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Utila East Wind - September 2005 Edition

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Stories picked from the Headlines

Let the Campaigns Roll

Richard Del Omo - Click to enlarge
Richard Del Omo
National Party
Alton Cooper - Click to enlarge
Alton Cooper
Liberal Party

Local TV presenter Shelby McNab felt the first pressures of the upcoming election during a heated political discussion on local news show, HQ TV on Thursday the 18th August.

The debate was ignited by the broadcasting of a controversial video tape filmed by Mr. McNab in La Ceiba the day before.

The tape saw several interviews with residents of barrio San Judas, San Jose, Las Canelas and La Azcona claiming that Richard Del Olmo and his assistant Andrina Muńoz had visited the neighborhood in an effort to persuade people to transfer their votes to Utila.

They alleged that free passages to the island, food and accommodation would be provided on the day before the election in exchange for their voting for Mr. Del Olmo.

“We were approached and offered a free trip Utila with food and accommodation in exchange for voting there” said one of the men interviewed.

“I don’t know how many document transfers were made, I wouldn’t do it, it’s illegal” said Sonia Tosta de Munoz, Voter Registrar, who claims to have been asked by Mr. Del Olmo to carry out the transfers.

Richard Del Olmo, candidate for Mayor, denies all allegations of illegally transferring votes.

“Transfers have been made, but all within the restrictions of the law”, he said.

The transfer of votes is not illegal however applicants must have resided in the area in which they intend to vote for at least six months.

“Previously, voters needed a card from the municipality to make a transfer. Some people had troubles getting the card so I complained and they stopped this system,” said Mr. Del Olmo.

“There is no law that can stop a Honduran to vote.” he said.

The video received mixed responses from the community with many callers phoning in to express their views.

Some were outraged while others believed the tape to be a setup also claiming that Mr. McNab was biased towards the Liberal Party.

“The issue is, is it right for La Ceiba residents to decide who our Mayor is, not which party am I voting for” said Mr. McNab during the heated discussions.

The following evening Mayor Alton Cooper invited reporters from the National Press to discuss the situation.

“Its not about parties, its about the correct way of doing things” said Mayor Cooper.

“The town needs a big explanation” said Mr. Cesar Agusto. Expect increasing political activity as election day, 27th November, draws closer and parties are out canvassing for votes.

El presentador de television Shelby McNab sintio las primeras presiones del elecion venidera durante una discusion politica aireada en las noticias locales de television, HQ el jueves 18 de augosto.

El debate fue en iniciado por una transmision de un video controversial fimado por el senor McNab en la Ceiba el dia anterior.

En el video se observaban varias entrevistas con residentes de barrios San Judas, San Jose, Las Canelas y La Azcona que reclamaban que Richard Del Olmo y su asisente Adrina Muńoz habian visitado la colonia en un esfuerzo para que la gente transfieran sus votos de Utila.

Ellos alegaban que pasajes gratis hacia la isla y comida y estadia iban a hacer proveidos el dia antes de la eleccion a cambio de su voto por el Sr. Del Olmo.

“Se nos accercaron y ofrecieron un viaje gratis a Utila por comida y estadia en la isla a cambio de votar por ellos”, dijo un hombre de La Ceiba.

“No se cuantos documentos fueron transferidos, yo no lo haria, es ilegal”, dijo Sonia Tosta de Munoz, del registro local de votantes, quien reclama haber sido indicada de hacer las transferencias por el Sr Del Olmo.

Richard Del Olmo, candidato para alcalde, niega toda las acusaciones de transferencias de votos.

El alega, “Las transferencias se han hecho, pero bajo toda la restricciones de la ley”.

La transferencia de votos no es illegal pero a pesar de esto tienen que haber residido en donde queran votar por lo menos seis meses.

“Previamente, los votantes necesitaban una tarjeta de la municipalidad para hacer las transferencias. Algunas personas tuvieron problemas al obtener la tarjeta so yo reclame y ellos pararon el sistema” el dijo.

“No hay voto que puede parar un Hondureno para votar”.

El video ha recibido respuestas encontradas por la comunidad, con muchas llamadas hechas para expresar sus puntos de vista.

“La situacion es, esta bien que los residents de La Ceiba decidan quien es nuestro alcalden no por que partido estoy votando” dijo el Sr. McNab durante estas discusiones controvertidas.

La siguiente noche el alcalde Alton Cooper invito a reporteros de la prensa nacional a discutir la situacion.

Algunos estaban escandalizados mientras los otros pensaban que el video habia sido fabricaba el cual tambien reclamaba que el Sr. McNab se inclinaba hace el partido Liberal. “No es acerca de los partidos, es acerca de la manera correcta de hacer las cosas”, dijo el alcalde Cooper.

“El pueblo necesita una gran explicacion” dijo Sr. Cesar Agusto. En respuesta a la acusaciones Richard Del Olmo aparecio en HQ la noche del trienta de agosto para hablar acerca de estas. “Cualquier persona que esta en esta lista de votantes tiene que ser permitido votar.” Esperen un aumento de actividad conforme se acerca el dia de elecion.

Fish Poisoning

A Japanese couple contracted ciguatera fish poisoning while holidaying on Utila in mid August.

The woman was taken seriously ill, suffering from numbness of the legs, severe diarrhea and dangerously low pulse and blood pressure.

“It was pretty bad, she nearly died”, said Dr. John who treated the patient.

The couple had eaten barracuda followed by fish soup the next day.“

He threw up, probably getting rid of the toxins whereas her condition just deteriorated”, said Dr. John.

He warns that August and September bring increased risk of contracting Ciguatera fish poisoning and people should be careful.

It is not possible to tell by observation whether a fish is affected by this toxin.

“The only way to avoid getting sick is not to eat big reef fish at this time of the year” said Dr. John.

The toxin that causes ciguatera accumulates in the flesh of large predatory reef fishes, particularly barracuda.

The disease causes severe neurological symptoms including weakness, temperature sensation changes, pain and numbness in the extremities, often accompanied by diarrhea, vomiting and cardiovascular problems.

“You usually get sick about four hours after eating bad fish and it may last weeks or months”, said Dr. John.

There is currently no cure, treatment is specific to the symptoms the patient experiences. “It is important sufferers seek medical help immediately, prompt treatment is very important” said Dr. John.

The toxin is produced by microalgae Gambierdiscus toxicus that can grow practically anywhere on the reef.

Herbivores ingest the toxin first, they then get eaten by larger fishes who accumulate the toxins over a lifespan in their flesh. The higher the fish is in the food chain the higher the concentration of toxins. “Stick to small or pelagic fish, they are safe”. said Dr. Jacobs, Guatemala.

Una pareja japonesa contrajo ciguatera por pez envenenado en medio de Agosto.

La mujer setuvo gravemente enferma, sufriendo del no sentir las piernas, diarrea severa, bajo pulso y baja presion sanguinea.

“Fue muy mal, estuvo a punto de morirse”, dijo Dr. John quien trató a la paciente.

La pareja habia comida barracuda y sopa de pescado el dia siguiente.

“El vomit ó, probalemente sacando las toxicas, mientras que la condición de ella solo deterioró”, dijo Dr.. John.

El advierte que agosto y septiembre trae alto riesgo de contraer ciguatera y deberia tomar precaucion.

No es possible saber si el pez esta afectado por este toxico a plena vista.

“Lo unico manera de evitar enfermarse es no comer pescados grandes en este periodo.

Sin herir al, los herbivoros ingieren el toxico primero luego son comidos se acumula en la piel del pez.

Entre mas alto este el pez en la cadena mas alta la concentracion del tóxica.

“Limitese a pescados pequeña o de profundidad, ellos son buenos.” dijo Dr. Jacobs.

News in Brief

Utila Carnival Logo
Carnival logo designed by Fernando Alfonso

Carnival Cash
So far the Utila Carnival 2005 has raised a grand total of Lps.43, 000. The committee is still awaiting money from Caribbean Sea Foods to bump up the total. The funds this year will provide a much needed bodega for staff at the new Health Centre. Carnival logo designed by Fernando Bodden

Road Accident
An American tourist, 56, sustained serious head injuries when his bike collided with a motorcycle on August 30th.The accident happened on the road to the new airport where the patient was rushed immediately to the new Health Centre for emergency care.

Within hours he was flown to La Ceiba for further treatment accompanied by his wife. Dr. John attended to the patient who had already lost a lot of blood through the large, open wound on his forehead as well as dislocating his right middle finger..

Tourists Sing for Scuba Lessons
Tourists singing for Scuba Lesson Money

Sing for Scuba
Armed with guitars and interesting voices, two tourist boys took up position outside the new building at the dock and set about earning themselves enough money for a diving course. The duo, strapped for cash and eager to get their open water certificates, strummed away merrily to bewildered passers by.

With a sign that read “Help us get a scuba course, Please donate. Thank ‘two hope not to be struggling artists”.

Utilians shine at Miss Honduras
Congratulations to Utilian beauty, Flor Gabourel, for making it through to the finals of Miss Honduras 2005.Crowned Miss Utila at this years carnival celebrations, Ms. Gabourel will compete alongside contestants from all over the country in a ceremony held in La Ceiba on October 3rd.

Joining her will be part-Utilian stunner Lissa Saenz, daughter of Utilian Alan Viera and current Miss Cacao.

New Door at Community Clinic

New Door for Community Clinic
The wall at Utila community Clinic has been knocked through to create a new door. The new door provides easy access from the street and is large enough for stretchers to fit in. “Its much easier now in an emergency. The patients can come straight in on a stretcher saving valuable time.” Said Dr. John McVay.

Get Fit for Christmas
Fitness fanatics on the island can look forward to the opening of a brand new Gym, offering a full range of exercise machines and free weights. Ocean Fitness, the brainchild of Barbara Kempt and Andy Philips, will be housed in a purpose built centre under construction in Sandy Bay. There will also be a health bar serving juices and salads and a retail shop selling vitamins and supplements.

Thomas Wilkinson Found
For those of you who were aware of the disappearance of Thomas Wilkinson, 19, his worried mother has been in contact from the UK to say that she has finally located her son, safe and sound and on his way to Copan. Mrs. Wilkinson raised the alarm when she failed to hear from her son for several days after he left a message saying that he was out of funds.

She would like to thank all of the kind Utilians for their support and the young American who gave him some money.“ He was stranded on Utila for two days, he wished it was longer!" she said.

Municipality News

Alton Cooper - Utila Mayor - Click to enlarge
Alton Cooper
Utila Mayor

Like all of you I have been following the developments of Hurricane Katrina and my thoughts are with those who have friends and family in the affected areas.

This month I would like to congratulate the new municipal police force for their continued hard work, their nightly patrols have made an enormous impact on crime levels.

Since the introduction of the force there have barely been reports of break-ins, tourist harassments or any other petty crimes on the island.

I would also like to publicly thank Troy Bodden and the US Army Corp for all their help this month.

As you know August the 27th marked the official start of campaigning ahead of November’s elections, despite these preparations however municipal work continues as usual.


Utila’s community clinic has had a new larger door constructed to allow patients to enter the building faster and more safely in an emergency. New fans, lighting and wiring have also been installed.


We have constructed a new road to Rocky Point for the new desalination plants. This was made possible by the generous assistance of Troy Bodden who provided the heavy machinery and materials for the project.


Road works continue in the center of town, I hope you are pleased with the progress that has already been made and continue to be as patient as you have been.


The water pressure on the island has greatly improved. This is due to the work carried out by the US Army Corp on the main town wells at the baseball field.


Remember I am always available to discuss any concerns. Please feel free to come and see me with any questions or suggestions and I hope you all enjoy the upcoming Independence Day celebrations.


Como todos ustedes, estado viendo lo sucedido del huracán katrina y mis pensamientos es para aquellos que tienen sus i familiares en el lugar afectado.

Este mes me gustaría felicitar al la policía municipal por su trabajo i por las horas nocturnas han hecho un enorme impacto en los niveles criminales.

Desde su introducción de ellos a sido pocos lo caso de de introducción en lo que es viviendas maltratos a lo turistas u otros crímenes en la isla.

También me gustaría dar la gracias al señor Troy Bodden i los agentes de US army por todo su colaboración este mes.Como ustedes saben el 27 de agosto como día de comienzo de las campañas electorales seguido de noviembre estas preparaciones como la municipalidad sigue su labor normal.


Utila comunity clinic ,ha sido construida una puerta para permitir que los pacientes puedan ingresar al edificio con rapidez i mucho mas seguro en alguna emergencia también nuevos abanicos i conexiones de alambrado han sido instalados.


Hemos construido también una nueva carretera a rocky point para la nueva planta desilisadora esto fue construido por el generoso Troy Bodden que hizo la entrega de las maquinarias y materiales para el proyecto.


Trabajo ha sido continuado el las calles del centro del pueblo esperamos que estén satisfechos con el avanzamiento que hemos hecho continuaremos i esperamos su paciencia así como han hecho.


Estoy seguro que han notado la presión en el agua potable esa fue la tarea con la cual esta ayudando los agentes del US army pues en el campote football.


Recuerden que siempre estoy disponible para discutir cualquier comentario, por favor sentase libres de venir haberme con cualquier pregunta o sugerencia i espero que todos ustedes disfruten de el día de la independencia.


Sunjam 2005

Sunjam 2005 - Click to enlarge
Party Goers at SunJam 2005

One more time the infamous party took place at Water Caye on August 6th.

After many days of rain the skies cleared up, “there is a God for us!” Said somebody on the dance floor.

The people flooded Utila from a week before, lots of them from El Salvador where they were having a two-week holiday. This year there was no party boat and the partygoers had to find their way across the sea arranging with one of many fishermen.

As a result many got stuck at the dock overnight since the weather turned rough in the afternoon and captains decided to go back home with their pockets full.

The ones who made it to the tropical paradise were not disappointed. This year the organizers provided private security guards and first class toilets with lights!

The music started from midday and as the sunset settled in, last year’s DJ’s Chaser, Jim Damato, Lu Maya and Balto opened the dance floor to the 600 or so fanatics of the House and Techno music.

“This year only the ones that really like to party came to the Caye” said Luis Maier, mastermind of the Sunjam Party.

Around the sandy main stage there was a fully stocked bar and Mr. G a couple of food stands. The troop of firedancers gathered once again this year to kick possessed dancers out of their mind with their rhythmic display of the fourth element.

As the dance floor turned hot after midnight the rest of the guests showed up, Rafael 3, Erik Prestinary and Mickey Franco made it clear that Central America can produce world class DJ’s.

Along with them a bunch of partygoers that finally made it after spending the night in Utila jumped in hungry for party and fun.

Around 10am the music faded away leaving the dancers no choice but to sit down after more than 15 hours of magic, love and pure party pleasure.

Details and images of this and more events available at www.sunjamutila.com

Una vez más la famosa fiesta se celebró en Water Caye el 6 de agosto.

Después de varios días de lluvia los cielos se limpiaron, “Hay un Dios para nosotros!” Dijo alguien en la pista de baile.

La gente inundó Utila desde una semana antes, muchos desde El Salvador donde tenían 2 semanas de vacaciones. Este año no hubo Party Boat y los asistentes tuvieron que arreglárselas para cruzar el mar con alguno de los pescadores.

Como resultado muchos quedaron varados en el muelle principal cuando el tiempo se puso bravo al atardecer y los capitanes decidieron irse a casa con los bolsillos llenos.

Los que finalmente llegaron al paraíso tropical no se desilusionaron. Este año los organizadores proveyeron guardias de seguridad privados y baños de lujo con luces !

La música comenzó al mediodía y cayendo el atardecer los DJ´s del año anterior Chaser, Jim Damato, Lu Maya y Balto abrieron la pista de baile a los 600 o más fanáticos del House y el Techno.

“Este año sólo los que les gusta realmente la fiesta vinieron al cayo” dijo Luis Maier, cerebro de la fiesta Sunjam.

Alrededor de la arena principal hubo un bar bien provisto y un par de puestos de comida. La compañía de bailarines de fuego se reunió una vez más este año para sacar fuera de sí a los poseídos danzantes con su dominio rítmico del cuarto elemento.

Cuando el piso de baile ya estaba caliente después de medianoche, el resto de los invitados hizo su aparición, Rafael 3, Erik Prestinary y Mickey Franco dejaron claro que Centroamérica puede producir DJ´s de clase mundial.

Junto a ellos un montón de asistentes a la fiesta llegaron finalmente después de pasar la noche en Utila, sedientos de fiesta y diversión.

Alrededor de las 10 am la música de desvaneció dejando a los danzantes sin más opción que sentarse después de 15 horas de magia, amor y puro placer de fiesta.

Detalles e imágenes de este y otros eventos disponibles en www.sunjamutila.com.


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