Antigua, an extraordinarily beautiful colonial city, is an hour-and-a half drive from gorgeous lake Atitlán. We arrived to grey skies due to of the very recent eruption of “Fuego. The ash, which was described to us as resembling a light snowfall covering Antigua, had mostly been swept away. The next morning, skies were clear and blue and we were glad for the sunshine.
Three volcanoes, “Agua,” “Acatenango” and “Fuego” overlook Antigua, a former capital of Guatemala. Indigenous labor was marshaled by the Spaniards in the 17th and 18th centuries to build grand churches, hospitals, schools and monasteries.
A devastating earthquake in 1773 destroyed much of the beautiful architecture, necessitating the relocation of the capital a year later to Guatemala City. Almost two centuries later, as a result of intense lobbying by Antiguans, President Jorge Ubico declared Antigua a national monument in 1944.
Following the declaration, intense restoration projects were begun in an attempt to restore the city to its former splendor. Another major earthquake in 1979 killed thousands of people and destroyed much of the restoration work of Antigua. That same year, Unesco designated Antigua a World Heritage site.
We stayed in a charming, small hotel with a fountain in the center of a rose-filled courtyard and a breathtaking view of the top of a volcano.
|VISTA ARRIBA DEL TECHO DEL HOTEL AURORA|
A green parrot across from our bedroom that called out “dame la patita.” (“give me your little paw”).
Across the street is a fantastic sweetshop attended by women in 19th century-looking French maid outfits consisting of black dresses and starched white, frilly aprons and caps. Guatemalan chocolate is great. My favorite is the 70% cacao, bits of orange rind added and sweetened with honey – no sugar.
Restaurants are beautiful and the food is excellent – Italian, French, Mexican, Guatemalan, etc. Shops are filled with
wonderfully colored Guatemalan embroidered clothing and accessories and there is a new arcade-style artisan mercado and an old and much smaller one in front of the ruins of a church.
|PLAZA PRINCIPAL DE ANTIGUA|
My favorite time spent was driving an hour-and-a-half southeast to the base of the still-active volcano of “Pacaya” (2,552 meters) and then riding horseback almost to the top of it. Our guide presented us with sticks and marshmallows so we could roast them in a steamy opening in the lava flow. Not far from us was “Fuego,” still spouting plumes of ash.
|VISTA DEL VOLCÁN PACAYA Y BASTANTE CERCA – VOLCÁN FUEGO|
Next week: TIKAL
In Puerto Vallarta on Wednesday, we spent five overcast, warm hours on Banderas Bay on Louis Drake´s completely outfitted fishing boat, the “Babalu.” We were not out to fish, but to see whales. We saw more than half-a-dozen. Their arching, curving bodies slid gracefully up and down in the calm water with blasts of humid breath as they surfaced very close to the boat. A cow and her young calf stayed most of the time on the surface, while the bulls were hidden below. Louis´ hydrophone picked up their songs from as far away as three miles- and told us that it is only males who sing.
|ESTA SEMANA EN LA BAHÍA DE BANDERAS|
Whale season officially is over at the end of March, but some linger as late as May.
Note: If you want to motor around the bay with a very small group, the Babalu is a great way to do this. If you want to fish, Louis is an expert and is honest about the availability of fish in the bay. 044 322 205 4246
POISONINGS: The unpleasant older woman with the dyed purple-red hair stood on her terrace looking down at the six cats I was feeding in a green area two blocks from my home in Centro. Her middle-age male friend or relative shouted at me in Spanish that he was “going to do something about this because there were too many cats fighting at night.” The six cats, three females and three males, had all been sterilized at PEACEAnimals clinics.
|ANÓNIMO GATO DE LA CALLE|
They were all young, pretty and very friendly and affectionate and they clearly had owners before being discarded. One of the males had had an eye torn out in a cat fight, so I took him to Dr. Tamayo to have the socket sewn up in order to avoid infection. When I returned from two weeks in Guatemala, Anna Laurita, DavannaYoga owner/instructor, who subs cat feeding for me, said she hadn´t seen the grey and white two male cats while I was away. She hoped someone had adopted them. I didn´t think so. A neighbor confirmed days later that he had found the one-eye cat´s body and reported the incident to Proteción Civil, who came to investigate. A large amount of foam in his mouth indicated death by poisoning. Presumably his male cat friend had also died someplace nearby. They were very sweet cats and died a horrific death.
There are thousands of homeless cats and dogs living in Puerto Vallarta. Rescues and adoptions treat the symptoms of a disease. The disease that needs to be treated is non-sterilization of cats and dogs. Too many animals are born to suffer.
|VIVIENDO EN UNA CASA ABANDONADA – ESTÁN EN RIESGO DE ESTAR ENVENENADOS. ¿PUEDEN ADOPTAR?|
I am concerned for two of the four surviving cats – a male tabby and a long-haired black female – that live near the green area in an abandoned house. The other two females, “Flower” and “Shadow” have lived outside near the cement fountain for years and seem less at risk. If you would like to adopt either or both of the cats living in the abandoned house, I will be happy to deliver them. They would both make great companions.
“FUN RAISER” for local animal rescue groups underwritten by local animal advocate, Yvonne Kalman: Sunday, March 29th at 6:00 PM- buffet supper, music and more – Casa Yvonneka in Amapas- to benefit: AngeliCAT; Colina Clinic; LADRA; Friends of PV Animal (supporters of the Centro de Acopio); Puro Gato; plus 10% of total donations will be for PEACEAnimals free mobile spay/neuter clinics For more information, contact: [email protected] or [email protected]
STERILIZATIONS AT PETS FOR LIFE CLINIC IN LA CRUZ: March 4-8 – Numbers not reported.
This clinic was extended one day as there were so many animals and because the Funny Bones fundraiser paid for 3.5 clinics in La Cruz.
Adriana Riestra, head of Friends of Puerto Vallarta Animals (support group for the Centro de Acopio) said that she had met a nice man in Mezcales who owns 40 cats and 8 dogs – all unsterilized. Arrangements were made for him to get some of these pets to la Cruz clinic, and two attempts made to get them, but without success. Hopefully this will take his animals to the clinic next week in Mezcales. The refusal to sterilize all these animals is reckless and the consequences will be disastrous.
DONATIONS AT PETS FOR LIFE CLINIC IN LA CRUZ: Sylvia Harder provided lunches for the team on March 6th.
Pets for Life, consisting of Dr. Poli, Dr. Anthony and vet tech, Paulina Stettner, is a registered Servicio Civil (SC). PEACEAnimals hires these independent contractors for our free, mobile spay/neuter clinics. PfL is free to find employment when they are not working a minimum of 30 surgery weeks for PA.
DONATIONS TO PEACEANIMALS: Chris Bradley e-mailed after seeing an editorial on PEACEAnimals in a local paper. She had broken her ankle and there were leftover medical supplies of gauze, bandages, tape, etc.
RESCUED AND ADOPTED FROM THE ACOPIO: “Carlota,” the mini-Boxer; the unnamed Basset Hound; “Toro; “Keisha” and “Crucita”
|“CARLOTA” DEL CENTRO DE ACOPIO ADOPTADA|
|“TORO” ADOPTADO EN EL CENTRO DE ACOPIO|
|“KEISHA” ADOPTADA DEL CENTRO DE ACOPIO|
|UNOS ESTÁN VIVIENDO ASÍ CASI AMARRADOS EN ELL CENTRO DE ACOPIO|
|VOLUNTARIA EN EL CENTRO DE ACOPIO|
Food is always needed. The government contributes two weeks of food annually.
NEW: Friends of PV Animals, which accepts donations and purchases supplies and medicines for the Acopio, is in the process of securing its AC (“Asociación Civil). PEACE can now include this support organization for the Centro de Acopio under its umbrella, thereby offering tax deductions for donations.
SOS “Biblios,” who has been at the Acopio for a long time, has a permanent home waiting for her in Canada. She must first be in foster care for 4-6 weeks or cannot go. Please help her. Vet expenses and food will be paid for. Contact Friends of Puerto Vallarta Animals via FB.
|TIENE HOGAR ESPERANDOLA EN CANADÁ. NECESITA CASA PUENTE FUERA DEL ACOPIO POR 4-6 SEMANAS. TODOS GASTOS VAN ESTAR PAGADOS. AYUDA, PORFA.|
To donate to PEACEAnimals clinics, please click on this link. http://bit.ly/1cWY0lP
SMILEAMAZON– When ordering on Amazon, if you click on the following link you can designate PEACEAnimals as a recipient of Amazon´s donation of 0.5% of some of your purchases. http://smile.amazon.com/ch/20-3726038
Take the 200 towards Nayarit. Exit on the lateral BEFORE Mezcales. One block before the junction to Valle/San Vicente make a right (it is the corner before the Bancomer), which is Calle Fco. Villa, Drive one block and clinic will be on the corner.
Coming on Fco Villa from town towards Pitillal, make a right at the light on calle Los Tules (there’ s Banamex in the corner and you will be leaving Costco behind you). At the end of the street make a left, you will be on Av Las Torres. Soon you will come to Parque Los Sauces, where you have to turn left again at the Oxxo. From there our red trailer should be visible.
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