Things are kind of quiet around here right now, so I thought I’d just show you around town a bit. First, let me explain that the name of the city is really Gracias, and it is the capital of the department of Lempira. Because there are other, more well known places in the country with similar names (Department of Gracias a Dios, and Puerto Lempira), usually people use both names to designate our city. Although it is the capital of a department, it is not a big important city. I’ve heard other gringos call Gracias “the town that time forgot.” We kind of like that about this city.
Things may be changing around here, though. Currently, Gracias is at the end of the paved road system. From here, you either go back, or you quickly move onto roads which are best accessed using 4 wheel drive vehicles. But, the government is in the process of paving a road between Gracias and La Esperanza. When this road is completed, it will be the best way to travel from western Honduras to the capital city, Tegucigalpa. Once we have more through traffic, I fear we will lose a lot of our small town atmosphere here.
Gracias is being touted as a tourist destination, with Spanish Colonial flavor. Recent municipal improvements to the city have been planned with this in mind. As a result, the newly paved streets are paved with cobblestones. These are mighty bumpy, but in general they are better than the dirt streets. Here are a few examples – watch your step!
Behind the metal barricade, a school is undergoing renovations.
Every year, around Christmastime, it is traditional for people to paint the exteriors of their homes and businesses. This year, many people seem to be getting an early start on this. One bewildering development (to us Gringos) is the current trend toward painting buildings in swirly orange patterns.
On the north coast of Honduras, the paint colors tend toward pastels. Here, earth tones have seemed to be predominant . . . until this recent takeover of swirly orange. Perhaps the hardware store had an overstock sale on orange paint?