Saturday, September 26, 2009

Toque de queda

It has been an interesting week here in Honduras. On Monday former President Zelaya arrived in Tegucigalpa after having crossed the border surreptiously. His first public appearance was from within the Brazilian embassy. It is still not clear to us exactly how he got there, but Hugo Chavez has claimed to have been in touch with him during his trip through the mountains and across the border. This led to some demonstrations near the Brazilian embassy, which is also very near the U.S. embassy and the Peace Corps office, and an immediate response from the current government. A nation-wide curfew(toque de queda)was declared at 4 P.M. on Monday afternoon. This caused all of our training staff to have to leave our training site in a rush that afternoon in order to get back to Tegus, where most of them live. The toque de queda remained in effect all day and night Tuesday, which was a strange day, sort of like being at home and waiting for a hurricane to arrive. Very little actually happened. There were a few demonstrations in Tegus, but nothing at all in our area. People here just went out in front of their houses and talked about what was going on, watched the news on tv, and waited. Tuesday night there was some vandalism at a few stores in a couple of the larger cities, as people began to feel the pressure of the curfew or just took advantage of the situation. In any event, we were very safe and secure at all times where we were. On Wednesday, the toque de queda was lifted from mid morning until early evening. Since that time, it has only been imposed at night, starting later and ending earlier each day so far. The demonstrations in Tegus have not been very large and from our very limited perspective, there is no sign of any widespread uprising. We are in a very comfortable situation with our local family, with plenty of food, water, power and shelter, and except for changes in our scheduling, we have not felt any direct impacts from the political situation.

This has altered our actual swearing in as PC Volunteers again. Until Monday, we were scheduled to have been sworn in on Friday at the U.S. embassy, and to have traveled with one of our counterparts to Santa Rosa de Copán today. The uncertainty of the situation caused all this to change. Si Diós quiere, we will finally become official PCV`s and travel to our site sometime next week.

Meanwhile all is well. We have both achieved the required level of Spanish proficiency, although this is still not sufficient to really do all that we think we will need to do. But we continue to make progress. We are also very much looking forward to the next chapter of this experience. It has been a strange adventure thus far. We left Bisbee on the same day that Zelaya left Tegus in June and this event has had a major impact on us since that time. We continue to live in interesting times, both for us and for this country.


  1. This keeps getting more and more engrossing! Until reading this, I had a very unfair impression of Honduras as a post-colonial wreck. It's clear that is not your experience, at all.

    Thanks for keeping up with your posts, as the story has unpredictable plot twists, like the great 19th century explorer memoirs.

    If any two people can find elegance in simplicity, it's you. I also can vouch for your grace living "primitively".

  2. John and Elizabeth, Helen Suby sent me the URL for your blog site. It is a pleasure reading about your adventures and being able to follow your experiences. Thank you for doing this. I missed you this High Holidays and I pray that all goes well for you this year, and in the years to come.