Ten Reasons Immigrants Are Fleeing Honduras

10.) The national government relies far too heavily on the 60K+ volunteers annually visiting the country, and millions of dollars they filter into the economy, while simultaneously increasing the costs for and placing greater restrictions on the ways those volunteers can administer relief and champion development.

9.) The fallout from the 2009 coup deposing President Manuel Zelaya and instilling his political rival Porfiro Lobo (and now Juan Hernández) has contributed to a mistrust of government and serious cause for human rights concerns including the unexplained/uninvestigated murders of reporters, protestors, and members of minority groups.

8.) The Honduran government has been restructuring its national debt for years under the condition that it build up its economy via monocrop agriculture and manufacturing. The results for the Honduran workers who keep these industries alive are low wages for exploitative work as their corporate owners reap massive profits. Remittance incomes from the U.S. are the #1 source of income for many Honduran families.

7.) A non-funded healthcare system does not pay its doctors or nurses. The cost of quality medical care in Honduras prevents a majority of families from accessing it. Both issues have lead to a national sickness among the poor and also a brain drain of the educated health officials seeking fair compensation for their talents.

6.) School uniforms cost money and are required for students to attend schools. Public schools don’t provide quality education to their students for lack of resources and adequate pay (or any at all most of the time) for teachers. The cost of private schools makes them an impossibility for most.

5.) There is significant evidence indicating that global climate change is affecting Honduras in far greater ways than other countries. For many, survival is a race to higher, more solid, ground.

4.) Honduras is the murder capital of the world with the highest murder rate outside of war zones. This is due to ineffective government and an empowered gang culture fueled by U.S. drug consumption. The drugs come from South America … what about the guns?

3.) Preventable disease and encroachment on a gang’s territory are enough for any Honduran to lose his life, but a prevalent partriarchal machismo attitude makes just being a woman a risk factor also. Honduras has the world’s 7th highest rate of femicide, or being murdered solely for being a woman.

2.) Dehydration due to lack of access to clean drinking water is the #1 killer of babies worldwide. A parent’s job is to ensure the survival of their children, a possibility out of many families’ reach.

1.) The American Dream: It doesn’t just lie within the borders of the United States. The American Dream has never been an idea our nation’s founders, 1st & 2nd generation immigrants, planted. Instead, it is an attitude that one has the power to prosper anywhere through hard work and community. While our policies don’t always reflect our true values, our national credo entices many to get a taste of “liberty and justice for all” by migrating to the U.S. instead of manifesting the idea at home.

Written by Michael Franklin a published on AL.com on December 24, 2014