So I'll be down here for 27 months. I have lots of wall space and would love to receive some postcards from you back home. If you send me a postcard:

1) I'll be very happy, 2) I'll show it to everyone that comes to my apartment, 3) I'll send you a postcard, 4) You can be 100% sure that I won't forget who you are during my time here.







Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Peace Corps Honduras on it's way out

Hmm let's see, this post may come as a surprise to some....

I'm going back to Philly next month, my guess is mid-January. There have been a lot of 'security incidents' with volunteers in Honduras in the past year and after a volunteer getting shot in the leg a couple of weeks ago PC staff finally decided it was time to evaluate everything that's going on in this country. There's been chisme (gossip) about something big like this possibly happening for about a week now which has made it less surprising to hear. So what's actually happening...

There are still some details missing, but Peace Corps Volunteers in Honduras are ALL going home for a period of at least 30 days while PC staff reassesses the situation here and will be looking at what changes they can make in the future so that PC can continue in Honduras. Supposedly, we can all return after those 30 days or however long it takes for them to get these things done. We don't have the date yet, but sometime probably in week 2 of January we'll have a conference with all the volunteers in Honduras and then fly home afterwards. My expectations of PC allowing us to come back (at least to Olancho) are not all that high, although hopefully I'm wrong. Also, I'm close enough to the end of my service that I wouldn't be transferring or starting in another country, so if it's done in Honduras then PC is done for me and I'll be trying to figure out what to do next (yes, plenty of options in mind, picking one or a couple is the hard part).

Am I happy about this? No. Timing couldn't be worse. But then again, when would the timing be right to tell someone they have to pick up and leave just like that (maybe when it's not freezing cold back home... I prefer warm weather and cold showers instead of warm showers and cold weather). Am I mad? Tampoco. It's out of my control so just have to make the best out of whatever happens. It's a tough situation that PC staff is facing seeing as all sorts of crap has gone down in this country. I feel safe where I live and in the places that I go, but there are a lot of volunteers all over the country, taking all different bus routes and being exposed to certain dangers. Just today, three police died as a bus got assaulted. Read Article Here. That bus route and the bus route where the volunteer was shot are both heavily traveled by PCVs in country. I'd probably be more worried if I lived out in that region of the country.

Anyways, you got any questions, ask away. I'll try to update when we get told more details.

Guatemala and El Salvador are also having changes made in their Peace Corps programs. They're next training classes have been cancelled but I believe none of them are being home, rather they're staying in country while changes are being made. I'm not 100% sure about that last statement. Although, Honduras does have the #1 homicide rate in the world.

3 comments:

  1. Hey, I'm a PCV in Guatemala and just to confirm, for the time being we will be left in country while they try to evaluate the security situation and additional measures to increase security. We haven't had any huge red flag incidents lately and security incidents have been pretty level over the past six months (as far as I know from our SS stats), but of course I'm not taking anything for granted these days!

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  2. Thanks for confirming that.

    Also, official press release from Peace Corps: http://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=resources.media.press.view&news_id=1932

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  3. Hi Eyal,

    I am glad you are safe.

    Love you.
    ima

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