[private] In September as the big SOSA plane was about to land on Utila, a cow walked right into its path. The plane landed in the middle of the day with good visibility but couldn’t avoid mortally hitting the animal. Unfortunately, the plane was also totaled, blocking the runway and preventing other planes from landing on the island for a few days.
The owner of the cow kept quiet not to risk a lawsuit from SOSA and losing any more cows from his pastures. I believe the camponado crowd took the cow and made a meal out of her.
Since Utila’s landing strip is not fenced and is totally surrounded by cow pastures now and then you can see a cow or several cows wandering where they shouldn’t be … onto the runway. Luckily no person was injured. But this incident should serve as a warning for the future to secure the runway better.
Utila has a history of aeronautical accidents. In 1970, a woman was killed by a landing plane. There are ongoing accidents with people almost being hit by propellers as they walk to the taxiing aircraft.
What is worrisome is that some kids on motorcycles race planes during their lands and take-offs. ATVs and dogs have had some near misses. This activity is particularly dangerous when the east breeze is strong and the landing air planes are harder to hear.
Two Cultural Events Rock Utila
A science fair at La Champa took place on the morning of October 7. The public school BICA showed numerous exhibits which mostly tackled topics related to the environment, such as water pollution, lion fish control and garbage recycling. That is a good fit for an island as small as Utila, known as a dive Mecca with a worldwide reputation for inexpensive dive courses and super diving.
The science fair was a great success in helping people understand that the incredible beauty here should not be taken for granted, but to be protected at all cost.
Tourists don’t want to look at polluted beaches and reefs. Unfortunately the majority of the garbage on our beaches comes from the mainland. As an avid diver and beach comber I have the weekly “pleasure” to see the thousands of plastic bottles, Styrofoam, flip flops, etc, washed up on Utila’s reefs and beaches.
Art Exhibit at La Atelier
On October 7, Patricia Suarez, a resident artist from Argentina, showed her latest art collection inspired by Utila, entitled “Interweave/ Entrelazar.” For the last three years Patricia has run the Utila Art Space L’Atelier. She also has been teaching art and giving piano lessons to local children.
Scores of art lovers showed up to enjoy Patricia’s very unique painting style, aperitifs and hospitality. Since L’Atelier Utila art space is very tiny, some of her bigger canvasses and art pieces were outside and had to be moved after a blessing of liquid sunshine which drove more people in for shelter.
Utila boasts four art galleries–not bad for such a small community: Gunter Driftwood Gallerie, L’Atelier, Funky Fish Gallery, and Jade Seahorse. [/private]