Due to recent political turmoil in Honduras, many people are concerned with traveling or studying abroad there. AmeriSpan has received a first-hand account of what happened in La Ceiba, Honduras from Mary, a student that was studying there during the coup.
I recently completed my 4th and final week in LaCeiba, Honduras studying Spanish in an AmeriSpan program, and began my classes here June 22. As most people know, Honduras has had quite a bit of political activity in the past few weeks, and I have received more than my money’s worth of excitement, entertainment, and historical perspective as a by product of these events.
I must commend the school director for his leadership during this time. One night recently, my roommate, a medical student from Switzerland, packed up and left our house in a hurry. She was acting on the advice of a friend who had “inside information” and speculated that all airports would soon be closed, there would be losses of electricity, water, food, and other necessities as a result of the standoff in Tegucigalpa.
I called [the school director], and he calmly informed me of the latest information from the US State Department regarding Americans who were already in the country when the golpe (coup) began. There was no need to do anything at this point. He advised me that it was very doubtful that there would be any problem with water, food, electricity, or any of the basics. “If there is going to be a problem of any sort,” he said, “it most likely won’t be here in La Ceiba. Tegucigalpa may see some difficulties, but we are in a peaceful town away from the political fracas.” To be safe, he advised me to register with the State Department, if I had not done so previously, to ensure that my presence would be on file with the US Government.
His words have proven true. There have been no shortages of necessities or violence here. La Ceiba is a lovely town with a rich cultural heritage, full of warm kind people. It remains so. The very professional teachers in this school have gone about their business of teaching the students Spanish in a focused, single-minded manner. While occasional peaceful marches in the street may have disturbed us momentarily, they refocused on the business of teaching us Spanish.
Although most schools and universities in the country have been closed for the past two weeks due to the political situation, [the school director] has kept the school running in top form, without losing a single hour of education for its students. He continued to oversee all the classes, homestay issues, medical practicum assignments, travel issues for inbound and outbound students, entertainment and field trips for students and their friends. Suffice it to say that [the school director] has had his hands full with all the comings and goings of students from many countries, each with their own embassies and requirements and ever-changing flight schedules. He has maintained the management of the school with all the services it provides in a consistent and very professional manner.
I hope you will continue to recommend this wonderful school to potential students. The teachers here are extremely professional and talented. They take their mission of teaching Spanish very seriously. My language skills have improved remarkably as a result of my time here. With [the school director], the school has exceeded my expectations many times over, working within the current political situation, mitigating any negative effects it may have had on me or other students. It is also worth noting that the Spanish that is spoken here in La Ceiba is extremely clear and understandable, with no discernible accent, no slang, no “Spanglish” or other combinations of idioms. This factor is one I would not have considered prior to my stay here, but I found it to increase my rate of learning considerably.
NOTE: My aforementioned roommate changed her mind about leaving La Ceiba based on [the school director]’s discussion with me. She is extremely grateful to [the school director] for helping her make a wise decision based on facts rather than emotions.