I don’t want you to know about Hopkins

I really don’t want you to know about Hopkins.  I don’t want tourism to spoil it.

Placencia flirted with us, but we fell in deep love with Hopkins. So much so, that we don’t want to write about it.  We want to keep it to ourselves.

The town itself is unassuming.  A long, hot, dry and dusty road with dilapidated buildings on either side.  Wood shacks that have never seen a carpenters level.  Totally unpainted, totally natural.  Kids standing on the porch, hanging over the railings as they wave goodbye to their older sister boarding the bus. It is so present and live.

I don’t’ want tourism to squash the essence of this place.

It will push out the very reason that we find it so special – the people and culture – and make it into a novelty instead of real life.

That’s the negative side of tourism.  Places get popular because they are beautiful and have real people with a thriving culture.  And then the people become ‘locals’ and get pushed out, bought out and withdrawn to the perimeter.  They can no longer afford to live in the ‘hot tourist town’.  When the locals leave, the real culture leaves, leaving behind a cultural skeleton that is paraded by hotel chains and tour operators.  The real culture no longer exists in the vicinity and travelers get a washed down, cleaned up showcase of it.  The place loses the rawness that made it so beautiful and approachable in the first place.

That’s why I don’t want you to know about Hopkins.

I don’t want tourism to spoil it.

Drying our clothes in Hopkins

Drying our clothes in Hopkins


UPDATE: I did spoil the secret of Hopkins here.

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6 Responses to “I don’t want you to know about Hopkins”

  1. Stacey January 13, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

    Nice, I like this post. I’m glad you are in tune with it, if only everyone were!

  2. Amy January 14, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me!

  3. Rebecca January 14, 2012 at 7:15 pm #

    Hey idea guru, I love the pictures. And am still not buying that you take them with that little camera. If so…you have a gift.

    • S King January 14, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

      I DO take them with my little point and shoot, but I am upgrading to the superzoom that you have Rebecca!
      One day, I will upgrade to a ‘real’ camera. For now, I like the kind that fit into my pocket.

  4. Clark Vandeventer January 16, 2012 at 1:48 am #

    You could have always written about the place and called it “H.”

    Your point about the skeleton is so right on. Obviously places that are on the beaten path are on the beaten path for a reason. They are beautiful. the people and culture remarkable. But when you go to those places today with the tour buses, etc…. you can feel what the place once was while knowing that what you’re experiencing isn’t quite it.

    I think that’s one of the reasons Monica and I have loved Central America. There are more places like Hopkins than there are places like Maui.

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