Nearshore Americas

On the Ground in Honduras: A Closer Look at a Central American Upstart


Nearshore Americas is spending several days on the ground this week in Honduras for a couple of very good reasons which I will be talking about and exploring on some interesting videos over the course of the next two weeks. We have been interviewing high level government officials, education and human capital leaders, telecom regulators and business leaders while traveling with our host from Altia Business Park, Ruben Sorto, who is the marketing director at the San Pedro Sula based facility, which is the first world-class business center in Honduras designed to service BPO and call center operations.

Ruben joined me (we’re both at the far right on the panel) today on a nationally broadcast program called Frente a Frente, hosted by Renato Álvarez, one of the most respected business journalist in Honduras who is sitting in the middle of the panel. Other speakers included, from the left include:  Former President of Honduras Rafael Leonardo Callejas Romero, Antonio Young, executive vice president of government promotion agency FIDE, and finally Mario Canahuati, the former Ambassador to Washington, who is set to become the new Minister of Promotion and Investment, under the newly elected government, led by Porfirio Lobo who will be sworn in later this month. The panel discussion – going for nearly 90  minutes – focused entirely on the huge opportunity for Honduras to emerge from the political chaos of the last six months by directing more energy on building a viable outsourcing industry.

Honduras, in a sense, is starting from ground zero, having had little in the way of long-term planning to cultivate a global services ecosystem. We will take a closer look at how this new ecosystem is just beginning to take root – despite (with heavy emphasis) the political disruptions and theatrics of the last six months. Clearly, to put it plainly, the Honduran people (from top levels of society to the working people) want very much to move on. Still, the country is in a delicate position,  having taken heat  from all kinds of governments and organizations worldwide, arguing that the country failed to uphold its constitutional principles. If you ask the Honduran people about the coup to remove former President Mel Zelaya, you are likely to hear strong support with people quickly pointing to the very real threat Hugo Chavez posed through his courting of Zelaya.

But they will also tell you the way in which he was forcibly taken out of the country was done too aggressively (in his pajamas in the middle of the night). And this is part of the national reconciliation and – in a real sense – healing the country is going through right now.

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Oh, and by the way, the country is operating just fine. Gasoline tanks are being filled, air conditioned malls are loaded with customers and traffic clogs the major arteries of Tegucigalpa.

Life is moving forward for the Honduran people – which once again demonstrates that the urgent, worrying voices coming from major media outlets are often far out of whack with reality on the ground.

Kirk Laughlin

Kirk Laughlin is an award-winning editor and subject expert in information technology and offshore BPO/ contact center strategies.

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