martes, 19 de marzo de 2013

Atlantida, La Ceiba, Honduras

Atlántida is a department located on the north Caribbean shore of Honduras, Central America. The capital is the port city of La Ceiba.
In the past decades the tourism took over to become the most important legitimate economic source for the coastal area. In 2005 it had an estimated population of about 372,532 people. The department covers a total surface area of 4,251 km².
The department was formed in 1902 from territory previously parts of the departments of Colón, Cortés, and Yoro. In 1910 it had a population of some 11,370 people. La Ceiba is known as the night life city in the Atlántida department. With tourist coming from all over the world to enjoy a nice Caribbean weather and beach resorts, La Ceiba is the preferred destination. Another important city in the area is Tela. Similar to La Ceiba, Tela has incredible resorts and is known for the beach parties that make this city an attractive destination. San Juan Pueblo, a small town midway of La Ceiba and Tela is showing prosperity and quickly growing into one of the most industrialized towns.
Atlantida, Honduras

Virgin of Suyapa

The Virgin of Suyapa (Spanish: Virgen de Suyapa) is an 18th-century statue (6 cm/2.3 in) of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ. The statue, also known as Our Lady of Suyapa (Spanish: Nuestra Señora de Suyapa), is perhaps Honduras' most popular religious image, and the focus of an extensive pilgrimage. The statue is kept in the Basílica de Suyapa in Suyapa, a suburb of the capital Tegucigalpa, and toured through various other parts of the country each year in early February. Many thousands of people from all over Central America make pilgrimages to visit the statue on her name day, February 3rd, a commemoration of the day she was found. The statue has been stolen and then recovered on two occasions

There are several different versions of how the statue that is the Virgin of Suyapa was discovered. The version that has become standard is recounted below.
Many Hondurans believe the statue was miraculously discovered in late-January or early-February 1747 by a labourer, Alejandro Colindres. Colindres and an 8 year old boy had been sent by Colindres's mother to clear some corn fields on Piligüin mountain, northeast of Tegucigalpa. On the way back, they were overtaken by nightfall and decided to sleep outside. Colindres was awakened by a sharp pain in the side, and discovered that he was sleeping on something. Later versions of the story claim that without looking at it, Colindres threw it as far away as he could, only to find it underneath him as he lay down again. This detail is not present in early versions of the story. The next morning Colindres discovers that he's been sleeping on the tiny statue of a virgin which he took home with him and set up in his mother's house on the family altar. For the next 20 years it remained on the family's altar in their house. It was not until 1768 that the statue was credited with its first recognized miracle and began to attract public attention. By 1777, a chapel was constructed for the statue.

Holidays in Honduras

As in other Latin American countries, Christmas (December 25) and Holy Week leading up to Easter Sunday in late March or early April are the main religious holidays. A Christmastime tradition is the posada , a celebration held each night beginning on December 16.
Between December 25 and January 6, Garifuna men celebrate Yancunú with dancing, singing, and the wearing of masks to bring prosperity in the new year. On January 15 of each year, pilgrims from Honduras and other Central American countries attend a celebration in Esquipulas, Guatemala, home of a dark-skinned wooden sculpture of Jesus. The feast day of the Virgin of Suyapa, Honduras's patron saint, is on February 2. In the basilica in Suyapa there is a tiny wooden image of her that is believed to have miraculous powers.
Of the secular, or nonreligious, holidays, the most important are Independence Day on September 15, and the birthday of national leader Francisco Morazán on October 3. He was the last president of the United Provinces of Central America, a federation that only lasted from 1823 to 1842.

Honduran Folklore

A folklore belief common throughout Central America is that a human being and a spirit, usually an animal, are so closely connected that they share the same soul. If one dies, so will the other. This belief is not as widespread in Honduras, however, as it is in neighboring Guatemala.
Honduran folktales are about a variety of spirits, many of whom live in wells or caves. One popular story is about El Duende, an imp with a big sombrero, red trousers and a blue jacket, who courts pretty young girls by tossing pebbles at them. Curanderos are faith healers who are believed to be able to cure nervous ailments and drive away the evil eye, the vista fuerte .
Lempira was a sixteenth-century Indian chieftain who fought the Spanish. He is much admired as a folk hero, and the national currency is named for him.