September 1, 2008

Learning about Honduras first hand

Parque Central, La Ceiba, HondurasParque Central, La Ceiba, Honduras

It is human nature that when someone is around something every day, they don't notice the gradual changes so much. When Blogicito reader "LearningaboutHonduras" mentioned all the changes that she's noticed around La Ceiba in the past four years, I asked her to expound. Her answers were interesting to me and I thought they might be to some of you as well, especially those who haven't been to La Ceiba in a few years. Here is what she had to say:


From the few times we have been in La Ceiba we see many changes in just four years. We know that visiting would never be the same as living there.

Visiting sure gives my hubby and me food for thought as we decide if 'retirement' to Honduras to mission work of some kind would be feasible, safe, possible, appreciated, fulfilling, economical, astronomical, stupid, an eventuality, or just a passing dream. Lots to think about and we have good information through you and several others. Thanks.

When and if we ever move to Honduras on a longer term basis, maybe in two years for six months to test the waters, I hope to be able to meet you. Thanks for the inspiration.

Since you asked about the differences we have noted, I will share. We have been in La Ceiba in late January early February four years in a row. We stay around two or three weeks. Here are some changes we noticed, not in an particular order or significance. Just things hubby and I both comment on every year.

burning trash, La Ceiba, HondurasLess garbage burning.
Things seem to smell cleaner.

More vehicles on the road from San Pedro to Ceiba.

Less garbage and litter around the downtown park.

Fewer bicycles.

A lot less horse carts.
More taxis.

Generally noisier at all times of the day.

We are not sure if we are picking up more Spanish or if people are speaking more English but we seem to have fewer communication issues. At the airport customs desks and in the stores in the mall in Ceiba and El Progreso we had lots of service in English.

Beach, La Ceiba, HondurasPast two years have been at Hotel Bahia Uno and noticed the roads in that area seem to have had a few improvements. The 'beach' area seems dirtier, and the area by the old pier looked really run down this past year. I thought the last hurricane did more damage there.

Seems to be fewer people walking around in general. We had friends and interpreters tell us most days they feel it is safer to stay indoors unless they have to be out. This was particularly true for the area inland behind the airport and inland from the tobacco company building. I think the area was Gonzalo Rivera.

Some prices are going up, we noticed gas and clothes were up. The cost of the same type of polo shirts in Carrion at the mall were up by 80-100 limps (US $4-5).

new store, La Ceiba, HondurasThings we have bought every year we noticed went up a few limps, such as: vanilla, canned juice and pop, chocolate, mocachinos supremes at the Megamall.

There are a lot more new businesses across from the Megamall.

I noticed at the medical clinics I volunteered at, that people seemed generally healthier. I think maybe some areas are getting more regular visits from volunteer medical groups. So we see less anemia, fewer infections in the skin, that kind of thing.

view from the mountain, La Ceiba, HondurasWe felt that town generally looked cleaner in and around business areas, churches, the stadium.

A funny thing that struck me was that some of the plastic grocery bags now have handles so they do not tie up your bags any more.

We stay every year for four to six nights in Sambo Creek. We have walked the beach to Sambo Creek to eat and noticed there are lots more gringos on the beach, maybe taking advantage of 'cheaper' holidays. Also more locals. Maybe it was just that we were there around Valentines day and more people were there.

There are a lot of new housing developments especially to the east of town on the road to Sambo Creek. I agree, I wonder where all the money is coming for all the new houses.

That is the same question we had in the mall in El Progreso when we noticed lots of people there, lots of stuff to buy but no one buying anything except the seven white folks in our group. Who built the mall, who is paying the staff and paying for the stock that no one is buying...would like the answer if anyone knows???

A funny thing I just remembered: I guess the locals are used to hot milk for their cereal...the lady just about died when I asked for a glass of leche frio...and when I poured it on my cereal she nearly fell over!!!

We have had holidays on Roatán two years in a row. We noticed a lot of changes there, they are building a big mall in the island. Prices for food and drinks at the same restaurants went up a few US dollars for the same menu item.

That is all I can think of for now. Hope you are having a great day.


Thanks for allowing me to share this with the Blogicito readers, LAH. It appears that you have a realistic view of Honduras and are taking steps to "learn about Honduras" first hand. I have a feeling that when you and your husband make a decision about your retirement home, it will be the right one for you.

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