana republic

Small banana farmer in Cane, Honduras. Photo: Vivid imagery/Shutterstock
Small banana farmer in Cane, Honduras. Photo: Vivid imagery/Shutterstock

The term “banana republic” was coined in 1904 by American writer O. Henry to describe the fictional country of Anchuria, a politically chaotic state which relied on exports of a single commodity — in this case, bananas. While Anchuria never existed, it is believed O. Henry took his inspiration for the term from the Central American nation of Honduras, where he lived briefly at the end of the 19th century.

And the theory holds weight. 

After bananas were first introduced to the U.S. in the 1870s, American corporations — such as the United Fruit Company and Standard Fruit Company —...

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