Idyllic today... Yes.... but I remember Antigua in 1966.... and look at it now... dead reefs... cruise ships galore with 1000's of 'Lobsters' stomping all over... the friendliness has gone wiped out by the '$'.... but WTF... its your world..
Well, Antigua was a victim of unenlightened progress and greed. The "GO GO" " Build Build" generation, who exploited natural resources and sacrificed the beauty and charm of places in pursuit of personal gain. In the day's before Hurricane Mitch, Guanaja, like many places in the Central American area, was experiencing an "Eco Tourism" renaissance. Places Like Belize, were building "Echo Resorts" and implying regulations as to how and where and why one could develop land, as well as designating land as national park etc. Honduras was very aware of this movement and a lot of the Caribbean coast is in fact Park. Guanaja, sadly suffered greatly in Hurricane Mitch, 90% tree loss, houses, eco dive resorts destroyed. 15 years later, still many of the once popular dive resorts are closed, the reef on the south side only now showing signs of regeneration. When they lost practically all of the eco tourist dollars, wide spread poverty ensued. A cheerful and quaint paradise turned to rubble over night. My Father in law survived by hiding in his cistern for 36 hours, I was in the highlands of Guatemala for Mitch, but that is a different story. So where are we now? Guanaja needs the gringo dollar. Plain and simple. The once prosperous commercial fishing industry no longer supports the population. A calculated, and regulated construction, as well as real estate sales will help with the revival that the Island of Guanaja is in dire need of. Honduras is open for business, it's the governments new slogan. They have lifted many of the import taxes associated with the Bay Islands to Facilitate foreign investment. Institutions are in place to ensure the ecological integrity of the island. You are correct, it is my world, so WTF, why not do it right this time. Guanaja is a beautiful and enchanting island, and I'd like to see eco minded, sailors and cruisers visit and or move back to the island.