A catracho in kiwi-land

January 25, 2007

La Gringa has asked me how a Honduran ended up in New Zealand. Good question! There in only a very small Latin American community here and most are South American… Central Americans very rarely make it this far.
The answer is quite simple. Mercy Ships.
The longer version is this. About 7 years ago I flew into El Salvador to join a Mercy Ship working there. At the same time a nice young Honduran man also joined the ship. Although apparently I was “noticed” by the catracho on my arrival we mixed in different circles, the ship community was big enough that we didn’t really get to know each other for a few months.
Eventually we did get talking, and found we had a lot in common. A great friendship developed which pretty soon became romantic. In the meantime the ship was moving around, so we had our first dance in Cartagena, Columbia; our first date in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, and got engaged (after 3 months dating!) while visiting friends in Hot Springs, Arkansas. We rejoined the ship (and had engagement photos taken) in beautiful Savannah, Georgia, then spent most of our engagement working with the ship in Puerto Cortes, Honduras- doing wedding planning in New Zealand by email and internet.
We flew out of San Pedro Sula to the US a couple of weeks after September 11, enroute to New Zealand to get married. We had been offered air points tickets to get back to NZ (being poor penniless volunteers) but these were useless post 9-11 so we had an anxious couple of weeks trying to work out how we were going to get to our wedding! Finally friends in LA gave us tickets (bought using credit card points which were accepted… never did figure out why some air points were bad and others ok!) and we made it home 4 weeks before the wedding.
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We initially planned to return to Honduras shortly after the wedding, but instead have spent most of our marriage as university students, him doing an undergraduate degree in politics (something he always wanted to do but never would have had the opportunity to do in Honduras) and me doing my masters in development studies. I have now completed my degree, he has 1 more semester to go.
Our studies were very sweetly interupted by the birth of our chichi (pet name for our beautiful daughter) 18 months ago. We actually returned to Honduras during the first trimester of my pregnancy (something I can’t really advise doing!), and spent 3 months there doing research for my masters. We’ll be going back once all the studies are complete, at least for a year or two. Chichi needs to be introduced to her relatives, and her culture and language (although her Papi is doing a great job so far). I need to improve my Spanish, and put my Development Studies qualification to some sort of use. And it’s time for the Catracho to go home for a while. He loves NZ but I know he’s missing his people, his culture, and his frijoles and tortillas. Which brings me back to La Gringa. I’ve been browsing her blog, and others such as littlewoodenman, enjoying the insights into life in Honduras they provide, both the challenges and the joys. I’m so ready for another adventure!

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3 Responses to “A catracho in kiwi-land”

  1. La Gringa Says:

    Thank you for the nice story! I don’t mean to stereotype, but those Catrachos are some pretty romantic guys, aren’t they?!

    I love the photo. Somehow it is just as I imagined New Zealand would look.


  2. […] still not completely sure how blogs and blog stats work but for some reason my recent post about a catracho in kiwi-land resulted in a huge spike in views. Maybe it was the way I tagged it, maybe it was the human […]


  3. […] in Honduras: While I have been married to a Honduran for 8 years, and have made 3 previous visits of 2-4 months to the country, this was my first […]


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