Jan 11

Touristic Images of Honduras

This is a video about Honduras touristic images, particularly on Utila and La Ceiba.

In Utila, Bay Islands, we can observe the underwater landscape, a strange sea monster and a seahorse. Also images of the Carnival in La Ceiba. A waterfall in Pico Bonito in La Ceiba. The practice of extreme sports like canopy and rafting. The background music is based on the song “Corazón” (“Heart”) of Rodolfo Bonilla.

This video can be found on a DVD of the series of Sabor Catracho (Honduran Flavor) from MC Productions Inc.

Apr 29

The Garifuna People

Garifuna dancing

Currently there are two major groups very representative of Afro-Caribbean Blacks : the Garifuna and the English-speaking Blacks.

These latter were located mainly in the Bay Islands and La Ceiba with their own cultural particularities . Their population is approximately 20.800 people.

The Garifuna in their native language are called Garínagu, which in English means “Black Caribs”.” They have their origin in the Yurumain Island, also known as St. Vincent, West Indies Minors.

They are descendants of the Carib, Arawak and black Africans, who arrived on the island to escape the enslavement of the Spanish and Portuguese ships. In the seventeenth century some of these boats sank in front of the Yurumain Island ( St. Vincent) in which the slaves took refuge, mixing gradually with the native Caribs producing the emergence of the Garifuna people.

The Afro-Caribbean partnership resulted in the fussion of language and culture, augmented by the inter-ethnic procreation and subsequent arrival of cimarrones (runaway slaves) from other islands.

Black Caribs - Garifuna Saint Vincent' Exiled People: The Roots Of The GarifunaIn 1793, St. Vincent became the property of Great Britain, which succeeded in defeating the Garifuna after a series of battles that highlighted the strength of the legendary leader Chatuyc. In 1797, the Garifuna were deported to Roatan Island and then to Trujillo Bay, in which they had good relations with the natives, according to some documentation. From the area of Trujillo, whose villages Cristales (Crystals) and Río Negro (Black River) still represent the traditional capital of the ethnicity, it begins the process of coastal dispersion resulting in the current geographic distribution.

The language that Black Caribs speak today is of Amerindian origin: the Arawak, of European influence (French, Spanish and English), which gave rise to the Garifuna language.

The Garifuna have formed in 47 communities in the departments of Cortes, Atlantida, Bay Islands, Colon and Gracias a Dios. They have a population of 250 thousand inhabitants, including settled populations in San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa. They are also in Belize, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

This population has a long and rich culture expressed in various socio-cultural factors, with an agricultural system that relies on the collective ownership of land used in household production for subsistence.

Their production system (fallow and crop rotation ) has allowed them to live in harmony with the land and its resources, thanks to their social organization, where women play a major role in agricultural and cultural activities. Also, many women contribute significantly to the family income, spending much of their time in the preparation and sale of casabe, bread and coconut oil.

The Garifuna social organization highlights the figure of the chief and the council of elders. In addition to the traditional occupations of agriculture and fishing they have a wide variety of foods and beverages, rich in proteins, vitamins and calories as the tatau (Garifuna soup with a variety of tubers, seafoods and coconut), the areba or manioc (large tortilla of baked cassava) and thehudutu (machuca). Among the drinks is the hin, a species of beer made from cassava; the Marmara, a beverage prepared with fermented corn and sugar cane juice.

As for singing, dancing and ritual, the most important and significant manifestation is , however, the Dágá, a rite dedicated to the dead in which the abaómahani is sung by women and the arumhani by men . There is also the punta, a fertility dance dedicated to people’s reproduction. The Chugé is also a rite dedicated to the spirits.

Most of the of them profess the Catholic faith, without abandoning their religious beliefs of the Dágá, and the Chagá (cult of the dead) which is a meeting for family unity.

Given the limited opportunities for training and local employment, many Garifuna men work as sailors (cooks, stevedores, cleaners and helpers) in commercial vessels and then migrate to the USA .

Among the first modern organizational efforts of the ethnic peoples is the foundation of the Organization of the Community of Crystals and Black River, a Garifuna association which in 1986 succeeded in titling the communal property of an area of 9 thousand hectares of land that is now invaded by the State itself.

In June 1977 a group of black leaders concerned about the future of their communities founded the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH) as a civic and protest entity.

The Garifuna community has built up its nutrition and lifestyle relying primarily on marine-coastal resources.

Source: Diario La Prensa, 28 January 1996. Quoted in the book “Historia de Honduras” by Miguel J. Suazo Padilla.

Apr 25

What is the Capital of Honduras?

Tegucigalpa at Night

For a quick response it is said that Tegucigalpa is the capital city of Honduras.

However, it is more correct to say that the capital of Honduras is formed by the cities of Tegucigalpa and Comayagüela. Both cities compose the Central District. These cities are divided by the Choluteca River.

Both cities are in the department of Francisco Morazan. Honduras is divided into 18 departments. Francisco Morazan is the name of the most important national hero of Honduras. Previously the department had the name of Tegucigalpa, the same name as the capital, and Comayagüela enjoyed administrative autonomy, having its own mayor.

Tegucigalpa emerged as a mining town, although this activity is no longer practiced. The first Comayagüela settlers were indigenous of Nahuatl origin, who were brought by Spanish conquerors to work in the mines of Tegucigalpa. Tegucigalpa’s historic center is characterized by its narrow streets. Comayagüela is known for its street markets, which are in a somewhat precarious situation. Municipal authorities traditionally dedicate more resources and attention to Tegucigalpa than Comayagüela.


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Apr 05

Juan Ramon Matta Ballesteros

Juan Ramón Matta BallesterosJuan Ramon Matta Ballesteros, also known as Juan Ramon Matta Lopez, or Juan Ramon Matta del Pozo, was a very powerful Honduran drug dealer whose illegal deportation to the United States was very controversial, it was seen as an interference of that country in the internal affairs of Honduras, and as a flagrant violation of the Constitution.

Matta Ballesteros, who was born in Barrio La Hoya of Tegucigalpa, on January 12, 1945, was accused of the crimes of drug trafficking and murder in Mexico, United States, Colombia and Honduras. He escaped several high-security prisons, such as EGLIN (U.S.) LA PICOTA and MODELO (Colombia).

Upon returning to Honduras he was imprisoned, but was soon acquitted. Honduran and U.S. authorities captured him on April 5, 1988 for submission to the U.S. federal police in order to send him to court in the U.S. His sentence was life imprisonment.

When Matta Ballesteros was in a Honduran jail, someone asked how he had escaped from “Model” prison of Colombia, which at that time was considered the safest in Latin America, to which he replied: “Well, the doors were opening and one is passing.”

The reaction to the arrest of Matta

The enlightened opinion of Honduras qualified as illegal the expulsion of Matta, citing Article 102 of the Constitution, which states that “no Hondurans may be expatriated, or handed down to the authorities of a Foreign State.”

Among those who spoke out against this action was Mr. Guillermo Perez Cadalso, which was then dean of the Law Faculty of the National University and president of the Bar Association. Also the then Chancellor of the National University, lawyer Oswaldo Ramos Soto, and the then Representative Manuel Zelaya Rosales, this last one spoke on behalf of a group of fellow Representatives.

In response to the latter, the also parliamentarian and then Minister of Natural Resources, Rodrigo Castillo Aguilar, said in a phrase that became famous: “I understand that with the surrender of Matta to the United States the Constitution was violated, but, if it is for benefit of Honduras, THE CONSTITUTION MUST BE VIOLATED AS MANY TIMES AS NECESSARY.” President Azcona argued that Matta was expelled because of reasons of “social prophylaxis. ”

That same day, April 7, at 7:00 P.M., a crowd gathered at the facilities of the American Embassy in Avenida La Paz, and immediately began throwing stones and objects at the building. The peat, which was joined by college students, burned some cars that were on the road. This peat was suppressed by anti-riot agents of the Army around 10 P.M.

Days later, on April 19, the high school student Roger Gonzalez Zelaya was arrested by security agents on charges of being one of the people who set fired to the Embassy. This young man never appeared, and some say he was tortured to death by the National Investigation Directorate (DNI).

In response to the Embassy unrests, President Azcona declared a curfew, valid only in the cities of Tegucigalpa, Comayagüela and San Pedro Sula. In implementing the provision Azcona ordered the compulsory establishment of a compulsory Cadena Nacional de Radio y Television (National Network of Radio and Television), which only broadcasted government bulletins all night long, from April, 8 to March, 12. This was widely criticized by public international opinion.

In response to the expulsion of Matta, Jaime Rosenthal Oliva resigned from his position as economic advisor of Azcona, although he continued in his position as vice-president.

Source: Book “Evolucion Historica de Honduras” by Longino Becerra (2009).

Apr 03

Homosexuals in Honduras

Miguel Caballero Leiva

Famous homosexuals of Honduras

In Honduras there are important public figures of the social life that are homosexuals, although the majority of them has not confessed publicly their homosexuality.

Closeted Homosexuals

It is said, for example, that a former president is a homosexual. This rumor has circulated for years, in spite of the fact that this is a married man and professes the catholic religion. Also the malicious tongues say that a former first lady is actually a man. I find very difficult to believe this, because she is very feminine and beautiful, but that’s the rumor that circulates.

All these rumors go by word of mouth. In Honduras there is no “tabloid press” neither the paparazzi. The mass media in Honduras doesn’t meddle with the private lives of Honduran celebrities.

Openly Homosexuals

Perhaps the best-known openly homosexual in Honduras is Miguel Caballero Leiva, who works in the show business. Miguel Caballero Leiva is a respected figure of the Honduran society, he is a homosexual that does not make any exhibitionism of his sexual tendency, just the opposite behavior of his protégé, the transvestite Josué Abraham Cardona, who goes by the name of Chiquinquirá Lorenz. It is said that this personage, that has a celebrity gossip blog, took away the husband of a journalist of the newscast TVC: Alejandra Rodriguez. Another openly homosexual of celebrity journalism is Xander Reyes.

The attitude of Honduran society towards homosexuals

Honduran society, having a Christian cultural basis, does not welcome the homosexuals tendencies, but they are tolerated. No Honduran law discriminates against homosexuals, although no one favors them.

There seems to be no chance for the approval of homosexual marriages in Honduras. A few years ago a constitutional amendment was made clarifying that Marriage can only be between a man and a woman. The political influence of the Christian religion would not allow gay marriage.

There is still some stigma attached to homosexuality which prevents many from openly declaring their sexual orientation. This is understandable in a conservative society, but it is not true that the condemnation of homosexuality originates only from the religious sphere. Honduran writer Longino Becerra, who is an atheist of Marxist tendencies, says in his book Ética para Jóvenes ( Ethics for Young People) : “Anyone who suffers from sexual deviations, whatever they may be, is with no doubt, a candidate not only for unhappiness, but also for tragedy. Always remember this. “

Homosexuals can not miss in humorous radio programs made in Honduras. The gays are found laughable for their mannerisms. Homosexuals are stereotyped in these programs as stylists and fashion designers.

It is normal for parents to be ashamed for having a gay kid, but despite these attitudes, understandable in a conservative society, there is no organized persecution against homosexuals.

Lately there have been reports of homosexual killings in Honduras, but this is explained by the
wave of violence that affects the entire Honduran society. This violence does not discriminate by gender or by sexual orientation.

Homosexual Activism

In Honduras there are organized homosexual groups with legal personality granted by the Honduran State, like the “Colectivo Violeta.” Some of these groups have recently organized “Gay Pride” parades.

These groups use very loosely the term homophobia as a way to stigmatize those who oppose their political agenda. The “World Day against Homophobia” is also celebrated in Honduras, and has
the attention of some of the media.

Mar 21

Fish Rain in Honduras: a phenomenon to investigate

The following is an article from the magazine “Cultura”, from 1980, on the phenomenon of fish rain in Yoro, Honduras.

ACAN-EFE report

By: Armando Cerrato

The province of Yoro, to the north of Honduras, has witnessed again this year [1980] one of the rarest natural phenomena, perhaps unique in the world: fish rain, which for many years was believed to be the product of the natives’imagination.

The phenomenon occurs almost annually in the area known as El Pantano (The Swamp), a mile southwest of the picturesque city of Yoro, nestled between mountains and surrounded by jungle vegetation crossed by rivers that give life to the mighty river Aguan.

Everything happened during the strongest downpouring of the rainy season: a huge dark purple cloud shifted rapidly from the Atlantic Ocean heading to the Gulf of Honduras, on the same coast, but across the mainland.

There was a lot of electrical activity, and as it has been happening for hundreds of years, it forced the natives to lock in their homes, waiting for the miraculous fish rain during a strange and mournful whistling of the wind.

At the end of the natural activity, the natives left their homes with baskets (wicker baskets and of other materials from the area as jute) in order to collect hundreds of fish that were jumping with death rattles.

Research

Various theories have tried to explain the strange phenomenon, but none of them has been able to convince the natives that there is no fish rain in their land, Yoro.

The only serious investigation was promoted by the National Weather Service of Honduras, that sent the technicians Andrade Edgardo Zuniga (Honduras), and Martin Rossemblat (U.S.), to the zone of the phenomenon some years ago.

Both forecasters knew that some people believed that the fish were collected at the Atlantic Ocean by a waterspout, others said they jumped from the depths of the earth from an underground river, and the most gullible said it was a miracle from heaven.

In their observations, Andrade and Rossemblat could verify that all fish are of the same type and size (boat fish [peces lancha], a variety of sardines) that are not blind and did not show any bruises after they appear.

This proved they were not brought by a waterspout, because in that case there would be fish of all sizes and varieties, in addition to the fact that no meteorological phenomenon follows the same course and is repeated with the frequency of the apparition of fish.

Also, not being blind, these fish could not ever come from groundwater. Not presenting bruises, they could not have fallen from the sky, because there was no fish in the roofs of the village houses.

Conclusions

The two researchers concluded that the boat fish probably belongs to a family that keeps the habit of going to die to the place of birth.

But the tradition is that some of the ichthyologic varieties studied die in the place they were born, but they do it in the water, in lakes or streams, and never on land, as it happened in Honduras.

Moreover, where the dying jumping boat fish were found, there were no puddles or streams.

Besides, the cloud that always appears in the valley of Yoro is of the mamatus cumulonimbus type, common in all regions of the world, which takes its name from its breast form, producing the throaty whistle of the wind when the air drops through its narrowest part.

It is believed that the fish come up, swimming against the current of the Aguan River in order to die where they were born. It is ignored if the zone to which they jump, before they become food for the people of Yoro, was at one time a lake or a pond.

Still, for tourism, the phenomenon is of great value, and nothing like this can be found elsewhere in the world, and much less the big belief of the natives that “we are a privileged people because God sends us every year a fish rain. “

But esoterically it is known that this fish rain in Honduras comes from another world, parallel to ours, which corresponds to the fourth dimension. This explains why fish come from the air. But as the title of this article says: “A phenomenon to investigate”, any esoteric researcher can investigate and test, while official scientists will never know because of their very limited means of investigation.

Taken from the magazine “Cultura”, No. 51 of 1980.

Mar 19

Blanca Olmedo: Summary of the Novel

Blanca Olmedo’s novel is one of the best known in Honduras. And perhaps, just like Prision Verde, it is recognized not for its literary merit, but for its social criticism.

Blanca Olmedo, a romantic novel written in the early twentieth century, is outdated for its time, because the cultural period of Romanticism is considered superseded by that time.

Unlike Prision Verde, a novel that tries to reflect the experiences of poor people in the banana plantations of the Atlantic Coast of Honduras, in Blanca Olmedo the protagonists enjoy a fine education that allows them to always use a refined language. In social gatherings attended by these characters they perform musical pieces popular of Europe. The place of action appears to be an undetermined city in an undetermined country in Latin America. It is until the last page of the novel that we realize that the action takes place in the city of Danli, Honduras, which is also the birthplace of the author, Lucila Gamero de Medina.

In fact, the protagonist of the novel, Miss Blanca Olmedo, has some similarities with the author, particularly in regards with their philosophical and religious perspectives. Mrs. Gamero loved to define herself as a “freethinker”, as Blanca Olmedo does in the novel. Both Lucila Gamero and Blanca Olmedo seem to lean toward pantheism and they both make strong criticisms against the Roman Catholic religion.

Blanca Olmedo is the tragic story of a young woman struggling to be happy against an adversity that lurks at every turn and defeats her in the end. Blanca Olmedo is an exemplary girl, beautiful and intelligent, qualities that instead of playing in her favor win her enemies that will not rest in their endeavor to destroy her.

Blanca Olmedo’s misfortunes began when the character Elodio Verdolaga offered to bring the legal issues of his father, Mr. Carlos Olmedo. Verdolaga conspires with the plaintiff in order to harm Mr. Olmedo, causing him to loose his assets, and he also tried to use the financial misfortunes of the family to take advantage of Blanca. Mr. Olmedo realizes Verdolaga’s betrayal and tells her daughter Blanca about it, and from that time on she begins to despise Verdolaga with all her heart. Mr. Olmedo dies shortly afterwards, overwhelmed by misfortune.

Elodio Verdolaga is portrayed as the perfect scoundrel. Verdolaga is married and has children, but that is not obstacle for him to go after Blanca. He is not a licensed lawyer, but still practices law, and through his cunning he obtains the position of Judge, to the astonishment of Blanca, who sees how a man who is the epitome of corruption and cynicism is rewarded by the State that appoints him as an administrator of justice.

Blanca manages to get a job as a governess at the home of Mrs. Micaela Moreno where she befriends his student, Miss Adela Murillo. Adela is a teenager who is sick all the time, overwhelmed by the harsh upbringing she receives from Mrs. Moreno, her aunt, who is a woman devoted to the Catholic conservatism of her time. Mrs. Moreno is convinced that the differences between social classes exist by the will of God, and people who have money like her should not befriend less fortunate people. Therefore, she believes Blanca Olmedo is not worthy of her friendship, nor the friendship of her niece or her son, because she is from a lower class. Mrs. Micaela Moreno clings to this retrograde belief, although Blanca Olmedo was stripped of her inheritance through deception, she wasn’t born poor, and has better education and manners than her employer, but Mrs. Moreno thinks she is superior just because she has more money.

Mrs. Moreno is educated in religious matters by the young Father Sandino, who visits her regularly in order to see Miss Olmedo, for whom he falls so sickly in love. Father Sandino even denies his own religion before Blanca, trying to show her he cares little for his vows of chastity if he has the luck to win her heart, when in public he keeps the appearance of Christian piety. He suffers the logical rejection of Blanca.

The young doctor Gustavo Moreno, son of Mrs. Micaela Moreno, soon realizes the beauty of Blanca Olmedo and tries to win her love, but Blanca, knowing Mrs. Moreno’s opinion, tries to avoid him by all means, and befriends the young Mr. Joaquin Leiva, who goes to visit her frequently. Leiva also falls in love for her, but she also rejects him.

Gustavo at last overcomes Blanca’s resistance and makes her his girlfriend. This causes the expected visceral rejection of Mrs. Micaela Moreno, who can’t conceive of his son marrying a woman she considers to be inferior. Gustavo manages to appease his mother for some time, while Father Sandino and Verdolaga conspire to separate the couple. To save time, they advise Mrs. Moreno to try to postpone the marriage, request which Gustavo concedes.

Elodio Verdolaga proposes to use his political influence to send Gustavo to war, retaining the letters he may send to his girlfriend. Mrs. Moreno agrees with this plan, despite the danger it poses to her son.

After Gustavo goes to war, Mrs. Moreno dismisses Blanca, but not before insulting her, echoing the libels that Father Sandino and Verdolaga reported to her. Verdolaga told her that Blanca was once his lover. Father Sandino accused Blanca of trying to seduce him. To these slanders Mrs. Moreno added the accusation that Blanca tried to seduce Gustavo for material interest, and that she “prostituted” him.

Blanca comes out very agitated and sick of Mrs. Moreno’s house and seeks shelter in her former maid’s house, who told her the secret that Gustavo actually was not the son of Mrs. Micaela Moreno.

Blanca fails to communicate with Gustavo. The letters they address each other are retained in the post office, at the request of Verdolaga. Blanca’s health worsens when Verdolaga publishes a newspaper slander. At the end Blanca dies with her wedding dress on, without seen Gustavo. When Gustavo returns from war and is informed of the situation he kills himself. Shocked by Gustavo’s death Miss Adela Murillo also dies from a heart attack.

In the epilogue, an epitaph on the tomb where Gustavo, Blanca and Adela were buried says: Innocent victims of a Representative of Justice, a Representative of the Catholic Religion and a Fanatic Woman. Father Sandino disappears from the city, Micaela Moreno repents of all the evil done and founds a refuge to help poor girls and Elodio Verdolaga is sentenced to life imprisonment for his many crimes.

The novel is not available on Amazon, but you can purchase the book at Hondurasmalls, or contact Editorial Guaymuras. See some book excerpts at Google Books.

Mar 15

Father Subirana in Catacamas

By: Winston Irias Calix

A messenger of God in Catacamas

He disseminated and practiced the message of love, faith and hope, which are the essence of the doctrine of Christ. He defended indigenous rights obtaining legal titles for their lands. He punished and converted the sorcerers and students of the School of Witchcraft operating in Catacamas, which closed, warning them they were excluded from the grace of God, as expressed in the Bible in Galatians 5. He performed miracles that will build the basis for his future recognition as a saint of the Catholic Church.

These are some of the many activities that the Spanish missionary, Father Manuel de Jesus Subirana, made in Catacamas in 1860, as a part of an intensive evangelization campain, according to the story told by my great-aunt and second mother, Miss Francisca Irias Calix, to whom my sister Dilcia, due to a bad pronunciation of her name called Mi Chacha.

As told by his father, my grandfather, Mr. Antonio Irias, who met Father Subirana when that holy man was heading from Santa Maria de El Real to Catacamas, Father Subirana told the crowd that met him: “We are heading to the Catacamas Lagoon.” When they told him the town is located on land, he insisted on the name he had mentioned.

About the name Catacamas Lagoon several people say there is plenty of shallow water in the Valley of Catacamas. For decades the city had eyes of water or surface sources, such as the ones that existed in the zone of Ojo de Agua (Water Eye), which 40 years ago was a village of the municipality, just like El Hatillo is now. Both are now neighborhoods of Catacamas.

At that time a stream ran along Second Avenue in the same place the Rosmunda Herrera School was located, where now is the Municipal Library. But there’s more: the flow of the Catacamas River, which previously flowed into the Guayape, was reduced by the collapse of a hill at its source, back in 1940.

During the tragedy caused by Hurricane Mitch, bulky water jets came to the surface on the hills and slopes of Catacamas.

People in Catacamas say that missionary Subirana predicted that the city would be destroyed by the Piedra Blanca Mountain (White Stone Mountain), and that until that disaster did not happen the town of Santa Maria de El Real would never prosper.

In this regard, my aunt reassured me that Father Subirana made such fatal prediction in order to make the residents of Catacamas repent for their sins, praying every day to our Lord to keep the city safe.

Father Subirana was staying at the site once occupied by the Rosmunda Herrera School, a place I consider to be the most suitable for the operation of the Catacamas Museum, near the Municipal Library.

The School of Witchcraft reappears

My great-aunt told me that some sorcerers disobeyed the order of Father Subirana and continued their anti-Christian practices.

At the beginning of the twentieth century the Shool of Witchcraft reemerged in Catacamas, it was located at the place where now is the Juan Pablo II School (John Paul II), in Barrio La Cruz (The Cross Neibourghood). At night their “students” turned into apes and walked hand in hand through the downtown streets unto the square where now is the Central Park. They played in the leafy branches of the ceiba tree, and then returned to their place, emerging furtively, now in their human form, according to the story.

The Indian Rojas assured me that the “students” of the school turned into monkeys at a site located about 300 meters to the west of their witchcraft center, which operated in the place where now is located the Juan Pablo II School. According to tradition, in order to turn into animals the sorcerers left their souls in a gourd, which they hid with extreme caution, and in returning they would drink it, thus regaining their human form. If anyone shed the soul he or she would remain as an animal for life, according to popular belief .

But the Spanish missionary made a new miracle after his death, according to my great-aunt. The school building began to collapse and the warlocks were somehow identified by their relatives, friends and curious people. People reminded them how their ancestors had been punished and converted by Father Subirana and many of them convulsed at the mere mention of his name. Repentant, they did not exercise again their witchcraft practices.

From the book “Catacamas: Del ayer al año 2000″ by Winston Irias Calix.

Mar 14

The Snake Woman

By Jorge Montenegro

My friend Luis Hernan Sevilla (RIP) told me long ago in the city of Danli a story that made me think and fueled my imagination. Many years ago in the (also known as) City of Hills there was a passion for classical music, literature, spiritism and poetry, and many young people embraced some of these special inclinations, including Jorge, a young pianist who had a beautiful two-storey house. He delighted performing with his skillful hands the most beautiful melodies, people passing by his house stood or sat on the sidewalk to listen to him, he exerted such fascination with his music that people from other places went to hear him perform with such mastery.

One afternoon Jorge left home to take his usual walk around the city, visiting relatives and close friends, he talked with many people, and when the sun threatened to give way to darkness, the young man continued his walk towards home.

A deep blue-eyed woman was walking in the opposite direction. When he saw her he greeted her politely, but without knowing how he felt trapped by the influence of that living statue’s stare. With her crystalline smile she captivated even more Jorge’s heart, who invited her to enjoy a private concert.

“I always listen your performance from the garden, you have such a delicacy to play the piano, so I feel very honored to be the first woman you invite to your house to hear the most beautiful melodies.”

“On the contrary, the honor is mine, I never thought to find in my life’s way a woman so beautiful, so ethereal, so special.”

“I have learned to know your soul from every tune that emerges from your piano, you are a good and sensitive man who loves music and nature.”

With that conversation Jorge felt different, he finally found the woman he idealized for so long, he knew that his loneliness was about to leave him.

Little by little, walking through the streets of Danli, they were getting to know each other.

“I have to say goodbye,” she said, “I cannot spend much time outside my house because I did not ask permission, my father is very strict and it would be distasteful to be late.”

“I understand … but you still haven’t told me your name.”

“My name is Diana and I hope to see you again.”

“Tell me where I can find you.”

“I will find you, I know where you live, and as long as you talk to your piano, I will always be around.”

That night the neighbors listened a true concert, the hands of Jorge ran through his piano’s keyboard with extraordinary mastery, pulling out the most beautiful notes that delighted the neighbors. No one complained, everyone was enthralled with the impromptu concert.

The next day Jorge wrote the lyrics of a song that highlighted the beauty of Diana, then he patiently began to feel within his soul a deep inspiration to compose a sublime music for those lyrics. He barely took a cup of coffee during the day, he ate nothing because his food was the melody for those lyrics.

In the evening he was able to capture what he wanted in the staff: a unique and special song, a song that came out of his soul, out of his spirit. Upon arriving the night the work was finished. He felt no fatigue, his energy increased when his hands ran through the keyboard performing Diana, the melody of his inspiration. He went for a walk as usual, a bit puzzled because he didn’t know where the woman who had stolen his heart lived.

Suddenly he felt someone holding his hand, it was her, his beloved Diana. Together they walked through the deserted streets of the City of Hills, they said to each other so many things.

“I made a song for you, Diana.”

“Can we go to your home to listen to it?”

Thus, hand in hand they arrived at Jorge’s home, the piano was located near the bedroom. There he performed the melody of his inspiration. She wept with emotion and surrendered into the arms of Jorge. Kissing her passionately he took her to bed. That was the night when loneliness left Jorge.

The dawn’s early light projected by the bedroom window, Jorge felt that something was slipping between the sheets and something cold was rubbing his legs. Upon opening the door he saw with astonishment that an enormous snake was leaving his bed, going out through the window and falling into the garden, he tried to stop it, he was confused.

When he went to the garden he knew the truth, Diana was a snake, a snake that listened to his performance fascinated every night, hidden among the flowers.

They say the pianist locked himself in his house and played his piano day and night until it stopped sounding. His family and friends went to bury him and upon throwing the last shovelful of dirt, a huge snake passed very near the grave.

From the book “Cuentos y Leyendas de Honduras” by Jorge Montenegro.

Mar 13

Father’s Day in Honduras

In Honduras, just like in Bolivia, Spain, Italy and other countries, Father’s Day is celebrated on March 19, being this the day of St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus according to the Bible, although the decree that gives official sanction to this celebration in Honduras does not mention the Saint or Jesus.

Father’s Day is a time to celebrate fatherhood, to remember and ponder the virtues of good parents.

Although not as popular as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day is celebrated in schools, and the children give to their fathers the handicrafts they made specially for them in their day.

Merchants take advantage of Father’s Day to promote their products and services, urging to make an acknowledgment of love for those who are fathers with gifts to their liking.

Although the Mother’s hymn is well known, Father’s hymn does not enjoy the same diffusion.

Father’s Day is a timely opportunity to ask reflection to irresponsible fathers, those who only drop the seed and go away, leaving the entire burden of raising children on women.

While Catholic priests are called “fathers”, the Father’s Day is not for them. The Catholic Church has designated Maundy Thursday as the day to commemorate the institution of the priesthood by Christ, according to Catholic doctrine.

Hondurans are very Christian, and above all they trust in their Heavenly Father to guide them and help them to be better people.