To spin well away from the last few days, I am writing about a couple of books that I have read and I am reading about Honduras. To many, the books might not mean much, but I found them interesting about the impact of foreigners, especially those from North America, have had on Honduras.
Gringos in Honduras: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly by Guillermo Yuscaran
This is a fascinating little read by a Californian, but adopted by Honduras, whose Gringo name is William Lewis (I think). The poet and painter seems to be a talented writer as well, with a wonderful charm in his writing. The book does exactly what it says on the cover: talking about the good and bad eggs that come down to Honduras from the US, starting with John Lloyd Stephens (and his fellow explorar, a Scot named Catherwood (see, no matter how much the US boast, they still need a good ol’ Brit to help them out. Google, “Wars in the Middle East)), who found Copan Ruinas and bought the land for pittance, quite literally. There is William Walker, who wanted to form a kind of Central American union. O. Henry, the writer, also came to Honduras, where he wrote one of his most famous books, Cabbages and Kings, about Honduras. Lee Christmas is also included, a power hungry warlord, it seems. It then goes on to the better Americans, such as Popenoe, who set up farming and agricultural schools here in Honduras, making it the biggest producer of coffee in Central America. Then it goes on to Popenoe’s friend, Archie Carr, who also had a big impact on agriculture and ecology here, as well as being a big joker. It ends with Chett Thomas, a humanitarian, who uses also sorts of resources at his disposal to create water systems and educate people about health. A great read and thoroughly enjoyed.
Honduras: A Nation Prisoner by George Nunez Snr
If you’re interested in propagranda and the media, this book is great. I remember a module at university, international journalism, where we had to study the media in one country. This book would have been perfect. It talks about how capitalist USA wraps it’s great fat media arms about Honduras, feeds it pro-American information (and their idea of democracy, which gives that very political term a very dirty feeling), and squeezes out any pro-socialist feeling whatsoever, ridculing people who contradict and reports that my harm their ideologies, while keeping the poor repressed and feeding the rich with lies. It’s written from a Resistencia standpoint, and I do prefer books that are a bit more impartial (that’s the BBC in me), but I am enjoying the book and it is interesting. The writer wrote this in Chicago, but I assume he is Honduran. If you’re a UCLAN student studying international journalism, or a someone who is interested in how the media industry works here, this is for you.