Bienvenidos a Honduras

I smile because it is the universal language of love.

Carlos giving us the 101 on coffee production at the La Finca de Cisne.

Honduras. The country of good intentions and genuine smiles. However marred by a bad reputation of drug wars, crime, and corrupt politicians,  my one on one experiences with the people is what I base my opinion on. And it looks good, because the people here are some of the nicest I have ever met.  Everyone says hello when passing, and a warm smile is usually always exchanged.

My Spanish is not the best, however  it is not the worst, and I am practicing everyday- And, whenever I find myself at a loss for words I simply smile. Because everyone understands a smile.  No matter what language you speak, a smile is a sign of good intention and kindness.  With one motion, it melts barriers and taps into the innate bond that we as humans share. Because we are all here together, and are all striving and looking for the same things. Whether it be love, happiness, stability, or simply a hot meal. So next time your verbal communication skills fail you, simply tap into your nonverbal reserve. Smile.

13 year old Luis David Pinto Zuniga. Kind soul and future restaurant owner.

A Little Bit About Gracias, Honduras….

Nestled in the mountains, shadowed by Mt. Celeque, surrounded by coffee plantations, and laced with streams that lead to the river; Gracias  is truly a hidden gem. This town is one where the markets don’t sell fruits or veggies that are out of season, no ATM exists, and the futbol posts are fashioned from wooden branches.  And even though Lonely Planet says it is a place that you can skip, I don’t think that one can get the full experience of Honduras without visiting this rustic, colonial town which resides in the poorest region of the country.

However, if all you want is a week beach vacation in a resort on Roatan, to be able to “tell” your neighbors that you experienced and roughed it in Honduras (I’m sure there was no television in your hotel room), then no, this place is not for you. But if your intention is to immerse yourself in the culture, and you have the genuine desire to get to know the people, then Gracias is indeed the perfect place for you.

I feel safe, at home, and at ease here. The air is fresh, the fruit plentiful, and the mountains are a perfect background for this new chapter.  This time around, I will be teaching kindergarten at the Minerva Bilingual School for the next 10 months, and in turn I am also looking forward to what this country and my students have in store to teach me.

Arrive with good intentions, and receive good intentions.

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Comments

  1. Sounds like heaven to me. I love you Jenna and I am very proud of you. See you in October.

    Mommie

  2. Love you Jenna!!!!! One of my favorite memories of traveling in Central America is of Gracias, Honduras. I was walking down the cobblestone road and this pick up trucks was coming my way bouncing up and down on the road blasting “Bittersweet Symphony.” I’ll never forget it… that and the crazy haunted dreams I had while sleeping on Celaque….. fireflies… ahhh!

    Cant wait to visit you there!!!!!!

  3. Your courage to explore the world inspires me. Enjoy your time and be safe. I look forward to reading more about your adventures.-Jennifer

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