Trick Me Once Shame on You…

August 1st, 2007
by Alfonso Ebanks

[private] V5-8-Our IslandsLast December in a privately owned resort in the municipality of Roatan, la crème de la crème of the political powers in Honduras gathered to make a decision on the future of the Bay Islands. With no more than two “diputados” voicing their opposition to the idea of granting free port status to these islands, it was a forgone conclusion that at last the Honduran Government had came up with an idea that would benefit the whole archipelago and all its inhabitants.

The idea was superb and the people talked about nothing else for weeks. We Guanajeños could hardly wait until the idea was passed into law and published so we all could start forging our own futures without the burden of sales tax, income tax and duties on our imports. We conducted a census of our people so that only the natives and other people living in the islands at this particular time would benefit from this new law.

We finished the census and waited and according to rumors we will be waiting for a long, long time for the free port dream to come true. Away from the aroma of broiled lobster and the vapors of very expensive scotch whiskey, our distinguished legislative body had second thoughts about what they were going to do for the Bay Islands. According to persons in the know, the honorable members of the National Congress held meeting after meeting and whittled down the original idea until it was exactly what they intended to give us in the first place… nothing. What we might be getting is some kind of immigration control and established companies will get permits to import duty free, anything considered to be directly related to the tourist industry. This consideration has to be determined by personnel of customs.

What about us little guys? Tricked again, my friend. But, we did get our 750 lempiras license to carry arms rescinded. I can remember an incident that I consider to be one of the biggest screwing over that we Bonaccan ever got from the Honduran government.

It was sometime in the late 1940’s after years of begging for help that the government decided to help us get running water in our houses on the Cay. To get this project off the ground we would need about 1,800 feet of two inch pipe to cross from the main island to the Lower Cays. The whole town turned out to greet the little freighter that was bringing the pipes. We got a couple of hundred pipes, but the glee of the town soon turned to astonishment and then to anger when the pipes were inspected and it was determined that the pipes were all four inch cast iron sewer pipes that had to be joined together with melted lead. Instead of pipes for potable water, the government had sent us sewage pipe that had to be joined with hot lead at seven fathoms down on the ocean floor.

We eventually got some 2 inch brass pipe, but not from the Honduran Government. At this very moment the Ministry of Tourism is in the process of laying sewage lines on the Cay and I was surprised to see that the largest diameter pipe they are using is 6 inch PVC. That size pipe seems a little small to me as it is the same size I use in my house and I only have 4 baths. There are at least one thousand bathrooms on this Cay. I firmly believe that we should get ready for another screwing over and this time it will have a very distinctive odor. [/private]

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