The special zone Ciudad Morazán has always strived to be a good neighbor to the nearby neighborhoods in the city of Choloma, Honduras, despite the negative press generated by the political opposition. The founder, Massimo Mazzone, has an interest in education and has been happy to help nearby schools.
For example, the Escuela Ramon Rosa in Los Caraos, near Ciudad Morazán, asked for help reopening the school after it had been closed due to COVID-19. As a result, the ZEDE donated around 20,000 lempiras (about $800) for Covid mitigation. The school had a special ceremony to thank the ZEDE for the donation.
For Children’s Day in September 2022, Ciudad Morazán donated drinks and snacks for the kids and helped another school by making a direct donation. However, donations of money aren’t as important as other kinds of help to the community.
Choloma has long been known as the most dangerous city in a dangerous country. The crime rate has increased even more since the current government took office in January 2022. One of the most significant benefits of Ciudad Morazán is its security provided by a wall and a private police force charged with protecting life, liberty, and property.
In Honduras, soccer is a prevalent sport that requires a good field. The farm purchased for Ciudad Morazán had an area used by some local community soccer teams. So, when the ZEDE started the city wall, it offered to build a soccer field for the community. The local teams could use it whenever they wanted, as long as they kept it clean.
The coach of the Colonia Jardin team agreed and used the field a lot when they were preparing for a tournament. There are still people using it every couple of weeks.
The teacher who founded the Escuela Debbie Kakanas in a nearby neighborhood reached out to Ciudad Morazán in October 2022 to ask if her school could use the field on the last day of the term. She was proud of her students and spoke about helping kids.
That day, November 3, turned out to be an unforgettable day for the kids. Three teachers brought the students to Ciudad Morazán to play in the safety of the ZEDE. The kids played all day, and even some of the residents of Ciudad Morazán joined in. A dad was waiting outside the gate for his child, and the property manager of Ciudad Morazán invited him inside.
After hours of play, some kids looked thirsty, so the property manager donated drinks and snacks to the students. The teachers handed out the treats as the children rested and they gave big, cheerful thanks to the manager.
Unlike the other kinds of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Honduras, which don’t allow residents, the ZEDE is a friend to children as well as workers. One of the primary goals of the Free Cities Foundation is to promote and support next-level special economic zones that bring the well-known benefits of SEZs to the residential market. Even a small town like Ciudad Morazán provides a practical example of the incredible potential such zones can have.