Leaving Honduras and Entering 2013
I kind of hate how pretentious it sounds to say things like this, but I’ve traveled to a fair number of places. All the continents except Antarctica, a lot of the Middle East and South America, and even, when I was 14, Costa Rica and Nicaragua on a family vacation (which I know doesn’t really count as travel, it was more tourism. But still, it was pretty sweet.) This trip to Honduras for 10 days represented, then, my first time solo-travelling Central America. I was a little bit hesitant about Honduras, firstly because I have been so busy with teaching that the trip was virtually unplanned, and also because violence in Honduras has been on a major upswing since the 2009 coup, earning San Pedro (where I am currently sitting at the air terminal) the dubious title of world’s most dangerous city.
But Honduras is also fucking exceptional. It’s got the beach and the jungle, yeah, but it also has some of the most exceptionally friendly, genuine people I have ever met in my life (which is saying something, because I’ve been pretty damn lucky in terms of the people I’ve met too). The diversity of the peoples of this country, and the way in which literally everywhere I went I was treated with a certain amount of interest, respect, and genuine friendliness really blew me away.
I seriously cannot say thank you enough to all of the friends, old and new, who made this trip possible… those who let me crash at their houses, invited me to parties, kept me company on long bus rides, and all the rest. To everyone who shared their stories with me, whether it was their experience of what it was like taking trains and buses for 6 weeks to make it into the United States for a chance at a better life, or the stories about life in different parts of this country, you’re awesome. I honestly believe that love for humanity comes from sharing the experience of others.
The same goes out to those I probably couldn’t class as friends yet, the people who smiled at me on buses and gave me a bit of their food, who negotiated local prices for me on everything from drinks to bus tickets, and everyone else. I am not sure that I have ever left a country and found it to be as absolutely perfect, welcoming, genuine, open, and undamaged by mass tourism, as I have Honduras.
This is my first short trip in quite a while, but I really feel like I am going back to NYC focused on creating the change I believe in in the world, and truly in love with a country. It’s hard to go back. I know I’m lucky to be able to. And, even though I guess I could use just a bit more rest before teaching all day tomorrow (considering that I wont be home till 3:30 AM) I’m as committed as ever to making the change I want to see in the world happen, working hard, and getting ready for the next steps in life.
Happy New Year to everybody. Lets move a few steps closer to a world where everyone is truly equal.