In late October, Tourism Minister Thierry de Pierrefeu cut the
ribbon on a project to restore the historic Fort of Santa Barbara
in Trujillo. The Lps. 4.5 million project is expected to encourage
tourism to the eastern portion of the Honduran North Coast.
Promoting tourism to the Trujillo region has been a top priority
for the Ministry of Tourism. With funding from the World Bank,
a series of activities have been carried out to increase tourist
flow to the area by creating an industry that is locally based,
participative and sustainable.
Tourism Minister Thierry de Pierrefeu joined Mireya Batres,
Minister of Culture, Arts and Sports, and Margarita Durón
de Galvez, Director of the Honduran Institute of Anthropology
and History (IHAH) at the inauguration of the project. The
Honduran Ministry and Institute of Tourism will oversee the
restoration and renovation of the fort. The project receives
additional finding from Spanish International Cooperation
Agency and the IHAH.
Pierrefeu said the restoration of the fort and the renovation
of historic downtown Trujillo are just the beginning in a far-reaching
plan to strengthen tourism in the entire zone - a plan,
he says, that is designed to highlight, protect and sustain
the cultural, historic and natural heritage of the area.
The Sustainable Coastal Tourism Project has been created to
oversee projects across the North Coast and the Bay Islands.
It will provide support to the Municipality of Trujillo and
encourage the people of Trujillo to participate in the project.
Trujillo Mayor Alex Amaya will also play a key role in the development.
In 1525 Trujillo became the first Spanish settlement on the
Honduran coast. By the end of the 16th century the town was
frequently invaded by pirates from France, England and Holland,
all enemies of Spain and Portugal. The Port of Santa Barbara
was one of many built by the Spanish throughout the Caribbean
to help defend and protect their interests. The restoration
of the fort is expected to draw increasing numbers of visitors
to the site where the Spanish celebrated the first mass in
Central America more than 500 years ago.