To date, Utila continues to maintain a diverse population that reflects “her” colorful past and centuries of cultural and ethnic transitions. Island residents are of English and Cayman decent, 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 1500's.
Over the next century, the Spanish plundered the island for its slave trade and, ultimately, eliminated the island of Indians by the early 1600's. 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, 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-1800. 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 its independence and its 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.
To learn more about the island of Utila please visit:
www.aboututila.com or www.utilaguide.com