Not all activity is not centered in Ampala, which gets pretty quiet during hot mid-afternoon. There's a cemetery and plenty of fisherman and subsistence farming along the shoreline area near Amapala. I was sick, so I missed an opportunity to visit other beaches and parts of El Tigre beyond what I show here. One of the better boat launch spots for the return to Coyolito is on a nice beach further south from Amapala.
This is a good place to shoot people pictures, since everyone seemed to have plenty of time, and the colorful buildings make for great backgrounds. I use a portable printer to give 4x6 prints to my subjects as a way to motivate smiles. My wife provides moral support to keep parents smiling.
The best paved road, which is also a divided boulevard, leads from the waterfront to the plaza which on a broad flat spot an a hill. There's a fountain in the plaza and plenty of place for children to play. But the Cathedral faces east toward the water rather than north to the plaza. There's also some important government palacios up here, the largest and most important of which is on the north side of the plaza.
The waterfront at Amapala recently completed a restoration project that is quite impressive. It's down in this area where the best restaurants are located, but at the time of our visit still remained mostly empty of foot traffic.
A generalisimo Baez, who was born in the Dominican Republic, and became a liberator of Cuba during the 19th century, apparently lived nearly a decade in this house near Amapala's waterfront. In fact, his son, and grandchildren continued to live here until this plate was commemorated.
Amapala was the first Spanish outpost in the Golfo de Fonseca, and it remained the most important seaport until the 20th century. Breezes blowing across the water moderate the otherwise intense heat of the region, and in the early days, the Spanish found protection from the natives on the island. I like the colorfully painted wood architecture. Most of these buildings are mixed use, combining warehouse or store front on the street with home above or off the street.
Every Year, just before X-mas a private high school band comes to Amapala and dazzles the pueblo with marching band music at midnight, and again the next afternoon. These bands are dressed in the traditional heavy uniforms of a marching band, which is surprising given the hot sweaty climate in Honduras. They also play mostly traditional marching band music, but the latin band influence is very strong and these kids can sway to the music as they play. Some songs are traditional Latin favorites.
Unfortunately, I was in bed sick during the midnight march through town, but I saw the videos taken by my wife. The streets and plaza were thick with locals, with a lot of local kids lighting the way with sparkler fireworks.
The next day, however, I was there to shoot some pictures as the band played in the shade of trees in the plaza. Note the church in the background.
Besides the colorful colonial architecture, views of the water and volcanic islands appear everywhere from Amapala which is on a hilly foot of the volcano of Isla El Tigre.