Lauren's Peace Corps Experience in Honduras

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed and experiences described in this travelogue are mine personally. Nothing written here should be interpreted as official or unofficial Peace Corps literature or as sanctioned by the Peace Corps or the U.S. government. I have chosen to write about my experience online in order to update family and friends; I am earning no money whatsoever from this endeavor. Please do not copy or forward any of these contents without my permission.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Meeting the Prez!

Hey all,

So I completely forgot to tell about meeting the President of Honduras. Yes! Although I seem to be the only PCV who hadn´t met him yet, it was still pretty cool. Presidente "Mel" came to Concepcion, Copan, which is only about 1.5 kilometers outside of Dulce Nombre. The big news, and this is big, even for me, is that they are planning to build the new airport right here! It will be the airport to feed Copan Ruins, and they will build a new highway between Santa Rosa to Copan Ruinas. The airport will be 8 km or so from Santa Rosa, and 22 km from Copan Ruinas. The place where the airport is going to be used to be a place where planes landed back in the 50s to pick up cigars and transport them, but stopped after a plane broke down and then they had to haul the thing through Dulce Nombre up the narrow streets, and it was a big ordeal...I saw some pretty amazing old pictures of a huge plane being dragged right by my house in 58. For those of you who don´t know Concepcion (Ian, that´s where we went and saw those massive lemons), I did a latrine and stove project there, and it´s one of the poorest municipalities in Honduras. There is NOTHING there. That´s why it´s so amazing to imagine a new highway and airport there. It will hopefully benefit the people of Concepcion and Dulce Nombre immensely. Land around there is already going up in price. The new highway will pass by Dulce Nombre as well.

Well Mel decided to come in his helicopter to announce the big decision to put the airport there. La Entrada had been competing for the airport as well. I find out the day before and the library decides to send a small committee of people to give the President one our Dulce Nombre books that the U of Maine helped us make, and a postcard of Dulce Nombre....signed and with a description of our library and our future plans and what we need (gotta love us, always trying to get more supporters!). It was so neat to see all the poor kids and parents waiting around to see the president, probably their only chance, since they never leave their aldeas, alongside the big town reporters, with even Telemundo represented by this snobby looking gorgeous blonde telenovela looking star lady. Very descriptive huh? So mel lands finally, in the middle of a huge field, and he is surrounded immediately. I have no idea how, but Misael, one of the library committee, gets in front of him, and one of the ministers who knows us introduces him to the President (I have all this on tape) and Misael gives the Dulce Nombre book to the president and explains who we are. It was so funny! But we did it. Later we all run to the nearest pickup to get a ride to the central park of Concepcion, where I go running to some mornings, because the president is gonna meet with the mayors there and talk to the press. The road between the area where the airport is going to be and the central park is hardly a road...just two ruts where tires are supposed to go and you have to pass through a small river. The prez drives his own car, which is impressive. When he got out of the car at the park, I got to shake his hand and follow him around some more with my camera. We hung around a few hours more, but I got tired before I ever heard the official announcement and went back to Dulce Nombre, but later on the radio it was all aired. So that´s the story! Maybe in 6 or 7 years I´ll get to fly into Dulce Nombre!

3 Comments:

  • At January 30, 2007 at 6:20 PM, Blogger Kathleen March said…

    Saludos Lauren desde UMaine!

    We had class again today and talked about Dulce Nombre. It's the greatest community partner! We are getting ready for our departure on March 3 - only 5 weeks. Looks like about 20 people. We have more of the same to donate, and maybe some new items. We're looking forward to offering our knowledge for health classes (the nurses) and perhaps some civil structures (the engineers). Of course there's a Spanish major or two who will be interested in "hanging out" with dulcenombrinos of all ages and in asking questions about water supply, estufas lorena, environmental issues, customs, etc....

    I'm looking forward to book #2 for us to collaborate.

     
  • At May 14, 2008 at 2:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I met Prez Maduro when we visited the preseidential palace in Teguc before swear in. I got a great picture of us shaking hands. Crazy how I met the leader of a foreign country before the prez of the US.

    Hondo 1 '03-'05 RPCV

     
  • At May 14, 2008 at 3:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I married a Honduran and her mom's family is from Dolores, Copan. Pritham was Hondu 1 volunteer from my group and she was in Dulce Nombre. Did you know her?

     

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