Tegucigalpa, Honduras Report of what it's like to live there

Personal Experiences from Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Tegucigalpa, Honduras 10/27/19

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

Several posts, including Africa, Europe, and Middle East.

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

Flights to Washington include one stop-over (Miami, Houston, or Atlanta) and usually consist of roughly two 2.5-3.0 hour flights with 1.5 hours for stopover.

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3. How long have you lived here?

Three years.

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

Diplomatic posting.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Housing is quite nice. Most people live in stand-alone houses with small yards. Compared to many posts, the houses are modern and well-constructed. The location of housing is very good- in pleasant neighborhoods and close to work (15-20 minute commute). Some people even walk to work.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Grocery shopping is a breeze! We live within half a mile of a Pricesmart (identical to the Costco you find in the U.S.) and half a mile to two other full-sized, completely stocked grocery stores. Walmart is also here, but we only go once a year because we find everything we need in the other stores. The cost of groceries is about 15% more than in the U.S. for imported items and equal or less for local items.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

In terms of grocery and household items, you can find it all here. I would try to buy clothes and electronics before you come; they are certainly here, but the selection and price is better in the U.S.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

Almost all US fast food chains are here. Other U.S. chains include TGI Fridays, Ruby Tuesdays, and Denny's. There are some very good restaurants (La Hacienda, La Cumbre, NiFu NiFa, some good Sushi places too) that tend to be a little on the expensive side. There are also dozens of middle-range restaurants.

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

Always good to take precautions against mosquitos, particularly outside at dusk. It is actually less of a problem than in the U.S. in the summer.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

DPO is very nice. Packages typically take an average of two weeks, but can range between 8 to 21 days.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

We have someone come twice a week for cleaning and pay her about $20 a day for 6 hours of work.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

There is a decent gym at USAID and one at the U.S. Embassy. There are a couple of good private gyms (CYBEX and AJ Fitness) which are a little expensive. Lots of other private gyms available. My kids do swimming classes multiple times a week at Cybex, and we've been thrilled with them. The Villa Olimpica has a large track that is free of charge.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Credit cards are widely accepted and are safe to use. If travelling to smaller towns, it is advisable to bring cash just in case. ATMs are very common in Tegucigalpa and other major cities.

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5. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

For everyday life, Spanish is pretty important. One could survive with no Spanish, but it would be quite hard. It is a great place to learn Spanish, and I would say everyone who arrives with no Spanish leaves with at least basic Spanish. Tutors are available. We pay an excellent tutor for our kids at a rate of US$7 per hour (two hours per week).

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6. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

Yes, but not as bad as some other posts.

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

We are not allowed to use public transport or street taxis. We use a private taxi service that is reliable, quick, and reasonably priced (between $5-10 for anywhere in the city).

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

We are very happy we have an SUV with good clearance and good tires. There are a lot of tough speed bumps in the city and when travelling through Honduras, there are always unexpected potholes. Most people have tinted windows, and I would recommend it. There are some good mechanics, but also some bad ones. I recommend taking your car to the dealer for repairs- it is more expensive, but worth it for the peace of mind.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Most neighborhoods where Embassy families live have fiberoptic cable. We pay about $60 per month for 30 mbps per second (with unlimited usage). Connection took less than a week.

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

If you bring an unlocked phone, it should work here. Most people use TIGO and they have a variety of packages.

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

Yes, there is a big choice in terms of vets. There are good kennels, but you should make a reservation at least two months ahead of time for the really popular holidays (Christmas or Easter week).

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

The security situation has improved tremendously over the past three-four years. Most Embassy families live in safe neighborhoods where you will find many people walking/jogging. I have walked extensively over the past 3 years and have never had a problem. There are many gang-controlled neighborhoods in and around Tegucigalpa which you absolutely need to avoid. However, every store you would go to and every person's house you would be invited to are not in those neighborhoods, so as long as you are careful not to get completely lost, you should be fine. We have travelled all over the country and never had any incident.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

We have found it to be a very healthy post and when we have needed medical care, it has been very good. The Honduran Medical Center has some top-notch doctors.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Compared to most posts, the air quality is actually very good. Tegucigalpa is a medium-sized city with a lot of newer cars, so compared to African or Asian posts or larger Latin American cities, it is much less polluted. The one tough period is the three to four weeks before the rains arrive in April. Smoke from nearby forest fires does sometimes enter the city (depending on which way the wind is blowing).

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4. What do people who suffer from environmental or food allergies need to know?

If you have a severe food allergy, be very careful eating at any restaurant (servers/cooks often make mistakes when mentioning ingredients).

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5. Are there any particular mental health issues that tend to crop up at post, such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (winter blues)?

No. If someone doesn't know Spanish, living here could feel a little isolated.

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6. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Weather is perfect here. It is pleasant and in the 70s-80s for most of the year. There are a couple of months were it might break 90 degrees and a couple of months where you might need a jacket at night. There is a lot of sun and very pleasant evening breezes. Even during the rainy season, the rain often comes at night or in one to two hour bursts during the day.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

There are several choices for school and two main schools that Americans use are: American School and Discovery School. Our high school-aged kids have been going to Discovery School and they have been very happy! They work hard, learn a lot, and feel part of a close-knit community. Some of the teachers are truly world class, and luckily, they tend to stay there for many, many years. The one downside for high school is that the size of the school is a little limiting in terms of the numbers/diversity of kids they meet (only 19 ninth-graders). There are after school activities, but not too many.

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2. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

At Discovery School, there are some options (our kids do swimming lessons, there is also basketball, volleyball, soccer, etc.). The Villa Olimpica has lots of classes for children (gymnastics, tennis, volleyball, martial arts, racketball, etc.); it is a little disorganized and difficult to find information on the classes, but once you figure it out, it is quite convenient and very reasonably priced. Horse-back riding is available at La Herradura for about $25 per hour-long class. AJ Fitness and CIBEX offer excellent swimming classes for kids.

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

Expat community is medium-sized. Morale is quite good. People really love their work, kids like their schools, and there are great travel opportunities. The weather is good, traffic is better than almost any other post, and shopping is super convenient. Spouses who do not work can find rewarding volunteer opportunities.

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2. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

It could be good for all, especially, if you bring the right attitude. The key is to find activities that you enjoy and people you want to be with. There is great hiking within half an hour of the city, there are plays and concerts to go to (but you have to be actively checking their schedules), there are sports activities (at Villa Olympic, AJ Fitness, or CYBEX), there are dozens of good restaurants to explore, and incredible travel opportunities.

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3. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

We have travelled all over Honduras and loved every part. Diving and snorkeling at Roatan and Utila is great. White water rafting near La Ceiba was a definite highlight. Western Honduras has Mayan ruins, canopy ziplines, hiking and many waterfalls. We took full advantage of being in Central America and travelled to Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Panama, and even drove up through Mexico to Cancun while here.

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4. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

Part of the key to enjoying Tegucigalpa is to find fun activities you look forward to doing on a weekly basis (i.e. swimming, horseback riding, racketball, walking, get-togethers, kid's play dates, doggy fun days, etc.). For birdwatchers, there are great options here. For short day trips, there is a park overlooking the city called Picacho (which has a small zoo), hiking in La Tigra cloud forest, and then visiting small quaint towns such as Valle de Angeles, Santa Lucia, and Ojojona.

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5. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

There is quite a selection of handicrafts at the nearby town of Valle de Angeles (ceramics, wood carving, leather work, etc.).

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6. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

Amazing weather, relatively good traffic (and short commutes), friendly and sociable people, great travel opportunities, and all the conveniences of living in U.S. (pricesmart, walmart, fiber-optic internet, etc.). Also, it is only a short trip to visit family in the U.S.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?

If you have kids, there are many school options. Although all families seem to be happy with their choices, I think it is important to take the time to explore/consider the differences between them.

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2. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

Definitely!

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3. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

Fear of living here. Tegucigalpa has a bad reputation because of the historically high levels of crime/violence. However, tremendous progress has been made over the past three years. Just as in the U.S., most of the violence/murders occur in very specific areas. As long as you avoid those areas, it is a safe country. We have felt very safe living, walking, and travelling here.

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4. But don't forget your:

Sense of adventure. People who search out activities, friends, places to visit, etc. will have a fabulous time here. You cannot expect to have these things just drop in your lap; you need to actively ask and search them out.

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Tegucigalpa, Honduras 07/10/18

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

No.

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

United States, Virginia. Two hour flight to Miami, 2.5hr flight to IAD or DCA. Also connections through Houston and if you fly a Latin American airline, through El Sal and Panama City.

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3. How long have you lived here?

2 years.

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

Diplomatic mission.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Houses are large but dated. Apartments are more modern. Backyards are small or nonexistent. Commute to embassy is long (20-40min for 2-3miles) because traffic is bad and Honduran drivers are aggressive and rules aren't enforced.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Many American-style grocery stores. Open market at the stadium on the weekends. Fruit stands on the side of the road. Produce is cheap. You can find most things you would find (different brands) at the store. Also hardware stores, Walmart, and Pricesmart (costco).

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

You can get most things here. Luxury items or specialty items are harder to find.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

The food is not great, mediocre at best. The food is better up north on the coast. Everything is bland or too salty.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

DPO.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Full-time maid is about $150-200/month. Gardener is about $20/week. People also hire live-in help and nannies.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

Gym at embassy, AJ fitness, crossfit gym, places to do karate and yoga, etc.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Cards are accepted in stores. For markets and street vendors you need cash.

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5. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

The wealthy speak English. Most locals you encounter day-to-day do not.

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6. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

Yes.

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

No. Specific taxi guidance is given. Affordable, yes.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

SUV.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Yes. One week.

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Tito or Claro.

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

Mediocre vets. No good kennels we've found. No quarantine if vaccines are up-to-date.

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

Secretary and consular assistant jobs mostly.

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2. What volunteer opportunities are available locally?

Lots of mission work, medical missions.

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

Critical for crime (opportunistic crime). There seem to be lots of robberies at gunpoint, and from what I've heard, even within the embassy community. Always be aware of your surroundings. No walking in the streets. Tinted windows.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Pika, dengue, chikungunya, and malaria when you are not in the mountains.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Bad during burn season. Pollution in city. No recycling. There seems to be trash everywhere.

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4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Climate is good. Cool at night. Hot during day. Rainy season and dry season.

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Expat Life:

1. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

The embassy hosts lots of family activities.

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2. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

No.

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3. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

It seems very sexist against women.

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4. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

Copan ruinas, roatan, Lago Yojoa, Pico Bonito.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

Maybe not.

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2. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

Lost City of the Monkey God.

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Tegucigalpa, Honduras 05/14/18

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

No. I've also lived in France, Spain, Benin, and Colombia.

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

Chicago. Major US airlines fly through Houston, Miami, or Atlanta. They each run only one or two flights a day, and don't want to leave planes in Tegucigalpa overnight. So flights out of the rest of the US leave early, 5-7am, and flights back get back late at night. If you use non-US airlines, especially Avianca, there is a short jaunt to San Salvador or Panama, and then on to your US destination, with lots more flight options and time flexibility.

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3. How long have you lived here?

Almost three years.

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

Diplomatic mission.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

A big house (maybe 2500 sf) with decent yard (add another 500 sf). I think this is typical, though different yards have more paved-over or tiled space, and others more green space. Aesthetic leans towards 1970s narco-chic. I have bananas, passion fruit, mango, avocado, herbs, and beautiful flowers that were already growing there when I got here. There is also a nice lawn for the kids to play on. Most housing is surrounded by drab walls and concertina wire, so neighborhoods have a cold, community-less feel to them. Like a lot of US suburbs, but with walls surrounding each house, so you don't see much human life when you're walking around. My wife and I walk to work, and it takes about 15 minutes. On a bike it's like 4 minutes, and in a car can go from 5-10 minutes depending on traffic. Some USG housing is farther away: 40 minutes on foot (though few people walk), and not much less in a car, maybe 30 minutes with traffic.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Great. You can get any US-type goods you need at PriceSmart (a Costco knockoff), or at local grocery stores, of which there are at least two or three within 10 minutes' walk of most USG housing. Cleaning products, peanut butter, processed and frozen junk food--you name it. Both US and local brands. There are fruit stalls at many corners selling a great variety of papayas, mangos, pineapple, oranges, potato, onion, tomatoes, banana, plantain, cassava, sometimes beets, avocado, watermelon, cilantro, carrots, sweet and hot peppers, cantaloupe, passionfruit, mandarins, limes, garlic, cabbage, and I'm probably forgetting some things. I get most leafy vegetables at grocery stores, since roadside stands don't stock them (no refrigeration), but for most other stuff, roadside stands are fresher and cheaper than the grocery store. I have read other complaints about produce, and I don't know what they're talking about. If you want fresh, flavorful produce, it's plentiful. Even if you want underripe, waxed US-style produce, you can get it at any supermarket. Meat is plentiful, both national and from the US.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

None really. Even olive oil is pretty cheap at the Costco knockoff. I do take advantage of trips to the US to stock up on a few things like unscented glycerin soap or certain over-the-counter medicines, which can be cheaper in the US (Cetirizine/Zyrtec, children's acetaminophen, etc.). You can get most stuff here, too, just a few dollars pricier.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

There are options for all tastes. There are Honduran-style grill places (even a newly-opened high-end one called La Bonita that offers innovative takes on Honduran classics), all the US junk food joints (Pizza Hut, Popeyes, McDonalds, etc.), lots of excellent ceviche and seafood in general, Peruvian, US-style burger joints, Italian, French, lots of Chinese food (think New York takeout, not ultra-authentic haute Szechuan cuisine). Families like to go to junk food places or a handful of nicer restaurants that have in-house playgrounds, since public parks are scarce in Tegucigalpa.

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

Little harmless ants everywhere, cockroaches sometimes, often carpenter ants in some furniture. Keeping food covered and/or refrigerated usually keeps down the yucky population.

Some yards and houses seem to have more mosquito presence than others.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

DPO is great. Sometimes political vagaries will hold up mail, but there are times when stuff posted from Florida arrives over a weekend. It can take up to 4 or 5 weeks though too, in either direction.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Domestic employees are good at cooking and cleaning. Often they're not used to having autonomy and decision-making authority, or thinking through complex instructions or taking the initiative to plan ahead and do what's needed. It was a long (though ultimately very fruitful) process to teach the maid how to separate out compost and recyclables. I feel like people are honest, meaning they don't steal, but they are not necessarily forthright, meaning they may not directly tell you something if they think you're going to get mad. Be respectful, insist on honesty and frankness, and everyone can learn in the process.

The minimum wage varies by profession, and there is no official minimum wage for domestic help. A basic basket of goods required for a family of four (food, healthcare, phone, transport, etc.) amounts to about 8800 lempiras per month, a little less than 400 USD. Most people don't pay that much. Don't be like most people, don't be that guy. If you're reading this, you're probably not paying rent, and, in my opinion, can afford 400 USD a month.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

Gyms at USAID and the US Embassy. Lots of other private gyms available. My kids do swimming classes multiple times a week at Cybex, and we've been thrilled with them.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Credit cards accepted almost everywhere, though very rarely the transmission network is down so places can't process your payment. ATMs are common and reliable.

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5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

Non-denominational Christian services every week at Union Christian Church. The US Embassy organizes a monthly Mass in English with a Franciscan friar who comes down from another town. Plenty of Spanish-language services throughout the city, which are a great way to get to know a specific side of the culture.

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6. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

Day-to-day life is all done in Spanish, but people are used to dealing with foreigners who don't speak well. Honduran professionals almost all speak English.

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7. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

Yes. It's very hilly, with poorly-maintained and oft-interrupted sidewalks. In fact, pedestrians in general take like fourth fiddle, even though most Hondurans don't have cars. Tegucigalpa is very much planned for the convenience of motorists, and even when it's not, motorists will take the liberty to park on sidewalks, to drive recklessly, and to bend traffic rules to save a few seconds of waiting.

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Affordable, yes, but RSO advises against using them. The US Embassy has a go-to private taxi service that works great, charging about $5-10 for most trajectories.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Lots of people like SUVs, but they're not strictly necessary. A Toyota Camry has served us well. You will need to know how to navigate pothole-ridden, Third World-style roads, especially if you're traveling to the countryside (which I highly recommend, by the way).

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Yes. Installation takes a few days, as I recall. We pay $55/month (they lock you in for 12-month contracts) for great internet. We stream movies all the time, sometimes multiple movies on different computers.

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

My work paid for one monthly plan, and I had a personal SIM that I paid as I went. I used a junky, dual-SIM phone instead of lugging around an expensive iPhone that would distract me during meetings and be a target for theft.

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

Lots of embassy jobs. If you speak Spanish well you can work for development implementers, the UN, etc. Also, lots of demand for English-speaking teachers, as almost all private schools are conducted mainly in English.

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2. What volunteer opportunities are available locally?

You can volunteer in NGOs, at schools, at hospitals. If you see a place you think may need help with something, by all means offer your help. A lot of places, even those without established volunteer programs, would be thrilled to work with you.

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3. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Pretty laid-back culture for men's dress. Even high officials of the Honduran government go to lots of meetings without a suit or tie. Women can be laid-back too, but there may be stronger cultural expectations for women to be made-up and use inconveniently high heels (think the kind that make you walk in little mincing steps like your feet are bound).

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

Both expats and middle-class Hondurans seem to freak out about security. As an expat you'll mainly be moving around in the safest parts of the city, with armed guards posted every 50 meters or so. My wife and I have walked to and from work every day for three years now without incident. We walk all over the city with our kids, also without incident. Sometimes people get robbed in their car or while walking (more often in their car). Getting robbed is not the same as getting killed, which you've got about zero risk of as an expat who doesn't resist a robbery. All over the world, people lose their iPhones or their wallet from time to time, and it's a hassle, but not an existential threat. That's how crime is for expats in Tegucigalpa.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Great health care. Lots of English speakers if you want them, but also very qualified Spanish speakers. We've had major dental surgery done here (maybe $600 total for bone implants, gum reconstruction, and two porcelain tooth implants), and had a Cesarean birth (less than $3000 for the entire hospital bill). Don't always expect things to look flashy, but there will be all the equipment you need: ultrasounds, MRIs, operating theaters, anesthetics, etc.

Tegucigalpa's mountain climate precludes many tropical diseases. No malaria here, or in most of Honduras, for that matter. Zika/dengue/chikungunya are always a concern, though the public health system has done a great job of controlling them. Mosquitoes are not overwhelming for most of the day, most of the year, or in most expat neighborhoods in Tegucigalpa.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Allergy sufferers will have some problems here. Lots of pollen, some mold, a fair amount of humidity from maybe May to November (rainy season), then an abrupt drop in temperature, with lots of wind and dust from Nov-February (cold, dry season), then March-May gets hot, dry, and smoky. But from what I hear, even the worst smoky days in Tegucigalpa aren't like the norm in Jakarta or Beijing. More like a bad smog day in LA.

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4. What do people who suffer from environmental or food allergies need to know?

See above.

Food allergies are problematic. The general populace doesn't have a very high educational level, so it is difficult for restaurant staff to make fine distinctions and execute critical thinking functions about what specific ingredients may be in a given food.

Likewise, if you are a strict vegetarian or only eat Halal or something, you'll have problems eating out. There may be lard in seemingly vegetarian things like refried beans (though what most people call "lard" is often actually palm oil shortening). If you aren't too picky it'll be fine. In my opinion, an accidental ingestion of a bit of pork now and then won't kill you or significantly increase your carbon footprint. And I think God will understand.

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5. Are there any particular mental health issues that tend to crop up at post, such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (winter blues)?

I've seen a lot of people who have a great time here, and also a lot of people who complain to the point that it becomes compulsive and gets them and everyone around them down. I think that it's a culture shock for a lot of people to be somewhere so similar to the US in so many ways (car-based culture, malls, Popeye's chicken, American football while you eat wings at a sports bar), but yet frustratingly different. It's different enough for you to get annoyed at the little quirks (how people drive, or aren't direct when they talk to you, or stuff like that), but not different enough to feel exotic and interesting.

As for clinical Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), there is a fair amount of sunshine here year-round, so I don't imagine it's a big problem.

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6. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Pleasantly warm and sunny most of the year, with cooling afternoon showers. Spells of higher 90s in April and May, and sometimes brutal, cold wind (down to the 50s or 40s) for a while between November and February.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

Lots of great school options. Discovery, Happy Faces, Abejitas, Del Campo, American School, Dowal School, Elvel, Macris, Lyceo Franco-Hondureno, and lots more. Most schools are almost exclusively in English. If you want your kids to learn Spanish better, go off the beaten track of Discovery or American School. Lots of good extracurriculars inside and outside of schools. My kids have done classes in ballet, cooking, music, folkloric dance, swimming, soccer, and chess.

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2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

I think there is will, but not always money. If you're a USG employee, this shouldn't be a problem, since there should be a budget approved for you to get an aide for your child. But short of this, many schools seem to be reluctant to take kids with Downs Syndrome, for instance. Kids with more physical, as opposed to mental, special needs seem to be more well-integrated in schools.

Happy Faces preschool is great at accommodating all types of special-needs kids, though they may not necessarily have an individualized learning plan like many would want in the US. They seem to be more about integrating kids with the rest of the class, and making adjustments to lessons in real time as needed for the specific kid.

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3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

Yes, Happy Faces, Abejitas, plus many higher-grade schools have preschool divisions. They tend to be cheap, many have long hours (with half-day options too), and are very loving. If you want your kid to start prepping for the Ivy League when she's three, these will not satisfy you. If you want your kid to feel loved and valued and learn how to interact with other human beings, you'll be thrilled.

We pay like $420 a month for Happy Faces, which includes bus pickup from our house at 7:30am, classes in the morning, extracurriculars in the afternoon, and a bus dropoff around 5pm. About a third to a fifth of what you'd pay in the US.

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4. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

Yes, both inside and outside of schools. Martial arts are big, in addition to more traditional team sports. There are even chess and breakdancing classes at different parks and cultural centers.

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

There are lots of expats, but it doesn't feel like a community apart. There are non-diplomats from many countries that live long-term in Honduras for a number of personal and professional reasons. You will also have lots of colleagues, school parents, etc. that are Honduran professionals, and they are happy to be your friend if you're a nice, interesting person. You can hang out mainly with expats, mainly with Hondurans, mainly with Honduran-Americans, or with a mix thereof.

I think expats have good morale. If they've lived in other developing countries, they appreciate all the comforts and amenities they have in Honduras.

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2. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

There are cultural centers, museums, and theaters like the Alliance Francaise, the Centro Cultural Espanol, Grupo Teatral Bambu, Centro de Cultura Garifuna, Mujeres en las Artes, Teatro Las Memorias, Museo de Identidad Nacional, Cafe El Paradiso, Teatro Manuel Bonilla, Galeria Nacional de Arte, Chiminike, La Filarmonica de Honduras. Contrary to what many people think, you can do something cultural every night if you are so inclined. There is high-quality live theater at least three nights every week, a symphony concert at least once a month, kid workshops every Saturday morning, book fairs, intellectual talks, poetry readings, etc.

There are historic colonial churches downtown, parks like La Leona, El Trapiche, La Hermandad, and Juana Lainez. As you get out and about, you'll run into new people and recurring people, and can form friendships that way.

If you want to stay at the mall all the time, that's your prerogative, but don't say there's nothing to do in Tegucigalpa!

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3. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

Tegucigalpa and Honduras in general are very centered on family. Kids are omnipresent, from restaurants to church to the street to the beach. If you have kids, you'll find a lot of things to your liking.

I imagine that it can be lonely to be single here, since families fold in on themselves and don't admit many outsiders. That said, if you get out to the cultural events you can meet other single people. It seems to me that male-female nonromantic or nonfamily relationships are rare here, so that may be hard to navigate if you're looking to meet people without looking for a romantic partner.

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4. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

Women are subject to lots of harassment on the street. Gay and transgender people are hassled and threatened (though the worst abuses are in poor neighborhoods, not in posh expat quarters). Ladino Hondurans are subtly prejudiced against indigenous people and blacks; black expats may inhabit a space between the excessive deference Hondurans give to foreigners, and their reticence towards Honduran blacks.

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5. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

Copan Ruinas, Amapala, Gracias, Panacam park, caves of Taulabe and Talgua have been excellent trips.

Local jaunts to La Tigra park for camping and hiking have been wonderful experiences with my kids.

I've enjoyed the challenge of discovering all the fun things to do in Tegucigalpa, beyond the typical line that there's nothing but malls and drive-throughs.

Being in Honduras is a luxury in the Foreign Service; it's close to the States, it's got enough familiar things to keep you from getting homesick, the electrical outlets are the same. My mother got to visit us a lot more than she would have if we'd lived in Africa or Australia. She appreciated the no-hassle flight, the lovely weather, just sitting around in a lush garden.

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6. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

I've mentioned a lot of things elsewhere in this report, but for Tegucigalpa you have to mention La Tigra, Ojojona, Santa Lucia, Valle de Angeles, in addition to all the museums, parks, and theaters cited above.

Radio El Progreso is a wild radio station. Most of its programming is bachata, reggaeton, and ranchera music. But it is run by Jesuits, so this lowbrow music is peppered with incisive political commentary and investigative reporting, all with a progressive Catholic tinge. In the span of five minutes you can hear Daddy Yankee rapping about a woman's butt, a reminder that Christ came to free the world from injustice, and then a criticism of the corruption prevalent in the National Party.

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7. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

You have to dig a bit. If you do, you'll find bright Lenca weaving, a diverse array of pottery (you can even make some yourself), good woodwork, delicious coffee, colorful paintings, jade, stone statues, Garifuna drums, straw hats, gold filigree. Get a suit or a dress made, too. Like Honduran cuisine, the handicrafts may seem bland at first, but if you dig deeper, you can find some really cool stuff beyond the normal offering in the souvenir shops.

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8. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

Great weather, short commutes, US-style food and stores, lots of kid activities, great schools that will expose your kids to a foreign culture without feeling too alien.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?

Hondurans love pickled stuff. You can get great relish, sauerkraut, etc. with every meal, if you're so inclined.

Hondurans know a lot about US culture. Not just like Mickey Mouse and Michael Jordan. I'm talking reruns of What's Happening Now, David Bowie in "Labyrinth", 1980s baseball, really obscure stuff.

It actually gets pretty cold from November to February.

There's no municipal gas, so cooking is all electric. Power outages are infrequent, but can sometimes stop your meal in its tracks.

You have to work a bit to get to really know things. The food seems bland until you get beyond the most common offerings. The city seems like malls and cars until you find all the theaters and bookstores. The people come off as cold and unemotional until they open up to you and become very generous friends.

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2. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

Yes. It isn't as exotic as some might like, and it isn't as comfortable as others might like. But I think it's a great combination of a lot of things.

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3. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

Hopes to get away from US culture.

Intolerance for other ways of thinking and doing things.

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4. But don't forget your:

Curiosity, willingness to dig below the surface, benefit of the doubt.

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5. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

Where to start? "To be a revolutionary" by Jim Carney, "Inevitable Revolutions" by Walter LaFeber, "Culture and Customs of Honduras" by Janet Gold, "Prision Verde" and "Cipotes" by Ramon Amaya Amador, "A Camera in the Garden of Eden" by Kevin Coleman, "Narrativa hondurena: Antologia" published by Alfaguara.

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Tegucigalpa, Honduras 05/01/18

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

Yes.

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

Virginia. Traveling out of Tegucigalpa is pretty horrible. Cost of flights is obscene and you will have to connect through El Sal, Panama, Miami, ATL or Houston. Flying back to DCA or IAD is $700 round trip at a minimum. If you are flying on an American airline, you will be flying out after 12 noon, so depending on your final destination, you will be arriving very late at night or the next day. If you choose to fly a Latin American airline, there are flights out earlier in the morning, but you will have to connect through El Sal or Panama City.

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3. How long have you lived here?

1.5 years out of a 2 year tour.

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

Diplomatic mission.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

We live in a gated neighborhood. Even though the guards will stop everyone coming in by car to take ID information, they cannot refuse to let anyone through, and anyone can walk into the neighborhood. The American School is also in the neighborhood, so in the morning there are cars flying through the neighborhood, honking and passing people trying to get their kids to school. The commute from the embassy in the evening is a nightmare for us; it sometimes takes over an hour to drive about 2 miles home. Honduran drivers are aggressive, reckless, and VERY impatient. There do not seem to be any cops around to enforce driving rules, so it's every man for himself on the road.

There are several other gated neighborhoods, many near Blvd Suyapa, which is a whole other level of nightmare because there are constantly street closings on Suyapa due to protests and student demonstrations. There are also a few apartment buildings diplomats can live in, the apartments I have seen are spacious and more modern than the housing.

Our house was probably built in the 1970s and has not been renovated since. The bathrooms and kitchen are terribly dated. We are lucky enough to have a "large" yard by Tegucigalpa standards. Most houses have a patch of grass as a yard.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

You'd think in a country of year-round summer you'd have access to fantastic produce, but unfortunately, all the good stuff gets exported. There is an open market on the weekends that has produce as far as the eye can see, but it's all the same produce. Everyone is selling carrots, onions, potatoes, limes, and cilantro. There is a fishmonger where you can buy fresh fish, and you can even get a smoothie at the center of the market. You will not find any variety or specialty produce, even in the grocery stores. Sometimes it's even difficult to find produce in the grocery store that's not past its prime.

There is one organic store called Organica, but the prices are 3x the price of Whole Foods, and it's all either boxed items or frozen. There is one area for produce, but every time I've been there the produce has been rotting.

There is also Más por Menos, which is a "specialty" grocery store where you will find some items from the US you can't find elsewhere. We have Pricemart, which is like Costco, and Walmart. Neither are quite up to par with their US equivalents.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

Lemons and good wine. The embassy PX only stocks wine a college-aged girl would drink, and the grocery stores stock the cheapest wines from Chile and Argentina and up-charge. I have never in my life had worse hangovers than I have here. Cleaning supplies without heavy perfumes (but these can be ordered on Amazon and cross your fingers nothing leaks. None of my liquids have ever been turned away by DPO).

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

The food might be one of the most disappointing parts of Honduras. There is no food culture (or any other form of culture) here. The most famous plato típico here is the baleada - which is just a tortilla with refried beans and cheese on it. If you get a fancy baleada you'll get some steak, egg and/or avocado on it. The food is a little better on the North coast, at least there is fresh fish and the food is more in the style of typical Caribbean/Latin American food.

Restaurants in Teguc are also disappointing. Everything is over-salted, and they throw MSG cubitos into everything. A few new restaurants have opened nearby, but the quality of food is already deteriorating.

You can find other ethnic food here - e.g., Indian, Thai, Chinese, but you need to have VERY low expectations, as it is the "Honduran-version" of Indian, Thai, or Chinese.

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

There are mosquitos, ants and flies. Last year there were lots of locusts in the fall. The bugs aren't huge, and they are manageable. Malaria is not an issue in the mountains, but dengue, zika, and chikungunya potentially are.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

Sending mail usually reaches the US within a week and a half to two weeks. Receiving mail is a crap-shoot. Some packages will take 3 weeks, others will take 6 weeks. When we first arrived, mail was taking 6-8 weeks to arrive. I also just received a package yesterday (April) that was sent out in November.

Incoming mail goes through customs in San Pedro Sula, then again through customs here in Teguc before reaching the DPO. We have had numerous packages stolen.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

A full-time housekeeper is about $250-$350/month. We pay our gardener $20 for a half-day per week. Some people employ drivers.

We had to fire 2 housekeepers for a variety of reasons which included stealing, lying, allowing unauthorized people into our house, and mistreating our dog; all had been vetted. Only one of our housekeepers we hired was truly trustworthy. Choose a housekeeper that has been vetted, but don't trust anyone you let into your house. There seems to be a culture amongst Hondurans that since you are American, you are rich, and anything that breaks/gets ruined can be replaced because you are a rich gringo. It feels like this mentality permeates every interaction one will have.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

There are several gyms - standard gyms, CrossFit gyms, the embassy gym, etc. There are also a couple of yoga studios and a pilates studio. Most gyms and classes are cheaper than US prices.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

No issues with credit cards. The only ATM I use is the one at the embassy.

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5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

There is a Catholic priest who offers Catholic mass, his embassy parishioners rotate houses where mass is held. There are also some Mormon members of the embassy, but I don't know if their services are in English or Spanish.

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6. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

Rich Hondurans speak English. In day-to-day life most Hondurans you encounter do not speak English. Some spouses do not speak Spanish, but still get around. There are tutors that charge $10/hour. The embassy has free Spanish lessons, but good luck parking at the embassy.

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7. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

Yes.

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

No. All public transportation, including cabs, are off-limits to embassy community. Most have ties to the gangs, and you are likely to get robbed. There is a cab service the embassy has vetted, and you can text the owner to schedule a ride. Riding with him is affordable, a ride to the airport is about $10.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Bring an SUV; don't bring anything nice. You have an excellent chance of getting in an accident while in-country. The cops and the insurance company will try to get you to pay the other person whether it was your fault or not. One spouse was taken into police custody and held for 6 hours while they tried to get her to pay out of pocket for a motorcyclist's broken arm even though she was not at fault and she had insurance and she had diplomatic immunity. You will have to have your windows tinted. An AID worker was robbed at gunpoint in front of the Intercontinental Hotel because his windows weren't tinted. An LE Staff member was robbed a block from the embassy. I have not heard of any carjackings, but people have been robbed at gunpoint in their vehicles. I'd say there is an incident involving a diplomat or LES that we hear about monthly. Housekeepers are at even more risk of being robbed.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Yes, through Tigo or Claro. Tigo comes to the embassy once a month and you can pay your Tigo bill at the bank teller in the embassy.
Install takes about 1-2 weeks for home internet. I got my sim card within a week of arrival.

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Spend money on an unlocked phone so all you need is a sim card. I kept my US-plan and sim card for frequent trips back to the US for work, and I use Tigo in-country. My husband froze his AT&T account for $0.01/month.

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

The veterinarian services are okay, but for anything major I would not trust vet care here. There are no safe kennel services; we heard that the one that was recommended to us was breeding dogs that they were kenneling without the owners' permission or knowledge. One of the embassy teenagers looks after our dog when we are out of town.

There are also no dog parks or anything similar here. Our dog is very bored in our small, walled-in backyard. We take her on walks in the morning in our neighborhood, and that's about it. There are some places you can hike with your dog, but La Tigra national park is not one of them.

There was talk of creating a dog park, and even had a location behind the Discovery School, but nothing ever came of it.

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

Due to the hiring freeze, most EFMs do not have jobs, unless they were hired before the freeze. Some positions are slowly opening up now. It is not likely to find a job on the economy. There are some spouses who telework.

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2. What volunteer opportunities are available locally?

Plenty, if you look. This is a very poor country, everyone is looking for a handout. There are "diplomatic lunches" every month that raise money for different organizations and you can network there. There is a girls' home the ambassador's wife used to go to with a group of spouses and they would spend time with the girls, read to them, do crafts, etc. but those trips have stopped since the ambassador and his wife left.

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3. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

There is no strict dress code in public, but if you are a woman, I would not wear shorts unless as in my opinion, there was a lot of cat-calling and ogling. There is so much machismo and this country has a high rate of femicide. Despite that, most Honduran women wear tight jeans, tight shirts, tight dresses with short skirts and high heels. Attire at embassy is business casual, but some locals' outfits seem questionable. There are several formal events that diplomats are invited to, men typically wear a tux or their military dress, women in formal gowns.

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

I would not walk around the city or drive with windows open or with windows that are not tinted. Crime is crime of opportunity. It is not directed toward Americans, but if you drop your guard, you make yourself a target. Don't have your cellphone out. Don't flash your money around. Don't wear your real jewelry. Be on-guard for motorcyclists approaching your vehicle.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Air pollution causes a lot of respiratory problems for people. We're supposed to wash our fruits and vegetable in bleach or vinegar, but we don't do that anymore and haven't had problems. You shouldn't drink the tap water, but you can bathe and brush your teeth with it. I can't speak to available medical care because we haven't needed it but there are a couple private hospitals the embassy recommends. There is a med unit run by an NP or PA and you a local-hire MD that will see minor/acute issues. Most drugs you can get at the pharmacy without a prescription. Most embassy women get medevac'd to the US to have their babies.

I feel the dental care here is bad. I heard a friend went to the dentist who cleaned her teeth with a Waterpik and then told her she had 13 cavities she needed filled. When she saw a dentist in Miami she said her teeth were fine. That same Honduran dentist has performed root canals on some embassy folks; I would question the need.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Horrible. The air pollution is awful year-round, and really bad during burn season. When my husband and I first got here we got an URI every month for the first 6 months. Tegucigalpa sits in the middle of the mountains, so unless it rains, all the pollution and smoke sits on top of the city. Currently we are in the middle of burn season, and the smoke is so thick you can't see the mountains and every morning the counters and floors are covered in a layer of soot.

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4. What do people who suffer from environmental or food allergies need to know?

If you have a real food allergy, I wouldn't trust any restaurants here to correctly or safely prepare your food. For environmental allergies, please see above.

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5. Are there any particular mental health issues that tend to crop up at post, such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (winter blues)?

Low morale and depression.

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6. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

The climate is the only good thing about Honduras. Mid-80s in the day (up to the 90s in the summer) and 60s-70s at night (down to the 50s in the "winter"). Sunny, sunny, sunny. Rainy season is great because it really only rains at night.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

Most kids go to the American School or Discovery school. I've heard the American school has a bullying problem. I believe there is also a French school.

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2. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

There are lots of preschools, including a Montessori preschool.

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

Morale is low. Gossip seems to be high. Rumors run rampant and it feels difficult to have a life outside of the embassy community.

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2. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

There are a few embassy book clubs, USEPA plans events, most event revolve around the kids. The Marine House is no longer allowed to hold parties (globally), so embassy events for adults are few and far between. There are events around the city that are safe to attend.

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3. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

No, none of the above. There is so little to actually DO in Tegucigalpa. You have to leave the city to do anything remotely entertaining. Copán, La Ceiba, Lago Yojoa, Pico Bonito, and the Bay Islands are all worth traveling to.

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4. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

Unknown, but given the machismo in this country, my guess would be this is not an ideal location for an openly gay person.

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5. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

Big gender equality issues. This is a man's country.

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6. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

Coupon ruínas and Cayos Cochinos. Not Roatán - it is ultra-touristy and people try to sell you bracelets and tours when you are trying to relax. The diving/snorkeling is incredible.

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7. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

There is nothing to do in Tegucigalpa except go to mediocre restaurants, walk around the mall, go to the movies, do something in your own home with friends, or exercise. To do anything worthwhile, you HAVE to leave the city.

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8. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

Not really. There is Lenca pottery and wood carving. Most other items are made in Guatemala.

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9. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

The weather (except burn season).

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Words of Wisdom:

1. What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?

That we would be unable to walk around. That there is nothing to do in the city. That morale is so low and the embassy is so inefficient that both my husband and I have hated living and working here.

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2. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

Absolutely not. We would have quit the State Department.

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3. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

Winter clothes.

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4. But don't forget your:

Surge protectors as electricity cuts in and out daily, sometimes multiple times or for hours at a time with generator backup.
Hiking boots.

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5. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

Lost City of the Monkey God (not about Teguc, but does touch on some of the socioeconomic issues and narcotrafficking that occurs countrywide).

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Tegucigalpa, Honduras 04/24/18

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

First assignment in the Foreign Service, but not my first expat experience.

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

D.C. area. Flights to Honduras leave early in the morning from the east coast, connecting in Miami, Atlanta, or Houston, and arriving in Tegucigalpa around noon. Flights from Honduras to the U.S. leave early afternoon and get to DC/NYC late at night - so you basically lose a day when flying back to the States.

Flights are expensive and sparse. Flying anywhere in Latin America usually requires a stop in San Salvador or Panama City. There are occasional deals on flights to Lima and Bogota, but generally it's super expensive to fly out of Tegucigalpa, even for short flights - Mexico City ($700), Guatemala ($400), Costa Rica ($300) etc. Even flying to the Honduran island of Roatan can get pricy - $200 roundtrip for a 45 minute flight.

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3. How long have you lived here?

Almost done with a two year tour.

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

Diplomatic mission.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Some people complained, but I thought housing here was generally really nice. Mostly single family homes and condos, but they are adding more apartments to the housing pool. One apartment building is right across the street from where the new embassy compound is being built and has a small pool and tennis court. The other apartments I saw weren't that spacious/modern and didn't have any amenities. The houses are in gated "secure" neighborhoods and generally have a small yard.

Most housing is within a 15 minute drive to the embassy depending on traffic. There are a few properties on the other side of the city where it might take an hour to get home if evening traffic is bad.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

You can get pretty much everything here. PriceSmart carries Costco brand products. The local market is kind of fun to visit on Saturday for cheap produce. Lettuce/kale/spinach is low quality but most of the other produce is ok. Some people bleached their fruit and veggies; I never did this and didn't have any issues.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

Wine and craft beer.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

The restaurant scene here isn't totally barren. Tegucigalpa does pizza and chicken well, otherwise the food here is boring. Arno (French), Domo Pizza, Claudio's (Italian) are some of the highlights. There is one semi-fancy restaurant with a nice view of the city - La Cumbre.

Most of the restaurants will deliver but the challenge is getting a working phone number and finding a menu online. There's an online delivery service called Que Rico that works.

Overall there are a decent number of restaurants, but the food is bland and even at the decent places the quality can vary from day to day. The service is also seems terrible to me; ask for a check as soon as your food arrives. After enough disappointing meals I've stopped eating out much and just cook at home.

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

Not really.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

DPO and pouch. Takes a couple weeks depending on whether the government is cooperating.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Cheap and readily available. Even some childless couples have live in help. Plenty of nannies, drivers, gardeners and cleaners looking for work. Mostly trustworthy.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

Both USAID and the embassy have decent gyms. Cardio equipment is limited and it can get crowded before and after work. Making things even tighter, a trainer leads a group class for local staff right at 4pm every day when the gym is busiest. I've never been bold enough to complain about this.

There are options of CrossFit, yoga, and boxing gyms. There seems to be a road race every weekend. AJ Fitness and Cybex are pretty nice facilities with pools, I think around $100//month. Personal trainers will come to your house.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

I've never had a problem with credit cards. Most restaurants and the grocery stores accept them. I try to pay in cash at restaurants as waiters may take 20 minutes to bring back your credit card receipt.

The embassy ATM is usually working and the bank there will cash a check.

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5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

I think some people go to church.

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6. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

The wealthy Hondurans you'll meet at parties speak English fluently, but it would be good to have some Spanish to go about your daily business as nobody working in the service sector speaks English. There are some people that seem to do fine without Spanish but that must be frustrating.

There are a few Spanish tutors that will come to your house and the embassy has free Spanish classes.

Hondurans are very nice people, and are really patient with bad Spanish speakers.

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7. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

Yup.

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

I think one would have to be crazy to get on a bus or use a taxi off the street.

Everyone uses the same car service. Usually $5 to go most places in the city, $10 to go to the airport.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Anything really. Most people have light SUVs. 4-wheel drive and high clearance is good as the roads are terrible, especially if you plan on taking trips to Copan Ruinas or the north coast (which you will definitely want to do). A sedan/coupe is ok as well.

A couple mechanics will pick up your car at the embassy/your home and return it. Cheap and they seem to do a good job.

I've never heard of someone being carjacked, though a local employee did have someone steal the battery out of his car. You need to get your windows tinted and be careful. A direct hire driving around with his windows down got mugged a gun point in the middle of the day in one of the safest parts of the city. This sort of thing does not seem to be common, but it has happened.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Only Tigo. You need to have it installed when you arrive, could take a week. Not too expensive and generally works well enough to stream video. Occasional outages that seem to be resolved relatively quickly.

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Unlocked iPhone. Tigo comes to the embassy once every couple weeks and will set you up with 10gb/month for $25 or so. The Tigo plans will not work elsewhere in Central America.

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

No experience, but never heard any complaints.

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

There are a decent number of EFM jobs at the embassy, but the hiring freeze was really devastating for spouses. A lot of people do consulting from home.

Not much on the local economy, but a few spouses have worked at Zamarano University. If you have an NGO/development background and/or can speak Spanish there would be opportunities.

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2. What volunteer opportunities are available locally?

I assume so.

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3. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Mostly business dress at the embassy. For men, consular, political, and econ officers wear suits (or at least have a suit jacket ready to go). USAID and other State direct hires are ok with slacks and a button down. Whatever you want outside of work. No real comment for women. Honduran women wear tight dresses and heels.

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

Not as bad as you would think. Gang violence doesn't really impact the expat community. I've never felt in danger and have never felt limited in where I could go and what I could do.

Nevertheless, you do need to be aware of surroundings and take precautions. A couple years ago an intern was the victim of an armed robbery a few blocks from the embassy. Local staff are more likely to be a victim of a crime.

Protests and rioting were pretty frequent during the election crisis. These were not directed at expats but caused some tense moments and terrible traffic. It does get frustrating that you cannot walk anywhere in the city.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Not really. Medical care at the private hospital is pretty good I think, but you will be medevac'd for anything serious. There have been several medical curtailments.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Fine. Farmers burn their fields every year which causes problems for a few weeks.

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4. Are there any particular mental health issues that tend to crop up at post, such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (winter blues)?

Just frustration that it's expensive to get out of the city and you can feel confined to your home and the mall.

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5. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Perfect weather year round. Sunny and mid 70s to low 80s. Can get a little cooler in December-Jan which is a nice change. There is a rainy season but generally it will only rain for 30 minutes or so in the evening.

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

Small. Not much besides the US embassy, AID, and JICA. You can connect with other expats if you put in the effort.

People are happy when their tours end and there do seem to be a lot of curtailments, but I don't think that many people are truly miserable. There's enough to do that you don't get super bored.

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2. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

Mainly barbecues and house parties. There are a few decent bars and restaurants but not much in terms of nightlife or culture.

Birthday parties for people with kids. There is a group for young expats.

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3. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

The only people that seem truly content here are families with young children as there is an easy social network and help is cheap. Childless couple will be ok if the trailing spouse has a portable career or an EFM job lined up and they enjoy outdoor activities - hiking, scuba etc.

Singles complain about the lack of nightlife and dating options. That said. it seems like straight guys will have no problem finding a Honduran girlfriend and I know a few women that have dated Honduran men. The problem for singles is that there's just not that much to do and you'll spend a lot of time at home if you're not really committed to getting out and meeting people (and even then expect some boring weekends).

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4. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

Not good in terms of dating and nightlife options, but otherwise fine.

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5. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

Not really, but Hondurans have a more regressive view on the role of women.

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6. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

The perfect weather. Road trips to Copan Ruinas, the Caribbean coast, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Scuba diving on Roatan and Utila. Regional travel around Central America and a couple trips to South America (though this was expensive). Cheap 5 and 10k road races.

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7. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

Nothing really. There is a cloud forest nature reserve about 50 minutes from Tegucigalpa but seeing it once is enough. The little villages of Valle de Angeles and Santa Lucia are ok for a couple Saturday excursions and the chance to walk a bit, but not really exciting.

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8. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

Nothing worth buying.

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9. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

Nothing really, just the weather and cheap domestic help. If you need something done - gardening, personal training, mechanic - there is someone that will do it cheap.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?

Crime and violence doesn't have a significant impact on your life. The culture here is pretty similar to the U.S. so it hasn't really been interesting living here.

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2. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

I wouldn't willingly do another assignment here, but I don't hate it either. For two years there are enough things to see and do to occupy your time. A three year assignment would be much more challenging I think. I'd only recommend this post to a family with small children.

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3. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

Winter clothes. Expectations of having a unique cultural experience. Expectations of solving the intractable political and economic problems here.

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4. But don't forget your:

Beach and hiking gear. Books, video games, and Netflix subscription.

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5. Do you have any other comments?

The consensus is that Tegucigalpa is the worst posting in Central America. I much preferred Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador as there's a lot more going on in the cities and more to see in terms of nature (beaches, volcanoes etc.). There are things to see in Honduras but the infrastructure is so bad that you really need a 4-day weekend to go anyplace worthwhile. It's comfortable living here but just a bit dull as you can't walk anywhere and there is no real local culture.

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Tegucigalpa, Honduras 06/23/16

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

No. Numerous prior postings.

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

Washington, DC. Connections in Atlanta, Miami, or Houston

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3. How long have you lived here?

Two years.

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

Embassy.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Good housing. Mostly made of concrete surrounded by high walls and razor wire. Small yards.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Local goods reasonable. Imported U.S. goods are a little costlier (Ben and Jerry's $10).

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

Pet food, organic items.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

All lower level fast food chains are here. Harder to find natural quality food options. Exceptions are La Cumbre, Arnot's and Marjaba.

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

Ants, roaches, rats.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

At the Embassy.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

$300-$350.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

Decent exercise facilities, but none of them are on par with what you would find in the US and will cost you more. Classes at the Marriott are decent, but usually start late and end early for about $80/month.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Do not use them locally! Be VERY careful when using ATMs. Try to use those in western hotels.

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5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

There is an English-language Christian service and a Catholic Mass on Sundays. Not much besides that.

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6. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

Spanish is necessary. There are tutors for about $15 an hour, but you get what you pay for. My tutors either could not show up when scheduled or were shoddy teachers at best (little training, more interested in gossiping and chatting than actually teaching).

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7. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

YES! They would be a huge target for crime.

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

NO! Public transport is often attacked by gang members and thugs. Taxis are only slightly safer, but kidnappings for ransom are common.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

4WD if you want to leave the city. Tint your car windows.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Yes. Less than a week.

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

No.

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

There is an excellent vet in country. Be aware that some are not so good. Vet your vet before using!

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

Not many options outside of the embassy.

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2. What volunteer opportunities are available locally?

Plentiful. Everyone needs help down here.

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3. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Slightly less formal than DC.

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

Yes! Daytime shootings are common, even in "good" areas. Shoot-outs have occurred at our bakery, grocery store, neighborhood and at the embassy. At night, you frequently hear gun shots.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Medical care is average at best. Even the "best" doctors in country have limited expertise compared with most US doctors and the embassy has a high number of medical evacuations because of this.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Not good. The locals burn a lot of the fields and forests, and the ash and smog gets trapped in the city.

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4. Are there any particular mental health issues that tend to crop up at post, such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (winter blues)?

It's usually sunny here, but should you need mental health services, the options are very limited, especially in English.

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5. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Excellent weather year-round.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

The schools are decent, but again, not up to U.S. standards.

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2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

There is one school about 45 minutes outside of the city that accommodates specials needs. Besides, that, the options are limited. Bullying, especially at the American School, is a problem. Security is an issue at most schools as few have any contingency plans.

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3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

Daycare is inexpensive, but you get what you pay for. There are to my knowledge, no Montessori schools.

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4. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

Yes, there is horseback riding, baseball, soccer, music and Tai Kwon Do.

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

The morale is not good. As the environment is restrictive because of the crime, it's hard to "get out there" and meet other ex-pats. The locals did not often seem to want to interact with the ex-pat community. Possibly the worst morale I've seen during my six overseas living experiences.

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2. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

I have yet to locate a club or group.

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3. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

Overall, it's a very isolating place. If you have family, it helps, but it is still tough given the security. There are no parks or playgrounds. The only place where you can walk outdoors semi-freely is Valle (45 minutes away).

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4. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

No! Not acceptable in this society very sadly. LGBT people are targeted here.

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5. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

Gender equity??? Not a chance in this place.

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6. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

Copan is the only decent place in country to vacation.

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7. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

Valle de Angeles.

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8. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

There are some handicrafts in Valle, but the selection and quality is not all that good.

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9. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

Cheap domestic help. The movie theatres are very cheap and good as well. Not much more than that.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?

The isolation (10-foot walls, tinted car windows) and lack of social options are really tough.

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2. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

Not a chance. The best view of Tegucigalpa will be as the plane lifts off the ground. WORST place I have ever lived.

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3. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

Valuables and jewelry. You can't wear them outside anyways as you'll be targeted.

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4. But don't forget your:

Kindle, DVDs, and a hobby.

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5. Do you have any other comments?

Seriously, the worst place that I have ever lived - and I've lived and spent time in Africa. I went with an open attitude, but I will be happy to leave. Would not recommend it to anyone. Good luck!

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Tegucigalpa, Honduras 02/10/16

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

This is our sixth post. We have lived overseas since 2005. Previous posts are: Kinshasa, Nairobi, Dakar, India and Iraq.

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

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3. How long have you lived here?

7 months. PCSed here in August 2015.

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

USG Department of State Foreign Service Officer

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

- Houses are small with small yards, due to the hills and the city's layout.

- The city is very managable and traffic is comparitively good. Commute time for us to the Embassy without traffic is 8 minutes. Traffic is bad, however, at rush hours, and people drive more agressively than they need to.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

- Decent.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

- None.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

- Most fast food restaurants are here. Below average prices.

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

- None. Few. Suprisingly few animals and insects here. In the Domincan Republic, for example, hundreds of bugs would surround our lights at night. Here, they're aren't any.

- Zika is a regional problem. If we were still trying to have kids we would likely avoid Zika zones. They're aren't that many mosquitos in Tegu, but there are still some, and we do get bit if not wearing bug spray. The government is spraying, but not enough to eradicate mosquitos.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

- Through the embassy.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

- US$300 - $350 a month for a full time maid.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

- Yes. Casa Campo is an excellent facility, but a bit outside town (20 minutes). Circa $75 / month.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

- Fine. Most places take credit cards. We haven't had a problem. We use most ATMs as well.

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5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

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6. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

- Considerable. Most well educated Hondurans speak excellent English, because the private schools are all in English. But the average Honduran doesn't.

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7. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

- Probably. Few sidewalks. Steep hills.

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

- No. Don't take the buses. The gangs rob them. The taxis are generally safe. You can flag one down. Better and smarter though to get the number of a private taxi service and use them. There are several.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

- V8 with hills may help. Tint your windows when here like everyone else.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

- Yes.

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

- No.

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

- No quarantine. Good pet care. We flew our two mastifs in and they cleared the airport about 15 minutes after our bags.

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

- Not many.

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2. What volunteer opportunities are available locally?

- Plenty.

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3. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

- Suit and tie or business casual.

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

- Crime. As you've probably heard, Honduras had the highest homicide rate in the world in 2014. There is violent crime, but it predominently is restricted to poor neighborhoods. Usually.

- There are not a lot of open or community spaces to stroll. A lot of people go to the (nice / modern) mall, for example, cause it's safe, or Villa Olympic to work out. You don't see a lot of people walking in the streets, and all the car windows are tinted very dark. I still run in my neighborhood, which is a semi-gated community.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

- Zika. Mosquitos. Good medical care. Many doctors in Tegu have studied in the U.S.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

- Excellent.

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4. What do people who suffer from environmental or food allergies need to know?

- Good climate.

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5. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

- The weather is perfect. Better than Southern California. Very pleasant.

- The country is relatively unpopulated. 8 million people live here (12 million in NYC), and of those, probably 1 million live in the U.S. Thus, as soon as you get outside the cities, Honduras is very open.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

- Excellent. There are 4-5 schools that Embassy employees send their kids too. We had a hard time choosing. For us, it came down to Del Campo and the American School. Both were better than the school I went to.

- That said, the schools are not nearly as hard or intensive as Arlington County schools. Our kids were a year ahead of the work they were doing in Arlington. Del Campo thus created and tailored some "advanced" (Arlington = normal) classes for our three boys.

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2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

- Del Campo is accomodating.

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3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

- Yes. US$300 / month for our 3 year old.

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4. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

- Our boys play on a local baseball team. It is okay, but certainly not like organized sports in the U.S. There is also swimming and futbol.

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

- Small. Good morale. Few dip events or national days.

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2. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

- Mall, movies, hiking, bars, restaurants.

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3. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

- It is an okay city for families. They are numerous restaurants, movies, malls, and easy getaways outside Tegu, but not much open space in the city.

- Singles... I wouldn't find it very dynamic for the dating and party scene, but there are some bars and clubs.

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4. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

- Unknown. We haven't seen many signs of it.

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5. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

- Not much, but the Latino men do honk, leer and cat call at women.

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6. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

- Day trips to the jungle north of Lago Yajoa, Yuscaran and Amapala. We found Roatan slightly overrated, but worth going if you're a small family (cheaper - we have 4 kids).

- The people. We have Honduran friends. This isn't always the case. We didn't, for example, find the Senegalese particularly friendly (but their Gambian cousins are!).

- The weather.

- The hills of Tegucigalpa are pretty at night.

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7. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

- Lago Yajoa, Yuscaran, Tigres, San Jacito, Amapala.

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8. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

- Not many handicrafts.

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9. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

- The weather is perfect. Better than Southern California. Very pleasant.

- The people are friendly. Hondurans are very nice and much more culturally similar to Americans than the previous African or Indian posts we had.

- You get the exotic parts of living abroad, like the food, jungle, beach... and the benefits of the USA, like same time zone, Costco, Chilis (etc), movie theaters, watching American football....

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10. Can you save money?

- Yes. Local food is cheap.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

- Yes. We like it alot and are happy.

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2. But don't forget your:

- Flip flops.

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3. Recommended movies/DVDs related to this city:

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4. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

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5. Do you have any other comments?

We like Tegu. We're a family of six with 4 kids and 2 dogs.

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Tegucigalpa, Honduras 08/11/15

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

Not my first expat experience

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

Washington State.

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3. How long have you lived here?

One year

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

Foreign service

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Most houses are nice, but there are exceptions.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Most everything is available here, but imported foods are expensive, as are clothes and other consumer goods, electronics etc.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

More summer clothes.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

Most fast food is available, and there are nice restaurants. U.S. prices.

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

Ants, mosquitoes, cockroaches.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

DPO

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Easily available, full time house keeper costs around US$300/mo (they customarily get two extra months pay each year, plus an extra months pay in the end for each year they worked.) Gardener costs US$25 each time, he does everything in the yard plus washes the car for that.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

Yes; the Embassy and US AID have nice gyms; there are some around town but I haven't visited them.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

I don't use ATM outside the Embassy, but have used credit and debit cards without problems.

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5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

None that I know of.

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6. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

It helps to know some, most people don't seem to know English.

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7. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

Yes, roads are uneven and unsafe.

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

No. You can use a vetted taxi, but no other form of public transportation in the city. Lots of violence and robberies on public buses, and white taxes are unsafe.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

High clearance would help sometimes, but there are all kinds of cars and vans here. Windows need to be tinted for your safety.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Yes.

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Tigo is what we use, it works fine.

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

No.

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2. What volunteer opportunities are available locally?

Many. Lots of orphanages, hospital donations, school donations.

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3. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Dressy at work, nice casual in public.

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

Yes! You cannot walk outside, you have to drive your car with tinted windows and stay in certain safer areas.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Mosquito born illnesses, chikunguya is going around as well as dengue. Food borne illness, you have to disinfect the produce and avoid salads when eating out.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

OK, except during the burn season when it's smoky.

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4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Tropical weather. There's rainy season, but it's been a dry year and it hasn't rained much.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

There are several, American School, Del Campo, Discovery and Dowal all have embassy kids attending. We have experience with the American and Discovery schools. American school has a problem with bullying, and while Discovery is smaller, it happens there too. Most students are local elite, and social scene for teens revolves around alcohol.

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2. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

Yes, Happy Faces was a good experience with caring teachers and somewhat large outdoor play area. Some people use Abejitas.

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3. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

Soccer, for boys (in Spanish), gymnastics. Schools have some sports for middle and high school aged kids.

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

Good sized community. People seem to handle it OK but are ready to leave when their time is up.

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2. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

Movies, restaurants.

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3. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

Maybe families with very young children. I would not recommend it for families with teens.

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4. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

Fresh tropical fruits, flowers blooming year round in my yard.

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5. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

Travel to Roatan, El Salvador, Copan ruins.

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6. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

Lenca pottery, local wood work, locally made leather purses.

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7. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

Weather is nice.

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8. Can you save money?

Maybe, if you buy local foods only and don't travel.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?

I wish I would have known what the local teen culture is like; I don't think I would have brought a teen here had I known.

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2. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

No.

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3. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

Winter clothes. It gets a little chilly in December, maybe down to 50 degrees.

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4. But don't forget your:

Bug spray

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5. Do you have any other comments?

Honduras is a beautiful country, but it's so unsafe and corrupt that it makes it hard to enjoy all that it has to offer.

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Tegucigalpa, Honduras 07/15/15

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

Only studied/interned abroad before.

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

Chicago, ~7 hours with connections.

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3. How long have you lived here?

I've been here for one year.

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

U.S. Embassy work.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Housing is decent, but there is barbed wire and bars even on the windows of my third floor apartment due to security standards. The housing can also be not so decent in certain instances: I've heard of leaky roofs, insect infestations, etc. Commute time is no more than 15 minutes from any Embassy residence if one leaves before major traffic begins.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Vegetables and fruits are cheap, but imported products can be much more expensive than relatively good Honduran counterparts. Seafood can be cheaper here, but not shrimp.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

Trader Joe's stuff and certain spices that are hard to find here. Generally, however, you can get whatever is needed here as long as it is not for the more complex meals.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

The good restaurants are at US prices. I'm a picky eater, so I don't really go to the middle range or fast food restaurants.

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

Not many in my apartment, though I've heard of a few problems from those who have houses.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

Through the Embassy DPO.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Very cheap. For me it's $90 a month for someone to come 2 days a week full time to clean my apartment.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

There's a Gold Gym and a Crossfit, as well as some local gyms. USAID and the Embassy also have gyms.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

I have only used the ATM at the Embassy, as well as (extremely rarely) those at the Intercontinental Hotel and the Mall Multiplaza. I experienced the first debit card fraud ever in my life here.

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5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

Most religious services that I've heard of are in Spanish. I haven't heard of any English-speaking congregations here in Tegus. That might be more common in the north of the country.

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6. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

Not much if you are hanging out with Americans all the time. It's extremely useful to have Spanish if you want to interact more with the local population. In many cases it's required.

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7. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

Absolutely. The terrain is mountainous, and I haven't seen any special accommodations for the disabled except for the occasional reserved parking spot.

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Vetted taxis are essential. Sometimes I use a private company in a pinch or when I have to go a long distance and don't feel like paying the inflated prices of vetted taxis. Public transportation and white taxis are to be avoided for safety reasons.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

One that you don't mind getting beat up.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Yes it is, and it is relatively cheap (around $50/month).

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

The Embassy provides work cell phones, although it's easy and cheap to have a personal plan or a SIM card.

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

No and yes.

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

I don't think so.

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2. What volunteer opportunities are available locally?

Many.

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3. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Formal at the Embassy, casual in public.

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

Absolutely. It's a part of daily life here and cannot be ignored or avoided. I cannot just walk to the neighborhood cafe that's just five minutes away without making sure I have around 100 lempiras in my pocket with my other valuables in other places (like my phone in my sock, credit cards in another sock, etc.) in case I get robbed. There are some people who occasionally walk to the Embassy from their homes, but they certainly do so at their own risk.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Dengue and Chikungunya are common, even in Tegucigalpa. Medical care varies, but there are a couple of decent places in Tegus.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Decent, except when people burn things during the Spring (makes me cough a lot).

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4. What do people who suffer from environmental or food allergies need to know?

People burn the bush here in the spring, so watch out because it can get really smoggy.

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5. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

The weather in Tegucigalpa is almost always temperate. There are a few hotter and/or rainier days, but generally it's eternal spring here.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

I'm single, but I've heard that the American School, Discovery School, and DelCampo International are the most used.

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2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

Not sure about this at all.

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3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

No experience in this either, although I've heard that Abejitas and Happy Faces are used often.

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4. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

I don't have any experience in this area.

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

The expat community here is fairly sizable. On the American end, morale can fluctuate based on who you speak to. Some people here like it (though very few REALLY like it), and some people do not like being here so much. Overall, there's a general feeling of OK-ness. The ambassador is nice/cool, so that helps things along a bit I think.

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2. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

Going out to the same restaurants over and over again, and occasionally going to some of the subpar clubs/bars.

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3. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

For families it can actually be better, since they already have a built-in social network upon arriving home. For single people, social isolation can set in. I consider myself pretty outgoing, but sociality here (both among locals and American expats at least) revolves mainly around the family. Although for families that actually like getting out of the house, this place could be tough as well.

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4. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

There are actually three gay bars (that I know of) in Tegus, and they are not underground or really sketchy. At least two of them are frequented by even a lot of straight people from my experience. However, it's been personally hard for me to make good LGBT friends around my own age here, as eventually I've almost always been asked for money. Overall, there is a weak social gay scene here, and I don't venture out too much --- and that's not from lack of wanting to. It's because I don't know who I can and cannot trust, and I don't feel like spending my time sniffing it out.

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5. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

There are some nascent issues in these areas here, but they are not extremely obvious or overpowering to someone who is living as an expat.

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6. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

Unfortunately, there have not been too many highlights.

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7. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

In Tegus there are not really any 'hidden gems' that I've noticed. Roatan, Tela, and La Ceiba are known for tourism. The one '"hidden gem" that I can think of might be the island of Amapala, although even the best hotel there is subpar.

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8. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

Lenca pottery is a favorite of mine.

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9. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

The weather is nice in Tegucigalpa. Roatan, La Ceiba, and Tela in the north are fun, and one can find relatively cheap flights up to those places for weekend/holiday getaways.

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10. Can you save money?

If you never travel anywhere (not too improbable) and cook for yourself (also very likely after getting tired of the same restaurants constantly), then yes.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?

The effects of crime on movement.

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2. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

Absolutely not

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3. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

high expectations.

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4. But don't forget your:

flask.

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5. Do you have any other comments?

If you're a single person, avoid this place. There might be a cool group of people already at post for you to hang out with, but more often than not, that group is not there or you don't know about it.

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Tegucigalpa, Honduras 12/23/14

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

Besides study abroad, this is my first time living abroad.

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2. How long have you lived here?

Newly arrived mid-2014.

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3. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

U.S. Embassy work.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

The housing is ok.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

You can find most things here that you would in the U.S. give or take a few specialized items like certain spices, etc. that we just order online.

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3. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

The good restaurants are at DC/New York prices, the decent restaurants are sometimes ok, the fast food is awful in my opinion.

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4. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

Not many for me, but then again I live in a newer building. Some colleagues have not been so lucky.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

APO/DPO.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Cheap, though you have to be careful that you are not being paying waaay too much (Embassy workers, however, should expect to pay more than the locals would for a seasoned worker used to working with Embassy families). You also should take extra care to ensure that your help is trustworthy.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

Yes, there are many.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

I've only used an outside ATM--at a bank--once. Because of the security environment and people here doing really shady things, I withdraw money for the weekend when I'm at the Embassy.

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5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

I'm not sure, though I'm sure there must be some.

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6. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

It helps to know Spanish--part of many singles' social barrier here is not really knowing Spanish. Knowing Spanish has made it more comfortable to get outside of the American bubble for a bit.

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7. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

Yes. Tegucigalpa is mountainous/hilly, and there aren't too many accomodations besides the special parking spots (occasionally).

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Nope, not unless you are looking to get mugged or worse. There have been many reports of people getting into taxis that have subsequently been driven from ATM to ATM and forced to withdraw all their money until they have no more in the account. There are shootings on public buses. We take vetted taxis.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Preferably a car that you won't mind getting scratched up if you will be here for a while--the driving here is really aggressive. Most people here get their windows tinted upon arrival to post, and most Hondurans have their windows tinted as well.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Internet's ok.

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

No, Tigo and Claro seem to work fine.

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

View All Answers


Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

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2. What volunteer opportunities are available locally?

There are a lot--if those volunteer opportunities are safe is a different question.

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3. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Professional at work, casual in public.

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

YES. Watching your back is a consistent feature of life here. It's not possible to really get around anywhere without taxis.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

I've heard of dengue fever happening to people here; malaria is a concern on the North coast.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

It always seems pretty good to me.

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4. What do people who suffer from environmental or food allergies need to know?

Doesn't seem that there's much here to be worried about on that end.

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5. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

The weather is very temperate it seems, even in the summer.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

I don't have children, though I've heard of the American School, DelCampo, and Discovery School being three of the best ones.

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2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

I'm not sure, though I feel that I've heard that there aren't many accomodations/programs for special-needs children.

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3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

Not sure, though many of my colleagues have domestic staff who help with childcare from what I've heard.

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4. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

It seems that there are.

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

The expat community seems to be very small, minus the American presence. It's hard to connect with other expats outside of the American bubble.

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2. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

Movies, the mall, there are some bars here.

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3. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

For me, no, and other singles that I've talked to have seemed to share this opinion. It seems that families cope better here (it is a post made up mostly of families). We can't go outside a lot because it's dangerous, so families have built-in company when they get home. The few singles that are here aren't so lucky. And many of those few singles are very afraid to go out except to a literal handful of places due to possible security repurcussions, real or imagined.

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4. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

Not at all, although it could be worse--there could be no visible LGBT life here whatsoever, which does happen in many countries.

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5. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

There are under the surface racial issues. There are stark gender inequalities for sure, though not as many as one would imagine. No religious problems from what I've seen.

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6. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

There have not been many highlights for me although there are some ok restaurants and bars here.

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7. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

Valle de Angeles and Santa Lucia are quaint little tourist towns. Other than that, not many things to do if you're not an outdoorsy/hiking type of person.

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8. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

Lenca pottery!

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9. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

The climate is very nice. It's also possible to save some money here--if you don't travel much, as flights out of Tegucigalpa are very expensive.

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10. Can you save money?

Yes, if you don't travel--which, let's face it, you wouldn't not travel if you were here.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?

Although people are nice here, everything seems to be about a hustle and/or getting something out of you. Very few relationships with local people feel genuine to me.

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2. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

I didn't have a choice in coming here; if I knew what I knew now I would be kicking and screaming along the way!

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3. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

High expectations. Having lower expectations of life here will make the disappointment less stinging.

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Tegucigalpa, Honduras 10/13/14

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

5th tour.

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

USA. Flights are frequent but can be very expensive. Two hours to Miami.

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3. How long have you lived here?

3 years.

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

Embassy.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Housing is surprisingly pretty good and not too far except traffic can be very difficult at rush-hour.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Local products are relatively inexpensive; imported products are a bit more so it balances out.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

A bulletproof vest.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

Almost like being in the United States; all the fast food is here.

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

Dengue fever.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

DPO.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Plentiful , good and skilled, if you speak Spanish.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

There are two gyms at the Embassy and AID. There are also many local options available.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Use the ones at the Embassy or the international hotels.

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5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

Almost all you would see in the United States.

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6. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

It would be very difficult to call yourself a diplomat in this country and not be able to speak Spanish.

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7. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

Somewhat due to the topography it's very hilly even though many buildings have ADA items.

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

You would take your life into your hands if you got on a public bus.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

All the American and Japanese vehicle companies are here. Service is pretty good and prices are fair.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Cable color is good.

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Many deals; prices are competitive.

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

There was favoritism with the previous administration; hopefully the new management will be more fair.

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2. What volunteer opportunities are available locally?

Numerous; varied and abundant.

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3. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

Yes, many - especially if you don't speak Spanish well.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Dysentery and diarrhea can be frequent and prevalent if you don't take proper hygiene precautions.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Moderate.

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4. What do people who suffer from environmental or food allergies need to know?

The farmers burn the fields once a year and it causes a lot of dust smog and smoke for a couple of months.

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5. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Similar to Guatemala but a little warmer.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

Good.

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2. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

Yes.

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

Embassy has grown quite a bit in the last five years; unfortunately, the supporting areas have not grown to keep up with the growth of all the officers.

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2. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

Hiking, fishing and lakes are relatively close.

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3. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

For singles and couples yes; it can be difficult for children especially teenagers if they're not security conscious.

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4. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

Not too much.

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5. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

Not significantly.

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6. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

Climate.

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7. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

Valley of the Angels and Santa Lucia.

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8. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

Wood-working leather-working painting, arts and crafts, relatively inexpensive local food.

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9. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

Climate.

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10. Can you save money?

Yes.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?

The embassy has grown beyond its ability to support many areas.

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2. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

No.

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3. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

Winter clothes.

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4. But don't forget your:

Hat.

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Tegucigalpa, Honduras 09/07/14

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

No, I have spent many years all over the world.

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

Miami is about 3 hours as is Houston.

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3. How long have you lived here?

3 years.

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

U.S. embassy.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Housing varies.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Available and reasonable.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

None really. And some prescrption meds are cheaper here.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

Too many fast food places :) Some very good steak places.

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

Sugar ants we could never get rid of.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

DPO/APO.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Quality is spotty and gringos end up paying much more than locals if they aren't careful. We discovered after we left that our maid had been stealing lost of laundry detergent from us for all of the 3 years we had her.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

Many.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Safe in general but it's best to use inside ATMs.

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5. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

Some.

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

NO. Although the Pullman bus to El Salvador and Guatemala is safe and very nice.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Any type is fine.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Getting it set up is a pain due to poor customer service but good after: US$80 for 5mb with TV.

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

We use Mission provider.

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

No. Great care.

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

Hiring at the Embassy was neither fair nor transparent but with a new management that may change.

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2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

You will see few men in shorts.

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

OH YES!!!!!

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Dengue. Embassy nurse seems to be closed all the time so call ahead.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Mostly good.

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4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Very nice in general.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

Most kids go to the American School. I found though that the kids there have a drinking culture, even in 9th grade where Juniors and Seniors will attend parties and bring alcohol and the school head won't address the problem, probably for fear of upsetting the rich Hondurans.

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2. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

Yes, but it depends on the school.

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

Medium, and morale really varies.

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2. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

BBQs, dining out, trips.

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3. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

Not for families -- too dangerous to go outside and bike or walk.

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4. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

No.

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5. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

Roatan, trips to Antigua.

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6. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

The climate.

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7. Can you save money?

YES unless you go on a lot of trips.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

YES. The new Ambassador has improved the morale at post.

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Tegucigalpa, Honduras 08/18/14

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

With State, yes.

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

Home base is NYC but we flew from ATL, easy short flight less than 4 hours.

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3. How long have you lived here?

2010-2012.

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

State Department.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Embassy Housing pool was fine, mostly in the neighborhood of Lomas del Guijarro. We loved our house. Great location close to mall multiplaza. 10 minute drive to the Embassy.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

You can get pretty much anything you want here, comparable to U.S. prices. Imported goods are more but local stuff is cheaper so it balances out.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

None, all available here.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

Every single fast food place you can think of; it's fast food paradise. All cheap. Applebees, Chilis, Ruby Tuesday, Los Cebollines. Good local restaurants are few and far between but the standouts are excellent.

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

Mosquitos. Dengue fever is a problem.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

Dpo, pouch. Local mail is nonexistent.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Cheap and easy to find. Good and bad are abundant, check references!

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

Embassy (crappy) USAID (better) Cybex.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

You can use them everywhere. Be mindful of phishing scams though, check your account activity often.

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5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

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6. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

Lots. Nobody in the service industry speaks English.

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7. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

Yes. No wheelchair access at all.

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Nope. Don't use public transport.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Something with decent ground clearance because the roads are bad with many missing man hole covers.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Yes, best is Cable Color. U.S. prices.

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Tigo, Claro. Embassy has a plan with Tigo you can get a discount.

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

Kennels no. There are some, none of which we found to be acceptable. Vets yes, we had good experiences. No quarantine.

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

Not really.

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2. What volunteer opportunities are available locally?

Orphanages are always looking for volunteers.

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3. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Business for work, casual everywhere else.

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

Lots if you aren't careful. Teguc is dangerous though not bad for Americans, provided you stay in decent areas and keep your wits about you. Common sense goes a long way here.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Dengue fever. Honduras medical center is the good hospital I was treated there for kidney stones, it was fine and cheap. My son broke his wrist and they handled it perfectly. Not all the doctors speak English though.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Bad during April "burning season" but otherwise fine.

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4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Perfect. Around 80F year round. Some storms during rainy season.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

Lots of options. I can think of at least 6 off the top of my head. American school, Discovery school, Del Campo, Pinares, Dowal School, French school...plenty to choose from. Our son went to Discovery and loved it.

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2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

I've heard Del Campo is the best for this.

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3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

Discovery and Dowal lots of others, we did not have personal experience with this.

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4. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

Through school and if their Spanish is good, sign them up for local soccer.

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

Mostly diplomats, missionaries, teachers at the International schools. Expat community is small and moral depends. When we were there, it was low.

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2. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

Restaurants, movies. Not a lot of safe entertainment.

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3. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

Yes.

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4. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

No.

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5. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

Not that I've seen but people are fairly conservative here.

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6. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

We loved the school, dog friendly, inexpensive vet care, nice people.

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7. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

Roatan, Valle de Angeles, delicious restaurants (la ghitonna, ginos, torre de pizza, gelatin show).

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8. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

Lenca pottery, carved wood furniture, vacations to the bay islands.

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9. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

Roatan! Awesome weather!

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10. Can you save money?

Yes if you are careful.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?

The availability of American products. I brought things like A-1 steak sauce which you can easily find here.

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2. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

In a heartbeat.

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3. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

Winter coat.

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4. But don't forget your:

Sunglasses! Good attitude.

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Tegucigalpa, Honduras 06/03/14

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

No. Africa.

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

About 3 hours from Houston.

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3. How long have you lived here?

3 years.

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

Employment.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

10 to 20 minutes from most housing.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Reasonable.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

Nothing really.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

Sadly, there are many fast food places but also a good variety of other options.

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

Few.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

DPO.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Quality is sketchy.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

Yes AID and Embassy.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Safe in Mission or inside a bank.

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5. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

You do need some Spanish but can learn here.

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6. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

YES!!!!!

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

NO. Yes.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Any.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Yes, but go with Cable Color as other companies have poor customer service.

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Use Embassy plan?

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What volunteer opportunities are available locally?

Many.

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2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Suit and tie.

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

Security around the Embassy was bad but they have added guards.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Few in Tegu.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Depends on the time of year.

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4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Great.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

View All Answers


2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

View All Answers


3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

View All Answers


Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

Medium. Varied.

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2. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

Clubbing, BBQs.

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3. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

Ok for single guys.

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4. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

Don't think so.

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5. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

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6. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

Touring.

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7. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

Copan, Roatan.

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8. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

Not much except local pottery.

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9. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

The Copan ruins and the beaches.

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10. Can you save money?

Yes, if you don't take too many trips.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?

Embassy parking under the current management has absolutely no logic -- many officers are on the street or paying US$80 to park in lots while several secretaries have free parking inside. And the CLO has a reserved parking spot outside. Apparently parking used to make sense here so I am not sure what happened.

EFM hiring is perceived as unfair and apparently people have been hired even though they have flunked language tests so don't count on your MOH or EFM getting a job.

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2. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

Not sure.

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3. But don't forget your:

Patience. Defensive driving skills.

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Tegucigalpa, Honduras 03/24/14

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

No. I've also lived in Africa and Latin America.

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

U.S.A. About 3 hours to MIA or IAH.

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3. How long have you lived here?

3 years.

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

Government work.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

All types, from ok to good. Commutes range from 7 to 30 minutes depending on yor location.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Fruits, veggies, and seafood seem cheaper than the U.S. but most other things are more expensive.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

Not much really.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

All kinds of fast food is available as are some good Chinese options in addition to good sushi and steak places.

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

Sugar ants, some cockroaches.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

DPO.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

It is available and runs around US$200 plus lunch for 5 days a week.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

Yes.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Safest to use the ones at work or inside a bank.

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5. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

Some.

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6. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

DEFINITELY.

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

NO, unless you use a recommended taxi driver.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Any type of car is fine for driving; be aware that you may have to wait on parts for some models.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

US$89 for full TV and 5mb internet.

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Mission has a special plan for families.

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

NO. There is good pet care available.

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

Not really.

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2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Varies wiht the job.

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

Many, and oddly enough the areas right in front of and across the street from the Embassy and USAID are probably the most dangerous place for an American employee as it is one of the most likely places for you to be robbed or have your car broken into. They have guards but they don't patrol --- they just sit in air-conditioned booths and watch out the windows.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Occasionally there are Dengue Fever reports; seasonal colds.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Genrally ok but during "burning season" it can be smokey and you can actually get ash inside your house even with the windows closed.

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4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Generally nice.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

3 schools are generally used. They're all ok, none are great.

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2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

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3. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

Medium? Morale seems to vary -- many seem happy here and I guess some are miserable. I thinkg the miserable ones are first timers overseas or people who have only done first world in the past.

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2. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

Go to a restaurant/bar for happy hour as a group, small BBQs.

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3. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

Ok for families with small kids, singles, or couples. Not so good for teenagers.

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4. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

No.

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5. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

I don't believe so.

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6. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

Trips to Roatan, Antigua, and Guatemala.

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7. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

Tourism to the North coast (Roatan, Tela, etc.). Trips to Copan or Antigua.

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8. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

Perhaps tourism. Weather is nice. Not much else.

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9. Can you save money?

You can if you limit your road trips to tourist spots.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

Yes.

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2. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

Coat.

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3. But don't forget your:

Patience when driving.

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Tegucigalpa, Honduras 01/19/14

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

South America (Chile, Santiago 3 years) and visited Argentina and Brazil. In Africa, lived in Ivory Cost, South Africa ( 3 years) and visited Tanzania, Ghana.

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

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3. How long have you lived here?

3 years (left 2012).

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

U.S. Government.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

For us, housing was ok; some embassy housing units need a lot of repairs because of poor building quality. Most of houses are two or three floors with small yards. The location close to the mountainside of the city has better security. Most housing is about 15 minutes from the center.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

It's generally good - maybe 20% more than you would pay in the U.S. There's a good supply of fresh fruits and vegetables and very good priced seafood. Be aware though that you must be careful to disinfect: peel or cook all fruits or vegetables before consumption.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

Local supermarkets carry many U.S. products for a higher price. Bring gourmet spices or salsas if you like to cook. For Thanksgiving, will need your canned pumpkin. Also bring clothing as formal wear is expensive. Don't forget to stock up on mosquito repellant.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

Fast food - Hondurans love it. It's all here: McDonald's, Burger King, Pizza Hut, KFC, Popeye's, Dunking Donuts, and Wendy's.

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

A lot of mosquitoes, small ants, and ticks in the countryside and some backyards in the city.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

DHL, FEDEX.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Plentiful and very good - around US$250/ per month for 8 hours of work a day. Make sure to go through recommendations.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

There's only one Gold's Gym - about US$125 per month. There are no public facilities except for Villa Olimpica, but those are in poor conditions.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

It's better not to use credit cards.

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5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

I know of Union Church - an interdenominational Cristian Church.

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6. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

You must learn Spanish to survive here.

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7. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

Yes - many difficulties. There are no sidewalks for starters...

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

I have never used the public transportation. Taxis are available.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

We brought a Nissan but 4X4's are the best options since the terrain is very bad. Do not bring anything fancy to avoid carjackings.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Yes, generally good access - about US$125 per month (including TV).

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Good providers are Tigo and Claro - but again be very careful as robbers will kill for cellphones.

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

It is a process to bring your pets in and out of the country. Our dogs was mistreated by the veterinarian. Take many precautions with parasites and ticks. There are no good kennels or vets that I can find. It's better to pay your housekeeper at home to take care of your animals when you are on leave. Quarantines are not necessary.

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

Very few.

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2. What volunteer opportunities are available locally?

A lot of NGOs targeting education (kids only go to school 100 days a year in the public system), orphanages, recover centers, etc.

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3. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

For women - blouses and skirts, casual dresses. For men - lightweight woolen suits in medium or dark tones.

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

Yes. Honduras has one of the highest violent crime rates in Latin America. You will need to observe heightened security precautions e.g., home alarm systems, traveling in groups, driving in caravans, avoiding some areas, etc.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Very good medical care - many specialists are using U.S. guidelines and some have graduated from U.S. universities. There are three excellent hospitals.

Health concerns: tap water is likely to be contaminated. Bottled water or boiled water is recommended for drinking and brushing teeth, making ice, etc. Vegetables frequently carry gastrointestinal bacteria and parasites.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

In general, it's good.

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4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

There are only two seasons in Honduras: the rainy season from May to November and the dry season from November to May. The temperature in Honduras differs substantially by elevation (cooler at higher altitudes further inland). In Tegucigalpa, the weather is close to perfect (75-80F).

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

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2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

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3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

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4. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

NO, except through some of the private schools.

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Expat Life:

1. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

BBQs at home, eating out.

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2. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

No for families ; ok for singles and couples.

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3. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

NO.

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4. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

Generally it's ok.

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5. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

Community services, you can really do a lot .

Travel to Roatan,(Caribbean) - the largest of the Bay Islands and offers the most services for travelers and locals alike. In my opinion, Roatan, is the best island for vacation. Roatan, has about 40,000 friendly, outgoing inhabitants who speak Spanish and English.

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6. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

There is not much to do in the city but there are a few good restaurants (e.g., Honduran Restaurant "El Patio" and one good Lebanese Restaurant in a small shopping center called Los Castanos) and lots of fast food. If you are looking for more entertainment, you need to leave the city and head to places like Valle de Angeles, a small traditional town.

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7. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

Fresh fruit, seafood (and lobsters!)

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8. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

Close to the U.S. - only 2 hours flying time to Miami.

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9. Can you save money?

YES.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?

Crime.

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2. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

NO.

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3. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

Your pets - trust me, it's the better option.

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4. But don't forget your:

Mosquito net, air conditioning, cosmetic products, clothing, medications.

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5. Recommended movies/DVDs related to this city:

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6. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

The Bay Islands of Honduras and Le Honduras: Difficile emergence d'une nation, d'un Etat (Collection "Hommes et societes") (French Edition)

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Tegucigalpa, Honduras 10/24/13

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

Lived all over.

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

Miami or Houston, 2 1/2 to 3 hours?

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3. How long have you lived here?

3 years.

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

USG work.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Mostly hosues some apartments.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

I would say reasonable.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

Wild Rice?

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

Almost all fast food sadly plus a couple of good steak houses and sushi and chinese places.

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

Not too bad where I live.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

Yes, DPO here.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Reasonable if you get one who has worked for locals only, but it can be expensive if you get one who has worked for gringos.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

AID and Embassy have gyms.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

It's safe at bigger stores and nicer restaurants. AID and Embassy have ATM.

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5. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

It helps but you can also pick it up here.

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6. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

YES, YES. Few useable sidewalks, little is accessible.

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Not safe at all except for embassy listed drivers/companies, except for Pullmatour buses to El Sal, and Guat, which are safe, and great.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Any kind. I have 4x4 and have never, ever needed to use it in or out of town. My wife has a sedan with no problems at all, she jus thas to drive slower around potholes.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Yes, some companies are good and cheap.

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Go through the embasy plan for official and personal mail.

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

No. Excellent local care!

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

Not really.

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2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Depends on your job really. Most wear at least a tie, but some do enjoy casual Fridays.

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

MANY, MANY.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Dengue, malaria in other parts of the country.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Once a year they burn on the outskirts of the city which can cause respiratory problems.

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4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Excellent in general.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

The American School is good in general although some put their younger kids in Discovery for some reason. As my daughter is now in High School I've unfortunately discovered that there is a local custom here where at 9th grade AS private parties 11th and 12th graders show up and bring booze. I reported this to the school but they do not care to address this problem as it is off campus; in fact they told me that even chauffeurs will buy it for the kids to bring to parties and sometimes parents even supply it to the kids.

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2. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

Yes.

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

Medium? I alwys thought morale was pretty good here, it is for me and my friends; but seeing some of the other posters I guess for some people this place sucks.

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2. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

BBQs and happy hours at houses or at a local pub.

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3. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

Well, due to the security concerns I'd say no to all.

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4. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

Visiting Roatan, Copan, Antigua Guatemal, San Salvador.

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5. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

See a previous question.

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6. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

None really.

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7. Can you save money?

Yes, if you don't spend it on the beach trips.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

I would, but I'm a bit off :)

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2. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

Bicycle.

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3. But don't forget your:

Kindle.

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Tegucigalpa, Honduras 06/24/13

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

No, I've spent many years overseas.

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

Miami. 2 1/2 hours?

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3. How long have you lived here?

3 years and recently left.

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

USG

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Houses with small yards for the most part, and a couple apartments.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Almost everything is here.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

Not much.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

Almost all the fast food groups are here except tacos by Bell :) Also some good seafood and steak places.

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

Few household insect problems but there can be dengue issues -- although most of that is not in areas where we live and work.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

DPO -- mail comes in 3 x a week on average.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Readily available, reasonably priced but, if you inherit one who has worked for another mission memeber before, plan on paying more, for less work, than if she came from a local employer.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

AID and embassy both have gyms, plus there are commercial gyms.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

In my experience it is safe, although I only use mine at big stores.

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5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

Yes.

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6. English-language newspapers and TV available? Cost?

No, yes. Cable/5mb internet packages for $75 per mo.

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7. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

I think it really helps to have some.

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8. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

Many -- very few intact sidewalks.

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Yes. But only "radio taxis" are approved.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Any type really -- but roads are bad. So if you have a sedan, plan on going through shocks and brakes more quickly than if you had an SUV.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

View All Answers


2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Go through the embassy provider to get the best deal.

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

No.

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2. Quality pet care available (vets & kennels)?

Yes.

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

Few.

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2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Work ranges between suits and khakis. In public, you don't see many guys in shorts unless they're gringos :)

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

YES. Although I feel safe at home and at work, and while driving with tinted windows, I look out my peephole before I leave the house, and I look around very well before I get out of my parked car. No walking or jogging recommended, day or night, in most areas.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Nothing major in Tegu.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Most of the year it's ok, but a certain time of year they burn vegetation outside of Tegu and the smoke and cinders come into town.

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4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

In general I'd say nice.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

Am School is ok and has either AP or IB programs. One of the middle-school teachers came across as biased towards locals, and another was teaching a subject she wasn't trained in. Middle school principal also seemed biased towards locals. There are a lot of rich kids with drivers there though, so your own kids might not fit in perfectly in terms of getting to go places day or night like the local kids. Mine have been fairly content. My oldest though, left after one year. He didn't get bullied, but he felt that their curriculum wasn't strong enough to get into a top-tier school.
Most folks with kids at the Discover School seem happy, although most of the kids that go there arein the lower grades.

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2. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

Yes, AmSchool has sports, and there is or was a kids' softball game on Saturdays.

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

Small?

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2. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

BBQs, house parties, happy hours.

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3. Morale among expats:

I'd say ok to good.

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4. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

I don't know that it's a good city for families, as due to security there is not much to do in the city for families -- except the mall, movies, and restuarants. There is a small club scene.

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5. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

Roatan, Tela, and the beaches in El Salvador.

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6. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

Beaches and resorts on either coast. Valle de Angeles is a small town with resutarants where it's safe to walk around.

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7. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

Beach trips?

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8. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

Everything is very close together for most people -- work, home, school, groceries, mall, theater.

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9. Can you save money?

YES.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

YES.

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2. Do you have any other comments?

Bring your patience. Shipping and customs are horrible here, so immediately upon arrival, ask about your shipments and stay on them on a weekly basis until you get everything. Voucher processing is also horribly slow, so you will need to follow up with them, too, starting at about the two week mark.

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Tegucigalpa, Honduras 06/10/13

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

No.

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

3+ hours to Houston, Atlanta, Miami (and that is pretty much it, not many places you can go from Teguc)

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3. How long have you lived here?

2 years 2010-12.

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

US Embassy.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Good housing. We had a 5-20 min commute, depending on traffic

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Everything is available, though some things can be expensive. Electronics are costly.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

You can pretty much get anything there. But bring all electronics/luxuries.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

Every US chain you can imagine is there. Local food is not very good, except pupusas. Not a lot of variety available.

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

Mosquitoes that carry dengue.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

DPO

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Available and affordable.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

There are two gyms at the embassy.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Plenty of people had their info stolen.

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5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

I think so.

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6. English-language newspapers and TV available? Cost?

Some US-style channels with some English programming/movies.

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7. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

You need to speak Spanish, though much of the population speaks some English learned during their time living in the US.

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8. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

Tons.

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

No. Just don't.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

SUV, 4x4 is helpful for exploring. Roads are awful.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Yes, fairly reasonable with many service outages, though normally short-term.

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Super cheap, even to call the US with a cell phone.

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

No.

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2. Quality pet care available (vets & kennels)?

We found a pretty good vet.

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

No, some teaching positions are available.

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2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Business at work.

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

Where do I start? Murder, robbery, gangs, narcos. This is the most dangerous country on the planet.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Dengue. Poor medical care in country.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Terrible during the burning season.

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4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Moderate, warm climate in the city. Nice weather mostly.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

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2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

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3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

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4. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

Medium.

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2. Morale among expats:

It was low and declining when I left.

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3. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

Depends. During our first year there were lots of parties and such. Mostly dinners and house parties -- Marine House stuff. Some go to local bars here and there.

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4. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

No.

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5. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

No, they murder them there.

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6. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

Typical Latin machismo.

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7. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

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8. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

In Teguc, nothing. There are a couple of nice mountain towns 15-45 mins away that are nice to visit, especially Valle de Los Angeles.

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9. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

Hammocks, travel to Roatan.

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10. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

Copan Ruins, beaches of the Bay Islands and that is about it.

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11. Can you save money?

Yes, if you don't only shop at the US-style stores

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Words of Wisdom:

1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

Never. No one should go to Honduras.

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2. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

Hope for mankind.

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3. But don't forget your:

Gun.

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Tegucigalpa, Honduras 04/29/13

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

No.

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

7 hours to DC via Miami or Houston.

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3. How long have you lived here?

2 years.

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

U.S. Embassy.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Mostly houses with small yards, scattered around the city. Traffic is often heavy, and commute time can vary from 15 to 45 minutes.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Locally available things (fruits, veggies, etc.) are very inexpensive.Imported things (high quality meats, cheeses, etc.) can be very expensive.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

Nothing.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

All major chains from the U.S. are here. The cost is about the same or maybe a bit more than in the U.S.

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

Mosquitoes that carry dengue fever. Large flying cockroaches.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

DPO.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Available and very affordable.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

Yes, within the city and also at the embassy.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

We only use the ATM at the embassy, but we have used a credit card at larger stores and restaurants. Our credit card was only compromised once while we have been here.

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5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

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6. English-language newspapers and TV available? Cost?

We have cable and get many cable channels in English.

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7. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

You must know Spanish.

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8. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Have never used them.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

A small SUV is ideal for navigating the tight spaces and potholes in the city and for driving on the dirt roads outside of town.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Yes, and it is pretty reliable.

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

You need at least one!

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

No.

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2. Quality pet care available (vets & kennels)?

Acceptable.

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

Not that i'm aware of.

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2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Business casual at work. Wearing long jeans when it's 85 degrees out is normal.

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

Yes. You can't walk around town at all. Drive only with tinted windows up at all times. Everyone seems to have a gun.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Dengue fever. The embassy health unit is very good. I'e heard good things about Honduras Medical Center.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Dirty, especially when they burn things (Feb - May).

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4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

The climate is absolutely perfect: not too hot, not too cool. During the rainy season it tends to rain at night

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

We have been very very happy with el Campo International School. We were very unhappy with Discovery School and have heard grumblings from many within the embassy community. We don't have personal experience with the American School, but we got the feeling that the very wealthy Honduran children go there and that bullying and behavioral problems exist.

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2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

Del Campo has a school within the school for special needs. I'm not sure that the other schools have any such options.

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3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

We were very happy with Happy Faces. There are many options, all very affordable.

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4. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

There is a community baseball program.

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

Medium.

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2. Morale among expats:

Also medium.

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3. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

Good.

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4. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

Acceptable for all.

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5. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

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6. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

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7. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

The beach!

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8. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

Beaches and ruins.

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9. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

Pewter items and Lenca pottery.

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10. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

The weather is fantastic, and domestic help is very affordable.

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11. Can you save money?

Yes, if you don't go to Roatan too often.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

Probably yes.

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2. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

winter coat.

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3. But don't forget your:

swimsuit.

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Tegucigalpa, Honduras 01/12/12

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

No, 12 others.

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

Miami is about 2 1/2 hours away or you can fly into Houston.

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3. How long have you lived here?

More than 2 years.

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

Work.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Mostly houses, although there are a few apartments. Houses are nice, but yards are usually small. Oddly no one has swimming pools, although this climate would be great for it.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

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5. What kinds of organic, vegetarian and allergy-friendly foods are available, such as organic produce, gluten-free products, meat substitutes for vegetarians, etc?

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6. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

Mosquitoes are a seasonal concern due to dengue, so we keep our windows closed during that season.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

View All Answers


3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

Most use facilities at the embassy or AID.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

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5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

View All Answers


6. English-language newspapers and TV available? Cost?

View All Answers


7. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

View All Answers


8. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

View All Answers


Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

View All Answers


2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

View All Answers


Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

A 5 mb internet bundled with tv and 2 movie packages runs about $78 per month.

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

View All Answers


Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

View All Answers


2. Quality pet care available (vets & kennels)?

View All Answers


Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

View All Answers


2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

View All Answers


Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

YES. High murder rate and though Americans aren't targets, there is the possibility that you could be in the wrong place at the wrong time when a shooting occurs -- innocent bystander type stuff. We feel safe at home -- we just keep our doors securely locked and take a good peek out before we leave the house. Also we only jog at approved places.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Good except when they burn the fields once a year.

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4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Weather is nice -- occasionally in the upper 80's but mainly in the mid to lower 80's. Not much rain, and when it does come, it's not for too long.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

View All Answers


2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

One school for special needs.

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3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

View All Answers


4. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

View All Answers


Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

View All Answers


2. Morale among expats:

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3. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

View All Answers


4. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

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5. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

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6. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

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7. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

Atlantic coast beaches, Pacific beaches, driving trips to El Salvador.

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8. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

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9. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

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10. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

This has been one of my best tours ever! Close commutes to work/school/stores which is awesome. LOTS of tourism opportunities in country and in neighboring countries. Groceries are reasonable. Weather is almost great. Yes, you can save money unless you like to travel a lot. The U.S. Embassy has a good group of folks, and morale is good.

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11. Can you save money?

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Words of Wisdom:

1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

Absolutely. I have already extended here.

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2. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

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3. But don't forget your:

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4. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

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5. Recommended movies/DVDs related to this city:

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6. Do you have any other comments?

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Tegucigalpa, Honduras 11/09/09

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

8th country in 21 years.

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

2 1/2 hours to Miami.

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3. How long have you lived here?

4 months.

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

U.S. Embassy.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

I hear housing is generally good but with small yards. We have a real nice house but yes, a small yard.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

I find prices reasonable here.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

Nada.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

All the U.S. fast and slow chains it seems.

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

A few mosquitoes.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

DPO (APO)

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Available and ours seems good. Price is reasonable.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

Yes, at the embassy, and there's at least one known gym -- but it's expensive.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Well, we've already had a debit card eaten in an ATM, but we use our cc's a lot with no problems.

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5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

Don't know, we go Spanish when we go.

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6. English-language newspapers and TV available? Cost?

Cable pretty good and cheap.

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7. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

Some.

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8. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

Well, the grocery stores and malls I've seen seemed handicap-accessible but I can't say much more. Sidewalks can be bad but you're really not supposed to be walking anyway.

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

You can only use "radio" taxis which are about $3 one way most places in the city.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

I'd say any kind -- you don't really need a 4X4 here. We have a 4X4, but a cheap, locally purchased sedan is the daily driver.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Mine is tied in with my cable package, and my 1mb circuit really seems to be 1mb. Fair price.

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Employees get one and can put their spouses on a plan.

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

No.

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2. Quality pet care available (vets & kennels)?

Yes.

View All Answers


Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

Don't know, but there are a fair number of EFM jobs for this size Mission.

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2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

At work the usual. In public, like a lot of latin countries, if you're a guy wearing short pants you may be the only guy doing so.

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Health & Safety:

1. Pollution index (Good, Moderate, Unhealthy, or Very Unhealthy)?

Moderate.

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2. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

We feel really safe here, but you do have to pay attention to your sorroundings.

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3. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

None that we know of and HU is good.

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4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Great weather.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

Discovery, which is considered good for lower grades, and American which is considered good academically for all grades -- but I think it is kind of closed socially to expats at the high-school level.

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2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

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3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

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4. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

At the American school, yes.

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

I'm kind of new but I'd say small.

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2. Morale among expats:

Good.

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3. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

Meeting for supper, BBQs at home.

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4. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

I think for all.

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5. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

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6. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

Not that I've seen.

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7. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

The carib beaches. The Pacific beaches. Copan. Soto Cano. El Salvador. In town there are lots of restaurants and a mall and theater for the kids.

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8. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

Trips, wood furniture, pottery.

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9. Can you save money?

Yes.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

Absolutely.

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2. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

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3. But don't forget your:

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4. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

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5. Recommended movies/DVDs related to this city:

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6. Do you have any other comments?

For some reason it takes most people a while to get into their houses. Nothing at all was done with my HHE/POV/UAB until I started asking, even though I found out later Miami Despatch had sent C&S here an e-mail a couple of weeks prior to my arrival saying it was ready to be forwarded to post. Start asking about your shipments your very first day.

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Tegucigalpa, Honduras 10/01/09

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

This is my first experience.

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2. How long have you lived here?

1 year, currently.

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3. Travel time and best routes to this city from Europe or the US:

The flights from Houston or Miami are around 2 hours.

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

U.S. Government, State Dept.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

All the embassy housing is pretty much in and around Lomas de Guijarros, which is generally considered the wealthy area of town. The houses tend to have plenty of space indoors but very small yards. We live in an older home that does have a decent yard, but the newer nicer houses have small outdoor spaces.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

You can find almost anything here. It's great. There is a Pricemart, which is a lot like Sam's Club, where you can get ground beef, chicken, fish, veggies, cereal, chips, detergent. They sell lots of American brands, and the prices are fairly comparable to those in the states. The regular grocery stores also have a lot of American brands for packaged foods like cereal, rice, and pasta sauce. You can find almost anything.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

You can get almost anything here. I might ship more clothes and shoes for the kids. The clothing isn't good quality and usually is expensive. If you have anything special that you like (for example, I love maple syrup and rotel tomatoes), you can ship that, but you can also order it on netgrocer.com.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonald's, Burger King, Dunkin Donuts, Baskin Robins, Church's chicken, Wendy's, Subway, Chili's, TGI Fridays, Applebees, Tony Romas. There are lots of decent american chains and great local restaurants, too. There isn't a lot of ethnic food, like Indian or Thai. There are lots of terrible chinese restaurants around. We found one good one that everyone goes to. It's called the "Mongolian Restaurant".

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

Mosquitoes are everywhere and they can carry dengue fever. However, my kids and I have been bitten many times without a problem. I have given up on getting rid of the ants in my kitchen.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

APO, you can't use local mail.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Cheap and good. We have had a great experience. We have a live-in nanny who takes care of my two kids, cleans, and cooks for 3500lps/mo ($185/mo). We also have a gardener who comes once every two weeks for $20/mo.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

Yes, the embassy and USAID have one that we can use. Some people are members of Cybex, but I think it's a little pricey.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

We always get our money from the bank at the embassy.

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5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

There are a few english churches (CCI and Union Church), but we go to Impacto and they have a translator that you can listen to with an earphone.

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6. English-language newspapers and TV available? Cost?

You can get great American TV here. All the major channels (CBS, NBC, and ABC) with the latest shows. Fox News and CNN are here also.

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7. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

You need some spanish. At least survival spanish.

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8. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

You drive everywhere, so as long as you are able to do that, you should be okay. The malls and many of the larger shopping areas have ramps and elevators. Small restaurants and small shops won't exactly be ADA compliant.

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

No, we can't use anything like that. There is a taxi company that the embassy recommends, but you would never pick one up on the streets.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

You need an SUV with good ground clearance. I know a family that had a minivan, and they said it was pretty much destroyed when they left. We have a Nissan Pathfinder and it is perfect.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

It's decent. I think we pay about $40/mo.

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

The embassy has a contract with Tigo. Inexpensive and everyone has one.

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

No.

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2. Quality pet care available (vets & kennels)?

Yes, there are some good vets who speak english.

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

I work part time in the consular section, but I would say overall it is difficult to find a job. I know a few teachers who sub at the American School or teach english.

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2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

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Health & Safety:

1. Pollution index (Good, Moderate, Unhealthy, or Very Unhealthy)?

Moderate to unhealthy. Depends on where you are. Down in the city where we live, it can be bad, especially around the embassy. But up at the ambassador's residence it seems clear. Depends on elevation. Cars are not maintained well and often emit tons of exhaust, so you have to keep your A/C on recirculate.

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2. What immunizations are required each year?

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3. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

Lots! Security greatly alters life in Tegucigalpa. You absolutely cannot walk anywhere, and your car's windows have to be rolled up all the time. Virtually everything you do is affected by the security problems here, especially right now since the coup. Tensions are high and there are protests all the time. So far nothing violent, but you have to stay alert.

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4. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Not great. I went back to the states to have my baby, but I know one military couple that had theirs here and were very happy. I wouldn't stay here for anything more than minor care. However, there is decent dental care for a cleaning and maybe a filling.

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5. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Beautiful weather. It's one of the best things about this post. It's warm enough to swim pretty much year 'round except for maybe a month or two around Christmas.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

My kids are too young to be in school, but I know there are two main schools. The Discovery school is where most people send their kids, and I think it's a good option for very young kids. The atmosphere is very good there, but I would say the curriculum is not as good as it is at the American School. The American School is without a doubt a better academic choice for middle/high school, but probably there are more social struggles there, as all the wealthy Honduran kids attend the AS.

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2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

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3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

There are lots of good and inexpensive preschool programs. They are about $150/mo for a half day, and the curriculum is in english. My son attends A+ Learning Center, and we have been very happy with it. Abejitas is also popular.

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4. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

Some of the parents at the embassy have started a small baseball and soccer program for the embassy kids. Discovery School doesn't have sports teams, but the American School has soccer teams (and I think basketball for older kids). My son is only 2 1/2 and he is in swim lessons. I hear that there is a gymnastics class available for young kids. I know some of the parents have their kids in tennis lessons, too.

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

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2. Morale among expats:

Most of the people I know are happy here except those with older kids.

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3. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

Most of it is done in people's homes. The marine house has lots of parties. There is a large missionary community here, so there are some decent women's bible studies and women's groups. There are lots of great restaurants to meet a friend for lunch. We almost never are out past 9 pm so I don't know about the nightlife.

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4. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

I would say this is a great city for families with young kids or for couples without kids. It is slightly harder for singles, but I know of at least two guys that left with wives, so there must be a social scene. This is not a good post for families with older kids. I know of 3 families that have curtailed because their high-school-age kids did not adjust well.

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5. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

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6. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

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7. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

Travel. It is a 3-hour trip to El Salvador, which is the closest beach; 6 hours to the North Coast beaches, which are a bit nicer; Nicaragua, Copan ruins, and everyone goes at least once to Roatan (the beach island off the coast of Honduras). Also, there are a decent amount of good restaurants and a couple of movie theaters that play english movies.

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8. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

Lenca pottery, handcarved furniture, jewelry.

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9. Can you save money?

Yes, we have saved lots. Depends on how much you travel.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

Yes, we have been very happy, but I think it's because we made some great friends and we love having wonderful domestic help with two small children.

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2. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

love of walking outdoors, and your winter jacket.

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3. But don't forget your:

good attitude and bug spray.

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4. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

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5. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

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6. Recommended movies/DVDs related to this city:

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7. Do you have any other comments?

I think, like almost any post, it is what you make of it. If you are determined to be happy, you will be. I know that some of the women who don't work feel like they are going to go crazy, but there are lots of opportunities to volunteer and get involved in clubs. The thing I miss the most is outdoor space to walk and let my son play. We can go to the American School or Villa Olympica in town, but that is it. A day trip or overnight trip to Soto Cano (the military base) is great for kids to ride bikes or run around.

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