Packing a bag in Tegucigalpa

In January of this year, we set out to tell the story of one of the most vulnerable populations in Honduras: youth living on the streets of the country's capital, Tegucigalpa. These were young boys and girls caught between the dangers of living on the streets of one of Central America's most dangerous cities, a government that had abandoned them, a population that had written them off as future gang members, and the gangs that often offered the only opportunities they could find.

In the week we spent in Tegucigalpa, we connected with a young man named Carlos Cantarero, a former street kid himself who had come up through the youth organization Casa Alianza and was now putting himself through law school. Even as he wrestled with the daily trials of paying his tuition, keeping a roof over his head, and contemplating immigrating to the U.S. for the fourth time, he retained a deep commitment to those children living in the circumstances that he had been lucky enough to escape many years ago.

Carlos quickly became the focus of our filming as he took us in with a group of dedicated young social workers who looked after these kids throughout the streets and plazas of the city. He also brought us to his neighborhood where we spoke with his friends and neighbors, many of whom had tried to immigrate 5, 10, even 15 times before, all citing the same lack of work opportunities, the corruption, and the violence that had resulted in such high youth homelessness. We returned from this initial trip energized to continue the story we had on our hands.

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Then the pandemic struck.

We connected with Carlos over WhatsApp and Zoom to check in with him in those early months as he waited out the countrywide lockdown that Honduras enacted, only allowed out of his home for groceries every couple weeks.

While he persisted with even fewer opportunities before him, a new narrative began to emerge: while conditions for many Hondurans have become more desperate than ever, the last resort option of emigration has been made even more perilous by new dangers along the migration route, not including the virus itself. What does that decision look like in this environment? Where do Hondurans find hope now? How has the migration journey been altered by the pandemic? 

These are questions we'd like to answer and feel haven’t been covered with a human touch since the start of the pandemic. Our plan now is to create a short 8-15 min documentary that touches specifically on these themes, designed for digital distribution with a news outlet.

We’re planning another trip in late October to complete all filming. Given the need these communities face, we also think it’s incumbent upon us to use our access and resources to bring direct food aid to the communities where we’ll be working. These communities have had their incomes completely cut off for the past 6 months, have received no support from the government, only minimal aid from church communities/NGOs, and are largely suffering from acute hunger and malnutrition. 

Ahead of the trip, we’re turning to our communities to raise funds to cover our overhead expenses associated with the trip and cost of food aid. A rough breakdown of expenses can be found here:

• 2 roundtrip flights from Boston to Tegucigalpa – $1300
• Accommodation for 10 days and travel on the ground in Honduras – $700
• Community supplies procured in Honduras – $1000 + any additional funds raised

Operating as we did last trip, we think a little money will go a long way in enabling us to tell this story and help Carlos's community and we thank you in advance for helping us to do so.

In gratitude,

Ben & Alistair

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Donations

  • Anonymous 
    • $150 
    • 2 hrs
  • Patricia Chamipon 
    • $50 
    • 23 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $250 
    • 24 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 28 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 28 d

Organizer

Alistair Wilson 
Organizer
Cambridge, MA

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