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RECENT NEWS

Freediving Revolution
Roatan wind farm
Utila open for Business

Utila's Bad DEI
Narco Busted
Utila Carnival 2012

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Costal Clean up Get Results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plastic Invades the South Shore

 

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Over the weekend, large rafts of floating debris began washing ashore along Utila's beaches, cays and coastlines. Utila is the western-most of 3 main islands in the Bay Islands Department of Honduras, 12 miles from the north coast. The drifting material slowly closed in on the island this Sunday where witnesses said it arrived in long lines and appeared to be dotted with thousands upon thousands of white specks.

 

As it came ashore, a closer inspection revealed that the debris appears to be predominantly white styrofoam pieces, some unrecognizable shapes and sizes, but also many pieces of cups, plates, and molded packing material. Also mixed in are plastic bottles of all shapes and sizes, most of which are identifiable as having origins in Guatemala. Numerous saline solution bottles and syringes show the debris also includes medical waste. Drift logs, fresh water vegetation and sea weed are also present. During the night it has piled up in beaches and waterways several meters thick in some areas.

 

Sailboaters visiting Utila island even report this same type of garbage along the shores and cays of Belize.

 

This is an international situation that has caused large-scale, long-lasting degradation to coastal areas in not only the country of origin, but also to the neighboring countries of Honduras, Belize, and anywhere the wind and tide take it. Not just in terms of the island's tourism based economy, the negative impact it will have on the marine ecosystems is immeasurable, and the effect to human health a great concern.

 

The affected areas are priceless in terms of biodiversity and tourism-based economies. The Bay Islands of Honduras are surrounded by coral reef, an extension of the Meso-American Barrier Reef System that extends from the Mexico's Yucutan Penninsula down to the Honduran Bay Islands. Affected ecosystems include coral reefs, sea grass beds, and mangrove lagoons. Animal species include filter-feeding whale sharks, sea turtles and countless species of fish and birds that associate around reef areas --many are already severely endangered, like the Hawksbill sea turtle that uses these same beach areas to nest. If we don't act fast, many of the remaining sea turtle nests will hatch and the hatchlings will become lost in all the garbage and never even make it to the sea.

 

Already, staff and volunteers of BICA-Utila, are planning clean ups of the islands' many beach areas by locals, tourists, and even school children. The island lives off tourism but the beaches are important recreation areas for locals as well.

 

The scope of the clean-up will be large scale. We're used to a few plastic bottles and sandals finding their way to Utila's shores. But what came in this weekend is seriously large scale, and will take a tremendous amount of man hours and resources to clean up. Where these resources will come from is unknown. The sources of the waste can be identified: human unsustainable, single-use and wasteful habit.

 

For more information, or if you would like to help, please contact The Bay Islands Conservation Association of Utila (BICA-Utila), info@bicautila.org, or go to our face book page.

 

Written by Pamela Ortega

 

 

 

The Last Voyage of the Halliburton 211

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zombies in Utila going Viral

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sinking of the Nirvana

 

 

 

First Annual Utila DiveFest 

August 18th to 25th

 

 

 

 

Utila Dive Festival is an exciting week long event highlighting the island of Utila – both above and below the water. Underwater, we will have daily themed dives, photo contests and a scavenger hunt. At the surface the parties, Taste of Utila and prize giveaways will draw a crowd with opening and closing beach parties.IMG_0001.jpg (1125302 bytes)

  

The event, scheduled for August 18-25 2012, is designed not only to attract a wide range of visitors but also to benefit the entire community of Utila. The Utila Dive Festival was created to highlight the tiny diving Mecca of Utila, one of The Bay Islands located in the Western Caribbean just South of Belize. Utila Dive Festival 2012, is a week of diving, dancing, dining and discovering on a tropical island whose heart beats scuba day in and day out.  

The Utila Dive Festival is focused on building an atmosphere that will both educate and foster the enjoyment of sharing underwater experiences and also highlight what Utila has to offer as a vacation destination. Our best assets are being part of the largest reef in the Western Hemisphere that surrounds the islands, the over 99% of Caribbean sea life that makes it’s home in our waters and the elusive Whale Shark, the Worlds largest fish that has been seen here all year round.

 

012.JPG (1064022 bytes)Traditionally a beginners diving paradise, Utila has progressed over the years offering specialty training courses, tech diving, reef ecology and professional training packages. In recent years, many dive resorts and the Utila Aggressor have influenced Utila’s overall breadth, offering fun diving experiences mixed with casual Caribbean getaways. The myriad of Mom and Pop-shops, restaurants, crazy little seaside bars, topside activities and nature excursions round up the island as a fun happening place to spend a dive or water adventure vacation.  

  

There will be specialized diving activities held throughout the week including a photography competition, advanced buoyancy workshops, reef ecology and whale shark talks, tec and sidemount try dives including closed circuit rebreathers. There will also be social events in the evenings, Caribbean island style with a 'taste of Utila' food fair. So far our sponsors have committed over $7000 in retail value of prizes and include;  

  • 12 Sealife Cameras

  • Aqua Lung regulator, BCD and mask/snorkel and fins

  • Scubapro MK25/S600 regulator

  • 6 GoPro HD Hero II sports cameras with housing

  • Intova cameras and light

  • 2 DiveRite sidemount rigs, reels, SMB's and wet notes

There are also courses and vacation stays at various local dive resorts and centers worth an additional $3000 to be won!  

IMG_9443.jpg (1203362 bytes)Many of the islands dive operations and resorts are offering festival specials that week and more details can be found here Special Offers - Utila Dive Festival week |, so whether you wish to travel as a single diver or come with friends and family, this will be the perfect week of diving with social events below and above the water to partake in.  

Make your plans now to experience the first annual UTILA DIVE FESTIVAL 2012, a scuba divers nirvana!

 

Written by Andy Phillips and Angelika Lukacsy

Photos courtesy of Andy Phillips

 

 

 

 Honduras News

Hugo Chavez Fails in Honduras- In a landslide victory Profirio Lobo, the National Party Candidate, will become the next president of Honduras. (read more)

Hugo Chavez and the Cowardly World- A chain of events have started that could convert the wonderful country of Honduras into a place similar to the Gaza Strip. (read more)

Crisis in Honduras- Articles and editorials from The Utila East Wind which chronicle the events that preceded the removal of former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya.  (read more)

Utila East Wind Articles featured on NowPublic

Hugo Chavez and his War with the Empire October 29th 2008

1500 kilos of Cocaine Venezuelan Plane Busted on Utila January 28th 2009

War on Drugs War on Peace March12th 2009

Roatan Rioters Burn Books at ZOLITUR May 7th 2009

Venezuelan Narco Plane Crashes on Utila. Another 1500 Kilos down May 10th 2009

Chavez and Clinton face off at OAS Meeting June 1st 2009

Zelaya calls for immediate membership for Cuba at OAS Assembly

OAS Assembly President Rodas replaced amid confusion.

OAS votes to revoke resolution on Cuba

Rumors of Coup d'etat in Honduras denied by officials June 5th 2009

Army asked to secure Congress. Fear of Violent Intervention June 23rd 2009

Chavez announces Armed Revolution. ALBA Military elements participate June 24th 2009

Tanks Rolling to the Capitol as President dismisses Top General June 24th 2009

Honduras nears Chaos as Military Units Circle Presidential Palace June 25th 2009

Chavez blames "Bougoise" Calls to Mobilize in Honduras June 26th 2009

Honduran President denies Resignation. Chavez "We Will Mobilize" June 28th 2009

Chavez states “The Strike has started”. Honduras “Surrounded” October 29th 2009

 

 

 

 

Freediving Revolution takes hold on Utila

 

 

 

 

For many years, the Caribbean Island of Utila has been famous for SCUBA Diving. S.C.U.B.A. (the abbreviation  for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus), a wonderful recreational activity that allows people to access the underwater world aided by a compressed air tank, regulators, buoyancy compensators and now commonly, computers.

 

But, what if you could throw away all that cumbersome gear and explore the reef without that technology and investment?  What if you could soar deeper than any Open Water SCUBA diver on one breath of air? What if you could say to someone "thanks, but no tanks"?.... Well, you can.

 

Ecomarine-Gunter's Dive Shop pioneered the SCUBA diving industry in Utila almost 30 years ago and now, along with Mark Rogers of Apnea Total, are truly Revolutionizing and redefining the dive industry on The Bay Islands.

 

No longer are people who would love to explore the underwater world obligated to enter a PADI dive course. No longer will they have to strap on a $1000 worth of dive gear. Now you can throw away the shackles of SCUBA and explore the underwater world with only a mask, fins and your own determination.

 

Apnea Diving or breath hold diving is as old as the human race. We Mammals have a unique feature known as the Mammalian Dive Reflex. In aquatic animals such as dolphins and whales this response is very strong. We as humans have this instinctive ability also, but in most cases, we just don't know it. 

 

The moment our face touches water amazing physical changes start to take place in our bodies. These changes aid us underwater and with instruction and training we learn how to take advantage of them. 

 

The first action the body takes is to slow the heart rate. This is demonstrated during a Freediving course by having the student connected to a heart rate monitor.  Once the student's surface heart rate is measured, their face is submerged in a basin of water. Within a few seconds the heart rate starts dropping rapidly by as much as 25%. This reduction in heart rate provides greater efficiency in using the oxygen we have stored in our blood and lungs.

 

As divers go underwater  the atmospheric pressure increases and with this increase in pressure more changes occur. The body reduces the quantity of blood traveling to the extremities, concentrating blood to the heart and brain. Increasing the time we are able to remain underwater.

 

These physiological advantages combined with training, the spirit of adventure and determination has made it possible for freedivers to reach depths greater than 100 meters (328') on one breath of air. Very few people on the planet get this deep, but with proper freedive and safety instruction anyone can improve their freediving abilities and see an improvement in fitness level. 

In the beginner course you will learn the specifics of Freediving Theory, breathing techniques, diving disciplines and about masks and fins designed to maximize your depth and mobility. The course takes place over two days with two diving sessions and two classroom sessions.  The maximum allowed depth at this level is 20 meters (65').  

 

In the advanced freediver course you will learn high level breathing techniques, safety diving, static apnea training and dive to a maximum depth of 40 meters (131'). Amazing...

 

All instructors are certified Apnea Instructors. Training lines, freediving gear, water support and surface support are provided to ensure safe freediving practices are always followed. Once a freediver is finished the course freediving training sessions are available where you can safely practice and improve your skills and become all that you can be.

 

So if you have a love for water and want to be able to explore the underwater world anytime, any place with just fins and a mask YOU CAN DO IT! If you are already a SCUBA diver and want to improve your abilities and become a strong freediver YOU CAN DO IT! If you are looking for a life changing experience where you can challenge yourself physically and mentally while every day becoming stronger YOU CAN DO IT!

 

For more information and booking a Freediving Course contact.

 

Ecomarine-Gunter's Dive Shop

Sandy Bay, Utila, The Bay Islands

Honduras

Tel: 504 2425 3350

Email: ecomarine@gmail.com

Web: www.ecomarineutila.com

 

Freedom Rules......

 

 

 

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BICA Protecting Utila Sea Turtle

 

On Friday October 7th, a day in which the high point was BICA's cooperative effort with the islands other environmental organizations, the municipal environmental unit, and the schools; the annual Science Fair, certainly the discovery of these two turtle poachers was the low. Bica guards Jose and Chel were very brave and professional in apprehending these two men who for weeks had been rumored to be poaching turtles at Pumpkin Hill. BICA would like to thank Jose, and Chel and all the BICA staff for their assistance, the Honduran National Police for taking unprecedented action in processing these criminals and to Vern for transporting them to Roatan.

El viernes 07 de octubre, un día en que el punto más alto fue el esfuerzo cooperativo de BICA con las islas de otras organizaciones del medio ambiente, la unidad ambiental municipal, y las escuelas, la Feria de Ciencia anual, sin duda el descubrimiento de estos dos cazadores furtivos de tortugas fue la baja. Bica guardias José Chel y se muy valiente y profesional en la detención de estos dos hombres que durante semanas se había rumoreado que la caza furtiva de tortugas Pumpkin Hill. BICA gustaría agradecer a José, y Chel y todo el personal BICA por su ayuda, la Policía Nacional de Honduras para la toma de medidas sin precedentes en el procesamiento de estos criminales y Vern para el transporte de ellos a Roatán.

 

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The hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) is a critically endangered sea turtle belonging to the family Cheloniidae. It is the only extant species in its genus. The species has a worldwide distribution, with Atlantic and Pacific subspecies.

Sea turtles have been on the earth, more or less unchanged in form, since before the dinosaurs.

They are probably one of the oldest groups of animals on earth. Their body design is so successful that they have even been able to survive the extinction of the dinosaurs.

 

La tortuga carey (Eretmochelys imbricata) es una tortuga marina en peligro de extinción que pertenecen a la familia Cheloniidae. Es la única especie existente en su género. La especie tiene una distribución mundial, con el Atlántico y el Pacífico subespecies.

Las tortugas marinas han estado en la tierra, más o menos sin cambios en la forma, desde antes de los dinosaurios.

Ellos son probablemente uno de los grupos más antiguos de animales en la tierra. Su diseño de la carrocería es tan exitoso que incluso han sido capaces de sobrevivir a la extinción de los dinosaurios.

Bica.

Local Designers Hold Utila's First Fashion Show

 

Utila held its first fashion show on Thursday, Aug 4th, showcasing local designers and seamstresses  Rachel Lainez from Victoria, Canada and Sylvia from Brittany, France.  Both Utila residents are original designers and together they designed and created all the outfits for the event.

 Rachel has been designing clothes for herself since she was a child, and her grandmother and mother taught her to sew from a young age. She loves working with interesting fabrics  (like silk )and creating swimsuits for women. She also creates unique jewelry out of materials like feathers, large precious stones, and fossils. She works with high-end metals such as silver and steel to ensure the quality of all her pieces. The main idea behind Rachel’s work is that each piece is unique. No item is ever recreated exactly. She sews custom pieces  for people on Utila, the most popular items being custom swimsuits and feather jewelery. Rachel also uses materials that she collects  in her travels from flea markets and thrift stores to ensure that each piece is one-of-a-kind. Her slogan is “Made with Love”.

 Sylvia

The free event was well attended by over 300 people, who enjoyed the original music (mixed by local DJ Ben Jammin).  Silvia started the show with a Madonna-inspired show which exhibited 25 outfits. Many of Sylvia's are what is know as “upcycles,” clothing made form re-worked materials and used clothing.  Her creative style was evident in all her outfits, but it culminated in a dress made entirely from the logos  from different dive shops from around Utila. Each member of the audience that saw their shop represented was involved in the show!

After a short intermission, Rachel continued the show with another 32 outfits. Her four themes each portrayed a different mood, from bikinis set to 1950's  Motown music to high-glass gown set to Regina Spktor's enchanting music. Each designer thanked the volunteers and explained themselves briefly before the finale, when all  20 of the models came back to walk and pose along the catwalk with the designers.

We were glad to see many families in the audience, and a mix of both locals and tourists. There were over 20 volunteer models involved, as well as helpers for security, hair, makeup, choreography, photography, and cinematography. We were thrilled to showcase a great variety of models, some being tourists, and others local. They were also of all ages and represented a variety of body types and ethnicities. Rachel and Sylvia are both very environmentally conscious and try to use recycled material and sustainable materials, such as silk, as much as pos Utila celebró su primer desfile de moda en Jueves, 4 de agosto, mostrando los diseñadores locales y las costureras Rachel Lainez de Victoria, Canadá y Sylvia de Bretaña, Francia. Tanto los residentes como Utila son diseñadores originales y juntos diseñaron y crearon todos los trajes para el evento.

 

Rachel ha estado diseñando ropa para ella desde que era un niño y su abuela y su madre le enseñó a coser desde muy temprana edad. Le encanta trabajar con telas interesantes (como la seda) y la creación de trajes de baño para las mujeres. También crea joyas únicas con materiales como plumas, grandes piedras preciosas y fósiles. Ella trabaja con alta gama de metales como la plata y el acero para asegurar la calidad de todas sus piezas. La idea principal detrás del trabajo de Rachel es que cada pieza es única. No hay ningún elemento cada vez recreado con exactitud. Ella cose piezas a la medida para la gente en Utila, los artículos más populares están los trajes de baño a medida y las joyas de plumas. Rachel también utiliza materiales que recoge en sus viajes de los mercados de pulgas y tiendas de segunda mano para asegurar que cada pieza es única en su tipo. Su lema es "Hecho con Amor".

 

Sylvia

El evento gratuito contó con la asistencia de más de 300 personas, quienes disfrutaron de la música original (mezclado por DJ Ben Jammin locales). Silvia comenzó el show con un espectáculo inspirado en Madonna, que exhibe 25 trajes. Muchos de Sylvia son lo que se conoce como "upcycles," la ropa hecha de materiales forma re-trabajado y ropa usada. Su estilo creativo fue evidente en todos sus equipos, pero culminó con un vestido hecho completamente de los logotipos de tiendas de buceo diferentes de alrededor de Utila. Cada miembro del público que vio su tienda representada participó en el show!

Después de un corto intermedio, Rachel continuó el espectáculo con otra ropa 32. Sus cuatro temas cada uno interpretó a un estado de ánimo diferente, desde bikinis establecido en 1950 la música de Motown de vidrio de alta vestido con música encantadora Regina Spktor es. Cada diseñador agradeció a los voluntarios y explicó brevemente mismos antes del final, cuando todos los 20 de los modelos volvieron a caminar y posar a lo largo de la pasarela con los diseñadores.

Nos alegramos de ver a muchas familias en la audiencia, y una mezcla de locales y turistas. Hubo más de 20 modelos voluntarios que participan, así como los ayudantes de la seguridad, cabello, maquillaje, coreografía, fotografía y cinematografía. Estábamos emocionados de cubrir una gran variedad de modelos, algunos turistas se, y otros locales. También eran de todas las edades y representa una variedad de tipos de cuerpo y etnias. Rachel y Sylvia son muy conscientes del medio ambiente y tratar de utilizar materiales reciclados y materiales sostenibles, como la seda, tanto como sea posible.sible.   

 

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 Each model added sparkle and attitude to their outfits, and they were glowing as they walked across the stage, supported by their fans in the audience.  The event emphasized fun, and the models danced, sang, and waved at their supporters in the crowd. In true Utila fashion, none of them wore shoes. They were met with a cheering crowd and the full attention and focus uncharacteristic of a loud bar.

 The outfits were on sale after the fashion show, but both designers also sell their items in Utila. Silvia's line, “Utila Fashion,” can be found at the Cinema;  Rachel's line, “Origami Customs,” can be found at her shop, Sand Beachwear, located next to Bush's Supermarket. Rachel also sells her clothing and accessories online from an Etsy store and via Facebook.

 The event was a great success, and it brought attention to the people on Utila who are creating unique and affordable option to wear. Rachel and Sylvia plan on continuing the tradition and hosting more events in the future. There was also a video made of the show which will be aired on the local TV station, HQTV, in the near future. Professional photographs are also available for the models and others interested.

The event was a wonderful way to bring the community together and to spread awareness of local items being designed and created on the island! We all crave culture from time to time, and it was obviously present at this event. The show of creativity inspired all who were present,  and we can all agree that everyone involved felt infected by the fun atmosphere! Rachel and Silvia hope to spread the awareness of their talents to more people in the community in the coming months and offer special rates for the people of the community.    

 

Cada modelo añade brillo y la actitud de sus trajes, y que brillaban mientras caminaban por el escenario, con el apoyo de sus fans en la audiencia. El evento hizo hincapié en la diversión, y bailaron los modelos, cantó y saludó a sus seguidores en la multitud. Al estilo de Utila, ninguno de ellos llevaba zapatos. Se encontraron con una multitud de admiradores y toda la atención y el enfoque característico de un bar ruidoso.

Los equipos estaban a la venta después del desfile de moda, pero los diseñadores también venden sus artículos en Utila. Línea de Silvia ", Utila moda", se puede encontrar en el cine, la línea de Rachel, "Origami de Aduanas", se puede encontrar en su tienda, ropa de playa de arena, situada junto al Supermercado de Bush. Rachel también vende su ropa y accesorios en línea de una tienda en Etsy y a través de Facebook.

 El evento fue un gran éxito, y llamó la atención a las personas en Utila, que están creando opción única y asequible de llevar. Rachel y el plan de Sylvia en la continuación de la tradición y acoger a más eventos en el futuro. También hubo un video hecho del espectáculo que será transmitido por el canal de televisión local, HQTV, en un futuro próximo. Fotografías profesionales también están disponibles para los modelos y otras personas interesadas.

 El evento fue una maravillosa manera de unir a la comunidad y de difundir el conocimiento de los elementos locales están diseñados y creados en la isla! Todos anhelamos la cultura de vez en cuando, y era, obviamente, presente en este evento. El espectáculo de creatividad inspirada a todos los que estaban presentes, y todos estamos de acuerdo que todos los involucrados se sentía infectados por la atmósfera de la diversión! Raquel y Silvia esperanza para difundir la conciencia de su talento a más personas en la comunidad en los próximos meses y ofrecen tarifas especiales para las personas de la comunidad.

                

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For more information on Origami Customs:

 Contact Rachel at Sand Beachwear, Next to Bush's supermarket, Utila, Bay Islands

email: rachellainez@gmail.com

phone: 88981640

Facebook.com/origamicustoms

facebook.com./rachellainez

etsy store: OrigamiCustoms

 For more information of Utila Fashion: Contact Silvia at the Cinema on Utila

phone:33876983

 

The Coral Garden Project Still Lives, Here on Utila

 

It began in 2004 under Counterparts International & Honduras Ministry of Tourism, when the concept of coral restoration was presented to Utila by marine biologist  Dr. Austin Bowden-Kerby.    In 2007 counterparts lost its funding and Dr Kerby made his last trip to Utila.     At that time Rose Gabourel continued the work on her own in her underwater garden.    

Betty Little when on Utila still gives her dedication to the nursery and gardens as she and Rose have been doing from the beginning together.   In 2009 marine Biologist and Associate professor Dr Diego Lirman, and his crew from the University of Miami -RSMAS - came to Utila specifically to see this coral garden.

 Their 8 days stay was to check out Roses' gardens and see what techniques worked here on Utila.    They were able to GPS 100 planted sites from the 5 year garden project. During their stay Rose& Diego, exchanged knowledge, techniques & experiences with coral projects. This spring Rose & Betty successfully transplanted 121 starter plants from the nursery onto 11 sites along the Blue Bayou area.The project has been ongoing for 7 years now and Betty & Rose have seen a big decline in the fish population.    

 Conch and lobster are rarely seen on our reef in this area and as soon as a juvenile conch or lobster appears someone always takes them.    It has been scientifically proven that there can't be a healthy reef without fish and invertebrates.   As long as a blind eye is turned to the reef it will continue to be an uphill battle for its' survival and the amount of algae will continue to increase and replace what was once a variety of different corals.Because of their love of the ocean and the beautiful Utilareef system, Rose and Betty take great pleasure in working on the coral gardens and consider it a gift to be able to do so.

They look forward to many more years of underwater gardening right here on Utila and as they say "to be continued".

Rose Gabourel & Betty Little.

 

Se inició en 2004 con sus homólogos internacionales y Honduras Ministerio de Turismo, cuando el concepto de la restauración de coral se presentó en Utila por el biólogo marino Dr. Austin Bowden-Kerby. En 2007 perdió su contraparte de financiamiento y el Dr. Kerby hizo su último viaje a Utila. En ese momento Rose Gabourel continuó el trabajo por cuenta propia en el jardín bajo el agua.

Betty poco cuando en Utila todavía da su dedicación a la guardería y jardines, ella y Rose han estado haciendo desde el principio juntos. En 2009, biólogo marino y profesor asociado Dr. Diego Lirman, y su equipo de la Universidad de Miami-RSMAS - llegó a Utila en concreto para ver este jardín de coral.

Sus 8 días de estancia fue de visitar los jardines de Roses y ver qué técnicas trabajaron aquí en Utila. Ellos fueron capaces de GPS de 100 sitios de plantado el proyecto del jardín de 5 años. Durante su estancia en Rose & Diego, intercambio de conocimientos, técnicas y experiencias con los proyectos de coral. Esta primavera Rose y Betty trasplantado con éxito 121 plantas de arranque de la guardería en 11 sitios a lo largo del Blue Bayou área.A proyecto ha estado en curso desde hace 7 años y Betty y Rose han visto una disminución importante en la población de peces.

 Caracol y la langosta son raramente vistos en nuestro arrecife en esta área y tan pronto como una concha de menores o de langosta aparece siempre hay alguien que los lleve. Se ha demostrado científicamente que no puede haber un arrecife sano sin peces e invertebrados. Siempre y cuando la vista gorda ante la barrera que seguirá siendo una batalla cuesta arriba para su "supervivencia y la cantidad de algas seguirá aumentando y sustituir lo que antes era una variedad de diferentes corals.Because de su amor por el océano y el sistema de Utilareef hermosa, Rose y Betty tienen el placer de trabajar en los jardines de coral y consideramos que es un don que debe ser capaz de hacerlo.

 

 Ellos esperan muchos más años de jardinería bajo el agua aquí en Utila y como dicen "se prosiga la intervención".

 

RESURRECTING THE UTILA GARDEN OF MEMORIES cemetery

Over the past few month’s Utila Garden of Memories Cemetery, has taken on a fresh new look, Thanks to a few local women, Georga Jackson, Ada Smith.Upon the death of their mother Fanny Torres the pair have found the need, and taken on the responsibility of maintaining other surrounding graves.

The municipality for decades has paid for simple maintenance such as cleaning the cemetery.

Ada and Georga have taken on the task of refurbishing old grave markers, marking graves with no existing markers, cleaning, raking and burning garbage. A foolish task some may believe, but these women are actually preserving a piece of history of our island.

With some grave markers dating back as far as the early 1800’s, there is a great need to preserve this part of Utila past. We know Utila has been populated from the days of piracy, yet we find no grave marking, only bottles, cannon balls, and other artifacts.

If we the community assist with the project of resurrecting Utila Cemetery, by donating much needed materials such as paint, wheelbarrows, and running water we will be helping preserve Utila History.

 

En los últimos meses de Utila Cementerio Jardín de los recuerdos, ha tomado un aspecto nuevo y fresco. Gracias a unas cuantas mujeres locales, Georga  Jackson, Ada Smith.A la muerte de su madre Fanny Torres la pareja se ha encontrado la necesidad, y asumido la responsabilidad de mantener otros alrededores tumbas.

La municipalidad durante décadas ha pagado por simple mantenimiento tales como la limpieza del cementerio.

Ada y Georga han asumido la tarea de renovar viejas lápidas de las tumbas, marcando tumbas que no estaban marcadas, limpiando e incineración de basura. Una tonta tarea algunos pueden creer, pero estas mujeres  están preservando un pedazo de la historia de nuestra isla.

Con algunas lápidas de las tumbas que datan de principios de los 1800 's, hay una gran necesidad de preservar esta parte del pasado de Utila. Sabemos que Utila ha sido habitada desde los días de la piratería, pero no encontramos ninguna tumba de ellos, sólo botellas, balas de cañón, y otros artefactos.

 Si nosotros la comunidad ayudamos restaurar cementerio de Utila, por donar materiales tan necesarios como la pintura, las carretas, agua potable y estaremos ayudando a preservar la historia de Utila.

Some of the many graves that have been painted:

 

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These are some unmarked grave:

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This is one of the many unmarked grave that hold unknown loved ones. If they are not marked we will never know who lies beneath.

For this reason this job is so important, thank you Georga and Ada for your great work.

kevin Dilbert

 

 

Parrots Beach Clean Up

 

Alfred Olen and the staff of Parrots dive center are giving back to the community of Utila.

With a new pay it forward project, free open water courses were offered to the children of Utila, In return the children offer community service.

On Sunday August 25, children from all over Utila, hit the beach in a clean-up effort. Afterwards the children were awarded with their open water certificates, and a barbeque in their honor Thanks to Alfred and his staff.

Alfred Olen y el personal de Parrot’s centro de buceo, el único centro de buceo operado localmente, están devolviendo a la comunidad de Utila.

 Con un nuevo proyecto, Cursos gratuitos de open wáter se ofrecieron a los niños de Utila. En devolución los niños ofrecieron servicio comunitario.

 El domingo 25 de agosto, los niños de todo Utila, fueron a la playa en un esfuerzo de limpieza. Después, los niños fueron galardonados con sus certificados de open wáter, y una barbacoa en su honor, Gracias a Alfred y su personal.

 

These are the picture of the project and the work that the kids did.

      

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The beach before the clean up                                      The beach after the clean up

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The kids having fun

 

 

 

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Their open water certificates given by parrot dive shop

 

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Kevin Dilbert

 

 

Utila East Wind polls seek to improve quality of life for all on Utila.

Over the last years independent news agencies have been absorbed into massive news services leaving very few options for real communities to have any voice whatsoever. 

 The Utila East Wind, a small newspaper on the island of Utila, has been out of print since the 2009 Political Crisis but is maintaining a community presence in a new way.

The power of the internet has been instrumental in our continued existence. Via the utilaeastwind.com website we published articles throughout the political crisis and now we are focusing on the issues most important to the people of Utila. A healthy community.

Through Facebook, we are now polling readers on questions to confirm the opinions of people regarding Utila and life here. We will be covering issues such as education, immigration, crime, conservation and many others that affect everyone on Utila, whether directly or indirectly.

We need your support to make these polls relevant. The more votes, comments and questions that can be asked, the better the information we will have. Whether you support or counter any issues your opinions will count.

If you are not yet a friend of the Utila East Wind Facebook page send us a friend request and include yourself in this groundbreaking effort to make Utila the best place in the world once again.

 Utila East Wind | Create your badge
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Tropical Storm Harvey passes over Roatan. Utila escapes unscathed.

 

Roatan had a rough night as Tropical Storm Harvey passed over the main island of The Bay Islands Archipelago late Friday night.

Utila, the smallest and southernmost island, was spared from any major winds or rain by virtue of the fact that Harvey's wind field was very compact, and therefore the storm was unable to shake our island.

On Utila this morning, the skies are still dark gray with winds out of the southwest. The clouds to the north are still  forcefully turning with the Storm, but looking to the east slivers of clear skies are now visible.

Walking the streets this morning there was little evidence of any damage from Harvey. No broken branches, fallen banana trees or wave swept beaches. Just some clusters of ripe hog plums shaken from the tree by the breeze.

The port in La Ceiba will be closed today preventing the ferry from traveling, but flights will be possible. For Sunday it appears the all will be back to normal.

Harvey will now go on to the coast of Belize where it should make land fall later today as a strong Tropical Storm or nominal hurricane. 

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Find Nirvana on Utila 

Yes it is possible for one to find Nirvana. It's right here on, or should we say, just below Utila.

The Nirvana, a 33' sailboat from Springfield, Missouri came to Utila some eight years ago and fell into neglect from lack of use. UDSEC (Utila Dive Safety Environmental Counsel) was able to purchase the sailboat and Steve Dankewich with the team from Ecomarine, were placed in charge of sending The Nirvana to... Nirvana. 

The first step was to remove all remnants from the diesel engine to make the wreck environmentally sound for placement. The next and remove any danger areas that a SCUBA or freedivers could get entangled on. 

Then it was time to find an ideal location for the Nirvana to rest. Many locations were examined for suitability and in the end an uncharted sea mountain 3miles from East Harbour was chosen. The target area was a "blue hole" surrounded by pristine coral reef at a depth of 30 meters.

Many dives were conducted to locate moorings that would hold the Nirvana over the target area. These moorings were critical to insuring that the Nirvana made a controlled decent to it's final resting place.

Finally, everything was in place and the weather conditions were perfect for the mission. The team setoff with The Nirvana in tow on a calm Sunday afternoon. The moorings were secured to the sailboat and the seacocks were opened allowing the Nirvana to fill with water.

Just 44 minutes later, The Nirvana raised her stern in classic fashion and just 5 seconds later she was on the bottom. See video above!

Now, just weeks later, all kinds of aquatic life are making Nirvana their home. Lobster, filefish and barracuda have been seen within Nirvana and Eagle Rays often fly past, inspecting the strange new feature located on Nirvana Bank.

If you are interested in diving Nirvana ask your local dive operator.

 

Utila, a diver's paradise

Descripción: C:\Users\32072\Documents\DSCF3767_small.jpgFor Centuries, Privateers in search of Spanish gold and Payan artifacts, have funded expeditions to The Bay Islands. Scouring it's beaches, hills and caves in pursuit the treasures, hidden by the Pirates of Olde and the Sands of Time.

With the advent of SCUBA diving a second wave of privateers arrived, now searching below the surface for the same treasures. No one knows the total of what was found over these many years, but it is certain that there are many secrets yet to be revealed.

Utila, the smallest of the three Bay Islands was no exception. Legends of jeweled swords, Templar influence and buried gold are in the stories passed down over the generations.  

Descripción: C:\Users\32072\Documents\jack_niel_sm.JPGToday the essence of this bygone era can still be captured on a simple walk through the streets of East Harbour, on a walk to Pumpkin Hill or by spending a day on at the Utila Cays where the first settlers staked their claim.

The age of the privateer has faded into Utila's history and a new type of explorer has arrived. This time, not to horde or plunder, but to dive and relax.

On Utila, SCUBA diving has always been the top attraction for adventures travelers who seek unexplored coral reefs and unique cultures, just beyond, the edge of the known World. 

Below the surface the modern day treasures of Utila are now attracting people from around the world. Descripción: C:\Users\32072\Documents\Utila_rock_harbour.JPG

Turtle Harbour Marine Reserve is now a world famous dive destination outside the influences of modern man. The mangrove bordered harbour is completely undeveloped and serves as one of the main hatching areas for many aquatic species. 

Just outside Turtle Harbour, the great walls drop dramatically to a depth of over 2000' and beyond. This geological fact brings some of the great beasts of the sea to the surface just off Utila's coast. 

Whale Sharks, the world's largest fish, are more commonly spotted off the coast of Utila than anywhere else in the world. Divers travelling to the north side often have the once in a lifetime chance to swim with these gentle beasts.

The South Shore of Utila has wonderful diving also. Sites like Labyrinth, Black Coral Wall and Airport Caves provide divers with stunning wall dives, a great variety of fish life and soft corals.

Descripción: C:\Users\32072\Documents\wreck.jpgFor wreck divers, the Halliburton provides advanced divers with the opportunity to explore this 150' sunken vessel which ten years ago was lowered to a depth of 110' by the local dive operators. Now the ship has many corals and large grouper, snappers, moray eels and other sea creatures calling it home.

Diving on Utila has always been affordable and now there are more options available than ever. For a resort vacation The Utila Lodge, Laguna Beach Resort and Utopia Dive Village offer the all inclusive experience. These resorts offer 7 day packages with diving and all meals included starting at $750.00/week plus taxes and reef fees.

There are ten dive operators in Utila Town offering a range of accommodations, packages and prices. Ecomarine Gunter's Dive Shop offer ten tank fun dives for $180.00 and PADI Open Water Certification for $229.00 including shared accommodation and two fun dives after your course). There are also some larger operators like Utila Dive Center who offer courses starting at $299.00 with shared accommodation at The Mango Inn and fun dives also.

There are many wonderful options for accommodation on Utila. Whether you are looking for budget accommodation starting at $5/day. If you would like to rent your own private oceanfront villa or a boutique hotel, Utila has what you are looking for. The Lighthouse, Slumberland, Bayview Hotel and Colibri Hotel are some excellent options.

On the surface, Utila offers excellent dining and nightlife. You can enjoy your sunset from one of many open air dock bars. Coco Loco and Tranquila Bar are two of the favorites. For a real feel for the Caribbean , Friday night at The Bar in the Bush is an unforgettable experience. Reggae, Soca and all the favorite local music combine to make this the #1 dance hall on Utila. Descripción: C:\Users\32072\Documents\Aquarium.JPG

For dining, Utila offers fine Italian dining at La Picola, Caribbean cuisine at Evylin's, a great international menu at the Mango Cafe and Munchies and set menu meals at the Wooden Spoon and Dave's. For Israeli food the Ultralight is a great options

For budget options, dining with Thompson's Bakery, Island Cafe and Nedi's in Sandy Bay can fill your tummy with tasty meals starting at less than $4.00.

If you are a resort diver, fun diver are wish to learn how to dive Utila has what you are looking for. This wonderful island and it's people will welcome you for your dive adventure of a lifetime.

World powers to normalize relations with Honduras

January 27 2010

Today the transfer of power from the intern government of Roberto Micheletti to the recently elected Profilio Lobo will be completed in Tegucigalpa.

Delegations from many countries including the USA, Dominican Republic, Israel,  Taiwan, Spain, Guatemala, Panama and a range of other countries from the Americas and Europe will be in attendance to witness the event and give support to the democratically elected Pepe Lobo.

ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance) Counties are sending no representatives and it remains to be seen whether this left wing bloc will accept the new government after the National Congress overwhelmingly voted to withdraw from ALBA and reversed many of Zelaya's decrees that were made while he was in power.

On the eve of this event, many developments have taken place including the exoneration of Honduras' top generals for their actions during the removal of deposed president Manuel Zelaya in June 2009. Also, amnesty has been approved by the newly installed Congress for Manuel Zelaya.

Earlier this week it was also announced  that Manuel Zelaya would leave the country and live in exile in the Dominican Republic and yesterday president elect Lobo announced that he may escort Zelaya the airport along with the Presidents of Guatemala and Dominican Republic.

However, with the amnesty now approved it remains to be seen if he will indeed leave Honduras as planned.

....Updates to this story will be posted as available.

 

2009... A Year to Remember

On December 31st 2009 Utila waved goodbye to a year that will be remembered for a lifetime. Infants, children, teenagers, adults and the elderly will carry strong images from this fateful year forever. 

... 2009 was the year that we found out what was carried on the night flights coming, soDescripción: C:\Users\32072\Documents\narco.jpg often and so late, to Utila's Airport. The, not so surprising truth was that Utila became a hub station of a poli-narco war, a remote depot where planes with 1500 kilo shipments of cocaine could refuel on its journey to the starving noses in New York, Washington and the rest of North America. The planes have, for now, stopped

... On May 28th 2009 at 2:20am everyone on Utila was thinking the same thing. Earthquake! Descripción: C:\Users\32072\Documents\demorcacy bridge.jpgThe intensity of this major 7.3 magnitude earthquake caused televisions to fly, homes to fall and people to move to the hills in fear of an impending tsunami. Thankfully the tsunami never came. When daylight broke the horizon, Utila found little serious damage.

On the mainland the damage was more serious and much more ominous. To many is seemed a warning of things to come.

In El Progresso, The Democracy Bridge fell due to structural deficiencies. In San Pedro Sula, The Supreme Court Building was seriously damaged due to a design flaw that amplified the effects of the Earthquake.

These disasters set the stage for the events to come with Shakespearian foreboding.

Soon, President Manuel Zelaya, in his push for a new Constitution for Honduras, would shake the very foundations of the Republic.

His refusal to accept the Supreme Court decision which deemed his referendum illegal, his refusal to accept the Congressional vote against his referendum, and finally his attempt to capture the ballots from seizure and distribute them with the help of his loyalists, caused Manuel Zelaya to be removed from power and caused Honduras to become a Rouge State in the eyes of the International Community.Descripción: C:\Users\32072\Documents\hugo and mel.jpg

Zelaya's actions after is exile then caused greater damage and his insistence to return as President through insurrection, combined with Hugo Chavez' threat of armed intervention, created siege like conditions throughout the country.

Curfews, Border closures and restrictions in movement devastated the economy. Zelaya's continued insistence of return to the Presidency leaves him as a permanent guest at the Brazilian Embassy. It also leaves the Republic of Honduras vulnerable to to attack economic or otherwise, from Hugo Chavez and The Bolivarian Alliance.

... Through all these political problems Honduras did find one great and wonderfulDescripción: C:\Users\32072\Documents\pavon.jpg distraction. The Honduras National Football team was in the hunt for qualification for the World Cup. While international media outlets were searching the streets for conflict, hundreds of thousands of Hondurans watched our squad fight through Mexico, beating them 4-0 at home in San Pedro Sula, everyone proudly chanting HONDURAS HONDURAS. Every match was critical and in a nail bighting conclusion Honduras prevailed and will be in South Africa this summer to face the World's best.

... Utila received its own personal ray of light when, in a gap between curfews, the legendary reggae sensation Eric Donaldson played two free concerts for the people Descripción: C:\Users\32072\Documents\ERICDON.JPGof Utila on Chepas Beach.  Everyone, young and old, attended and felt blessed hearing Eric sing songs that have played on every music box on Utila for the past 30 years.

Now, with 2009 behind us, Utila is looking to the future and is ready to face whatever may come. Good or bad, happy or sad we are ready for whatever may come.

Peace and Love.

 

The Canucks are coming!

Descripción: C:\Users\32072\Documents\Laceiba_tourists.jpgCanadians are enjoying easier access to Honduras for the winter season with Charter Airlines offering flights and vacation packages to Roatan and La Cieba.

CanJet is offering Thursday departures from Montreal direct to La Ceiba and Sunwing is offering direct Monday flights to Roatan.

There are some great last minute fares that have been available and last minute vacation packages are also very attractive.

Travelers to Utila will benefit from this option because travelers will now only need to take the Utila Princess Ferry to Utila from La Ceiba. This means a one day trip from the freezing temperatures of Canada to dive at one of Utila's fantastic dive sites.

For more information contact redtag.ca or sunwing.ca for these options. There are also regularly scheduled flights from AA, Delta, Continental and Taca airlines. These airlines provide service to San Pedro Sula (SAP), Roatan (TRB) and La Ceiba (LCE)

 

 

 

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