Well, this is it! Today is Good Friday, and we are in full swing for this Semana Santa 2020 in Honduras, except that we aren’t! Covid-19 has pushed many places in the World into a lockdown. Honduras is no exception. As a matter of fact, Honduras was second, only to El Salvador in declaring a total lockdown to fight against the coronavirus that everybody talks about day in and day out. Honduras had a total of two cases of Covid-19 when they decided to go into a lockdown. For me, it was an unexpected action.
I was directly affected for two different reasons. For one, Soledad, my wife and myself run a small bed and breakfast on the Cangrejal River Valley. We had guests staying with us La Villa de Soledad and they found themselves trapped in out little piece of paradise. They were going to stay with us three nights and it ended up being 10!
The second reason is that we had traveled only two days before the lockdown to Mexico City. With all flights coming into Honduras cancelled, it was a nightmare getting back into Honduras. I even wrote a post that I titled “homeward bound” in case you are interested in reading about my adventures getting home. But let’s get back to Semana Santa 2020 in Honduras…
The busiest week of the year for travel in Latin America is Easter Week, which we call Semana Santa. However, this year is an anomaly. There are zero tourists out and around. Hotels are not open, and there is a strict curfew, where you can go out to buy medicine, food and fuel. Up until this week, the curfew was total 4 days of the week. That is, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, no one can go out on the streets. This of course is with exception of authorities, doctors, farmers and truckers. But hotels and restaurants are not open, beaches are empty and rivers and national parks are also empty. My friend Brian Rowland from Guanaja just shared these photos of the beaches at the End of the World Resort in Guanaja. Spectacular beaches, but absolutely empty!
It turns out that this week will indeed be a “holy week”. We are all home and praying to our God that this storm ends soon. So far, there is no telling how long it will be. The department of Cortes, where San Pedro Sula is located has been on a total lockdown for one week and going into its second. This is are of the country where Honduras has more confirmed cases of Covid-19. In La Ceiba, the Municipality has declared a total lockdown for one week, starting tomorrow, Saturday April 11 at 7 pm. The effort is to flatten the curve and keep the public health system from collapsing.
So far, I can go once a week into town to buy groceries, medicine, and other things. But the malls and most businesses are . Being a senior citizen has been helpful these days. Tomorrow will be my shopping day. We can go out according to the last digit in our local ID cards. Senior citizens have two hours early in the morning when they have a direct pass into the supermarkets. This means that I do not have to stand in line for hours in the sun waiting to get into the markets.
As for our plans to reopen our bed and breakfast, we are looking into ways to preparing our business for the occasion. For one in addition to packaging our product as sustainable, we will need to add an element of social distancing as well as virus free. The social distancing tourism concept goes well with our product. We are a small 5 room bed and breakfast with expansive social areas. There is plenty of room for 5 couples to be comfortable and maintain social distancing. We are looking into the virus free concept, that will require deep cleaning daily, as well as taking extra cushions and decorative elements out of the rooms to insure they can not house a virus or bacteria. We are ready for the challenge.
I know that my colleagues in the Cangrejal River Valley and in La Ceiba are also working on this new strategy. We are adapting and ready to have you visit us as soon as the government reopens our borders. In the meantime, our Semana Santa 2020 in Honduras will be indeed, very quiet! On the Brightside, we always have many highway accidents and drownings during this eventful week. I can anticipate that we will have record low deaths due to the above!