Behind the Lens: Culture and Dance at Honduras’ Roatán
Roatán Island, situated some 65 kilometers off the northern coast of Honduras, allures with its clear blue skies, white sand beaches and thick jungle. And yet, it is the culture, history and people of Roatán that enchant a traveler’s soul.
Silversea Expedition Filmmaker Benn Berkeley visited this location by zodiac after disembarking from the Silver Explorer, making the journey through tropical mangroves to a small village on the island.
“It’s a really beautiful place of the world where it’s almost like Venice as the towns are set on water,” Benn explains. “Water immerses these places and when we got to the center of the town, those colorful huts appeared out of the evergreen that fringes the the ocean.”
A vibrant community
Berkeley was met by the expressive dance and contagious energy of the islanders, as they twirled in vivid clothing underneath the sun’s beaming rays. Their story and their warmth was a tale he wanted to tell with his camera. “You get greeted by this warmth of real invitation, and I think the way people here express themselves is through dance and culture, so when we were watching their festivities and the way they were dancing it was their way of welcoming guests,” he remembers.
“I think anything involving music or dance is a universal sign of welcoming and it doesn’t need to be communicated through language. Because it touched me so much, I decided to take some beautiful video portraits.”
Connecting with the friendly community of Roatán through his lens allowed Benn to capture some once in a lifetime intimate portraits that portray a small snapshot of island life. He adds: “I really wanted to shoot these portraits with a person’s eyes looking down the barrel of the lens, so I could really understand the spirit and culture of these people. They often say that you don’t get a portrait unless it is given, and these people really gave their souls.”