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Fish Rain

Things don’t come easy in La Union, a small community on the periphery of Yoro, a farming town in north-central, Honduras. Poverty is universal, jobs are scarce, large families are crammed into mud-brick homes and meals are often constituted of little more than the subsistence crops residents grow, mainly corn and beans.

But every once in a while, an amazing thing happens, something that makes the residents of La Union pretty special. The skies, they say, rain fish. It happens every year, at least once and often more, residents say. During the late spring and early summer and only under certain conditions: a torrential downpour, thunder and lightning, conditions so intense that nobody dare to go outside.

Once the storm clear, the villagers grab buckets and head down the road to a sunken pasture where the ground will be covered in hundred of small fish. For some is the only time of the year they will have a chance to eat seafood.

“It’s a miracle”, say some of the village residents, “we see it as a blessing from God”, They have heard the various scientific theories for the phenomenon. Each, they say, is riddle with uncertainty. The phenomenon has happened in and around the town for generations, residents say, from time to time shifting locations. It migrated to La Union about a decade ago.

Scientifically inclined residents posit that the fish may dwell in subterranean streams or caverns. These habitats overflow during big rainstorms, and the rising of waters flushes the fish to ground level. Once the rain stops and the flooding recedes, the fish are left stranded. But whatever the source of the fish is, people who are least able to eat fish can now eat fish.

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