Honduras - Culture, Customs & Etiquette - Culture Crossing
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More frequently we see more women involved in politics and in leadership positions in the private sector, even though the man is the one who has better opportunities in the labor area.
With a couple, even if both men and women are working 8 hours per day, women are responsible for housework and family. Honduras is a patriarchal and sexist society. Most leadership positions in society — political, economic, cultural and religious — are dominated by men. There are women in positions of power, too, such as in media, managers in the public and private sector, and as politicians. For women, attaining executive and leadership positions and retaining them is a constant and difficult struggle.
Verbal, physical and sexual violence against women and girls is deeply engrained in society and victims rarely see justice done. Fathers are often excluded from decisions about their children and school activities as the assumption is that the mother is in charge in this area and the father is not interested.
Some Honduran parents are changing this dynamic, but there is a long way to go. Class distinctions are deeply engrained and are usually established from pre-primary school, especially in the middle and upper classes.
Children go through school together and establish networks that become networks in the private sector. There is a general sense that class is immutable and people in lower classes accept their fate and search for opportunities to engage in patronage relationships with people in the upper classes, often accepting low-paid work if the employer provides other perks such as food parcels, second-hand clothing, etc.
The upper classes generally have little contact with the lower classes apart from providing employment. For example, some upper class children are unaware that Honduras is the poorest country in Central America. The Roman Catholic Church is the most established and respected religious institution. It is now facing a challenge by a strong protestant evangelical movement in Honduras that wields growing influence among believers.
Billboards urging people to stop sinning and pray to God for salvation are everywhere. Meetings in the government and private sector sometimes start with a prayer. Aside from Christianity, there are small Jewish and Muslim communities in the major cities.
Awareness of other religions is low. Honduras has a variety of ethnic groups, the largest being the indigenous Maya, Miskito, and Lenca peoples and the Afro-Caribbean Garifunas.
Each group has their own culture, including food, dance and art as well as their concerns about industrial and tourist development in their traditional lands. Discrimination against Garifuna and Indigenous Peoples remains a barrier to opportunity and education. How important is it to establish a personal relationship with a colleague or client before getting to business?
Many business deals are closed around a table with a coffee or lunch. It is common to go for business lunches where the conversation is more relaxed with topics like family, sports, etc.
If a Canadian invites someone it is expected of him to pay, whether for a client or a colleague. Business cannot be done effectively with Hondurans without building rapport. Trust, especially in the Honduran context of persistent violence and corruption, must be won.
Expect to talk about anything but business for 15 to 30 minutes with someone new as you develop a working relationship. However, when speaking with people who are busy high-level officials, etc. Cultural Information - Privileges and Favouritism Question: Would a colleague or employee expect special privileges or considerations given our personal relationship or friendship?
The most commons favors people would ask is for help to get a job for a relative or friend, or help with information about the way to come to Canada. Colleagues and friends with whom a person often socializes with outside of work, may well expect the person to turn a blind eye to a mistake or give them a break on something at work or back them in a conflict. Building rapport while maintaining a professional distance is a critical challenge.
I have a work-related problem with a colleague. Do I confront him or her directly? Keep calm and talk directly and in private with the person. Avoid accusatory remarks, rather focus on what you have observed without asking direct questions.
Have a clear idea of what needs to be changed and how it can be achieved. Look for common ground and try to come to agreement. What motivates my local colleagues to perform well on the job? A good working environment where the boss recognizes team efforts with words of encouragement or congratulation is a good motivator.
Colleagues perform well when they know that managers trust and support them. Building inter-personal trust among a team is essential to having the morale to make colleagues highly productive. Local colleagues are often looking for opportunities for better or more pay, whether it is through overtime or a promotion, but those in lower level positions tend to forgo looking for other jobs for fear of losing their current real or perceived benefits.
To help me learn more about the local culture splease recommend: There are over than 10 emblematic books in Honduras, in all disciplines. This is the first novel by a woman in Honduras.
The novel itself is very well written and is considered one of the most important novels in the country. The author was the first liberal intellectual challenging and questioning the moral, social and political values??
Every Honduran who loves poetry reads this formidable work and it is recognized as a foundation of Honduran poetry. Tierra de pan llevar Lands of carrying bread by Rafael Heliodoro Valle.
This book has few stories about Honduras, with a mixture of myths and legends, usually so optimistic and full of colorful passages. This book is key to understanding the hard life of workers subjected to degrading working conditions by transnational banana companies before the strike of Un mundo para todos dividido A world for all divided by Roberto Sosa. This is one of the mostly carefully written and creative poetry on social issues and commonly recommended to read in Honduras.
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In villages there is a local person called the regidorappointed by the government, who reports murders and major crimes to the police or mayor of a nearby town.
Hondurans discuss their court system with great disdain. People who cannot afford lawyers may be held in the penitentiary for over ten years without a trial. People who can afford good lawyers spend little time in jail regardless of the crimes they have committed. Until after the s, crimes committed by members of the armed forces were dismissed out of hand.
Even corporals could murder citizens and Rural children help with farm chores in addition to their school work. Insome military men, including colonels, raped and murdered a university student. Her school and family, the press, and the United States embassy exerted pressure until two men were sent to prison. This event was the start of a movement to modernize and improve the court system. The Cold War was difficult for Honduras.
In the past thirty years, the military has gone through three phases.
The military government of the s was populist and promoted land reform and tried to control the banana companies. The governments in the s were nominally civilian, but were dominated by the military. The civilian governments in the s gradually began to win control of the country from the military. In the s, the United States saw Honduras as a strategic ally in Central America and military aid exceeded two hundred million dollars a year.
The army expanded rapidly, and army roadblocks became a part of daily life. Soldiers searched cars and buses on the highways. Some military bases were covers for Nicaraguan contras. In the mids, the military was concerned about budget cuts. Bythe military presence was much more subtle and less threatening.
For several reasons, the Honduran military was less brutal than that of neighboring countries. Soldiers and officers tended to come from the common people and had some sympathies with them. Officers were willing to take United States military aid, but were less keen to slaughter their own people or start a war with Nicaragua. Social Welfare and Change Programs The most important social change in the last few years has been the influence of Evangelical Protestant missionaries, who have converted many Hondurans to Pentecostal religions.
There are also urban social change agencies, and many that work in the villages. Their fields of activity include soil conservation, gardening, and natural pest control. Until his death inhe and the people he inspired transformed Honduran agriculture. Farmers stopped using slash-and-burn agriculture in favor of intensive, more ecologically sound techniques. Nongovernmental Organizations and Other Associations United States military aid was accompanied by economic aid.
Much of this money was disbursed to nongovernmental organizations NGOsand during the s there were over two hundred of these groups. About a hundred worked in agricultural programs. By the early s, Honduran biologists and some foreign scientists and activists were able to attract attention to the vast forests, which were often the homes of native peoples and were under threat from logging, colonial invasion and cattle ranching.
The Miskito people's NGO, Mopawi, was one of several native people's organizations that attracted funding, forged ties with foreign activists, and were able to reverse destructive development projects. Most native peoples now have at least one NGO that promotes their civil rights. In the large cities there are some organizations that work in specific areas such as street children and family planning. Rural people receive much more attention from NGOs than do the urban poor.
Men are more prominent than women in public life, but women have served as judges, big city mayors, trial lawyers, members of congress, cabinet members, and heads of the national police force. Women have been especially active in religious life.
To counter the inroads made by Evangelical missionaries, the Catholic Church encourages lay members to receive ecclesiastical training and visit isolated communities, to perform religious services. These people are called celebradores de la palabra "celebrators of the word". They hold mass without communion.
Many of them are women.
Honduran dating culture
Women also manage stores and NGOs and teach at universities. Male-only roles include buying and trucking agricultural products, construction, bus and taxi drivers, and most of the military. The Relative Status of Women and Men. Honduran people occasionally say that theirs is a machista macho, sexist country. This is mostly a stereotype, but some men shout catcalls at women on the street, especially when the men are in groups.
There are also cases of sexual harassment of office staff. However, most men are fond of their families, tolerant of their behavior, and sensitive to women, who often have jobs outside the home or run small stores. Adolescents and young adults are not subject to elaborate supervision during courtship. Marriage,Family, and Kinship Marriage. Marriage is based on the Western ideal of falling in love.
There are few formal rules prohibiting marriage with people of different social backgrounds, although people tend to marry neighbors or people they meet at school or work. Almost everyone eventually marries or lives with someone and has children. Founding a household is a financial struggle for most couples, and so women's earnings are appreciated. Divorce and remarriage are fairly common and are slightly stigmatized.
Monogamy is the formal rule, although a middle-aged man who can afford to may set up a separate house with a younger woman. If they find out about the younger women, most wives find the idea disgusting and threatening to the marriage. The ideal household of a couple and their children is not always possible. When young couples cannot afford housing, they may live with their parents until they have several children of their own. As in other Latin American countries, Horses and mules provide transportation for some small landholders.
In many households, men and women make major decisions together regarding household expenses, children's education, etc. In the cities, many households with only a moderate income include a live-in domestic servant who does the housekeeping. Inheritance practice varies widely, but in general when a person dies the widow or widower inherits half the property called the parte conyugal, or "the spouse's part" and the children get the other half, unless a will was made to the contrary. The spouse's part provides economic security for widows and helps preserve farms more or less intact.
Sometimes there is a preference for the oldest son to inherit a larger share. There is also a tendency for sons to inherit land and daughters to inherit livestock, furniture, and money. In the cities, families tend to spend Sunday afternoon having an elaborate meal with the wife's parents.
The ideal is for married children to live near their parents, at least in the same city, if not in the same neighborhood or on a contiguous lot. This is not always possible, but people make an effort to keep in touch with the extended family. Socialization Child Rearing and Education. Urban professionals and elites are indulgent toward children, rarely punishing them and allowing them to interrupt conversations.
In stores, middle-class shoppers buy things their children plead for. Obedience is not stressed. Bourgeois children grow up with self-esteem and are encouraged to feel happy about their accomplishments. The urban poor and especially the campesinos encourage children to play in small groups, preferably near where adults are working. Parents are not over protective.
Children play in the fields where their parents work, imitating their work, and after age of six or seven they start helping with the farm work. Campesinos expect children to be obedient and parents slap or hit disobedient children. Adults expect three- to four-year-old children to keep up with the family while walking to or from work or shopping, and a child who is told to hurry up and does not may be spanked.
Campesino children grow up to be disciplined, long-suffering, and hard working. Higher education, especially a degree from the United States or Europe, is valued, but such an education is beyond the reach of most people. There are branches of the National University in the major cities, and thousands of people attend school at night, after work. There are also private universities and a national agricultural school and a private one Zamorano.
Etiquette A firm handshake is the basic greeting, and people shake hands again when they part. If they chat a bit longer after the last handshake, they shake hands again just as they leave. Among educated people, when two women greet or when a man greets a woman, they clasp their right hands and press their cheeks together or give a light kiss on the cheek.
Their handshakes tend to be soft. Country women greeting a person they are fond of may touch the right hand to the other person's left elbow, left shoulder, or right shoulder almost giving a hugdepending on how happy they are to see a person.
Men sometimes hug each other firm, quick, and with back slappingespecially if they have not seen each other for a while and are fond of each other. This is more common in the cities. Campesinos are a little more inhibited with body language, but city people like to stand close to the people they talk to and touch them occasionally while making a point in a conversation.
People may look strangers in the eye and smile at them. People are expected to greet other office workers as they pass in the hall even if they have already greeted them earlier that day. On country roads people say good-bye to people they pass even if they do not know each other.
In crowded airports and other places where people have to wait in a long, slow line, some people push, shove, cut in front of others, go around the line, and attract attention to themselves to get served first. Almost all Hondurans believe in God and Jesus Christ, though sometimes in a vague way.
In a traditionally Catholic country, many people have joined Evangelical Protestant churches. People usually keep their religious beliefs to themselves but Catholics may wear a crucifix or religious medal around their necks. Many people have a sense of divine destiny.
Honduran dating culture
Accidental death is attributed to the will of God rather than to a seat belt that was not buckled or another physical cause. The upper classes are still predominantly Catholic, while many of the urban poor are now Evangelical.
Newspapers carry stories of witchcraft, writing about people who were ill until a healer sucked a toad or a sliver of glass from their bodies. The Catholic Church is the national religion, as stated in the Constitution. However, the liberal reforms of the s led to the confiscation of Church property, the closing of the seminary, and a great decline in the number and morale of the Catholic clergy.
By the s mass was only heard regularly in the larger towns. At that time, foreign clergy, including French Canadians, began revitalizing the Honduran Church. Many priests supported campesino movements in the s, and some were killed for it by the military. In the s the bishops were strong enough to play a key role in resisting pressure from the United States for Honduras to go to war with Nicaragua. Various Protestant churches have been active in Honduras since the early twentieth century, especially since the s, and have gained many converts.
The Evangelical clergy is an informal lay clergy for the most part and small Pentecostal chapels are common in villages and in poorer neighborhoods in the cities.