Parque Nacional Montana de Santa Barbara

One day, members of our mission team had the opportunity to hike up into the largely undeveloped national park whose boundary is just above the village where we work. Somehow I came away without a photo of our guide, Mario Orellano, who has won numerous conservation awards for his work as a naturalist. Mario loves to share his knowledge with us and this was my fourth time up the mountain with him, although after the rainy deluges of the prior week, this was the slipperiest scramble up to date.

The mountain abounds in orchards and each visit unveils new specimens.

In the United States, national parks usually come with a bounty of infrastructure. This particular park in Honduras has very little. The trail that we took, up through the family’s coffee plantation and on into the cloud forest, is one that Mario himself has hacked out from the tangle of vegetation. Each visit reveals new fungi, orchids, insects, and plants. Multi-day tours up into the national park are also available through D&D Adventures, associated with the lodge where I stayed in Los Naranjos at the beginning of my trip.

I love to try to capture the hues, textures, and lines of the verdant foliage. Who cares if only one photo out of twenty is any good? The rest live on in my memory.


Poisonous trees, poisonous snakes (like a bright green palm pit viper that can kill you in 2 hours and which Mario has seen only 4 times in 50 years), and poisonous caterpillars. It is not all orchids, sunshine, and mountain vistas on a stroll through this national park.


Kim is holding the handle of a fragment of Mayan pottery. Over the years, Mario has discovered artifacts such as animal-inspired flutes, sting rays spines, knives, and pipes.


Both the Lenca and Maya lived here and, to Mario’s trained eye, piles of stone reveal themselves as Mayan tombs or the foundation of a Lenca home.
Goodbye for now…look for more soon from largely undiscovered Honduras!

2 thoughts on “Parque Nacional Montana de Santa Barbara”

  1. Laurie: These latest pictures are wonderful; the colors and shapes of the plants are so unusual. What a life. Makes my day to day chores and doings seem colorless! Be safe. Tricia

    Liked by 1 person

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