Utila maintains a diverse population that reflects her colorful past
as well as centuries of cultural and ethnic transitions. Island residents are
comprised of English and Cayman descent, Spanish-speaking Hondurans from the mainland, offspring from the original pirate settlers and foreign land owners. The initial settlers of Utila were pre-Columbian Paya Indians. They left behind many archaeological treasures which are scattered throughout the higher flat lands of the island. These Indians flourished on the island until colonization began by the Spanish in the early 1500s.
Over the next century, the Spanish plundered the island for its slave trade and ultimately eliminated the island of Indians by the early 1600s. Britain, in its aggressive attempt to colonize the Caribbean from the Spanish, occupied the Bay Islands on and off during 1550-1700. In this time frame, the Buccaneers found the vacated
and mostly unprotected Islands a haven for safe harbor and
transport. Utila is rich in pirate lore and, to this day, scuba divers look for sunken treasure from Captain Morgan's lost booty from his raid on Panama in 1671. The British were forced to return the Bay Islands to the Honduran government in mid-1800s. It was at this time that the nearly uninhabited island was being seeded by its now Caymanian roots.
Utila remains rich in Caymanian culture and dialect. The island has been part of Honduras for over 150 years, yet its nature reflects independence and
the local government works diligently to promote and protect Utila’s unique and magnificent culture. Come relax and enjoy yourself at our Utila resort. Our diving packages and beaches are some of the best the island has to offer.
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