sábado, 7 de enero de 2012

Murder Capital of the World?

Recently the New York Times, BBC and The Washington Post published articles commenting on the Peace Corps pulling out of Honduras. More specifically the Post wrote an article on Honduras calling it the Murder Capital of the world. It was odd because I had just been telling my mother the day before about all the reasons why violence has escalated recently, largely due to the 18,000 or so deportees each year from the US, who are involved with gangs and the drug trade. All this bad publicity and shocking news about a volunteer being shot saddens me, and makes me feel like puchica Honduras can't get a break. I really feel for the small rural towns that are not really affected by the violence, that may lose funding for peace corps projects and their volunteers that were actually helping to make small changes. I know in my town a bunch of teachers will not finish their English training to teach English-something that can really help young people find better jobs--because the only English speaker is being pulled out of the town. Maybe volunteers and humanitarian work cause dependency, and maybe its better that these people learn how to do it on their own, without funding from outside sources. Peace Corps has been there since the 60s and Honduras is still struggling. These were all comments volunteers made while I was there. But what people need to understand is that large changes like a better economy, better employment, improved infrastructure and less corruption, are things that Peace Corps volunteers (ha it almost makes me laugh) will never be able to seriously change. That change needs to come from the people and the government.

What volunteers have done has been to help people who face adversity everyday, see within themselves that they shouldn't give up, that with hard work their change will make small differences in their lives and those of others. Volunteers have given hope to people in towns where hope does not exist. This hope is not necessarily a new job or better house, but just a small lift from despair. It is true that poverty weakens people and creates apathy, and Honduras is one of the most apathetic countries when it comes to change. Volunteers alike become jaded when things become difficult and change is hard, and some give up, but those volunteers who didn't and persevered did something that is very hard to do. They helped show people who have been let down their whole life by leaders that they can achieve something and make a difference. That is what Peace Corps was to me. It was making small changes that cannot be tracked or put on to paper or into a graph.

In my grad school class we discussed humanitarian work and humanitarian privilege.The people receiving help are always victims and suffering, they are trapped in their world and cannot leave. However the humanitarian can leave when things get hairy, he or she can jump into one world and into another, leaving the old world with hope that the people and friends they have left behind will be ok, but not knowing how. I personally feel this privilege and it has been one of the hardest things I have dealt with since I have been back. I hate that I can not do more and while my life is moving ahead, I feel like things are just getting worse in Honduras. Below I posted an article that critiques the Post article. Read it, see what you think, my thoughts and love goes out to everyone who considers themselves catracho, even if it is only at heart.

miércoles, 7 de octubre de 2009

Utilla..scuba diving

My friend stuffed ballons in her 34 lmp bathing suit straight from the 80s

The view from our hostel

With my amazing H11 friends who are leaving me

The sunset from our hostel


My art class

My soccer team Chicas del Milenio

miércoles, 20 de mayo de 2009

My birthday party "fiesta vaquera" and my health fair!

Here is some pics from ceiba and my friend risking his life for a dive. My Honduran cowboy party "fiesta vaquera" was amazing, it was the first time I think Namasigue got introduced to a theme party and people were really nervous. I think around 50 people came to the party and we had a pinata for the kids it was a little gringita. We had a dance party and I made jungle juice "jugo de la jungla" which was a hit. When it was time to sing the bday song I had about 30 people crowd around me and sing in this little room and it was amazing. Then they all smeared cake on my face, honduran tradition.

viernes, 9 de enero de 2009

domingo, 14 de diciembre de 2008

here in honduras we have a birthday party about every weekend. This is just our first one. All of these kids are part of my host family. they come to my house every sat and sun.

Its D