Students at the Centre of Basic Education Francisco Morazán, located in the Santa Clara neighbourhood of El Paraiso, were surprised by a rain of fish on Friday, 3 August. El Paraiso is situated in eastern Honduras, close to the Nicaraguan border.
Two Honduran media sources covered the fall (La Prensa and El Heraldo) and both are frustratingly vague as to whether the fish were actually observed to fall from the sky. One item states the girl students reported the fish ‘fell on their skirts’ but the single video quotes the children as saying they had simply ‘found them during the rain’.
Ernesto Mendoza, the school’s director, said it was the first time this phenomenon had been observed in the area. He told reporters that the fish had fallen in the courtyard of the school.
Students Gloria Maria Vallejo Yulisa Bucardo and Katherin Gisel Mendoza said the fish rain had been a unique and unforgettable experience. The fall had taken place during recess when the fish had fallen on their skirts. “We ran to tell the teachers and then we went to our homes to tell our parents. At first they did not believe, we said it happened at school and they were surprised“ they said. The students reported that most of the fish died upon impact with the ground.
According to the testimony of teachers and students, the rain fish only occurred within the grounds of the school. Neighbors said they had not happened in any other part of the district. In a video distributed on Facebook, two students of the school described what had taken place. The transcript is below.
Speaker 1: My name is Soriangela Vallejo.
Speaker 2: My name is Katherine Gisel Melos Andrade.
Speaker 3: I want you to tell me how you found these little fish here at the Educational Center.
Speaker 2: Well, we were playing in the swings, at the preschool’ s game park here at the Educational Center. And we found them there.
Speaker 3: You found them there. Was it during the rain or after the rain?
Speaker 1: During the rain
Speaker 3: Very well. Have you ever heard a story that says “La lluvia de Peces en Lloro”?
Speaker 1-2: Yes.
Speaker 3: Had you read that story in the library?
Speaker 1-2: Yes.
Speaker 3: So now, what can you tell me about the fish rain here in El Paraiso, El Paraiso?
Speakers 1: Well, there was one at the educational center “Francisco Moral Santos”, in El Pariso city… We are in 6th grade, section 4, with the teacher Yanira Gisella Luque.
I was able to contact a representative of the school and ask some further questions:
At what time did the event occur? At 3:30 pm.
Was it raining when the fish were found? Yes.
Where exactly did the fish fall? In the school yard.
Was it a small area or a large area? It’s a big area.
Did anyone really see the fish falling from the sky or were they all on the ground when they found them? We do not know, we have not questioned the children.
How many fish were found? Many.
What kind of fish were found? We do not know their species but here we call them “sardinitas”.
Were all the fish alive? Yes.
Is there a river or swamp near the school? There is no river or swamps near the school.
Is the school ever filled with water after rain? No, it does not fill up with water.
I just located another Facebook video showing the children picking up the fish at the school.
My view on the case? The facts are still unclear and I see no evidence that the fish actually fell from the sky. But stay tuned as I have organised an interview with some of the children early next week.
UPDATE 12/8: School volunteer Cintia Mondragón has been a great help in finding out more information about the incident and she was able to ask some questions of the children. She wrote to me to say that one girl says that the fish fell on her skirt while she was playing on the swing in the playground. One of the boys told her that the fish fell on his head, while two girls affirm that they saw the fish falling during the rain. Interesting!