Roots & Wings

The Story of Crawfish Rock Community

Galorian Creations
7 min readJun 13, 2024
Image: Sunset seen from Crawfish Rock

Today we embark on a journey to a place where tradition and progress dance an exotic salsa under the Caribbean sun. Welcome to Roatán Island, Honduras, where I came seeking one thing and discovered something profoundly different.

Sometimes, we believe we are arriving at a destination with a clear purpose, only to find our true quest reveals itself in unexpected ways. This is my story in Roatán, where my journey to the ‘Longevity’ community in Vitalia City, Prospera, led me instead to the heart of Crawfish Rock.

Upon arriving at the community of Crawfish Rock, the first thing that catches your attention is its wooden houses among huge old mango trees, right in the center of the village. Normally, the white sand beach, the whisper of the Caribbean Sea and the lush trees would have made it a hidden paradise, if it wasn’t for the plastic waste everywhere.

Here is an idea: Let’s organize a community cleanup party, and ‘leave a positive trace.’

So why did I decide to stay here and document this community? There are two reasons. Firstly, the unique story of Crawfish Rock alongside the nearby luxurious resort of Prospera begged to be told. Secondly, the plight of the dying coral reef, a vital yet neglected treasure, kept me awake at night. Both stories, intertwined, echo the larger narrative of Roatán, a tale for humanity where old traditions meet the relentless march of progress.

So, who are the key players in this story?

In this unfolding narrative, three distinct players emerge, each embodying a unique aspect of the island’s story:

The Architects of Change First, we have the real estate developers. These visionaries and investors symbolize ‘Progress’ and ‘Prosperity.’ They arrive with grand plans to transform the island into a luxurious paradise, filled with modern infrastructure and amenities. Their goal is to bring economic growth and upscale tourism, believing in the promise of development and prosperity.

The Keepers of Tradition Next, we meet the local community of Crawfish Rock. These resilient and proud inhabitants represent ‘Old Tradition.’ Descendants of Afro-Caribbean settlers, they embody a rich cultural heritage and a deep connection to their ancestral land. Their lives are intertwined with the rhythms of nature, centered around fishing and freedom, and they strive to preserve their way of life amidst the waves of change.

The Voice of Nature Lastly, there is Nature itself, a silent yet profound character in this story. The island’s rich ecosystem, though not wealthy in monetary terms, teems with rich biodiversity. The coral reefs, mangroves, and diverse species of wildlife form an intricate web of life, crucial for the ecological balance. Nature stands as a testament to the island’s inherent beauty and resilience, at least for now.

Let’s explore each player’s perspective in this story:

The Voice of Nature

Despite its ecological importance, the area is classified as restricted to human intervention except for scientific research and environmental education. Yet, reality tells a different story: the coral reef, a key protector of biodiversity including sea turtles, over 60 types of corals, and more than 500 species of fish, is dying. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), this vital ecosystem is in danger of extinction.

“If you were a coral, what would you tell about humans?”

Honduras has multiple laws and regulations for managing and protecting the Bay Islands, but enforcement is weak. The mangroves, wetlands, seagrass beds, and extensive reefs are crucial for the economy and biodiversity of Roatán. These interconnected elements cannot be removed without impacting each other. The loss of the coral reef is tied to urban and tourist infrastructure development, with deforestation and mangrove depletion being significant factors.

The island is under severe exploitation, with freedoms granted to private resorts and developers further endangering Roatán’s ecosystems.

Image: The ecosystem services provided by the island are invaluable, reefs, seagrasses and mangroves are nurseries for hundreds of species of fish and invertebrates that develop in these ecosystems and then emerge into the open sea. In addition to being of unique and characteristic beauty, mangroves also help prevent sedimentation in coral reefs and reduce the impact of waves and have very diverse ecological communities in terms of structural and functional attributes.

The Keepers of Tradition

Located on the north coast of Roatán, Bay Islands, Crawfish Rock is predominantly home to English-speaking Afro-descendants. Their ancestors were black slaves brought to the Bay Islands and other Caribbean regions by the English in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, they face numerous challenges: privatized and expensive drinking water and electricity, and a lack of basic infrastructure in their village. They share their thirst for safe drinking water, a paved road, waste management, a library for the children, school wifi, a football court and more jobs.

As corals can’t talk, I filmed and recorded the voices of the local warm community of Crawfish Rock, with its diverse voices, sharing their hopes and dreams.

Watch The Film: Roots & Wings: The Story of Crawfish Rock Community

Image: A local fisherman and his daughter.

The Architects of Change

The real estate developers, visionaries and investors alike, arrive with grand plans to transform the island into a luxurious paradise, filled with modern setup and facilities. Their goal is to foster economic growth and upscale tourism, firmly believing in the promise of development and prosperity.

However, not all good intentions lead to positive outcomes. Resorts are massive consumers, requiring vast amounts of energy, food, and water to create an environment of abundance for their guests. In fact, there are countless abandoned resorts around the world that stand as stark reminders of the drawbacks of traditional resort models. During hard times — such as pandemics, financial crises, or changes in governance — these resorts become concrete wastelands rather than vital parts of the infrastructure.

Image: As I walked through Crawfish Rock and Pristine Bay, it felt as if stepping into a video game. However, this image is not a screenshot from a game; it’s Pristine Bay, now eerily empty.
Image: Pristine Bay as seen from the sea.

Envisioning a Sustainable Future

What is the true cost of progress?

The story of Roatán asks us to reflect on the trade-offs between economic development and environmental sustainability, highlighting the impact on local communities and their traditions.

Can we balance development and nature?

There are successful examples of sustainable development that offer hope. We must envision resorts that are self-sustaining, benefiting both locals and visitors.

How do we ensure a future for our children?

Leaving a legacy of both cultural roots and freedom to explore is crucial. Responsible stewardship of natural resources is essential for future generations.

Redefining Progress and Prosperity

What if we could preserve old regenerative traditions that connect locals and new settlers to the land? What if we could build resorts that are producers rather than consumers, and certainly not in protected environmental lands?

Imagine nurturing the development of conscious communities, old and new, that use renewable energy, produce their own food, and have local water treatment systems. These communities could offer true abundance and prosperity for guests while providing vital infrastructure during crises. This would be the epitome, the perfect example, of a luxury experience: farm-to-table food, microplastic-free water, a meaningful connection with locals, and unique experiences that include environmental and regenerative financial education.

Developing such infrastructure would be crucial for local crisis resilience. We live in a world of polycrisis, where we never know when or where trouble will strike. International food supply chains are fragile, and the risk of famine is high in many places, especially on islands.

Instead of building useless bunkers and overconsumption resorts with fancy names, we need to construct food and energy production facilities that can operate as hotels during good times and serve as safe havens for locals during hard times. By incorporating regenerative practices, both existing and new communities can transform the lessons learned from failed projects into opportunities for sustainable growth and community development. This approach not only addresses past shortcomings but also sets a precedent for future projects to prioritize environmental and social well-being.

Call to Action

Our journey through Roatán reveals a pressing need for conscious development. It is not just about preserving the past or building the future — it is about harmonizing the two. It is about finding freedom and prosperity within the boundaries we have set for ourselves. Support sustainable practices and policies. Advocate for regenerative development that prioritizes environmental and social well-being.

The stories of Crawfish Rock and Prospera serve as a microcosm of a global narrative. In a world where capitalism, consumerism, and individualism reign, we must ask: What is the real price of our lifestyle? Can we cultivate a society that values concern for others, the environment, compassion, justice, integrity, good governance, and love?

The answer is a resounding yes. It is for us to lead the paradigm shift, it is for each and every one of us to join the Regenaissance, (Regenerative Renaissance). By adopting regenerative practices and prioritizing community welfare, we can transform lessons from failed projects into opportunities for sustainable growth.

Let us inherit two legacies for our children: roots to know where they come from and wings to fly wherever they wish.

With playful regards,


Watch here: A teaser to the full film



Galorian Creations

Galorian Creations The author with the Banana Smile. Stories, such as moral stories have the power to shape mankind’s destiny