Monday, March 12, 2012

Roatan, Honduras

Until recently, one would not usually think of Honduras as a tropical paradise or tourist attraction. The church I attend regularly sends medical missionaries to Honduras to help in poverty stricken areas.

Just in recent years, the Honduran leaders have developed the island of Roatan to encourage tourism.  It was heavily damaged by Hurricane Mitch in 1998, but has been rebuilt, bigger and better than before.  The island has a coral reef surrounding it, and claims some of the best snorkeling and  diving spots in the world.  It was beautiful as we approached on Thursday morning, with dark hills rising against morning clouds.

We booked a sight-seeing tour around the island.  Our guide, Byron, pointed out some things to see in addition to giving us lots of local history.  The island got its first electricity in 1992; typical electric bills are $150 dollars a month for families who average less than $400 in wages, according to Byron.

Our bus carried us up in the hills.  We stopped for a look at our ship from there.

According to Byron,  this is the mayor's house, one of the biggest and best houses on the island.  Because they are not on the mainland, the mayor has more power than the governor here.

What's not to love about tropical flowers in February?

Some things on the island were just a little bit creepy....more tomorrow.