Trapped At The Border

There I was, straddling the border between El Salvador and Honduras. The first clue that a storm was brewing occurred when I entered El Salvador on 4 January 2015. The Salvadoran immigration official told me I had to leave El Salvador by 7 January. Which was the date my Honduran visa expired. It was supposed to have been a week-long vacation at a turtle sanctuary on the Pacific coast with a 90-day renewal of my visa on my return to Honduras. I had a hotel booked at http://latortugaverde.com/  Instead it became a bureaucratic nightmare. “If you don’t leave El Salvador by 7 January you will be fined $150,” the official told me. After three days in a San Miguel hotel I returned to Honduras and was met at the border by a Honduran immigration official who questioned my multiple passport visa renewal entries as I have pursued my Honduran permanent residency over the past two and a half years with the assistance of an attorney. “I have lived in Honduras for 6 years,” I told the official. “What am I supposed to do? Stay here at the border?” He called his boss and gave me a 15-day extension of my visa. Monday I have to go to the immigration office in Tegus to explain my status in the country for the past six years with a valid passport and valid visa stamps working as a volunteer at the Hogar San Jose. Welcome to Honduras!

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About Fortunato Velasquez

Fortunato Velasquez received his Registered Nurse's license from the State of California during the month that Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. On February 15, 2020, my friend and the director of the Fundación Señor San José in La Paz, La Paz, Honduras, Sister Edith Suazo Fernandez died at the age of 47. https://youtu.be/Poqcf0vn0qQ This a video of her funeral.

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