At home in Honduras: political crisis and fieldwork

June 27, 2009

CasitaAfter a month of organising, packing, travelling, holidaying (vacationing) and settling in we are now officially, properly here in Honduras.  This trip is a little different to our past visits here. We have a home, I have an office, and we are working on getting a car. Simply having a home base and a kitchen makes life in Honduras a lot easier, and we feel we have hit the jackpot with our little casita (pictured).

We found the house through a client of a friend of ours here last year.  At the time we looked at it last year it was an empty concrete shell which the owner was planning to finish and furnish for rental.  We took a risk agreeing to rent it before seeing the final result but we are very pleased.  It is slightly upgraded traditional Honduran style – tile floors, painted concrete walls, concrete kitchen and cold running water.  But it is comfortably furnished, has a coffee maker and hot shower (shower head water heater) so I’m happy.  It also helps that it is on a small farm surrounded by mango, orange, lemon, mandarin and avocado trees, and banana, coffee and corn.  It is very quiet ( a small miracle in Honduras), very safe and absolutely beautiful. The only problem at the moment is transportation, we are reliant on others for rides or it is a long walk to the main road for buses.  Hopefully in the next week or so we will find a car, and we’ll be properly mobile again.

We have arrived here in Honduras just in time for the big news of the year, that is of course the (rumoured? currently underway? attempted?) coup in Tegucigalpa.  I’m not going to go into detail in this post (that would be a whole post of it’s own… La Gringa has a good one here), my feeling is that while I can’t really see any sort of good outcome for the Honduran people, I also do not think it will escalate into the kind of violence seen in this region in the past.  We are very safe where we are, all is quiet and life goes on as normal.

While mindful of the potential for civic and political unrest, I am continuing with my research plans.  I am lucky enough to have been offered office space at a nearby (and respected) university, and am making the most of both the facilities and the contacts.  Over the next few weeks I will be meeting with people around here and in Tegucigalpa, then in late July will be taking the family to the North Coast for another round of interviews and a few days on the beach in Roatan. Apparently fieldwork is supposed to be rough and challenging but political instability aside, so far I think I’m going to enjoy the next few months.


4 Responses to “At home in Honduras: political crisis and fieldwork”

  1. La Gringa Says:

    Welcome back to Honduras and good luck on your project!

    • Sharon Says:

      Thanks LG. It’s certainly a crazy time to be trying to do research here, especially research that involves travel, but at least I have a safe and quiet ‘home base’.

  2. […] my first opportunity to actually live here.  It’s been wonderful… mostly.  We found a lovely place to live in the mountains outside Tegucigalpa, and I have enjoyed getting to know the culture and people of […]

  3. […] One year ago we had just arrived in Honduras for nine months of graduate research for my PhD.  While I was well-versed in development theory, and somewhat familiar with the Honduran context I had limited understanding of Honduran politics – after all, I was studying grassroots development and ICT, not political science (although my Honduran husband majored in politics).  Over the next few months I had a crash course, reading all I could from both sides and talking with people on both sides of the divide (often to the detriment of my field research work). […]

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