Monday, December 15, 2008

Antigua pictures

Church on the central square and a shot of the Christmas mercardo

holding hands

suede-soft hands of the sweet caged girl(spider monkey).  The locals told us she's caged because she's  slightly different from the clan and they would attack her if she was out.

Barillas Marina Club

Here's a shot of the estuary where the boats anchor.  It's taken from the shore through the palm roofs of the out door tables next to the pool.

pregnant spider monkey near Barillas marina

Saturday, December 13, 2008

YWAM Guatamala

 We got to the ywam base on Thursday night and spent most of Friday doing projects for them.  Brian fixed broken legs on a fusball table and I cleaned out and sterilized kitchen cupboards.  It was much more fun than wandering aimlessly around the city of Antigua.  The city is very colonial with solid wooden carved doors set into thick stucco walls.  It is beautiful lots of bouganvillea  and dozens of ruined churches. 

We got to help with a kid's club this morning .  I sat with a twelve year old girl, Gladiz, the size of an 8 year old.  We colored  and talked about her family.  She has  2 older siblings and 4 younger.  She has never been to school because she works.  Her most recent job was arranging and packaging tomatoes to sell.  Her father lives and works in the United States.  She hasn't seen him in 6 years, although he calls and sends money. 
I tried to tell her about a local organization that gives child street vendors an elementary education while allowing them to also work part time.  Here's the link:
a quote from the website:"If a child graduates from this school, they are awarded a 'green card' certificate which enables them to find work in a business or store. Without this certificate, their only option remains street vending, selling in the market, or maid and child care employment. The children this school serves are considered the bottom of the class system, but the teachers believe they have value..."

The base is in a small town at the base of two volcanos, one to the west and one to the south. They're huge.  All day and all night long firecrackers are going off and the pre-recorded bells of the church ring sort of on the hour, sounding distorted by speakers turned up too high. 

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Antigua, Guatamala

Brian and I are sitting in a coffee shop in Antigua, Guatemala.  After arriving in Barillas Marina El Salvador, on Sunday afternoon, we took a day and a half to rest (swam in their pool, walked to see a nearby family of spider monkeys, visited with other cruisers, etc.).  Tuesday morning we hopped on a bus to the closest town and started our journey to Antigua.  Eleven hours and six means of transportation later, (various buses and taxis) we arrived. 

It's impossible to tell you all of the neat experiences but our favorite so far was last night.  We walked out of our hotel looking for dinner.  We both were craving atole (a traditional rice or corn based drink that's either sweet and cinnamony or spicy and salty).  We saw an open door with a table out front.  Poking our heads in, we saw a tiny room with two tables and a lady ladling out atoll into dishes.  We went in and 2 hours later we'd had delicious atole and tostadas and enjoyable conversation with the owners. 

Today we're hoping to visit a house that takes in malnourished infants.  Tomorrow and the next day we'll help out at the YWAM base and then Tuesday we'll head back to El Salvador.  We'll be giving out some toothbrushes and stuffed animals and school supplies (all from you guys!) to their Kids Club ( )


Just the short period of time that we've been here has shown us a small glimpse of incredible poverty.  The 1980s war in El Salvador and the social inequality in Guatemala have created some desperate people.  As you're thinking about gift-giving this year, please consider organizations like Opportunity International or Heifer International or World Vision.  These groups make micro loans or give animals to people that allow them to become self-reliant, not reliant on handouts.  Here are links: or  or


We're aiming to leave El Salvador around the 20th of December in order to arrive in the north coast of Costa Rica before my brother and Brooke get there.  We have family for Christmas! Yay.


Thanks for all of your emails and interest in what we're doing. 


Hope that your Christmas season is peaceful and focused on what's truly valuable. 



Friday, December 5, 2008

Guatamalan waters

It's 9:06 am Dec 5 and we are 2.83 miles away from the Mexico-Guatamalan border. Hasn't been much wind so we've got 3 sails up and the engine running. Not much to report except that Puerto Madero has two enormous pyramid shaped volcanoes behind it. Other wise the landscape/seascape is flat with rolling hills.

We're over half-way! Approximately 243 miles left till we arrive at Barrillas marina in El Salvador. So far, since leaving Huatulco at 12:30am on Wednesday morning (the 2nd) we've travelled about 250 miles. We're eating well, reading books (Brian is reading two: Creature from Jekyll Island and The Brave Cowboy) I've finished reading Eat, Pray, Love and have re-read parts of Travelling Mercies (I love that book) and The Signature of Jesus. I've been working on Christmas presents and Brian has been doing small projects around the boat, only when he feels like it. It's a big break from the 5 weeks of straight out massive projects that preceded our departure.

The lazy jack system is working perfectly. Makes it easier to reef, un-reef, and drop the main sail.

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