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Roatan Safety – questions and answers

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Question: Is Roatan a dangerous place to live?

Answer: Everywhere is dangerous. I’m not being overly vague, I’m just being honest. I have lived in Roatan for over two years now and have never had a problem. I can say with absolute honesty that I looked over my shoulder far more often walking around Washington, DC, than I do around here. I have bars on my windows and doors here, just like I did in Washington, DC. I have also accidentally left my keys in the ignition of my scooter here and found them still sitting in there hours later. I don’t walk around by myself at 3am waving all my cash, just like I wouldn’t do anywhere else. Having lived in wildly different settings around the world, I can say I feel safe living in Roatan.

Question: What types of crimes do happen in Roatan?

Answer: Most crimes are theft. Anywhere in the world where you have wealth next to extreme poverty, you will also see theft. It’s a fact of life. That is one reason why there were bars on my windows and doors in DC as well – the dichotomy between rich and poor is enormous in that city just like it is on this island. I know people who have been mugged in Roatan, and people who have been mugged in DC. I know people who have come home to see their house has been robbed of all electronics and dive gear, which are big money-makers around here. It happens. Personally, I say do what you can to secure your belongings: purchase a safe, rent an apartment with good security, know the area you’re living in and know your neighbors. But at the end of the day if people want to steal from you, they’ll steal from you. Period. But that situation isn’t unique to Roatan. For the record, my parents were robbed three times living in three different middle-class suburban towns of Massachusetts. I was pick-pocketed in Barcelona, Spain. Theft happens everywhere.


by Amanda Walkins

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