MILAN – From crystal-clear waters teeming with natural life to snow-white beaches, from the archaeological site of Copan, one of the largest in Central America, to the colors of the best-preserved coral reef in the world, Roatán & The History of Bay Islands is not just a coffee book, it is a kaleidoscope of images that leaves the reader breathless. Lizzette Kattan, former editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar Italy and France, signed with her son Roland James a book that celebrates the island of Roatán, Honduras, through the shots of eight photographers and the testimonies of travelers and globetrotters in love with this corner of paradise on earth.
Roatán: history and cultural heritage
Roatán and The History of the Bay Islands tells a love story to a hidden gem of the Caribbean. In addition to spectacular images and exclusive shots of island life, the book offers insight into the history and cultural heritage that continues to shape the growth of the place and attract new devotees each year.
With its 673 miles of coastline, Honduras can boast the best snow-white sand beaches in the Caribbean in the Atlantic Ocean and an unparalleled landscape that creates ideal conditions for photography, snorkeling, kayaking, diving and other water sports enthusiasts. Yet to date, Honduras is still largely underrated touristically and largely unexplored in this respect. It is no coincidence that the authoritative Condé Nast Traveller has included it among the best destinations to visit in 2022: https://www.cntraveler.com/gallery/best-places-to-go-in-2022
Not many people know, for example, that among the Bay Islands, including Roatán, Utila and Guanaja, there is the second largest coral reef in the world (after the Australian one) and also one of the best preserved, with an extension of more than 100 km and in which live more than 4 thousand species of fish, as well as various types of dolphins and the incredible whale shark. With more than a dozen national parks, several impressive mountain ranges, dense rainforest and Lake Yojoa, Honduras can boast a remarkable biodiversity, with over 700 species of birds surveyed.
But Honduras is not only natural beauty, it is the cradle of Mayan civilization, which flourished in the west of the country, particularly in Copán. Here, immersed in lush vegetation, lies one of the most extensive archaeological sites, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980.
A long tradition of coffee
It was the Mayan people themselves to start the production of cocoa, more than 3000 years ago. A tradition carried on until today together with an impressive production of coffee: Honduras is the sixth world producer of coffee (100% Arabica), the third producer in South America, after Brazil and Colombia. Cultivation takes place at rather high altitudes, over 1000 meters (over 3,000 feet), and involves almost one third of the Honduran population. Characteristics and attentions that make coffee from Honduras recognizable and appreciated all over the world: 62% of the production is exported in Europe and 6% of the total is consumed in Italy. Bringing with it the scents of an earthly paradise in which it is worth immersing oneself. Starting with a high impact reading.
“Roatán and the History of Bay Islands” is part of an operation to relaunch tourism in the country that Honduras is conducting at the Italian and European level. “This volume transports you to the wealth of biodiversity and overwhelming natural beauty, but one of the main reasons to visit Honduras – says the Ambassador to Italy Mariano Jiménez Talavera – is its people. Hondurans are hardworking, creative, helpful, enthusiastic and warm people, always ready to talk and share their experiences. Not to mention that Honduras is home to the beauty of 8 different ethnic groups, each of which has preserved their culture, rituals and traditions. You will be overwhelmed by so much warmth that you will suddenly believe you have found a family thousands of miles from your homes. And it will be very difficult for you to leave us.”
Over 200 exclusive images and illustrations
On sale online at www.roatanbook.com
Lizzette Kattan, originally from Honduras, was editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar in Italy and France. In 1990 she was appointed attaché of the Honduran embassy in Rome. From 2002 to 2006 she was Consul General of Honduras in Milan. During the performance of her diplomatic and consular functions, she has worked hard to attract investment from foreign countries, international tourism, and has developed museum exhibitions also aimed at enhancing the archaeological heritage of the Maya. Her life revolves around Milan, Miami and Roatán Island, where she is actively involved in supporting the educational, social and environmental growth of local communities.
Ronald James Pozzi, born in New York and raised in Milan, has worked his way onto the sets of some of the masters of photography such as Bruce Weber and Herb Ritts. His shots regularly appear in Numero, Harper’s Bazaar China, Marieclaire, Elle, Elite, Harper’s Bazaar Mexico, Complot. Today, he lives between Boston and New York with his wife and daughter, from where he continues his commitment to education, community and the preservation of social heritage, starting with Roatán Island, a place of the heart to which his childhood is linked.