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Archive for 2010

Museum of Anthropology and History – Comayagua, Honduras

Enjoy a tour of the Lenca Museum in Comayagua. This virtual tour is very interesting since it talks about the history of the Lencas. Since the video is in Spanish, I have transcribed it in English, you can read this summary of what is shown on the video, I hope you enjoy this virtual visit.

The Museum of anthropology and history in Comayagua, is the only museum in Honduras that has information about the history of the Lencas. Comayagua was the capital of Honduras from 1824 until 1880, when the capital was moved to Tegucigalpa, current capital of the country.

When you see the video the first images inside the house, are of fossilized bones of sloths and jaguars that lived in the region. Also, you will be able to see some petrified sea shells, which leads to believe that a long time ago the main land was covered by the ocean.

Lenca Prehistoric Art of Honduras– Arte Rupestre

The first carved stone was found near the Yohoa Lake in the center of Honduras, it has the image of a feathered serpent, which symbolized the fertility of the land and abundance of water.

Behind the carved stone we can see a replica of caves found in La Paz, which are around 14,000 years old, making it the oldest cave in America that contains pictographic drawings. The Lencas were nomads, so this is why the archeologist have found paintings and sculptures all over the country. The paintings were used to teach children the importance of the ceremonies, in one of the paintings it is possible to observe that the whole tribe, several snakes and the shaman are painted on the stone. Also at the bottom right hand corner, we can see a painting of a ball, which leads the archeologists to believe that the Lencas invented the ball game that the Mayans are famous for. The Mayans came to this region 400 year later than the Lencas.

The main archeological finding of the Lencas is known as Chircal or Miravalle Village. On the video you can observe a model with one pyramid and several houses of the village, the Lencas had to leave their village because a volcanic eruption in El Salvador.

Lenca Cermics and Colored Pottery

First, we can see several small carved stones used to make tattoos and several small statues. Then it is possible to observe different types of pottery with drawings. The pottery usually uses three colors: black, brown and white. Also, the Lencas made collars and earrings of jade and other types of stone.

In the final room, which used to be part of the president’s main office, we can see several oil paintings. In the room we can see that now different types of clothing used by the Lencas are being displayed. If you continue to see the video, there will be no more objects used or made by Lencas. All of the other rooms contain objects of the time that the museum was the presidential house when Comayagua was the capital of Honduras.

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Anafres – Honduras Food

Anafre is the name of the clay pot where usually hot coal is placed to heat up the plate placed on its top. As you can see it has several holes to let some oxygen in and keep the coal lit. Usually the top plate is also made of clay and what it contains is one of the most delicious appetizers in Honduras.

Usually the anafres contain fried red or black beans with cheese fondue on top. Also other ingredients that might be added are peppers and chorizo. In order to eat this delicious dip, tortilla chips accompany the appetizer.

If you want to make this you don’t actually need the clay pot, but usually it is nice to have one for decorative purposes. So if you are wondering how to make this wonderful appetizer, below you can find the ingredients and instructions:

Ingredients:
Red or black beans
Oil
Garlic
Salt
Mozzarella or any type of cheese that melts.
Tortilla chips

Optional ingredients:
Jalapeño peppers
Chorizo

Sometimes you can by the beans already fried and smashed up, but if you want to do it with raw beans you can do it as well. In order to speed up the cooking of the beans you should leave them over night in a bowl filled with water so that they become hydrated and softer. You should place the raw beans on a pressure cooker or pot with salt, some garlic and cook until they are soft.

When they are ready, take them out of the water and smash them in a mortar or place them in the blender. When you have the paste you can get a frying pan place some oil and fry the beans when the oil is hot. When the beans are crispy you can place them on the anafre’s plate or any other container you can use. If you do not have the clay anafre pot to place the coal, don’t worry, you can do this on the stove or in a barbecue.

On the plate that has the beans place the cheese on top and jalapeño peppers if you want. If you want to place chorizo I recommend you cook it before to remove some part of the fat and add to the plate after they are done. Make sure that the fire is not to high so that the beans do not burn.

When the cheese has melted you can start eating everything with the tortilla chips which you can also make or buy ready.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and let me know if you would like me to publish more recipes or information about other subjects, Honduras related.

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Pastelitos de Carne – Meat Empanadas

Another typical and delicious dish in Honduras is “Pastelitos de Perro”, which is how they are commonly known. They are made from corn tortilla flour, filled with ground meat with vegetables. They are usually topped with cheese and salad as you can see in the image below. If you have tried empanadas from other countries, this will be similar but they have the delicious taste of the corn flour instead of the wheat flour.

Here is how you can make your first batch of “pastelitos de perro”. You will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of corn flour
  • 1/2 cup of rice
  • 1/4 lbs of ground meat
  • 5 potatoes
  • Azafran
  • Oil
  • Chopped Cabbage
  • Cheese
  • Tomato Sauce

First you will need to prepare the corn flour, which only needs some warm water to prepare. You should mix some water with the flour and azafran until you have the dough ready. The azafran will give the dough a nice red color. Make some small balls of dough and then smash them so that you have a tortilla shape.

The filling consists of cooked potatoes in pieces of 3/8 inches, cooked rice and cooked ground meat.

When you have the entire ingredients ready, place the filling in the middle of the tortillas and fold the dough so that you have a half moon shape “pastelito de perro”. Place some oil on the frying pan and when it is very hot, very careful slide all of the pastelitos in the pan so that the oil won’t splash. When the dough has turned golden brown it means that they are ready.

Then, you can prepare the tomato sauce to your liking; add salt pepper and some oregano if you like. Then, chop the cabbage and add some salt and a little bit of vinegar.

Place the cooked “pastelitos de perro” on a plate and place the cabbage salad on top, add the tomato sauce and shredded cheese.

I hope you like this recipe, if you would like to leave your comments or tips for preparing the meat empanadas, please leave us your thoughts in the comment box.

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Making the difference: Lucy Thomas

Today browsing on the internet found a great article, that described the work of Máxima Thomas, the Garifuna Museum Director. In 1996, the Garífuna Museum was founded with the objective to promote Garífuna culture and to offer cultural education and tourist services to those who visit their communities, interested in knowing more about Garífuna culture. The Museum offers information through exhibitions on the life, work, and transcendence of Garífuna culture since our arrival to Honduras. Also, it provides a few of the antecedents from the Garífuna’s departure from St. Vincent. We are an educational resource for grade school, secondary, and university students, whose programs explore Garífuna culture but had no previous center for investigation.

Sustaining Local Artists and Producers

To support the Garífuna Museum, they have implemented a craft shop and a small art gallery, which sells paintings, on the first floor. They earn a profit of 10 to 20% from each sale, which sustains the museum and the entrance fees. The Museum also helps Garífuna painters and artists, who sell their work in the area, to make a name for themselves. There is an artisan exposition room so that Garífuna handicrafts can be seen, and so that the artisans can sell their products and get money to cover their daily expenses. There is also an expo-sale of paintings that we call the Art Gallery. However, it still does not meet all of the necessary conditions to preserve the paintings. The paintings are exposed to dust and need a more enclosed place so they don’t deteriorate.

The museum directors are planning to create a Garífuna Plaza, where those people who make typical baked foods and pastries can bring their products to the Museum and market them. Before, there wasn’t a place where you could come to sell and buy Garífuna products. We are satisfying these supply and demands. We also have a restaurant service, where you can sample traditional plates and learn about Garífuna gastronomy. With our food sales, they underwrite the project, “Garífuna Plaza”, which makes the project more sustainable because of the sales commissions they earn.

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The Lenca Trail – Honduras

The Lenca Trail, is one of the most beautiful tours in Honduras. Is is a 76-mile route spanning from Santa Rosa de Copán to La Esperanza in the western highlands. Throughout this trail you will visit the most charming towns, you will be able to see a many colonial style architecture, churches, historical forts, a Lenca museum and Farmers Markets where the Lenca people sell their vegetables and pottery. Please read our post about the Lenca and their pottery for more information.

Also, the route provides a wonderful scenery with green hills and mountains. On the trail you have the opportunity to visit the National Park “Celaque”, which means “Box of Water” in the lenca language. Celaque is a rain forest where you will find over 230 plant species, 45 species of mammals, and 269 species of birds. The national park is located 9km from downtown Gracias, in the Celaque Mountain. After arriving to the visitor center, the walk in the park is rather pleasant where you will ascend an extra 1,400 to 2,500 meters, where all the flora and fauna typical from a rain forest can be found.

This is an excelent touristic route where you can find living culture, natural scenery, and colonial architecture. Please visit Colosuca for more information about this wonderful trip.

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Sorry for being abscent so long, but we are back now and have a lot of interesting articles in mind so that you can learn more about Honduras. Since our last post a lot of things have happened, sadly enough the world cup has ended, after a very exciting month, also summer has begun and a lot of people are planning to take their vacations. With this in mind we parepared a list of the top 10 places you can visit in Honduras.

Below we have gathered a list of places you can visit divided into different categories:

Beaches

  • Roatan
  • Utila
  • Cayos Cochinos
  • Tela
  • La Ceiba
  • Amapala
  • Tropical Rain Forests and Nature Resorts

  • La Tigra
  • La Muralla
  • Pico Bonito
  • Ancient Ruins and Culture

  • Copan
  • With this list you have a wide variety of places to choose from, each offering different activities, such as snorkeling, diving, white water rafting, hiking, relaxing on beatiful beaches, sightseeing, birdwatching, etc.

    If you have have visited another place you would like to add to the list please leave your suggestion in our comment box.

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