The Curse of Geography is an on-going series of investigative projects focused on the relationship of geographic isolation or proximity on social justice, human rights and public policy in selected locations around the world. Our reports are produced in multi-media format and in partnership with artists, journalists, NGOs, academic and cultural institutions, and news outlets.
The first in this series focuses on La Mosquitia, the far eastern coast of Honduras. For most people in La Mosquitia, there are only two forms of gainful employment – lobster fishing and drug trafficking. 90% of the cocaine that ends up in the United States passes through this isolated and neglected corner of the world. 90% of the lobster harvested here arrives at the same destination. This coupled with corruption and the war on drugs has had adverse effects on the indigenous Miskito people. In May 2017, German Andino, Alberto Arce, and Sidd Joag traveled to the Mosquito Coast for three weeks to understand the situation more clearly.
German Andino was born in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, in 1984. He studied Systems Engineering, specialized in Graphic Arts, and later spent months traversing Buenos Aires and one of Tegucigalpa's oldest neighborhoods. Using his command of English and access to the people of the streets, Andino worked for years as a "fixer" to foreign reporters trying to tell the story of Honduras. As reporters came, and went he kept documenting the lives of the first gangs to take control of the city. He decided then that it was time to decolonize the narrative, and that the story of Honduras should be told by Hondurans. He chose photojournalism as the best platform where the Hondurans could see themselves.
Alberto Arce is a Knight Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan. He joined the Associated Press (AP) in February 2012 as a correspondent in Honduras, where for several years he was the only foreign correspondent to report from Tegucigalpa. He later joined AP’s Mexico City bureau, where he continued to cover Central America before going to The New York Times as an editor. He has an Overseas press Club Award for best reporting on Latin America.
Sidd Joag is an artist, journalist, and community organizer working at the intersection of arts, culture, social justice, and human rights for 15 years. He is the Managing Editor at ArtsEverywhere, a co-coordinator of ArtistSafety.net, and a member of Amber Art and Design.