Today we landed in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras. It’s such a beautiful city. We could see that the city is surrounded by mountains as we were flying over. It seemed like the city came out of nowhere. It would make sense that Tegucigalpa is surrounded by mountains because it is a mining town, but I honestly wasn’t expecting it to look like an inland oasis. From above I saw this huge soccer stadium. I was hoping we could catch a game, but of course first we had do the tourist thing, so we went to the city.

I’ve never been to Honduras before, but I must say, Tegucigalpa kind of looks like my hometown. There was a Burger King, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, advertisements for Coca-Cola, and a sign telling us the total jackpot for the lottery. It’s funny to see all of this in a foreign country. I read somewhere that the city didn’t start building structures over two stories tall until the 1980’s and now all of a sudden it’s a modernized city!

Tegucigalpa Image Collage

When we got to the museum, which used to be the Presidential Palace, I noticed the crowd of people start to pick up. It seemed like all 1.3 million Tegucigalpans decided to come to one place. I was thinking to myself, “Seriously, guys, you can come see this stuff anytime you want. Why do you wait until I’m here to want to come out?” I mean, there were soooooo many people and no elbow room. Finally, I had to stop and ask someone what was going on. The man told me that it was a holiday, so many people had come to see the Virgen de Suyapa in the Basilica. That was a new one to me, so I asked him who she was. He said it’s a two-inch statue of the Virgin Mary that performs miracles. Miracles? I guess he saw my puzzled look, so he told me the story of two little boys who fell asleep in a cornfield. One boy woke up because he felt something like a rock under his back. He saw it was small and threw it as far as he could. A little while later he felt it again. He looked down and saw it was the same thing as before. Finally, he put it in his pocket and went back to sleep. The next day, in the daylight, he saw it was a tiny statue of the Virgin Mary, so he took it home and put it on his mother’s prayer altar. From then on, the statue started performing miracles.

virgendesuyapa

I have to admit, this was a little farfetched for me, so I went to the Basilica to see the statue. Of course I had to wait for a bajillion other people to go before me, but it was true, there was a tiny, two-inch statue that had drawn all this attention. It was placed in an enormous, gold and glass case that was beautiful to look at while I waited though! The devotion of the people in the church was very inspiring, and many people were lighting candles and singing while they waited for the next service to start. I couldn’t stay, though…it was just too hot! I bought three bags of water (yes, BAGS of water, not bottles!) from a local vendor, and I gave one away to a little kid who was waiting outside with his baby sister and a dog. What a long day for such a tiny statue!

Activities:

  1. What is the story of the Virgen de Suyapa?
  2. Go to Google Maps (https://www.google.es/maps) and find Tegucigalpa. Describe where it is located and how the geography of the city might affect the lifestyle of its inhabitants.
  3. ¡A escribir! Look at the pictures of Tegucigalpa. How is it similar and different from your hometown?