I am not the least bit bitter. Perhaps disappointed,
frustrated, maybe a little sad with our situation here
in Roatan, but always optimistic. But not bitter.
I'm not sure I understand your point as you allude to
many. But in several paragraphs, one theme stands out
To illustrate, I cite your quotes as follows:
"Consider the economic implications as compared to the
stress on the environment."
"Cruisers depart the ship and leave on the island a
considerable amount of money for the time they are
"traffic jams...put very little stress on the fragile
environment versus the economic benefits."
"Naples ...a less desirable but more affluent city..."
"The rich get rich and the poor get poorer. So what
else is new.”?
If it's all about money, Robert, than you and I have a
lot to disagree about. But I know many of us here in
Roatan think there is more to it.
Let me first dispense with the attitude that we are
lamenting the loss of paradise and "the changes we are
experiencing," or that we are disappointed in how our
wonderland has been taken from us (to borrow your
words). We're not idiots. We understand that change is
inevitable and that it is good. There is nothing wrong
with growth, having electricity and telephones and
paved roads, which weren't here when I and many others
first came here.
Many of us are here BECAUSE of the growth, the new
businesses, the investments, the jobs, the activities,
the resorts, and the opportunities. But we want
orderly, planned growth, not a feeding frenzy. We want
sensible building codes, zoning, environmental
protection, and preservation of some of our finest
areas, which are becoming McHousing developments.
Please refer back to the place in my post where I talk
about fact that Roatan isn't ready to absorb the
impact of plus or minus 1,200 cruise ship visitors per
ship, sometimes 3 a day, and sometimes 4 to 6 times a
week. We don't yet have the infrastructure. But there
are many who say, "Go for it!" Get the money while the
getting is good.
You are right, Robert, "the emphasis needs to be on
better education, controlled growth, sanitation and
water" and the other things about which I've already
spoken. BUT, Robert, the emphasis is NOT on these
things, and that's the problem. The emphasis is on the
short-term gain off these cruise ships at the
long-term expense of the island. Roatan is a
Johnny-come-lately in this area. All we need to do is
not make the same mistakes that others have made. It's
easy to preach about what should be, but it's up to us
islanders to make it happen.
The "cruise ship" isn't going to make it happen, it's
making the situation worse by warping the attitudes of
the locals. "Pretend for a moment that the cruise
ships suddenly stopped coming to Roatan." I wish for
that every day. We stopped taking our resort guests to
the once beautiful and pristine Tabyana beach years
ago because the corals are trashed from way to many
encounters with cruise ship passengers. But it
continues because of the money.
Yes, cruise lines "get a percentage for booking shore
excursions." And I am not bad-mouthing cruisers. They
go on cruises, more than ever since 9/11 because they
perceive it to be a safe as well as relatively
inexpensive way to see the world. I have no problem
with that. But you would be surprised to learn that
cruisers do not leave a considerable amount of money
on the island for the little time they are here. Most
pay for the excursions on the ship, eat their meals on
the ship before and after coming ashore, and spend
very little money. They are notoriously bad tippers.
And, yes, the whorehouses. It's the crew-members off
these ships, not the passengers, who largely patronize
these establishments, and that doesn't do much for
morality or aids control.
Robert, I think Roatan is still a wonderful place,
too. I hope you will come back, but come on an
airplane and spend some time here. Get to really
understand what is going on here. I don't mean to be
disrespectful, but I do think you have limited
knowledge and experience in this area, and I think you
could learn a lot by staying a while.
I would be delighted to have you stay with us at Bay
Islands Beach Resort. I think we could have some
With best regards,
Bay Islands Beach Resort
"Dive the Famous Spooky Channel"
--- Robert Black wrote:
> Dear Readers:
> This might come as a surprise to you but I agree
> with much of what Ted said. I did not want to start
> a big brohaha but I feel I need to clarify what I so
> poorly expressed in the previous email.
> First: I should not have used the 'Cruisers are the
> lifeblood of Roatan' but rather expressed that the
> cruisers do make a contribution to the economy of
> I take exception to some of the problems that Ted
> attributes to cruisers. But, perhaps, we should
> first define cruisers. My definition of cruiser is
> someone who comes and leaves on a cruise ship.
> Rarely do they depart and spend extra time on the
> island. And to my limited knowledge, none of the
> cruise ships spend overnight. Therefore, consider
> the economic implications as compared to the stress
> on the environment.
> Cruisers depart the ship and leave on the island a
> considerable amount of money for the little time
> they are there. Yes, traffic jams are caused by the
> influx but they put very little stress on the
> fragile environment versus the economic benefits.
> Specifically the water and sanitation issues. The
> rampant aids problem in Honduras in general and
> Roatan are not likely increased much by the
> cruisers. Therefore don't lay the whorehouses at
> their feet. An excess of money and lack of
> education is the real problem. As you said, the
> money does not trickle down to the poorer people.
> The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. So
> what else is new.
> Pretend for a moment that the cruise ships suddenly
> stopped coming to Roatan. What economic chaos would
> happen? Those who buy condos and spend weeks or
> months there but not year around would still be
> coming. They don't come on cruise ships; they fly in
> for their vacation. I lived in Naples, Florida for
> a year around 1979. The population would swell from
> a year around 30,000 to around 120,000 or more
> during the high season. They spend a lot of money
> during that time and it made Naples a less
> desireable but more affluent city because of the
> My heart goes out to those of you who moved to
> Roatan because of it's beauty and isolation. I know
> you are rapidly losing that. I once moved to the
> country for the quiet and view and the city moved in
> around me; so I can appreciate your dissapointment
> about the changes you are experiencing. But the
> fact is; it is going to happen and continue to grow
> and the best you can do is try to properly manage
> The emphasis needs to be on better education,
> controlled growth, sanitation and water. Not bad
> mouthing cruisers because you are disappointed in
> how your wonderland has been taken from you. You
> can't get it back. Therefore you must work together
> to help solve the problems such as crime on the
> The cruise lines (I imagine) get a percentage for
> booking shore excursions. Yes, to a slight extent
> they warn about crime. I was even warned about
> going to the downtown section at night because of
> "drunks with machetes" and this was by someone who
> lived there for two years.
> Roatan is still a wonderful place and I for one hope
> to cruise there again in the future. I would even
> like to move there or at lease come there for two to
> four weeks. Your problems are those that every
> attractive destination experiences and multiplied
> due to political considerations common to a third
> would country.
> We at Spartanburg Angels seek to help those who need
> it most in Roatan. We are small but growing and
> only hope to make whatever contribution to improving
> the very problems you all discuss here in these
> I would be happy to email to anyone who wants to but
> do not see the need to belabor this site. Robert
> Black achristianplace....net
> [Non-text portions of this message have been
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