This isn’t going to be a big update. First off, there was a newspaper article in the Guardian back home that referred to Honduras being the most murderous place in the world -http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/interactive/2011/oct/10/unitednations-development-data. Having had a good read through the article and analysing how the stats were gathered by the UN crime and drugs and whatever department (murders as per every 100,000 people). I think it is a slightly unfair statistic and unfair reflection on Honduras. No doubt that Honduras has a murder problem, mainly between gangs and narco-traffickers, but I cannot see how it has a higher murder count than places that have a war going on, such as Afghanistan, Sudan and Somalia. Life is cheap here but, as stated, amongst the gangs. The majority of Hondurans were very ashamed of the report and, I think, slightly angry. Apart from NGOs and the current government that is, who were probably proudly boasting the statistic to receive more funds. Apart from having a gun held up to me I have never really felt I was going to be murdered. Neither have my friends. Touch wood. There are dangers here and I have spoken about them a lot, although they mainly consist in Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba, some parts of Mosquitia and Olancho. I have also spoken in previous updates about how generous and how friendly Hondurans are. I feel very welcomed by people and it makes me want to stay here for the long-term. If you go to Amapala, Pespire, Ojojona, Copan Ruinas, Santa Lucía or Utila (when there are no angry French girls there), you are in paradise. The people, like the country, are of two extremes: very beautiful, or very dangerous.
The problem I see for the country is that, under this government, just like the past governments, is corruption. Pepe Lobo and his cronies just don’t care. A statistic like this will come out but all they will do is rub their hands, ask for aid (preferably in the form of cash) and then rob it, and then leave innocent people to suffer, live in poverty while the Maras govern the poor urban areas. Meanwhile, any resistance that pops up, they just squash it with heavy military police and accuse them of being terrorists. They also kill journalists (I would love to put a video on this blog from Youtube about this but I would fear a bit for my own safety – maybe on my return to England). This country needs a change but I have no idea where it will come from. How Lobo was allowed in anyway was very dubious. I only hope that very bad karma comes back and bites him and his clowns on the arse one day. If you can stare at people living in poverty everyday, and then rob them, you’re a very, very cold person. It makes me very angry to see. Furious in fact. I wonder how Hondurans feel. I love them for their patience, but it’s time they really did stand up to this nonsense.
Talking about some of the people at the bottom of the ladder here, the street kids, I went to Picacho with them today. I’ve been there before, by myself. It’s the big Jesus Christ statue for those not in the know. It was more fun going with the kids but like always when I bring my camera, they swamp me. It was great to hear some of them stand over the great views and say out loud in English, with a heavy Latino accent, “I love my city”. Here are a few photos (trying not to show their faces):
Being around them today made me realise how much I will really miss them, even though there are days I could bellow words of hellfire at them. They are really sweet and want to share whatever they have with you, whether it be crisps, drinks, wool, hugs or whatever. Sometimes if it feels they are just take, take, take, but other times they are give, give, give, and you can have a good laugh with them too. They say hilarious things. Sometimes they’re ill-discipline can make you cringe when you’re out and about, other times they can make you laugh hysterically. For example, up at Picacho today, there was a big sign saying, “Don’t eat the fruits from the trees”. What we had was 41 kids clambering over the trees, stripping it bare and then spitting the peelings out at their comrades. When the security guards came to stop them, they paid no attention and told the security guards that the sign wasn’t big enough. Anyway, here is a song that the kids love, by some smooth smuck from New York, Prince Royce “Corazon Sin Cara” – “Heart Without Face”. It’s a bachata that kind of gets everyone singing on the bus on day trips, or on the dance floor in Casa Alianza. Prince Royce embarrasses himself with a few lines to “all the ladies out there” during the song, so I’m including it for your comedy value too. But on the whole, the lyrics are sweet and romantic, about loving someone whether they’re fat or skinny. I’m not a massive fan, but the song reminds me of the kids, and I suppose it always will.