Most Honduran women wash their clothes by hand in a large pila (concrete sink) with a built-in scrub board. The wealthier and even the not-so-wealthy hire other women to do it for them.
But many women don't have the luxury of a pila or sufficient water to wash clothes at home, so they wash their clothes in the river.
Some women bring their own portable scrub board and some scrub their laundry on big river rocks. This is the type of soap that is used to hand wash clothes. FYI: I do my own laundry, most of it in a washing machine, but I do use the soap and washboard for some things. It works great.
I've been wanting to do a series of "washing day" photos after we've had several days of rain but I keep forgetting. The weather has been nice lately, not much rain at all, and these pictures were taken on a Sunday, so there isn't a lot of laundry to be seen.
At times, after a week of rain, it seems like the entire city of La Ceiba is covered with laundry drying in the sun, on clotheslines, fences, shrubs, and lawns as well as the riverbanks. It makes a colorful sight.
I call this a multi-purpose river. On this day it was being used for a car wash, a bathing spot, and a laundromat all at the same time. During heavy tropical storms it looks like the Mississippi filling up to the banks (well, a slight exaggeration!), but most times it looks peaceful like this. There is a surprisingly strong current, though, even in the shallow part.
These photos are of the northern parts of the Rio Cangrejal and Rio Danto a few miles from the ocean.
This is a photo of some of the colorful river rocks. I love the colors. We used tons of river rocks in our construction projects. A couple near the top have turquoise house paint on them :-) but the rest are natural.
Just in case any river rafters come to this article and are terribly disappointed about the prospects of rafting the Rio Cangrejal, below are a couple of pictures of the river further south where the rafting is done.
It is loads of fun! I recommend it − even for wimpy people like me. If you look closely, you can see me in the raft. (Ha ha! Good luck!)