The purpose of this article is to elucidate the differential recovery of household livelihood after the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) in the communities of West End and Punta Gorda on the island of Roatán, Islas de La Bahia (Bay Islands), Honduras; the emphasis is on livelihoods in tourism due to its economic importance on the island. The theoretical approach is a political ecology of tourism with an emphasis on differential benefits and challenges of tourism development at the household level. The study employs a mixed methods ethnographic approach incorporating participant observation, informal interviews, and semi-structured interviews for the qualitative component. While the tourism sector on Roatán has recovered since undergoing a severe contraction in the latter part of 2009 and continuing in 2010, this recovery has been uneven, with larger tourism businesses and their employees faring better than small scale entrepreneurs.


Tourism, Global Financial Crisis, Household Livelihoods, Vulnerability, Resiliency, Ethnographic Mixed Methods

Author Bio(s)

Racine Marcus Brown is a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development Service (HSR&D), specifically the Tampa, FL VA's Center of Innovation for Disability and Rehabilitation Research (CINDRR). He is an applied anthropologist and healthcare researcher currently developing a program of research dealing the effect of sleep apnea on obesity incidence and prevalence in Veterans impacted by traumatic brain injury (TBI). Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: racine.brown@va.gov.


First, I would like to thank my advisor, Dr. David Himmelgreen for his help and advice in this process, from the start of the program to the completion of the dissertation upon which this article is based. I would like to thank the other members of my committee, Drs. Heide Castañeda, Becky Zarger, Rita Debate, Ran Nisbett, and Tom Leatherman for their critiques and contributions to the study. I would also like to acknowledge Gail Powell-Cope, Susan McMillan, Latrica Allen, Christine Mellilo, Jolie Haun, Karen-Besterman-Dahan, and other CINDRR colleagues for editorial and other input in the development of this manuscript. Lastly, I would like to acknowledge the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital and VA for institutional support. Opinions expressed the article are my own and do not represent official VA positions.

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