Honduras held many wonders for me. Lush countryside, delectable foods, fresh fruits, and the most beautiful language. However, it also held an element of sadness as well.
Every house had barbed wire or electric fencing on the gate surrounding it. Each house also had all windows barred. The crime is so awful there that these precautions are absolutely necessary.
Though I felt no fear while I was visiting, I knew it was present. My uncle was even mugged the very first night my parents arrived. His cigarettes were stolen...must've been a sign from above.
For the first time in my life I was able to visit my grandmother Lola's house. I didn't know what to expect, but what I found made me even more proud to call her my family.
This is a photo I found in Lola's house of when she was younger. Gorgeous isn't she? For years I though she had a giant freckle under her eye, as it turns out it was just a photog mistake.
(This little kitty was jumping around in the small entrance to her house happy as a clam.)
Lola doesn't live in the best conditions. Her house is very small but pleasant. It is decorated in a manner that would only make sense if you knew her.
(Of course my Lola had chickens and roosters. This guy was strutting around crowing at the top of his lungs.)
Her yard was scattered with animals of all types. Pigs, chickens, puppies, kittens, anything you could think of.
(9This little chick is a scrapper, I'm surprised he stood still long enough for me to capture him on camera. )
And though I was slightly shocked to learn what my grandmother had to go through every day at her age in order to sustain her own life, what came later was what made my trip life changing.
After visiting Lola she took us to see her neighbor of 21 years. This woman sells tortillas to make a living and takes care of 6 children, who are not her own. It was here that the first time I came face to face with poverty. She lived in two room shack with her daughter's babies. One bed, dirt floors, a stove made of cans, and no security from danger. She manages to keep a happy demeanor through all these conditions and hardships and I admire her strength. The baby shown here is the newest addition. He was premature and she was unable to afford the right milk he needed. Despite this, the boy looked active and from what I've learned developmentally he seemed on track.
These two were the sweetest little things. They didn't say a single word while we visited but their eyes were full of curiosity and wonder.
The truth is I never really cared about poverty. I knew it existed, I knew it was sad, and I was sorry it was present in our world. But until you come face to face with it, you may never experience the engulfing urge to want to help another human being in anyway possible. It is my goal this year to begin sending money to a family in need. I encourage you to consider doing the same.