After 6 weeks spent in Honduras it is time to say goodbye. We have grown attached to the people of El Porvenir, where we made countless friends. At the end of the Easter Sunday Mass at the local church I said a couple of words as a farewell, thanking for the wamr welcome, amazing spirtual experiences and the openness of the people to some people from Poland. After my short speech there was an applause and plenty of hugging from many people.
This visit will stay in our memories for long. Volunteer work, several conversations with the locals such as Don Ricardo, Profe Maria, Fabricio – close friend for all of us, Anne Fowler, exploring wonderful nature, hundreds of kilometers run through pineapple fields or scores of kilometers swum in the Caribbean.
We already mentioned our volunteer work. Summing up this period we feel fullfilled and satisfied in what we managed to accomplish in such a short period in El Porvenir. The only drawback of our stay was our accommodation with a family from the US, living in Honduras for some time now. It is not so much about the living conditions as for the negative atmosphere our US hosts created in their lovely house. The below picture is one of many examples of their teribble way of communication and behavior, we experienced while living there. Why waste any more words on this?
Our visit to El Porvenir taught us a few things such as appreciating a simple way of life led by the locals. We, the people from developed countires, often opine with superiority about our lifestyle and our civilisaition. We could see, the local people have something that is slowely being lost in the so-called modern world like a genuine joy of life, simplicity, spontaneity and autheniticity. The family bonds are very strong here and the families can be sometimes very numerous. Fabricio has 21 brothers and sisters!
The visitors often try to impose the foreign way of life here, which sometimes refers to volunteers as well. Looking at the fruits of the civilisations I am far from stating that our lifestyle is any better.
We also learned to appreciate more what we have. In Poland, like in many western it is popular to complain about the state and its institutions such as courts, police, education, public finance etc. Looking at the local weakness of state we can say we live in great luxury, where we have strong law enforcement, reliable educational and healthcare system compared to Central America. Honduras has five times as many private bodyguards as they have police officers. Tax collection is abysymal; with such rampant corruption and poverty there is almost no one to pay them. We heard many stories on the white collar theft of assets such as money in bank accounts or cars during car registration by clerks or their accomplices.
Despite all this we hope to return one day to Honduras, particularly to El Porvenir, to meet our friends again.
The next country on our path is Guatemala. We are reading and hearing that the weather in Poland is changeable and there are some cold spells. Here, on the contrary; 35-37C day in, day out. We sometimes wish we could move to Poland for a few moments to feel the refreshing and cold breeze of a May morning.