August 6, 2007

Cleaning up the streets in San Pedro Sula

San Pedro Sula, HondurasAll photos: La Prensa, Honduras

The larger cities in Honduras, and probably many cities in Central America, have a problem with street vendors, many of whom have semi-permanent locations in the center of town. Sidewalks become completely impassable and even streets become partly or completely impassable by car.

3ra Avenida, San Pedro Sula, HondurasThe business buildings buried behind the wood, aluminum and plastic stalls and umbrellas are difficult to find and hard to enter.

The street vendors naturally want to be located where the majority of the traffic is and have resisted attempts in the past to move them other, less central locations. Sometimes even violent confrontations have occurred.

San Pedro Sula is the second largest city and industrial capital of Honduras. San Pedro prides itself on being the most modern city in Honduras. After 30 years of repeated attempts, they have finally succeeded in moving the vendors out of the central part of the city.

3ra Avenida, San Pedro Sula, Honduras
The streets were cleaned, some were paved and painted with traffic stripes, and businesses that hadn't seen the light of day in 30 years were revealed.

3ra Avenida, San Pedro Sula, Honduras3ra Avenida, San Pedro Sula, HondurasWhat a difference. It was such a feat that the cleanup made the front page of La Prensa two days in a row. The related articles used words like splendor, shining, and impeccable.

As shown by the last two photos, many people couldn't get used to the idea of walking on the sidewalks and continued to walk in the street.

3ra Avenida, San Pedro Sula, Honduras

San Pedro Sula, HondurasWow. Look at those electrical wires in the last photo! There are almost enough wires to provide shade from the hot sun for the pedestrians.
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