Tuesday, September 16, 2008

15 de Septiembre

Yesterday was independence day here in Honduras (and several other countries in these parts that got their independence from Spain on the same day.) Since we have two interns, and two little kids, we went to see the big parade for the first time in eight years. Similar to what we remembered, but a lot more trash (the newspaper said this morning that the clean up crews supposedly collected 15 tons of it.)

The one big difference I saw later in the press (and on TV) was the involvement of Mel Zelaya (the president), instead of putting forth the usual "long live Honduras, yeah for independence, etc." speech, he took the opportunity to promote the ALBA (the semi-CAFTA for socialist countries) and was received with quite a few boos, whistles, etc.

As if not popular enough...he then invited the "Bloque Popular" a very left leaning group to have a parallel parade with the students (the normal parade only involves schools.) Why? Well, they support ABLA as well (my favorite part being the sign they had plastered on the front of a truck driving with them...Chavez, Morales, Zelaya and Castro) and when they arrived at the national stadium...they were greeted with more boos, etc. and thrown water bottles and probably more.

Of course we delayed receiving the credentials of the US ambassador when he arrived last week (in solidarity with our Bolivian brothers...also not a very popular move...Mel says now it will happen this week)....add all that up plus what has been said and the past....and it is not exactly a friendly time for the US in Honduras.

We enjoyed the parade (can you believe I found a spot in the shade below a billboard the whole 45 minutes we were there?) and getting to visit Doña Elida whom we had not seen for many moons, and then actually taking a nap in the afternoon!

Enjoy the pictures of the rather unique outfits worn for the parade. Some were traditional, some were more modern, and some....I assume the design idea was to stand out, and some of them certainly stood out, in good ways and ways that sometimes made me say yikes.

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