“IF YOU’RE GOING TO SPEAK IN ENGLISH, don’t speak at all,” my mother hissed at me before we headed out to the market.
Prior to this pronouncement, we had made sure our outfits were appropriate: no jewelry, no purses with long straps, no clothing bearing logos. I was 9, and we were visiting relatives in El Progreso, Honduras. While Honduras was still years away from the 2009 military coup that would throw it into a dangerous downward spiral, it was already a place marked by casual violence. Speaking English in public would have invited unnecessary attention.