You may well have noticed that I have been including a few articles in Spanish on my blog. The main reason for that is my freelance work with some Honduran newspapers, which I must say, I very much enjoy. There is a bit of an ego kick about seeing your name in print. It’s been a little while since I’ve seen it. Without wanting to blow my journalist trumpet, the newspapers seem to like my work, so I’ll keep it up.
Today, a private student I have from Spain asked me if I wanted to be involved in a project with IOM called I am a Migrant (#iamamigrant). I actually took part last year when he wasn’t in the role, but I had completely forgotten I’d done it and failed to mention it on my blog. I was basically an article about how it felt being an immigrant in Honduras. I remember it was released in the run up to the Brexit vote when there seemed to be an air of hostility in the air. I felt quite detached from it in Honduras. Even more so because Hondurans have treated me so well, being the hospitable folk they are. Yes I get called gringo, I get stared at strolling down the street and charged a wee bit more by taxis and immigrant lawyers, but that seems like nothing to the abuse immigrants get in the UK. I try to defend Brits by saying there is less segregation like there is in the United States, people are not too fussed if you are Latino and we enjoy living in a multicultural society, but I seem to have lost touch with British reality and I get my opinions mainly from what I read in the British press, and what I read is grim. The mood seems to have only intensified since Trump came to power, the terrorist attacks and the surge of far right wing parties throughout Europe, not to forget Milo who has recently been smoked for crossing the line; a line it seems is too fine for even far right wing Americans.
I guess Brits have something to learn from Hondurans.
It’s something of a full circle for me. I worked closely with IOM at the Refugee Council. Sadly mainly to sign documents for failed asylum seekers or refugees who were being forced to go home. IOM ensured that they arrived in their native countries safely.
I’m glad that IOM does a slightly different job in Honduras by supporting people returning from the USA who have been in detention centres, etc. They also help with asylum applications for those who need to escape the country because their neighbourhoods are full of gang members and are threatening violence and death to members of the family.
Here is my contribution to the campaign anyway.