Who will I become: where I stay or where I return?

They say I shouldn’t love you because your numbers tell the story of our misery, my corrupt beautiful little piece of land. I’ll always be the fool who keeps looking for ways to defend you, to look past the blood flowing down your streets and the inferno ravaging your cities, to look past your divides, to look past that river of rocks who holds in one of its shores the ratty houses of starving children, and in the opposing shore the mansion of a family indicted for doing the wrong type of laundry for all the wrong type of businessmen.

With an entire ocean separating us, I cried for you today. I cried for you but also for me. I cried because loving you breaks my very essence in half: the woman who wants to go back right now and stop her ship from sinking because maybe just maybe we can still patch the holes and row safely to peace, and the rat who wants to stay away, to stay hidden, safe and comfortable in a foreign country where everything is easier, where I can wrap myself in a bubble and pretend that all will be ok with the world, where I can forget the river of rocks, the faces of the sick and starving and the bodies of my fallen brothers and sisters in a rightful fight that will nevertheless be undeserving of their sacrifices.

While I gaze at a snow covered landscape, while I’m tucked away, warm and safe, the cruel joke we call democracy welcomes a dictator. My people, my land, burns with rage, and hope… Hope that their blood and fire, their screams and tears, their banging-pots (#cacerolazohonduras), can still turn the tables. I know with utmost certainty that this joke, this dictator is worth not one drop of my countrymen’s blood, but still they are fighting and still they are bleeding.

As I watch the violence and looting, I understand that while I’m away, well -fed, and free from repression, my people are retaking what they feel is theirs, through blood and pain, hunger and misery. For the government has taken and taken, their education, health, hope, and dignity. So the people ransack the oligarchy, without caring or knowing they take from their fellow brothers and sisters, SME owners that through blood and sweat have built the livelihood for their families. Even when I empathize with the SMEs caught in the crossfire, I can’t blame the looters, for I have looked the other way, for I’m an ocean away, for I’ve done nothing to help the poorest.

Now among the suffering, destruction, and repression, I wish I had lost all hope in my country! How I wish I could let you burn, dance over your ashes and forget you! I wish I could stop wishing and praying for better tomorrow. Yet I wish I never do. Yet I wish that life grants me enough time to do right by you. I wish to never forget the nance tree where the toucans fed, the mountain where our hero fell, your colorful coral reef, the Paris of a long dead civilization, the island where dancing I found love, and the cottages by the lake where I received a ring. I know I will never stop missing your beauty, all our warm, passionate and hardworking people. I know my people are your soul, because the soul rages with anger, and pours violence I know we can be more, that this too shall pass. I know your soul is my home.

Whose voice will I hear: those who think I am a fool for hoping and running towards the raging inferno when I can stay an ocean away, or those who think me a coward, and a rat that abandoned her ship? What will I choose: this continent and its four seasons, or my mountains and jaguars, my beaches and toucans, my beautiful, loving and bloodied country?

So who will I become: where I stay or where I return?