July 1, 2008

The good old days and now

gas prices August 2007, La Ceiba, HondurasGas prices, August 2007, La Ceiba, Honduras

I took this photo last August to shock you readers with how much we were paying for gas. I never got around to posting it and then gas prices were going up each week so it was outdated information. Prices in Lempiras will give you sticker shock, won't they? These translate to US $2.89 for diesel, $3.34 for regular, and $3.54 for super. Now, look at this:

gas price in La Ceiba, Honduras
Sorry about the glare. It was nighttime. That is L.63.35 for "Plus" which may be a code name for regular and L.77.61 for premium or US $3.35 and $4.10, respectively. These are a couple of weeks old. Premium is now L.86 (US $4.55), regular is L.73 (US $3.86), and diesel is L.84 (US $4.44). The Honduran government subsidizes regular gasoline, therefore the big difference in cost between regular and premium. The subsidy is a very bad idea in my opinion, but that is a whole other topic. I don't understand why diesel, which previously cost significantly less than regular, now costs almost as much as premium. Anyone know?

In addition to obscene prices, we had some gas shortages, diesel outages, and some of the stations for a time limited purchases to L.200 (about 3 gallons of regular or 2 1/2 gallons of super). The supply returned to normal after a couple of weeks. Honduras has recently gotten a BIG fuel shipment from Tío Chávez in Venezuela on a special credit deal so we'll be paying for that gas for the next 25 years! I'm not sure that is a good idea and it may have put Honduras in violation of some World Bank agreements which limit the amount of debt Honduras can contract.

I've seen on CNN that gas is averaging around $4 per gallon in the U.S. and much higher in California. Here was our total for that fill up a few weeks ago. Even though you are paying almost as much as we are in Honduras, imagine someone telling you, "That'll be eleven hundred and forty point twenty for your fill up, sir." Now that is sticker shock!

I think about that every time that I want to ask El Jefe to drive me around some of the new colonias to take photos of the houses.
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