El Porvenir: My first taste of what was to come

Trip Start Sep 01, 1999
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Trip End Dec 01, 2000


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Flag of Honduras  ,
Monday, November 1, 1999

From Nacaome, I returned to Tegucigalpa briefly, then on to a little village in the Santa Barbara province of Honduras called Porvenir--a poetic form of saying "future" in Spanish. I was participating in my first delegation of US citizens coming to Honduras, and it was a kind group to start with. Mostly church folk who had an incredible tolerance for the mud and rain and arbitrary work. At one point, the community leaders had us hauling cinder block from one work site to another--and then moving a portion of them back. It's the old make-work cliche.

I ended up spending months in Porvenir and two of its sister villages over the course of the next year. In each place we would sleep in relative luxury--our quarters had wood slatted floors and tarpaulin walls and zinc roofs. Showers came at the end of the day in the depths of the creek between Porvenir and Las Florencias, usually with an audience.

One delegation who came in the rainy season actually spent the latter half of the week digging a drainage ditch next to the only road that led to the village. Without it, our landcruisers would not have been able to make it out. On another occasion, we awoke to early morning gunshots. To this day, I'm not sure which story was correct: the one about predawn rabbit hunting, or the one about the drunk who dropped his rifle as he stumbled back from town.

We also had the opportunity to hike through they sylvan hills that framed these communities--definitely my fondest memories of my time in this region. Arrow-straight pines mixed with banana and coffee plants, all spread over the deep red clay that was everywhere in Honduras.
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