This Is Roatan!

This is Roatan (TiR) is the visionary project by professional website developer and scuba diving instructor Steve Craig, aka TheScubaGeek.

The goal of TiR is to promote tourism and support local businesses on the Caribbean island of Roatan in the Bay Islands of Honduras through online marketing. TiR aims to be Roatan’s premier information service for travel, living, and island news. The site combines a clean modern design, advanced web technologies, and the power of Google Maps to present the beauty of Roatan to the outside world as never before seen.

The Story of TiR

Steve was sick of computer programming.

After wrapping up his Master’s Degree in Computer Science, Steve sold most of his belongings, packed his bags, and moved to the small Caribbean island of Roatan to teach scuba diving, drink rum, and live the beach bum lifestyle. He fell in love with the island’s jaw-dropping coral reef, friendly locals, sweeping white sand beaches, and laid-back attitude. His original plan to stay for three months was postponed… and postponed again… and again… until a year and a half of living the good life had passed by.

Steve returned to the so-called ‘real world’ to program professionally for a video game company in North Carolina. The job was good, the pay was fine, but something was missing. Staring at the photo of scuba divers on Roatan’s reef adorning the background of his computer, he knew he had to go back.

Meanwhile, a few websites Steve had made for Roatan businesses were starting to generate real results. A crazy little idea crept into his head: he could make a genuine impact on local businesses by driving tourism to the island through online marketing. Once again, he sold his stuff, packed his bags, and returned to the island he loved.

Real Time Development On Island Time

Upon returning, Steve began researching how he could make the biggest impact on the local market. Being relatively undeveloped, the island presented some unique challenges. As roads did not have names, local businesses did not have mailing addresses. There was hardly any news media on the island. Internet access was limited and quite slow by first-world standards.

Steve wanted a website that would do more than just act as a business directory. He saw a website that would show visitors exactly where everything was located on Roatan. He believed that media transparency was essential to promoting good business practices in the developing world. He envisioned a site architecture that would offset the slow internet speeds by incrementally streaming data in such a way that the website would never have to be reloaded. He dreamed of a website that would be sleek, modern, and beautiful—a place where local businesses would be proud to appear.

Steve was as naïve as he was ambitious. He thought the website would take six months to build. Unreliable electricity, crashed computers, political turmoil and personal hardships perpetually delayed the project. Progress was steady but aggravatingly slow. He poured his heart, soul, and personal finances into the project, bankrupting himself in the process.

The Dream Becomes Reality

Two years later, Steve finally published the first live version of TiR.

TiR remains the project of which Steve is the most proud. The website is proof that hard work, determination, and a fair bit of insanity can unite to create something incredible. Steve continues to refine TiR to fit the ever-changing needs of local businesses with emerging web technologies, allowing business owners to reach their online customers.

Steve hopes you enjoy the unique experience of TiR almost as much as you enjoy your stay on Roatan. If you find this website useful, please consider making a donation through PayPal; every buck goes a long way towards keeping the dream alive.

2 Responses to “This Is Roatan!”

  • #1

    And then, just like that, he’s off to Hawaii. You lead an amazing life, kid.

  • #2

    congrats on finishing the site. that’s a huge accomplishment. I know you’ve been working on that for quite some time.

    Hoping to make it to Roatan someday… wait, let me rephrase that, I WILL make it to Roatan someday. I have to start paying off those MBA student loans next month so we’ll see how that goes.

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