Honduras | Photograph provided by Maia Anderson, CMO of ReyRey Café
Before the coronavirus pandemic shut down flights across the world and Wright State students were banned from traveling abroad, two students went to Honduras from February 23 through February 27.
This is an account of a trip to the South American country before students were sent home for the semester.
I was one of two chosen by the Student Management Board of the ReyRey Café to travel to Honduras with Boston Stoker. Boston Stoker is the brand that supplies the shops coffee.
Two students were asked to come with them to check out the coffee farms and learn more about the process that goes into making coffee.
This South American country is one of few Boston Stoker gets their coffee from.
Honduras is not a country that most people think of when they hear the word “vacation,” but it is such a sight to see.
Honduras is one of the poorest countries in Latin America with more than half of the country in poverty. Their currency is called lempira; one lempira is equal to 40 U.S. cents.
However, it is insanely beautiful.
Huge palm trees and bushes cover the open land. Exotic birds fill the trees and the weather is always nice.
Stepping off the plane, the first thing noticed is the hot air. Even inside the airport, humidity and dryness fill the atmosphere.
In Honduras, people do not pay rent or mortgages. The houses in Honduras look nothing like those in America; huts are built from wood and brick with roofs made from scrap metal. A lot of the homes are one or two bedrooms and the floors are made of mud or dirt.
In some cases, houses are made from better materials and have actual roofing.
Most of the time, large families will buy a big plot of land and all build their houses on the land.
Seeing these living conditions, it is hard not to feel sorry for the people, but it is what they are used to and the only thing they know.
Most families have their own livestock and plantation to feed themselves. Low incomes have led to these low standards of living.
A lot of churches and facilities in America do mission trips to Honduras to build free houses for locals since they cannot afford materials to build sturdy homes.
Many of the houses are very close to the main road or very high in the mountains. The houses that are in the mountains are separated into villages and the people there roam around more freely. Those that live in the mountains get a very beautiful view of Honduras.
Driving into the mountains can take a few hours. Those that live up there do not go the main city often since it takes so long and most of them do not have cars.
Many Hondurans are self-employed and sell fruit at their own stands. There are countless fruit and snack stands. Around every corner is a stand with someone selling their products.
One of the things Honduras is known for is its coffee. The coffee farmers in Honduras have a lot of work to do for such little pay. Majority of the men are farmers.
Coffee farmers must climb steep hills in the hot sun and pick coffee cherries for hours at a time. They get paid by each bucket they fill with cherries. Filling one bucket pays around 50 lempiras, which is equal to $2 in the U.S.
$2 is barely enough to afford a candy bar in America.
Seeing the coffee farmers having to work in such conditions is very heartbreaking. They are all so friendly, making it much harder to be okay with their situation.
Stray animals, especially dogs, fill the streets. Families do not keep dogs as pets as much as Americans do. Horses, donkeys, cows and chickens all roam free along the side of the roads.
There are not many huge shopping centers or grocery stores in Honduras. Small shops and vendors fill the strips and are mostly locally owned.
The few people that own cars mostly own pick-up trucks. They fill the beds of the trucks with as many people as they can when going from place to place. These people are risking their lives as there are no seatbelts and they are riding on bumpy, dusty roads.
The education system in Honduras is a big issue – there is a lack of schools and staff. Education is a large privilege for those who can afford it.
Honduran children do not have much supervision. They run free in the dusty, hot streets, unaware of the poverty and difficult futures ahead of them.
Being stared at is something to get used to. There are not many tourists to Honduras so foreigners get a lot of long, hard stares.
Honduras is very dissimilar to anywhere in America. Even poverty in America differs from Honduras’. This country needs to be seen by everyone to understand the differences in the ways people live.
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