Posts Tagged ‘GUATEMALA’

A short summary of the situation in Guatemala!

September 4, 2015

Hugh Paxton’s Blog is always delighted to receive and share news from Guatemala! Never dull! Here’s the latest from our intrepid columnist Colum!

Hola Don Hugo,

Guatemala’s Watergate! Throw the bums out! Yes, first they threw the VP in jail, then the P (well, actually, they are doing that as we speak!) Should be interesting. We have elections on Sunday. Chaos!

Colum

Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Association, Guatemala
Asociación Rescate y Conservación de Vida Silvestre, Guatemala
(cc502)5704-2563, 7830-1374
www.arcasguatemala.com
Colum_Muccio
arcasguatemala

Guatemala: Turtle

June 20, 2014

This may not be billboard material or deter sea turtle egg thieves on Guatemala’s beleaguered beaches but Hugh Paxton’s Blog is rather proud of my daughter for making an effort. She seems to know more Spanish than me. Her contribution has been forwarded to Colum at ARCAS. He’s the poor bastard fighting the poachers.

Cheers from Bangkok!

Hugh

Yellow-naped Parrot/Loro Nuca Amarilla

December 15, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog just got this lot from our heroic correspondent in Guatemala. Read on parrot lovers and conservationists and anybody who gives a damn! Cheers! Hugh

Report South Coast COLORES Tour FINAL ESP.pdf
Report South Coast COLORES Tour FINAL.pdf

Colum’s Column: Newsletter from Guatemala

October 20, 2012

Oh, and have you seen the latest episode of the tragicomedy that is Guatemalan politics and life? The government sent police/troops to control a disturbance in Totonicapan of some indigenouse people complaining about the cost of electricity, and rather than rubber bullets and tear gas, they opened up with live fire a la South Africa, killing 9 people. 9 people!!! It’s hard to justify that as a stray bullet or accidental… This, coming from an administration headed by a general who came to power under law and order. The press cornered the Governance Minister whose response was "9 people, hell, that’s nothing in Guatemala! More people die each day in car crashes."

This administration is slowly dropping in ranking, rivalling some of the worst.

Stay tuned.

Colum Muccio
Administrative Director
Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Association/Asociacion Rescate y Conservacion de Vida Silvestre (ARCAS)
Lote 6 Calle Hillary, Km. 30 Carretera Interamericana
San Lucas Sacatepequez, Guatemala
Tel: 7830-1374, Cell: 5704-2563
E-mail: Colum_Muccio Website: www.arcasguatemala.com

Wildopeneye new post: ARCAS reports 50 sea turtles per night at height of the nesting season

September 6, 2012

New post on Wild Open Eye

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ARCAS reports 50 sea turtles per night at height of the nesting season

by wildopeneye

Colum Muccio of ARCAS

Colum Muccio of ARCAS

Here’s the latest ARCAS news from the nesting beaches of Biotopo Hawaii on Guatemala’s Pacific Coast. Well done to all involved.

"We are entering the height of the sea turtle season and are counting up to 50 turtles per night in 8kms we patrol! As of August 31st, we have collected a total of 6,931 olive ridley eggs. 17% of these were found by our hard-walking volunteers, the rest donated by locals. We are slightly ahead of the egg count for this same time last year. We have also had our first hatchlings: 248 have hatched from 6 different nests. We have renovated the small hatchery thanks to the amazing efforts of Megan Reeve, Ryan Lupton, and Sabine Priestaff. Many thanks to them and all the other volunteers! Let us know if you can make a donation for the Sponsor a Nest program."

For more information about the wildlife conservation work of ARCAS in Guatemala please see their website.

wildopeneye | 05/09/2012 at 9:40 pm | Tags: ARCAS Guatemala, hatchery, olive ridley, Sea turtles, sponsor a nest program | Categories: Conservation, The World’s Water | URL: http://wp.me/p10R9B-dT

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Colum’s colum: Another volcano adventure

January 29, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog is proud to know Colum Muccio, our Guatemala correspondent and wildlife conservationist, and is used to receiving messages such as “Sorry this is late. I was chasing criminals.”

He didn’t say whether he’d caught this lot yet. And he didn’t explain the nature of their crime. But that’s not the point of this post. Colum intends to climb every volcano in Guatemala and will let us know how he gets on. Begin the ascent! Rather him than me!

 

SUCHITAN, USA March 7, 2004

Volcano-Adventures by Colum Muccio

Volcano-Adventures by Colum Muccio

We climbed the Suchitan Volcano with my explorer/astronomer/philosopher friend Robertillo Monterroso and his friend Hugo and Hugo’s girlfriend Helen. Suchitan is an extinct volcano in the southwestern part of Guatemala. It´s a dry, poor part of the country but the landscape and weather are somehow appealing, having the same “big sky” feel of places like Wyoming and Texas. Tio Sam’s influence is strong here too and you see the effects of repatriated dollars from “remesas” everywhere in the form of nicer than normal houses. And like most remote corners of the country, we saw signs for Western Union.. It´s said that Guatemala and other Central American countries have a built-in buffer to economic downturns in the form of remesas (and ssshhh… drug trafficking).

Robertillo and I had seen Suchitan from the Jumay Volcano which we had climbed the week before. It is pretty much the same height, but as we found out, much more difficult.

We drove out of Guatemala City fairly early, getting to the town of Suchitan around 10AM, found a “guide”, negotiated a price and started walking through the small town to the slopes up the volcano. Our two guides were like Mutt and Jeff: One, Freddy, was short, stocky and strong, self-confident and ironic. The other, Luis, was taller, thin and had a serious stutter. He came off as more of a Cowboy to Freddy’s Indian. Cowboys and Indians: that´s a good way to summarize southeastern Guatemala.

Freddy had spent five years living in North Carolina and was planning to make his way back up in a few months. From the slopes of Suchitan, he pointed to the road leading out of town and said “that´s the road to the States” as if Texas was just over the next ridge. He claimed he had made it to Los Angeles in 7 days, crossing “la frontera” in “Fenis”, Arizona.

We walked through the “suburbs” of Suchitan, Freddy pointing out all the nicer houses paid for by remesas. The older, more traditional homes were made out of mud brick walls and heavy terracotta tile roofs that during earthquakes are responsible for most of the deaths. Each tile weighs about 2 pounds, even more in the rainy season when it absorbs the rain. Further down the road there were newer houses, very simple affairs, built for free by the Peace Corps.

We started to climb up the volcano, first through corn fields and then areas of low, dry scrub which had obviously earlier been cow pastures. After climbing Acatenengo Volcano (one of the highest and hardest to climb in Guatemala) two weeks prior, both Jumay and Suchitan deceived me into thinking that they were just little hills and that the claims in the Guidebook of Volcanoes in Guatemala that they took 3 hours to climb was an exaggeration. However, Suchitan was a difficult climb and Helen, especially, was having a hard time with the steep, dusty slope.

We climbed through the scrub to the top of the ridge where the forest started to get nice and lush and the air became cool and damp and felt good on our hot dry skin. The contrast in the tropics between sun and shade, meadow and forest is startling sometimes. When you step from field to forest it can feels much the same as stepping off a sweltering summer sidewalk in Washington (my hometown) into an air conditioned building, only the building is much more humid than the field.

In contrast to the scrub of the lower slopes, the ridge top of Suchitan still had some decent-sized trees and had the look and feel of a cloud forest with bromeliads, orchids and epiphytes covering thick, gnarly branches overhead. I noticed that many of the epiphytes were of a type I had never seen before and wondered if each volcano had its own species, wished I knew more about these fascinating plants.

The trail leveled out on the ridge and we walked through a nice cloud forest, skirting around what seemed to be a summit and continuing on along another ridge. The summit of the volcano was like a giant T, with the side we ascended hiding a perpendicular ridge behind.

At the bottom of a descent there was a group of locals on a day hike. An older man who appeared to be the leader of the group of mainly kids claimed that he had climbed Suchitan more than 50 times.

We continued on to La Piedrona, a summit rock accessible by a steep trail with a cable handrail. On top, we were treated to a beautiful view of the arid landscape around us sprinkled with volcanoes and smaller conical hills that weren’t technically classified as volcanoes but sure looked like them. There is some debate in Guatemala about exactly what is a volcano. The Alpinist Federation of Guatemala claims that there are 37 volcanos in the country, and claims that the tell-tale feature of a volcano is the existence of a certain type of rock on the summit that indicates that there was a crater there.

Directly in front of us was the Retana Laguna, which was a large crater-like lake whose flat lakebed was, according to our guides, drained by a tunnel built by the gringos to irrigate nearby fields. There was obviously still a lot of moisture and nutrients in the soil as it was being heavily cultivated. Robertillo claimed that 20 years ago, it was an important sanctuary for migratory waterfowl, and it was said that the ducks were so thick that if you tossed a stick into the air a duck would fall down dead. Our guides confirmed that there are still a lot of ducks during November and December and people from the city still come to hunt.

Although we had explained to them that we were from ARCAS and were conservationists, Freddy and Luis still didn’t get it. We asked them “todavia se ve patos”, “can you still see ducks?”. They responded “si, todavia se consigue.” “Yeah, you can still get (shoot) some.”

In general, I found it difficult and at times interesting seeing the reaction to my explanation to Guatemalans, especially rural Guatemalans of what I was doing in their country. Responses ranged from:

“Nature, I love nature! Cows, corn…. it’s beautiful!

“You conserve parrots? That’s interesting. How much can you get one for me?”

“Wildlife conservation? That’s great that someone’s doing that!”

And the inevitable jibes about how sea turtle eggs and tepesquintle meat are so delicious… Yawn, yawn…

There was a group of boys on the top of La Piedrona flying pieces of litter like kites and running like billygoats over the rocks and ridges. Someone had taken an enormous crap by the side of the trail that was drying in the sun none too slowly, a nice touch, I thought. A wildfire was burning out of sight over the ridge at the end of the T with billowing clouds of smoke rising in front of us. As in other places in the developing world, fire is seen as a friend, comforting even, that helps clear the land before the rains come, leaving pastures and cornfields ready to plant. The fact that these fires regularly go out of control and sweep across wildlands, burning down forests and preventing their natural regeneration, seems to be of little concern. Better yet, it’s considered to be natural. I’ve always thought that it was telling that people in Latin America use the work “limpiar” (clean) for clearing land, as if forested land was somehow dirty.

We ate a sandwich for lunch and I got a phone call from Ricardo from Washington: another one of those bizarre moments out of some sort of cell phone commercial. We started down the mountain, passing the group of kids. Freddy was a nice guy, but was obviously impatient with the frequent stops we were making. Hugo and Helen were getting tired. Every time we stopped for a rest, he’d get up a few seconds later and say “OK, let’s walk”. But he kept me amused with his Marquez-esque view of the world. He talked to me about his life in the States, how he worked in a restaurant, pronouncing the name unintelligibly over and over. An Italian restaurant. He had started out as a dishwasher, but worked his way up to salad chef . I asked him if he had seen the mountains, or the beaches of North Carolina and he said that he only had one day per week off and that it didn’t give him enough time to travel. He talked fondly of his “matrona”, saying she treated him really well. I imagined that if I were a struggling small business owner and was lucky enough to find a loyal worker like Freddy, willing to work 6 days per week 12 hours per day, I would treat him well too. I asked him if he had papers. He said no. I said that it wasn’t that easy to get into the States any more without papers and he just shrugged as if to say, “we’ll see.” What hearty, hardworking, optimistic people! I wondered whether that is what allowed them to survive and even flourish when most of the other indigenous peoples of the New World had been wiped out. Perhaps their willingness to work with the patron, rather than fight against him.

We continued walking down the mountain, and about 300 meters from town, a rock fell on Helen’s ankle, and although she didn’t appear to break anything, she couldn’t walk. I walked ahead and brought the Trooper up the trail as far as I could and we waited for an hour for them to limp up. We were all quietly impatient with Helen as she had moped and complained for much of the trip, even before her accident. Freddy wasn’t very quiet though. “If it wasn’t for her boyfriend, I would have thrown her over my shoulder like a sack of rice. Like this.” he tells me gesturing. We drove back into the village and to a store recommended by Freddy to have the coldest beers in town. No better way to celebrate the conquest of a mountain! When I went to buy another round, the owner greeted me in broken English “Where you from?” and explains to me that he lived 8 years in Austin before recently being deported.

Volcano Adventures: IXTEPEQUE, December, 2005

January 6, 2012
Volcano-Adventures by Colum Muccio

Volcano-Adventures by Colum Muccio

Volcano Adventures: IXTEPEQUE, December, 2005

Hugh Paxton’s Blog has climbed quite a lot of volcanos but times change. The days, then the years, pass, a certain lassitude sinks in and my sort of volcano now is one that erupts at a safe distance and doesn’t need climbing before it fires a lava bomb into my face.

Yeah, right! I’m a cowardly lazy old fart.

But I’m a bit more than that gentle reader!

I’m a manipulative cowardly lazy old fart! And I’m delighted to say that Colum my intrepid friend and gallant conservationist in Guatemala has been manipulated into climbing every volcano in Central America.  And telling us how (or how not) to do it. We’ll kick off with one he climbed a a few years back. Ixtepeque. Pronounce it if you can!

We will be hosting his volcano adventures as and when he sends them in. Dates of climb are always important when you are reading about volcano climbing. Hughg Paxton’s Blog will ensure that you are informed of when the ascent was made.

Over to Colum and start the ascent!

START:

Volcano-Adventures by Colum Muccio

Volcano-Adventures by Colum Muccio

Roberto and I drove out what was now becoming a familiar route to the eastern volcanoes: Carretera Salvador, Barbarena, Los Esclavos and then Jutiapa.  When we got close to Ixtepeque, we stopped in at a love hotel to ask for directions.  It only occurred to me later the logic of stopping in at such a place, the hotel was pathetic, with only plastic sheets for doors and the owner sitting outside shirtless, potbellied, with a mouth full of gold and a pistol packed into his belt.  That is something characteristic of this part of Guatemala, a little bit of the wild west, where every male over the age of four years old by obligation must wear a gun.  It makes it hard to know who the thieves are.

Antonio, the owner of the hotel, had a friend and we drove him up the road so that he could introduce us.  Robin was a quiet, handsome cowboy, who apparently did a lot of hunting and after some explanation, agreed to take us up the volcano.  He had a spider monkey in his front yard chained to a ceiba tree and Roberto walked too close to him and got bit on the arm.  The monkey was uncharacteristically muscular and swung continuously from limb to limb.  We squeezed lemon on the wounds and drove to the starting off point in the village of La Tuna.  I mistakenly left my sunglasses on the roof of the car, and driving along heard the sound of broken glass as they hit the pavement.  Damn! On the dirt road to La Tuna, we saw beautiful green tree snake sunning itself on the road.  It slithered away casually through the brush.

Ixtepeque is an interesting volcano being composed almost entirely of obsidian and as we started walking we saw it all over the trail, chinking like pieces of broken black glass.  Ixtepeque is thought to be one of the principal sources of obsidian for the Mayas.  Our hike was slowed by frequent stops to pick up especially interesting-looking pieces.  Robin explained to us that the shards were so sharp that at locals had to be careful when walking cattle up the trail.

The trail was an easy grade, climbing with stone walls on each side with cattle grazing in pastures.  We were glad that we had Robin along with us as it was easy to lose the path.  Several cattle farmers were pushing their herds down the trail, and we had to climb the stone walls to get out of their way and let the cattle pass.  And, of course, each one of them had the ubiquitous pistol in the belt.  We stopped briefly to pass the time of day, explaining that we were climbing the volcano (and not robbing cattle).  You could tell that they were enjoying their lives as cowboys.

We got to the top of the trail, which crossed the volcano in a saddle in between two hills.   Robin indicated that the summit was to the left and we followed him as he cut a path through the brush with his machete.  I remembered again that it would be useful to take a machete along on these trips.   After about 15 minutes of climbing through the brush, we came out onto a summit covered with tall grass and small trees, but with a fairly decent view of the surrounding volcanoes.  

Apart from the obsidian, Ixtepeque isn’t a spectacular volcano, but a nice easy walk.  What really set the day apart for us was the particular, increasingly funny series of events that staged themselves throughout the day.  First the monkey, then my sunglasses, then the green snake…  and to top off the day, when we returned to the car and popped the ceremonial Gallo beers, Roberto and Robin had already grabbed the only nearby rocks to sit on, and I decided to sit on the ground, landing my ass on a very sharp, 3 inch thorn which I had to tug furiously to get out of my butt, leaving a spot of blood on my ass. We all laughed at the eventful day.

Apart from the volcanoes and the views, these walks were interesting in giving a window, though a fleeting one,  into the lives of rural Guatemala campesinos.  Robin took us back to his house were his wife and mother offered us glasses of lukewarm Pepsi.  The real refreshment, however, came in the form of a cool “juacal” full of water from the pila poured over our dusty heads.  Robin had a three year old daughter who looked at us untrustingly with tears in her eyes from behind her mother’s skirt.  Robin explained to us that she was sick, had a fever from infections in her front teeth.  Roberto explained that he was a dentist and told the child to come over to him so he could take a look, which she only did when her mother picked her up, crying, and carried her over.  Roberto explained that teeth infections are dangerous because they can grow up, into the brain, and that they should have the teeth pulled.  It’s sometimes too easy to blame things on poverty, that poor people do what they do because they have no other choice.  It’s also true that people simply make bad decisions out of ignorance or superstition, like the decision to chain a wild monkey to a tree in their front yard.  I looked at the child’s feverous face and wondered what her future was.

Colum’s Colum: Scarlet Macaws Take Flight in Guatemala

November 18, 2011

Hugh Paxton’s Blog is delighted to receive this from our intrepid Guatemala columnist!

Thanks for this amigo!

Everybody here says the same

Don’t get shot!

Hugh

Over to Guatemala!!

BLOG ED NOTE: TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES EXPERIENCED. WE WILL RESUME TRANSMISSION TOMORROW!. BUT IT IS GOOD NEWS!

 

Scarlet Macaws Take Flight in Guatemala

Guatemala: Turtle Diary

March 28, 2011

 

FIRST NIGHT ON THE SEA TURTLE FRONTLINE.

Hugh Paxton’s Blog is lying in a restless, one might say vicious, hammock on the Pacific coast of Guatemala waiting for nesting sea turtles to leave the crashing surf. There’s a volcano erupting inland. Raindrops as big as pennies are rattling off the palm-frond roof of our shelter. Lightning is tearing the night sky apart.

“Is it usually like this?” I yell across to Colum Muccio.

Muccio should know. He has been working with ARCAS, a Guatemalan conservation organisation for years. Many years!

“Usually like what?” he yells back.

“Like apocalypse! And why is this b****dy hammock trying to throw me on my b****dy head?”

Muccio’s answer is drowned out by a thunderclap.

My eagerness to conduct a nocturnal beach patrol dwindles. This is real tropical rain. Drenches you in seconds. Floods roads. Washes away defoliated mountain slopes. Drowns sea turtle beach patrols.

Then, abruptly, someone turns off the tap. The silence is deafening – for about 30 seconds. Then, as if a conductor has twitched a baton, there is a concerted explosion of insect orchestrals from the mangroves behind us.

HAWAII

The actual location of Hawaii (that’s Hawaii, Guatemala, as opposed to that other place in the Pacific) is as striking as as its storms and shrieking insects. The turtle beaches are black volcanic sand cut off from the mainland by a mangrove-lined canal that is main road, bath and larder to local fishermen. Similar mangrove canals follow the coast as far down as El Salvador hosting a rich and idiosyncratic wildlife population: basilisks or “Jesus lizards” walk – or more accurately scuttle- on water using their flat webbed feet, and four eyed fish among others.

BLOG ED NOTE: The evolutionary four eyes plan is cunning. It enables the fish to keep two wary eyes on avian predators above while keeping two alert eyes focused on potential prey and predators below the water’s surface.

But I digress. Back to the plot!

TURTLE PATROLS.

ARCAS runs two volunteer programmes; there is a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre on the shore of Lake Petenista near the ancient ‘lost’ Mayan city state of Tikal, in the jungles of Peten near the Mexican border. And there is this turtle hatchery (complemented by caiman and green iguana breeding facilities) in Hawaii.

Volunteers are not just welcome but needed. They pay a nominal sum for bed and board.

The beaches of Hawaii suffer a problem common throughout Central America. Poaching.

Turtle eggs are regarded – yes, you are probably ahead of me on this one – as an aphrodisiac.

“Guatemala’s human population is growing at nearly three percent a year, so aphrodisiacs are the last thing this country needs,” Muccio says wryly, “and this beach is technically a protected area so we shouldn’t have to be doing this at all.”

He hauls himself out of his hammock. “Oh for a perfect world! Let’s go and meet the crowds.”

Crowds may be overstating the case somewhat, but, despite the recent torrents, the beach has more people on it than I ever saw during the day – hueveros (egg collectors) one and all.

Two old men wobble past on bicycles proving an exception to the general rule: Egg poachers mainly seemed to operate alone, heads turning sheepishly away from us as we passed.

Muccio isn’t a policeman (from Washington DC he isn’t even Guatemalan) so stopping hueveros is not an option. Also they’ve got machetes and not a few smell of Venado, a vicious sort of local gin that aids bad temper.

Instead of becoming involved in blood drenched beach brawls, ARCAS has hit on a pragmatic, if less than perfect, agreement with local hueveros: They are asked to hand in 12 eggs, roughly ten percent of a nest load, to the protected hatchery. According to Muccio, about 50 percent comply with the egg agreement.

EGG HUNTING ETIQUETTE …  

…is ‘finders keepers’.

 First one to a nest takes all. Hence our patrol. If we get there first – well, it will be 120 olive ridley turtle eggs in the bag, into the nursery and then, once hatched, into the sea.

There the little fellahs will have to run the usual sea turtle gauntlet of shrimp trawlers, pollution, bull sharks, ghost nets lost by fishermen, etc. before eventually returning to their birth beach to lay the next generation. How any of them make it is frankly beyond me.

Still, at least we are giving them a start in life. Before the ARCAS operation began, not one single nest escaped the hueveros. Every egg was taken. Truck loads of eggs headed inland. This ultimately self-defeating practice was only made possible for as long as it was by the sea turtle’s extraordinarily long life span.

 “The key to success is to watch the sand just above the surf line for tracks,” Muccio explains. “Follow the tracks and you’ve got your nest. Easy.”

 As we plod along the beach, the din of the surf is our constant companion.

Turtles aren’t.

 One hour later – zip. Nada. My initial alertness fades. My thoughts wander towards the profound. Why the bloody hell am I doing this when I could be in bed? Why do I care about sea turtles? Why does Muccio care about sea turtles? The man could have a comfy well-paid job in the States instead of an incredibly unpaid job in Guatemala. Why have I signed up for two weeks of this slog?

And then the utterly profound! What will we be having for breakfast!

Hours pass. Still no turtles. Just one emptied nest. A hole in the beach, a wound in the world. Turtle tracks and human footprints.    

BREAKFAST AND THAT BLOODY HAMMOCK!

Breakfast turns out to be cold beer, bananas and chilli shrimps. No eggs. It happens at 4:30 a.m. And after it is done I hit the hammock like a hammer, which of course bounces me straight out again.  After hitting the floor like a hammer I fall asleep.

IN RETROSPECT: Precious Moments.

 The fortnight I spent on the beach passed swiftly. Days were spent dozing in the hammock, surf too rough and currents too weird for swimming, heat beating the black sand, too hot for naked feet at high noon.

There were moments of great beauty: sitting on the wonky wooden Hawaii dock watching the four eyed fish watching for herons above and fishy business below,. Pelicans on patrol. Sunset firing the mangrove canal’s water, fishing bats flitting low above the glowing surface. Flotillas of water hyacinth drifting slowly, slowly past. The jewelled eyes of a young caiman.

There were moments of of great excitement: finally finding a nesting ridley before a huevero, waiting patiently for her to finish her lay. What seemed to be tears were running down her cheeks. Muccio explained something technical about salt glands, but watching the turtle at her strenuous, ancient, fragile work I decided to stick with the tears interpretation.

There were moments of great optimism: the huevero who turned up with 50 eggs for the hatchery. The visit to a local school-run hatchery just down the coast, the children’s eyes gleaming with pride as they released hatchlings.

There were moments of great ugliness: two men in Chicago Bulls t-shirts, reeking of Venado (that vile rot gut I mentioned earlier), hauling a female off her nest before she could scrape sand back to cover it.

The turtle made no effort to regain the sea. Just lay there on the sand making feeble flicking motions with her flippers, water from her eyes driving narrow channels through the sand that caked her cheeks.

Local rules on this one. We watched them take every egg. We helped the turtle make it back to her sea. After dawn we waited for the two men to bring us the agreed ten percent of their raid. We waited in vain.

The last night in Hawaii was again split by storm. The volcano’s glow had faded. Quite a fortnight! And I finally got the hang of my hammock!       

Cheers!

Hugh

BLOG ED NOTE: Colum Muccio is our Hugh Paxton blog Guatemala columnist. Noteworthy for not actually having time to really submit any columns. ARCAS remains doing what it does. He remains doing what he does. And he remains not earning much. But he keeps his Guatemalan wife in re-fried beans and his kids are doing good. The turtles are still coming back to the beach. The struggle goes on. If you are feeling rich and generous (Bill Gates! Can you hear me????) a donation would help! If you are interested in sea turtles read anything written by Archie Carr. A great start!

Guatemala: ARCAS wins conservation award

August 14, 2010

Hugh Paxton’s Blog is proud to announce that its Guatemala correspondent’s efforts to preserve tropical forests, sea turtles, and combat the illegal trade in wildlife have deservedly received presidential recognition.

We would all like to congratulate Colum and his colleagues on their efforts, will power, patience and achievements. At the same time, we would like to remind Colum that the next post of his Hugh Paxton’s Blog column, “Colum’s Column” is eagerly anticipated. And long overdue!  

ARCAS PRESS RELEASE.

BLOG ED NOTE: A trifle dry in my opinion. But here goes!   

START:

In recognition of its 20 years of work protecting the wildlife of Guatemala, on the 5th of August ARCAS was awarded the Presidential Medal for the Environment in a ceremony held in the National Palace.

Attending the ceremony were the Vice President of the Republic, the Minister of Environment, members of the diplomatic corps, DIPRONA and NGO colleagues. During the same ceremony, Vida Amor de Paz of the Tropical Forest Foundation was awarded the Medal.

Reconociendo sus 20 años de labor en pro de la fauna silvestre de Guatemala, el 5 de agosto ARCAS fue condecorado con la Medalla Presidencial de Medio Ambiente en una acta que se llevó a cabo en el Palacio Nacional con la participación del Vicepresidente de la Republica, el Ministro de Medio Ambiente, miembros del cuerpo diplomático, DIPRONA y colegas de otros ONGs. Durante la misma acta, la Medalla Presidencial también fue condecorada a la Sra. Vida Amor de Paz de la Fundación del Bosque Tropical.


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