Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Marriage in Honduras - part two

My recent post on marriage provoked an interesting discussion. I am glad. But today I read on Tiempo Digital, which I am assuming is a legitimate source, that marriage might now be much more difficult and expensive for most people.

The article laid out the requirements for marriage, which was helpful for me. My translation follows:
1.     Photocopy of the identity cards of those contracting marriage. (Birth certificate is they are under 21 years of age.)
2.     Photocopy of the identity card of two witnesses older than 21 years of age who know how to read and write, and present their original identity [cards]. (They may be relatives.)
3.     Birth certificates of those contacting marriage. Their names must match exactly the ones that appear on the identity [card].
4.     Recent record of Civil State or being single.
5.     Pregnancy test if pregnant.
6.     Original birth certificates of the children, when they are [the children] of both parties. 
7.     Evidence of criminal record.
8.     Evidence of relationship from the National Registry of Persons.

The National Registry of Persons will, starting September, demand a marriage certificate which will cost 5,000 lempiras – about $213. 3,000 goes to the notary and 2,000 will go to the College of Lawyers (the lawyers association, as I understand it) and an entity called the pension institute.

To compare this to the reality. The minimum wage in Honduras is determined according to the industry and the number of employees in the firm. An agricultural worker in a small firm should get between 5,899.79 lempiras per month, whereas those who work in the firms which employ over 151 workers should get 6,848.15. Those who have the highest minimal wage scale are those in banks and financial institution who should get between 8,351.82 and 10,168.45 lempiras, depending on the size of their place of employment.

But note what the World Bank has posted on its website:
Honduras is a low middle-income country that faces major challenges, with more than 66 percent of the population living in poverty in 2016, according to official data. In rural areas, approximately one out of 5 Hondurans live in extreme poverty, or on less than US$1.90 per day.
The barriers to marriage here are rising, perhaps putting civil marriage beyond the resources of most of the population.

I hope the church will find a way to respond.

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