July 11, 2009

Utila: Another little island that could

Utila, Honduras peace paradePeace march on the island of Utila, Honduras,
July 7, 2009

Utila, Honduras peace paradeProud of his flag

Utila, Honduras peace paradePeace marches continue in cities all around Honduras. Large pro-peace and democracy marches in Tegucigalpa, San Pedro, La Ceiba, and Villanueva on Tuesday and Wednesday were not covered by the international media.

The island of Utila held a peace parade on July 1 and again on Tuesday, July 7. These photos and video are from the July 7 parade. Thanks go to Andi Schluker and John Arne Loken for the photos.

Utila, Honduras peace paradeThe smallest of the three main Bay Islands, Utila is off the North Coast of Honduras in the Western Caribbean. The population is estimated at about 5-6,000.

As one organizer put it, "Utila is united as an island and a nation". Since no reporters are stationed there, Utila didn't get much Honduran media coverage so I'm going to try to rectify that as best I can.

Utila, Honduras peace paradeSurrounded by coral reef, Utila is famous for its scuba diving. Likened to a “Key West of 20 years ago”, Utila is quaint and unspoiled with no chain stores or fast food businesses, and there are less than 20 cars in total on the island.

The town of Utila is perfect for exploring on bike and foot, and you can safely explore the surrounding areas and neighborhoods. There are a number of friendly dive shops, bars, restaurants, and local stores, owned by both locals and ex-patriates, where you can meet visitors from all over the world.

Utila, Honduras peace paradeThe Bay Islands, which include Roatán, Guanaja, and Utila, have experienced no violence or disruptive protests and are perfectly safe for tourists, despite the impression given by the media.

It's interesting that the islanders, who generally feel somewhat forgotten and isolated by the Honduran government, are now showing their unity and support for the new government in a way that we never thought we would see! We have Mel Zelaya to thank for that.

Following are three short videos of the Utila parade:

Enjoy the videos! They are short.


If anyone would like to send me photos from the peace marches in your town, I will be happy to post them.
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