Welcome to the village of Cayo Quemado. This sparsely populated, yet close-knit town includes three bays and the adjacent coves and lagoons grouped on the forested south shore of the Golfete of Rio Dulce. We are about 100 families, mostly Guatemalan, but with a small and growing Gringo community. Restaurant, groceries, gas and a full-service marina are close-by, and for other supplies we go to Fronteras, ten miles away at the bridge, or to Livingston, only 8 miles to the mouth of the river.
The twenty mile long Rio Dulce and most of Lake Izabal is an entirely aquatic community in that we have no road access. But, all houses and businesses have a small dock to accommodate guests and a motor launch for general local transportation. We take a bus from Fronteras to the city and international airport.
In the Latin Culture, a girl’s quinceanera, or 15th birthday is a very important event. Telma, the daughter of our guardian, Santos, was looking forward to her special day last May 2007. All the family works with us regularly and we are grateful to have them as neighbors and employees. We were happy to sponsor Telma’s quince party which was enjoyed by many local friends and relatives
The Cayo Quemado village school has about 105 students, from 5 to 15 years old, in three classrooms. Since last February, I have been giving English classes two days per week. The children are eager to learn and immensely appreciative, which has led to an additional project: a free lending library for the town.
The library has about 55 books and is trying to fund the purchase of a good quality hard-cover world atlas in Spanish. Since all of Guatemala is frightfully devoid of books, and shipping from the US is prohibitively expensive, the most difficult aspect of starting the library is carrying books here in our luggage. I want to thank David & Carla, Diane & Doug, Carol & Gary, Ron & Karen, Muriel Shea, Penny, Margaret and others for your generous contributions to both Telma's education fund and to the library.