I am a huge proponent of supporting local businesses, especially when I travel. It may be harder and harder to avoid the international chain stores and eateries altogether, but we always have the choice to not buy from them. Buy from local artisans, eat at locally-owned restaurants, and support the community you’re visiting. These local operations are what makes a place unique.
I try to find something special from each place I visit – something to remember my travels and to simultaneously support local vendors along the way. Sometimes it’s an article of clothing (I particularly love scarves!), sometimes it’s a piece of artwork, and sometimes it’s a delicious treat.
In fact, I bought so many bags of coffee before I left Ecuador that I was brought into the luggage hanger to have a heavily armed member of the military sort through all of my bags to investigate. Luckily for me, I had been living in his hometown. So instead of caring about the absurd number of bags of coffee in my suitcase, he excitedly asked me all about my six months in Otavalo.
What can I say? I like talking to strangers!
If you’re visiting Roatan soon, here are a few suggestions for where you can buy locally made souvenirs to bring home. One more I’ll add since it opened after this article was written is Shawn Jackson’s Photo Gallery in West End. His work is breathtakingly beautiful and you won’t want to miss it!
There are lots of options to buy locally in Roatan, I strongly encourage you to support those local vendors to keep the island unique and special.
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