Dominic & Oasis Yojoa

Virtually any country that enjoys an exposure to both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans will find the Atlantic on their East coast with the Pacific on the opposite coast to the West.  Like Dominic Mooney however, Honduras is different.  The vast majority of our broad northern border is defined by the Atlantic ocean, while the southern tip of the country touches the Pacific.  The islands Utila, Roatán and Guanaja are Honduras' bay islands (Islas de la Bahia).  Utila is the furthest south (closest to the mainland) and Guanaja is the north most island (farthest out to sea) and thus establishes the northern limit of the country's jurisdiction at 16.52°N (WGS84).  At the Pacific end (far south) the latitude falls to 13.0°.  -89.35° longitude sets the western limit with -83.13° at the far eastern extreme.  The land area of Honduras within these boundaries is 112,090 km².  While the official population reported for 2011 was 8,296,693 persons. GDP/PPP is optimistically figured at $4,300.  The Honduran currency is the Lempira which trades for approximately 5¢.

The property that Dominic has for development is near the north/south midpoint of Lake Yojoa.  Median water depth is 16.4 meters with maximum depths just over 30 meters at flood levels.  The Lake's fish constitute an attractive recreation option, a commercial economic cornerstone, and for much of the Yojoa wildlife – an essential food source.  Lake Yojoa is thus key to the area’s rich biodiversity of nearly 400 bird species and 800 plants.  {Surface area = 80 square kilometers (31 mi²); Perimeter = 47 kilometers (29 mi); Altitude = 637 meters (2090 ft)}.

The main highway connecting the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula (the country's industrial center close to the north coast) runs along the east side of Lake Yojoa and the west side of Dom's land.  The dirt road leading to the property meets the pavement at 14.857° -87.954° (WGS84) and across the street from Honduyate Marina - some 161 kilometers from the capital (90 km from SPS and our nearest international airport).

Dom's land backs up into the Cerro Azul Meambar National Park.  This enchanting cloud forest extends skyward to an altitude of almost 2050 meters. Well mapped and maintained trails, reminiscent of Muir Woods, makes for some of the finest hiking in all Honduras.  Several delightful waterfalls and swimming holes can be found here along with a variety of animals, including the elusive puma.  The protective area allocated to the park is 55.4 km² and actually includes Dom's property and respective waterfalls.  Persons with property in this zone usually cannot secure a full ownership title (dominio pleno) for their land, however due to unique circumstances his property does enjoy this rare and valuable status.

Up until 2007 there were only two insignificant laws past regarding Lake Yojoa.  Then came "Decree 46-2007" and the resulting law of February 25, 2009 which reflects a major concern for better protection of this important national resource (being the second largest lake in Central America exceeding 600 meters in altitude and also likely the most undeveloped).  And now, current law makers want to restrict any new development of any kind within 350 feet of the lake.  Should this law pass, the prime real estate we now have over looking the lake will become even more valuable.  The most recent law is stopping all new lake side construction as it stands today.

The nearby towns:

Monte Verde - elevation: 660 to 708 meters
WGS84 coordinates: 14.87°N -87.95°
Population less than 1000/

La Guama - elevation: 685 meters
WGS84 coordinates: 14.88°N -87.93°
Population reported at 1242 (8399 surrounding area)

Santa Cruz de Yojoa - elevation: 487 to 552 meters
WGS84 coordinates: 14.98° -87.88°
Population reported at 11,836 (61,461 surrounding area)

Peña Blanca - elevation: 818 to 967 meters
WGS84 coordinates: 14.97°N -88.05°
Population about 12,500 - Total Area 15.2 km²

Las Vegas (del Cusuco) - elevation: 1040
WGS84 coordinates: meters at 15.29°N -88.09°
Population reported at 7487 (17,567 surrounding area)

Guanacastal Airport - elevation 746 meters (1563 ft)
WGS84 coordinates: 14.92°N -87.83°
Location: Canchias, Honduras
Type: Small Airport / private craft
Scheduled Service: No


Despite the kind of things one might hear from the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs, I have never felt like I was in serious physical danger here (over ten years of experience in which I've seen the worst areas at the worse hours).  Many of the people here, however, are intensely afraid of others in the nearby barrios, but that is simply part of their general superstitions (such as witchcraft etc.).  The police can be a little a little peculiar at times, but I'd much rater deal with them than the variety you find in the U.S.

Investor Opportunities:

Dominic is the best one to cover the specifics on this.  I can, however, comment on something that most impresses me.  Although I feel that Honduras offers some lucrative business opportunities; a certain specialized acumen is required to optimize/leverage one's investments and achieve the full success you deserve.  Thoroughly understanding this culture, plus knowing how to find and approach the right people is absolutely crucial (especially in real estate).  It is very difficult to appreciate just how true this is, until one has extended experience doing business in Central America.  Fortunately, this is an arena where Dom's talent set really excels.  Dom is familiar with the people, history, and land here better than anyone I know.  Plus he has a formidable array of local trusting contacts.  As an example: in Valle de Angeles, Dominic formed a committee for the advancement of this popular tourist attraction.  Amazingly everyone involved delegated to Dom the power to proxy vote on their behalf when they could not attend a meeting.

Shopping - Medical - Dental:

There is a surprising number of new modern malls in both Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula.  The closest full-fledged modern (food) supermarket to Lake Yojoa is in Siguatepeque (about a 45 minute drive).  This is also a great place for cost effective quality medical care (in fact this is where Dominic's daughter was born).
Hospital Evangélico (photo site here) and Centro Médico Biológico are both located in Siguatepeque.

And please click here for a fairly complete guide to a wide range of medical services throughout Honduras.

Taulabe (to the south) and Peña Blanca (to the north) are within a half hour of our lake location; both have well regarded Doctor offices and Dentist.

Dominic's favorite Honduran tourist destinations are:

Tela, Roatán, Copan, Valle de Angeles, Yuscoran, and Gracias.
Click on any of the above for photos.

More information on the general lake area follows:

The less developed west bank of the lake is framed in by mountains of the the Santa Bárbara National Park (this protective zone equals 42.3 km²). The climate there is decisively more cloudy and at higher elevations lends itself well to growing blueberries.  Just south of the park, American Pacific Honduras S.A. operates the El Mochito mine and is largely responsible for the quaint thriving town of Las Vegas.  The company has large land holdings in the vicinity and have created a secondary company, Mochito Agroindustrial, to protect the land and environment. Since its formation in 1995, the concern has grown from a small international marketer of ginger and organic pineapple to one of the largest producers of coffee in Honduras.

A pre-columbian settlement at Los Naranjos is found on the northern shore of Lake Yojoa.  This site is known as the second most important archaeological zone in Honduras.  This area supported a population of several thousand from 1000 BC to 1000 AD.  The park here enjoys a lush expanse of flora and wetlands, with serene nature trails, and plentiful bird-life.

About 12 km. further north of Los Naranjos one finds Rio Lindo’s Pulapanzak Waterfall. The water cascades down 43 meters and creates a considerable spray, and with sunshine - a nice rainbow.  Above/before the waterfall is a park and cafeteria, plus good swimming holes.  Whereas a relaxed walk in the opposite direction down a winding path brings one to the bottom of the falls.  After passing a gate the going gets a little precarious and you’ll need to wade/swim through chest deep water until you finally come to the falls itself. A few steps and through a minor sheet of water will take you behind the falls where you'll find a small cave. Local guides can be found to assist.

20 km. south of Lake Yojoa (towards Tegucigalpa) are the Caves of Taulabe. The first few hundred meters have a well defined path with lights and steps.  More rugged exploration has reportedly gone as far as 12 km, without finding the end.  Other caves are also nearby.