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 a nicer neighborhood, they have been fortunate to have a police presence close by. This creates a much safer environment for these women and the opportunity for us 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.
From the outside, it is hard to imagine this way of life that so "normal" to the people that live in the Bordo. These people are humble and we find are often very happy. Because they live mostly outside and are exposed to the elements and get lots of bug bites, they are susceptible to sickness much more than the average person. Illness here, is often not treated due to the expense and their outside neighbors have a limited knowledge about the happenings of people living in the Bordo because it is very dangerous to be within its walls. So oftentimes, many go untreated, get very sick and in extreme cases die because of lack of proper medical treatment.
However, there is a large, loving sense of 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 they try to keep their homes organized in spite of the dire circumstances. Their children are amazing and so loving! Especially when they have been consistently well-fed which enables them to fight the effects of malnutrition. One thing that we have learned while visiting with them, is to NEVER waste a thing. They are very sharing and want to give their very best food to us while we are in the Bordo. In fact, we have learned that if we can't finish it all, it is very polite to just offer your leftovers to another person nearby. No food should ever be wasted! They truly are so humble and kind.