Twenty years ago, I was invited to consult with a large financial institution centered in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras. On the flight from Miami, I was seated next to an American businessman who quickly proved to be both an enthusiastic bibber and, as his intake swelled, a loquacious, self-described “expert” on the worrisome facts of life in Central America.
As we zoomed over the Caribbean, he told fearsome tales of how dangerous life was for business leaders in Honduras, how widespread the poverty, how dangerous the violent gangs, how brazen the smuggling of people, how prevalent the flow of drugs, how chilling the kidnappings, how stark the living conditions; on and on, as he detailed a dreary scene.
Then, with morose delectation, he listed the risks in our upcoming landing at Tegucialpa’s Toncontin Airport: mountains at both ends of the runway, unpredictable crosswinds, the shortest landing space in the Americas (though, for consolation’s sake, he added that a shorter one exists in Nepal). Nonetheless, we landed in one piece.