Family remittances sent home by Hondurans living abroad totaled $1.45 billion in the first half of this year, 2.2 percent more than during the same period in 2011, the country's central bank reported Monday.

A preliminary report by the Banco Central de Honduras said that remittances from abroad totaled $31.3 million more between January and June 2012 than during the same period last year, when they amounted to $1.42 billion.

For all of 2011, remittances totaled about $2.86 billion, which was 13.21 percent more than the $2.53 billion sent home during 2010, the BCH said.

Around 1 million Hondurans live legally or illegally in the United States, and it is from that country that most of the remittances are sent back to Honduras, although significant amounts are also sent from Canada, Spain, Mexico and Italy, among other countries, the report said.

Family remittances are the main source of foreign currency for Honduras, above and beyond exports such as coffee, maquiladora production and shrimp, among others. EFE