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- About Roatan
Roatan is an island in the Caribbean Sea and it is part of the country of Honduras. Lying about 35 miles from the northern coast of the Honduran mainland, Roatan is part of a group of islands called Islas de la Bahia or The Bay Islands.
Roatan has a colorful history that weaves in stories of Indians, invaders, pirates, buried gold, and a blend of races and languages. Both Spanish and English settlers came to Roatan. There were a number of Spanish ships moving through the Bay of Honduras and there were Spanish settlements on Roatan. Pirates attacked the ships and raided the settlements. Approximately 200 English descendants lived in “Coxen’s Old Cay” in 1840. Ten years later, the population of the island had risen to five or six thousand people. In 1852, the British leadership appealed to Her Majesty, Queen Victoria to establish Roatan along with other islands to become a British colony. The United States objected, citing a treaty signed to create the Panama Canal that forbad the United States and Britain from establishing new colonies in the Western Hemisphere.
In 1859, England handed over control of the Bay Islands. The Republic of Honduras accepted the Bay Islands as the “Departamento de Islas de la Bahia”, officially making the islands a part of Honduras. For many years after coming under Honduran rule, islanders of English descent continued to claim English citizenship, although those born in Honduras after 1861 are legally Hondurans.Although Spanish is the national language and is spoken on Roatan, the English language also lives on Roatan and is predominant on the local islanders. Roatan is a colorful mixture of people, languages, and culture.
Today, tourism is the primary industry on Roatan. Cruise ships and planes bring thousands of tourists each year. Roatan is known around the world for its scuba diving, but now we can also say that it will be known for its great zip lines at Caribe Sky Canopy Tour.