2017 SAFETY UPDATE
Dear Friends of Cape CARES,
Many of you have heard or read about the security situation in Honduras and are
understandably concerned. The Peace Corps has pulled its volunteers out of Honduras.
Prison riots and the murder rate have been reported in the popular press.
It is important to remember that much of the violence played in the media is related to narco-trafficking and poses very little risk to Cape CARES'
volunteers. The Peace Corps mission in Honduras was one of the oldest and largest
Peace Corps projects in the world. The decision to leave Honduras was based on an
agency-wide review of crimes against volunteers worldwide, and not the result of
any new situations in Honduras. Honduras is neither safer nor more dangerous than
it has ever has been. While the Peace Corps and Cape CARES are both volunteer
organizations working in Honduras, our security profiles are different.
The Peace Corps sends individual volunteers to longer term assignments;
Cape CARES sends larger groups to very short term sites.
Still, there is no denying the fact that there is some inherent
danger in any type of travel in the developing world. The needy populations
that we serve are in remote areas of the country that require travel on rural
roads to reach the site.
Cape CARES prioritizes volunteer safety. We are very attentive to
mitigating risk and performing our work safely.
We ask our volunteers to use common sense and avoid risky behaviors. There are
some common factors that show up repeatedly in crimes against US citizens in
Honduras: drugs, (use or interest), excessive alcohol intake, and romantic
liaisons. These behaviors are, in fact, not permitted on Cape CARES trips,
which is probably central to the fact that we have had no crime, (beyond petty theft),
committed against a volunteer in the history of our organization.
As an organization, we constantly review our safety protocols and
travel routes. Our Honduran contacts regularly update us on conditions in
the country. Night time travel is prohibited. Despite the expense, our
teams stay in better hotels while in Tegucigalpa, and we recommend travel
through Tegucigalpa rather than San Pedro Sula. All teams are equipped
with cell phones and we register all volunteers with the US Embassy.
Security personnel are included on trips where indicated. Cape CARES provides
emergency medical and evacuation insurance for all volunteers.
Thank you for taking the time to read this note and for your interest in Cape CARES.
The Board of Directors
Additional Safety Notes:
Cape CARES Alcohol Policy
- Hard Liquor and/or spirits are prohibited on site.
- Beer and wine are permitted in moderation.
- No alcohol will be purchased with Cape CARES funds.
- Team members under 21 are prohibited from consuming alcohol for the duration of the trip. This includes Discovery School students.
- Alcohol will be safeguarded to prevent unauthorized consumption.
- No sharing of alcohol with locals and, especially, with security personnel,
police, and military.
DRIVING - Roads and vehicles are not up to U.S. standards. Use only experienced
drivers and do not drive at night.
CRIME - Travel in groups and follow your leader's advice. Do not go out at night.
INSECT BITES - Malaria, Dengue Fever, Leishmaniasis, Chaga's Disease and others
are present. Use insect repellent, insecticide spray, and, unless you are in modern,
well-screened buildings, mosquito netting for sleep.
ANIMAL BITES - Rabies is endemic and anti-rabies vaccine is not available.
Dogs, bats, and other animals carry the disease.
GASTROINTESTINAL DISEASE - Travelers' diarrhea, typhoid fever, cholera,
hepatitis A and others are spread by contaminated water and uncooked food. Follow precautions.
The U.S. Embassy
is located on Avenida La Paz in Tegucigalpa, and can be reached at:
The Embassy's American Citizen Services Unit
is open to walk-in services Monday
through Friday from 8:00 to 11:30 am, and can be reached directly at:
||(504) 2238-5114 ext. 4400
Cape CARES is an independent, nonprofit humanitarian organization. It is unaffiliated with and not a subsidiary of any other organization.