Honduras is divided into 18 departments, each with a governor popularly elected for a two-year term. Departments are divided into municipalities (283 in 1997) governed by popularly elected councils. Localities with populations between 500 and 1,000 have a mayor, a legal representative, and a council member. A council member is added for each additional 1,000 residents, but the total is not to exceed seven. A special law governs the Central District of Tegucigalpa and Comayagüela.
Under the jurisdiction of the local government, municipal land is granted or lent to peasants in the district in sections known as ejidos. The ejido system is designed to aid landless peasants and has become an important function of local administration.