September 14, 2006

Blog Day 2006

A day A few days weeks late

I was reading GardenVoices on September 1st when I found out that the official Blog Day 2006 was August 31st. Too bad. But it's better late than never. And since everything moves slower in Central America, I declare September to be the official Honduras Blog Day month. I really thought it was going to take me that long to finish this article.

The idea of Blog Day, which started in 2005, is for bloggers to have one day dedicated to getting to know bloggers from other countries and areas of interest. On August 31st, every blogger was to write a recommendation of 5 new blogs, thus encouraging blog readers to expand their horizons and enjoy a few blogs from around the globe.

This sounded like a great idea. I planned to limit my selections to Central America, since I truly believe that this is the most forgotten area of the world. Africa may be a bit poorer but it certainly gets more attention. I originally wanted to find one blog from each of the seven countries in Central America. In fact, I spent days searching for Central American blogs and the pickings are slim in English language blogs.

I wanted to avoid gardening blogs since the point was to find other areas of interest. That wasn't a problem, because I didn't find ANY gardening blogs, other than Gardener in Mexico, which I already recommend in my blogroll. I also wanted to choose blogs from people who live in the country permanently, not tourists, missionaries, or Peace Corps volunteers.

There are lots of blogs from Panama and Costa Rica, which both have large expatriate communities, but after more than a week of searching, I finally had to give up on El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. I found a few blogs but they hadn't been updated in weeks or even months. There also are many Mexican blogs in English, but (in case you didn't know it) Mexico is not part of Central America.

La Gringa's five selections

So, without further ado, here are my selections. I hope you will take a look and enjoy them as much as I do:

Belize: Back to Living in Paradise is written by American expatriate Lee, who writes about Belize and her life on a tiny island. I haven't read her whole blog yet, but I learned that Belize only gained independence from England in 1981. Lee describes herself as follows:
"I was a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown before I retired at the age of 40 and moved to Belize (5 years ago). I live 20 miles offshore on a teensy tiny island called Caye Caulker, where I have an art gallery featuring my art and local Belizean artists. Now, I'm a woman living in the moment accepting all the gifts that the universe has to offer."
For a good laugh, check out Lee's rough guide to dating in Belize.

Costa Rica: Colones are the monetary unit of Costa Rica, currently valued at 540 per $1 U.S. With his blog My Dos Colones 38-year-old Nebraskan Jon is giving the world his 'two cents' on life in Costa Rica. He gives detailed reports about the cost of living as well as sports and cultural information. Jon lives in San Jose with his Costa Rican wife and their 3 year-old son. Anyone thinking of moving to Costa Rica will find his blog extremely valuable and even if you aren't, you will find it an interesting and well documented view of life in Central America.

Panama: A Neotropical Savanna is a brand new blog from American expatriate Mary, who has set herself the difficult but admiral task of learning to identify native plants of Panama. She describes her blog as follows:
"I spent a few years at sea, and I never came back from a cruise without having learned something new about the ocean or what lived in it. Now I'm starting over, learning something new about the savanna ecosystem nearly every day I step outside. When we look to the south, we see the Pacific Ocean, far in the distance. If we were to climb to the top of Volcan Baru and look north, we'’d see the Caribbean Sea."
Armed with three botanical tomes, Mary is just beginning her adventure.

Call me biased, but since I only had four countries, I picked two blogs from Honduras.

Honduras: Central American Rhapsody - A cautionary tale is a story of life in Honduras as told by Jill, a 25-year-old American expatriate living and teaching 6th and 7th grade in San Pedro Sula. Jill is a Morman originally from Chicago who reminds us that 'Banana Republic isn't just a store at the mall.' She has been here in Honduras for two years but may be leaving next year to attend law school in Washington, D.C. Jill's blog never fails to make me laugh, especially the tales of her students.

Honduras: I assumed that most of my readers are English- language so I wasn't planning to include any Spanish- language blogs. But when I ran across this one, one of the very few blogs from my new homeland of Honduras, I just couldn't pass it up.

No-blog is the blog of a witty young computer programmer in San Pedro Sula. Rafael describes the focus of his blog as "anything that occurs and calls his attention, generally about the Internet and the things that happen in Honduras." He questions the happenings of Honduras with intelligence and a fine sense of humor.

His articles had El Jefe
and me laughing out loud. I have translated part of one of his articles in the post below. Rafael was pleased to have his article translated for English readers and graciously gave me his permission to include more articles in the future. (Whoopee! A guest blogger.)

Want more?

If you are interesting in reading other blogs from these or other countries, three good international blog sites are Global Voices, Globe of Blogs, and Expat-Blog where you can search for blogs by country. Links to these sites are also in my links section if you decide to visit them another day. To borrow a line from Global Voices, "The world is talking. Are you listening?"
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