About a week ago, Don suggested that I start looking at plane fare, exploring our options for "making a visa run". We still don't have our residency yet, although it is in the works, and we are now in the 3rd month of our 90 visa we received when we went through immigration January 2nd. So I began looking at trips to Belize or Costa Rica. It seemed like no matter where we went, it was going to cost us nearly $2,000. to leave the country for 3 days (airfare, hotel, meals, etc.). I even looked at flying back to the States - cheaper.
In the midst of all this searching I began to wonder whether we really needed to leave. I seemed to recall hearing that once we had applied for residency and had our constancia (file number indicating that the paperwork had been submitted and was in process), that we no longer had to leave the country every 3 months.
Yesterday, Don called our Honduran attorney, Cristiana, and asked her. She said "that is correct; you do not need to leave." The procedure now is to take our constancia and passports to the immigration officer and get our visas extended - at a cost of only $20. per person per month. Ok, that seems much more reasonable.
We did not have copies of the constancia but Cristiana did. She was going in to Coxen Hole yesterday afternoon and suggested that we meet at the immigration office. We met her there at 4 p.m. and she showed the paperwork to Señor Ramon Paz. He said the only problem was that it was too early to renew; our visas were good until April 2nd, and he could not renew them this far in advance. So we are to return on the 29th (a non-cruise ship day) and he will take care of it. On cruise ship days, he is extremely busy at the cruise ship terminals and it is difficult to catch him.
Cristiana said that we may even have our residency in another month. She is going to Tegucigulpa today and will check on the progress. Having the residency will simplify many things here and save us lots of money. Not that I'm opposed to travel; I love it! But there are cheaper ways to travel than flying out of this island. For now, we'll just stay put and enjoy this bit of paradise.