It was just a matter of being in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
I’ve lived abroad for four years, the past two of those years in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, dubbed “The Most Dangerous City in the World.” I’ve traveled to some of the most poverty-stricken areas of Central America, and until this past December, I had never had a problem.
But while in Antigua, Guatemala with two of my girlfriends over our winter break, on our way to dinner, we were robbed at gunpoint.
We were walking together on a busy street, when a man approached us, took a gun out of his pocket and demanded our bags. Living in Honduras we have been conditioned to immediately give a robber whatever he wants, so all three of us handed over our bags right away. The entire incident was over within a minute. It was terrifying, but this isn’t the most important part of our story.
What Happened Next
After we got back to our hotel, spoke with the police, and filed a report, we were shaken, to say the least.
But then the most beautiful thing happened: we were instantly surrounded by strangers offering to help.
People we had met traveling in Semuc Champey offered to help us get a bus ticket or buy us dinner. Other travelers who had just arrived offered to give us money to make sure we could get back to Honduras. People around our hostel offered moral support, which was especially helpful after the incident. While the three of us were smart travelers and left enough money in our room to get us home, I will never forget the offer of generosity from these people.
I was blown away by how wonderful complete strangers could be.
This got me thinking about the traveling community, so I asked them why they were willing to give us money. They simply responded that if it was them or their sister that had been robbed, they would have wanted someone to help. What goes around comes around.
There were no cultural divides while we were recovering. The people who offered us support were German, Guatemalan, Israeli, and Australian. Generosity came from all nationalities.
So, yeah, it was a bad situation. But, it could’ve been a lot worse.
In the end, the power of the traveling community and the Go! Girl belief that people in this world are mostly good, ended up shining through. Thank you to all of the strangers in Antigua who offered to help us. You have some seriously good karma coming your way!