|RÍO DULCE, GUATEMALA|
|CASTILLO DE SAN FELIPE DE LARA – LAGO DE IZABEL, GUATEMALA|
After a four-hour ride, we ran with our luggage several blocks in the rain from the bus station to the dock on the Río Dulce. The meaning in Spanish is “Sweet River.” but it could easily have been named “Heavenly River.”
The source of the Río Dulce
is Lake Izabel. The crowded water taxi headed away from the river to give passengers a close look at the Castillo de San Felipe de Lara, a small colonial Spanish fort. After a slow turn past it, we sped back into the river, soon passing wooden houses with thatched palm roofs, people paddling dugout canoes and children dangling legs over the sides of short wooden piers. After the quiet, winding river passes through a long, narrow lake adorned with white water liles, we entered a dazzlingly beautiful gorge. The sides of it, which reach as high as 300 feet, are completely covered with wildflowers, palms, teak and mahogany trees. In the water and in their rookeries on the cliffs were scores of white herons, pelicans and cormorants. Guatemala is home to 684 different species of birds. After an hour-and-a half ride of Gaugin-like beauty, we arrived at Livingston, a Garifuna town on the Caribbean.
The Garifuna people, who live on the Caribbean side of Guatemala and also in Nicaragua, Honduras and Belize, are descendants of shipwrecked African slaves who mixed with the Carib people in the 17th century.
|HERMOSAS NIÑAS GARIFUNAS EN LIVINGSTON|
Sitting on a tiny beach in front of our hotel, we could see Honduras and Belize. Livingston is small, with one main street leading from the main pier through town and to beaches on the other side.
|ESCUELA EN LA ORILLA DEL CARIBE EN LIVINGSTON|
Because it´s disconnected by roads from the rest of Guatemala, there are very few cars in sight, and almost every car can be a “taxi.” Boats are the main kind of transportation. Livingston is very different than every other part of Guatemala, even though there are some Q´eqchi Maya living there.
|CALLE PRINCIPAL IN LIVINGSTON – MIRANDO AL CARIBE|
It looks and sounds very Caribbean, especially at night when people stroll the one street lined with small shops and restaurants, and the mix of Caribbean and African music begins to play.
Days later, as we sat in the plane waiting to take off from Guatemala City, our last view of this beautiful country was of a nearby dormant volcano.
|VISTA EN EL AEROPUERTO DE LA CAPITAL|
When I arrived at 9 AM on Thursday, there was a line of people waiting. Most of the dogs were on some sort of leash. The cats were mostly in cardboard boxes or in pillowcases.
|GATOS EN LA CLÍNICA DE LOS SAUCES|
A woman who brought in her female Weimaraner for spaying mentioned that she wasn´t bringing in the male Weimar, who was the brother of the dog at the clinic. She felt that if the female were fixed, no point to fixing the male, whom she had been allowing to couple with the female. Statistic indicate that large dogs live 20% longer lives if neutered, as surgery reduces the chance of prostate cancer. The dog had had two litters and all puppies were either born dead or died within a couple of days.
The line-up had been exactly twenty, so we were glad not to have to turn anyone away. And then a very old man missing most of his lower teeth and wearing dirty, ragged clothes showed up holding a small brown and white female dog on a large rusty chain.
|HERMOSOS GATITOS RESCATADOS ESPERANDO CIRUGÍA EN LOS SAUCES|
As I am leaving Friday, March 20 for a two-week family visit to California, no numbers can be reported at this time. This information will be reported when I return. PLEASE CHECK WEBSITE FOR UPDATED CLINIC SCHEDULE.
STERILIZATIONS AT LOS SAUCES CLINIC March 28-21
DONATIONS AT LOS SAUCES CLINIC:
DONATIONS AT MEZCALES CLINIC: March 11-14 1,450 pesos
MISCELLANEOUS DONATIONS: Donna Barr – a fellow yogi at DavannaYoga who owns a vet clinic with her husband – 18 boxes of Frontline and Advantage for cats and for dogs plus 7 individual Frontline dispensers and 4 individual Advantage tubes.
CORRECTION re a miscellaneous donation: Troy Valens donated a 500 peso gift certificate to Friends of PV Animals, not a $500 USD certificate as previously mentioned.
RESCUED AND IN FOSTER HOMES: “Rocco,” the little Dobie mix found with “Canela,” the beautiful Weimaraner. They had both been seen living together on the streets for at least three months. Mateo Jorge answered an SOS, fostered Rocco for several weeks and found a ride for him to Edmonton on March 20th. Friends of Puerto Vallarta found a temporary home for Rocco there.
After ten days with me, “Canela” is now at beautiful Rancho Primavera
in el Tuito with Bonnie Jauregui. We took Canela and Bonnie´s five other dogs, including “Bella,” a Weimar Paulina Stettner and I had rescued, for a long walk in the light rain.
|BELLA AND CANELA IN RANCHO PRIMAVERA|
The rain the day before had been a torrential one. Canela, a beautiful, gentle and grateful dog, will drive up with Mary Schofield to her new home in Oregon with Troy Valens, who has adopted Canela without having met her.
“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]
ADOPTIONS: “Canela,” the rescued Weimaraner – by Troy Valens in Oregon
|ESPERANDO EN EL ACOPIO|
HOMES NEEDED: For the thousands of dogs and cats on the streets here, for hundreds of cats and dogs in refuges and in foster homes, and for dozens of healthy and beautiful dogs and cats at the Centro de Acopio, the city´s pound.
|UNOS DE LOS VOLUNTARIOS PARA EL CENTRO DE ACOPIO|
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.
|ESPERANDO HOGAR EN EL CENTRO DE ACOPIO|
To donate to PEACEAnimals clinics, please click on this link. http://bit.ly/1cWY0lP
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April 1-4 – SEMANA SANTA – no clinic
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