Honduras-My first attempt at the streets of San Pedro Sula Honduras. Part 4
It was late in the afternoon when I had decided it was time to tackle the street markets that I had heard so much about in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. The front desk of the Hilton Princess San Pedro Sula told me to be careful out there alone. I asked if they could supply a driver to take me. They suggested a hotel taxi. Santos was my driver and agreed to drop me off in the street markets. He spoke no English.
When we got to the markets, there was plenty of activity. However, Santos asked me to stay on the fringes of the street markets and not venture alone into the center of the markets. He did not think it would be safe. He agreed to pick me up at Parque Central in two hours.
I spent about 15 minutes walking the fringe markets, very boring, plenty of booths, but not a lot of activity. You can see for yourself…..but just wait!
Finally, I made the decision that if I was going to have any true experiences, I would have to disregard the advice of Santos and go into the center of the markets to see what was really going on.
I made sure I had everything safely tucked away i.e. camera, money, etc. I crossed Avenida Tercera which seems to separate the tranquil markets from the active markets. Soon, I was in the thick of the action.
It was one crazzzzy market. I was very careful. No doubt about it……I was the ONLY tourist there!
I was first waved over by a man who introduced himself as “Wilson”. Wilson had his arms around 2 girls and wanted to practice his virtually non-existent English on me. He had a few body piercings and was a friendly sort. He wanted to know what I was doing in Honduras and why I was in the markets. We talked for a few minutes while his girlfriends stared at me. After 5 minutes, I shook hands, said goodbye, and went on my way.
Next, I was stopped by two (2) currency street traders named Angel and Carlos. They were (2) two really hyperactive guys whose eyes were always darting around. Angel had once lived in the U.S. I asked them to tell me about a day in life of a currency trader on the streets of San Pedro Sula. They said they made a few cents on every trade, trading both sides of the currency i.e. dollars to lempiras and lempiras to dollars. I asked them if anyone had ever given them counterfeit money. They emphatically said “no”. I had a feeling if anyone ever had, it was probably the one and only time they ever did.
I didn’t really like the feeling of standing on the streets of San Pedro Sula, Honduras with people who had large stacks of money in their hands, so I made an excuse to leave. They asked me to come back the next day and talk with them some more.
Next stop was a store that sold new and used clothing. The manager, Jose , was standing out front. He was missing most of his front teeth, and spoke about 10 words in English. I asked him where the used clothing came from. He said the U.S., but couldn’t remember any other details. He said he had been in jail in Texas and that was his only experience living in the U.S. About that time, a fight broke out in the booth next to his store. It started out about 20 feet from me and quickly headed my way. Jose said a guy was trying to steal some stuff from the booth. The booth owner grabbed the suspected thief by the shirt and gave him one good drop kick. Fight over. I quickly left the area.
Next-Stay tuned. It gets more interesting
Steve Barrymore firstname.lastname@example.org
To see more of my travels click here