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...

4 comments:

Hannah said...

I think it's more education than pride. No one's ever said "hey, you shouldn't litter!" And if they're supposed to be teaching it in the schools, well, we all know that's useless since the teachers aren't even there half the time! :-/

DON GODO said...

Hannah, You're absolutely right about the education part. Without a decent education, people just don't know or appreciate the difference between keeping the city clean nor will they have any the slightest inclination towards historical preservation. Unfortunately, public education in Honduras is rotten to core.

Laurie said...

It's hard to not litter when neighborhoods near the capital don't have garbage pickup. Ever. I work in such a neighborhood. No one has a car or access to garbage pickup. Burning is an option, but that is not an option for all of the plastic junk in modern life. It's a hard dilemma for many urban Hondurans.

DON GODO said...

Laurie,

There is trash pick up within the city limits. While there is no official trash pick up outside the city, most poor neighborhoods have large dumpsters where residents can put their trash. I've seen the dumpsters in El Sitio, but people still prefer to throw their trash on the street instead of walking a block to throw it into the dumpster.

Since my family lives outside of the city, we take our trash to a large dumpster on the Anillo.