why you need to know
Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 01:10
Do we really need to pay attention to what is happening in the world? We know we should, but to many of us what happens outside our borders just doesn’t seem very relevant or we just don’t have time to pay attention, but it might be a good idea to make time. You never know when that information will come in handy and maybe save you from ending up in a bad situation.
It is widely known among travelers that the Bay Islands in Honduras are one of the cheapest places in the world to get scuba certified. Plus, the Central American country also boasts tropical jungles and Mayan ruins.
These facts alone are worth knowing about, but before you pack your bags there are other things to consider.
Honduras is one of the poorest countries in the world and has had a history of turmoil. In 2009 there was a coup and the presidency of Manuel Zeylaya ended with a midnight flight in his pajamas.
I was in Nicaragua at the time and was considering a trip north into Honduras. I make most of my travel decisions by consulting other travelers and I got mixed reviews on Honduran safety. It sounded doable, but I still decided to hang in the Nicaraguan sand instead.
Three years later the chaos of the coup has calmed, so it may seem a bit safer to put on your scuba mask, but there are still problems.
Honduras lies along the drug trafficking route between South America and the United States, and because of this and clashes over land it has the highest murder rate in the world. In 2011 the Peace Corps withdrew because of safety concerns. I don’t worry much about U.S. travel advisories, but when the Peace Corps pulls out, I give my vacation a little extra thought.
Despite all of this, I know people who have recently visited Honduras safely who would tell you to go ahead and book your flight. Whether or not it is safe depends on many factors including the experience of the traveler. Professional traveler or novice, it is still a good idea to know what you are getting yourself into.