1 The oDuNewA FdFey, Ad* 9,1996
Honduras bountiful in natural, human resources
Many readers have old me they
enjoyed reading the series of
columns I wrote on Honduras.
One friend said to me, "Olase I
thought Honduras was a backward
country in teons of modern technol.
ogy." But as rve tried to show in
these oohumns, Honduras is a coun-
try rich in natural, cultural, and
human resources and has one of the
highest standards of education in
From the depths of the turquoise
blue waters of the bay islands off
the nonh coast, to the peaks of the
pyramids of Copan, Honduras is a
beautiful country. Cities like Tegu-
cigalpa, Comayagua, and San Pedro
Sula have much to offer with their
churches that arbor priceless paiat-
ings and eogrvin, and street cor-
ners that recall romance and sng.
Village life in Honduras goes by
genlly, as if frozen in time. In the
mountains, the dawns are peaceful
and cool, redolent of coffee, fire-
wood and fruitl
Given its resounding beauty, this
country is one to traverse from one
end to the other villages, small and
ancient, moored to the hillside; tur-
bulent waterfalls in the midst of the
matted foliage; islands virtually vir-
gin and beaches of white sand.
In addition to its lakes, this
country borders both the Caribbean
and Pacific Ocean and has one of
the world's largest coral reef
ecosystems, in whose depths hold
hundreds of marine species.
Honduras' dazzling natural envi-
roamem t is matched in beauty by its
admirably conserved cultural lega-
cy, which goes back thousands of
The country also offers the
attractions of modem life, including
museums, folk markets, handicraft
centers, restaurants and a network
of hotels that rank among the best
in the world. Some of us were sur-
praised to find ast food places like
Pizza Hut, Wendy's, and Burger
King in Honduras.
The country has miles of good
roads, without the potholes we
often find in the Virgin Islands.
Those with an interest in archaeolo-
gy will find in Copan the rins of a
vanished civilization. Its Mayan
Indian mysteries could take one a
lifetime to understand.
Honduras possesses incompara-
ble riches that cannot be found in
any other place on earth: The Hon-
duran people, kind and hospitable.
who make you feel at home.
I was fascinated by the beautiful
campus of Zamorano University,
where the Caribbean Food Crops
Society meetings were held.
The campus lies in a fertile val-
ley surrounded by high mountains.
This area looks something like
Fountain Valley on St. Croix, but
only larger in size. The campus is
beautifully laid out with buildings,
fruit trees, corn fields, vegetables
and plants of various species.
In the morning, the birds sing to
you. At night, frogs say hello to
you. Water from the high moun-
tains run through the campus
ground all year round, giving the
countryside the appearaneof a gar-
den of Eden. Students are pleasant
and smile at newcomers.
Zamorano University is a center
of higher learning committed to
V See HONDURAS. page 19
CONMI ED FROM PAGE 18
provide an integrated agricultural
Their system of education is
grounded in learning-by-doing.
Their programs are designed so that
when students graduate from the
university, they have practical expe-
rience in addition to a degree in
Every day, students spend a cou-
pie hours in field laboratories
putting into practice what they have
learned from the classroom. Stu-
dents rise before dawn to harvest
fruits, grains and vegetables, plow
fields, repair farm machinery, man-
age irrigation systems, milk cows,
and produce cheeses and ice cream.
They also learn computer skills,
accounting, plant identification,
organic fanning methods, landscap-
ing and gardening. Overall, students
participate in some 48 field labora-
tories to reinforce what they learn
in the classroom. This institution
encourages students to develop self-
confidence, practical skills and the
respect for hard work.
Students are required to follow a
strict code of ethics with the goal of
promoting honesty, respect for oth-
ers, independence, hard work, pro-
ductivity, and organization.
Who says Honduras is back-
ward? Believe me, foolish talk.
Olasee Davis, who holds a mas-
ter of science degree in range man-
agement and forestry ecology, is a
St. Croix ecologist, activist and