Teacher in Honduras agrees with claims that violence fuels the s - KMSP-TV

Teacher in Honduras agrees with claims that violence fuels the stream of children coming to the US

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - There are many theories as to why there is a sudden influx of children traveling to the United States without their parents. Some claim that the word has gotten out that kids will not be deported, others are telling agents that they are fleeing gang violence.

A valley woman who has taught in Honduras witnessed the fear of violence first hand.

When Kelley Blakslee accepted a position as a teacher at an international school in San Pedro, Honduras she didn't know she was moving to a city that came with an infamous title.

The murder capitol of the world.

She sees first hand on a daily basis the effects of the surge of drug and gang violence in Honduras.

Violence that some claim is to blame for the recent wave of children traveling to the United States alone. Her students are from wealthier family and fear kidnappings; they arrive to school every day with armed guards. Her school is also protected by guards as well.

"There are places that you don't want to go, and there are places that are fine, and it's like here in the states, I wouldn't go by myself, you have to be more cautious and aware of your surroundings," said Blasklee.

Blakslee says that the country is surrounded by poverty. "I experience it every day, leaving the school grounds, there are kids all over in the streets," she said.

"You'll see kids asleep on the streets, actually more kids than adults which is heartbreaking," said Blakslee.

That's how large it is, there's the upper crust and then there's a really large gap in the middle," she said.

She understands the desire for families to search for a better and safer place to come and live. But she also thinks Honduras and Central America are getting a bad wrap.

"I feel like there's a lot of negativity, but it's a beautiful country, and the people are wonderful," said Blakslee.
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