San Pedro Sula One of the adventures of organizing and traveling in other countries, especially in other languages, is that no matter how much you plan and discuss the agenda – always be ready for surprises. Our long day in San Pedro Sula proved all of that in spades.
We began the day visiting a school where ACORN parents in the community had won a number of firsts not just in the barrio, but in the entire city. We had managed to get internet in the school and all of the children small, green and white portable computers, which was quite amazing on many counts. Reporters and photographers from La Prensa were there to join our celebration with the students and teachers. During the program it became clear that their next goal was to somehow spread the word, using ACORN’s help, that the ACORN parents and group wanted a bilingual volunteer from Canada, the USA or the United Kingdom, so that the children could learn English. I thought to myself that it might be easier to fight for potable water in the school we visited in Cholomo than to throw out a net and catch a volunteer teacher, but what do I know.
Our next meeting was fascinating. We met with the woman who had founded and continued to direct the Museum of Anthropology in the city for the last twenty-five years. There was a moving exhibit on migrant journeys and struggles side by side with relics from Mayan temples more than a thousand years old. The problem ACORN had embraced in partnering with the museum was how to get more children and their parents to visit, but before we could really get our arms around that problem, we found ourselves being interviewed by a journalist from Tiempo about the background and plans for ACORN’s expansion in Honduras and Latin America in general. Once the tape recorder was shut off, she gave us excellent advice on how the Honduran pages of the ACORN International website could be useful in giving wider voice to many being stifled throughout the country.
Later, after a celebration of ACORN’s work and our great allies in government, politics and elsewhere in the city, we grabbed a cup of coffee before heading off to a radio interview. When we arrived, we found that the radio session was actually a television interview with a nationally respected journalist for 30-minutes. We were fishes out of water on Maya TV on a show called in English, “the end of the day.”
We breathed a sigh of relief at having survived the multi-lingual experience without damaging ACORN’s work and found there was one more short meeting to go, a meet-and-greet with an old university friend of our organizer, Suyapa Amador. Arriving we discovered he owned and managed radio and television stations that we learned were not only in Honduras but also in Nicaragua and Peru. Luckily, no cameras were running and no tape recorders had been clicked “on,” so having dinner with the media mogul and former presidential candidate at a Denny’s across from his studio seemed almost a relief after our madcap day.