**I had a problem here with the photo albums I loaded in late April and May 2012 - they don't appear in the "Pictures and Videos" section. Scroll down through "Recent Activity" to see these five albums. I've rectified the problem as of mid-June 2012, however.
Independence Day Parade
Not the parade - just thought you might enjoy seeing what a Chinese restaurant looks like in Honduras. This is my co-worker Edy ordering "chap suey," which is in fact more like chow mein and is pretty darn good.
Nothing to do with Independence Day - just a cute pig I saw on one of the villages I visited with CASM around that time. This is the same pig that was a little sick runt in some photos a couple months ago.
A young pal I made in the community of La Union II - Roni, and his little sister.
Performance of the Honduras Philharmonic at Copanas part of Independence Day festivities They were terrific!
Another Independence Day tradition - climbing a tall, slippery pole to get at money stapled to the top of the pole.
This event was at a school in one of the villages. We didn't get to see how it ended, but the money was gone when we drove back.
Young spectator has a great view of the parade.
Kids waiting for the blah-blah-blah on the stage to end so they could get marching!
One of three swirly-ribbon groups that marched that day.
Independence Day Parade - Sept 15001
Independence Day is celebrated on the same day throughout Latin America - Sept. 15. Here are photos from the big parade in Copan Ruinas, which featured marching bands from the various private schools.
Independence Day Parade - Sept 15002
This is my co-worker's daughter, Deyli. She goes to a church school that teaches English as well as Spanish.
Independence Day Parade - Sept 15003
The corn queens!
Independence Day Parade - Sept 15004
Independence Day Parade - Sept 15005
Independence Day Parade - Sept 15006
Independence Day Parade - Sept 15007
Independence Day Parade - Sept 15008
Tricked-up mototaxi that they use here, with a charming young princess in the back.
Independence Day Parade - Sept 15009
A couple of the marching-band kids conspiring.
Independence Day Parade - Sept 15010
It was hot that morning - not sure how the kids handled their outfits.
Independence Day Parade - Sept 15011
Girls in traditional costume.
Independence Day Parade - Sept 15012
There's a Jewish history in Honduras - Jeews and Palestinians fled to Honduras back at the turn of the 20th century.
Independence Day Parade - Sept 15013
Waiting for their parade debut.
Independence Day Parade - Sept 15014
Independence Day Parade - Sept 15015
Independence Day Parade - Sept 15017
Little girl dolled up for a small float - not too many of those!
Independence Day Parade - Sept 15018
The crowd scene at the park.
Independence Day Parade - Sept 15019
A good day for the food and juice vendors.
Independence Day Parade - Sept 15020
Look at that corn dress - and she actually managed to walk in it.
La Cuchilla, Santa Rita and the Rainy Season
Storm drain near our house during one of the big downpours.
Kindergarten class at La Cumbre.
The annual election of the Cabildo Infantil, a children's council that CASM sponsors. 200 kids from 120 communities attended the elections.
Paul waits out a storm on our walk through the woods near the ruins.
Turquoise-browed motmot on the road that I walk at lunchtime.
Leafcutter ants busily working outside our front door.
More ants, neatly divided into two highways - one taking leaves, one coming back for more.
Corn field near San Jeronimo, showing the ridiculous pitch of so many of the areas that people try to grow on (and the deforestation that results)
Teenage girls at Santa Rita helping rebuild a sick local woman's house.
The woman's house now, essentially a one-room shack open to the weather on the one side where she lives with her 12-year-old.
Co-worker Oscar having his birthday cake, one of the nice traditions at my office. The cakes come from Welchez cafe, which has the only decent baked goods in town.
Mom and son at La Cuchilla, posing in that way of people who probably have never had their photo taken.
The CASM truck loads up after a meeting in La Cuchilla as people get ready for a "jalon" - free ride - down the mountain.
Community centre at La Cuchilla.
Behind the community centre - those are outhouses at the back and the dishwashing area, but ever place had unbelievable views.
House at La Cuchilla perched on one of the mountains.
Biodigester in San Jeronimo. This runs on rabbit poo, producing methane gas for 3-4 hours a day that is used for cooking.
Emerald toucanet - these birds are wild here but this one has somehow ended up in a cage at a woman's house in San Jeronimo.
The view at the house with the biodigester (and the toucanet) - this is the woman's tight but efficient back yard.
I call this "Bananas with Laundry."
Giant, plastic-like flower in Pinaveton. Looked like some version of an anthurium, and was about the size of a dinner plate.
Cute rabbits in Pinaveton, ultimately destined for the stew pot but happy right now.
Young 'uns, very curious.
Couldn't resist these cute faces!
A chick that was completely happy to be picked up over and over and scratched. Every time I set it down, it came back wanting more. Should have brought it home...
Rain outside our house.
Storm clouds build over Copan. When you see this, you know it's going to pour on you any minute.
The way the storms first look when taking shape - super-hot day, then all of a sudden the cumulus clouds start building.
Seen in passing - Copan
Scarlett macaw out at the ruins site. They're wild birds but have been reintroduced at the site and have a feeding station there, so they're pretty tame and easy to approach. Macaws were big in ancient Mayan culture.
Mom and foal wandering the road that I walk to work on.
It's baby animal season around these parts.
Mother's Day in Copan - a fair number of vendors on the street with special gifts for sale. Big day down here - Hondurans take their mothers very seriously.
The family we seem to have adopted - Marline on the left, Nora - who does our cleaning and laundry - and Diana, who we're now going to help with some money for school. There's a son, too, in between Marline and Diana.
Marline, dressed up for her 12th birthday. She often comes to the house with her mom and chats with Paul, coaching him in Spanish.
A fine specimen of a turkey at a facility in Cabanas where my workmates and I went for a meeting.
A fine specimen of the turkey's mate!
One of my favourite trees on my bird walk, looking particularly striking against a bright-blue sky.
Turkey vulture up close and personal. The birds were finishing up a dead water rat on the road as I walked by, so they stayed close and allowed me some good shots.
Black vultures - the most common kind here - silhouetted against the sky. They were enjoying the dead rat too.
A boy and his horses take a lunch break near my work. I never get tired of this walk.
This is mango time in Honduras - cheap, delicious, abundant. This gigantic truckload pulled up the other day (May 16) with a whole new harvest. He's unloading them into the pickup truck, which will sell them in the street in Copan.
Agua Termales and out and about with CASM
Paul sneaks up on me in the "accordion room," as I think of it. SO hot right now trying to play, what with the accordion being the kind of thing that clings to you.
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Recycling Honduras style....first you lay the aluminum cans all over the road someplace where the traffic's not too heavy....
....and then you run them over until they're flat. One of my workmates tells me the cans then get collected and taken to San Pedro Sula for sale.
CASM had a little "feria" for some of its microempresas - teeny businesses, usually run by women - and I played accordion to add to the ambience.
The feria was at the park in Copan. This is me with co-worker Nancy, who gave us our Spanish names. (Me: Yolanda Macarena Rosa de Fuentes. Paul: Mr. Pancho.)
This man with two hats seemed particularly taken by the accordion.
A huge fallen tree along the river near my work. It must have fallen in the last big wind - the wind gets pretty crazy here when it's blowing.
A field of beans, covered to keep out the insects. This is the bean and corn season, which were planted about 3 weeks ago, and they're just in the process of harvesting big green peppers - those sweet, flattish kind - right now.
A white-fronted jay, one of the flashy birds that you can find if you get up into the hills a bit.
Family car wash at the river.
A corn field, where tomatoes were growing not too long ago. The corn grows really fast in all this heat.
One of the pools at Agua Termales, which is way up in the mountain above the big finca here, Finca Cisne.
We went to Agua Termales for Dia del Trabajador, May 1. The gang brought loads of chicken and meat for a big barbecue - anafre, as they're known here.
Nancy, Carlita and Iliana in the background.
Here's the anafre, looking pretty much like a park barbecue! They use charcoal for the fire, but it's different than the little briquets we have in Canada - looks more like burned wood.
Carlita under the fountain of hot (but not scalding) water at Agua Termales
There were three little non-profits that went up to Agua Termales, all of which work out of the same building. This is Lesly, Merlin and Edy.
Paul enjoys the water. They had one deep pool and one shallow, and while we didn't visit the upper hot springs, there's more up high if you pay more.
Edy and Elvin.
Merlin and Paul in the area that would make a very nice infinity pool with a little redesign.
View up the river where the natural hot spring is.
Those falls are scalding hot. The river's shallow here, but you can get a nice foot soak.
Paul checks out the river.
Merlin gets daring and closes in on the scalding falls. So steamy and hot near here.
A sign in the Copan park that proves that Big Tobacco is not yet a "bad guy" down here!
One of the residents in La Cumbre who CASM has designated as having a "model home," which means she's got a diversified little economy and is doing environmentally friendly things like using this fuel-efficient "fogon" to do her cooking. CASM builds these stoves for people out of brick - they use 45 per cent less wood.
Another model home, this one in Las Flores. It was a gorgeous little farm with an astounding view off into the mountains.
Merlin and the Christian Aid woman, Francis Araica. She was the reason we were visiting the model homes - Christian Aid is a major funder of CASM.
The clothesline and bathroom at the model farm. I do love a clothesline photo, and the light was beautiful.
The box on the left is a composter, and the black bag on the right is a biodigester. The farmer, Don Humberto, puts his animal manure and waste from the coffee harvest in the biodigester and it generates enough methane to give his family 3-4 hours a day of gas for cooking.
Don Humberto digs for worms to show the Christian Aid woman. The "lombriz" aren't natural to the soil here and have to be bought - they looked like the "red wigglers" from back home and I'm presuming they're similar.
A happy pig.
Breakfast at the farm. Everything - eggs, sausage, coffee, tortillas, cream - had been produced and processed there.
I was captivated by this view as I sat at the table, and the curtain blowing fetchingly in the breeze.
Don Humberto in his sugar cane field, which will be ready for harvest in September. But he cut us off a stalk from one of the plants to chew on.
A crazy corn field at a different house in Las Flores - they plant on the steepest slopes here! The road to Las Flores, if you could call it that, crosses a river bed, which means they lose all connection to the rest of the world in the heaviest part of the rainy season.
A kindergarten class in La Cumbre. They hold the class in a (very hot) tin-roof community centre, where we were trying to have a meeting in at the same time! Children can attend school from kindergarten to Grade 6 in La Cumbre (although the Grade 1-6 batch all take their classes at the same time in a single room), but then they have to go about 25 minutes down the mountain to Cabanas for grades 6 on. As you can imagine, a lot of the kids never make that jump to the next level of school - it's common to get no more than a Grade 6 education in Honduras, which is all that the government requires (and doesn't enforce, as far as I can tell.)
Tegucigalpa, La Tigra and La Cumbre
A bright spot in the heart of Tegucigalpa, the courtyard at the art museum.
We were the only people in the place and nobody cared if you took photos, so I snapped a few - this one is from the 1700s.
Closeup of the burned Jesus.
I believe this is Mary, although she really reminds me of the Mexican saint Guadalupe in this work.
This beautiful piece was burned in a church fire. Most of the older works in the gallery were from churches.
OK, maybe I took a few too many photos of art work, but I did want to show something beautiful from Tegus.
This beautiful wood carving reminded me of Rachelle, but it was too big to bring home.
This was one of my faves.
This sums up Honduras nicely, and looks a lot like the dog that followed me home yesterday. You'll see a photo of him in this same album.
Another shot of the art gallery courtyard
Paul in the little fenced-off area where we spend way too much time waiting for a cab to pick us up from the Cuso office. Eventually, we got brave enough to walk the short distance between Cuso and the hotel.
The Cuso building. There's an armed guard at the locked door, and then you have to pass through two more locked doors to reach the Cuso office. Kind of peculiar, especially when there's only two people working in there these days!
So much razor wire and electrified fences everywhere in Tegus. Even if everybody leaves you alone, you can't help but feel like you're walking in the most dangerous city ever, what with all the signals around you.
White-fronted parrot that regularly popped up near the Cuso office.
The start of our hike in La Tigra. Took a bumpy bus ride up to the park, which we basically had to ourselves
It's all giant ferns and massive old trees in the park, and loaded with exotic birds like quetzals, trogons and toucans.
Some of the massive trees in the park, which is a huge wilderness park in an area that used to be used for gold and silver mining.
Entrance to one of the old mines in the park. It was creepy, as I find mines generally are.
View up through the dense branches above us as we walked.
Paul laying flat as a pancake while we wait for a bus. The good thing is that because he was right on the ground, he was able to hear a couple pheasant cuckoos rustling around.
Here's an inner-city "mall" in Tegus - empty, unpleasant, barred. The security guy followed us in and we briefly checked out an evangelical church service on the second floor.
Back home in Copan, I head out on a field trip to La Cumbre with a couple of my CASM co-workers. These kids attend a one-room class in La Cumbre.
We'd gone there to deliver notebooks that Mennonites in the States do up in nice little cloth bags for the kids.
Here I am with the kids, who were so excited to be getting their picture taken.
One little boy shows off his notebook package. It's pretty sad how a pack of notebooks gets them excited.
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The teacher - whose class has kids from grades 1 to 6 - hands out packets.
Another cute kid. I just couldn't say no when they wanted their photo taken.
We went to a house in La Cumbre for a bit while my co-workers visited with a friend (weird things like that happen all the time on field trips), and I jollied this little girl out of a bit of a temper by taking her photo.
Men in La Cumbre build an adobe house.
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Main street of La Cumbre. Not much to do here but run around - a bike would certainly be an asset.
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Little girl near the soccer field (that's it on the left) in La Cumbre.
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A dog takes a load off atop sacks of what is probably chicken manure.
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These chicks came tearing at me when I rounded the corner, thinking I had food.
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La Cumbre has staggering views, as it's way up in the mountains.
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One of the crazy roads we travelled, this one leading to a big finca (farm).
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Look at that cute pig!
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This is Juan Gabriel, the guy who owns the finca. He went to the U.S. for four years to earn the money he needed to set up the farm, which is very diverse.
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One of the kids whose family works the farm, and lives there.
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Mom and babies, not yet destined for market but soon.
The dog who followed me home. We had dog food so we fed and watered him, and he slept for a couple hours on our front step before wandering off. I'm hoping he'll come back, as he's a nice guy and could use a little meat on those bones.
Lago de Yojoa and accordion night
Two locals roll up their pants (or not) and go fishing in the canal that leads to the lake. The lake has a lot of different varieties of fish, including introduced black bass and escaped tilapia from fish farms on the far side of the lake.
The serene scene across to the Santa Barbara summit.
We rented a rowboat for $5 and paddled around the shore for a couple of hours.
The marsh at the edge of the lake is the best birding habitat.
Here's a common moorhen, with coots and purple gallinules in the background.
Egret on the marsh. We went out at 6 a.m. one morning with a local bird guide and saw more than 50 species in our four hour tour.
Loud and happy boys that we presumed were probably San Pedro kids letting loose on a Sunday.
Snail kite hunts for snails over the marsh. There were probably at least 20 of these guys hunting that morning.
Paul takes us down the canal to the lake.
Tall water lilies at the edge of the lake - from a distance, they looked like white birds.
A magnificent tree covered in Spanish moss, which is not moss at all but a type of bromeliad. Honduras is the land of bromeliads!
Paul at our little pool at D&D Brewery, where we stayed at Lago de Yojoa.
The view of the Spanish-moss tree from a bit more distance.
Here's Malcolm, our bird guide, and local oarsman Orlando, on our 6 a.m. tour.
A memorial for some poor young person who probably drowned in the canal, as this was right at the bridge leading over the canal.
One of the highlights was a long walk in Los Naranjos park, which has about two hours of easy trails through beautiful forest and marshland.
This is the 1-km boardwalk through the marsh at Los Naranjos. We're going to go back in September, during the rainy season, when this will all be flooded (and full of birds).
The serene view of the canal from the bridge, early morning.
Another view down the boardwalk.
The bridge across the canal. There are Lenca ruins in the park as well, but they're just grassy humps and have never been excavated.
A gigantic bees' nest. You can't really get the scale of it from this photo, but it was probably about three feet long (that's a meter for you metric folks).
Dawn in the little town we stayed at.
The area where we stayed, which was also great for casual bird walks.
Huge nests of oropendolas, seen from way, way below. That's an oropendola in the centre - the yellow is its tail.
On the bus from San Pedro to Lago de Yojoa.
A few shots from Copan - this one of some of the great-looking cows near my work.
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The restaurant where I played the accordion, La Terraza. That's me on the right - Paul shot this photo without knowing I was there.
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Here I am, playing upstairs on the terraza, which is open to the stars.
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And this is the same photo, but put through a "posterize" program I've got. Kind of cool.
Another cow shot. What can I say - I like the cows here.
The beautiful alfombra during Semana Santa. This was taken at night, just maybe an hour before the sawdust painting would be destroyed by a returning procession of Catholics (as was the plan all along, of course).
Once the procession had passed and the alfombra was destroyed, kids jumped into the area to collect coloured sawdust as a keepsake.
Semana Santa, the orphanage and more