The first speaker was Mr. Troy Bodden, President of the Utila Chamber of Tourism, and a candidate for the Mayor of Utila.
He informed us of his meetings with the Vice President of Honduras and Mr. Bonilla. He said that all are proud of the efforts that participants are making to help keep Utila safe and crime free. Mr. Bodden also relayed that our efforts are frequently mentioned by the President when asked about the dire security situation here in our beloved Honduras.
Mr. Troy Bodden also emphasized how important it is that we keep up the donations, and encouraged us that eventually some of the costs will go down. Mr. Bodden reported he is spending a great deal of time in Tegucigalpa defending our position and need for the Navy to remain here. Mr. Troy has initiated conversations with the Mayor of La Ceiba to see what can be done to screen people coming to the island of Utila, so as not to have new criminals arriving. We learned that we have a new smaller Navy boat that will be used for transporting those going ashore.
The next topic was trying to find a way to alleviate the burden from Mr. Troy of paying for all the fuel the Navy boats use. The census was to use available funds to supplement the fuel cost. Troy Bodden has been extremely instrumental in getting and keeping the Navy here, and he has even donated land to build a permanent Naval Station on Utila.
The final topic discussed was the needs of the Navy, so we could help them better perform their duties here. On the list of necessary items are more radios and search lights, which many people offered support for. Additionally, in the works are a reflective numbering system for all residences, and a map so that the Navy can respond more quickly in an emergency.