Choluteca, Honduras is a beautiful city. It would have been nice for Fr. Miguel, Ignacio, and Eduardo to stay there a bit longer and enjoy the hospitality of Bishop Guido, Fr. Rito Emilio, and the Sisters of the Holy Family. But time was marching on, and it was time for our travelers to march on as well.
They set out from Choluteca early on Sunday morning and were treated to yet another glorious sunrise. What marvels do we miss when we sleep through the first hours of the day?
The roads to their next destination, Namasigüe, Honduras, were not always the busy highways they had followed on other legs of their journey.
In fact, some of the roads they followed could barely be called roads.
But they had lots of company. This flock of vultures was a bit overly friendly! The locals call them zopes. They are similar to the turkey buzzards we have in the southern United States.
Here’s a close-up…just in case you were curious. Did you know that zopes can eat 20% of their body weight in one meal? That’s like a human eating over 100 hamburgers in one sitting! They also have one of the deadliest diets of any animal. They can digest almost any bacteria, including those that cause botulism and anthrax, without coming to any harm. Although they seem a bit disgusting, in reality they do us a great service. God has designed them to keep things cleaned up for us. Personally, I find that I’m quite grateful…
Transportation in southern Honduras takes many forms. It takes a bit of skill to handle a chariot!
The team walked as far as the entrance to Namasigüe, but did not actually go into town. It was off the main road, and they had to get back to Choluteca to spend the night. I’m sorry I don’t have any pictures of Namasigüe for you, but I did find this fun video on YouTube that might give you a small taste of the city: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6J5ubhEbSA
At this point, Fr. Miguel, Ignacio, and Eduardo were only two days’ walk from the border with Nicaragua. In order to cross the border, they all had to have clean Covid tests, and the closest place to get those tests was Choluteca. So, after spending another night enjoying the hospitality of their hosts, on Monday, they all went to the testing lab. And then…
On Monday evening, I received a call from Fr. Miguel. As it turns out, both Ignacio and Eduardo had tested positive for Covid-19. It had now become necessary for them to isolate for two weeks in Choluteca. Blessedly, neither one had shown any symptoms and, as of this writing, both are still symptom free. They are now under a doctor’s care and remain in good spirits. They are trying to maintain the perspective that this disruption of their plans is all a part of the adventure.
The question now was how to proceed. Should Fr. Miguel continue the journey through Nicaragua on his own, with Ignacio and Eduardo taking a bus to rejoin him once they had finished their time in isolation? Should they simply discontinue the Camino? Should the entire team wait out the time in isolation and then resume their trek? There was much to be decided.
After a great deal of prayer, as well as consultation with those involved, including family members, the local bishop, and their hosts, it was decided that all three members of the team would stay in Choluteca for the next two weeks. Once the time of isolation passes, the plan is to skip the portion of the Camino that would have gone through Nicaragua. They plan to travel to Costa Rica and pick up their journey according to their prearranged itinerary.
Meanwhile, Fr. Miguel, who does not have to isolate, will continue to be active, serving as he can in and around Choluteca. We’re not quite sure how the next two weeks will play out, but I will keep you posted. Please keep the entire team, and their hosts, in your prayers. And stay tuned for further updates…