What is the Bordo?
The bordo is a slang term used in Honduras which means "border". This particular slum, borders the Piedras River and so most people refer to it as simply "the bordo". The bordos of San Pedro Sula are some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the world. San Pedro Sula was ranked the #1 most dangerous city in the world in 2014, but has moved down the list in recent years.
Unfortunately, bordos are usually run by gangs. Because of the proximity of this particular bordo, to some higher income housing, they have been fortunate to have a police presence. Creating a much safer environment for these women and the opportunity for me, Courtney, to visit them in their homes.
All of the homes here are usually made from debris found around the city or donations from church groups and ministries. Most homes have corrugated tin roofs with some wood paneling or sometimes just plastic sheeting rolls used in agriculture and gardening. Some homes have electricity but usually just one light bulb, and one outlet, with many power cables attached. The homes have a primitive septic tank made with a barrel buried in the ground to hold their waste. Most grey water, like sink, or bathing water, is just piped out into the street and flows down to the river.
It is hard to imagine this way of life. These people are humble but often times happy. Sickness is always a factor because they live so much in the outdoors and receive many insect bites. Illness here, is often not treated due to expense and limited knowledge of the people in the bordo.
However, there is a family camaraderie that is so amazing among these people. They feel a loyalty and responsibility to help each other. They are mostly well groomed, and clean, and try and keep their homes organized as well. Their kids are amazing especially when they have been fed and are able to fight the effects of malnutrition. One thing I have learned living near them is to never waste a thing. They often want to share their very best food with me when I come into the bordo, and I have learned if I don't finish it all, it is very polite of me to offer it to another. No food should ever be wasted! They truly are so humble and kind.