Placencia Beach Befouled By Honduran "Basura"

[Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image] Imagine a white beach, the waves gently lashing , pushed in by a fresh tropical breeze...and then imagine a mountain of garbage on it! It's a jarring image, kind of like a nursery rhyme with a curse word in it.

But that's what happed in Placencia village on Sunday morning. On Saturday night unity was beset by a mean "Sou'wester" with winds that residents say got as high as 30 miles an hour. It's a standard feature of what they call squall season - except Saturday's storm had no rain, just heavy winds.

We have amateur video of what it left behind:...

Jules Vasquez, Reporting

Walking barefoot on the beach - an iconic image - except f you're carrying a 15 foot long two by four that was ripped off a pier - quarter mile away - where you see that palapa in the distance on the right of your screen.

Most of the wreckage of the Chabil Mar pier and its hardwood furniture ended up as far as half a mile down the beach - in the wake of the squall's wicked winds. Workers carted it all back for rebuilding.

At nearby Casa Del Sol Villas, the raging winds caused the sea to surge across the beach and turned this backyard volleyball area into a small pond. But those areas can be fixed with a days work.

This can't.

The winds and tides also brought in this: loads of plastic garbage as far as the eye can see - the sweep of it is literally breath-taking - in the worst possible way.

It washes up here on Placencia's beach one of the finesse in the country - left looking like a dump site. And while most is deposited on the beach the rest is left to rise the tide - and sits on the swells like a sickening sore that just can't get better.

Truly it's abominable, but the village chairman says it's not of their making and it's not easily undone:

Voice of Charles Leslie Jr., Chairman Placencia
"This has been an ongoing problem I would say for a couple of years but definitely it has gotten worst. I has gotten so bad that I when I am finish here I will have to go to an emergency meeting with the Placencia sanitation board and try figure a way that we can tackle this problem because as of right now we don't have the man power to clean the beach every single day because its literally getting dirty every day; you can clean it today and by tomorrow the garbage is right back. Namely plastic garbage, everything you can think about that is made from plastic; you have toilet seats, tennis shoes, plastic bottles, syringes, I mean anything that has to do with plastic and to be honest I think right now what we are doing is simply put in band aid on a open soar; in the sense that we need to try to find the source of this garbage; where exactly its coming from and try to tackle the problem from there but that might be a very big task for us. It's becoming also hazardous, i have been getting reports that we have been finding bio-hazardous waste, we have been finding needles and I am afraid that these things might be able to get people sick. I have that reliable from a source. Because it is coming from down south in Honduras or Guatemala where they throw their trash in low laying area and when the area flood due to storms that the flood waters basically lift up the garbage and dump it out into the river and the river dump in out into the ocean and eventually it becomes our problem over here."

Not our making, but it is our problem and on Placencia's prized beach - a festering eyesore.

Garbage like this is also known to wash up on the Punta Gorda coast from time to time.

We stress that only the front deck on the Chabil Mar pier was ripped down by the rough seas....

Live and let live