Nov 24

Volunteering at the Local schools

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We joined along with a group of fellow cruiser to travel to a small village just outside the town of Buenos Aires, Guatemala, not far from the marina to help out at a school. We drove along the main highway for approximately 10 miles, crossing through the town then followed a dirt road, lined with Rubber trees, before crossing a stream guarded by vultures. We were glad the driver chose not to use the bridge, which sat off to the side, collapsed in the middle. A loaded farm truck drove across it, with no hesitation.

The school needs many repairs, which our team is going to tackle before the kids start school in January.

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We were surprised by the children, waiting for us to arrive at 7 am.with all the desks outside ready, for us to repair them. The most important project that the school staff and parents would like to see completed is to build a fence around the school. Not only would this keep out farm animals wandering through the property but also keep the children safe. The cost has always been a problem in the past, as the men earn just enough to feed their families.

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With the three classrooms empty, the walls were pressure washed and prepped for painting. A generator had to be brought in, there,s no electricity in the building. The plan is to paint the school the colours in the flag, light blue, dark blue, known as National Blue, and white.


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The teenage boys helped with the high work , getting quite creative in place of a ladder, and also assisted with any heavy lifting. The women of the community showed up to lend a hand, excited that we were there. They seen me scraping desks so they joined in using their nails to pick off old plastic stuck to the tops, working in the shade of a large tree


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There are a few more visits planned with the completion date in early December, but there is still a lot of work to complete. The kindergarten chairs, made out of chip board need to be replaced, desk tops sanded and painted, and even the Teachers desk refurbished. Right now it is held together with packing tape.


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Nov 10

Small, small world

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They say, it’s a small world. Well we were just handed a good example of how small it really is We sat down with 5 cruisers who seemed to have been here in Rio Dulce for awhile, to ask some questions on the layout of the town, and where we could find certain things. In the conversation they asked us where we were from………Mississauga, Ontario,…. actually, Port Credit. One of the guys says, “I used to work in the marina”, that’s where we left from. Then he asked us about our boat there, We told him we had our first boat there named, White Squirrel, he knew it well, a Grampian 23………..he sold it to us. Up until now, we had never met him in person. Coincidence, or what…… 

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We are settling in to our new location here, at Catamaran Island Hotel and Marina, and are really enjoying the place. The hotel section rents cabins on the water, while the marina docks up to 50 boats, all on a small island, only transportation is by water.

The cruising season is just beginning, hurricane season is over, so most boats here are getting ready to leave. We plan on staying awhile and seeing the country. The weather has been the biggest surprise, it has stayed in the 80s during the day, while the nights are cool. We have had our share of rain, but after all it’s a rain forest, the land is very lush.

(Click on any photo to enlarge)

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The other day we went for a hike, to get some exercise, along a road known as the Pipeline Road. Good name for it as it has pipeline, from Puerto Barrios, a little town to our south to Mexico. Beside it they have built a road which services the rubber farms that are around this area, dotted with houses that range from simple one room structures to luxurious riverfront properties.

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Rubber tapping is the process by which latex is collected from a rubber tree. The latex is harvested by slicing a groove into the bark of the tree at a depth of a quarter inch with a hooked knife and peeling back the bark. This process does not harm the tree. In fact, a single tree can be tapped for 30-40 years.

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On the way back we stopped by the roadside market to restock vegetables, and walked away with a 3 bag assortment for less than $5.

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