I suppose the About page of a website is somewhat akin to the Preface of a book. Why does this work exist? What are our reasons, our goals and our mission?
Though this web page is nominally called "Ojojona" it really can't be separated from the rest of this beautiful country. This pueblo is merely a jewel in the center of a lovely green crown that is Honduras, thus it is imperative that we include information and photos from around this land.
I began thinking about this concept a few years ago when I had the opportunity to visit the Rio Blanco Lenca people of northern Intibucá. There I found a wonderfully friendly and welcoming people of Lenca Maya descent, proud, happy, poor, but passionate about their culture. They live mostly in isolation from the outside world, in a land of astounding natural beauty. This land is truly off the beaten path, and tourists rarely go there. But they should.
My feelings for this culture and these people was greatly reinforced after a long visit to the ancient Mayan ruins of Copán, the oldest as yet discovered Classic Mayan archaeological site. To see and touch these wonderful works of art and technology is almost a religious experience. A grand complex of cities, and a vast civilization was created by "primitive" people with no wheeled vehicles, no beasts of burden and no metal tools, at the same time that the people of Europe were wallowing in the Dark Ages.
Ojojona, where we reside, has a grand history. It is one of the oldest Spanish Colonial pueblos, founded as a mining venture in the 1500s. Most of the people of this little town are Lenca, but not so isolated as Rio Blanco. Nearly all have Spanish names and speak the Spanish language. It's a study in tranquility, and outside the pueblo itself you will see far more horses, burros and oxen than automobiles. A walk on the roads of rural Ojojona is like stepping back in time to the 1880s Old West, meeting caballeros on horseback with fine Spanish saddles sporting huge flat saddle horns, young women traveling to town by horseback or burro, little kids, some no more than five or six years old, leading a burro laden with wood to sell in Ojojona, and men or boys occasionally with a team of oxen, Honduras' version of the tractor.
Ojojona is history and Lenca artisanship. The town is famous for it's hand-crafted pottery and ceramics, as well as its original Spanish Colonial houses and buildings. It was once the home of Francisco Morazán, the "George Washington" of Honduras who led the country to final independence from both Spain and Mexico.
Our goals and mission for this site can be summed up as:
1. First and foremost, to help poor Lenca children and families grow, become educated, and have a healthy understanding of their culture and history.
2. To make others outside the area aware of a beautiful cultural jewel amidst the enveloping sea of green which is Central America.
3. Promote foreign tourism and investment in this land.
4. Through books, articles and this site, offer a forum for potential visitors to learn from on-the-ground sources that Honduras is in reality a wonderful and remarkably beautiful place to spend some time.