Who is Behind Honduras is Great?
Restless Patriot, Nature Lover, Seeking a Change
Fernando Carías is the creator behind the Facebook fan page “Honduras is Great.” He describes himself as restless, a lover of nature and someone who loves to talk. He considers that this is the perfect formula necessary to lead this type of project.
I think you can tell that I love this country. But if someone gets to know Honduras—listen—he has to fall in love. What do we see in Honduras? History, we can touch it. We don’t have to go to museums. We don’t have to visit zoos; nature is here, within our reach.
He attributes his unique type of patriotism to his childhood and especially the charming bond he shared with Luis Martín Alemán and other friends with whom he “devoured” encyclopedia collections. Carías and his friends would play trivia games with the facts they found in these collections. Alemán and Carías were high school classmates, known for the restless nature they have in common.
This led them to join the Asociación de Scouts de Honduras (Honduran Scout Association), where they got to know the people, the places and flora and fauna of Honduras very well. They went from knowing about the facts in writing to living them firsthand, getting to know their country up close and also meeting people from all over the world.
Currently, in his working life, Carías’s career has allowed him to experience life in Honduran communities such as San Lorenzo, Gracias, Islas de la Bahía, La Mosquitia, Comayagua, Tela, La Ceiba. While staying in hotels or at friends’ homes, Carías has experienced spending more time at projects in these communities than at home and consequently has come to know a bit more about the country. The desire to create Honduras is Great stems from the moment when Fernando Carías noticed an error in an international television program, in which certain images were mistakenly shown as part of a feature on Honduras. Curiosity struck him, and Fernando decided to investigate what was being shown online about Honduras. Unfortunately, he found a side of Honduras that is not what he knows to be.
Poverty is everywhere. Yet one thing is poverty and another is someone who likes to be poor. One thing is being dirty at a moment in time and another is someone who likes to be dirty and is dirty because he wants to be. In Honduras we all work, and we all get dirty.
He found other pages that showed images of beautiful places, but with no data. One would have to know the place to know what was being shown. After some research, knowing that this is not the only information that should be displayed about our country, he contacted some friends through Facebook and requested some photos to begin the project. The original idea was to create the page in English so that friends could see it, but it grew. Subscribers grew to friends of friends and exponentially to people he did not know, as we all know can happen on social media. To Carías’s surprise, far from admiring the landscapes that were shared within the page, at the beginning, what these images fostered within the community was disbelief. Readers could not believe these photos were really from Honduras. This was the reason why the project continued and what motivated Fernando Carías to continue it and aid in a drive to change.
Honduras is Great: A Healthy Addiction
According to Carías there are followers that began as skeptics that are now the biggest defenders of their country through this page. They form part of a group of followers that are self-proclaimed Honduras is Great “addicts.” As the page’s administrator, Fernando Carías can see that these users come in to see content early before work and then return at the end of the day after work. For its creator, Honduras is Great has also become a healthy addiction, as he thinks about the project 24-7. He mentioned the great support he finds in Honduran photographers.
Photography is an art that deserves respect, as do photographers. When I first started receiving photographs, I included credits and the sources of how to reach the owner. Some of the photographers noticed that their posts would end up on Honduras is Great and were motivated by that. Now they send the material themselves. At this time there are more than 45 professional photographers in Honduras. I believe I have only had to expressly request permission from two photographers in order to display their work in Honduras is Great.
There is an abundance of users that share the content published on Honduras is Great and this project is meeting its goal “…that the majority of Hondurans can access this tool so that we can promote Our Country for the good things it has and among those is you…”
The addiction present in social media is sharing content. Someone sees a photo, takes it as if it were nobody’s and takes it over. There are almost 40 pages that share articles from Honduras is Great. Some use the “share” tool and others cut out the Honduras is Great logo and simply publish the photo. However that doesn’t matter to me because in the end, that’s what I want…