San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

TACA Repatriates Honduran Hurricane Victims from U.S.

TEGUCIGALPA (EFE) – The Honduran government this week accepted an offer from Central American airline TACA to repatriate Honduran victims of Hurricane Katrina.The foreign ministry said President Ricardo Maduro’s administration “has accepted the generous offer” from TACA to transport those Hondurans affected by Hurricane Katrina who wish to return home.The airline is giving priority to children, pregnant women and the elderly.The first flight for Hondurans wishing to return home occurred yesterday, and the dates of the other two flights will be announced later, the foreign ministry said.The Honduran government estimates that some 125,000 of its citizens live in the U.S. Gulf Coast region. Although exact figures on the number of Honduran victims of the hurricane are not available, Honduran officials place the number in the thousands.Hurricane Katrina is expected to reduce the amount of remittances sent by Hondurans by some $100 million, officials said.Hondurans are expected to send their families some $1.6 billion this year. Remittances help keep the Central American nation’s weak economy afloat.

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