Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I was super excited when my Spanish teacher here (yes, I do take Spanish classes as a benefit of my employment) assigned me an essay on "Mammals of Honduras"... let that one sink in and think about how much of a dork I am :) Anyway, in my searching I ran across a list of books (in English) about Honduras, and some of the titles are fascinating.

I had already heard of, and intend to read, Don't Be Afraid, Gringo about land rights struggles in Honduras and a female leader in the movement. I also hope to read Bananeras, about women banana workers and their efforts at labor organization. One title that particularly stuck out for me was "Questioning Empowerment" about development projects designed by women and the different manifestations of power. What can I say, women are cool! There are some great titles if you scroll down and if anyone who is following this reads any, please let me know!!

One thing I will say here is that there is really a DEARTH of books here in Honduras... "librerĂ­as" here are more school supply stores than book stores. The English speaking teachers are swapping the precious few paperbacks left in the teacher houses by our predecessors. We are thinking of starting a book club to read books about Honduran culture and discuss it. You don't realize how much of a reading culture we have in the states until you're taken out of it--look at the success of Barnes & Noble and Borders! Apparently there is a bookstore or two in Tegucigalpa but in our town there is one tiny little kiosk in the mall that has only a few titles (at least they have the Popol Vuh!)

One thing I saw in Mexico last summer that I really liked was the fact that on Sundays, a day where most families would get together and bike down the closed-off streets of Guadalajara, they had book promotions. There were little booths along the bike routes where families were hanging out that said "Mexico: A country of readers!" and gave away free NEW paperback books, many on Mexican history. I thought it was a wonderful initiative and would love to see it spread to a place like Honduras!

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