The final country I’d like to visit (in this list!) is Honduras. It is notorious for its high crime and violence rates, with homicide, gang violence and drug crimes being commonplace. According to the BBC, Honduras has “the world’s highest murder rate per capita”.
But it’s not just crime that is a serious issue in the country. Poverty and inequality are extremely high, with almost half of Hondurans living below the poverty line.
Even for journalists, Honduras can be extremely dangerous. According to Reporters without Borders, journalists from opposition media are frequently attacked or threatened.
So, as an aspiring foreign correspondent, why would I like to visit Honduras? The country has a very negative reputation for being a very violent place. And, let’s be honest, the evidence goes far in backing that up. But I want to look further than all the crimes and statistics. Because people are individuals, not just a number. In the UK, or any ‘safer’ country for that matter, if we hear “this many Hondurans were killed in gang related crimes last year”, it doesn’t really mean much. After all, it’s ‘just a number’.
But I’d like to focus on the individuals.
How is that mother dealing with the murder of her son? How does this wife feel knowing that her husband has been caught up in gang related violence? What will become of this 3-year-old girl living in poverty without her parents? These are the stories that matter most, not meaningless statistics.
If you’ve read the other four posts in this series, you’ll have noticed a common theme. The main reason for ‘Why I’d like to visit…’ is to tell people’s stories; to share their experiences.
It proves my point about what, I think, one of the main things journalism should be: a platform for ordinary people to share their stories with the rest of us.