Where have I been exactly and where am I off to next??? You've been asking and I have been listening. It is one thing to say the name of the country and think to yourself, ya I’ve heard of that place…but, it’s another to picture it on the map, so here it is:
From Texas, go south…and keep on a goin’ straight through Mexico, right to Guatemala, then over to El Salvador, Honduras, and down into Nicaragua.
Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama
...A bit of insight...
Guatemala a major love in my life, is a very small country about the same size as the state of Tennessee has a population of around 13 million. Tennessee has around 6 million residents and an average income of $40 thousand (US). The average annual income in Guatemala $5,400 (US) and that’s being generous…some pretty staggering figures…Can you imagine supporting your family on $5,400 per year? Now imagine, if your family was the size in Guatemala, seven. It is believed that every female will have a least five children in her life time. FIVE! In Tennessee the average is 2.99.
Honduras, a country on my list of must-sees-must-volunteer, is slightly larger than Guatemala and more than half the population, about 7 million. However, it is a much poorer region with an average income of around $3,700 (US). Honduras’ neighbor to the left, is El Salvador and on also on my list; sits just below Guatemala, is smaller than the state of Massachusetts with some, 7 million people residing there as well. It has the highest population in all of Central America and has an average annual salary is $6,400.
Next stop Nicaragua, where I intend to be in October, is a country a wee-bit smaller than New York State, has a population of about 5 million. It is considered the poorest country in Central America and the second poorest in the southern hemisphere, has an average annual income of $3,000 (US). New York State has 18 million people living there and an average annual income is $50 thousand, the average New York family size is 2.61. The Nicaraguan is the same the Guatemalan seven and again the average female with have at least five children in her life time.
...A bit of hmm...
...A bit of hmm...
To put the poverty level into prospective in Nicaragua, I estimated if I dined out at Applebee's (where I work) twice a week, eating from the 2 for $20 menu every week, for one year, that is about how much money the average family of seven lives on in Nicaragua –intense...brings me right back to exactly why I cleaned out my closet last fall…and explains why I am still struggling with the life I live here in the USA.