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An Expat Talks about Living in Roatan, Honduras

May 21, 2021
Submitted by mdmroatan

Ferry to Roatan, Honduras

One expat talks about life in Roatan - daily yoga at Sundowners Restaurant (for $10) to Sunday Funday at the brewery to volunteering for PIER (Partners in Education Roatan). Plus, lots of advice about moving here.

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?


How long have you lived there?

6 months

What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?

I live in an apartment within 1K from West End and enjoy Sun Yoga which is offered everyday at 9am at Sundowners Restaurant ($10). It is a 90 minute workout offered 7 days a week with a different instructor each day. In addition I attend a gym nearby and have a personal trainer who helps augment my Yoga workouts with weights. I enjoy just lounging on West End beach and rent a chair by a local vendor for $2 / day. I have a Spanish teacher who comes to my home once a week. You do not need to speak Spanish to get along on Roatan because most locals are bi-lingual. But I like learning Spanish as a way to keep me mentally active. There is a large number of Americans & Canadians living here. The local brewery has Sunday Funday local craft fair the last Sunday of each month. There is also a corn-hole group that meet at various bars each Saturday but you can find more information at Tita's bar in West End. There are many charities available looking for volunteers. I've attended charity events such as PIER (Partners in Education Roatan). I suggest anyone join Facebook group 'Ask Anything - Roatan'

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In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.

The area is very diversified. You will meet locals, mainlanders who moved for employment who aren't always bi-lingual like islanders, Americans, Canadians, and Australians. But you will also find Central & South Americans. Overall everyone is very pleasant to each other. As an American I was worried about being accepted but that hasn't been the case. Most locals rely on tourists financially so they are eager to please and assist. But you do need to treat everyone with respect. There is poverty due to COVID and the stop of cruise ship visits. I don't mind giving a child a dollar or helping someone who is trying to sell a hand-made item. I don't always give money every time asked and the local vendors get to know the full-timers versus visitors. Vendors recognize you are not interested in buying tourist items so they just move on.

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

Most jobs are in the service industry such as bars/restaurants/hotels/SCUBA instruction/Fishing guides. Jobs are posted on Facebook and even signs in windows of stores. Fiber optic Wi-Fi / Cable TV seems to be the biggest growth industry, but there is also the local power company RECO.

In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?

Since Roatan is a tourist location most priorities resolve around water sports such as SCUBA, free-diving, snorkeling, fishing, jet-skiing, etc. West End area caters to tourists with many restaurants/bars where you can meet people. At night many restaurants offer karaoke or trivia. It is very easy to meet people and the community is small so you will quickly learn the ex-pats from tourists.

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If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.

Research & Location. Everyone is different so it depends on their interests. I would do as much research as possible using the internet to understand the various areas of the island and what each have to offer. Many real estate websites are good sources for information on the island and neighborhoods. I wanted to be close to the beach and parking is difficult so I wanted to be within walking distance. I do own a Jeep but use it only once a week to go into town to the largest supermarket. I would suggest maybe a short-term rental (one month) before making a more permanent living location. Plus you will need an attorney for residency application and just other needs / questions from an objective person with your best interests in mind.

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