Hondurans and Their Peculiar Obsession with the United States

By Ben Anson

Honduran migrant caravan headed north on the long journey through Guatemala and Mexico to the United States border. Foto Orlando Estrada – AFP – Getty Images

HAVANA TIMES – Sometimes, I find myself left rather speechless.

As such, I have found myself recently on teaching English in my part time job at a language academy.

Conversation with the students – quite naturally, tends to center on personal and national issues.  My Honduran pupils – teenagers and young adults, are very keen to speak well of the USA.

According to them it is the land of opportunity where one simply crosses the border, gets a job immediately, earns thousands of Dollars daily and after six months – shits gold.

I am exaggerating for the point of humor, yet I have heard some award-winning tales.

“Yo hacía billete allá, me pagaban tres mil al diario.”

“I made money over there, they paid me three thousand a day.,” said Mario, a deported ‘construction worker’.

Mario reckons he made three thousand dollars a day laying tile flooring. I could be terribly mistaken, perhaps one does receive such a vast amount in one working day within the US…

I highly doubt it though.

That certainly doesn’t occur in Europe. Especially for undocumented immigrants, as are perhaps the majority of Hondurans in the States.

If Mario made so much, what made him join a gang, rob and deal narcotics then? Hence his deportation…

“Alla vas vos, y en seis meses ya tenes casa y carro maje.”

“You go there, and in six months you’ve already got a house and a car fella,” said Eduardo a student. A young man who has never stepped foot on US soil.

Of course, you do…

“Aqui no hay nada.”

“There is nothing here.”

So many Hondurans say that. Especially those who don’t even bother to look for work. Why is it that everyone I know is employed then? Why do I see constant advertisements and job notices outside businesses and across social media? In Honduras, there is work. You can’t tell me that there isn’t. Now, the fact that most are poorly paid and hold terribly long hours – is something separate.

Why will the Honduran pay a Coyote (human trafficker), and risk their life to cross borders before then going to work in let’s say some Burger King for those same terribly long shifts in the US yet they won’t do so in their own country?

Does that make any sense?

They are simply not making thousands of Dollars al diario as so many like to say. They’re living five to a room amongst Mexicans, Nicaraguans, Dominicans and who knows who else, they’re making minimum wage and looking for someone to do them the ‘favor’.

A gringo or US born Hispanic that fancies marriage.

Honduras, has everything.

The fact that they are incapable of ousting a dictator or of electing a decent president is for them to work out.

I have stopped asking students how their days and weekends have been. I have stopped asking them what they have been up to as well. It’s always the same answer.

“No… pues nada mister.”

“No… well nothing Mr.”

“En mi casa.”

“In my house.”

My particular favorite is: “descansando”. Resting.

Resting from what the f***?

Once Hondurans realize what they have here, and decide to make the changes needed, things will get better. The USA is not the answer to everything, especially after considering what that country has done to Honduras and Latin America historically.

After all, was it not the CIA who backed and trained those that carried out the 2009 military coup d’état upon Manuel Zelaya? A president far more popular than the US supported current puppet of Juan Orlando Hernandez?  The man Honduras hates with a passion. How can you migrate to a country whose government bankrolls the man that has made yours “impossible to live in”?

And why would you want to go somewhere where Hispanics are famously met with racism and intolerance?

Furthermore, if flipping burgers or laying bricks is the best on offer for most… surely that says everything.

I don’t know. To each his own. I will say the following though…

In Honduras, education is decidedly more important than Dollars, mis queridos amigos.

Ben Anson

“The moment that I disembark (from a plane), I notice that everything in my body and in my mind readjusts itself for me", so remarked Gabriel Garcia Marquez - when speaking of his relationship with the Caribbean. He felt the strongest physical and mental connection with this part of the world and deemed it as far as ‘grave’ and immensely ‘dangerous’ for him to leave its zone. Only here, did ‘Gabo’ feel ‘right’ in himself. Honduras, does for me - precisely what the Caribbean did for Marquez. A resplendent yet troubled nation, that I have been decidedly unable to part with ever since 2014. I thus seek to capture its essence through the written word.



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