Newcomers Have a Few Things to Learn

June 1st, 2007
by George S. Crimmin

[private] v5-6-Speaking OutDuring the past decade there have been a flood of immigrants to the Bay Islands, especially from mainland Honduras. I’m pretty tired of us native Bay Islanders feeling like we have to be totally accommodating to them. It is the duty of the newcomers who must adapt, not the natives. There are a few things that those who have arrived recently to our islands, and apparently some who were even born here, need to understand. As islanders, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own lifestyle. We have traditionally spoken English, not Spanish, or any other language. Learn the language and show some respect for our customs and traditions!

As far as religion is concerned-we have traditionally been Protestants. Many of the newcomers are of the Catholic faith. This does not offend us in any way. We believe in religious freedom, but we only ask that you show some respect for our traditions.

We have not been a mixture of cultures, since the English culture has been our heritage. The contract surrendering the Bay Islands and La Mosquitia to Honduras took place in the city of Comayagua in 1860. The treaty took effect the following year. Prior to that, the Bay Islands were governed by a Governor General appointed by Her Majesty, the Queen of England. After the signing of this treaty, the residents of the Bay Islands were furious. Many opted to leave and resettle in British Honduras- Belize, refusing to accept Honduran citizenship.

They preferred to remain British subjects, and can you blame them? Our ancestors were predominantly British and Caribbean. This is clearly documented in our history. English has historically been our language; and if this offends you, then I suggest you consider living elsewhere.

We are happy with our traditions, our Islands and our lifestyle, especially our language. Our constitution gives every citizen the right to express his or her opinion and we allow you every opportunity to do so. But once you are done whining and complaining, I encourage you to take advantage of another great island tradition, the freedom and right to leave.

Now all we need to do is elect leaders with the intestinal fortitude, i.e. guts, to ensure that our culture and traditions persist. A wise man once said: “Contentment isn’t necessarily getting what we want, but being satisfied with what we have.” Oh, one thing more, the contract between Honduras and Her Majesty also stipulated that our lands and way of life were not to be disturbed in any form or fashion, period. [/private]

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