Feb 13

Banks in Honduras

A list of banks in Honduras, with links to their respective websites:

Private Banks

State Banks

Banco BGA was acquired by HSBC; and Banco Uno, Banco Cuscatlan and Banco de Honduras were absorbed by Citigroup, becoming Banco Citibank de Honduras. BAC | Credomatic and BAMER merged, becoming BAC | Bamer. BAC | Bamer changed its name to BAC | Honduras.

Banco Central de Honduras (Honduras Central Bank) is the body that conducts the country’s monetary policy. BANADESA means National Bank of Agricultural Development. Banhprovi and RAP are second level financial institutions of the State.

Feb 12

Honduras and the MILITARY COUP in Egypt

United States is supporting the recent MILITARY COUP in Egypt, when not long ago it condemned Honduras for a nonexistent COUP.

Vice President Omar Suleiman announced yesterday on Egypt state television that President Hosni Mubarak handed the power to the Military Supreme Council.

A Coup happens when State institutions are dissolved, Parliament is dissolved , the judiciary is dissolved, and a Military Junta seizes power. In Honduras there was NO military coup or civilian-military coup. We had an interim civilian administration, which produced an orderly transition to the new administration we have now. But we were unjustly condemned, and we are still being condemned.

CNN in Espanol is talking about a “revolution in Egypt.” Perhaps this way it sounds more romantic and acceptable, but at the end of the day: What is the difference between a revolution and a COUP? It is basically the same: a rupture of the constitutional order.

If it’s about popular support, the interim regime enjoyed a wide support in Honduras, both from the people and the State institutions.

We must keep an open mind, sometimes COUPS are necessary. There are good coups and bad coups. With a COUP D’ETAT against Adolf Hitler many lives could have been saved. This COUP in Egypt may be the beginning of a new era of freedom for the Egyptian people, that’s our hope, but in Honduras there was NO Coup d’Etat.

Dictator Hugo Chavez is supporting the MILITARY COUP in Egypt. Manuel Zelaya is also supporting the coup. Both are known for their failed attempts at COUPS in their countries. They are COUPSTERS that support MILITARY COUPS when it better suits them.

The day before his ouster, on Saturday June 27, 2009, Manuel Zelaya made reference to the French Revolution to justify his projected COUP, which would dissolve the other branches of government and extend his term in office illegally; but he could not achieve this because the State of Honduras, in a movement of self-defense, removed him from office.

Hugo Chavez in 1992, was responsible for a failed MILITARY COUP attempt that killed innocent people. And yet, the failed COUPSTER believes he has the moral right to condemn a coup that never existed in Honduras.

These are the ironies and contradictions of international politics.

Feb 11

Saint Valentine’s Day in Honduras

In Honduras, the Day of Love and Friendship —also known as Saint Valentine’s Day or Lover’s Day— is celebrated on February 14th, and it’s mostly a celebration driven by commercial advertising.

Officially, Friendship Day is on February 23, but apparently no one remembers that date, the commercial celebration is preferred.

February 14 is celebrated as a special day for couples; friends are also remembered, but not with the same emphasis. The greeting “Happy Saint Valentine’s day” or “Happy Love and Friendship Day”, can be directed at anyone, since it is understood that everyone is loved by someone, or loves someone, whether she/he is a relative, friend or partner.

There is no well defined tradition, but under the influence of advertising romantic partners exchange gifts, or the man in the relationship is expected to do the giving. Some couples seek a special environment to celebrate the occasion, like restaurants, clubs, hotels, motels, etc. The Love and Friendship Day is celebrated with more enthusiasm in larger cities, since big cities produce more business advertising.

The advantage of the celebration of Saint Valentine’s day in Honduras, is that by calling it “Love and Friendship Day”, people without a romantic partner do not feel so marginalized in the celebration, as it happens in other countries.

Ideas for the celebration

Since this time Valentine’s Day falls on a weekday, we can use the preceding weekend to mark the occasion, going to somewhere romantic. The small resort town of Valle De Angeles, near Tegucigalpa, may be a good option. In the city of Danli there is a park named Parque del Amor (Love Park), because some couples used to visit the place to cuddle under a tree.

If you’re not sure what to give, a gift certificate may be your best choice, like the ones offered by Tiendas Carrión, Mendels or Amazon.

Feb 06

The calculation of prestaciones laborales (compensations) in Honduras.

When an employee is unjustly laid-off in Honduras, she/he has a right to compensations (prestaciones laborales).

These compensations consist of: preaviso (notice), auxilio de cesantía (severance pay), vacations, décimo tercer mes or aguinaldo (13 month pay) and decimocuarto mes or catorceavo (14th month pay).

The employee becomes entitled to these compensations if he/she is fired unfairly, with the employer’s responsibility, and in other cases stipulated by law.

Preaviso (notice) is the time period given by the employer to the worker for she/he to to find another placement. If this notice is not given, the employer must pay the equivalent in cash for every day.

The Auxilio de Cesantía (severance pay). It’s the right that corresponds to the employee when he/she has been unfairly dismissed. The amount in cash should be equivalent to one month for every year or work.

Decimotercer mes or aguinaldo (13th month pay). It’s a complementary annual salary. The employee has a right to a 13th full month salary in December. This right he/she acquires for every year of work.

Decimocuarto mes or catorceavo (14th month pay). It’s complementary annual salary. Since 1995 the Honduran employee has a right to a 14th salary for every year of work. It is paid in June.

Vacations are the days of rest from work earned by the employee for every year of labor.

The web site Ley Laboral (Labor Law) provides us with a calculator of  prestaciones (compensations) that allows us to estimate the amount of our compensations for the most common cases.

For specific cases, it is recommended to visit the nearest office of the Secretaría del Trabajo (Secretariat of Labor). Here they will give us the official calculation of the prestaciones (compensations).

The Ley Laboral website has a section in English language about legal labor matters in Honduras.

For further illustration, please consult the Labor Code [es], especially in Chapter VIII Title II, on Termination of Employment Contract and Chapter III Title IV, on Vacations. In addition, the Law of Seventh Day and 13th month pay [es], and the Decree and Regulations for the 14th month pay. [es].

If you want to know more about Honduran Labor Law check the book Honduras Business Law Handbook at Amazon.

Feb 03

Vigin of Suyapa is GOLPISTA (coupster), according to David Romero Ellner

In Globo TV, the journalist David Romero Ellner, who has served time in prison for raping his own daughter, said today that “the Virgin of Suyapa is GOLPISTA (coupster), they have made her GOLPISTA (coupster), for holding the title of Captain of the Armed Forces”.

Romero Ellner has been a major supporter of Manuel Zelaya, who sought to perpetuate in office through a manipulated opinion poll.

“If the Virgin of Suyapa was so miraculous as they say, she should have caused the temple to fall upon dictator Micheletti, when he paid a visit to her”, said the social communicator.

Today an early morning celebration was held at the Shrine of Suyapa in honor of the Virgin, attended by thousands of people.

February 3 marks the day dedicated to that image, to which many Honduran Catholics regard as the PATRON SAINT OF HONDURAS .

The worship of the little image of Suyapa began in the XVII century, and the military has claimed her as their captain decades before the supposed COUP D’ETAT.

Feb 03

One year of the Lobo Administration

Current President of Honduras, Porfirio Lobo
President Porfirio Lobo

Lets check the achievements of the Porfirio Lobo Administration: Honduras managed to stabilize its economy after the consequences of the 2009 political crisis. It achieved recognition from many nations, after the erroneous perception of a COUP D’ETAT. This is a very important step.

The Lobo administration had a good start in 2011, boosting major development projects, such as Charter Cities, hydropower projects located by the Patuca river, and the Jicatuyo and Llanitos hydroelectric projects. He also inaugurated the Wind Energy Project of Cerro de Hula.

But the way the Lobo administration has been handling the political issues seems to be mistaking. After getting from Congress an amnesty decree for political crimes supposedly committed by both sides of the 2009 conflict, President Lobo has been stubborn in his intent to get for Mr. Manuel Zelaya an state of total impunity in all the charges levelled against him. This interference in the affairs of the judiciary makes him look bad among those in Honduras that wish for greater respect for the law. I am of the opinion that the main cause of the political crisis of 2009 was the open disrespect of Mr. Zelaya for the legal order, and President Lobo seems unable to apply that lesson to himself.

The stubbornness with which President Porfirio Lobo brings up the subject of re-election produces anxiety to a section of the population. It is believed in Honduras that Zelaya’s illegal attempts to allow re-election were the cause of his overthrown. One would think that an issue that causes so much tension would be abandoned, but that’s not what President Lobo thinks. So much for peace an reconciliation.

The amendments to the article 5 of the Constitution, allowing for the people the possibility to be consulted on the issue of re-election makes many people nervous. Some people wonders if President Lobo is following the steps of Zelaya, who in his eagerness to promote the “fourth ballot box” was forcefully removed from office.

Porfirio Lobo says the Honduran people gave him a clear mandate at the ballot boxes, to fight for peace and reconciliation. But President Lobo has a strange idea of what reconciliation means. He believes, apparently, that reconciliation involves passing over the legal system and the separation of branches, in his attempt to favor the side of Zelaya. Lobo believes he can appease the groups that support Zelaya, but the reactions of these groups, both nationally and internationally, show the opposite. This complacency with the inflexible Zelayistas makes him look weak in the eyes of many Hondurans.

More worrisome is the fact that he has given the National Agrarian Institute in the hands of the Zelayista Cesar Ham, who apparently has used his position to aggravate the agrarian conflict in the Bajo Aguan instead of solving it. But President Lobo refuses to dismiss this minister, because of his distorted idea of the “national reconciliation” concept, that he identifies as a distribution of government positions.

President Lobo is also criticized for creating the new Secretariat of Human Rights in times of economic crisis, when the State can not afford to create more bureaucracy. But President Lobo did it, because he believes this new ministry will appease the human right agencies which have echoed the slanders against Honduras in this issue.

An action much criticized by the public opinion was the removal of Mr. Federico Alvarez’ citizenship. Mr. Alvarez is a naturalized Honduran of Costa Rican origin, who was notable for his criticism against the Lobo Administration in La Tribuna newspaper. Public opinion has interpreted this action as an attack against freedom of expression. The government argues that Mr. Federico Alvarez didn’t have his documentation of naturalization in order.

Despite his clear preference in favor of those who sympathize with former President Zelaya, and his denigration of those who oppose him, President Porfirio Lobo likes to define himself as a moderate politician, far from the extremes of Left and Right. But the truth is that, despite coming from a historically conservative party like the National Party, President Lobo has a clear leftist tendency, which leaves the old guard of the National Party somewhat perplexed.

Hopefully in 2011, President Lobo will focus on development projects for the country, relegating the Zelaya issue. Too much has been done to appease Honduras’ enemies.

Jan 30

Successful Business Women in Honduras

A short list of leading female entrepreneurs in Honduras.

Elizabeth “Lizzy” Flores. Representative of Honduras in the United Nations Organization (UN) and successful entrepreneur.

Aline Flores. Chairwoman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Tegucigalpa and Vice Chairwoman of Corporacion Flores.

Juliette Handal. Pharmaceutical entrepreneur and Coordinator of the Patriotic Coalition.

Jackelyne Flefil. CEO of the Cell Phone Company, Tigo.

Adda Molina. Digicel’s Marketing Manager.

Ana María Kafaty. TV Programme Planning Manager of Televicentro and visionary entrepreneur.

Sandra Gianinni. First Vice Chairwoman of Corporate Banking of Ficohsa Financial Group.

Josefina Perez. Sales and Marketing Officer of Emisoras Unidas.

Mey-Lang Hung. Corporate Affairs Officer of Walmart of Mexico and Central America in Honduras.

Maria Selman. CEO of Banco del País.

Vilma Morales. Chairwoman of the National Commission for Banking and Insurance. She was also the first Chairwoman of the Supreme Court.

Claudia Discua. Corporate Image Manager of Ficohsa Financial Group.

Successful women in Fashion Business.

Nelly Raudales. CEO of chain hair salon Esther, the largest one in the capital city.

Jacqueline D’Vicente.CEO of Jacqueline’s Boutique, in Choluteca.

Gladys Cuestas. Fashion Designer, President of Couture Mod ‘Art

Marcia Lagos. CEO of Boutique Da’lila and Da’lila Accessories.

Source: Revista Cheque. January 2011. Issue # 170.

Jan 28

Honduran Public Holidays and Commemorative Days

Honduran heroes and national symbols

These are the public holidays in Honduras:

Days off in Honduras
January 1 New Year’s Day
September 15 Independence Day
Holy Week Movable Feasts (Maundy Thursday and Good Friday)
April 14 Day of The Americas (Pan American Day)
May 1 Workers’ Day (Labor Day)
October 3 Soldier’s Day (Francisco Morazan’s Birthday)
October 12 Hispanic Day or Discovery of the Americas (Columbus Day)
October 21 Armed Forces’ Day
December 25 Christmas Day

There are a couple of days that are not days off for the people in general, but in which school and college students do not attend classes:

June 11 Student’s Day (Jose Trinidad Reyes’ Birthday)
September 10 Children’s Day
September 17 Teacher’s Day

The Children’s Day is a day off only in primary schools, and the Student’s Day only in high schools. It is common for high school students to take the rest of the week off, the “Student’s Week”. Even more common is that, besides Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, students take the rest of the week off, the Holy Week.

Public holidays are not always granted as stated above, sometimes there are long weekends intended “to promote domestic tourism.” The problem is the government never plans these changes with anticipation and when in doubt people cannot make plans in advance.

Also commemorated as a special days are:

January 6 Three Wise Men Day or Epiphany Day
January 25 National Women’s Day
February 3 Day of the Virgin of Suyapa
February 14 Day of Love and Friendship (Valentine’s Day)
February 23 Friendship Day
March 8 International Women’s Day
March 19 Father’s Day
April 23 Spanish Language Day
Second Sunday of May Mothers Day
May 30 National Tree Day or Pine Day
June 28 Scarlet Macaw and White-tailed Deer Day (National Animals)
July 14 Honduran Day (Honduran Heritage Day, Hondurenity Day)
July 14 Bastille Day
July 14 Educator’s Day (Ramon Rosa’s Birthday)
July 20 Lempira Day (Indigenous’ Day)
August 3 Race Flag Day (Bandera de la Raza day)
September 1 National Flag Day
Last Sunday of September Bible Day
September 28 Delivery of the Independence Documents
September 29 Tegucigalpa Anniversary Day
October 9 Jose Dionisio de Herrera’s Birthday
October 13 Inter-American Culture Day
Last Saturday of October Thanksgiving Day
October 28 National Youth Day
November 1-2 Day of the Dead
November 22 Jose Cecilio del Valle’s Birthday
December 24 Christmas Eve
December 31 New Year’s Eve

Days of advocacy for different causes:

March 22 World Water Day
April 7 World Health Day
April 12 Day of the Black Ethnicity in Honduras
April 22 World Earth Day
Last Friday of April Day of Solidarity with the Handicapped
May 17 International Day Against Homophobia
May 31 Anti-Smoking Day, World Day against Drugs
June 5 World Environment Day
June 17 World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought
4th Friday of July School Snack Day
Last Week of August National Family Week
Last Sunday of August Grandparents’ Day
September 8 International Literacy Day
September 16 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer
October 1 Senior Citizen’s Day
First Saturday of October Inter-American Water Day
October 13 International Day for Disaster Reduction
October 16 World Food Day
October 24 Human Rights Day
October 24 United Nations Day
October 24 Day for the Defense of the Constitution
October 25 Breast Cancer Day
December 1 World AIDS Day
December 5 International Volunteer Day

Days of celebration for union-based organizations and professional people:

March 14 Sportsman’s Day
April 26 Secretary’s Day
April 30 Lawyer’s Day
April 30 Photographer’s Day
May 12 Nurse’s Day
May 15 Agronomist’s Day
May 17 Accountant’s Day
May 25 Journalist’s Day
April 30 Photographer’s Day
June 24 Graphic Arts Day
July 14 Educator’s Day
July 16 Civil Engineer’s Day
July 28 Street Sweeper’s Day
August 13 Volunteeer First Aid Assistant’s Day
September 4 National Day of the Honduran Red Cross
September 7 Taxi Driver’s Day
October 27 Doctor’s Day
October 31 Fireman’s Day
November 9 Psychologist’s Day
November 11 Dentist’s Day
November 22 Economist’s Day
November 30 Composer’s Day
December 1 Radio Announcer’s Day
Jan 27

The creation of Honduran Women’s Day

January 25 marks the Honduran Women’s Day, celebrated in memory of a historic date in which a major political conquest was achieved by the female population of Honduras, whose political rights were recognized through Decree No. 29 of 1955.

Through this presidential decree, approved by the administration of Julio Lozano Diaz, Honduran women could enjoy their political rights and get recognized their right to vote and to participate in the political activity of the country, thus going beyond the domestic space to an electoral and public arena.

The first time Honduran women participated in national elections was in the period from 1957 to 1963 when Ramon Villeda Morales was elected. Some limitations established at that time were for example, that only women who could read had the right to vote, despite most women were illiterate at the time.

Another negative aspect was the limited participation in elected offices. Unfortunately at present, although there is the Law of Equal Opportunities, women today, like yesterday, are still voting for male candidates, denying opportunities to many capable and honest women.

Women must conquer those political spaces by means of struggle and organized strategy. These spaces are not be accepted as gifts that presuppose gratitude and submission, but as gains achieved by their own efforts.

The women’s movement for their rights

Women’s movements in Honduras date from early last century. They are subsisting and expanding every day, despite the divisions, weaknesses and difficulties they face permanently.

From the 20’s comes the first women’s organization known as “Women’s Cultural Society” directed by Graciela Garcia and other known leaders who fought tenaciously for the vindication of Honduran women.

This movement promoted various cultural activities, contributed to the organization of workers and maintained the struggle against the 16-year dictatorship of Tiburcio Carias Andino.

The decade of the 50’s saw the begining of the Federation of Honduran Women’s Associations, inspired by the international suffrage movement. They fought together with other women for political rights, in the pursuit of achievements in the legal arena, leaving unresoveld the achievement of full citizenship.

It is from that time that our country witnessed the creation of a series of structures that had the primary purpose of giving protection to women and to assert their rights.

Interestingly, seven decades after these major battles and achievements, women are still demanding the same rights, in maquiladoras and other fields.

The historical contribution of the women organizations that have worked in the promotion and protection of the rights of Honduran women should be recognized and made visible, because here in Honduras, as in Central America and most of Latin America, the contribution of women in our history have been obscured.

Female activism

Among the women’s organizations that make efforts to assert the rights and achievements of women we could cite: Movement of Women for Peace “Visitacion Padilla”, Feminist Collective of University Women, Center for Women’s Rights CDM, Center for Women Studies-Honduras CEM-H, Honduran Association of Rural Women, Black Women Link, Association of Honduran Rural Women, Women’s Movement of the Lopez Arellano Residential Zone MUMUCLA, and Coordinator Block of Southern Women, among other valuable organizations.

Source: Vida Laboral, Edition #13.
Taken from La Tribuna, of January 25, 2011.