Feb 7, 2016

Change is coming to Trujillo, Honduras

O’Henry is better known for “The Gift of the Magi” but he also wrote “Cabbages and Kings” based on his stay in Trujillo where he fled in order to avoid being charged with embezzlement. He coined the phrase “Banana Republic.”  The book was written in 1904 but not much has changed in Trujillo.  

Trujillo has a fascinating history.  On August 14, 1502 Christopher Columbus’ fourth and final voyage arrived at the mainland of the America for the first time. Under Spanish rule Trujillo became the capital of Honduras and a fortress was built on a bluff above the Bay of Trujillo but the Spanish could not defend the area from pirates so the capital was moved inland. 

There is an American who features strongly in Central American
history and yet most Americans never heard of him.  His name is William Walker. Walker was a well-educated American who was a privateer and invaded Latin America with the intention of setting up English-speaking colonies under his personal control. He actually usurped the presidency of Nicaragua and was the country’s president for one year. He was defeated

by a coalition of Central American armies and was executed in Trujillo in 1860. There is a stone monument at the site of his execution and he is buried in the Old Cemetery. 

Several unsuccessful attempts have been tried to revitalize Trujillo in recent years. The most bizarre on was in the 1990s. Trujillo Bay was to be the site for constructing the Freedom Ship, or The Floating City, which would float around the world. The plan was over the top with condos, universities, and more.  The locals were pinning their hopes on it but nothing came of it but a few signs and a website. Now, however, they are

trying to make Trujillo a cruise port. Some cruise ships have stopped but the area is not ready for the big ones but it is a good port for ships with less than 1000 passengers.  They have spruced up the city square and there are actually tours people can take. 

On our last visit we went out on a dive boat.  Amazing, years ago we unsuccessfully tried to take a boat ride - there were boats but no working motors.  A Canadian, Ken Reaume has a real dive boat and all the necessary equipment. Some of us went snorkeling and some diving. Trujillo Bay has a place called Starfish Bay where the starfish are different colors. It was a great day. Hopefully, it will be the start of a new renaissance for Trujillo.  Another fun time was on the Rio Grande where there are swimming holes between the huge boulders plus an area with a natural water slide. 

There are several “gated communities” that have been developed in
the last 15 years but they seem to be languishing in the sun. All the properties have been sold but only a few houses have been built. There is a bright light on the horizon - Njoi, a gated community that can hold its own with any in the
Caymans and elsewhere.  They seem to be doing it right with all the necessary infrastructure and beautiful homes – only a couple have been built. 

Before arriving in Trujillo some of our family stopped in La Ceiba and went canyoneering down the jungle waterfalls - one waterfalls was 83-feet high.  Honduras has a lot to offer tourists.