Most humanitarian groups that have developed a connection to Honduras do not wish to abandon the country and its people, but they are searching for balanced information that is not influenced by the government, the business community, or political interest groups either on the left or the right.
HONDURAS — The decision in December by the Peace Corps to pullout its 158 volunteers from Honduras and temporarily suspend its work there has prompted a wave of online discussions by members of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that send short-term mission teams or maintain a more long-term in-country presence. These organizations -- ranging from medical brigades, Rotary Clubs and church groups to hospitals, university students and foundations -- send more than 2,000 teams (view a sampling at www.hondurasweekly.com/news/missions-calendar) to Honduras each year, work with thousands of Honduran counterparts, and spend hundreds of millions of dollars in the country.
Many of them are now concerned about the security situation in Honduras and are starting to have second thoughts about continuing their missions and projects there -- not because they've had a bad experience or suddenly feel threatened, but out of a sense of uncertainty and a simple desire to keep their members safe. These feelings have been fueled by the Peace Corp's move and articles in the international press highlighting the high homicide rate in Honduras.
Most humanitarian groups that have developed a connection to Honduras do not wish to abandon the country and its people, but they are searching for balanced information that is not influenced by the government, the business community, or political interest groups either on the left or the right. They are looking for insights, tips, recommendations... anything they can use to help them make well-informed decisions to either stay, leave, or re-adjust... anything that can help them sift through all the scary stuff that they read about in the newspapers and determine what is the reality in the specific areas where they travel and work.
In response to this need, the projecthonduras.com volunteer network last month established the Honduras Security Support Forum. The online listserv currently has 139 subscribers, and it is adding new members every day. These are mostly people who live in Honduras and can offer real-time, on-the-ground personal accounts and suggestions. To subscribe, go to www.groups.yahoo.com/group/honduras-security and click on "Join This Group!". Once your membership has been approved, post a message introducing yourself and briefly state your interest in Honduras. This will help stimulate the conversation.
In addition, projecthonduras.com announced yesterday that the theme of its 13th annual Conference on Honduras will be "Understanding the Security Situation in Honduras". The event will take place in the town of Copán Ruinas on October 18-20, 2012. (1/30/12) (image courtesy Internet)