HONDURAS CALLS TO CANADIANS
Sunny seaside community awaits new residents at Njoi Trujillo
Temperate, affordable, welcoming. Gino Santarossa, senior partner with Toronto’s Njoi Marketing Ltd. believes he’s found all three attributes in Honduras, a Central American country that offers far more than that to people looking for a home away from home.
Njoi is the driving force behind two beach housing developments in Honduras. A 2011 trip convinced Santarossa and his partners, Cristina Santarossa and Paul and Lucia Todos, to purchase property there.
“We’d heard that they would be building a $20-million Canadian cruise ship terminal in our area,” he says. “That project came to fruition in 2014. We bought before land prices skyrocketed. We’re also hearing about plans to open an international airport in our area.”
The Njoi developments are built alongside the world’s second-largest rainforest, and straddle a pristine 21-kilometre beach along the Caribbean.
Both developments are being constructed in phases. Phase Three at Njoi Trujillo offers a range of homes, all with ocean views. These include: two-bedroom split villas at 788-square feet for $149,000; two-bedroom detached homes with rooftop terrace for US$215,000; and three-bedroom detached homes with rooftop terrace at 1,333-square feet, starting at US$249,000. The development includes a community pool, spa, athletic centre and 25-boat slip marina.
Phase Two at Njoi Santa Fe offers homes ranging from 1,000 to 6,000 square feet, built on mountainside lots. Each lot is offered at US$98,000.
Both Njoi Trujillo and Njoi Santa Fe were jointly honoured as the best developments in Latin and Central America for 2017-18 by the International Property Awards.
“Nobody from Canada will be disappointed once they walk through the front door of their new home,” says Santarossa. “Each home is custom built. You’ll find concrete foundations, granite countertops and air conditioning in every room.”
Njoi insists on being part of the community. All construction is completed by Honduran workers, who benefit from the development of the land. Construction materials are locally sourced where possible.
Buyers at the Njoi developments range in age from about 40 to 70, including parents with young children. “If they’re not using their properties, we can manage them as tourist rentals on their behalf and provide a stream of income,” says Santarossa.
The nearest population centre is Trujillo, a city of 30,000 located six kilometres from Njoi Trujillo and 10 from Njoi Santa Fe. It’s rich in history that dates back more than 500 years to the first visit by Christopher Columbus and a thousand more to the Mayan civilization. Attractions include the Fortress of Santa Barbara, built by Spanish conquistadors, historic churches and cobblestone streets. The city offers hospitals, markets, grocery stores, restaurants and other amenities. Abundant seafood and organic produce are readily available.
The surrounding area also features attractions that include ziplining, jungle tours, horseback riding and natural hot springs.
The average daytime temperature in the area is 28 degrees C, except during a brief rainy season from October to December. Santarossa says most potential buyers ask about hurricanes.
“We’re in a sheltered location,” he says. “During my lifetime, only one hurricane has ever touched the area and that was in 1998.”
Sofía Cerrato, the Ambassador of Honduras in Canada, notes that Canadians are warmly welcomed.
“Canada has always been supportive of our country,” she says. “You’ve helped us with so many good things, assisting us with establishing our national parks, supporting our cacao and coffee producers and working with us on issues involving indigenous women. We look to you as friends. Developers like Gino, who source local labour and materials, help to create so many jobs.”
Honduras has made considerable efforts to develop its tourist industry, Cerrato says that she frequently fields questions from Canadians who are considering retirement there.
“They tell me that they don’t expect much on incomes of $2,000 a month, for example,” she says. “I tell them that in Honduras that kind of money buys a generous lifestyle. You could hire people to cook for you and look after you. You could pamper yourself.”
Prospective buyers can check out the Njoi properties on a week-long vacation offered by the developer for only $500 per couple, including airport pick up and drop off, accommodation at Njoi, waterfall, stafish colony, snorkelling, hot spring and natural reserve tours, as well as visits to the Fortress and Botanical Gardens. Meals and drinks are not included.
“Every one of our buyers so far has taken the tour before buying,” says Santarossa.
He plans to move into the Santa Fe development himself someday, but he’s last in line.
“I will be retiring there when I’m ready,” says Santarossa. “But I’ve got some homes to build first.”
Each home is custom built with concrete foundations, granite countertops and air conditioning in every room.
Phase Three at Njoi Trujillo offers a range of homes, all with ocean views.