For centuries Roatan was the stomping ground of the Paya Indians, the island’s original inhabitants. It was the Paya that welcomed Columbus to Guanaja on his third voyage to the New World in 1504. The Paya supplied Trujillo town with food and helped the English and Dutch pirates careen their boats in Port Royal. In 1650 they were rounded up and village by village transported to Rio Dulce.
The Paya didn’t completely disappear. We sometime come across Indian burial sites, their clay yaba-ding-dings and words in the island vocabulary originating from the Paya. Paya Magazine wants to revive the Paya spirit further.
Our aim is to produce a magazine that is top notch: accurate, inspiring and beautiful. We want our readers to learn about Roatan’s past and understand its present so they can shape the island’s future
We want our readers to learn about Roatan’s past and understand its present so they can shape the island’s future.
For a long time Roatan was a place that welcomed everyone: desperate pirates, unwanted Garifuna, Cayman Islanders in search of new beginnings, eccentric Europeans and resourceful Ladinos. Roatan Became, and remains, a place for refugees, explorers, desperados, artists and visionaries.The island culture is a syncretic amalgam of Garifuna, Cayman Islander, Spanish and Ladino traditions, beliefs and histories.
I came to Roatan in 2000 to dive and I came back in 2003 to launch the then bi-weekly Bay Islands Voice. I had the privilege of creating a publication that educated, entertained and occasionally amazed islanders and visitors for 12 years. While Voice’s mission was to “report on the culture, news, spiritual life, sports, education, business,” Paya magazine will be a polished publication featuring in-depth stories that matter.
On the pages of Paya magazine we will capture the forward-thinking vitality and diversity of today’s Roatan, explain its history and culture and help to paint a picture of where the island is heading. We want to capture what is the essence of what Roatan is: its people, history, nature and traditions. Paya will feature good writing and inspiring photography presented in beautifully printed, attractive layout.
The success of Paya Magazine will likely match the success of Roatanians themselves, our readers and advertisers. Paya Magazine will only grow as our readership and advertisers grow. In other words: our futures are intertwined.
So we only ask that you give us a chance, be patient and consider supporting us. We encourage you to read us regularly, give us your feedback, and support those businesses that advertise with us. We surely will end up making mistakes, but we will be humble enough to admit them and correct them. We will aim to practice good journalism and hope one day to not only be respected, but loved. That respect will only come if we stay true to our goal of engaging in truthful, empathetic, balanced, and responsible journalism.
As we begin this journey a quote by president John F. Kennedy comes to mind:“To the recorder of men’s deeds, the keeper of its conscience, the currier of its news… that we look for strength and assistance.” I hope Paya can become such a recorder and keeper. But that will take time, and every journey begins with a single step. So let us begin. Welcome to Paya.