Honduras boasts a lot of tourist destinations. Perhaps the most popular are the Bay Islands to the north. The biggest of these is Roatan which has some gated resorts as well as family run beach bungalow getaways. Roatan is a favorite destination of divers because it sits on the same barrier reef as the islands of Belize - the largest reef in the Western Hemisphere.
La Ceiba is the city on the mainland just across from the Bay Islands. They are starting to host some eco-tourism there as well as having gorgeous beaches. Copan is the site of some very well preserved Mayan ruins and they have some nice hotels there.
Rumor has it that the show "Survivor" will be sited at one of the small Bay Islands next season.
I have never been to any of these places - though this is my nineth trip to Honduras. I have only been to Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, the largest cities. These places are not popular tourist destinations. The poverty is concentrated here. Despite the existence of MacDonald's, Dunkin' Donuts, Marriott, and Payless Shoes, you can never escape it. Never more than a couple of blocks away are neighborhoods where people live on less than $2/day.
Nevertheless, our hosts don't want us to think that Honduras only has hopelessness and ugliness to offer, so they usual insist that we go on some outing to a place of interest. This year, we went to La Pacacho - a national park high up in the mountains overlooking Teguc. I've actually always wanted to visit because up there is a giant statue of Jesus, a la Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. It is so big that at night you can see it lit up from El Hogar. Here's some pictures of the the big fella:
He's fully about a hundred feet high and quite impressive to stand under. At the park is also a replica of the Mayan ruin at Copan:
Why these ruins needed to be replicated is something of a mystery to me, but it was fun to be there and climb the steps.
Most impressive, though was the view of Tegucigalpa. Below you can see the futbol stadium and the airport runway.
If you click on this (or any of the pictures BTW), you'll be able t see a lot the details.
We waited until the Continental flight arrived and watched the infamous Toncontin airport approach from a birdseye view. It was pretty interesting. We applauded when it landed safely, just as if we were aboard.
The smell of the air up there was amazing. Down at El Hogar where we stay, the aroma is always of diesel fumes, open sewage and other acrid odors. Up here the air was fresh and recalled the natural beauty which must have been the norm before the concentration of population and poverty moved in.
Of course, around these larger landmarks are the tens of thousands of makeshift dwellings where the poor of Teguc live. They were easy to spot from our vantage point and gave a kind of bittersweet feeling of the spectacular view of the unspeakable poverty.
- A few parting thoughts
- The Final Two Days (part 3 - the final day)
- The Final Two Days (part 2 - the ice cream party)
- The Final Two Days (part 1)
- Greatest hits
- A place called home
- Closing out the incredible week at in Honduras
- How can it be Thursday ALREADY??
- Touring Teguc
- Another day, another lesson
- Soccer Blow-Out
- What a day!
- Too Many Hours with a Wheelbarrow?
- Thursday afternoon - on work crew again!
- Impressed by El Hogar
- Sopa con banana, take 2
- Thursday visit to the Episcopal Agricultural Schoo...
- My friend Pedro
- Kids at School and Play
- Return to Amarateca
- Things that Go Honk in the Night
- A day at the Instituto Technico Santa Maria
- Wheelbarrow Capsize
- Another day, another reality check
- Creating The Bean Blog
- The Widowmaker
- Day 4 of our Honduras trip is winding down, I am s...
- All the hard labor we could ask for - and then som...
- Sweat, Tortillas, Dirt, and Tears
- Day 3! More beans!!! We are having so much fun.. W...
- Play-time Snag
- A very full Monday at El Hogar!
- It is, after all, a school
- Where do I begin?
- A day of thanks
- Arrival weekend in Tegucigalpa!
- A Trip to the Chinese Market
- Arrival in Honduras
- Beanie-Baby Workout
- Third time's a Charm
- ▼ May (43)