Sunday, April 27, 2008

Girls Afternoon Out in La Campa, Lempira

Yesterday my good friend Trish, who lives about 45 minutes away in the city of Santa Rosa de Copan, took myself and two of my daughters with her on a trip to the village of La Campa, about half an hour from here (in the other direction).

Trish recently received a large number of plants for her birthday, and she wanted to purchase some clay pots for planting. It is very easy to get plastic planters that somewhat resemble clay, but harder to find actual clay pots. The village of La Campa is a well known source for handmade red clay pottery, so we took a few hours on a Saturday for a visit.

La Campa is one of many villages in our area which is attempting to attract tourism to stimulate their economy. They are doing a lot of things right, as their village is remarkably clean and attractive. Litter seems to be a part of the culture of Honduras, and it takes a large effort to get a community to overcome its complacency about litter and actually keep their streets clean. I was recently in the city of Copan Ruinas, and thought they were doing a pretty good job with this, but La Campa was remarkably pristine!

Here are some pictures of the lovely central area of the village. Keep in mind that we are at the very end of the dry season here. La Campa has done an incredible job of keeping their central area green at this time of year.

Sadly, when we arrived in La Campa on a lovely, sunny Saturday afternoon, there was nothing to do. We only found one pottery shop open, and this was clearly because the owner of the shop lived in the same building. All of the shops in the main area of the village were closed up. The beautiful Catholic church was also closed.

Happily, Trish was able to purchase about six or seven large pots for around $25 at this one shop.

We stopped at a roadside shop on our way out of town, which displayed pottery for sale, but we were told that the owner of the shop was not there, and only the owner knew the prices, so they were unable to sell to us at the time we were there.

It was a lovely and enjoyable trip, but as La Campa is pretty far off the beaten paths of Honduras, I doubt many tourists will consider it worthwhile to travel quite so far. If you're in the area, however, and you want to see a village which is gorgeously maintained, but still authentic, with a dramatic mountain setting, sporting colonial architecture and selling local crafts . . . you really can't beat La Campa.

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