Since arriving in Trujillo, I've sent a number of postcards and letters to friends and family in the States. As far as I know, none have arrived. Meanwhile, many of you have sent me letters and packages, all of which have arrived within 3 weeks of their postmark. Today, I went to the post office and asked them if they knew why none of my letters had reached their destinations.
The guy behind the counter pulled out a La Prensa article from June 27. It was titled ¿Para qué te escribo?. The lead sentence said that no international mail had been delivered for the last 25 days because of a problem with air freight contracts. The article went on to explain that on June 1, the contract between HONDUCOR (the Honduran Postal Service) and two airlines, TACA and COPA, expired. HONDUCOR planned on changing carriers to Federal Express, but had not signed a contract with them. So there was no one to fly mail out of the country.
Bags and bags of mail were piling up in the storerooms below Toncontín Airport. The director of HONDUCOR, Nimia Valladares, could not be found for comment. Postal employees at the HONDUCOR offices at Toncontín Airport said she was in the old offices in downtown Teguz, but the employees there said she was at Toncontín.
According to the assistant to the director of HONDUCOR, air transport was to resume the day the article was published, but according to other sources many details in the contract with Fedex had yet to be worked out. Who knows if the mail has even started going out now, 3 weeks after this article was published.
In the States, this kind of breakdown of a key government service would have been headline news that day it happened. And really, it wouldn't ever happen. Here in Honduras, it wasn't even written about until the crisis had gone on for 25 days. And even then it was just a small article in the back of the newspaper. Gotta love Honduras!
UPDATE: As of July 13, mail was still having problems getting out of the country.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Posted by Raphael at 6:19 PM