If that’s what you want to hear, there you have it.
But the truth is quite different.
I don’t deny there is a serious problem with violence in Honduras. A huge problem. A problem so big, it is hard to imagine there is a solution to it, and even if the situation would better, it will take generations to get over the trauma of it.
The problem with the violence in Honduras, as in many other countries, is that there is not just one cause for it. Violence is deeply rooted in Honduran society, caused by corruption, lawlessness, lack of justice, lack of education for that matter, poverty, narco traffic, gangs, hopelessness, all of which lead to a vicious circle of more resentfulness, hate, vengeance, frustration and loss of morals. And the fact that Honduras is constantly in the news as being the most violent country in the world doesn’t help at all. Quite the contrary.
|The Artisans' Street - Copan Ruinas, Honduras|
I say it’s not.
|Church of El Calvario - Copan Ruinas, Honduras|
First of all, let’s look at the numbers. It is now common knowledge that Honduras has the highest murder rate per capita in the world. But, just as in Mexico, that number is closely connected to gang activity, drug trafficking and mostly takes place in certain areas in the big cities. Places that tourists never visit. If you’d discount the number of deaths in certain neighbourhoods, the national average would be much lower.
I won’t deny that there haven’t been incidents in the past, but overall, the violence is not directed to tourists and the main tourist destinations are considered to be pretty quiet and safe. I can’t find any data on it, but if I hear from tourists that they were assaulted in their hotel or on the street, pick-pocketed or molested, it usually happened in Guatemala.
I can’t guarantee a tourist a risk free trip through Honduras, but I think that the dangers are highly overrated. You know a dangerous city for tourists??? Amsterdam! I recently visited my hometown, and talk out dangers! Not so much violent assaults, but deathly incidents nonetheless. Every year an astounding number of tourists die because they ride a bicycle (often for the first time in their lives) in the centre of town without understanding the unwritten rules of survival. They take the silent but oh so big and hard trams for granted while crossing the street without looking left or right. Each year, about thirty people drown in the famous canals, many of them (drunken) tourists who fall in when urinating, unable to climb back up the steep walls. And not to mention the number of people (I think it was three last year) of tourists who underestimate the power of Dutch marihuana and think they can fly out of a window, just like that. But those victims never show up in lists with numbers that show how dangerous Amsterdam can be.
The “Honduras = dangerous” slogan has become a bit of a hype and is being repeated time after time for no apparent reason, and without any effort on behalf of the Honduran ministry of tourism to prove the opposite.
|West Bay Beach, Roatan Honduras|
|Easter Week (Semana Santa) carpets, Copan Ruinas|
And just to speak for this beloved town I’m luckily enough to live in: please come and visit Copán Ruinas!
|The Ball Court, Copan Archaeological Park - Copan Ruinas, Honduras|
|Copan Coffee Tour - Copan Ruinas, Honduras|
|Keel-billed Toucan - Macaw Mountain Bird Park - Copan Ruinas, Honduras|
|Punta Izopo National Park - Tela, Honduras|