Our Wedding

From the moment we got engaged we knew we wanted to celebrate our marriage in a unique way. Aside from each other, our family and friends are what's most important to us, and we wanted to find a way to bring everyone together in a special way. For many of you a Honduran wedding seems out of the ordinary, while there are those of you who can't imagine it being held anywhere else. When we thought about what we wanted our day to mean, Honduras is what seemed to fit. I have always imagined a wedding in Tegucigalpa, and because Kyle knows the impact the country has had on my life, he too wants for us to celebrate our lives together in a place that is sacred.

There are many ways a marriage is celebrated, and for us it is certainly about celebrating God and thanking Him for all the blessings He has given us. In our opinion there is no better way to praise God than to share what he has given us, not only with the people we love, but with those who may not have as much as we do. So that is exactly how we have decided to celebrate our day and the joining of our lives together. We hope that our day will symbolize what we think love is all about ... Loving not only each other, but those who need it most, even when they are not the easiest to love. This is a virtue that we hope to build our lives around, and we would be honored if you would come and be a special part of our day, and in something that is even greater than our marriage.

About Honduras and Tegucigalpa

Land and People:
'Over 80% of the land is mountainous; ranges extend from east to west at altitudes of 5,000 to 9,000 ft (1,520–2,740 m) and limit heavy rainfall to the north. In the east are the swamps and forests of the Mosquito Coast. Two river systems, the Patuca and the Ulúa, drain most of the north. The country's short stretch of southern coast on the Gulf of Fonseca, with San Lorenzo and the port of Henecán, is the sole Pacific outlet. Honduras has a tropical, rainy climate. The people, of whom about 90% are mestizo, are Spanish-speaking (indigenous dialects are also spoken) and nearly all Roman Catholic'.

Economy and Government:
'Honduras is one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere and remains dependent on international economic assistance. The economy is based on agriculture; bananas and coffee are the most important exports. The vast banana plantations, established by U.S. companies, are mainly along the northern coast; the United Fruit Company and the Standard Fruit Company and their successor companies, fiercely resented by many as exploitative monopolies, have had much social and political influence in Honduras. Seafood, gold and other minerals, palm oil, fruit, lumber, and beef are also exported. Other important food crops include corn, beans, rice, and citrus.
Honduras has rich forest resources and deposits of silver, lead, zinc, iron, gold, antimony, and copper, but exploitation is hampered by inadequate road and rail systems, and the country remains underdeveloped. Its only railroads link the banana plantations in the north to San Pedro Sula and the principal ports, La Ceiba, Puerto Cortés, and Tela; they do not penetrate more than 75 mi (121 km) inland. Air transportation, however, has opened up remote areas. Industry, concentrated chiefly in San Pedro Sula, is small and consumer-oriented, including the production of processed food (mainly sugar and coffee), textiles, clothing, and wood products. Machinery, transportation equipment, raw materials, chemicals, fuels, and foodstuffs are imported. The United States is by far the largest trading partner, followed by Guatemala and El Salvador.
Honduras is governed under the constitution of 1982 as amended. The president, who is both head of state and head of government, is popularly elected for a four-year term. The unicameral legislature, the National Congress, has 128 members, also elected for four years. Administratively, the country is divided into 18 departments'.

'Tegucigalpa (1997 est. pop. 897,000), capital and largest city of Honduras, in a small valley in the mountains of South Central Honduras. The city has diverse light industry, including the production of textiles, sugar, and cigarettes. Old Tegucigalpa, built on a steep hill, retains many quaint colonial aspects, with narrow streets and sidewalks, overhanging balconies, and stair-stepped streets. Across the Choluteca River lies Comayagüela, the more modern but less affluent section; the city's population has expanded greatly there in the last few decades. Founded late in the 16th cent., Tegucigalpa was a colonial center of silver and gold mining. With independence from Spain (1821), it became the stronghold of the liberals under Francisco Morazan. The city vied with Comayagua as the republic's capital, not securing the title permanently until 1880. Its university was founded in 1847. There is an international airport, but the city is not served by a railroad. Tegucigalpa was significantly damaged by a hurricane in 1998, which they are still recovering from today.'

Mi Esperanza

My family has devoted a great deal of their time and effort to aiding the poor and needy people of Honduras. Bi annual visits hardly seem like enough when there is so much work to do, so recently my aunt and uncle, Mark and Lori Connell made the selfless decision to relocate their lives to Tegucigalpa full time in hopes of contributing more to the cause in Honduras. Lori Co founded an Organization called Mi Esperanza. Mi Esperanza means “My Hope” and began in 2002 with a vision to provide assistance for women in the villages surrounding Tegucigalpa, Honduras. This is done by providing micro-business loans and skills training. Poverty throughout the world has a woman’s face. Of the 1.3 billion people living in poverty, 70 percent are women. Many of the women are single mothers living in extreme poverty who are supporting their families without assistance. Their lives are about survival and trying to meet the most basic of needs like food, clean water, and shelter. Through Mi Esperanza, women are finding a new sense of hope and self empowerment. Through this they are able to give their families stability for generations to come. Their futures are changed forever.

Since its conception the Mi Esperanza Project has continued to grow. They have given business loans to over 50 women to begin a variety of small grass root businesses. Tortilla making, small home and traveling stores, sewing businesses, and peanut roasting are some of the businesses their participants have started. These businesses take women from no income to providing adequate food, clothing and shelter for their families.
Mi Esperanza is an intricate, but small part of the work that we do in Honduras. The work is great, and the need is greater. We look forward to sharing this work with the people we love, and hope that your presence at our wedding will help bring some hope and joy into the lives of people who need it.

For more information on our work in Honduras please visit: http://www.thewomenofmyhope.org/ and http://www.thehondurasproject.org/

Traveling to Honduras

Get Your Passports ready!!! The best time to begin looking for flights is about 6 months prior to your departure. Prices will be higher over the summer. The best time to buy will be early September - Early October. Do not wait much past October when Holiday prices start to load. A good price out of Boston should be anywhere between $600-$700. Out of Houston prices tend to fall within the $600 range as well. If you find tickets within this price range you should go ahead and get them. From Boston it's about 6 hours of flying time, and from Houston it's around 2.5. Many of our guests have decided to fly into San Pedro Sula since the cost is much less than flying into Tegucigalpa. If you decide to fly into San Pedro to save on cost, we will send a van on the 1st to pick everyone up. If you fly in earlier, buses to Tegucigalpa leave the airport frequently. It is about a 3 hour ride from San Pedro to Tegucigalpa.

A few good discount search engines are:




Again, please feel free to post any questions regarding travel planning.

From your arrival to your departure your transportation will be taken care of. It is essential that you email Carly your arrival and departure flight details so arrangements can be made.

In January the weather will be beautiful. Plan for mid to high 70's in the daytime and high 50's to low 60's in the evening. You will be staying up in the mountains, so evenings will be cool.

As always, try and pack as light as possible, and keep the items that you must have as soon as you arrive in a carry on - Bags have been known to be delayed a day or two when flying into Tegucigalpa! :) (Bridesmaids and Groomsmen - Please carry you dresses and suits on the plane). Packing List:

- Casual outfit to work in on Friday:
Light clothing (scrubs and T-shirts are perfect)
Sneakers (that you don't mind getting ruined ... It's muddy!)
Girls -a Hat or bandanna to cover your hair
Anti-bacterial wipes
Bug Spray
Water Bottle
Snack for 'lunch'
An item or two to donate to someone in the community (i.e. clothing, shoes, toys ... anything you can give!:) )

-An outfit for the rehearsal dinner on Friday night:
The rehearsal dinner will be dressy casual, so please do not feel like you need to be formal. Girls- light summer dresses, skirts or light pants would be great. Guys- shorts, polos, button ups, chinos and even jeans would be fine. Just make sure you're comfortable!

-An outfit for the Wedding:
Our wedding will be semi formal. I suggest wearing something light.

***and anything else you might need!! :)

Converting Money:
19 Honduran Lempiras equals 1 US dollar. I recommend converting some cash in a US airport before you arrive in Honduras. Credit cards will be accepted at your hotel, but in most places using cash would be most convenient. Never carry a lot of cash on you - Only bring out what you need. You can exchange a small amount in the US and then exchange more at your hotel when need be. My aunt and uncle also have a good friend who will be more than happy to exchange your money for you at the airport when you arrive.

Medical Concerns:
Though there are parts of Honduras where Malaria is a concern, in Teguc you will not need to worry. If you still have concerns you can visit your local travel clinic to obtain Malaria pills which you will need to begin taking 1 week before your departure.

Food and Water:
The old saying goes 'don't drink the water,' and it is certainly TRUE in Honduras. It is likely that the water at your hotel will be purified, but better be safe than sorry. Drink only bottled water and be careful when brushing your teeth and taking showers to not swallow any water. All the places that we will take you to eat will be delicious and safe. I do not recommend eating from small local places or from food vendors on the side of the road. Only eat fruit that can be peeled, and stay away from vegetables that are not from your hotel or a restaurant that we have brought you to - I recommend bringing Imodium. Even though you'll be eating safe food, your stomach may still react to the change.
We assure you that you will never be put in a dangerous situation, but it is essential that you practice caution while in Honduras. Never go out in Tegucigalpa alone. If there are sights you want to see or something you need, please let one of us know and we will take you ourselves or get someone to bring you. Never wander off anywhere alone. Always stay in a group of 3 or more, and girls NEVER go anywhere without a man with you. If you are bringing your children please be sure to have them with you at all times. Tegucigalpa is a safe place as long as you are always practicing caution and are aware of what's going on around you.

Tegucigalpa is a mountainous region. When venturing up into the villages you may be required to climb steep hills and spend an afternoon in a high altitude area. If your health might be affected by this please let us know so we can try and make arrangements to accommodate you. Get in shape! :)

Places to Stay

Kyle and I traveled to Tegucigalpa in June and we're really happy with the choice of accommodations we've made. There are many beautiful hotels in Tegucigalpa, but among our favorite was the Tegucigalpa Marriott Hotel. It has a great Honduran feel and at the same time provides the amenities of a 5 star American hotel. The Marriott has developed a 'wedding group web page' so all our guests can easily book their stay. The web address is http://cwp.marriott.com/tgumc/hopkinburson. Please feel free to book at anytime and far enough in advance to secure a room. Our discounted rates are listed below:

Double (4 people) 94.00 + 16% tax
King (up to 3) 84.00 + 16% tax
Presidential $300 + 16% tax
VP $275 + 16% tax
Diplomat $200 + 16% tax

Our second accommodation option is at Villa Gracia which is a beautiful mission retreat located in the mountains overlooking Tegucigalpa and the surrounding Rain Forest. The retreat is equipped with simple, but nice rooms with private bathrooms. On the retreat grounds are soccer fields, basketball courts, a pool table room, beautiful gardens, the Chapel where we'll be married, and a full serviced kitchen. Your rooms will be cleaned every day and fresh linens will be provided along with breakfast and dinner if you wish. This is a great place for you to stay if you're looking to save on accommodation expenses, want to contribute to the amazing cause at Villa Gracia, or you just want to spend the long weekend in a peaceful place. Kyle and I stayed at Villa in June, and really enjoyed it. If you are not a seasoned traveler and have not been to a third world country before, keep in mind that while on the mission retreat you can not drink ANY water (including the water that comes out of the shower and faucet) and you can not flush any toilet paper. There is also no alcohol allowed on the mission grounds. We want to make sure everyone respects the wishes of Villa Gracia, so please stay at the Marriott if you don't think you'll be able to. You can visit the Villa Gracia website at http://www.villagracia.net If you'd like to make a reservation please send me an email at carlyhop5@hotmail.com. The rate is listed below:

$15 per person/per night, including breakfast.

Wedding Itinerary

Thursday, January 1st: You'll arrive in Tegucigalpa!!! Please be sure to email Carly your flight itinerary as soon as you purchase tickets so we can be sure to have someone at the airport to meet and greet all of our guests. At this time you will be transferred to your hotel where you'll receive a detailed itinerary for the weekend.
Friday, January 2nd: Experience the real Honduras! This day will be all about spending time together and giving back to the people of Honduras. Kyle and I have a special community service project planned that we're excited for you all to take part in. Be sure to dress in casual, light, modest clothing. We will be out working in the heat all day so be prepared. We will spend the day in a local village where there will be many children. Please bring along anything that you would like to giveaway (clothing and shoes are always great), as well as things that the kids will enjoy playing with.

Friday evening Kyle's parents will host the Rehearsal Dinner at a beautiful restaurant in Tegucigalpa. For those of you in the wedding you will first be transported to Villa Gracia to see the ceremony site and take part in the 'walk through.' Later that evening everyone will be transported to the Rehearsal dinner for a little Latin Fiesta!

Saturday, January 3rd: Wedding Day! The ceremony will be held at 5:00pm at Villa Gracia. A Cocktail reception, dinner and dancing will follow at the well know restaurant, La Cumbre. Wait till you see the views! There will be daytime activity options for those of you wanting to experience more of the city before the wedding.

Sunday, January 4th: Farewell brunch at 11:00 am at Villa Gracia.

Monday, January 5th: Recommended departure back home...or on to other travels!

Post Wedding Planning

Many of you have decided to extend your trip after the wedding celebrations are through. For those of you looking to make a full vacation out of your time in Honduras, I suggest visiting one of Honduras' Bay Islands, Roatan. Roatan is not as 'touristy' as other Caribbean Islands, and proves to be a prime location to vacation. With its pristine beaches, excellent scuba diving, beautiful accommodations and laid back Honduran atmosphere you'll be sure to fall in love with another side of Honduran culture. Only a short and inexpensive flight from Tegucigalpa, Roatan will be a great place to extend your stay in Honduras.

For more information regarding a stay in Roatan, please feel free to contact Carly at carlyhop5@hotmail.com


The Bride and Groom are registered at Crate & Barrell and Target.