Virginia Tech®home

A Olancho Documentary

A tough young accordionist seeks to make a living performing for drug cartels in the most lawless region of Honduras, the most murderous country in the world. His songs glorify the same traffickers who exiled his cousin to the US, but in a world ruled by narcos, does he have any other choice?

Welcome to the story of Olancho, a new documentary co-directed by Virginia Tech alumnus Chris Valdes, which showcases the Olancho region in Honduras – a place well known for drug trafficking, violence, and lawlessness. Valdes aspires to shed light on the region’s challenges and the musical, spirited Hondurans who endure daily doses of extreme violence fueled by the international drug trade.

As a child, Valdes enjoyed his father’s tales of growing up as a Mexican-American in the 1960’s. This led Valdes to study abroad in Mexico while pursuing his dual bachelor’s degrees in psychology and history at Virginia Tech. During his visit to Northern Mexico, Valdes reconnected with his cultural roots while experiencing drug-driven violence firsthand.

After graduating from Virginia Tech in 2010, Valdes moved to Eastern Honduras, where he met Ted Griswold, another American traveler and Columbia University graduate, who would soon become Valdes’ Co-Director for Olancho.

Do not forget to attend a rough-cut screening of the movie on September 24 in the GLC auditorium at 6 p.m.