Activities on March 9
The President travels
to Honduras from El Salvador early Tuesday morning. Upon arriving, he
will be greeted by President and Mrs. Flores of Honduras during a brief
arrival ceremony at Soto Cano Military Base.
the ceremony, the President will be briefed on the on-going reconstruction
efforts undertaken by the U.S. military in Central America at Enrique
Soto Cano Air Force Base. The base initially served as the hub for all
Central America response activities and continued at a heightened pace
of activity through early February, but returned to pre-hurricane levels
in the middle of last month.
the briefing, the President will visit a nearby U.S. military hangar where
he will deliver remarks to U.S. troops stationed there and local Hondurans.
In the speech, the President will salute the men and women in uniform
that have contributed to Central America’s reconstruction.
After his speech,
the President will travel to the site of the Juan Ramon Molina Bridge
reconstruction project to observe a two-lane, panel bridge that was installed
by U.S. Marines from January 28 to February 5. Located in the center of
Tegucigalpa, this 73-meter, reinforced steel, Bailey-type bridge spans
the Choluteca river. Fifty Marines formed the bridge company that installed
the bridge which opened on February 16, restoring a critical commuter
link between Tegucigalpa and its twin city, Comayaguela. At the time of
its opening, the bridge was the longest panel bridge in Central America.
It has since been eclipsed by the 74.5 meter span at Ilama (also in Honduras),
which was bought and installed by the United States. The U.S. Marine bridge
company remains in Honduras and is currently installing another bridge
at Rio Perla.
The President will
then host a roundtable discussion on reconstruction with community leaders,
civil society advocates and local government officials in Tegucigalpa.
Tegucigalpa is a hilly city, located in a mountain-ringed valley at over
3000 feet elevation. The city dates back to 1578, when silver was discovered
in hills near the banks of the Choluteca River on September 29, St. Michael’s
Day. The reconstruction roundtable will take place at the Central Bank
of Honduras. The Central Bank is located in a nine-story building in the
center of old Tegucigalpa, close to the site of the first silver discoveries
which gave prominence to the city. It is directly across the street from
the Old Presidential Palace, a Moorish-Italian castle first occupied by
President Rafael Lopez Gutierrez in 1910, and the “Puente Mallol”, the
oldest bridge in the city (which was damaged but not destroyed during
After the roundtable
discussion, the President will return to El Salvador for the evening.