Honduras has the world’s second-largest barrier reef, dazzling Caribbean islands, colonial-style towns, and a mountain interior on the west. Honduras is world famous for its archeological sites, including 3,000-year-old Mayan ruins and the mysterious rediscovered city of Copán, but its true treasure is the people and relaxed life-style. Dancing and music play an important role for Hondurans of all ages and they often reflect different ethnic heritages. Honduran people are cheerful, warm and full of hospitality.
Over the next several years, Susana visited us for some of her birthdays and when our daughter, Lauren, was born in 1999. She loved seeing her little brother and sister grow. We, of course, were thrilled to have her at home again!
In 2007, Susana was engaged to Milton Gonzalez. She always told me that when she got married, she would have both of her dads walk her down the aisle. On December 7, 2007, her dream came true. I escorted her from the car into the church and one-third down the aisle. Her father then took her to the altar. It was an elegant Honduran wedding with many political people attending.
In February, 2008, Susana found out that she would have a baby in September. We were thrilled about our first grandchild. Our granddaughter, Leonarda, was born on September 4, 2008. We were asked to be her godparents, which we gladly accepted. Terri, Jacob, Lauren, and I attended the baptism on November 29, 2008. Our AFS experience has been a true blessing and we can't imagine our lives without Susana! Thank you AFS!–Brian & Terri Hale, host parents to student from Honduras
Honduras is quite conservative compared with most Western countries. For one thing, Latin parents tend to be very protective. Teenagers are expected to respect their parents and elders and to live by the family’s advice and rules. In many families the father goes out to work while the mother stays at home and runs the household. Although it is common for families to have a maid, a daughter is normally expected to help her mother with running the home while a son runs errands and does odd jobs. When teenagers date, parents tend to be stricter with their daughters.
Not all Hondurans are able to attend high school. Those who do gain the opportunity will help poor communities provide free assistance in such areas as education, health, and construction. This assistance, together with completing classes, is a requirement for graduation. Although punctuality is not of major concern among friends, it is important for school, church, or formal occasions.
Most Honduran teenagers are serious about their studies and little time is spent on extracurricular activities during weekdays. Few teenagers are sports-minded, but there are sports (soccer, basketball and volleyball) and other activities.
Hondurans dress in casual clothes such as jeans, t-shirts, slacks and skirts. Honduras is a tropical country but it may get chilly during winter an in the mountains. Schools require uniforms.
Honduras is one of the largest exporters of bananas in the world. One popular variety in Honduras is fried plátanos (a starchy variety of banana cooked and eaten like potatoes). Fruits are an integral part of the diet as they are used in many dishes. Typical foods include frijoles (beans), eggs, rice, tortillas and white and red meats combining Caribbean and Latin American cuisines. Equally characteristic of Honduran food are some beverages; Honduran coffee is highly appreciated and natural fruit juices are popular. Usually the whole family eats together.
Spanish is the primary language of Honduras, though English is widely spoken as well as languages particular to the different ethnic groups. 97% of the country is Roman Catholic.