The mayor has been drunk all week. The doctor hasn’t shown up once. There’s a women up in the mountain that fell and hasn’t stopped convulsing since but her family refuses to take her to get help because they’re too poor and no one of authority is around to help. Also somewhere up in the mountain this week a 7 year girl died from malnutrition. A few weeks ago a women was carried into town macheted into pieces by her bolo husband and this week only there has been at least 4 other cases of domestic violence mostly involving machetes and drunks as well.
“¿Cuando va a salir San Miguelito de los atrasos?” asked Carmen Nora as we stood outside of the municipality building. When is San Miguelito going to leave from the setbacks? We were waiting to crash a town meeting to make one last effort to request municipality support for our project to reduce maternal mortality, after being lied to and ignored. We weren’t asking for money, just support…to help prevent preventable deaths, you wouldn’t think it would be so hard. “C’mon lets get out of here, I hate that mayor”, snapped Carmen Nora. “Well, let’s just see if the meetings going to happen whether he shows up or not.” I’m trying to stay positive and encourage persistency, but I’m feeling rather apathetic as well.
But the meeting was going to happen. I networked to get the students the floor first since they needed to get back to class although I had to deal with a slimy hand on my leg and a few other advances later from the facilitator for this. “La gringita muy linda la más bella en Honduras, me gustaria vistarte en tu casa me esperas esta noche” ewh puke. “Okay Nora, go talk.” She doesn’t know it but Carmen Nora’s my favorite. She is from the most stubborn and ignorant community but she’s serious beyond her years, intelligent, and compassionate. She got up in front of everyone and persisted in her request for support, creatively backing up her requests despite resistance from everyone and negative comments from the ex-mayor who is also a drunk. She defended herself causing the ex-mayor to storm out leaving everyone else trying to hide their smiles. She won over the facilitator for this. “We have to support those youths they´re trying to do something!” he said after she left. “If we can’t support the younger generation and their efforts we´re better off dousing ourselves in gasoline and lighting the match!” No better words could have been said (without pissing off anyone) since self-destruction is the direction this town seems to be heading.