Living in Honduras or Guatemala as a foreigner is sometimes hard, mostly fun and never boring. This Blog is about more than just the oddities of my years in the not-so tranquil, cobble-stoned town of Copán Ruinas and, more recently, Antigua Guatemala. Hence Serendipity, the gift of finding without seeking…

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Not (yet) leaving Copán after all…


In August of 2010 I decided to leave Copán. Now three years have passed and I’m still here. To stay. Well, maybe…

When I arrived in Honduras in March of 1997, I had no intention to stay very long. But a two month visit turned in to six months, then a year and before I knew it, Copán had become my home and I no longer had a return ticket. Copán is a fun place to live and I loved my work as director of the cultural NGO I had founded. But whether it was a midlife crisis, frustration with the downfall of the country or just being burned out, halfway through the year 2010, I’d had it.

So bottom-line, I wrapped up my organization, got rid of a bunch of stuff, gave up my house and moved –temporarily- into my previous office for the few months I planned to hang around in Copán. I started working independently and fulltime as an artist and designer and I must say it was a delight not to have a whole organization and number of employees to worry about, but instead doing what I like most: painting, writing, hiking and lots of yoga… I had no specific plan of what I wanted to do, but was thinking of going to Spain. It seemed a good place to go: not as Wild West as Honduras but not as over organized and chilly as my home country Holland. But then Spain’s economy went patas arriba and it didn’t look like such a good idea anymore… Not that Honduras is doing that great, or my own economic situation for that matter, but at least I have a reasonably comfortable and enjoyable life here. To give that up to go elsewhere without the back-up of a savings account??? Nah…

But… Tourism is at an all-time low, Honduras is far from being the favourite destination at the moment and the economic crisis affects everyone. And since art is not considered a primary necessity (although I don’t know why, for me it is!), it hurts my purse deeply. But worse than that, in the last few months there were moments I hadn’t much to do. Me and not having anything to do is a lethal combination, so there were only two options and one of them is not an option, so I picked the other one: keeping myself busy! So that’s why I decided to open, against all odds, a business. I didn’t have any money to invest, but I figured that with just my time and a bunch of left over paint I’d come a long way. After all, the good thing of having nothing is that there’s nothing to lose…. That was about a month ago, and I did it: Luminosa Café Gallery is now open for business!!!

This last month I had great fun turning the ugly patio and run-down living room into a colourful place where I exhibit my art and products. The courtyard is open as a small café where I sell my own favourite tapas and mixes of herbal tea. And coffee, wine and beer, of course. At night I can transform the place into a yoga studio and I even decided to take people along on my daily hikes. Not that I’m that fond of chattering my way through the mountains at dawn, but I found a perfect solution: I’m selling “silent yoga hikes”. For a fee I’m happy to take you along, but sssshhhhhh……. J

So, here I am, still in Copán! There’s still a lot to do, which only makes me very happy. I don’t see myself leave anytime soon.
And who knows, I even might make a bit of money…

Before...

....And after....(Although not yet finished)




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