Google San Pedro Sula, Honduras, if you haven’t already. What do you find? Articles and articles whose headlines read “San Pedro Sula, world’s most violent city”, “the “murder capital” of the world”, “grim reality of life in Honduras”. I can’t deny the truth that lies behind this. We see it everyday, in our newspapers, in local TV shows, in social media; it’s a sad reality in our country. But what is it that makes others want to highlight only the negative aspects of such a place? Poverty, corruption, gangs and drug circulation is all written in our books, in our history.
But so is many other things. If Honduras would be compressed into a book, I am sure 3 out of 10 pages would spill the news that bring sadness into the country, fear into others who consider living in Honduras would become a threat to their wellbeing. What would the other pages illustrate? One would project the food; and I’m pretty sure you would find a gigantic picture of a baleada spread throughout most of the page. A simple tortilla with some beans and cheese, something that makes us proud because it does not necessarily project an expensive, elegant cuisine, but because it serves its purpose of bringing people together. Turn the page and you would definitely dive into Honduras’ greatest tourist spots, from Copan Ruinas, to hikes through its many national parks and mountains, to its colorful streets and elaborated churches, to its sandy beaches and beautiful bays. In fact, all its tourist spots and beautiful sites and attractions would make up two pages in our book. Did you know that the second largest coral reef is located along Honduras’s Bay Islands?
You see, its not all guns and blood that is spilled in our streets. Moving along, flip the page and find hope. Yes, our country is struggling with overcoming poverty, we are fighting child labor and unemployment, but little by little, its hard working people are striving for a better future for themselves, their family and their beloved country. Whether it is by selling artisanal items, food, or giving tours, these people are working to build the lives they deserve; they are building their way up the social ladder; they are overcoming their difficulties and taking every opportunity they get in order to lay out for themselves a better, more sustainable life. Our country has so much to offer, San Pedro Sula itself offers many job opportunities and chances of a more prosperous life. Around us are businesses, some local and others brought by investors to our country, that are proof that we, as a country,
We are building a future that will constitute into a massive upheaval of our economy, no more kids in the streets, less poverty, less unemployment. Though it will not be easy; but it’s not impossible, many hondurans are now learning English with the hopes of getting a job at a company like PartnerHero. Little by little, more entrepreneurs are breaking the surface with their innovative ideas, starting their own businesses and careers, making growth possible for the country.
If you make a count of the pages you have read in this figurative book, you notice that we are still three pages short. Such pages would be left blank. Why? Because Honduras’ history is not only past and present, but there will be a future, and a bright one may add. Living in the “world’s murder capital” has taught me that what I am doing for my country is still not enough. It inspires me, and many others to erase such a name and change my own, my neighbors` and the world’s perspective of our country, Honduras. I implore you to set aside what you believe is Honduras, and don’t allow it to become the reason to why you don´t visit our country. Home to kind and hard working people who are eager to learn and thrive in life. San Pedro Sula and Honduras have so much to offer. I invite you to dance to Pilo Tejeda`s “Sopa de Caracol”, sing along with Guillermo Anderson`s “En Mi Pais” and read in between the lines of Polache`s “Mira a Honduras con Otros Ojos”, all Honduran singers and songwriters. So then, “te invito a mi tierra… conoce a mi gente… atrapa su calido ambiente”. (I invite you to my country…meet my people… and get caught up by its warming climate)