What should I bring with me?
- Flashlight: The electricity in La Ceiba is the same as the U.S. and Canada (same outlets) but is not completely reliable. It’s also nice to have a flashlight if you get up in the night to use the restroom so you do not wake others.
- A small padlock to lock up your luggage either in your own suitcase or in a Hostel locker.
- A Surge Protector: The electricity in Honduras is the same as the U.S. and Canada, but it frequently goes out. A surge protector will help keep your cell phone charger and other electric items from burning out.
- Clock: Bring a clock or watch.
- Water bottles: Fill ‘em and freeze ‘em. They can be purchased locally.
- Sunscreen & insect repellant
- BOOKS: For those lazy days on the beach, in a hammock or just relaxing.
It is likely that your regular cell phone will NOT work in Honduras. You can purchase an inexpensive phone at the mall in La Ceiba ($25) and buy minute cards for L.100, L. 200, ($5 & $10) etc. to add minutes. (Most volunteers purchase a phone in Honduras so they can stay in touch with HHK staff and for safety) There are two companies, Tigo and Claro. Tigo seems to get much better reception in this area.
Drinking the water, eating the food
The food is tasty, but pretty high in carbs. Lots of rice, beans, pasta and green bananas. It’s good to budget an additional $20 each week to treat yourself at a local restaurant, buy some snacks at the supermarket or even an ice cream from the local pulperia. Bring a water bottle or two that you can fill with filtered water at the Volunteer House and then freeze so you have cold water each day. Drink A LOT of water - you are in the tropics! Do NOT ever drink tap water. Brush your teeth with filtered water.
Be sure to wash your veggies, lettuce, tomato, etc. in a small bowl with 2-3 drops of Clorox for three minutes before consuming them to avoid getting parasites, then rinse in clear tap water and dry.
Travel Safety Guidelines
To the average Honduran, you appear quite wealthy. Most Hondurans are honest and caring but as in any country, there are those who will take advantage of an opportunity if you are careless with your belongings. Do not walk around with your cell phone or iPod visible. Keep your backpack or other bags on your lap when riding in a taxi. Do not wear flashy jewelry. Do not carry a lot of cash.
Photcopies of passport & credit cards
Make photocopies of your passport and creditcards before you go. Be sure to include the international 800#’s to call if they are lost or stolen. Leave one copy with your family and keep another copy in your locked luggage. If you lose your wallet, this copy will be very handy! There are checkpoints throughout La Ceiba and other cities and along the highways, so please always carry a copy of your passport with you.
Use the buddy system whenever possible. If you plan to travel around the country or even to the local internet café, TELL SOMEONE WHERE YOU ARE GOING AND WHEN YOU PLAN TO BE BACK. Even better, bring someone along too. Never walk alone!
Say NO to drugs. Do not even THINK about purchasing or using illegal drugs while in Honduras.
If you choose to be sexually involved with someone, be very careful. Use protection. For a variety of reasons, getting romantically involved during your volunteer placement is NOT a good idea. However, if by chance you do, please USE PROTECTION since Honduras has a very high HIV rate.
As is common in Central America, you will notice that most businesses, banks, department stores, supermarkets, etc. will have an armed security guards.
Use taxis in pairs or ask HHK staff for taxi numbers to regularly used taxis. Do not get in a taxi that has no inside door handles and note the taxi number you use before getting in. Taxis generally cost 25 lps around town. ($1.50-$2) Taking a taxi to/from the airport or ferry dock is considerably more. Ask around so you know what prices are and have the price arranged with the taxi driver before getting in a taxi.