Report from Honduras on Peace Corps Volunteer being shot

[Thanks to Amber Davis Collins  ( Honduras 2002-04)  who forwarded me an email note that is circulating in the Honduras RPCV community. This is from Maggie McQuaid (Honduras 1976-78) who was trying to organize a reunion of Honduras  RPCVs.]

 Several months I asked you all if you’d be interested in a reunion in Honduras in 2012, and I was overwhelmed with your responses.  It’s no surprise that we still love the place and dream of returning.  This makes it hard to do what I’m going to do next, which is announce that going further with any plans seems to be a very bad idea right now.

As many of you are aware, Honduras now bears the terrible distinction of having the highest per-capita murder rate in the world.  In recent weeks,  a former Honduran government drug czar and a journalist for La Prensa were murdered in Tegucigalpa.  Since the beginning of December, a volunteer with a religious program out of California was murdered during a robbery, and a Peace Corps Volunteer was caught in crossfire and very badly wounded while she and her husband were traveling from SPS to Teguce on a first-class bus.  Right now, the news from the Peace Corps Office in Teucigalpa is spotty, but they are apparently currently trying to figure out whether or not to close the country program in general.  Violence from gangs and drug cartels is spilling over to the general population, and there is evidence that even members of the Honduran police are involved in it.

I simply can’t continue trying to put a reunion event together.  I will not organize anything that puts any individual or group in harm’s way.  In days past, simply avoiding certain areas or certain kinds of behavior would probably have kept us safe, but it sounds like those days have gone.  It’s just too great a risk to take on.

Thank you all for your enthusiastic and generous responses, and I am very sorry if I have disappointed you in any way.  I would like to encourage everyone to keep up with developments in Honduras as much as you can, and to please spare some prayers or good thoughts for the  little country that we all love so well.


Maggie McQuaid

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