Jun 15, 2009

Suyapa Basilica in Tegucigalpa

A few days ago I attended a religious celebration in the Suyapa Basilica, which is located in the Suyapa Village, in the city of Tegucigalpa. Suyapa is part of Tegucigalpa, and it's a place that every tourist should go if visiting Tegucigalpa.

In fact, most tours that tourists take in Tegucigalpa to see points of interest in the city include a trip to Suyapa. This is one of the sites every tourist should go in order to admire one of the most known places in Honduras.

Jun 12, 2009

A trip to Valle de Angeles

This weekend I will be making a trip to the colonial town of Valle de Angeles. I will stay there for the weekend to take a rest and relax a little bit from the crazy world we have in the city.

Everybody in Honduras knows that Valle de Angeles is one of the most beautiful colonial towns in Honduras, but not everybody from other countries knows about this beautiful site, so I will talk a little bit about it in this post.

Valle de Angeles is a beautiful small town very near Tegucigalpa, it´s about 25 minutes driving a car heading in a north-east direction out of the city, and deep inside into the mountains.

Many people from Tegucigalpa visit this town especially on weekends. The town is located in the middle of the mountains, the weather is just great, warm and cool, very nice.

You can go there and take a walk on the cobblestone streets, around the park. When you do that, you experience a very relaxing environment, you feel transported in time as if you were in a spanish colonial town a couple of centuries ago.

There are no security issues in Valle de Angeles, not that I know. When you are walking in the streets of Tegucigalpa, you always have the feeling that somebody is watching you, you have to be aware of everybody and everything around you, the truth is you have to take all necessary precautions, just like you would in any large city in the world.

In Valle de Angeles the story is completely different. You can walk around the town and don´t have to be worried about your security, you can have a feeling of peace. The town is very quiet, and people are very nice.

If you ever go to Valle de Angeles, don´t miss the craft exhibits, there are a lot of hand made crafts. There are several craft pavilions where you can take a look at some of the most beautiful handicrafts you could possibly imagine.

Leather, wood, clothes. Valle de Angeles is the most famous place in Honduras if you want to know about local customs and local handicrafts.

In a normal sunday, be aware that you will meet hundreds of tourists walking all over town. People from USA, Canada, Europe, Japan, just name any country. A lot of tourists go to Valle de Angeles, it´s a very common picture in that town to see like a tourist invasion on weekend days. It´s incredible.

If you go there in a normal week day, things are a lot more peaceful. You can always find some tourists, but nothing compared with the amount of tourists you can find in a normal sunday.

Valle de Angeles is a visit you can´t miss if you ever go to Tegucigalpa. Just 25 minutes trip as we said before.

I go there every time I can. I've been in Valle de Angeles hundreds of times, but I never get enough of Valle de Angeles. Someday I will live in Valle de Angeles, that´s a dream I have. People who live there have the environment of a colonial town, and also have the advantage of being only 25 minutes from the city.

That´s really convenient, isn´t it?

Jun 11, 2009

Honduras defeated El Salvador 1-0, a very tight soccer game

Last night Honduras got the most important objective of the soccer game vs El Salvador, Honduras won with a minimal difference 1-0 and this represents a victory. If we analyze the situation from this point of view, this was not a bad result.

Let´s remember the most important thing in these games is getting as much points as possible, it doesn´t matter very much if the team played great or played not very pretty. What really counts is the result.

Honduras was with the obligation of winning the game being the local team. In this case, the score was only 1-0, but that was enough to get the 3 points.

Everybody expected a better performance from our national team, perhaps more goals, some people were very optimistic before the game, they were anticipating scores of 2-0, 3-0 and even more.

Honduras had a couple of clear chances to score more goals last night, but couldn´t do it. I remember there was a play in the very last minute where Amado Guevara, the team´s captain, got himself completely alone against the Salvadorian goalkeeper, but his shot was not on target, the ball went too high and deviated. That could have been the 2-0 which was a better result of course.

The only goal was scored by Carlos Pavon, a veteran player. Many people say that he is not in shape. But he scored, that´s a good thing. Let´s remember he also scored against Mexico in a previous match. Somehow Carlos Pavon gets a special inspiration in these type of matches, he scores the goals when Honduras most needs it.

With the final result 1-0, many Honduran fans have mixed feelings about this. Some people say that we should be worried for the next games in the qualifying round, they say if Honduras plays the next game against Costa Rica with the same level of performance of last night game, it won´t be enough to defeat Costa Rica.

Well, it´s hard to anticipate what´s going to happen in the next games, each game is different, factors around each game are different every time.

In past years Honduras has had great performances in the field, but that has not been enough to get the results we want. The final result we all want is our team to qualify to the World Cup, that´s the main objective.

So far, Honduras has a perfect performance playing as local team. Honduras has won 6 out of 6 games playing as local team since the start of the qualifyings for the World Cup last year.

We have 3 more games to play as local team in the next few months, and Honduras has to win all 3 games if we want to maintain our aspirations for going to South Africa next year.

We also have 2 games to play as visitors: against Mexico and El Salvador. If we can get a couple of points playing as visitors, and could get all remaining points playing as local, we will be in South Africa for sure.

Let´s take a quick look at the standings after 5 games have been played by every team.

We can see that Honduras is 3rd, which is enough to qualify to the World Cup. So far, the objective is being achieved. From this point of view, the result 1-0 vs El Salvador was not that bad. We're getting things done, at least so far.

Our next game is against Costa Rica on August 12th, in San Pedro Sula. We will be playing as local team again. That will be the key game of this qualifyng round for Honduras. If we win, we will give a giant step into the World Cup. On the other hand, if we draw or lose, we´re almost finished.

Anything can happen. The only thing we can do right now is waiting a couple of months for this game, and hope for the best.

Jun 10, 2009

Honduras vs El Salvador today, a critical soccer game

Tonight we will have the soccer game Honduras vs El Salvador, the game will begin 7:30pm Honduras time. By that time, Honduras will be completely paralyzed, everybody will be watching this game.

The same thing will happen in El Salvador, everybody will be watching in El Salvador as well. Both countries are seriously impacted by soccer games when the national team is playing.

There is a critical factor with today's game, it's not an usual match. No, this game in particular is a key game in order to maintain aspirations for going to the World Cup in South Africa next year.

As of today and before this game, let´s remember that El Salvador is currently 3rd in the standings with 5 points, and Honduras is currently 4th with 4 points. There are 3 tickets in Concacaf for going to the World Cup. If the qualifying round was over right now, the teams with the tickets would be Costa Rica, USA and El Salvador.

However, the qualifyng round is not over yet. Tonight we will complete 5 games out of 10 which is the total. After tonight´s game, we will be in the very middle of this qualifying round.

Chances are that the standings in this middle of the qualifying round are the same standings we will have after all 10 qualifyng games are over. Those are the probabilities and statistics.

If Honduras wins tonight's game, we will have 7 points and will get the 3rd place. Honduras has no other choice but winning, a draw would be devastating for Honduras aspirations. Honduras will be playing as the local team, and must win each and every game as the local team, no draws, that's the key for qualifying to the World Cup.

On the other hand, El Salvador would be glad to get a draw in this match. It´s always very difficult playing as a visitor. If they get a draw, they would get to 6 points, and hopefully would keep that 3rd place. However, this depends also on Mexico's result tonight vs Trinidad Tobago.

We can not forget that Mexico will be playing tonight as well, they will be playing in the Azteca Stadium, and they have 99.99% probabilities of beating Trinidad Tobago, and they will go up to 6 points in the standings. If they score a lot of goals against Trinidad, and El Salvador gets the draw against Honduras, both teams would be 3rd with 6 points, but the goal difference would probably be in favor of Mexico.

However, I still will have to review the rules of this competition about 2 teams getting in the same position. What is the criteria for defining who goes first than the other in case of having the same points?. I believe there is a rule saying that if 2 teams are tied in their points, the first criteria in order to define who goes first is the direct result between those 2 teams.

In this case, the direct result between El Salvador and Mexico is in favor of El Salvador, since they beat Mexico 2-1 a few days ago. I´m almost sure that this is the rule, I will have to check on that though.

As for Honduras, there is no other choice but winning as we said before. This game vs El Salvador will be like the final and definite game for Honduras, and this is the way to face all remaining games with the other teams. Honduras must face each game like a final game.

The game will be played in San Pedro Sula, the Olympic Stadium will gather 50,000 fans, most of them cheering for Honduras. Several thousands fans from El Salvador have arrived to San Pedro Sula in the last couple of days, and many of them will be in the stadium cheering for El Salvador.

People in El Salvador is very optimistic about their national team. According to them, if they beat Mexico they can beat anybody, and Honduras is their next victim tonight.

I believe Honduras will win, and we better win, we have no choice. We have to impose our local condition. So far, Honduras has won each and every game playing as local team. Hopefully tonight we can impose again our local condition.

There are no other important news today in Honduras and El Salvador because of tonight's game. No politics, no crime, no economics, nothing. Can you imagine that?. This soccer game is serious stuff.

I don´t know if this excessive passion for soccer is good or bad, but that´s the reality here and we will have to go along with it, let's go with the flow.

Jun 9, 2009

Amapala is a beautiful island in the Pacific

A few days ago I was talking to my brother about options for traveling not very far away from Tegucigalpa, and he told me about a trip he recently made with his family to Amapala, in the Pacific coast of Honduras.

Amapala is an island in the Pacific Ocean, it is located in the Gulf of Fonseca as you can see in the following map:

I have been in Amapala a couple of times before, but the last time was several years ago. When my brother mentioned Amapala, I was surprised to notice that I haven´t been there for a long time. Why I haven´t gone to Amapala recently?. I really don´t know, it's a very good option for people who live in Tegucigalpa since it is not very far away, and it's a really beautiful place to visit.

You can go from Tegucigalpa in the morning, enjoy your day in Amapala, and get back late in the afternoon to Tegucigalpa without major efforts. It´s only about 2 hours driving by car from Tegucigalpa, and the road is in pretty good shape.

It´s always summertime in Amapala, all year long, 365 days a year. The weather in the area of Amapala is almost always within the range of 30 - 35 degrees Celsius, that's a great weather for a beach location. The temperature of the water is very comfortable, you can take a swim in Amapala anytime.

In winter, the weather is not that different. It rains a little bit, but not that much. The weather is always within the same temperature even when it rains. Tourists can enjoy the beach, the sun, the ocean all the time.

Amapala is an archipelago of islands. The main islands are El Tigre and Zacate Grande. Amapala is located in El Tigre island. There are many beaches in this island, the more famous are: Playa Grande, Playa Negra, Playa Islitas, Playa Gualora and Playa El Burro.

Most of these beaches have beautiful black sand, the origin of these islands is from Volcanoes, that is the main reason for this black sand. It is beautiful.

The ocean waves are not that high, so tourists can take a swim into the ocean in Amapala and all these beaches without any problems.

In the other main island which is Zacate Grande we have some beaches like Las Gaviotas, Guayaba Dorada and a few other small beaches.

Over the last 3-4 years there has been some improvement in the infrastructure of the city. There are new hotels and restaurants for the visitors to enjoy in Amapala. There are also more transportation services within the city, and more boats for transporting people to the island from the coast and viceversa.

In order to get to Amapala, there is the need to take a boat from the coast and ride for about 30-40 minutes into the ocean until you get to Amapala. That´s a very interesting experience. Most boats are rather small, with an overboard engine. When you are riding in one of those boats, you feel the ocean breeze in your face and all over your body. It´s very interesting.

A good advise on this boat ride is to wear a life jacket just in case the boat swings more than usual. If you fell overboard, it´s better to be prepared. You never know.

Another incredible experience in Amapala is climbing to the top of the mountain in that island, which is about 800 mts above sea level. Not many people do that, I haven´t done that myself, maybe next time I will.

They say that from the top of that mountain, in a clear day you can see most of the Gulf of Fonseca with your own eyes, you can actually see the coastline of Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua at the same time. It must be a great view.

I guess I will be planning a trip to Amapala as soon as possible. I've been missing this beautiful experience for many years, but it´s never too late to go again.

Jun 8, 2009

Honduras lost in soccer 2-1 vs USA

Well, the soccer game Honduras vs USA was played saturday night in Chicago. Unfortunately Honduras lost 2-1, this is not a good result for Honduras, not at all.

We were hoping to get at least a draw and we were close to get it. But that didn´t happen.

In a previous post on this blog we were talking about the combination of results that were supposed to be the best for Honduras aspirations. There were 3 matches, and 2 of them didn´t turn out very well for Honduras.

Let´s see... Honduras lost vs USA, that´s not good at all. Costa Rica won 3-2 vs Trinidad Tobago, that´s not good either. The only result that was somehow good for Honduras was the victory of El Salvador over Mexico, 2-1.

If we take a look at the current standings of this final qualifying round, we can comment a little bit about the forecast of the next few games, and try to understand if Honduras still has a chance to qualify to the World Cup.

The standings as of today are the following:

In two days (on wednesday June 10th), the first half of the qualifying round will be over, every team will have played 5 games. Honduras will play against El Salvador in San Pedro Sula, and Mexico will play against Trinidad Tobago in Mexico City.

Costa Rica and USA have already played the game between themselves last week, Costa Rica won 3-1 that game. Costa Rica and USA already played 5 games, and that´s exactly the very middle of the tournament for them, because 10 games are the total games of this qualifying round.

It doesn´t matter what happens in the 2 games of Wednesday, the facts are that Costa Rica will remain in 1st place with 12 points, and USA will remain in 2nd place with 10 points, there is nothing that can change that.

Now comes the tricky part, what´s going to happen on wednesday?.

It´s not very difficult to guess that Mexico will beat Trinidad Tobago. Let´s remember that the game will be played in the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. Mexico will not only beat Trinidad Tobago, but the amount of goals that Mexico will score will be a lot, that is for sure.

My guess is that Mexico will score at least 5 goals or more. I wouldn´t be surprised that Mexico will win 5-0, 6-0, 7-0 or even more. Mexico needs a victory very urgently, they are desperate. On the other hand, Trinidad Tobago is already out of competition, they only have 2 points.

This means Mexico already has 6 points if we count on the 3 points they will get from Trinidad Tobago on wednesday.

What about Honduras?. The situation for us is more complicated. We will play against El Salvador, they are really inspired with their recent victory against Mexico. El Salvador will play with all they´ve got, they will fight all game long. Right now they are on 3rd place, with a draw they would still keep that 3rd place, which is enough to qualify to the World Cup.

Let´s remember that in Concacaf area we have 3 tickets available for going to the World Cup.

I bet no one was counting on El Salvador, all forecasts anticipated that El Salvador was going to be out of competition very early. But that didn´t happen, not even close, they are as live as they ever have been, they are fighting for that 3rd place.

Honduras will play as a local team in San Pedro Sula. Honduras needs to win that game, there is no other choice for Honduras. A draw would be very bad news. If we get a draw vs El Salvador, we can say goodbye to South Africa, that's the truth.

Anyway, Honduras has the "advantage" of being the local team in this game vs El Salvador. Local teams have been very strong in this qualifyng round. As for Honduras, over the last few games since the games prior to this final qualifying round, Honduras has won each and every game playing as a local team.

Honduras won against Puerto Rico, Canada, Jamaica, and Mexico. This was in the preliminary round.

In this final round, Honduras has only played one game as a local team, and Honduras defeated Mexico 3-1. So far, Honduras has played 5 games as a local team, and has won every game in a very convincing manner.

Our logic and common sense says that we should beat El Salvador as well, let´s hope that will be the result. We really need it.

Let´s suppose Honduras beats El Salvador, the standings after 5 games would look like this:

As you can see, Honduras in 3rd place is not bad, that´s good enough to qualify to the World Cup. But please notice that Mexico will be 6 points, only 1 point behind Honduras.

This means that with 5 games remaining in the 2nd half of this qualifyng round, the competition will be very tough. Honduras will have to fight for the 3rd place with Mexico. Costa Rica and USA have already gone up in the standings, and they will keep that way unless something completely unexpected happens, but that is a very remote possibility.

I suggest we go step by step. Our next step is to defeat El Salvador on wednesday, there is no other good result for Honduras. Win now or die forever.

Let´s wait then.

Jun 6, 2009

Honduras vs USA in soccer, today is the day

Well, we finally arrived to this expected date, today is the day Honduran soccer fans have been waiting for. Tonight in Chicago we will be playing against USA in the soccer World Cup qualifyings.

All this week has been very intense, everybody has been waiting for this particular match which will be very important for Honduras aspirations to the World Cup in South Africa next year.

The most important topic in Honduras for today is this match. Politics, swine flu, health, education, the 4th ballot of our President Zelaya, weather, earhtquakes, rains, storms, etc, you name any topic and nothing is more important today in Honduras than this match. No kidding, this is a very serious thing in Honduras.

I don´t know if this type of passion for soccer is good or bad, they say that anything that goes far into extremes is not good, maybe this is something we could relate to this passion for soccer in Honduras. But it is a passion and people really enjoy it.

Most of the time in Honduras people is worried about politics, crime, security, health, economic problems. When we have the opportunity to enjoy Honduras National Team games, everybody relaxes and enjoys a lot. It´s a very important source of distraction and relaxation.

Going back into this game, things are going to be very difficult though. Let´s remember that only 3 days ago US team was defeated by Costa Rica 3-1, that was a very bad result for USA, and they are really hurt in their hearts. I'm sure they will put everything they've got in the field in order to obtain a victory and get back on track.

Another bad result for US team would be very serious for their own aspirations into this qualifying round.

Honduras team must be very concentrated all 90 minutes of the game, from minute 1 to minute 90, all the time. If they get distracted at any moment, that could be the reason to lose this game.

However, if Honduras can handle US team with the necessary concentration, no distractions, following the tactical plan, I believe Honduras will be able to get the result we're all looking for, and that is at least the draw. And who knows, maybe the victory as well, everything is possible. Why not?

Anyway, today is a key date in Concacaf. Honduras will be paying very close attention to the other matches: Trinidad Tobago vs Costa Rica, and El Salvador vs Mexico. Both games will be played today as well.

Costa Rica will be playing in Trinidad Tobago early in the afternoon, 4:00 pm Honduras time. By the time of Honduras game against USA, which is at 6:27pm, the result from Costa Rica will be known by everybody.

At half time of Honduras game, the match in Trinidad Tobago will be finished.

The other important game will be in San Salvador at 7:00 pm, El Salvador vs Mexico. This game will be almost simultaneous with Honduras game, only 30 minutes later.

We have said many times that Honduras should not depend on the results of other teams, Honduras should get its own points, winning its own games, and the results from the other teams won´t matter.

Well, that is true. But it is also true that we can not completely forget about these other teams, what they do is something to be looking at in order to know what to do in the future games of this qualifying round.

If you asked me, I would say that it would be very good for Honduras if El Salvador could beat Mexico, and also if Trinidad Tobago could beat Costa Rica. That would very helpful for Honduras aspirations in the standings.

However, let´s not forget that Honduras has to do the most important thing, that is winning as many points as possible on its own.

We're all looking forward to this game. Hopefully our next post in this blog will be about Honduras victory, or at least a draw. If we lose this game, it won´t be a good thing.

Several thousands of Honduran fans will be attending the game in Chicago's Soldier Field. As of this moment, there are no tickets available. The stadium will be completely crowded, not only by Honduran fans but US fans as well.

People in the US also have a lot of passion for their soccer National Team. That is a good thing for this popular sport.

Jun 5, 2009

Guillermo Anderson, a popular Honduran singer

I would like to take this opportunity to talk a little bit about one of the most popular and known singers in Honduras, he is also famous in many countries all over the world. Whenever someone thinks about music in Honduras, almost inmediately the name of this famous artist jumps to the scene. And that singer is Guillermo Anderson.

There are many other artists and singers in Honduras, very popular and very good singers as well. We will talk about them in separate posts. This time we will refer to Guillermo Anderson.

Guillermo Anderson has been performing his songs since many years ago, I don´t know exactly for how much time I've been hearing about him, but I do know he's had a long and very successful career.

His songs have the particular characteristic that are very closely related to our Honduran culture. Most of the lyrics are related to nature, folklore, Honduran people, places and customs. He is really very original in his lyrics. He is the composer and author of his own songs.

When Honduran people listen to his songs, they reflect themselves with the message. The lyrics go straight to the heart and soul of Honduran people.

He has participated in many international events all over the world, everywhere. He keeps representing Honduras practically like an international Ambassador of our culture. I would say he is one of best international representatives Honduras has.

Whenever there is a cultural event where the need to show something good and beautiful about Honduras is necessary, the music is a very good way to accomplish this, and Guillermo Anderson is the right artist to do it.

In the last few days with the OAS Assembly in San Pedro Sula, the opening ceremony was perfect to show the world something good about Honduran culture.

Do you know who was the artist who opened this ceremony?. I'm sure you've already guessed. That artist was Guillermo Anderson of course. His performance was great and incredible, just like everybody expected to be.

One of the most representative songs from Guillermo Anderson is a song named "En mi PaĆ­s", that is "In my country". It's a beautiful song about Honduras, about the beautiful things we have. Many people think this song is by far the most famous song from Guillermo Anderson.

Almost everybody in Honduras know this song, it's like a national anthem, no kidding.

I would like to include a video with this song, you can read the lyrics in the video and also can take a look to some of the most beautiful places in Honduras along with the video.

Did you like the song?. Hopefully you did. I like this song very much. Guillermo Anderson has many other songs which are very popular as well. We will include some other songs in future posts.

Jun 4, 2009

Costa Rica defeated USA 3-1 in Soccer

Well, the worst case scenario for Honduras occured last night in San Jose, Costa Rica. We're talking about the World Cup Qualifyng games in Concacaf. The thing is that Costa Rica won the match against USA, and now Costa Rica has 9 points, that is a fact and it's something we have to accept, whether we like it or not.

I watched the game on TV and I must say that Costa Rica was superior to USA in this particular game, everything was decided very early in the game. The first goal was only 2 minutes after the start of the game.

The 2nd goal was at minute 13. With a 2-0 score that early in the game, I knew right there that everything was over.

The final score was 3-1, USA could only score in the last minute. Costa Rica victory was never in jeopardy all over the game. The score could have been more devastating for USA, even 4-0 or 5-0.

Anyway, facts are that Costa Rica won and now they have 9 points. Period.

What's next for Honduras?. Well, Honduras is now to play on Saturday vs USA in Chicago, that´s only 2 days from now. It will be a very tough game as we said in a previous post.

I believe that a draw would be a very good result for Honduras in that game. Let´s remember that USA will be the local team, when they play as locals they are very strong.

Thousands of Honduran fans will be attending live that game in Soldier Field in Chicago. The atmopshere in the stadium will be somehow favorable to Honduras. Hopefully our team will feel as if they were playing as a local team with those many thousands of Honduran fans supporting them, live, right there in the stadium.

Should USA win, they will have 10 points, Costa Rica is 9 as we already know. Honduras would be only 4 points. That wouldn´t be very good for Honduras, USA and Costa Rica would be very above in the standings.

Should we get a draw in that game, USA would be 8 points, Honduras 5 points. That wouldn´t be very bad.

At the end of the day, if we see things from an optimistic point of view, Honduras team needs to do what they need to do on their own, without any dependance on whatever Costa Rica, Mexico or USA could do.

Honduras needs to win it´s own games. The plan in these type of qualifying matches is to get as many draws as possible playing as visitors, and win every game playing as local team.

If Honduras can do that, chances are we will be in the World Cup next year.

We´re looking forward to our next game this saturday, and let´s hope to get at least the draw. If Honduras gets a victory, that would be the glory and a very giant step in the route to the World Cup.

34 cases of AH1N1 Influenza in Honduras

There was all over the news that we have in Honduras 32 additional cases of AH1N1 influenza (pig flu), these are confirmed cases. In the last few weeks we only had 2 confirmed cases in Honduras.

With this additional 32 cases the new total is 34. The surprise is, or shock I must say, how come we have 32 new cases all of sudden?. A couple of days ago, only 2 cases, and 2 days later we now have 34. That was quick, wasn´t it?

The Government Health Office has been working the last few weeks in implementing control measures in order to avoid this to happen, at least that is what we've been hearing.

A few days ago President Zelaya even bragged himself about how effective the measures had been, Honduras was almost free of this influenza thanks to his Government. Everybody gave him a big round of applause.

Even myself, I thougth that finally this Government was doing something really worth to admire. Health is one of the most important topics, always, forever and ever. I figured the Government was dedicating important efforts to this critical issue.

They've been telling all of us that the influenza was under control, inmigration controls were very tough, every suspect case in the hospitals was being monitored very close. I guess everything was going fine, no need for worrying too much. With proper preventive measures things were pretty fine.

But now, everything has dramatically changed. I went to bed one night with the number "2 cases" in my mind, and the next day when I turned on the TV, they were saying that 32 additional cases were detected overnight!

My first thought was that maybe something was wrong with the information, perhaps they were talking about 32 cases under review waiting to be confirmed. But the sad true is that these new 32 cases were already confirmed.

All of a sudden we now have a very serious outlook for the following days and weeks. I really hope everything goes back to normal.

However, early today I was reading at the local newspapers that we have 15 additional cases under review, waiting to be confirmed. I really hope these 15 new cases won´t turn confirmed. Otherwise, let´s start praying very hard.

Jun 3, 2009

Honduras will be watching Costa Rica vs US match

All Honduras will pay very close atention to the soccer match tonight between Costa Rica and USA. This game is part of the qualifying round for the World Cup, and Honduras is very interested to see what happens.

There is a lot of discussion in Honduras about what is the result that best could benefit Honduras, and most people say the best result would be a draw, because with a draw both teams (Costa Rica & USA) would only get 1 point, and that wouldn't make any significant difference with the number of points Honduras has.

Let's see ........ USA currently has 7 points, Costa Rica 6, Honduras 4. With a draw USA would be 8 points and Costa Rica 7. This way, both teams would be within Honduras reach in the next few games.

The 2nd best result for Honduras would be USA winning the game. Everybody in Honduras considers that Costa Rica is a direct rival in this qualifying round for Honduras, perhaps Costa Rica is the team to beat if Honduras really wants to go to the World Cup in 2010

Let´s remember that 3 teams will get a direct ticket to the World Cup, it doesn´t matter if the final standings show a team to be number 1, 2 or 3. What really matter is to be within those 3 teams.

We all know that USA will finally qualify, they are maybe the best team in Concacaf, so they already have 1 out of the 3 tickets, and that is almost for sure.

The other 2 tickets are to be divided between Costa Rica, Honduras and Mexico. Let´s not forget Mexico is still fighting for one of those tickets, even though they only have 3 points so far, they are still very dangerous.

There are 7 games left, and we all know that somehow Mexico will finally get the 2nd ticket. Sooner or later Mexico will win their games, they always qualify to World Cups. When they play as a host team in Mexico City in the Azteca stadium, they always win, and I mean always.

Chances are that ticket #1 will be for USA, ticket #2 for Mexico, and ticket #3 is to be fought between Costa Rica and Honduras. That is the reason for thinking Costa Rica is the rival to beat in this qualifyng round. The real challenge for Honduras is Costa Rica.

So, if USA wins today, that means Costa Rica won't get any points, and that is good for Honduras.

And finally, the worst scenario for Honduras is Costa Rica winning tonight's game, because Costa Rica would get 3 points making a total of 9 points, and they would go very far from Honduras 4 points. That would be a very difficult scenario for Honduras. Let´s remember that next saturday Honduras will play against USA in Chicago, and that will be a very though game for Honduras.

If Honduras loses that game against USA, Honduras will be only 4 points. Compared with Costa Rica 9 points, that is a lot of difference. It would be very difficult for Honduras to recover and go after Costa Rica with that scenario.

Tonight´s game it´s going to be a very interesting game. Costa Rica will be playing as a local team tonight in San Jose, and USA has never won a game against Costa Rica in San Jose, at least not so far. Maybe tonight things change and USA can beat Costa Rica.

Anything could happen. We´re going to be watching the game very closely.

Jun 2, 2009

Popular journalist has been released

Andres Torres, a very popular Honduran radio journalist who was kidnaped 18 days ago, was finally released early today by his captors.

Since the kidnaping was executed 18 days ago, a lot of protests from the society against the insecurity in Honduras had been presented. This case was on the news every day, everybody was wandering about Andres Torres destiny, there was not much information from the family, the police or the kidnapers.

There were only rumors about Andres Torres. It was very strange that the kidnapers had not contacted the family for so many days, nobody knew anything about Mr Torres. In other kidnaping cases, the kidnapers usually contact the family within the next few days to ask for a payment in order to release the person, but in Andres Torres case there was no communication at all for more than 15 days.

Andres Torres gave some declarations to the news reporters and he explained how he was kidnaped, how he was taken to a couple of unknown places. He really doesn´t know where exactly he was being held, his eyes were covered with a piece of clothing most of the time.

He also explained that the kidnapers only contacted his family a few days ago, and asked for a payment in order to release him. His family made the payment yesterday, and today he was released.

His family and friends were really worried as the days went by with no news at all, especially because Mr Torres has a couple of medical conditions that need to be taken care of. He has high blood pressure, and he also has diabetes. He has to take medicine almost every day in order to have those medical conditions under control.

According to his doctor, who gave several interviews a few days ago, his condition without the proper medicines could be serious. However, Mr Torres could survive all 18 days in captivity without any medicines at all. That´s amazing.

Mr Torres said that he was aware of this critical issue with his health condition, and he was expecting for the worst scenario if he didn´t take his medication. He explained that he commited himself to God and the Holy Spirit, and prayed a lot all these days, asking for God's help in order to survive this sad event.

This was a very amazing story, he finally made it and survived with no medicine, trusting God. Wow, it´s incredible. God was really with him I guess, there is no doubt about it.

Good for Andres Torres, I feel happy for him, and I'm looking forward to listen his radio program in the next few days. I'm sure he has a lot to tell.

Hillary Clinton in Honduras

Hillary Clinton arrived late last night to Honduras, she came from El Salvador where she attended the ceremony of inaguration of new President Funes in El Salvador. She was scheduled to arrive about 4:00pm, but there were some delays and she finally got to San Pedro Sula after 8:00pm.

She was received by the US ambassador Hugo LLorens and some other people. Some of the people receiving Ms Clinton are unknown persons, nobody knows who they are, but the appear in the pictures saying hello to the world. That's pretty funny, isn´t it?

Just after her arrival she was taken to a dinner with representatives from all over America who are attending the OAS Assembly.

She also had a private meeting with President Zelaya, they were supposed to discuss inmigration and economic issues.

Ms Clinton has a very busy agenda for the next couple of days, besides attending the OAS Assembly she will also meet with several Presidents and other diplomatic representatives.

There is a lot of security around OAS Assembly, but specially around Hillary Clinton. There is really nothing to worry about, Honduras is a very peaceful country, but security measures are necessary anyway. Nothing extreme really.

This is not the first time Hillary Clinton is in Honduras, did you know that?. She was in Honduras in 1998 along with President Bill Clinton in a visit they made after Hurricane Mitch. This is her first visit to San Pedro Sula though. Her visit in 1998 was to Tegucigalpa.

Even though 11 years have gone by since Hurricane Mitch, this is something that has been very difficult to forget, the devastation and destruction caused by the Hurricante was very bad. I'm sure Ms Clinton still remembers her visit back in 1998.

Well, I really hope everything goes well with her visit to Honduras, I'm sure she will get very good thoughts about this beautiful country.

Jun 1, 2009

OAS Assembly in Honduras this week

This week is a very special week in Honduras. We will have the OAS (Organization of American States) Assembly in Honduras, in the city of San Pedro Sula.

Thousands of visitors have already arrived to San Pedro Sula to attend this meeting, or cover the information for this meeting, which will begin tomorrow June 2nd, and will finish on June 3rd.

There is a large police/security presence all over the city in order to keep things under control. However, no security incidents are expected, there is no reason for that to happen. All associated events are to be held in peace and order, there are no signs of any disturbances so far.

Several representative diplomatics from all over America are to attend this Assembly, and one of the most expected, or the most expected I should say, is US Secretary of State, and that is Ms Hillary Clinton. She is scheduled to arrive later today, and everybody is looking forward to her stay in Honduras for the next couple of days.

One of the first appointments upon her arrival is a private meeting with President Mel Zelaya. I believe they will discuss many issues about diplomatic relationships between Honduras and USA, and so many other topics.

President Zelaya said a few days ago that he will be very honored to receive Ms Clinton, she will be a guest of honor, and said many good things about USA. That's strange since many times in the past President Zelaya has also said that Honduras should not deppend anymore from US and turn his attention to Venezuela and other countries that are more related to Honduras, and many other things not always in favor of USA.

This is a strange and curious world, isn't it?. In politics things and opinions come and go all the time, what can we do about it?

Some presidents will also attend the meeting: Rafael Correa (Ecuador), President Lugo (Paraguay), and maybe a few others.

All the hotels in San Pedro Sula are completely full of visitors, there are no rooms available for the rest of the week.

There are several topics that are to be included and discussed in the Assembly. One of the most known topics is about Cuba getting back to OAS, everybody is talking about it, for some reason this seems to be a very important matter for some people, including President Correa from Ecuador and President Mel Zelaya from Honduras.

As far as I know, Cuba is not interested in getting back to OAS, I believe Fidel and Raul Castro have said several times that Cuba is not interested anymore. If Cuba is not interested, why some people are trying to give so much relevance to this?. Why President Zelaya is insisting so much?. Well, that is something that we're not going to cover on this post.

As for the Assembly itself, it really is a very important and honorific recognition for Honduras to host this meeting. I believe the whole world will focus many eyes in Honduras because of this meeting. It's a great opportunity for Honduras to let the world know about the beautiful things we have.

I really hope everything goes well with the meeting. Events like these are not to be held every day in Honduras. Let´s wait to see what happens in the next couple of days.

Good for San Pedro Sula for the organization of this OAS Assembly.

May 31, 2009

President Rafael Correa in Honduras

President Rafael Correa from Ecuador is scheduled to visit Honduras today. He will be meeting with Honduras President Mel Zelaya, and they will talk about several topics.

I was reading at the newspapers that both presidents were to visit Copan Ruins today, this will be a very good opportunity to promote a little bit about this fantastic place.

Mayan Ruins in Copan are world famous, it is an archeological site which is visited by many tourists from all over the world.

I'm sure President Correa will be very impressed by this beautiful site, and somehow people from Ecuador will know more about this place. Since their president is to visit Copan, in Ecuador the news will surely announce and talk about this particular trip.

As far as I know, not many people from Ecuador visit or live in Honduras, except for students that come to the International School of El Zamorano, which is the Panamerican Agriculture School, a very well recognized school all over America.

Many people from South America come to El Zamorano to study, and from Ecuador there are a lot of students.

By the way, both presidents will also visit El Zamorano, to say hello to Ecuador students and talk about agricultural development I guess.

Well, let´s hope everything goes well with this visit.

Honduras vs USA - World Cup Qualifying next week

Next week all Honduras is getting ready for the upcoming soccer match vs USA for the World Cup qualifyings. The game is going to be played in Chicago on saturday June 6th, that is 7 days from today.

A lot of people are asking about what time the game will begin. Well, the answer is very curious, because the time is 6:27 pm, Honduras time (7:27pm Chicago time). That's weird, why 6:27pm? Why not 6:30pm or 6:25pm?. I really don´t know, but the fact is that the game begins exactly 27 minutes after 6pm, I guess it has to do with TV schedules or something like that.

Honduras national team is training hard with the idea to get at least a draw, that would be 1 point which would be welcomed and should be considered a very good result, since USA is currently the best team in Concacaf area.

Right now, after 3 games of this final round, USA is leading with 7 points, 2nd place is Costa Rica with 6 points, and 3rd is Honduras with 4 points.

Let's remember that in this final round we have 6 teams competing for 3 tickets to the World Cup, and the 4th place will also have a final chance to get another ticket after competing with another team from South America.

As of today, USA, Costa Rica and Honduras area leading, but there are still 7 games left before completing this final round, that is still a lot of games.

This upcoming game is very important, most people in Honduras are confident that our national team will play a good game and get at least the draw as we said before. A victory would be even better of course.

Everybody remembers that in 2001, in the World Cup qualifyings, Honduras won 3-2 against USA playing in Washington DC, and many people think that a Honduras victory is something that could happen again.

It will be a very hard game, USA is definitely the best soccer team in Concacaf, when they play in their own country they are very hard to defeat, almost impossible.

People in Honduras take soccer very seriously, so this match will definitely be the main topic of information and discusion all week long in Honduras.

We're all looking forward to this match, and we can´t hardly wait for the match to begin. Let´s wait and hope that everything goes well with Honduras National team.

People in Honduras react very happy when the national team wins, but react very bad when the national team loses. A victory would be a very good source of happiness and optimistic feelings for Honduras people.

May 29, 2009

Major earthquake in Honduras

We've just had a major earthquake in Honduras, in the Caribbean coast. The official information says the magnitude was 7.1 on Ritcher's scale, and it was also mentioned that it even got up to 7.3 or so. Do you know what this means?. This was a major earthquake without a doubt.

However, only minor damages were reported all over the country, considering the magnitude of the earthquake, this was a miracle, there is no logical explanation for this.

There was a large bridge that collapsed, this is bridge La Democracia in El Progreso, about 30 km east of San Pedro Sula. A few buildings were also damaged, like the Court building in San Pedro Sula, it had a lot of damages.

There were also a few people who were reported dead, about 5 - 7 people. That's very sad. However, in a 7.1 earthquake this is much less than expected.

The epicenter was located about 130 km north of La Ceiba, into the Caribbean Sea. Another reference for the location is the world famous island of Roatan, only 60 km from the epicenter of this major earthquake.

No major damages in Roatan or the Bay Islands, how can you explain this?. Today in the morning TV news some experts in geophysics sciences were trying to explain how a 7.1 earthquake didn't cause major damages, but there were no conclusive or clear answers.

All over the world throughout the years and centuries ago, there have been earthquakes over 6 on Ritcher scale that have caused devastation and destruction. Entire cities have disappeared many times after earthquakes over 6 on Ritcher scale.

In Honduras is very unlikely to have earthquakes, even though Honduras is located in a very sismic region. In all Central america countries is very common to have this type of events.

Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, all of them have had major earthquakes in the past with very destructive consequences, even with earthquakes with magnitude less than 7 or 6 on Ritcher scale.

With a 7.1 earthquake the logical consequences would have been masive destruction in Honduras, where we don´t really have experience on these events, the construction is not designed in most cases to withstand earthquakes.

If the epicenter of this earthquake would have been a few miles to the south, closer to the Caribbean coast of Honduras, we can not imagine how destructive this would have been, it's scary just thinking about it.

This was a very close call, we have to be ready for the future. We can not think anymore that Honduras is free of earthquakes, this one was a proof that anything could happen.

May 28, 2009

Facts and general information about Honduras

Honduras is located in the very middle of Central America. The country is bordered to the west by Guatemala, to the southwest by El Salvador, to the southeast by Nicaragua, to the south by the Pacific Ocean at the Gulf of Fonseca, and to the north by the Caribbean Sea.

The area of the country is over 112,000 Km2, and the population is about 7.5 million people.

The capital city is Tegucigalpa, with about 2 million people. The 2nd city is San Pedro Sula, about 1.5 million people including nearby cities in the Sula Valley.

Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula are very different cities. Tegucigalpa is located in the middle of the mountains, with a lot of hills and irregular topography, aproximately 1000 meters above sea level.

San Pedro Sula is located in the Sula Valley, about 100 meters above sea level, the weather is very hot and humid most time of the year. San Pedro Sula is very near to the Caribbean Sea, Puerto Cortes is only 50 km to the north, and Tela which is a very beautiful site in the Caribbean Sea is 90 Km to the northeast.

There are four international airports in Honduras: Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba, Roatan. Fligths coming from USA and many other countries arrive to Honduras everyday (American Airlines, Continental, Taca, Delta, Copa, etc). It's very easy getting to Honduras.

There are several touristic places all over Honduras. The beaches in the Caribbean at the north of Honduras are simply beautiful, real paradises with sandy beaches, coral reefs, blue sea.

Roatan and the Bay Islands, Tela, Trujillo, La Ceiba, Cayos Cochinos, Omoa, are only a little sample of these beautiful places in the Caribbean part of Honduras.

For people who enjoy archeological sites and history, the Mayan Ruins in Copan are the place to visit. Whenever you go to Copan, you travel yourself in time to several hundreds years ago. The buildings and temples will take your breath out, it's incredible.

There are many other places to visit in Honduras: Yojoa Lake, Colonial Towns (Valle de Angeles, Comayagua, Gracias), Platano Rain Forest, Amapala, etc. We will talk about many of these places in our blog, don´t worry.

Well, we could write pages and books about Honduras and the beautiful natural places we have. A beautiful country without a doubt.

Welcome to Honduras, if you have already been here I'm sure you will want to come back soon. If you haven´t been here, you really don´t know what you´re missing!

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Hello and welcome to this Honduras Blog

Hello, and welcome to this blog, where we will talk about miscellaneous topics about this beautiful country which is Honduras of course.

Honduras is a country with many difficulties just as every other country in the world, but that is no reason for not being a beautiful place to live in, and where we still can enjoy of so many charming places that it has.

As for natural landscapes, Honduras has nothing to envy to any country in the world if we're talking about beach and sea, tropical forest, arqueolochical sites, mountain places, etc.

As for politics, sports, entertaining, curious things, etc, there is so much to talk about, and that is one of the main reasons for this blog, to talk about a diversity of topics that are related to Honduras.

You as our fellow reader have the chance to express yourself in this blog through your own comments. The idea of a blog is exactly that, to open a communication channel with the blog readers in order to exchange ideas and opinions, so we can transform this blog in a space where we can have constant interface among people.

The only requirement for being able to post a comment on this blog is that the comments are to be done in a respectful manner. Should there be some topics that become a source of opposite opinions, there is absolutely no problem to post a comment as long as the expressions and words are used without causing disturbance to other people.

We'll try to talk about up to date topics as much as possible, but we will also talk about topics that have made history and that may be worth to remember.

Anyway, this will be a blog about open and varied topics, if it is related to Honduras then it is something we will want to include in our blog.

Welcome again.