Sandra Henríquez de Matute defines herself as a dancer. Her love of dance came from her mother, who danced professionally at one time. Her dad always loved opera, singing and wanted to be a conductor. Sandra learned patriotic hymns and opera, from him. At their neighborhood he organized a yearly singing and poetry reading competition that his children learned later to enjoy.
Other family traditions included holiday cooking, including homemade tamales with hot sauce and horchata for Christmas, a dried fish soup or tortillas for Holly Week, and "sopa de mondongo," an elaborate soup cooked on Sundays. Its basic ingredient is cow's stomach, which had to be cleaned well and boiled for at least two hours to soften it. To flavor the soup, 21 different types of vegetables, all finely chopped are added at carefully sequenced times. "It is eaten with suspiros, a Honduran sweet bread, combined with hot peppers, tomatoes, and all those other vegetables. Sopa de mondongo is still common in Honduras. Here Sandra often cooks fried yucca and makes horchata for her family.
When she moved to the United States, in 2005, she longed to perform and share her culture and dances she had learned at school. "I have dancing in my blood. I love dancing all types of music. But I particularly like punta, a folk dance danced on tiptoes.23 You have to gently shake your head, your hips and your shoulders, to give flavor to the dance. I love punta dancing!"
Sandra danced in folk dance groups in Honduras. Now she hopes to continue her art and inspire others to join Las Catrachas del Cerro de Plata.
Photo 65: Sandra Henríquez de Matute, 2012. Photo by Rafael Casco.