Útila has been a part of Honduras for approximately 150 years. For nearly 200 years Spanish conquistadores and British pirates battled for control of these islands, ignoring the native people for the most part. During this period, the Islands were used for food and wood supplies, safe harbor, and slave trading. Remains of British forts and towns named after famous pirates remain as their legacy. One group of slaves was "parked" here during this time during the heat of a battle. When the winners came to collect them, the slaves refused to go. These are the Garifunas who still populate much of the Bay Islands, maintaining their own cultural identity and language. Punta Gorda on Roatán is one of many villages where they live.