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Links to Information on Current Events E-mail
The News - Latest News

Protest at National Palace - Photo by Jose Zamora on Twitter
Crowd at Protest at National Palace - Photo by Jose Zamora on Twitter

Editor, Jody Aston
May 19, 2015

For readers not presently in Guatemala, coverage of recent news here may be slim to nonexistent in your locations...and there have been some unprecedented events which we feel warrant attention. The Rio Dulce Chisme-Vindicator will not report first-hand on these events, but we will give a brief synopsis and offer some links that will help interested readers follow the stories.

The entire Guatemala judicial system and political scene has come into question. People from all walks of life in Guatemala have joined together to demand an end to governmental corruption.

Two major protest marches were staged in Guatemala City and across the country. An estimated 30,000 people gathered in the courtyard in front of the National Palace for both. It is worth noting that these events were peaceful in nature, which is a tribute to the dignity and spirit of the Guatemalan people.

The first resulted in the resignation of Vice President Roxana Baldetti, for her alleged involvement in a customs (Superintendencia de Administración Tributaria, or SAT) scam operation.

The second, held this past Saturday, May 16, called for the resignation of President Otto Perez Molina, himself. These are revolutionary times as people demand justice and an end to the existing runaway corruption of government officials.

This is not a statement of support nor opposition by the Rio Dulce Chisme-Vindicator to the principals involved in these articles, but merely a passing on of information, due to the historic nature of recent events. 

Living Ashore in Rio Dulce E-mail
Features - Lifestyles

ImageStory and Photographs
by Staff Reporter encor

May 11, 2015

Recognizing that many of our readers are looking at the beautiful Rio Dulce as a place to keep their yacht safe during hurricane season, I will continue with this missive for any that may think of this area as a good place to ‘land.’ 

Let me begin by informing you that a boat has been my only home for over 30 years.  And those years have many fabulous memories (as well as scary recalls). 

When I reached this paradise, I thought it might be for 3-6 months, as that is the time I asked for as my vacation. HAHA. GUATEMALA SUCKED ME IN. (I always want to change the name to GUATELINDA as there is nothing MALA about it.)

Seriously, the people I met, whether locals or cruisers, just made this area feel right. Gotta go with those gut feelings sometimes. 

Little by little, I came to realize how special this place was, and without consciously making the decision to remain, the months, then the years just flew by. Now, jump ahead 20 years, if you can imagine.

After too many years of neglect, due to other commitments, this floating home needed some serious TLC.


A hard decision was made easier when a good friend offered his private dock for making needed repairs (luvya, Jorge). There was also a house available to store our “stuff” as we emptied our lockers, and a bed that didn't rock was strange and took some getting used to. The other tough adjustment was not having the beautiful rio at my back (or front) door. I was more than a hundred feet up a hill and back from the shore line.


Oh yeah, that other thing, of having too much space. I had to walk to find stuff, instead of just reaching across and digging under a berth. OMG, changes to deal with. 

But life can surprise one, and today was a different experience. Instead of having someone go up the mast for whatever needed doing, I had a local worker going up trees to trim the noisy bombs falling on the roof.

ImageSure, laugh, but a 5-pound breadfruit falling on a metal roof in the middle of the night is not conducive to a good night’s sleep. 

If you haven’t noticed, most locals have a great sense of humour. Like when the “jefe” gave me his price for getting this job done, and I offered 50. He said “dollars?” We had a good chuckle, and arrived at a decent price. 

Happy Mother's Day E-mail
The News - Latest News

May 10, 2015


Latest on Chisme Changes E-mail
The News - Latest News

Roy and Dusty

Roy’s Retirement from Rio Dulce Chisme-Vindicator

By the Wet-behind-the-ears New Editor, Jody Aston

May 4, 2015


Yep, I know. Them thar bigTexas boots are going to be hard to fill. Grumpy Ol’ Editor Roy McNett set a high standard, so the Rio Dulce Chisme-Vindicator will have to work hard to continue the excellent coverage of the Rio Dulce area. Roy’s wit and charm, as well as his journalistic expertise and first-hand knowledge of the cruising community will be greatly missed. Perhaps we can persuade him to be a ‘guest’ writer from time to time. Lately he’s been heard saying, “I ain’t dead yet!” so he will just have to check in with us, periodically, to prove it.

While there is no need for big sweeping changes, this is a good time to reorganize and determine how the wants and needs of our readership can be accommodated. It is, and will stay, as stated at the top of our webpage, an “Online News Magazine for the Beautiful Rio Dulce, Lago Izabal, Guatemala.” We encourage items of interest to the boating community, expats, tourists and our local friends in Guatemala. We specifically focus on events and information on the Rio Dulce area, but also want to keep our readers informed about everything from sacred Maya traditions to creepy crawlies we might encounter in this wonderful, colorful country of Guatemala that many of us call home.

The good news is – you can help! If anyone has ideas or suggestions for the kind of stories you would like to see reported, please put a comment on the Rio Dulce Forum under the Editorials and Letters to the Editor topic, or send me a personal message through the Forum, or drop me an email at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . I would love to have your feedback.

Even better, if you have an interest in writing for us and maybe even joining the ‘staph,’ then let me know. As capable and talented as Emy/Encor is, she and I are the lonesome doves now, and would certainly be happy to have more volunteers.

We will also welcome information about our neighbors in Belize and Honduras or Caribbean destinations connected to Rio Dulce. A magazine format does not include hard-hitting hot topics, but if you have an interest in an aspect of the political situation in Guatemala, and have written an article or letter you feel should reach a wide audience, then contact us. You may have a story we will publish.

Editor "retires" from Chisme-Vindicator E-mail
The News - Latest News

Roy retires as editor of the Chisme-Vindicator. From left, Jody Aston (new editor), Roy and Emy (staph survivor).
Roy retires as editor of the Chisme-Vindicator. From left, Jody Aston (new editor), Roy and Emy (staph survivor).
By Roy McNett

I’m retiring – again.

After almost 9 years of editing and publishing the Rio Dulce Chisme-Vindicator, I’ve decided to take a backseat in the editor’s executive lancha and let someone else take over the editor’s job with more energy, fresh ideas and an equally strong love and admiration for this area of paradise which is called the Rio Dulce and Lago Izabal.

That person will be our excellent photographer Jody Aston, whom you probably already know through her photographs, International Trivia Quiz which she founded and organizes each Thursday, and through her numerous charitable causes in which she participates.

And you have probably met her at the Mini Market at Bruno’s which she recently sold to her employee Sandra.

After cardiac bypass surgery a few months ago, I’ve slowed down my activity in the boating community and very rarely attend the happy hour/wisdom enhancing sessions at local marinas – and am quite content to putter around on m/v Steel Magnolia at Nutria Marina, rarely even speaking English for days/weeks at a time which I enjoy.

And I’ll be taking the Steel Magnolia to Belize in the near future for an undetermined amount of time but will be returning to the Rio before the onset of hurricane season.

The Rio Dulce Chisme-Vindicator started as sort of a lark in 2006 during a happy hour session at the Crowbar marina/hotel/restaurant (now known as Vista Rio after a few other names) with a group of boaters deciding some sort of tongue-in-cheek web page publication was “needed” to pass on relevant and often irrelevant news and features about the boating and expat community here.

But we needed a name – Rio Dulce was a given beginning of a name and Emy Bartula contributed “Chisme” meaning gossip and I (trying to add a bit of professional journalism I suppose) contributed “Vindicator”. And there we were -- and off we were running. Yeehaw!

Security Warning Issued E-mail
The News - Latest News

Security Warning Issued

Received from the U.S. Embassy, but valid for all foreigners living in Guatemala

On Saturday, April 25, 2015, a large demonstration is scheduled for the Parque Central in zona 1 to call for the resignation of the current Guatemalan administration. According to the event’s organizers, more than 29,000 people have indicated that they will attend. It has been reported that Guatemalan National Police will be on hand to act if violence occurs. 

As always, U.S. citizens should exercise caution and avoid any large gatherings, protest or demonstrations. The U.S. Embassy recommends that U.S. citizens avoid travelling near or through zona 1 this Saturday. 

See the Rio Dulce Chisme-VIndicator Forum for information on what issues led to the demonstrations. http://riodulcechisme.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?t=9874

"Pass It On" Not-for-profit at Serranch E-mail
The News - Latest News

Team Pass It On minus Mike who is behind the camera.

“Pass It On” Not-for-profit at Serranch

Story and Photographs by Julia Bartlett (unless otherwise noted)


At first it was fun. Then it was worrying.  Then the reality of our situation sunk in and it was scary.

We had loaded Mike Rhea’s four wheel drive with our donated solar panel, battery, lights, socket and wire and driven off on our good will adventure at about 7am in the morning.  We were driving 55 miles to the village of Serranch, installing a solar powered lighting system in the Health Center, and driving back.  No big deal. 

Serranch like many small communities in Guatemala is off the power grid.

The car was full with Mike and Daniel, the health technician who had identified this village as being in special need, in front. I was in the middle with Tim our electrician one side of me and Ivan our video maker the other. Tucked away in the back was Espaldo, the electrician’s assistant who was invaluable.

The first 30 odd miles ticked away no problem and then we hit the dirt road.  We bounced around laughing and chatting, no big deal.  There were power lines running alongside the road and once in a while we passed a really nice ranch house.  Mike mainly concentrated on driving.

Mike had to concentrate on the road continuously to avoid damage to the car.

Rio Dulce Beauties Celebrate Suli's Birthday E-mail
Births, Deaths, Anniversaries, Graduations, Life Changes - Birthdays

Happy Birthday Suli!

Rio Dulce beauties helped Suli celebrate her birthday at Sundog Cafe last week...while the boys waited for the cake to be cut!


Marriage of Silvia and Jim Hupe E-mail
Births, Deaths, Anniversaries, Graduations, Life Changes - Life Changes

Silvia and Jim Hupe

Silvia and Jim Hupe were united in marriage on 14 April 2015. The happy couple celebrated with friends and family at the ceremony and festivities in San Felipe.

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