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Honduran units of measurement

A number of units of measurement were used in Honduras to measure measurements in length, mass, capacity, etc. In Honduras, metric system has been adopted since 1910, and has been compulsory since 1912, by a joint convention among Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador.[1][2]

Pre-metric units

Before metric system, a number of modified Spanish (Castilian[2]), English and local unites were used, and continue to be used today by a large part of the country.[1]


A number of units were used to measure length. One vara was equal to 0.8128 m.[1][2] Some other units are given below:[1][2]

1 cuarta = ​14 vara

1 tercia = ​13 vara

1 mecate = 24 varas.

1 legua = 5,000 varas[3]


The manzana was used to measure land area by farmers. For large areas, land was customarily measured in labors or legua.[3]

1 manzana = 10,000 vara2 = 1.727 acres = 6,989 m2 ≈ .7 hectare[a]

1 labor = 1 million vara2

1 legua[b] = 25 labors = 25 million vara2


Several units were used to measure mass in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragus and El Salvador. Some units are given below:[1][2]

1 caja = 16 kg

1 quintal = 100 libras[c] ≈ 46 kg ≈ 101.4 lbs[3]

1 carga[d] = 2 quintals ≈ 200 lbs ≈ 90.72 kg[5]


Several units were used to measure capacity in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragus and El Salvador.

1 botella = 0.63 to 0.67 l.[1][2]

1 cajuela = 16.6 l.[1]

1 cuartillo is variable among countries[1], but defined as 4 octavillos or 1/4 almude and contains 1.156 l ≈ 1.222 qt(US) (liquid) ≈ 1.017 qt(Imp)[3]

1 fanega = 12 almudes = 48 cuartillos ≈ 55.50 l ≈ 1.960 ft3 (1.575 U.S. bushels)[3]


  1. ^ In calculations, the equivalence of 7000 m2 or .7 hectare per manzana is often used to simplify conversion.
  2. ^ Legua denoting area is equal to 1 square legua denoting length. In Latin America and southwestern United States, this is 4428.4 acres, 6.919 square miles, 1792 hectares, or 17.92 square kilometers.
  3. ^ The Spanish libra is slightly larger than the English pound, generally in the range from 1.011 to 1.016 English pound. Both are derived from the Roman libra, hence the abbreviation lbs for English pounds.
  4. ^ In Honduras and El Salvador a sack of beans or coffee typically weighs one quintal. Two of these are loaded on a mule or horse to make one load, or carga in Spanish. The unit carga is cited for yuca and yams as approximately 90.72 kg.[4] There are other Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries in which a carga is equal to 3 quintals or equal to a volume of 3 quintals of a commodity being shipped.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Washburn, E.W. (1926). International Critical Tables of Numerical Data, Physics, Chemistry and Technology. New York: McGraw-Hil Book Company, Inc. p. 5.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Cardarelli, F. (2003). Encyclopaedia of Scientific Units, Weights and Measures. Their SI Equivalences and Origins. London: Springer. pp. 157, 158. ISBN 978-1-4471-1122-1.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Rowlett, Russ (2018). "How Many? A Dictionary of Units of Measurement". ibiblio. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  4. ^ Technical Conversion Factors for Agricultural Commodities. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 1972. p. 155.
  5. ^ World Weights and Measures. Handbook for Statisticians (Statistical Papers. Series M no. 21 Revision 1. (ST/STAT/SER.M/21/rev.1) ed.). New York: United Nations: United Nations. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Statistical Office of the United Nations. 1966.