Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Todays Lesson is

all about Honduras. Since Big Brother and my Aunt and Uncle are currently (at least I think they are still there...) in Roatan Honduras for some underwater sight seeing I thought I would see what I could find on the internets about this country. Lenore, I think maybe this will change your mind.

Here is our government website that contains all the dry pertinent facts about Honduras. Unfortunately, the map that is included (above) isn't showing me where Roatan is exactly. I am assuming at this point that it is one of the islands on the northern side.

In searching for the actual location of Roatan I found this website peddling there wears... I hope Big Brother brings me back something nice! Hint! Hint!

Here is a list of some general websites that may be of interest:
Roatan Tips

Then I found some actual maps of Roatan... it is to the north. OK, I tried to upload the island pics to blogger to no avail. Maybe because they are not a square? It only shows the middle of the maps. If you would really like to see the island you can go here.

Looks like a nice place to visit... so what do you think Lenore?


Lenore said...

I went to the US State Department website, which carries a profile of every country in the world. While Honduras is not on their travel advisory list, here is the reason I would chose not to go to Honduras: (btw, Colombia IS on their advisory list!)

CRIME: Crime is endemic in Honduras and requires a high degree of caution by U.S. visitors and residents alike. U.S. citizens are encouraged to follow local news reports. For links to sources of information on current conditions from the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa contact the Honduran Embassy in Washington, D.C and/or visit the Honduran Embassy website at http://honduras.usembassy.gov/.

Poverty, gangs, and low apprehension and conviction rates of criminals contribute to a high crime rate, including horrific acts of mass murder. Many men in Honduras carry firearms and machetes, and disputes are often settled with violence. Both violent and petty crime, including sexual assault, carjacking, kidnappings, muggings, and home invasions, are prevalent throughout the country. While crime affects everyone in Honduras, criminals have at times targeted persons, particularly those coming from airports and hotels, as well as wealthy-looking residents in San Pedro Sula, Tela, Trujillo, and Tegucigalpa. Two-men teams on medium-sized motorcycles often target pedestrians. There have also been reports of armed robbers traveling in private cars targeting pedestrians on isolated streets. The Honduran government has instituted a “zero tolerance” policy on crime. As part of this policy, the police sometimes patrol jointly with armed soldiers in major cities in an effort to reduce crime.

Fifty U.S. citizens have been murdered in Honduras since 1995, with a very significant recent increase in the number, and most cases remain unresolved. There are problems with the judicial process, including corruption, an acute shortage of trained personnel, equipment, staff, and financial resources. The Honduran law enforcement authorities' ability to prevent, respond to, and investigate criminal incidents and prosecute criminals remains limited. Honduran police generally do not speak English. The government has established a special tourist police in the resort town of Tela and other popular tourist destinations, including Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba, and Roatan, but the number deployed is small and coverage is limited. Tourists in these cities should still remain vigilant for criminal elements as they visit these tourist sites.

The San Pedro Sula area has seen occasional armed robberies against tourist vans, minibuses, and cars traveling from the airport to area hotels, even sometimes targeting the road to Copan. Armed men have forced vehicles transporting tourists off the road and robbed the victims, occasionally assaulting the driver or passengers. Several U.S. citizens have recently been murdered in San Pedro Sula and the vicinity shortly after arriving in the country. Assaults in this area may be based on tips from sources at airport arrival areas so visitors are strongly urged to exercise caution in discussing travel plans in public areas.

Copan, the Bay Islands, and other tourist destinations have a lower crime rate than other parts of the country, but thefts, break-ins, assaults, and murders do occur. During a wave of home invasion robberies in Roatan in late 2005, assailants shot two foreign residents, killing one U.S. citizen. Exercise particular caution walking on isolated beaches, especially at night. Seven U.S. citizens have been murdered in Roatan since 1998, most recently in late 2005. Coxen Hole should be avoided after dark.

The Government of Honduras has a very limited presence in Northern Olancho, Colon and Gracias a Dios Departments, which is well known for lumber and narcotics smuggling and violence. Travelers in those areas should use extra caution. See the description of highways/areas to be avoided in the Traffic Safety and Road Conditions section below for details.

Incidents of crime along roads in Honduras are common. There have been frequent incidents of highway robbery on a number of roads including Limones to La Union, Olancho (route 41) via Salama and northward to Esquipulas Del Norte. For more information, please see the section below on Traffic Safety and Road Conditions.

Travelers should always drive with their doors locked and windows rolled up to avoid potential robberies at traffic lights and other places, such as congested downtown streets. Avoid driving at night. All bus travel should be during daylight hours and on first-class conveyances, not on economy buses. Please pick taxis carefully, and note the driver's name and license number. Instruct the driver not to pick up other passengers, agree on the fare before you depart, and have small bills available for payment, as taxi drivers often do not make change.

Do not resist a robbery attempt. Most criminals have weapons, and most injuries and deaths have resulted when victims have resisted. Two foreign tourists were murdered in July 2002 while resisting an armed robbery on a public bus in which they were traveling. In 2004, an American citizen was murdered while attempting to flee an armed robbery in progress and another American was shot while resisting a carjacking. Two American citizens were murdered while resisting armed robberies in 2005.

Do not hitchhike or go home with strangers, particularly from nightspots. When ever possible, travel in groups of two or more persons. Use the same common sense while traveling in Honduras that you would in any high crime area of a major U.S. city. Do not wear excessive jewelry. Do not carry large sums of money, or display cash, ATM credit cards, or other valuables you do not need.

Avoid walking at night in most areas of Honduras. Do not hike alone in backcountry areas, or walk alone on beaches, historic ruins, or trails.

There have been incidents of armed assaults against private sailing vessels by criminals posing as fishermen off the northeast coast of Honduras, particularly in the numerous small islands northeast of the coast of the Department of Gracias a Dios. Sailors should contact the Coast Guard and yacht facility managers in their areas of travel for current information.

Individuals and groups should register their travel plans with the State Department’s Travel Registration website. Travelers may also wish to send passport, date of birth, and emergency contact information to the American Citizens Services Unit of the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa via fax at 011-504-238-4357, prior to travel. Individuals as well as groups should always keep in their possession a photocopy of their U.S. passport data page and leave a copy at home with a friend or family member.

The theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa and to local police. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to the local police, please contact the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa or the Consular Agency in San Pedro Sula for assistance. The Embassy and Consular Agency staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of most crimes is solely the responsibility of local authorities, Consular staff can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed. See our information on Victims of Crime.

Anonymous said...

Sounds a lot like the US, except that only 50 people have been killed since 1995. I like those odds!

BTW: I think you killed my comments section with all of your wonderful information... :-)

Lenore said...

Did I really?? Should you delete it? It is quite a bit of info. I thought about that after I posted it. I won't be offended if you have to kill it!

Anonymous said...

I learned more about Honduras from your blog than I did spending a whole week there - how informative - Don't forget that BOTH big brothers were there - not just one -

Thanks for the info - Your BIGGEST brother

Anonymous said...

Wow Lenore. I think you have the record for 'longest comment ever'


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