A partnership of HuffPost and the

Honduras' Leaders: Deer in the Headlights

It's a drag to read the news about Honduras in the international press. So much bad press. Mind you, not that it is undeserved. The situation is what it is. But it isn't all that there is. That's perhaps the biggest drag -- that the Honduran government and business community don't appear much interested in speaking out about the "good stuff". Yeah, there is plenty of that in Honduras, but it is consistently being overshadowed by the bad -- partly because the bad is so bad, but partly because Honduras' leaders (both public and private) are either indifferent to the imbalance or clueless about how to right it... like a deer in headlights, immobile.

Here's a clue guys. Closely track (every single day) the positive developments in Honduras, and when you see something really great, write up a press release (in perfect English, not "Honduran English") and issue it through a service like PR Newswire. It will cost about US$150, but it will go to almost every major news organization in the world in one fell swoop. Once the release is picked up by wire services, newspapers and magazines, then it will start to be picked up by other kinds of publications and websites... culture, travel. Simple, easy, and cost-effective. Repeat this process at least once a week, and pretty soon the image of Honduras will start to look considerably less skewed.

Something "really great" you ask? Here's one...

The new Rastrojón archaeological site that opened on August 1. The site is located just 2 kilometers from the Copán archaeological park next to the town of Copán Ruinas in northwestern Honduras. The ruins at Rastrojón date back to 700 C.E. They include stone block structures that contain arched rooms, equipped with stucco benches and adorned with fine sculptures along the exterior, signifying that they may have been living quarters for the nobility. According to the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History (IHAH), Rastrojón was designed to be a defensive position to protect communities during an era of political conflicts within the Maya kingdom.

Rastrojón is the latest of Honduras' archaeological jewels. It should be promoted to the world, and anyone who has even a remote interest in archaeology should be aware of its existence and at least thinking of planning a visit. There should be someone in Honduras assigned to take calls (in English) and promptly and intelligently answer e-mails about Rastrojón and other Maya sites in Honduras.

Oh, and don't forget to mention any related new developments such as the fact that Honduras' public-private promotion agency Coalianza plans to award a tender for the construction and operation of the Río Amarillo airport in Copán in December. The idea of building an airport at Río Amarillo to open up the area for more archaeological tourism, particularly from the Bay Islands, has been around for nearly two decades, but now that the National Congress has approved the tender, it appears the US$270 million project, which includes a 1,200-meter runway, may soon become a reality. There, no more sweating the crappy roads. Helluva story.