Elens Honduras-Abenteuer geht zu Ende

elen_4.jpg Für Elen Mussner (im Bild) von der 4 A-EU geht das Austauschjahr in Honduras langsam zu Ende. Die Grödnerin hat nun fast ein Jahr in Puerto Cortes zugebracht. In einem e-Mail an www.hob.bz.it berichtet sie von ihren außergewöhnlichen Erfahrungen.

Hello Hobler!

It's me again, your almost Honduran girl!

My year here is nearly over, so I just enjoy my last two months here.

The school is almost over, and we concluded with our project of social work. This year my school worked in a garden and we planted trees, and in some years, when they are grown, they will be part of the deforestation project of Central America.

Like you all, I am in school stress right now and try to do my graduation in the best way. The teachers give us a lot of help because it is usual that students have a really confidential relationship with the teachers. Students are really noisy and not concentrated during lessons, and they always ask for free hour and are used to cheat a lot.

In our school the uniform is mandatory. The girls wear a blue skirt (that has to finish 4 fingers under the knee), a white shirt, white socks and black formal shoes. Boys wear blue trousers, white shirt, white socks and black formal shoes too.

In Honduras smoking is really uncommon, most of all in students. It is prohibited smoking at school and even in the street if you are wearing the uniform. I am the only foreign girl of the whole school. Immigration isn't such a common phenomena in here and so you can see some Chinese or European looking-like people, but this is because of their grand-grandparents.

That s one of the beautiful parrots that you can see only in Copan!

These are the beautiful Utila Key Islands!

Almost all my classmates go to school by car. This is due to two main factors. Firstly, most of my classmates' parents are important people of the city and so they work in the city center. This permits them to take their children to school. Secondly, public buses are considered means of transport just for poor people that don't have a car. In the morning all these people go to work at the port. For this reason buses are overcrowded and dangerous (as well as stinky).

Here you can see a huge difference between social classes because there is a big division between rich and poor ones. Rich people can be compared with our middle-high class people, but poor people are really poor. They live in wooden houses; they don't have shoes and wear old clothes. Usually their children don't go to school and they ask money or they sell tortillas of fruit on the street. As there is a lot of criminality (criminal groups are called Maras), car stealing and kidnappings, rich people are really carefully about safety. Parents take their kids to school even if they live 100 meters far, they can't walk on street alone and they are not allowed to stay a lot with poor kids who live near them.

As for the difference of social and economic condition I don't have a relationship with poor people. When I first came here I tried to rebel against this fact, because I think that it isn't a good behavior, but than I understood that people in here are so poor that for a little amount of money they can do everything and would just abuse of you.

Considering that Puerto Cortés has more than 100.000 habitants the center is quite small. This is because the majority of the population lives in 'barrios'', residential areas in the suburbia of the city. I live in Barrio Cieneguita, on the road that goes to Guatemala, which is just one hour far from the city. I love Cieneguita, because it is quiet secure so I can walk there without problems.

Puerto Cortes is known most of all for its harbor, which is one of the most important of Central America. For the population it is really important because it offers works opportunities to a bunch of people (65% of the population works in/with it).

In the last 50 years there have been structural changes, because more places have been used as residential areas, and so the city is getting bigger. A lot of textile factories from the USA put some factories here (as in the whole country) to produce clothes to a low cost and then selling them to a lot of money. In these last months, because of this world economical crisis, a lot of these places closed, letting thousands of people without work.

Religion is one of the most important things for Honduran people. Actually I never met an atheist or anyone that had some any doubts about it and for them it is impossible thinking about a life without God. Only in my city you can see hundreds of churches. The majority of people are Evangelic, but there are also a lot of Catholics.

Women are generally considered less important than men because of the macho culture. Women have to work and both stay in the house, looking at children and doing all house chores. Men can drink and smoke, but a woman that behaves in this way it is considered in a very bad way.

It was sometimes difficult for me to accept and live with some of these conditions, but with the time I got part of this system and now I really love Honduras. It was one of the best experiences that enriched my own culture and made me see my own country with different eyes.

With this I got to the end of my report, I send you the best greetings (a special greeting goes to my specialclass, 4A Eu) and a good conclusion of the year to you all!

I see you again soon!


That s me with my Honduran sisters!


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