Honduras and baraccuda Very long lots of pics

John Hicks

Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits
So, my wife and I along with about 17 other people from around the country headed down to Honduras at the beginning of this month. We were going to Santabarbara to give about 300 women free cervical cancer screenings. The group included a women's oncology surgeon, an internal medicine doc, a dentist, three physicians assistants and a bunch of nurses. We hit three villages in three days providing medication, tooth extractions, and of course cancer screenings.
Jimillille was day one. This village is a very poor village way up a mountain about an hour outside of Santabarbara. There is not electricity, and only 6 wells in the village. Until March of this year the wells were unfiltered and dissentary and cholera were rampant in this village. Our group built them an out house in March with a pipe that ran down the hill out of the village. When we arrived after a long drive over broken ground up a mountain, I felt the need to relieve myself of the coffee I had that morning. I went over to the outhouse which by the way was the cleanest part of the village. All shiny and new looking. The door was wired shut. I had to climb up and reach down inside to unwire the door. It seems that the people wired it shut so as to keep the kids from playing inside it. :beathead: So much for cleaning up their potty habits. In the eight hours that we were in the village I saw many of the kids just drop trow and go. The ground in the village was covered in feces from chickens, dogs and people. With all of that said the people were super nice and we had a blast giving them care.

The second day we headed southwest of Santabarbara about an hour straight up the mountain to the village of La Eden. This was by far the biggest test on our Hyundai Terracon's four wheel drive. At one point in the drive I was in low heading down a steep grade and about 150 yards ahead was a river crossing. I noticed straight on the other side of the river was a sharp 90 degree turn to the right and straight up the other side of this ravine. Along side the river were several young men with machettes. Every man worth his salt in Honduras has a machette. The men take great pride in there machettes and adorn them and the scabbards with beads, and fine leather work. Well anyway, as I'm approaching the river, Margaritta says something in Spanish. One of the girls in the back says to me, "Margaritta says don't stop" At about this time the young men start waving their machettes and jump out in the road directly in front of me. Well, we are in Honduras right, so I gun the Hyundai and we hit the river at about 20mph, seriously drenching the men. Maybe this is how the men with machettes cool off in the 96 degree heat. :hmmm: On our way back from La Eden we needed to pick up a women that was scheduled for surgery the next day with one of our Surgeons. We drive by her house, pick her up and are on our way. Now it is quickly becoming dark and well you just don't drive in the country at night. Especially if you are a gringo. As we are making our way back to Santabarbara there is a woman and a man standing in the road. They wave us down and the women proceeded to tell Margaritta that she is in labor and needs a ride to the hospital. We all cram in even tighter and take the lady down to the emergency room in Santabarbara. We became a Honduran ambulance, very rewarding :thumb:

The third day of the villages was more of the same. Lots of people, free care, dispensing meds, treating scabbies........

Now for the good stuff you have all been waiting for. After we spent a week toiling in the hot high country, our group headed for the Island resort of Utila. The island is about 25 miles off the coast of Honduras and is surrounded by the second largest barrier reef in the world. The island is mostly geared for diving and snorkeling but I did manage one morning of some nice fishing. It seems that all the local fishermen don't have much use for poles or reels when they fish. The do this thing called handlinning.

You take a plastic bottle of which there are plenty of on this island since the lagoon that sits in the middle of the island is the local dump. Then you wrap the bottle with about a hundred yards of 60-80lb test line. At the end of the line is an old rusty hook with some thread and anything stringy. In the end the hook looks like a giant bucktail that you tied when you were 10. Anyway these guys can cast this set-up up to 30 feet after which time they jig the fly through the water. When they catch a small fish they pull it in and hook it through the back, then let is swim through the water or they drag it behind the boat. Hopefully after a bit you hook a tuna, barracuda, king fish, or wahoo.
Fortunately for us the guy we go out with still has the rods and reels that Chris brought down to him earlier this year. His name is Hal and he is about 70 years old.

This time Chris brought down a box of rapala saltwater plugs. We drug them behind the boat all morning. I wanted to fly fish but since no one else had equipment I relinquished and pulled a plug behind the boat. The fishing was slow all morning. At one point were were about 200 yards from a school of tuna attacking some bait, but one of our lines got wrapped around the propeller and we were dead in the water. After freeing our boat we were off and running again. We rounded the end of a cove and I could see the reef disappear from under us. Oh and by the way did I mention that the water here is crystal clear. Hal, our captain said, "maaan 'dis is deep water, muss be hundrid fitty or sooo" About 10 seconds later I feel a huge tug on the end of my line. A fish hit my 10" rappala so hard I thought I hooked the reef. Hal cut the engine and I fought the fish for about what felt like ten minutes. As the fish was coming up Hal lets out a scream "baracuda...big one too"

After several more miles of not catching a whole lot we decided to head around to the south side of the island to the keys. Utila has a string of keys or, Cays in Espagnol, that hang off its southern side. One of the Cays is a fishing village and we decided to have a bite to eat there and head back to the rest of the group for some more snorkeling. Word to the wise, don't eat a lobster burger from Rosalita's place, "it make you sick man" As Dave and I found out the hard way.

Anyway here are some more pics from the trip with some descriptions of them.

Four wheel drives are a must when traveling the country in Honduras. Oh and OSHA, NTSB, or any of those other acronyms aren't in Honduras either.

There will be no driving off without paying for gas in Honduras. Every business with money in it has an armed guard out front.

If you are American with lots of money you can own one of these too.

There are lots of flats around Utila, and the locals say there are lots of bones and permit too. I would believe it with the amount of fiddler crabs on the island

They say that the Mayan had a percentage of their population that was blond. This girl was stunningly beautiful and proof of the blond thing.

It's universal, Kids love balloons. Even if they are exam gloves blown up by a gringo (me).

A Honduran washing machine

This is one of my favorite girls at the Orphanage Hogar de Nino. Her and her mother live there.

Me snorkeling with Julia my wife

I told you the water was clear.