For the last 6 months, Honduras has been front page news. Unfortunately, it has not been portrayed as good news, and press coverage has sold it as terrible news. Of course, I am referring to the infamous Honduras Migrant Caravans. The result of this has been a drastic reduction in visitors from the USA to Honduras. To be truthful, I can hardly blame them for not visiting Honduras. If all you read in the news is that there are thousands of Hondurans escaping their country in Caravans to avoid the violence of gangs and a tyrannical government that threatens their very existence!
The Quest for the American Dream
Ironically, the truth is very different to the above story. Most migrants leaving Honduras are in a quest for the American Dream. There are few opportunities to climb the social and economic ladder in Honduras. In desperation the Hondurans are traveling north in search of those opportunities not available back home. Yes, I hear you when you say that they are all reporting to the USA immigration authorities seeking political refugee status. They will certainly not get into the USA just because of their quest for the American Dream. Only a more substantial story will get them in, and escaping violence fits their shoe perfectly!
They are traveling in caravans because there is safety in numbers. As a rule, the number of Hondurans traveling abroad in search of better opportunities has been quite stable over the years. What has changed then to promote these massive Honduras Migrant Caravans? The biggest change has been the dangers of violence when traveling through Mexico. Yet, one thing is clear, and I allow myself to quote Natalee Forbes, a distinguished Bay Islander who recently said that “If you are coming from a place of privilege, you will never understand the journey of another coming from a place of survival”.
When I read this short, but wise words, I automatically thought that this was so true about the Honduras Migrant Caravans. The Central Americans that are migrating north to the USA are coming from a place of survival. This does not necessarily mean they are in a violent setting, but rather that opportunities are scarce and far apart. Asking the American citizen to understand and have empathy with those who come from a place of survival is near impossible. Because they are all in a place of privilege… Even though many of the citizens of the United States are descendants of immigrants, they now find themselves in a place of privilege thanks to the efforts of their ancestors to journey away from a place of survival.
Yes you can Help and Make a Difference!
If only more American Citizens could have the empathy to relate with those in the journey out of a place of survival, we would have a different story. It is certainly possible; the USA had an open doors policy for immigration in the past. These open doors to immigration made America the country it has become. Why not look back to history and do what they did before and repeat what they already know works well?
For any of you interested in getting up to date Travel info, check our very own Honduras Travel Advisory 2019. It should give a clear honest picture of what traveling to Honduras entails and destinations you should not miss! If you want to make a difference and help Honduras stay home, consider travelling here for your next vacation. The best islands in the Caribbean, some of the most magnificent Mayan archaeological sites in the World and pristine tropical forests await you. Read beyond the news and check out the many reviews that current travelers are writing about Honduras. You are truly missing out on a great affordable vacation if you overlook Honduras! See and read beyond the labels, avoid getting caught in the Label Trap. As blogger NAS Daily recently said, labels are not accurate and have a negative impact on many people.