What in the World? January 2016 Edition

For the last three months, I’ve continually promised to find some good news to include in one of these posts. Finally, I’ve found it!

Honduras has been stripped of it’s title; El Salvador is now murder capital of the world! Maybe this is actually bad news though… second place is first loser after all.

Kidding aside, there have been plenty of non-violent headlines coming out of Honduras this month. The dominant piece of news by far is the expedition to unearth the fabled “White City”. Having ventured deep into the Mosquitia jungle, a team of American and Honduran archaeologists believes they’ve found the legendary city, also called the “City of the Monkey God”. I’m not exactly sure what legend accompanies the city, but I’ve read the locals once worshipped a monkey God who allegedly fathered half-human, half-monkey children. All I know for sure is that people have been looking for this site for centuries, including Spanish conquistadors more than 500 years ago.

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Image of La Mosquitia by Joe Townsend

Back in 2012 an aerial survey revealed a large architectural site buried under the jungle floor. Now, after years of further research, researchers from Colorado State University have started to dig. Ambassador Nealon accompanied the Honduran president and a team from National Geographic to the site early on in the excavation to see some of the first artifacts.

Mira el descubrimiento de artefactos de la Ciudad Blanca a través del lente del Embajador James Nealon.El Embajador…

Posted by U.S. Embassy Tegucigalpa on Thursday, January 14, 2016

I stumbled upon my other piece of happy news while looking for Spanish news to read attempt to read and end up Google translating. San Pedro Sula, the country’s second city, is hoping to open Honduras’ first animal rescue center. La Fundación Nacional Protectora de Animales (FUNAPA) is seeking government funding to open the center, which would include facilities for everything from stray dogs to horses. As an animal lover, it’s tough to watch skin-and-bone street dogs limp around the city playing Frogger with the traffic. So, even though it hasn’t happened yet, this qualifies as good news in my book.

 

Of course it’s not all sunshine and rainbows here in Tegucigalpa. Zika is the new buzzword, referring to the mosquito-borne disease affecting pregnant women in the country (and many other countries). And, close to home for many in the Embassy community, a bus traveling to Valle de Angeles crashed, killing 3 young American volunteers. It’s a poignant reminder of the important work the Embassy does (in this case the American Citizen Services section) not only working with the host country, but also serving Americans abroad. I for one am so glad to know what amazing resources are available to us as Americans living and traveling abroad, though I hope we’ll never need them.

 

 

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