Agricultural Travelogue – Honduras Grapefruit

Gary Cooper Citrus, General, International

I was in Honduras in September for a grapefruit production tour. The industry’s leading Citrus Industry Magazine, will have a feature on what I learned about their grapefruit industry there that sends high quality red varieties to Europe the couple months before Florida fruit starts coming into season. Here’s an excerpt. Fruit Ready for Export
Honduras is nestled under the Yucatan peninsula next to San Salvador, below Belize and Guatemala, above Costa Rica and Niceragua. Among the less developed of Central American countries, Honduras seems to be slowly working itself up the economic ladder as its business leaders strive to further develop industry and infrastructure to keep up with neighbors in the region. Labor costs remain frightfully low compared to U. S. wages, a major reason why so many young people from this region risk it all to work in the U. S. to support their families back home.

When Citrus Industry Magazine received a letter in July from Mr. Rene Laffite of Frutas de Honduras in La Ceiba, Honduras to visit and tour the grapefruit industry there, I was elated to take him up on the offer. Joining Lafitte mid-September in Honduras’ second largest city of San Pedro Sula, (pop about 800,000), I thoroughly enjoyed three days of riding along during the peak of harvest season. Laffite, a Honduran native of French descent, received his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Louisiana in the 1960’s, later earning a Masters Degree at a University in Guatemala. Of the half-dozen other countries where I have toured citrus production over the years, I find growers everywhere share the same pride and dedication when it comes to their citrus production operations.

As for accommodations and the food in and around San Pedro Sula during my visit, I have no complaints there at all. Those of you who know me know I like my groceries, and I found the different restaurants we visited very capable and of good quality. Even the meals in the countryside were “fittin” as Dad used to say, as long as you picked your stops with care.