September 17, 2008

Do you disagree?

Beautiful view, marred by barbed wire, HondurasBeautiful view, marred by necessary barbed wire.
The dichotomy that is Honduras.
I could photoshop it....

Just lately I've received several comments on an old article, "Immigrating to Honduras" from April 2008, an update of an article I originally wrote in January 2007. Over the two-plus years that I've been writing this blog, I've heard from hundreds of people with questions. I wrote this article to try to summarize some important things that people should consider if they are thinking about moving to Honduras.

Reader "Catracho" seemed to take this article very personally. Interesting, because I read the whole thing again and I didn't quite get his resentment, unless he works for the Consulate, in which case he knows that the accusations are absolutely true.

In fact, while I was reading article, I was thinking that with very few changes, it probably would fit immigrating to just about any country. Change is stressful.

Immigrants in the US often have a difficult time in many of those same areas that I mentioned. It is just a sad fact that immigrants are often taken advantage of in most countries in the world, especially when they don't speak the language of the country; certainly they are in the US, don't you agree?

trash on the street, HondurasJust as many Hondurans go to the US for many reasons − which rarely have to do with the fact that they blindly love the US, its government, and every one of its people or believe it is a utopia − US Americans come to Honduras for many reasons, too. Some come to retire in a warm climate, for jobs, for missions to help Honduras, and a whole lot are coming lately because their husbands have been deported and that is the only way they can hold their families together.

Standing in line, HondurasWe came because my husband is Catracho and his family is here and we thought we could have a nice simple life here. As in most mixed-country marriages, compromises have to made. We might have made a different decision if we had been better informed. I wanted to move to Honduras, but that doesn't mean that I have to be blind to the realities of life here.

My goal for this article was not to make Honduras sound bad, but to be more realistic about what it is like to move to Honduras. I just happen to believe that people who are prepared will have an easier time than those who are shocked that it isn't the paradise that they were told to expect.

Pico Bonito, HondurasWhen people read my blog − all of it, not just one article − and still want to come to Honduras, I believe that they are the kind of realistic person who will have a successful life here. It's the people who can't bear to read a negative word about Honduras who I think will have the hardest time in the long run − or more accurately, in a very short time.

Honduras is not a paradise; no country is. However, if you read the real estate sites and tourism sites, that's what they claim. And why do they claim that? Because they have something to sell.

Ocean view, La Ceiba, HondurasI don't think that is fair to people who need solid information to make a good, informed decision − just as it isn't fair to Hondurans to think that the streets are paved with gold in the US and that they will all become millionaires overnight! It just isn't so.

So once again, I'm sorry if anyone was offended. I think there are some good facts in the article and some good solid links whereby readers can learn more about Honduras and make their own decisions. Knowledge is power.

media intimidation, HondurasCatracho also suggested that I should be deported. I don't think that Honduras is a country that deports people for what they think or what they say, but I could be wrong. In that case, then that is definitely something that the world should know so that wouldn't stop me from blogging. I don't think that right now at this point in time, Honduras needs the scandal of deporting a little housewife from La Ceiba for blogging.

Catracho mentioned the trust issue again in his second comment. Though I am working through many cultural differences, it seems that my feelings about trust put me right in there with the majority of Hondurans! Did you read the referenced trust article?:
"A recent National Report of Transparency showed that 47% of the Honduran people surveyed don't trust anyone (including family members) and 46% have very little trust in others for a whopping 93% of the total population!"

So, in this respect, I am fitting in quite well with the Honduran culture. It is a sad situation but it is real and I see it every day in the way that people treat each other. To pretend that it doesn't exist is to set yourself up for heartbreak. To understand that it does exist will go a long way in helping understand the culture.

Guava, HondurasMy Blogicito is always open for those readers who have a different opinion than I do. However, those who can only say "Go back to where you came from" or "She should be deported", or imply that I shouldn't have a right to give my opinion are not really disputing what I say, only my right to say it. Even in Honduras, we have the right to free speech, supposedly.

So if you disagree, feel free to explain why. Just remember that your experience is your experience and mine is mine.

"Why don't you rest, papa?"

"I'm used to it."

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