A View from Honduras
With upcoming elections, we take a glimpse at the current state of NPH Honduras.
November 27, 2009 - Honduras
In Honduras life is a difficult process. It’s one of pain and suffering, one of joys and caring, it’s a life of simplicity where the slightest change can bring the standard of living down to the hard grey ground.
Honduras subsists on its food, the plants sewn and reaped, the seeds given to plant them in the ground. Honduras survives by the blade of its machete, chopping away the unwanted weeds and cutting down grass for the cows. Honduras slides by its very own ineptitude, the failing education system, the lack of funds, and the failure to pay its teachers.
Police and Protesters meet Peacefully
Sandwiched by the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean Honduras finds itself a port of call to Central America, a middle man for the Rum and Pineapples from Nicaragua, and sends its Gap and Nike clothing up north to the United States.
Although many have become accustomed to living in a society of instant gratification, in Honduras time still takes its toll on things. Hondurans still function by the passing of the sun, when it goes down...well, the day is over; when it comes up, the day begins. Things take their time and when you try to speed things up inherently there’s a misstep along the way. When the Coup struck, the people could see it coming. The talk in the days preceding it resounded the sentiments that it was inevitable. But, no one imagined how the sentiments would turn out.
Here at NPH Honduras the older children spoke with their Tíos and Tías, sharing conversations about what would happen, about who was right and who was wrong. As time progressed, those sentiments changed and so did the understanding in the conversations. They started to realize that maybe nobody was actually right. That maybe it was wrong to think that Zelaya needed to leave, maybe they were wrong to think that Micheletti could solve these problems.
But, also, as time progressed international pressure focused itself on Honduras as a country and lost a great deal of foreign aid. When a country as small as Honduras loses hundred's of millions of dollars in the blink of an eye it takes time to grasp what just happened. Like losing the only job you've known for 25 years, Honduras found itself awestruck. Someone had just cut off everything that they knew, but it would take time to come to realization the dramatic impact of all this.
Most of the pain is yet to be felt, but even now it’s starting to occur. Water rationing has taken a toll in the capital Tegucigalpa and in the country as well. But thanks to years of hard work and preparation the Rancho Santa Fe has its own potable water supply and remains largely unaffected to these restrictions.
In a country where simple surgeries that may not be life threatening but very needed go unattended; doctors are having a harder and harder time giving quality care to people in even the most life-threatening situations. Hospital Escuela, the largest and most recognized of the hospitals in Honduras, has been short of supplies with no way to fix the shortages since October, a full 3 months after the Coup took place.
Even before Mr. Zelaya was flown out of Honduras the country’s children were missing weeks upon weeks of school. Teachers hadn’t been paid and to try and get their due payments they regularly took to the streets, blocking traffic and keeping the youth from the very educations that they need to help make sure things like this current crisis don’t happen. After the Coup, the children in Honduras’ public schools lost many more weeks of classes, totalling almost a third of the school year lost in all.
This has been a difficult time for everyone and will only continue to get worse, as much of the international aid remains cut off to the 7 million people Hondurans, 50% of whom live on less than $2 a day. At NPH Honduras, we are grateful that people have continued to give their help and aid, and we will continue to reach out into the community and brighten as many people's lives as possible. At the end of the day the country may be in the midst of a political crisis, but the people are caring—they are Honduran. As people outside focus on taking money away and forcing political hands, the Honduran people focus on bringing food to their table, being at peace with their place in life, and loving their country and their neighbour. At NPH Honduras we wish to be as good a neighbour as possible.