"Teatro in Time of Plague – 65

Monday, December 14, 2020 - 114, 359 cases, 2, 975 deaths

Queen Letizia of Spain arrived today to survey the damage. She arrived to La Ceiba in a jet of the royal family. The Spanish government seems to be committed to a sizable chunk of assistance, by means of their agency for International Development, the equivalent of US-AID. I saw somewhere they are trying to find the way to make sure it doesn’t get into the hands of JOH and company. La Prensa publishes a foto of the interior of the airport that makes it look pretty good. Maybe they’ll have it done after all. Luis was working today on his mother’s house: the electrical connection was all screwed up by the water. Edy was rehearsing Navidad Nuestra para radio. I went to the bank. Radio Progreso is back on the air in the Valley of Sula. Their main FM signal for the valley is from a tower located on the mountain behind San Pedro Sula. Their tower was blown down in the first hurricane and damage done to the transmitter (or whatever you call it). They continued on the air by internet, the AM signal was good, and the FM signal in other areas (which didn’t depend on that tower) continued good. And now they have been rejoined by the Sula Valley.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - 114, 642 cases, 2, 989 deaths.

I went to San Pedro Sula today, for the first time since the hurricanes hit. I went to get a PCR Covid test (it’s not available anywhere here in Progreso) which my doctor thought would be a good idea. Luis drove, so I was free to observe. There’s a lot to observe as soon as you get over the bridge: there are a lot of people still in improvised tents in the median. The water has receded but has left behind a gooey muck. (In some areas it still hasn’t receded). As soon as you pass the first group of tent city, the highway opens up into its full four lane structure; in this first part there aren’t too many tents because there weren’t all that many habitations; wherever there had been people living there are people in the median. Kilometers of destroyed crops – bananas on the right, sugar cane on the left – are ghostly. There are many ripped up trees, but these have been cleared from the road. Once you get to San Manuel, the tent city starts to get serious, and from here on most of the way is one-way traffic. In some parts, only one side of the four-lane structure has been cleared; the other side is mud and trees. But most of the time the non-car side is tent city. Once you get to Lima, which gives you downtown Manhattan of Tent City, the right section is completely devoted to the tents. Some of them are beginning to look permanent with the addition of tin roofing sheets that have probably been amidst the trash. The Tent City goes on with a Barrio La Planeta branch and then a Rivera Hernández branch. Then, just where we will turn to the left to skirt the city, on the right there’s a whole cage thing that Pizza Hut has set up: they are giving away a pizza per family per day. I don’t know how they verify the family or how many they actually do give out, but they are getting a lot of good press. We take that left, the road that leads to the bus terminal and the road to Tegucigalpa. Because of our route I didn’t feel what Roger had said yesterday about the Christmas shopping mood – we weren’t in any retail areas, but went straight to the hospital where I would get the test. So Covid was still there – but in the urban zone, the hurricanes are history. And people have clearly let down their guard in the biosecurity area.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020 - The official page has not been updated.

I spent the day mostly being nervous about the results of the Covid exam I did yesterday. I got the email when I got back from a dinner for Martin García, who will be leaving to go to tertianship. Negative. A considerable relief. La Prensa is full of the Queen of Spain visiting shelters yesterday. She chastised the international community for not doing more to help. I think most of them don’t want to risk getting involved with the narco-government. She says Spain will contribute 70, 000, 000 Euros. I’m no expert in international finance, but that doesn’t sound like all that much to me, given the scale of the disaster. La Prensa also gives a figure of 100, 000 people in the valley in shelters or the tent cities. They give no sources for where the figure comes from.

Thursday, December 17, 2020 - 114, 943 cases, 2, 989 deaths.

Mostly cloudy with occasional showers. Luis and Edy and the actors spent the day recording Navidad Nuestra. In one actors’ break he filmed a spot of me doing a 30-second pitch en ingles. We tried to do it yesterday but there was too much noise. I think he is satisfied with what we got today. And he seems to be satisfied with what they got of Navidad Nuestra. The mobile hospital in Tegucigalpa is finally going to be turned over to health authorities within 48 hours (according to La Prensa) It’s only been five months since it arrived. No word of the other five. There are seven, and the only one that has been working is the one in San Pedro Sula; now it will be joined by the one in Tegucigalpa. No word on the other five. People downtown have really gotten careless about the biosecurity norms.

Friday, December 18, 2020 - 114, 943 cases, 3,001 deaths.

Today marks five months since the Garifuna leaders were disappeared in Triunfo de la Cruz. And of course, nothing has been discovered by the police and detectives. Turning over the Tegucigalpa mobile hospital has been put off to the second week of January. Surprise. And the Choluteca and Santa Rosa de Copán ones have electrical systems that aren’t compatible with anything anybody else has got. Surprise. The troupe did a Friday night show for Facebook, live. They did the piece they put together for the shelters, which we decided to title “Cuentos de Esperanza” – Stories of Hope. I think it came off pretty well, given all the factors en contra. Luis improved the technical quality considerably (comparing it to the last time they did this, with “Los Músicos de Brema”) It wasn’t Hamilton, but then they had 12 cameras for Hamilton, and personal mikes for everybody. And who know what was their bank of controls of sound and video.

Saturday, December 19, 2020 - 116, 212 cases, 3, 023 deaths

Luis is working away on editing Navidad Nuestra. Radio Progreso has it programmed for December 24 and 25.

Sunday, December 20, 2020 - 116,860 cases, 3, 025 deaths.

We have crossed the 3000 deaths landmark. I had a family chat in the afternoon: my sister Pat and my brother Mike and I have been doing zoom calls regularly the last few months. I find it interesting that the pandemic has separated us in many ways, but I have felt a lot more connection to people at the same time. And zoom definitely changes the media of communication. The San Pedro Sula airport is now illuminated and electrified. Actually, the fotos they publish in La Prensa show amazing progress. Maybe they will do it before the end of the year after all. Luis is almost finished with the edition of Navidad Nuestra. He wants to polish a few more things in the morning before he lets me hear it. Guapinol is an aldea of Tocoa. They are in the midst of a major fight with a mining company which is polluting the river that is their livelihood. Various of the defenders of the Río Guapinol are in jail (without charge). Padre Melo (Ismael Moreno sj, a Honduran Jesuit who is the director of Radio Progreso) has gone on a hunger strike to demand their release.

Keep safe and wash your hands,





Send a contribution to:

Paypal: teatrolafragua@gmail.com


teatro la fragua

c/o Jesuit Advancement Office

4511 West Pine Boulevard

St. Louis, MO. 63108, U.S.A./EE.UU.

Please send the donation details to teatrolafragua@gmail.com