As I traveled in Central America in 2012, I had only good experiences and never met anyone who had actually witnessed violence. However, Honduras is known to have problems with gangs, so if you’re considering traveling in Central America, you may like this news. On May 24, 2013, the Honduras Weekly reported, “Gangs in Honduras Will Sign Truce Next Week.” The article reports that this is the work of Auxiliary Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Pedro Sula, Monsignor Romulo Emiliani. The truce will be “agreement modeled after the gang truce in El Salvador of March 2012 that has produced a 52 percent drop in homicides in that country during the past year.” My own travels in both Honduras and El Salvador never brought me near gang members or issues as far as I knew. While in La Ceiba, Honduras I was told repeatedly that after dark it was absolutely necessary to […]
In 2011, 30-something-year-old Murray Johnson and some friends reached out to CouchSurfers to join them driving two donated ambulances down to Honduras to give them to Honduran hospitals. Johnson recently posted: “The experience was so amazing and the donation so needed that we have made the Charity Rally official and opened it up for others to join! You can mix travel, adventure and charity all in one for a good cause. How it works: You form your own team or join a “potluck” team. Your team can be comprised of any number of people. (I am guessing it is best if all of our team members fit in your vehicle though, of course.) Each team secures its own car/ambulance/fire truck/buse/whatever and drive down. The rally organizers work with you to get the vehicle, secure the donation and do the paperwork to have the vehicle imported into Honduras — or wherever […]
Many a traveler or backpacker is acquainted with the challenge of having enough money to cover his or her costs in a country while leaving with as little spare currency as possible. We will often play the where-are-you-going-wanna-swap-cash game with other travelers. That gives us a bit to get our first bus or cab inn the next country. From Mexico to Belize I had it measured perfectly, but then ended up with extra pesos which I swapped with someone Mexico-bound — and that gave me the perfect amount to depart Belize with. From Belize to Honduras I thought I was perfect but later found a couple of extra dollars so I changed them upon arrival to Honduras — which gave me money for my first bus. Leaving Honduras I thought I was doing well, then realized I am a whopping 74 Limpera (under $4) short on my share of the […]
I was worried about being able to buy batteries in Central America, especially AAA batteries so here’s a report as of June 2012 in case you wonder the same. Batteries in Honduras In an upscale department store in Honduras, I easily found Maxell AAA that are dated January 2016 in a 2-pack for just 29, which is US$1.50. In a same-mall electronics store batteries were 39L or $2. I forgot to check the price of AA batteries. Batteries in Guatemala In Guatemala the AA were a bit over US$3 wherever I saw them. Batteries in El Salvador San Salvador, the capitol city, has plenty of upscale stores and I am sure you can trust the batteries you buy there. But when I needed batteries I was in a small, out of the way beach town. There, the batteries were a brand I hadn’t ever seen and the AA batteries didn’t […]
Here is a great clinic I want to share with not just backpackers and travelers who may come to Roatan, but with all people who like to see or support good deeds. Clinica Esperanza – an excellent project doing much good in Sandy Bay on Roatan. You can read all about it on their site, ClinicaEsperanza.com but first I must add my own personal kudos to them. I have been there and seem the excellent way they treat their patients. There is even a great play set to entertain the children as they wait as you can see in this photo of the clinic. Play things like this are not at all common for the people of Roatan. Here is a photo taken on the main road so you know what to look for. The clinic is a short way up the hill so you need to watch for the […]
If you have an unlocked iPhone or other smart phone, you can purchase and use data cards to get Internet as you travel. You can also use these sim cards in USB modems that connect to your computer. In Honduras I used data cards in an unlocked iPhone 3GS. Claro is the less expensive of the two Honduras cellular carriers. I was given the sim card free at the Claro store, a proper Claro shop, not local, small shop reseller. You can buy 1 day, 7 day, 15 day, or 30 day cards. I paid 290 Limpera for a 15 day period providing me with 5 Gb of data. For 490 you can have 1month and 7gb. An additional week will be 140 for another 7 days, 3gb. My first card was TIGO. I paid 45 Limpera for the sim card. I paid 150 Limpera for a 7 day card […]
Each morning I awake to the sound of a bird that repeats the same call over and over, in exactly the same pattern. I recorded it and played it to Terry to learn what it is. He said it is a type of Thrush called the Bobo or something like that. The other sound you’ll hear is, I think, a Gecko.
On the Bay Island of Roatan, there is only one main road which runs across its length.
At one point it crosses from running on the north shore at the west side to the south shore on the east side. From that main road, you will see offshoots that lead to the various towns and resorts. These tend to be marked with large signs. You will not find signs marking street names; there are no street names or street addresses on Roatan. Instead, you need to know landmarks.
There are busses on Roatan, but they — and the bus stops — are not easy to spot. Tourists tend to take taxis. The busses are actually mini-vans. From what I have seen, they are white and rather unmarked. A bus will go all over, off the main road into the various neighborhoods, so it can take a couple of hours to get across the island.
Sunday May 20, 2012, 6:09pm I am sitting on the front stoop of my friend’s home. Omar and 11 year old Richard went out fishing today, so 11 year old More is helping Omar clean the fish now: scaling, removing guts, cleaning. Actually, they were just doing the last two as I arrived. More’s grandmother makes sure that the plastic bag goes into the garbage and not in the sea. He sweeps the porch. Some of the fish will be dinner tonight. The rest will go into the freezer. And now it’s bath time for the fishing crew. The street lights went on as I was sitting and writing this. This house is the end of the line for the lights. I wish there were a few more as there are now homes up the road. Someday. However this particular road ends at the jungle a ways up so although […]
Thursday, May 17, 2012 A rainy day. I wanted to go to Delia’s mom’s house to visit some of the kids as this was to be my last day in this part of Roatan. Hopefully I would see Delia too. I needed to get some work done first. The internet signal wasn’t great. The hard rain seemed to block it, preventing me from communicating but at the same time it also prevented the dorries for, running so going up to socialize was nixed too. With perfect timing, one of Delia’s sisters stopped by and offered me a ride. I happily stepped out the front door and into the motorboat. Another woman was on board — a very nice American woman We talked as we rode. En route we stopped at a waterfront home. Our hostess/driver got out and returned with a clear bottle of liquid and a plastic funnel. Gasoline […]
Although I LOVE it here, I cannot stay forever. I had planned to leave today, going to Dalia’s sister’s home (for a few days) when Dalia finished working. My clothes were clean, my backpack packed up nicely. But as it turns out, they felt water was too rough for me and my backpack to be comfortable and dry in Delia’s small boat, so I am back in my room up the hill, again enjoying the breeze from the fan above my head and the sounds of Roatan’s tropical jungle life and breezes outside my patio doors. Tonight’s dinner was a fabulous beef and shrimp kebab. It wasn’t quite Teriyaki. It is Dalia’s own concoction — a bit sweet and a bit spicy. Lucky for everyone who doesn’t get to eat Dalia’s cooking here, she is putting it in her recipe book.
Today I helped save the Conch again. The last couple of days here at Mango Creek Lodge, I have noticed Patrice pick up Conch and place them into deeper water. She’d explained that they like to climb up the shore to eat the sweet grass that grows there, but then on some hot days the tide goes out leaving them stranded. Patrice and Terry have created a safe zone for Conch because they’re being over fished. So I have taken to doing this when Patrice is focused on taking guests out snorkeling or such. Actually, last week I snorkeled for Conch too, carrying a mesh bag in which we collected the Conch and carried (swam) them into our safe area so they have a chance to live, grow, lay eggs, and help their population thrive. I must comfiest though, Conch were actually deeper than I like to go so Terry, […]
Today we moved again. Again I expected to sail on to the next island but again we just motored a short way. We are in Port Royal, anchored out at a buoy kindly put out by the owners of Mango Creek Lodge here in Port Royal. It is their beautiful, colorful over-the-water cabanas we face. I knew about Mango Creek Lodge from Lori, who told me and said it is a nice courtesy to go on land as soon as we get there and say hello to the owners. I told this to the family as we pulled in and tired up to the buoy. And they did go in. While I was cleaning up below, they quietly dropped the dingy and headed ashore. I came up and looked at them, hands up to ask “what…” No reply. how long would they be ashore? Why wasn’t I allowed to come? […]