Los Micos Beach and Golf Resort Project, Honduras


For decades an increasing number of tourist and real estate mega-projects have been planned for Tela Bay in the Atlantida region (in the Jeannette Kawas National Park). In 2003, the Los Micos Beach and Golf Resort project was launched with an investment of US$ 4 billion for the construction of a tourist mega-complex extending 500 hectares along 3 km of coastline. The Desarrollo Turistico Bahia de Tela S.A. company was awarded the construction concession, despite opposition from local communities, including Afro-descendent indigenous residents (around 400 inhabitant from Río Tinto, Miami, Tornabé, San Juan, La Ensenada y Triunfo de la Cruz (Garífuna communities).

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Basic Data
NameLos Micos Beach and Golf Resort Project, Honduras
ProvinceBahía Tela, Atlantida.
SiteRío Tinto, Miami, Tornabé, San Juan, La Ensenada y Triunfo de la Cruz
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Tourism Recreation
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Land acquisition conflicts
Urban development conflicts
Tourism facilities (ski resorts, hotels, marinas)
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Specific CommoditiesLand
Tourism services
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsIt is a complex of 7 tourist hotels, which will have 168 villas, 2,000 apartments, 6 multi residences, 1 shopping plaza, themed amusement parks, 1 equestrian center, 1 port for cruise lines and a golf club.

The golf club is 18 hole, over an area of 80 hectares, which would need around 1500 kgs of fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides a year plus around 3 million liters of water a day in an area of infrequent rainfall.

species of birds live in the protected areas which will be used to construct the project.
Project Area (in hectares)500
Level of Investment (in USD)4,000,000,000
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population500 -700
Start Date2003
Company Names or State EnterprisesDesarrollo Turistico Baha de Tela S.A from Honduras
Troon Golf
Astaldi Columbus from Italy
Relevant government actorsThe government of Honduras; The government of Italy, Honduran Tourism Institute (IHT)
International and Financial InstitutionsCentral American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE)
Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)
Honduran Tourism Investment Fund (HTIF) from Honduras
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersThe Garifuna community, CODETS - Lands and Territory Defense Committee, OFRANEH Organizacion Fraternal Negra Hondurena (The Fraternal Organization of Black Hondurans), PROLASATE The Foundation for the Protection of Lancetilla, Punta Sal and Texiguat - AFE-COHDEFOR Honduran Corporation of Forest Development, Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Garifuna communities
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Potential: Global warming, Waste overflow, Groundwater pollution or depletion
OtherInvasive species and increased of hurricanes and tropical storms due to the destruction of wetlands and mangroves
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..) , Deaths
Potential: Occupational disease and accidents, Infectious diseases, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCorruption
Criminalization of activists
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Violent targeting of activists
Application of existing regulations
Development of AlternativesTo stop the touristic project and respect the already existing demarcations of the natural parks and the costal line, respecting the population already existing there.

Most residents of the Garifuna communities have opted for ecotourism at small scale that does not degrade the environment and provides direct income. The fishermen offer their boats and canoes to take tourists to Punta Sal or around the Laguna Los Micos.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Despite all the strong mobilization, there has been a severe abuse of the population of the Tela Bay, supported by the government of Honduras including the violation of human, constitutional, environmental rights and international treaties. Corruption has become established to stop the mobilization, as the project is seen as a priority for the national government and the foreign investors.
Sources and Materials

Environmental regulations of Honduras;

RAMSAR Convetion on Wetlands;

Convention of Biodiversity;

Convention fro the Coservation of Biodiversity and the Protection of Natural Areas in Central America;

Decree no. 183/94;

Constitution of Honduras;

Labour Law

National Foresty Law of Honduras;

Internal National Park regulations (Lacentilla National Park, Punta Sal National Park and Texiguat National Park);


Avoided deforestation and the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities. Forest people programme. 2007

Nature for sale. The impacts of privatizing water and biodiversity. -Friends of the earth. 2005

Resistencia fecunda en los bosques. Friends of the earth. 2002

Indigenous peoples. Their forests, struggles and rights. World Rainforest Movement. 2005

Trucchi Giorgio. Desarrollo turístico en la Bahía de Tela: Los Micos Beach and Golf Resort, un proyecto polémico
[click to view]

La apropiacion corporativa de la biodiversidad. Redes; Accion Ecologica. 2002


2011 Honduras, il reality show e la dittatura
[click to view]

Bahía de Tela: Come si costruisce un disastro in un paradiso naturale
[click to view]

Desalojo de la comunidad de Barra Vieja
[click to view]

Resistance in Tela Bay, Honduras
[click to view]

Media Links

de telaandtipo=testo
[click to view]

Barra Vieja Resiste: Cámara y edición: Luis Méndez
[click to view]

Other Documents

Forced evictions to Garífuna people, 30 September 2014 Photo: Luis Méndez, Barra Vieja, Tela Atlántida
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorLucie Greyl y Grettel Navas
Last update04/12/2014