Savannah Ward, Esteysi Rochez, and Megan Rincon
“I’m from Honduras, I’m Garifuna and New Orleans is my new home” said Jenny Solis. Ms. Solis has been working hard to reach the American dream. She had many different jobs when she arrived to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. She was the only person from her family living in New Orleans, making it difficult for her. All the money she made went to rent and her family but mainly her three daughters in Honduras. As individuals like Ms. Solis moved to New Orleans, “ the cultural practices [of Honduran people] became more widespread and have helped energize the older immigrants and others of Honduran descent” (Denese Neu).
After Hurricane Katrina many Latin American people came to rebuild the city. Some Honduran immigrants struggle with being illegal citizens in the USA. Jenny Solis was one of the Honduran people who migrated here after the hurricane. As Ms. Solis said in her interview, “ I didn’t go through a lot because I paid more money to a coyote (a person that transport people illegally to the United States) but I still walked for awhile.” Ms. Solis goes on and say that she left Honduras for “economic reasons, my family was going through a lot and needed money. After my mother died it was hard to find a job so I migrated to the United States.” Surprisingly, the “Honduran community is the largest Latino population residing in the New Orleans metropolitan area, and New Orleans has a larger Honduran population than any other American city” (Denese Neu).
Since Katrina, food trucks have flourished alongside the city’s Honduran population. When Ms. solis arrived after Katrina she worked in a food truck: “ I enjoyed working on the food truck, I always had food and I made a lot of money. People didn’t have a lot of food during those times so it was really easy.” When talking about the food truck, Ms. Solis discusses how the smell is her favorite part. She goes on to explain, “I sold stuff from Honduras so it reminded me of my country”, she said. Specifically, when Ms.Solis is at home she likes to eat food from Honduras, such as “baleadas machuca, tableta de coco, pan de coco, and tajada con pollo o pescado”. In Terms of music, Ms.Solis likes to listen to” punta, bachata, salsa and reggaeton.” Besides food and music, Ms.Solis likes to celebrate Christmas, but not Halloween. As she explains, “ All of our family and friends or anyone that want, come together every Sunday to celebrate.”
When Ms.Solis moved to New Orleans, it was difficult for her to assimilate into American culture in terms of language. Ms. Solis “didn’t understand what most people told me but overtime I managed to learn basic english. [she] found a job and learned to like things from here.” Today, “many Hondurans have assimilated into American and New Orleans culture, but the social pipeline keeps the Honduran culture alive” (Denese Neu).
Overall, Honduran culture is very alive and vibrant in New Orleans. Although moving to a new country is never easy, the Honduran people make it a priority to share their culture with New Orleans.