This is a short read about bananas and greed in a small Central American country.

  • Vanessa Hernandez

For Hondurans, change never comes easy, and it has never been the product of our exceptionalism but the lack of it. That's what we tell ourselves, anyway. 

“Look at the mess we've got ourselves into,' Colonel Aureliano Buendia said at that time, 'just because we invited a gringo to eat some bananas.”― Gabriel Garcia Márquez, 100 years of Solitude.


In the research of Mani et al. (2013), there was a causal relationship between poverty and psychological function. Poverty reduced the cognitive performance of the poor because poverty consumes spiritual resources, leaving fewer cognitive resources to guide choices and actions.

No wonder, our heroes grew weary, and the air seemed filled with hopelessness. Can we continue in this manner for a long time?

Colonialism, military rule, corruption, natural disasters, poverty, and crime have shaped the history of Honduras, making it one of the least developed and most unstable countries in Central America. It is nevertheless true that Hondurans are very hospitable, gentle, and warm despite all of this.

A brief historical overview is provided below. 

Honduras was the original banana republic, and its economy came to be dependent on banana exports. Honduras became the largest exporter of bananas in the world. The banana companies had the power to make a president fall if their government did not promote their specific interests.

In 1954, 35,000 workers went on strike on the banana plantations against the American-owned United Fruit Company, demanding higher salaries and holidays, among other labour standards. In the modern world, these things are taken for granted, but they were not available in that era. 


The strike was one of the largest instances of collective action taking place at that time. 

“Viva el trabajo, la huelga y la patria” was their motto. Long live the work, the strike, and the homeland.


During this period, the United Fruit Company dominated both business and politics in Central America. The company was the first genuinely multinational modern corporation, spreading the spirit of liberal capitalism throughout the world. It is imperative to remember that, despite United Fruit's ugly reputation, the company often made charitable contributions and developed corporate social responsibility initiatives.


The word of our struggle spread across Latin America. 

Here is a poem by Pablo Neruda on United Fruit

... The Fruit Company, Inc. 
Reserved for itself the most succulent, 
The central coast of my own land, 
The delicate waist of the Americas. 

It rechristened its territories 
As the "Banana Republics", 
And over the sleeping dead, 
Over the restless heroes 
Who brought about the greatness, 
The liberty and the flags, 
It established a comic opera ...


However, this was the image they presented. 



This is what we saw.



What do you think? Has anything changed?  


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