Safety Policy Guidelines
Written by Tanya R., a former volunteer. Tanya worked at the Hogar for 4 months and used the public bus each day to get there).
Alert: Always be alert and aware of your surroundings. When you become comfortable and are distracted is typically when something unexpected will happen.
Never walk alone by yourself at night and when traveling at night, take as little as possible (i.e. just a few Lempira and your ID).
Passport: Make a laminated copy of your passport before you arrive. You can carry this around, as the police often say you should have a copy or your passport on you at all times. Obviously, do not carry your passport.
If possible, don’t carry a backpack day or night. It makes you a target.
Locally grown food
All vegetables grown close to the ground should be washed thoroughly and then added to a bowl of water with a drop or two of clorox (rotating veggies) for three minutes.
Drink only bottled or filtered water.
Staying cool and comfortable
Fans shouldn't be necessary to bring as the volunteer house has fans. Pillows are also available here so not needed, and bath towels are also available. However, beach towels might be a good idea.
Back up all your pictures constantly. Cameras are often lost or stolen and the pictures are often irreplaceable.
Cell-Phone, iPod, MP3 Player
Do not use your cell phone or iPOD/mp3 player in public, day or night. One of the most common robberies in La Ceiba is someone coming up to you on a bicycle while you are walking and using your cell phone. Often times the thieves are gang members.
If at anytime someone attempts to rob you, do not resist! Most thieves will have some sort of weapon for show. Give them what you have that is visible and most likely they will leave you as soon as possible. Although it can seem very adventurous and independent to travel alone to other cities and countries alone, it is not recommended. Gringos traveling alone can be an easy target for thieves.
Be cautious of overly friendly people
Many people in the Latino culture are very friendly and personable, but be careful for things/people that seem “too good to be true”. If you are lost and asking directions, sometimes locals will offer to assist you by taking you to the location and then surprising you by asking for monetary compensation and not happy when you say, “no”.
A personal device that makes a loud noise is never a bad idea. These items are easy to purchase in the US. Most locals are happy when tourists come to see their country and invest in their people and economy, so if you are in situation when you are being robbed or attacked, drawing attention to yourself is a good way to scare the perpetrators away quickly.
Know the general prices of things in advance (i.e. bus, taxi rides, etc.) so that a person cannot charge you a “special” price. Don’t hesitate to say something, in an amicable, but confident way, if you feel you are being over charged.
If you buy items from roaming vendors on the beach or in the streets, be aware that you may be opening yourself up for a lot more solicitation.
Parents, friends and family
People who love you want to know that you are doing fine. Communicate FREQUENTLY from Internet cafes or by phone so they do not worry!! PLEASE - let your family know that you have arrived safely ASAP (We don't want frantic emails from parents, please!)
Gifts for Children
Finally, many of our visitors have asked if it’s ok to bring gifts or donations for the children and Tias. Yes! It’s great (but by no means required). Look at the Wish List on the website
For your safety you will be required to follow these guidelines and your acceptance as a volunteer means you have agreed to follow and keep these guidelines upon your arrival in Honduras.