Monday, December 27, 2010

Los Jabones de Mis Hijas

This past September, I was in San Salvador for business.  Close to my hotel, I stumbled upon a jewel of a boutique, specializing in handmade soaps called, 'Los Jabones de Mis Hijas'.  It's located in the 'Zona Rosa', and is run by three sisters.  They have over 30 varieties of soaps available, all handmade by the sisters.  The soaps all cost $3.50 per 100 grs.  I  bought mango, honey and beewax, coffee, and rose.

If you're traveling to San Salvador, I highly recommend stopping in as the soaps make great gifts!  The quality is what you would expect to find in a specialty boutique in France or Spain.

My only question, why don't Honduran artisans make unique, quality products that travelers actually want to buy?

The blog their shop is:

Also, check out their Facebook page.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ya Abrimos!!

The Tegucigalpa branch of the Guatemalan steak house 'Hacienda Real' (*****/$$$, Blvd Juan Pablo II, tel. 2239.6860) recently opened.  Sure enough, my expectations were exceeded.  You see, I go to Guatemala City every year for business, and I always eat at least one meal at the 'Hacienda Real' in Zona 10.   I've been doing this for over ten years!!  Recently, during my last trip to San Salvador, I also dined at the branch there.  So you can imagine my excitement when I saw an advert in Taca's Inflight magazine and I noticed a small blurb saying 'proximente Tegucigalpa'.

Why do I like 'Hacienda Real' so much?  For all the reasons that make a restaurant a great dining experience...

First, the food is amazingly good.   All the steaks are grilled on an open bbq pit in the middle of the restaurant,  the portions are generous and the meals are consistently good- consisting of quality meats, cooked to the specified temperature, tender and juicy.  (Obviously, I'm not a vegetarian).  The meals are always introduced with a cup of complimentary broth served as soon as you are seated.

Secondly, the ambiance is informal yet elegant, decorated in a colonial Spanish style.  You can eat inside or on the terrace.  There is even a rooftop terrace here in Tegucigalpa offering cozy, romantic dining in the evening.

Third, you receive real value for the price.  While 'Hacienda Real' is not cheap, it is not overly expensive.  Most items cost less or the same as other similar restaurants in town.

Finally, 'Hacienda Real' raises the bar on the level of service if offers its patrons.  The wait staff actually knows what they are doing and are eager to please...attentive without being overbearing, friendly in a sincere sort of way.  They even walk differently from waiters in other Honduran restaurants, not the typical slouchy walk that connotes 'I'll eventually get to your order, but don't bother me too much'.  Instead, its a determined gait that makes you know they are ready to serve and are good at what they do.

As an aside, my wife commented that it's impossible to find waiters like this in Honduras, and she was skeptical as to whether they were actually Honduran or not.  So I told her to ask, and sure enough, all the waiters are from Guatemala.  They come here for rotating three month stints.  While I feel bad that the management does not feel that they can find competent locals to do the job, I also feel reassured that they are so quality conscious as to their product, that they make sure every detail is just perfect, even down to importing the wait staff.

I'm sure diners will notice the difference in the level of service, and maybe, just maybe, they will start to expect the same level at other establishments.  If so, other restaurants will feel the pressure and be forced to actually 'train' their staff.  Imagine that...going to restaurants in Honduras where the staff is competent, knowledgeable, and make you feel welcome.

New standards have been set for Tegucigalpa dining, and I highly recommend 'Hacienda Real' to all (even non-carnivores as the salads will most certainly please).

'Hacienda Real' is one of Don Godo's favorites.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Driving in Honduras 1.01

While I've always known driving in Honduras to be a somewhat dangerous activity, I've still presumed that the rules of the road are somewhat universal...but, boy am I wrong on that!!

Driving Tip #1  When turning to the left on a country road, put on your left turn signal, pull to the right, look for cars coming from the opposite direction and look for cars coming behind you, if no cars are coming then turn left.  If cars are coming from either direction, wait for them to pass, then turn left.  Reason:  Cars will try to pass you on the left, even though they 'know' you are turning left.

My wife has long told me to do this, but in my stubbornness, I believed that if you are turning left, that if no cars are coming from the opposite direction, then just go on and turn and the cars behind would slow down or stop...But no.    They will pass on the left, even though on the surface that seems suicidal.

I learned the hard way.  Not too long ago, I was turning left, I put my blinker on, slowed down to turn and started turning.  At that point I saw the car spending up behind me to pass on the left-hand side, so I immediately slammed on my brakes in order to let him pass.  At the same time  the driver behind evidently realized I was going to turn so he slammed on his brakes too, and a third car coming from behind plowed into the car behind me.  Fortunately, there were no serious injuries, and I didn't get hit.

I bet the other two drivers will be more careful in the future.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Imagine that...good Italian food, no, I mean 'really' good Italian food

La Ghiottona, a new Italian restaurant has opened in Tegucigalpa in the Col. Palmira.   Although the decor is simple, the food and service more than made up.  My wife had 'carpaccio salmon', and my children ate 'ravioli marisco' and 'spaghetti vongole', while I ate a 'filetto' served with 'real' mozarella cheese as the side.  When my family keeps talking about how much they enjoyed a place, I know that's a really good sign that the restaurant will be around for a while.  In this case, everyone was ready to go back again a few days later.

This restaurant has elevated Italian cuisine to a new level in Tegucigalpa.  It's dishes are much more genuine and innovative that the traditional Honduran Italian eatery.  Imagine an Italian restaurant in Honduras without pizza as their main forte or even on the menu!  (****/$$$, Ave. de Mexico, tel. 2236.5513)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The 'Grand Slam' is here!!

What could be more exciting than the return of the 'McRib' sandwich?  The opening of a new Denny's in Tegucigalpa, that's what...and the introduction of the 'Grand Slam' breakfast to Catracholandia...

While my wife still anxiously awaits the coming of an 'IHOP', this at least fills the void in the interim.  Just opened, still sparkling clean, and not as 'greasy spoon' as in the States, 'Gourmet Grill' now has some serious Sunday morning breakfast competition.  It's located just down the block from the Marriott Hotel on Blvd. San Juan Pablo.  (***/$$, tel. 2232.5410)

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

As seen on a shop window in Panama City's Casco Viejo


Wake up Tegucigalpa before it's too late...

Friday, September 24, 2010


Finally a restaurant has opened in Tegucigalpa with really good pizza!!  Piola (***/$$, tel. 243.0645/42, recently opened at the new Novo Centro mall behind Los Proceres.  It's a franchise restaurant with locations in the USA and several Latin American countries.  I won't hold being a franchise against it in this case since the quality of the pizza more than compensates.  The key here is that the restaurant has a authentic wood burning pizza oven and the pizza's quality reflects it.  The crusts are thin and slightly charred, and the ingredients are all premium quality.  The list of pizza options is extensive.  I had a pizza with shrimp and mushrooms, and my children had one with artichokes, olives, and feta cheese.  Both were delicious.  The small pizzas (four slices) run in the L.180-230 range and the medium pizzas (six slices) are around L.300.  The menu also has pastas, etc., but really, this the place to come for pizza!  The service was good, and my only complaint is that I found the music a little too pulsating for my taste.

Piola's is now on my list of Don Godo's favorites.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rapidly going downhill

In the July/August issue of 'Foreign Policy' (FP) magazine, the cover story is 'Failed States'.  There is a smaller article within the main feature called 'Watch List' in which Honduras and Guatemala are cited as two of four countries in 'big trouble'.  The other two are Nigeria and Iran.

The article states: "A mere 1 percent of South American cocaine went through Central America as recently as 2007; today, somewhere between 60 and 90 percent does.  Cartels from Mexico,...have moved south, while Columbian traffickers have moved north."

It goes on to say that the only place where the violence may be worse than Guatemala is neighboring Honduras where "the country of just 7.3 million sees 15 murders per day...the state has very limited control over entire chunks of the territory...they are very weak states by almost any indicator."

One authority is cited as saying that the task is daunting because "a lot of people in the Honduran Elite are doing business with drug traffickers."

This says a lot and paints a very pessimistic picture, but I truly hope our future in Honduras will not be so bleak...

Pepe wake up!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

The more things change, the more they stay the same

I was in Managua a couple of weeks ago on business, and couldn't help thinking about while some things change, they are still the same...There's a sad consistency to history repeating itself.

You may remember that the Sandinista revolution was all about change...The dictator Somoza was corrupt and had his hand in every business.  Now it seems that Daniel Ortega (and the Sandanistas) has become quite the businessman.  He owns a hotel, bank, oil company, and the list goes on and on.  He seems to have his hand in everything.  And guess what?  Just like good ole Somoza didn't want to give up power, Ortega doesn't  want to give up power the Sandanistas rigged the last municipal elections, and had the Surpreme Court rule that the constitution didn't mean what it said regarding the president's ability to run for reelection.

At least one local has seen the irony in all this.  There is ton of FSLN (Frente Sandinista de Liberacion Nacional) graffiti everywhere.  It seems someone has been busy with a paint brush turning the S in FSLN into a $ sign, so that now much of the graffiti reads F$LN.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

That's some name for a new town

In 1578, the Spanish founded the city, La Real Villa de San Miguel de Heredia de Tegucigalpa.   Today the city is simply known as Tegucigalpa or 'Tegus'.

I prefer the modern name...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

'In search of Mel Zelaya' or 'What Tegucigalpa could be, but never will'

I'm in Santo Domingo searching for Comandante Mel, but so far no luck.  Where is he hiding?  What is he afraid of?  Well actually, I am in Santo Domingo, but really do not care to see Mel.  If per chance, I saw him in a restaurant or shop, I'm sure I would give him a piece of my mind and that would not be good...

Having been in Santo Domingo now for a few days, I have a couple of observations.  First, and foremost, this place is just too nice for Mel.  A more fitting locale for Mel's retirement haven is Port au Prince.

Apart from that, I have really been impressed with the city.  The colonial section has been painstakingly restored and as a result, tourism is booming.  The city is non-threatening and there are tourist police everywhere.  In Honduras, there are tourist police in some areas, but you never actually see them.  They are there in name only.

Not only is it safe, it is relatively clean.  Hey, that's a novel idea.  I wonder why they never thought about that in Honduras!  You know, putting trash into trash cans on the sidewalk instead of simply throwing it whereever and everywhere.

I guess it takes a certain national pride to restore a nation's patrimony and to keep a city clean.  If only Honduras had pride about some other than soccer...

Monday, August 09, 2010

Beware of that Gringo you meet at the local expat watering hole...

Below is a BBC article published on BBC's website on Aug 4.

Panama 'serial killer' case: more bodies recovered

Mr Holbert was arrested in Nicaragua.   Panamanian authorities say they have recovered three more bodies on the property of a US man accused of murdering fellow American expatriates.  The bodies of a man, a woman and a child were found buried in the grounds of a hostel owned by William Holbert in the Bocas del Toro archipelago.  Two other bodies were found there last month, sparking a search for Mr Holbert and his wife.

They were arrested in Nicaragua last week after fleeing Panama.  Prosecutors say Mr Holbert, 30, has confessed to killing five people to steal their money and property, and has been giving them information about where to find the bodies.

"He has explained what he did, how he did it and why he did it", assistant prosecutor Angel Calderon told the Associated Press. His wife, Laura Reese, 27, has also been charged over the murders. Mr Holbert is also the main suspect in the disappearance of two Panamanians.

Murder in paradise

The case began when the authorities found the bodies of a man and a woman buried behind Mr Holbert's hostel on a small island in Bocas del Toro, a Caribbean archipelago popular with tourists and US expats.

The woman has been identified as Cheryl Lynn Hughes, from St Louis, Missouri, who had been living in Panama for 10 years but has been missing since March. The man was identified as Bo Icelar, who has been missing since November and is thought to be from New Mexico.

Prosecutors allege Mr Holbert befriended Ms Hughes and Mr Icelar by posing as a potential investor before murdering them and taking over their properties - a hotel and a house.

Mr Holbert and his wife went on the run after the bodies were discovered, but were arrested by Nicaraguan police as they tried to enter the country from Costa Rica, and extradited to Panama in chains.

The three bodies found on Tuesday are thought to belong to another US man, Mike Brown, and his wife and son. Prosecutors allege Mr Holbert - known to his neighbours as "Wild Bill" - befriended Mr Brown before shooting him and his family in the head after discovering they had a lot of money in bank accounts.

The couple were using false documents in Panama and living under the aliases William and Jean Cortez, police said.  Mr Holbert is also wanted in the US for allegedly selling a house that did not belong to him in the state of North Carolina, as well as for alleged car theft.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Memory Lane

Both of my children were born in the United States and have U.S. citizenship, however, my wife is Honduran and we wanted our children to have dual nationality.  Under Honduran law, my children were entitled to Honduran citizenship since the mother is Honduran.  So soon after the second child was born, my wife went to the Honduran consulate in New Orleans, and asked about the process, what she had to do, etc. 

The lady at the consulate looked at her, looked at the children, and then asked if they had U.S. citizenship.  My wife responded in the positive, that yes, they were U.S. citizens.  The consul worker then looked amazed and asked, "But why then would you possibly want them to have Honduran citizenship?"

Beyond the obvious putdown that the consul worker implied about Honduras, there are many reasons:

My wife is Honduran and proud of it, so we wanted to pass that on to our children.
Dual nationality opens up additional options.  What if the U.S. is in a war when they are eighteen?  What if there is a draft?
They can apply to an university as a Honduran, and maybe this will give them an extra edge in admissions (if the university is concerned about diversity, or attracting international students.
When they are grown, they will have the opportunity live in either country, depending on where they find more opportunities.  (Personally, I believe developing countries present more opportunities to suceed and make money if a person is well educated and has an entrprenurial spirit).

The list can go on...

There was a lot of paperwork, and it all had to be done in Honduras.  The consulate was of absolutely no use and could do nothing, not even give directions as to where she needed to start.  So my wife consulted an attorney friend in Honduras, stood in many lines for countless hours as various government offices in Tegucigalpa, filled out many forms, and today my children have dual nationality and two passports.

As to the consul worker...Well, this happened many years ago, and consul employees change  every four years with every change of government in Honduras (Its a financial perk for being friends with the winner). 

I guess one lesson that can be learned is that a 'professional' civil service has merits, and maybe secondly, that Honduran consulates (from my experience) are generally worthless...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Top Ten Things I Like About Honduras

10- Quirky Thirld-Worldness of it all
9- Climate. It seems just about perfect, except for when there is a drought or constant rains from tropical depressions.
8- Colonial villages. My family loves visiting small little colonial villages for an afternoon diversion. And they are everywhere, each unique in its own way. I especially like Santa Lucia, Valle de Angeles, Cedros, Copan Ruinas and Ojojona. Still waiting to visit Gracias.
7- Mayan history. It seems as if I can't visit Copan enough times. There are also some secondary sites such as El Puente that few people visit, but are diamonds in the rough nevertheless.
6- Natural Beauty. Honduras is absolutely beautiful, whether it's the Bay Islands or the Mountains.
5- Cost of Living. I can live much better in Honduras. In the USA, I simply can't afford the same lifestyle.
4-The private bilingual school system. My kids are getting a much better education in Honduras then they would in the USA. But, I regret the public school system doesn't afford any opportunities whatsoever for the average Honduran.
3- Pace of life. Sure, I like the hustle and bustle of the States from time to time, but the slow pace of Honduran life adds an immeasurable boost to my overall quality of life.
2- Family values. The sense of family is much more important in Honduras than in the USA. Children live at home longer, extended family (cousins, 2nd cousins,uncles, aunts, etc.) are all best friends.
1- My wonderful Honduran wife. What else can I say? God really blessed me on this one!!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Happy Anniversary!!!!!

Happy Anniversary to all my fellow 'Golpistas'!!! I never thought of myself as a coup monger, but since everyone who supported the restitution of democracy and opposed a 'caudillo', self-enrichment, corrupt style dictatorship in Honduras was labeled a 'golpista', I guess I'm a 'golpista' and damn proud of it!!!

Happy Anniversay Y'all!!!

Feliz Anniversario!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Register Mobile Phones

Below is from the BBC. Is this an idea whose time has come for Honduras? Would this help to control the upsurge in crime? Your comments please...

Kenya registers mobile phones to cut crime
Page last updated at 16:20 GMT, Monday, 21 June 2010 17:20 UK

About half of Kenya's population has a mobile phone Kenya has started to register all mobile phone numbers in a bid to cut crime.

Users will have to supply identity documents and proof of address before they get a number.

Any numbers still unregistered at the end of July will be disconnected, the government says.

The BBC's Odhiambo Joseph in Nairobi says many people there support the move, hoping it will make life more difficult for criminals.

Kidnapping gangs often use unregistered mobile numbers to text ransom demands, he says.

Police commissioner Mathew Iteere told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme that mobile phones must be registered because they could now be used like computers.

"It has become a tool of banking, it can be used to steal data, [to] transmit unauthorised information and perpetrates huge frauds."

Information ministry official Bitange Ndemo last week said registering the numbers would help the authorities tackle terrorism, drugs-trafficking and money-laundering, as well as the sending of hate messages.

Neighbouring Tanzania has already started a similar exercise, so our reporter says it is not controversial.

He says the outlet he visited was packed with people registering their numbers.

Between 97-99% of mobile-phone users in Africa use pre-paid vouchers, reports the news agency Reuters.

It is easier to use pre-paid vouchers without registering an address.

However, some analysts say registering people in some African countries may be difficult if they do not live in a house with an official address.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

When will it stop?

Right now, I'm devastated, upset and mad. My wife just told me that the body of an acquaintance who had been kidnapped about a month ago was just found. His name was Peter. He was a really nice guy... friendly, intelligent, honest. He worked hard as a farmer. He was also the father of five children and a husband.

The family paid the ransom about a week ago, and everyone had been praying for his release...Then today, the news came that everyone was dreading...His body had been found...

When will it stop? This culture of violence is destroying the fabric of Honduran society. Now there are five more traumatized children without a loving father and a wife without her partner. It's so senseless, why? The kidnappers got the money they wanted so why kill him?

I'm not the type of person that hates, but I hate the people that did this...I hope their souls burn in hell for eternity...

Readers, I ask that you join with me in praying for Peter's family during this difficult period, and that you also pray for an end to the violence that plagues Honduras.

Mr. Lobo, if by chance you read this, please do me a favor: Quit obsessing with bringing Mel Zelaya back to Honduras, instead obsess yourself with ending the rampant crime that is destroying this beautiful country.

Monday, April 12, 2010

When is a Star a Star?

On the road from Valle de Angeles, driving towards Tegucigalpa, there is a large billboard advertising the 'La Quinta Real' hotel in La Ceiba. The sign advertises the hotel as La Ceiba's only 'five star' hotel.

After La Quinta Real first opened, my family and I spent a few days there. We enjoyed it immensely, and it is true that the hotel is La Ceiba's finest 'big' hotel. It's on the beach, has a nice pool area, and has a full service restaurant... But five stars? Believe me when I say the La Quinta Real is not a Ritz Carlton or a Four Seasons hotel. It's nice, but it's not five stars (at least by international standards)...Maybe four stars?

This begs the question, who determines how many stars a hotel in Honduras is assigned? Is this done by the Ministry of Tourism (as in many Western European countries), or does the hotel itself decide how many stars it deserves? If Honduras is serious about tourism, shouldn't there be a well regulated system to determine how many stars a hotel deserves, and shouldn't all hotels be required to post the star ranking at a prominent place, visible to all, at the entry of the hotel?

Wouldn't this be an inducement for hotels to always strive to be better? Maybe then they would focus more on service, providing adequate training to their staff, refurbishing rooms when necessary, etc.

It should be noted that there are two small hotels in La Ceiba, namely 'The Lodge at Pico Bonito' and 'La Cascada', that while small, are truly luxury hotels.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tourism, Tourism, Tourism

Honduras has so much to offer the world as a tourist destination...beautiful beaches, perfect scuba diving, rain forests, cloud forests, mountains, colonial towns, pre-Columbian ruins. The list could go on and on. Honduras should be able to be a top competitor to Costa Rica for tourist's dollars, euros, and pesos.

Although there are those that believe tourism would ruin Honduras' beauty, I disagree. If properly managed, tourism could become a driving force in Honduras' development and progress. Recently, I was reading an old issue of Conde Nast Traveller magazine and came across a quote from Ruben Blades, the former Panamanian minister of tourism, better known as one of the world's greatest salsa musicians, who said:

"Tourism is the fastest way to distribute wealth on a national level. It helps everyone, from cabdrivers to maids, managers, restaurateurs, and curio sellers. It's a chimney-free industry. There's nothing like it."

He listed Panama's immense opportunities...adventure tourism, ecotourism, agrotourism, ethnotourism, therapeutic tourism (referring to Panama's mineral hot springs and medicinal plants). "Where else can you surf in both oceans, or see Atlantic and Pacific marine life in the same day?" Well, to me the obvious answer to that question is Honduras.

After this, though, there is one glaring and unfortunate contrast. Blades also aims to offer something to foreign tourists that Honduras is unable or maybe just unwilling to offer, a safe vacation refuge. According to Blades: "Unprecedented security. I want any traveler who enters Panama insured by the Ministry of Tourism against accident or assault, and guaranteed instant legal assistance should something unfortunate happen. Tourists should feel protected, not all alone."

Now, wouldn't that sentiment be refreshing to hear in Tegucigalpa? Are you listening Messrs. Lobo and Alvarez?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What I Learned From the Events of June 28, Part I, Mr. Tetovski was Right

Mr. Tetovski Was Right.

Many years ago, actually during the early '80's, I was a graduate student in Cairo. One of my best friends was from Bulgaria. This was during the era of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe was behind the 'iron curtain'. One evening I was having dinner with her family at their flat, and after a few drinks, a discussion of politics and media ensued. I don't remember the exact context of the discussion, but I remember Mr. Tetovski telling me that Time magazine was far more dangerous than Bulgarian journals. He knew that I read Time every week and believed what I read to be just as true as if were the Bible.

I asked him how could that be, and he told me that the Bulgarian press was so full of propaganda, and that the propaganda was so blatant that everyone knew how to disregard the fact from the fiction. Time, on the other hand, (and yes he admitted to reading it on occasion) was written in a much more sophisticated manner, so it was much more difficult to discern the truth from the biases. Because of this, he argued, Americans tend to believe everything they read in their media as the complete truth, when in reality, it was just as biased as the Bulgarian media. Since bias was more sophisticated, it was inherentedly more dangerous.

I pondered what Mr. Tetovski said, and knew that it somehow made sense. At any rate, I filed the conversation somewhere in the back of my mind and never forgot it. Now, some 25+ years later, after reading the American press' accounts of what happened in Honduras on and after June 28, 2009, and knowing the Honduran reality first hand versus the blatant media bias, I can now say, "Mr. Tetovski, you were absolutely right..."

Lesson learned: Don't believe the mainstream Western media.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why Mexico?

Mel finally left Honduras yesterday en route to the Dominican Republic, and from there he plans to continue on to Mexico where he will settle down and undoubtedly live a life of luxury. My question, and maybe my readers can help answer, is why Mexico? Why not Cuba or Venezuela? Wouldn't life on a Cuban collective be happier than a bourgeois life in Mexico City? Wouldn't the electrical outages in Caracas remind him of home in Honduras? Or maybe, just maybe, Mexico is where the business is with the narco-cartels...? Hmmm...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Game Over, Honduras is Victorious!!

Finally, we get to see the back of Manuel Zelaya. The game's over. Honduras won!! The final scores:


HONDURAS- The clear winner, it scored a major victory. It did not capitualate to Zelaya, Chavez, the OAS, the USA, or Brazil.

ROBERTO MICHELETTI- Honduras' first hero of the 21st century. They should put a bust of him on the Blvd. de los Proceres in Tegucigalpa.


MANUEL ZELAYA I trust he will be miserable in his exile given the anguish that he has put Honduras through...He proved himself to be a selfish, egotistical, SOB.

CHAVEZ- Honduras checked his influence. Is 'Chavismo' dying? Please see the recent election results in Chile.

THE OAS- All I can say is poor Insulza...

THE USA- We already knew that America is a power in decline, that the American century had ended...Now, to be beaten by poor little Honduras...Talk about a bruise to the ego...

BRAZIL- Now we know exactly where Brazil's influence ends: in the jungles of Guiana and Surinam.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

History of Honduras

Over the past fourteen years of marriage to my beloved Catracha (yesterday was our 14th wedding anniversary), I have become fascinated by Honduran history...everything, from Mayan, colonial, intervention of the banana companies, to the present day.

Recently, I found a jewel of a website that has a fantastic collection of articles about Honduras' past. The link is as follows:


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

When In Tegucigalpa, If You Want To Eat...


While Cebollines or Casa Mexicana may be the best known Mexican restaurants in Tegucigalpa, LOS NOPALITOS (Calzada Republica de Uruguay, No. 219, Colonia San Carlos, behind Centro Comercial 'Los Castanos', tel. 221.0584, 252.5474) is by far the most authentic, and in my opinion the best. This restaurant is owned and operated by a Mexican couple in a renovated house. The menu is authentic, yet extensive. The prices are very reasonable, yet the quality of the food ranks four stars. This is definitely not the typical Tex-Mex place. I don't even know which dish to recommend because it's all good! Think home style Mexican cooking with a sophisticated touch! This is another of Don Godo's Favorites! (****/$$$).

Casa Mexicana has good food and is probably our second choice, but in the evening it is more of a bar scene than restaurant. We don't go to Cebollines any more. They increased their prices and reduced the size of their portions. To add insult to injury, Ceobollines no longer gives complimentary chips and salsa (unless you beg!). One other alternative is Clarita's on the road to Valle de Angeles (km. 6). While I have never eaten there, my wife and kids say it's good.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

When In Tegucigalpa, If You Want To Eat...


There are many places to get pizza in Tegucigalpa, ranging from franchises like Pizza Hut, Dominos, and Little Caesar's, to Honduran restaurants such as Tito's, La Trattoria, Mia Pappa, La Fontana, and Claudio's. However, Don Godo's family prefers IL PADRINO. It's right off of Blvd. Morazan, just behind Pollo Campero (tel. 221.0198). It's an Italian restaurant with all the typical dishes, but this is where we go for pizza. My kids really like the shrimp pizza, and all the other non-pizza dishes we have tried were quite good as well. The ambiance is a little lacking, kinda like a big box room with Italian decor, but it still rates being one of Don Godo's favorites. ($$$/****)

For me, La Trattoria is a close second. Claudio's is the only pizza place with a wood burning pizza oven, but while the pizza was quite good, we thought it was overpriced. The last time we went to Tito's, they had quit giving crushed peppers and parmesan cheese with pizza (claiming they could only offer it with pasta dishes).

Friday, January 01, 2010

Parading Past Mel's Security Outside the Brazilian Embassy

The Five Lempira Note and the Battle of Trinidad

I've often wondered about the battle scene on the reverse of the five lempira note, so I couldn't resist the temptation recently to take a small detour to see where the battle took place. From Tegucigalpa, on the road to the south, a few kilometers past Ojojona, there is a sign indicating that to the right, 2 km. down a small dirt road, is a monument to the Battle of Trinidad. About a km. down the road is a small, unassuming house with a larger than life statute of Francisco Morazan. I guess the owners are really proud of their heritage.

A minute further down the road, we get to the sight of what is probably the most important battle in Honduran history, the Battle of Trinidad, which was fought on Nov. 11, 1827 between the liberal forces led by Gen. Franscisco Morazan against the Conservatives. Morazan's forces won and this battle catapulted him to power. The battlefield is very modest, no visitor's center, no tourists, just one single monument...But the detour is well worth the extra ten minutes or so in order to put the five lemp note in it's proper historical context.