After a 2 hour flight and 3 hour drive, I have arrived in La Ceiba, on the east coast of Honduras. On the way, my American driver Peter described the US orchestrated coup in 2009 that brought about a new, less stable government. It is for this reason that Honduras is now one of the poorest, most dangerous countries in Central and South America.
The beautiful jungle scenery is contrasted by shacks, huge pot holes in the road and gun-wielding police.
Drug trafficking has come to Honduras, which has the 2nd biggest rainforest in the world (which means easy undercover transport) from cartels in Columbia. This is the reason for the high death toll, which is the world’s highest, and draws in many young people disillusioned with the poverty of normal employment.
In the evening I was taken to a restaurant (evidently owned by a friend of Peter’s, but the service was pretty awful) with two other travelers. Security for the place was a pump-action shotgun.
The others were far more experienced than I am, one 7 months in, the other 3 months. Their Spanish was excellent, and they’d visited various other central American countries before arriving here. They were also puzzled by my decision to volunteer on Utila. They were there to relax on the beaches of the Bay Islands and party. As if showing off, one told me to take a shot of tequila after every meal, supposedly to kill the bacteria.
Anyway, off to Utila and the iguanas tomorrow!