Thirdeyemom

First impressions on nine days in Honduras

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Sunset over West Bay Beach on the island of Roatan is always a magical treat.

Sunday night I arrived home utterly exhausted and unfortunately sick from Honduras. I tend to be prone to stomach bugs when I travel to developing countries and thankfully I always carry an antibiotic which has already began to help. Nevertheless, I lost six pounds in a week and came back to a sick child again as well. We just can’t seem to get healthy in our house.

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The tropical island of Roatan. Worlds apart from the mainland of Honduras where 80% of the people live in poverty.

The trip was absolutely mind-boggling. I feel like it is going to take me some time to digest it all. My blogging won’t come as easily as it did after my pleasurable hiking trip to France in August. I learned and experienced a tremendous amount in Honduras. Both good and sadly to say, bad. It was an eye-opening trip that has given me even more perspective on the social blogging work I do.

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The tropical jungle around La Ceiba, Honduras (the mainland).

Some of the highlights of the trip include my warm, gracious host family that I spent a week with in La Ceiba, caring for the children and enjoying their smiles, immersing myself in the language and culture, and enjoying the tropical island of Roatan.

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Family is extremely important in Honduras. I loved this picture of the beautiful little girl sleeping in her grandmother’s loving arms. This photo was taken on the ferry ride over to the mainland of Honduras from Roatan.

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The island of Roatan has four distinctive ethnic groups. Here is a young Garifuna girl whose ancestors most likely originated from St. Vincent or Africa as slaves of the British colonists.

Some of the difficult things of my trip were seeing the poverty of the people on the mainland, learning about the health care system while interviewing an American doctor, being in an unsafe country laced with drug and gang violence, and worst of all, witnessing the abusive treatment of the children at the government-run child care center where I volunteered and being absolutely powerless to change anything. That was the most heartbreaking part of it all.

As I begin to write my posts, please remember that these views are only my experience and of course aren’t representative on all of Honduras. Keeping the “third-eye” approach in mind, I do my best at being open-minded and do my homework on the countries I visit. It is only my opinion and experiences. Others may interpret their experiences differently.

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One of my little amigas at the childcare center who loved to smile and be held. It was difficult to see the different approach to child-rearing at the center where corporal punishment and yelling were the main forms of discipline on such young children, and tears went unanswered.

As I slowly readjust to being home, please bear with me over the next few weeks as I sort through my 816 pictures and all my garbled thoughts about the last nine days in Honduras. I will be documenting my journey day by day over the next month, before I’m off again to yet another journey. Looks like this is going to be one heck of a year of traveling and doing social good. But I’m ready for the ride.

17 comments

    • Thanks Kat! Yes, it has been CRAZY hasn’t it? My daughter has strep throat but is now better as am I thanks to some antibiotics. I can’t wait to write more on the trip. It was really an eye-opening experience! Hope you are staying warm!

  1. Hope you and your child are well again soon. Thank you for sharing an honest and balanced account of your experiences and for explaining yourself and the circumstances of life as you saw it in that part of Honduras. It is a part of the world that I only know a little about.

    • You’re welcome! It is so hard to not be too biased on one’s own experience. I know I only touched the tip of the iceberg but I ask a ton of questions so I learned a lot. We are both feeling better and I’m so excited to start sharing my story of Honduras! It is quite a place

  2. Sorry to hear you picked up a bug. I did twice during our year in Mexico. It doesn’t seem to matter how careful you are if others you come in contact with aren’t quite so. This had to be a difficult trip from one who is so focused on making a difference in the world. Being at the childcare center experiencing child rearing as you did had to be heart-wrenching.

  3. I had similar observations when I was volunteering in a shanty town in Peru, Nicole. The methods of disciplining the children (four-year-olds) was extremely strict and, to my eyes, cruel at times. But I had no place to step in and try to change anything. I wonder if perhaps they are preparing the children for a very hard life by toughening them up at a young age. It may rub me the wrong way, but I can’t objectively say they are wrong to do so.

    • πŸ™‚ better now! I’m headed your way by the way. Just found out I’m going to India in March for my social good blogging! I don’t know what city yet and what I’ll be doing for sure but I am beyond excited!!!! Stay tuned…

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