Political unrest and economic anguish arose in Honduras when its neighboring countries began to fight. Honduras was used as a training ground for the Contras from Nicaragua in the 70s and 80s. At the same time, El Salvador's civil wars were causing rage between the borders. Hurricane Mitch (1990s) caused 5,000 deaths and was detrimental to Honduras' economy. Due to the fact that the economy depends mostly on coffee and bananas, the negative impact of Hurricane Mitch on the economy caused many people to leave the country. (24) Dona Carla described the condition of Honduras when she said, “It's screwed up there.  There are no jobs and if there are they pay very little, and the city is in ruins”. (25)

Moving to Miami was appealing to Hondurans because they could work as migrant farm laborers. The 2000 Census stated that Hondurans make up 2% of the 10% of Central Americans of the 1,000,000 Latinos. (16)

Some Hondurans who came to the U.S. extended their stays by illegally changing the date on their visas. If they were caught, they were deported from the United States. When they returned to the U.S. again to make money, they made sure to change their passports in order to conceal the fact that they had stayed in the U.S. longer than their visas permitted, thus they were able to reenter.

A big problem Hondurans in the United States face is the absence of a helpful immigration program like the one developed for Nicaraguans. As a result, Hondurans are always being deported. Ironically, the hurricane helped Hondurans because after it hit, they were included in an immigration program known as TPS, which protected those entering the United States. The Hondurans have grown to be a vital group of workers in Miami. Jose Lagos, an immigrant himself said, “We are described as hard workers; we put up with a lot, and we keep going.  But we are also reserved; sometimes we are exploited and easy prey for unscrupulous lawyers.” (26)

Miami : History in Brief

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