The Lenca are an indigenous people of southwestern Honduras and eastern El Salvador. They once spoke the Lenca language, which is now extinct. In Honduras, the Lenca are the largest indigenous group with an estimated population of 100,000. El Salvador's Lenca population is estimated at about 37,000. The pre-Conquest Lenca had frequent contact with various Maya groups as well as other indigenous peoples of Mexico and Central America. Lenca are often mistakenly identified as being related to the Maya peoples. This is because the Lenca language shared some similar features with major neighboring language families of Mesoamerica, but there is no documented evidence of genetic similarities. The origin of Lenca populations has been a source of ongoing debate amongst anthropologists and historians. It continues to generate research focused on obtaining more archaeological evidence of pre-Colonial Lenca.
Contributions by Mishellaneous, CJLL Wright, and Rsheptak.