Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Experience Authentic Village Traditions

The Lenca village of La Campa is located in a dramatic canyon setting in the mountainous highlands of western Honduras near the colonial city of Gracias. A new community-based eco-tourism project was recently launched and is intended to make it easy for visitors to spend time in the countryside, explore surrounding hillside commmunities and experience traditional Lenca culture. Contact or to find out more.

Excursion to Nueva Esperanza: Legends and Crafts

Local guides, such as Carlos David Perez ( are available to lead hikes to neighbouring villages such as Nueva Esperanza.
Nicolas, a local pottery artisan is pleased to demonstrate Lenca techniques which use red clay and traditional handtools such as corn husks. Hands-on workshops are also available. Firing is done in an outdoor kiln.

This prehistoric cave is 15 metres high and was used as a shelter for villagers and soldiers during times of conflict. Local legends also tell of a duende or spirit who lives inside a deep interior cavern and emerges to roam the countryside from time to time.

Eco-Excursions in Cruz Alta

It's possible to hike or ride by horseback to Cruz Alta, a remote Lenca community located up a steep hill behind town. The hill itself is considered to be sacred as it was the site of several miracles and is surrounded by thick rainforest which serves as important watershed for supplying drinking water to the community below. Hiking and bird-watching alongside Montana de Camapara is an inspiring activity that offers a glimpse of rare wildlife and vegetation. It's also possible to visit an organic coffee plantation or any of the micro-enterprises such as paper-making or pottery. A tour of the finca de Don Maximo Odon is a good way to become introduced to a wide variety of agricumtural methods and local indigenous crops. Planning is currently underway to launch a volunteer vacation program in the community.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Eco-tourism Activities

Hikes along the Rio Grande River, up to Mirador San Guanera and to neighbouring hillside villages are available independently or with a guide.

Hotels - Stay a night or more

Several hotels offer an opportunity to overnight in this secluded canyon setting and participate in eco-tourism activities such as hiking or to take a pottery lesson. Hotel Vista Hermosa and Hostal JB are nearest to the centre of town. For reservations, contact

Cabanas Daniela is located in a relaxing hillside setting and offers views of the canyon cliffs and village.

Religious Spirituality - San Matias Church

The Iglesias de San Matias, located in the centre of town, dates back to 1690 and is a lovely example of colonial Spanish architecture.
. An exchange of saints between neighbouring hillside villages is a memorable event.

During the week leading up to February 22nd, the church hosts one of Honduras' most important religious festivals. Over 30,000 pilgrims come to pay homage to the municipality's patron saint, San Matias and the village is the site of a bustling market, religious ceremonies and a traditional guanacascos dance

La Campa Lenca Pottery

The residents of La Campa and the surrounding hillside communities are of Lenca descent and the town is the heart of production for traditional Lenca pottery, made of red clay and hand-crafted according to ancient methods. Dona Desideria is a master craftsperson who offers pottery workshops. Call (504) 625-3393 one day in advance to make arrangements for a 1/2 day class.