The Mexican Every Honduran Has Inside

Created: 22 November, 2018
Last update: 20 April, 2022

By Manuel Ocaño

Do you know how much Hondurans love Mexico? Let’s see.

In El Alamar, one of Tijuana’s poorest neighborhoods, Honduran immigrant Pili Noe Martinez Colindres, from Tegucigalpa, Honduras, suddenly stands out from among the close to 500 Central American immigrants as he pulls out a Mexican flag from his belongings and begins to wave it.

“A Mexican friend of mine in Honduras gave me this flag, and I keep it very fondly, because the Mexican people have really helped us as much as they can, and we the Honduran people are very grateful for it,” said Pili.

His traveling companions within earshot seemed to share his sentiment. The youngest of them curiously looked at Pili Noe with his flag.

“I hope God will give them back tenfold everything they’ve given us, because, truly, they have treated us like brothers,” he said, “we are like brothers, only that those of us from Honduras are poorer.”

Pili waved his flag and smiled, forgetting about the exhaustion from having walked for about three hours starting early in the day from where the bus convoy that brought them from Sinaloa had dropped them off, and all the way down to about ten miles prior to reaching Tijuana.

Moments later, another immigrant joined him and placed a Honduran flag next to Pili’s Mexican flag. “This is how we are, look: together like brothers,” said Pili.

Out of nowhere, chords rang out and a crowd of immigrants responded with glee. A Honduran woman had carried a bulky karaoke device with her all the way from Tegucigalpa, now strapped to her back as she began to sing “Tres Veces Mojado (Three times a Wetback)” by Mexican norteño band Los Tigres del Norte.

The young woman was soon surrounded by the rest of the group, eager to watch her sing. She did a four-song set, and while she took a rest in between, Mirna Yolanda Contreras and I had a chance to talk.

“Well, because we Hondurans love Mexican music, it’s almost like the songs are talking about us,” she said with a smile.”

Well, because it makes us Hondurans bring out the Mexican we all have inside of us,” she added, her face lighting up, and she immediately went back to singing.

The words and the attitude of these immigrants is completely opposite to that of some of Tijuana’s residents, who have subjected the Central American immigrants to clear expressions of scorn and discrimination.

The first group of immigrants to arrive recently had to give up a home they had rented mere days before, because some of the neighbors vocally protested the arrival of 70 members of the LGBT community, and 15 other immigrants traveling as families.

A couple of miles from that house, Playas de Tijuana residents and pro-Trump activists hurled insults, rocks, and beer cans at a group of migrants from the caravan who were camped out near the border fence, under the city’s lighthouse into the Pacific.

On social media, thousands of videos have emerged of purported Playas de Tijuana residents driving around and insulting any migrants they come across, yelling at them to “go back to their own country.”

The disdain is worsened by the fact that Tijuana’s Mayor – during whose Administration there have been 4,000 unresolved homicides since he took office in December 2016 – has stated that these migrants are not human beings and that they are a bunch of deviants.

Trump is now quoting the Mayor’s words as facts.

In the Alamar neighborhood, before boarding the buses that will bring them closer to the center of town, neither Mirna Yolanda Contreras nor Pili Noe Martinez Colindres – who spoke and sang their love and gratitude towards the Mexican people – had heard the news yet of what had transpired in the days prior in Tijuana to the shock and disbelief of many of its residents.