Browsing Tag

Honduras

The Happy Land Fire – 20 Years Later

For related audio slideshow, click here.

BRONX — Every year at the end of March, Maria Romero makes her annual pilgrimage to the site of the Happy Land memorial, a vermilion marble obelisk at Southern Blvd and E. Tremont Ave in the Bronx. She uses her key to unlock the gate around the monument, and sweeps up the leaves and debris that have accumulated in the last year. She wants it to look nice for the memorial service, which takes place every year at the nearby St. Thomas Aquinas Church.

Hanging off the side of the fence is a large white sign listing the names of the 87 people who perished in the Happy Land Social Club fire on March 25, 1990. They fill four columns. The fourth name on the third column is that of Isabel Lopez, Romero’s daughter. She was 17 years old.

(more…)

AIDS Group Finds Alternative Means of Educating Hondurans

It’s Saturday morning, and four small children are taking free art classes inside an unmarked Bronx brownstone in Morrisania. Nine-year-old Dell Thomas is drawing a portrait of his favorite character, Sonic the Hedgehog, that is accurate down to the rings around his wrists and the spikes on his head. The other kids are in awe of Dell’s talent and start to get discouraged with their own work, but their teacher, Rene Moreira, is quick to reassure them.

“You’re all good,” Moreira says to his students. “You’re all unique and have a creative mind.” The students go back to their assignment, drawing with pencil and then coloring with pastels and crayons.

What makes this art class different from the countless other art programs in the city is who runs it, an organization whose name is splashed on a giant banner draped on the wall.

“Hondurans Against AIDS,” it says, in big blue letters with the Honduran flag juxtaposed with a red ribbon.

(more…)

Hondurans Protest in Union Square.

A crowd of more than 60 people gathered in Union Square Park on Tuesday in support of the deposed Honduran president, Manuel Zelaya, whose recent reentry into the country he once led has touched off violent protests, governmental repression and international tensions.

The rally, organized by the USA Honduras Resistance Coalition in conjunction with several other human rights and Latin-American political groups, took place on a chilly evening with many protesters thankful that a candlelight vigil was on the agenda. Forming a solid wall along the plaza of the park, the protesters were at first content to stand passively, informing passersby of their purpose by holding up their signs and Honduran flags. That changed as they started marching in a large circle while shouting pro-Zelaya slogans and vowing that “the people of Honduras will continue to struggle.”

(more…)