We humans often enjoy statistics when it comes to making sense of things.
In the case of Honduras, a Google news search will reveal it’s reputation as the country with the "Highest Homicide Rate in the World", outside of a war zone.
For this reason, people have been telling me that I should not venture too far nor too long in this country except for the necessary drive along the Panamerican highway from the El Salvador to the Nicaragua border.
However, because of my curious nature and seeing yet another opportunity to challenge what I consider to be mis-institutionalized wisdom. I set out to explore for myself the Capital, Tegucigalpa, and San Pedro Sula, the city with the "highest murder rate" in Honduras at 169 homicides per 100 000 inhabitants in 2013 (the rate of my hometown of Montreal by comparison was 1.08 per 100 000 during the same year).
My two weeks in Honduras would prove to be warm, charming, intriguing and well, more or less as dangerous (or safe) as any other big city on the planet. I discovered a place that carries, like many others in this part of the world, the weight of socio-economic inequality and the burden of a reputation of violence, coruption and crime, even though the vast majority of it's inhabitents are peaceful, hard working and disarmingly generous.
Beyond the shadow of its "bad" reputation is a hopeful people full of pride towards their country, joy towards life and love for their family and friends.
I hope the following images convey a sense of how unique and yet common a place Honduras can be. Far from being an "investigative" piece though, my process has been to spend these 2 weeks intuitively discovering places and connecting with people in as genuine as way as I could, hence building rich new friendships along the way.