Humanitarian Aid is a major factor in the Honduran economy, and Middle Tennessee has a great presence there. Churches, Rotary Clubs, Medical Brigades, and Educators all have an active presence. Every time we have been, the plane is full of volunteers headed to Honduras.
Almost everyone on the Nashville – Miami flight was headed for a Honduras mission of some kind. My dentist was on the same flight too! He was traveling with his church to visit Mission Lazarus, a working ranch that houses many needy children and provides educational, spiritual, and medical support throughout southern Honduras. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Landing in Tegucigalpa is always an experience, no matter how many times you have been. It used to be rated the most dangerous airport in the world. Now it is #2. The runway was extended.
After exiting the plane, going through immigration is a breeze.
Just outside the terminal building is Frederico at Friendship Car Rental. Every year, we rent small diesel trucks for our journey at approximately $70/day.
These Nissan and Toyota diesel trucks are really neat! It is a shame they are not available in the US or I would have one!
Tegucigalpa has everything you would expect to see in a capital city. Even a Kentucky Fried Chicken, where we usually grab a meal before the ride to Choluteca. We didn’t this year. Chuck Payne wasn’t with us!
To reach Choluteca, we follow the Tegucigalpa Highway to the port city San Lorenzo and then take the Pan-American Highway to Choluteca, and onward to San Marcos de Colon, our final destination.
In October 2011, Honduras was devastated by heavy rains and flooding. CLICK HERE for the story. Landslides were frequent along the way, adding a lot of extra drive time… and sore spots from the many potholes!
It will be a long time before these highways are restored, and there are many other weak areas that might not withstand another heavy rainy season. And there are always slide areas that just don’t ever get fixed!
These roads are dangerous enough and fatal accidents are very common. Here is a memorial built alongside a bluff on the Pan American Highway in memory of the 35 children that died when their bus left the road in 1965. CLICK HERE for the original article. This memorial is 100 yards away from the home we built this year.
We arrived at Choluteca to meet Jim Johnston with the Lawrenceburg Rotary Club. It was there that we learned we would not be staying at the Barcelona Hotel in San Marcos de Colon, as they were full. A new place had opened up, El Potrillo, near Jayacayan. They were expecting us. I already knew where it was…so off we went.
We arrived at El Potrillo and got checked into our rooms, which were actually brand new cabins! Although more pricey ($30 per person per night) than the Barcelona ($15), the accomodations were fantastic. Breakfast was included in the rate as well, and it too was fabulous!
El Potrillo is a new weekend playground for residents of Choluteca to escape the heat. It’s higher elevation features cooler nights (60’s) and days (low 80’s). They have just completed (12) 3-bedroom cabins, and have a full restaurant and bar, swimming pool, fishing lake, horseback riding, event arena, and karaoke club. We just used the cabins and the restaurant. Every meal we had there was fantastic and the cabins were super nice, complete with rocking chair porches!
On Sunday morning, we ventured into San Marcos de Colon for church. I didn’t understand all the words, but something was different about this service. There was a box at the front of the church that appeared to be a casket. Well, it was. We were attending a funeral.
We then ventured to the Barcelona Hotel, knowing they would let us use their clean restrooms! And what a surprise… the downstairs of Barcelona was now a full variety store, a mini-Wal-Mart. It turns out it was actually owned by Wal Mart too.
Every year, the circle of friends gets bigger. Many great relationships have formed over the years, and new ones created each year! Stay tuned for Part 3!
Trey Lewis is VP Sales & Marketing for Ole South Properties Inc, Tennessee’s largest independent home builder, 615.896.0019 direct 615.593.6340 or email TLewis@olesouth.com. Specializing in new homes in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Clarksville, Gallatin, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.