Las Marias although this is one of the most remote, nevertheless, it is the most visited Pech village. You can fly from La Ceiba to Palacios. There are some men with canoes with outboard motors whom will meet you for a 6-hours canoe trip through the rainforest to Las Marias.
There is a wooden hotel/hospedaje in Las Marias—wooden walls, palm leaf roof of Suita, complete with bucket shower…the very old fashion in the hills way of life.
They will feed you. The local guides will take you out on the river into the forest to see archaeological ruins. You will find crafts are for sale in Las Marias, particularly tree bark twine bags.
Lencas The largest indigenous group in Honduras is the Lenca’s people. They live in the Western and Southern Highlands around [Honduras Lencas] Celaque, stretching east through La Esperanza (and including the departments of Intibucá, Lempira, and La Paz).
Contrary to popular belief, the Lencas are not members of the ancient, more well-known Mayans. A small village that is easily accessed is La Campa, with a merely population of 500, and which is the home to the Lencas. To get there, you can take a bus from Gracias, about 12 miles. Do make sure you buy some rough earthenware pottery that the area is well known for. At the women's cooperative shop, there is for a good selection of Lencan’s pottery at decent prices.
Leonel makes unimaginably small clay figurines with precise detail that are meticulously painted. His mother, Doña Desideria, makes a variety of pottery. Anyone can point out their home in Barrio San Matias in La Campa.
Lencas attend the Sunday traditional market (probably the most interesting one in Honduras) in Belen Gualcho on Sunday mornings. It is about 3 hours bus ride from Santa Rosa de Copan. It is easiest to arrive on Saturday, staying at the Hotel Belen. You can try the Hospedaje de Doña Carolina, if Belen is full.
The Lenca’s language is all but dead. Much of the Lenca culture has been lost since the 1930's. Lenca men are expected to join in communal efforts; tending the Lenca forests, clearing the underbrush to reduce forest fires, assisting widows with farming, etc.
The Lencas have a special dance called the guancasco. La Campa's Guancasco draws over 290,000 weekly. The Guancasco is the meeting of two villages for the purpose of celebrating peace between them on the occasion of the patron Saint's fair.
When you go to Lenca villages, you should definitely visit the churches which have saints with handmade clothes that people give to the saints to thank them for some prayer answered during the year. Another popular place to go is Ojojona south of Tegucigalpa which also has a large Guancasco.
Garifuna communities are the easiest traditional communities to visit. Most tourists to Honduras will no dough be passing near some Garifuna community. The most accessible Garifuna villages to visit are in:
• Trujill o (Trujillo, Santa Fe, San Antonio, Guadalupe) and
• The Tela área (San Juan, Tournabe, Triunfo de la Cruz, Miami, La Ensenada)
• Bataya (in The Rio Plátano Biosphere Reserve área)
• The La Ceiba area (Corrozal and Sambo Creek)
In Garifuna villages, you can see traditional architecture, such as houses of wild cane or palm leaves. You can find traditional foods like machuca—mashed green plantains with coconut milk soup and fried fish, and many kinds of traditional bread, cassava bread, buns, banana bread, pumpkin bread, etc.
Frequently there are traditional ceremonies going on. [Don’t go in unless invited.] You can hear traditional musical instruments. Some CD players sell traditional and modern Garifuna music, especially punta. Garifuna ceremonies are not related to voodoo. The Garifunas dance for their ancestors.
Garifuna women wear both modern clothes and traditional Garifuna clothes which include headscarves and brightly colored dresses. Garifuna villages are on beautiful beaches and the canoes of the fishermen rest on the beach.
In active fishing communities, like Limon and Sambo Creek, nets dry on the beach. There are only a few craftsmen left these days. Sometimes, you can see men making drums or weaving nets as they catch the breeze.
Trujillo Garifunas live right in the town. Just walk towards the beach and turn left into Barrio Cristales. There are two little Garifuna hotels in Cristales Cocopando (very noisy) and Hospedaje Lilian which is one of quietest and safest hotels in Trujillo. Trujillo has a Garifuna craft store called GariArte. (Sorry, no dolls here.)
The Trujillo museum inside the fort and the private museum 15 minutes from town have exhibitions of Garifuna crafts. The Garifunas in Trujillo have organized and been trained to give tours and to show their dances. People are very open about talking about their culture.
People who visit Trujillo often take day trips to other Garifuna communities like Santa Fe or Guadalupe. Buses leave three times a day. Guadalupe has a little hotel. The restaurant Caballeros is famous in Santa Fe, run by a former cruise ship chef. People go there, place their order, swim and walk around for an hour or two, and come back and eat.
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