A trip to Utila, Honduras

On a recent trip through Central America, my partner and I spent 3 days on the island of Utila, Honduras. It’s the smallest of the Honduran islands with a population of around 3,500 and famous for its surrounding reefs and scuba diving. 

Utila is home to a diverse cultural mix including the Garifuna, but seems to mainly house dive shops and restaurants for tourists along the main street running through the middle of the island. I wanted to stroll away from all of that and find out what was going on elsewhere.

I don’t usually have much time to wonder off with my camera when the days are filled with diving trips, but on our final day I decided to follow what sounded like a drum workshop up one of the hill roads while my partner took a nap.

It turned out to be a school group rehearsing for an upcoming island procession for Easter. I walked up with my camera in hand, gave a smile and asked if I could photograph them. Typically of teenagers, they were both happy for the attention and shy and suspicious all at the same time. But they got on with their rehearsal and seemed glad to have an audience for half an hour.

These photographs aren’t trying to convey any deep Geo-political message about diversity or struggle in a poor country. What interests me when I meet people on my travels is the familiarity and connectedness of other humans. And nobody expresses that better than teenagers who are just as brilliant and chaotic as each other, wherever they come from.

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