Roatan Rope Swing, West Bay, Roatan, Honduras
Located on the South side, off of West Bay Rd (10 min from West End), on private property, lies the infamous, one and only rope swing on the island. A special 3 hectare (7.5 acre), rustic property that was once part of the main path the locals used to travel from East to West. Now, with developments growing on all sides, it's still a little slice of old Roatan.
Designed and built by Mike Forman (AKA Santa), with the help Karl Stanley, for the pure enjoyment of having something unique and fun to share with friends and a place for local kids to go. Sunday BBQ's were a weekly event for many years.
What makes this swing even more special is the story behind it. In 1992, my parents came to the island, met some amazing, well connected locals, fell in love and bought property. They had great visions for these 3 hectares (7.5 acres). Mike Forman wanted to create an Eco-Community and hold workshops to teach people how to be self sustainable. He built the house from adobe, used only solar power and was planning on planting a huge organic garden.
Mike and Diane were both true humanitarians. Diane, was a nurse who helped Ms. Peggy in the beginning stages of creating Ms. Peggy's Clinic. The couple would dress up like Mr. and Mrs. Claus for Christmas and visit the local villages with a sac full of toys and candy for the local kids. Christmas on the beach was created. When hurricane Mitch hit the island, Mike and Diane arranged for donations in the US, and filled a container of much needed items and had it shipped to the island.
Their story of leaving the rat race to a more simple way of life may not be unique but what they created left quite an impression in the hearts of the people of Roatan. The rope swing and the property are as well loved as they were and are still enjoyed by the local kids today. Efforts are being made to rebuild the house and deck once funds for the project can be allocated. The swing has been maintained and is still safe to use.
Actions taken to promote environmental or social sustainability
We have a local man named Juan, who lives on the property in a small house. He's the caretaker and watches over things as well as maintains the property. He harvests plantains, has chickens, corn and lives without electricity (as the solar is not set up right now). My parent's plan (as well as mine) is to be off the power grid using only solar (possibly wind). We have our own amazing well so we supply our own water with the use of a generator.
Recreational Opportunities Available
By appointment only
The best time of year seems to be Feb-May but there's no way to predict exact days. It's one of those, "Hey, it's calm on the South side...let's go to the swing!"