Countries > Honduras > Honduras — invisible country… (page 1) >
Honduras — invisible country… (page 1 of 4)

K. Sapozhnikov (January 2008)
» page 1 <
page 2 <
page 3 <
page 4 <

In the everyday folklore of Russia there is a special «Honduran topic». It is possible to understand, why Honduras1 was especially «lucky»: in the name of this country there is a certain phonetic energy, exotic charm with elements of mystique and mystery and even sublimated erotics.

The prison «genesis» of the «Honduran topic» is evident. «Cons» could never allow Honduras to be the backyard, «the backwoods» of Central America. For them this country was personification of wonderful unachievable dream. They pictured the idolised image of that distant banana republic: without deadly frosts and barbed wire, with hot sun and palm groves, twinkling sky-blue sea and passionate mulattoes...

Sometimes Honduras is called an «invisible country». It seems to be in the «shade of history», yielding the right to memorable events to its neighbours: Mexico, Cuba, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador. Apart form Francisco Morazan2, elected the president of the country and then of Central American countries federation, Honduras has not produced any eminent historic figure. There were not even with the «negative sign» - like Dominican Trujillo or Nicaraguan Somoza. There are definitely no Honduran «stars» of world magnitude in art and culture. Even the recognised erudite persons will have to pull their socks up to list the names of writers, poets, artists, musicians born in Honduras.

Honduran politicians rarely come up in the news of world mass media. Lack of exhibitionism — is an incredible property of politicians. And it is possible that the Hondurans are unique especially in this. You have the feeling that they prefer to contemplate the events of the global life but not participate in those. Judiciousness of politicians and commonplace Hondurans is united in one thing: both of them prefer «a lean compromise to a fat lawsuit».

the Hondurans are unbeatable in wood carving
It is worth mentioning that scholars sometimes state that the «national character» of the Hondurans is still under development. This is the reason that in everyday life they are satisfied with «loan» samples. The Honduran plato tipico is the same as what people of Guatemala or Dominican Republic eat, in music the Honduran will not reject what is played in neighbouring countries, especially Guatemalan marimba. Even in «alcohol field» Honduras does not shine by national originality. Most of all, Hondurans consume the Nicaraguan rum «Flor de Caña». The Honduran «products» of national handicrafts — weaving, ceramics, chased articles can also be considered talented replicas of what is created by artesanos in neighbouring republics of Central America. For the sake of justice it is worth mentioning that the Hondurans are unbeatable in wood carving.

Parque La Concordia

Historical monuments are quite scarce in Honduras. Maya civilisation on the Honduran territory is only represented by one architectural complex in Copan. But in order to come there you have to spend a lot of time, efforts and money. Tourists prefer to go there from Guatemala. Tikal is but a step from Copan. Hondurans do not even possess their own volcanoes that are an integral part of Central American scenery. They have to watch the volcanoes across the border on the territories of El Salvador and Nicaragua.

And one cannot help but wondering, that with all this «inconspicity» of country-specific and culturological factors, mass conscience of Russians has firmly, and seems for ever, has been taken up with Honduras.

In the beginning of 80s of the last century I got a book entitled «Praiseworthy words of Tegucigalpa» in one of the second-hand «cellars» in Habana. It was a collection of articles devoted to the past and present of the Honduran capital3. I read the book from cover to cover and theoretically was introduced to the city, the name of which in the language of the Indian nation Nahuatl means «Silver hills». Romantic, alluring, mysterious. Then I did not have even the idea of tourist plans regarding Honduras. The country was, figuratively speaking, between the «three fires»: local wars in Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador were at their height, western propaganda actively used the thesis of the «Soviet interference» in the affairs of Central America. Moscow was accused of secret financing of leftist-Marxist rebellion groups, supply of arms «through Cuban channels».

Tegucigalpa. In the language of the Indian nation Nahuatl means «Silver hills».

Poking the head of anyone from the «Soviet block» in Honduras at that difficult time of «bipolar confrontation» was equally to suicide. International «death squadrons», ominous «contras», omnipresent experts in «covert actions» from the United States, Honduran «uniformados», who became a skilled hand at repressions and «disappearances», were doing their black job, and the «Voice of America» and Reuters news, permanently presented Honduras as an advanced post of successful resistance to «communist threat». It was in that period (from 1981 to 1985), when John Negroponte was the omnipotent ambassador of the United States in Tegucigalpa. His then mission in the conditions of cold war was very much clear: to prevent the «domino effect» in the region. If communists capture Nicaragua, then El Salvador will crash down, then Guatemala, and the turn will come to Honduras. That is why Negroponte did not hesitate as for the methods of fighting the rebellious movements. At the same time «clean-up» of different structures of their support and suspicious dissidents was carried out in Honduras. It is not accidental that in the epoch of Negroponte the country, which was militarised to the limit, was called «Aircraft carrier Honduras».

And still, everything turns to better in this best of the worlds! Berlin wall, being the symbol of confrontation of two blocks, was destroyed, guerillas and «contras» laid arms, it became easier to cross the previously inaccessible borders, including in Latin America. Could I earlier imagine that I would get a visa to Honduras at the next day after I applied for it in the Embassy! Attache Gunther Schuler (I would like to preserve his name for history), with a smile, granted me a «stamped» passport, having indicated that visa «CA-4» gives me the right to free trips to El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala. Here they are — optimistic winds of integration, including tourist one! Not long ago these countries signed an interstate agreement on unification of efforts on «tourist front», creation of «supranational routes», sui generis «Golden ring» of Central America to have a better competition with Mexico in fight for foreign tourists, and accordingly for the content of their purses.

1. The origin of the name Honduras is attributed by tradition to Christopher Columbus, who, during his fourth, and the last voyage to the New World in 1502 almost lost his ship during a severe storm. After that dramatic experience the admiral allegedly cried out: «Gracias a Dios que hemos salido de estas honduras» («Praise God, we managed to escape the these depths!»)
2. Years of life: 3.10.1772 – 15.09.1842.
3. Elogio de Tegucigalpa. Antologia. Prologo, selecciones y notas de Oscar Acosta. Consejo Metropolitano de Distrito Central. Tegucigalpa, 1978.

  page 1   - NEXT (page 2) > - (page 3) > - (page 4) >

·  Home  ·  Forum  ·  Friends  · Links  ·
 · Belize  · Bolivia  · Chile  · Costa Rica  · Dominican Republic  · Ecuador  · 
 · Guatemala  · Honduras  · Mexico  · Panama  · Paraguay  · Peru  · Venezuela  ·