"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Old, and youthful, and 108 on the country list

About the time I give up on gaining readers from more countries, I get a surprise, as I did this week, when somebody in Honduras clicked on the blog, the 108th country to have had readers.
The country is old, "discovered" by Columbus on his fourth voyage, and occupied by Spain in 1524 when Cortez arrived from Mexico.
Honduras first gained independence from Spain in 1821, and was part of the First Mexican Empire for two years before it became part of the United Provinces of Central America. It became completely independent in 1838.
About the size of Tennessee, it has about 7.7 million people. It's got a two party system, but like many countries has gone through civil wars and military rule. It also served as a staging base for US forces when Reagan got us involved in the Nicaraguan problems. The main problems facing the country now are because of its huge young population, with 30 percent  between 15 and 24. This has lead to lots of gang violence, with an estimate of more than 30,000 gang members. 
I've had a really good student from Honduras, and my uncle Louis spend his last years retired there at the beach town of Tela.
The flag symbolizes the short-lived attempt at union in the Republic of Central America in the 1890s--of Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and El Salvador. There is always hope for more peace and freedom, so it's good to have a reader from there. In Central America, I have had readers also in Guatamala, Belize (formerly British Honduras) and Costa Rica.

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