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Silver mining was a key factor in the Spanish conquest and settlement of Honduras.
Initially the mines were worked by local people through the encomienda system, but as disease and resistance made this option less available, slaves from other parts of Central America were brought in.
The nickname is considered complimentary, not derogatory.
In pre-Columbian times, modern Honduras was part of the Mesoamerican cultural area.
The Miskito Kingdom in the northeast was particularly effective at resisting conquest.