We’d never considered Honduras as a place to set up camp for longer than a few weeks, but almost 6 months on, and we’re still here. With plans to move on in mid-June, we thought we’d offer some insight into the cost of living in the small, coastal town of Tela, Atlantida.
The biggest change for both Justin and myself is living off one income. That income is the equivalent to half a day’s work in Australia, and we only get it once a month. I work from 7am-2pm, Monday to Friday as an English Language Teacher and my pay is 4,000 lempiras on the 10th of every month. That’s roughly AUD $240. With rent covered by the school, it is enough for one person to get by on. With two of us, it covers most of our expenses, but we still rely on our savings to make it through the month.
The teacher’s house is also a few minutes’ walk away from the school, so transport is free unless we need to go into town for anything and then the bus costs 9 lempiras and a taxi 25 lempiras per person. We share the house with two other teachers and because of this we are able to split our bills 4 ways, cutting our expenses again.
As a couple our monthly expenses look a little something like this;
Rent LMP 0.00
Electricity LMP 253
Internet LMP 361
Gas LMP 120
Yard Maintenance LMP 150
LMP 884 (AUD $53 per month)
That leaves us with LMP 3,116 (AUD $187) per month for groceries, activities and travel.
So what do groceries cost? A bag of vegetables (potatoes, beans, carrots, onions, tomatoes, and capsicum) from the street stand up the road will set us back about LMP 100 roughly 2 times a week. Throw in some avocadoes, the odd cucumber or some broccoli when it’s available and we’re looking at LMP 150.
Meat is rather expensive in comparison to vegetables. 2kg of mince is LMP 200, and chicken is LMP 63 per 500gm. The humble pork chop however is probably best value for money at LMP 116 per kg. Steak on the other hand is over-priced and the quality is terrible. There are fish markets in town with the days local catch, 3 fillets are roughly LMP 60-100.
While some locals don’t seem to mind drinking the tap water, we purchase 2 x 5 gallon bottles a week for drinking and cooking. This sets us back a further LMP 44.
We also hand wash all our clothes and bedding, saving on laundry charges and allowing us the opportunity to keep our arms toned and strong for carrying those hefty backpacks!!
And how about entertainment? The beach is free and relatively close to our house. Restaurants and bars can be found lining the shore closer to the centre and if you are fond of an ice cold beer at sunset, it will set you back LMP 30-40 for local beers, and a little bit extra for imports such as Corona.
The closest movie cinema is in El Progresso. A bus to get there costs between LMP 40-80 each way, with tickets to the movie LMP 35 per person Monday to Thursday. Weekend tickets are double the price at LMP 70.
Retail therapy is also a possibility with literally a hundred or so second-hand and new clothes shops lining the streets of downtown Tela. A pair of shorts and a t-shirt in good condition will cost around LMP 60-120. Though between the girls and I, we often find some cheaper bargains on our scrounging!
If you prefer exercise, Tela offers residents access to two gyms (membership starts from LMP 500 per month), FREE aerobic classes (Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday afternoons at the old railway station), hiking trails, and the Boulevard where flat, white beach sand is perfect for running or walking in the shade of the palm trees.
Eating out. We are lucky to have found some local gems when it comes to food. Our favourite is Casa Veranda Bed & Breakfast, run by hosts Steve and Doris. Their menu could be described as fusion Honduran, with tasty treats like chicken sliders, nachos, baleadas, tequila linguini, soft tacos and of course those mouth-watering, delicious cupcakes Steve whips up in almost every flavour imaginable. Menu prices start at LMP 10 for a breakfast baleadas, up to LMP 150 for the linguini.
We are also lucky to have a baleadas stand directly across from our house, so on lazy nights after work, we sometimes head over for a treat. Baleadas here start from LMP 8 and increase depending on your filling. Justin’s favourite with chorizo is LMP 12.
We've probably missed a dozen things, but these are the basics of our everyday life living in this corner of Central America. With only 6 weeks remaining in this peaceful little town, we are enjoying the relaxing atmosphere and slow pace, before we continue our travels south.
Whether you are coming to Tela for a holiday or to live, we hope you enjoy your stay as we have.
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