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Archive for 2010

World Cup Fever

06/05/2010 by
World Cup Fever

The World Cup in South Africa is about to start and football is the most popular sport in Honduras. Everyone loves loves the game and is always supporting the team. It has been 28 years since our first World Cup participation in Spain 1982, so this is a really big deal for us.

It was a really tough for Honduras to qualify this year, because of all of the problems the country was having and the excellent teams that were competing in the qualifying rounds.  Gladly the country is back to normal and the people can relax and watch their national team play against some of the best in the world.

Everyone is hoping that our team will try hard and play the best they can against better teams, such as Spain which shares a spot in the same group, H.

These are our colors:

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Honduras Food – Sopa de Caracol

Sopa de Caracol or Conch chowder is one of the most delicious and popular dishes in Honduras. Most of the Caribbean countries eat this delicious dish, Bahamas and Jamaica have their own recipes as well, but all of them are fairly similar.

Conch which is pronounced “konk” is a common name which is applied to a number of different species of medium-sized to large sea snails or their shells. There are several dishes involving conch meat but also the shell plays an important part in our culture. Usually it is used as a wind musical instrument.

Here is a recipe for the Conch soup and a video so that you can see what the result is.

CONCH 4 medium, pounded and chopped
2 ONIONS, chopped
SALT and PEPPER to taste
2 cans (28 oz. ea.) TOMATOES, chopped
1 1/2 cup POTATOES, peeled and chunked
4 stalks CELERY, cut into bite-size pieces
4 CARROTS, cut into bite-size pieces
2 cups WATER
2 cups sliced OKRA
1/2 tsp. PARSLEY

Cooking procedure: In a large pot, saute onions in oil until translucent. Add salt and pepper. Add lemon juice, tomatoes and conch and increase heat. Add vegetables and rest of ingredients. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 3 hours. Remove bay leaves and serve.

What is Conch ?

Sopa de Caracol or Conch Chowder Recipe

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Handmade Crafts in Honduras

I have posted this great video, that describes some of the most typical handmade crafts in Honduras, and where you can find them. There is a great variety of handmade crafts such as hard-carved wooden boxes, woven chairs, indigenous pottery, jewelry and hammocks in Honduras and each city has its own special selection. This video explores some of the options of where you can find authentic and quality crafts in Honduras.
Valle de Ángeles, a small town located near Tegucigalpa, is known for its leather, carved wooden boxes, weavings and clay roosters. The distinctive pottery made by the indigenous Lenca people is a unique option – one that is only made in Honduras. And Bay Islands, recognized for their handmade jewelry and hammocks.

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Pico Bonito National Park

Pico Bonito National Park is located near La Ceiba, one of the main cities in Honduras. Pico bonito es the second largest national park, with an extension of 1073 km2. This national park is very beautiful since it is one of the most diverse parks of the county, here you will have the opportunity to observe jaguars, armadillos, wild pigs, tepescuintles, squirrels, monkeys, toucans, white tailed deer, mountain lions, river otters, motmots and many more species. Another highlight of Pico Bonito is that it has areas of lowland dry forest which are scarce in Honduras, making it a great location to observe the more endangered and endemic birds and plants.

This national park is famous for having the highest peak of the country, 2436 meters high. The peak is a challenge to climb and climbing equipment is required in order to reach the top. Usually the hike might take about 10 days. The densely covered lands makes the park hard to access, and visitors usually explore the lower regions of the park near the Zacate and Cangrejal Rivers, where some eco-tourism activities can be done such as white water rafting and canopy tours.

Image via Wikipedia

The National Park has a selection of different habitats, and the rough terrain subsequently means that Pico Bonito is one of the least explored national parks in Honduras, leaving the park in its natural condition with only a handful of trails. The vegetation commences with tropical rainforest and broad leaf forests, which turns into cloud forest the higher you get. Rainforests usually are hot and moist and are perfect habitat for a wide variety of animals. The slopes of Pico Bonito are extremely inclined thus forming numerous waterfalls throughout the park. At daybreak you can view the vast mountain range from La Ceiba and try and comprehend what it is that you are about to explore. The numerous trails can be walked independently. One of the routes, the Zacate River Trail, is approximately 1.5 km long and follows the path of the river Zacate. On route there are several swimming holes along the path.

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Lempira – Honduran Hero

Lempira was a war captain of the Lencas, a Mesoamerican ethnic group, who speak their own language and have lived in Honduras and El Salvador since pre-colombian times. The Lencas are still living in Honduras and recently have gained popularity because of their beautiful pottery and crafts.

Lempira is very important in Honduran history, because he fought against the Spanish around the 1500s, when the Spanish were trying to conquer the territory. He was of medium height, with strong complexity. He was known for his bad temper and since a young age he demonstrated courage and bravery and was known for his love for his people, land, laws and traditions. The name Lempira comes from the word Lempaera, which is the union of two lencan words, Lempa which means Lord – title of dignity and hierarchy, and the word Era, which means hills. Therefore, Lempira would be the “lord of the hills”.

Lempira was very respected among his people and when fighting against the Spaniards, he was able to unite 200 different tribes to create an army of 30,000 soldiers. Because of this organization it was very difficult for the Spaniards to take control of the region during 1537, until Lempira’s death.

There are two versions of Lempira’s death, the first version, which is the traditional story heard in Honduras states that he was betrayed by the Spaniards. Supposedly, they had agreed to meet with Lempira to negotiate peace. When he met with the Spaniards, he was shot by one of the Spaniards. The second version of his death was found on a document called Pobranza de Meritos, in the Archivo General de Indias of Sevilla, written by Rodrigo Ruiz. This version states that the captain “EL Empira” was killed in combat by Ruiz in the middle of an unexpected battle. After Lempira was killed, Ruiz cut Lempira’s head off as a proof of his death.

Because of Lempira’s important role in Honduran history, many things were honored with his name. Honduras currency is el lempira, also there is a city called Puerto Lempira, capital of the department or state Gracias a Dios and finally there is a department called Lempira.

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This post will be dedicated to the Garifuna ehtnic group or Garinagu. Their presence in Honduras has incluenced our music, food, and art.

The Garinagu (Garifuna in singular) are an afro-descendent ethnic group found in various regions of Central America and the Caribbean. They live along the Caribbean Coast in Belize, Guatemala, St. Vincent, Nicaragua and Honduras including the mainland, and on the island of Roatán.

The Garinagu are mix of African, Arawak and Carib acenstry. This mix of cultures gave birth to this ethnic groug that has been able to preserve their culture despite of discrimination and migration. Their culture is the perfect union of their ancestors, their language, agriculture and religion are very similar to their Carib Ancestry, meanwhile their dances (known as Punta), music and art have a strong african influence, as you can see in the video.

In wikipedia, they stated that “in 2001 UNESCO proclaimed the language, dance and music of the Garifuna as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in Nicaragua, Honduras, and Belize. In 2005 the First Garifuna Summit was held in Corn Island, Nicaragua with the participation of the government of other Central American countries.”

As you can see the Garinagu are really important in Honduran culture, and I just had to write a post about them. I hope you enjoy the video with typical dances and music.

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