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Parade of Lights Christmas Eve E-mail
The News - Latest News

ImageDecorate your boats with plenty of lights on Christmas Eve and join the Parade of Lights, hosted by Mar Marine and Casa Guatemala.

The Parade of Lights will begin at Shell Bay and end at Casa Guatemala where boaters are invited to share Christmas with all the young residents and watch them open their gifts from Santa.

The boat with the prettiest display will win a prize of Q500. Competition will be tough, as rumour has it that even the jolly old man with the white beard and red suit is determined to win!

If Saint Nick does beat you to the grand prize, there's no need for a blue Christmas, because all vessels entered in the parade will receive a 15% discount on up to four Christmas lunches the next day at Mar.

The traditional meal of turkey and all the trimmings will be offered, along with a vegetarian option.

 Boaters are asked to meet in Shell Bay in front of Mar Marine around 5:30 p.m. So, deck the decks with boughs of palm leaves and lots of lights and join the fun!

Elvira's a street view restaurant E-mail
The News - Latest News

Elvira and Reina
Elvira and Reina
On a shopping mission in downtown Fronteras and want to take a break for a cold drink or a tasty and very affordable breakfast, lunch or dinner?

Right above the two side by side Tigo stores on main street is Elvira’s Comedor Y Antojitos. Just walk up the stairs, grab a streetside view stool or table and enjoy! The beer is cold and the food selections are different and delicious. (Be sure to try Elvira’s enchiladas – they’d be called tostadas in Mexico .. but wow!)

Elvira and her helper Reina serve breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week from 7:30 a.m. til 10 p.m. with the exception of Fridays when they’re open until 11 p.m.

Elvira's located above Tigo stores
Elvira's located above Tigo stores

Some of their menu offerings are, carne a la plancha, chuletas de cerdo, pechuga rellena, pollo a la plancha, biftstek, hamburgers, tacos, churrascos, camarones empanazada, and pescado frito.

Happy hour is daily from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Some happy hour prices are Gallo – 3 for Q25, Brahva Q5, Victoria Q6 and Dorada Ice – Q7 regular hours and Q6 Happy Hour.

Also available are rum drinks and vino tinto.

Happy Holidays E-mail
The News - Latest News
Happy Holidays !  photo by Jody Aston
Happy Holidays ! photo by Jody Aston
Christmas tree lighting held in park E-mail
The News - Latest News

Photo by Veronica Gutierrez
Photo by Veronica Gutierrez
The season's official Christmas tree lighting ceremony was held Friday, Dec. 5 under the bridge at the municipal park,

The occasion included fireworks, music and dancing.

Mini Market Rio Dulce E-mail
The News - Latest News


by Jody Aston

Normally, I write as an observer, but this article is personal, so it’s going to have a first-person perspective!

As many of you know, for five years, I owned the Mini Market, on the grounds of Bruno’s Marina. I enjoyed serving the Rio Dulce community and figuring out the idiosyncrasies of having a business in Guatemala -- especially doing so with lousy Spanish skills!

I decided to sell the shop, and although I was approached by several people who wanted to buy it, I could think of no one better to have the store than my employee, Sandra, and her family. Her sister, who lives in New York, was able to buy the inventory and the Soto sisters have been running the store for a couple of months now.

The girls have restocked and will continue to carry those hard-to-find items that Gringos miss “from home.” If you haven’t already, stop by and have a look!

Most people on the rio are aware of the change, but I wanted to make an official announcement, and to thank everyone for your patronage and loyalty over the years. I hope you will continue to shop at the Mini Market and give your support to Sandra and her family. Gracias a todos!

Sandra Soto and Jody Aston at the Mini Market
Sandra Soto and Jody Aston at the Mini Market

44 attend SSCA gathering E-mail
The News - Latest News

Info exchanged at SSCA meet
Info exchanged at SSCA meet
Story and photos by
Melinda Schell of s/v Sea Schell

The Rio Dulce Seven Seas Cruising Association Gam (gathering) met Tuesday, Nov. 18 with great success.  We had 44 participants for lunch and an afternoon of exchanging information.

 It started at noon at MAR Marina, where our new cruising station host, Marlene, is the owner.  We had a great lunch, Melinda, on Sea Schell gave a brief talk on the benefits of SSCA and what it offers.  Then we all divided into round tables.

The first 2 discussions were on electronics aboard moderated by Mike Church, on Grace.  He is a certified technician for Raymarine and extremely knowledgeable about all electronics.

 The other round table was moderated by Harry Schell and Charlie Freeman on “What would you do it”.  The second round of talks was on “Women living aboard” with Vicky Reynaud and Melinda moderating and “SSB issues” with Bob Reynaud and Charlie Freeman moderating. 

All 4 tables had much discussion and exchange of ideas.  It was a great afternoon which everyone seemed to really appreciate.  It threatened to rain all day but the rain gods held off until the Gam was over and everyone had gone home.  Another blessing.

Casa Guatemala News E-mail
The News - Latest News


Heather and 'Mami' Angie with children of Casa Guatemala
Heather and 'Mami' Angie with children of Casa Guatemala

A Message from Heather Graham

Dear Friends,

Here we are once again approaching the end of another year.  And what a year it has been. 2014 has brought many changes to Casa Guatemala; the biggest of course being the retirement of our beloved Mami Angie. I have had the pleasure to work with and learn from Angie for the last 14 years. She has been a mentor, a friend, and as she is to so many, like a mother to me. I am grateful to have had the amazing experience of getting to know her personally and professionally; of listening to her endless stories of her struggles and triumphs; and most importantly, to have gained her confidence to take on the responsibility of ensuring her legacy, Casa Guatemala.

It won’t be easy as these are very big shoes to fill, but luckily I still can rely on the constant support and guidance of Angie, as well as our skilled and professional board of directors who are working hard on the succession plans that Angie laid out in her last letter. And of course, as always, we have you. Without you, none of this would be possible. Your contributions to Casa Guatemala are what have allowed us to create and maintain this amazing organization. We will continue to need your help as we move into the future!

We would love to engage our donors to rise to the next level and become fundraisers! We have our US and Canadian charity organizations that you can volunteer with from home to help us to raise funds and awareness about our projects! We are looking for people to volunteer as board members for both organizations so that we can expand our efforts on the international front. Our volunteer program here in Rio Dulce will continue to depend on skilled people from around the world who are willing to share their time and love with the children. In 2015 we will be offering internships that will offer exciting opportunities to work as part of our administration team for those interested in a career in nonprofit management or social media. We are going to need lots of help to continue bringing Casa Guatemala forward so we hope we can count on you! If you are interested in becoming more involved, please feel free to contact me directly for more details.

Click to read more of the current Casa Guatemala Online Newsletter


Chikungunya virus warning E-mail
The News - Latest News

ImageThe US Embassy advises US citizens living or traveling in Guatemala on a public health situation regarding the Chikungunya virus.   Chikungunya virus is a recently identified in Guatemala and spreading virus, transmitted by mosquitoes. Symptoms regularly include fever, sore joints of the hands and feet that start between 3 and 7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.   Other symptoms may include muscle aches, headache, fever, swollen joints and allergies.   No vaccine or drug to prevent Chikungunya Virus or any antiviral medication to treat it, so far.   While deaths from it are rare, people at high risk for this disease in severe form includes newborns and adults over 65 and those with chronic health conditions.  

The presentation of Chikungunya is similar to dengue.   Citizens are advised to seek medical attention if they are experiencing symptoms, especially if the fever is above 102 F (about 39 C).   At this time, prevention measures are aimed at reducing exposure to mosquitoes using repellents, covering the skin so that it is not exposed, clothing treated with permethrin, measures to control mosquitoes as emptying water containers around; and   supporting local measures to control mosquitoes.   Anyone sick with chikungunya should avoid mosquito bites to help prevent the virus from spreading further.  
Please visit the website of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) on Chikungunya   for additional information.

For travel messages issued by CDC, call 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636 ) within the United States or 1-404-639-3534 from overseas, or visit the Web site http://www.cdc.gov/travel 

We encourage US citizens traveling or residing in Guatemala, register with the Department of   State (STEP) Smart Traveler Enrollment Program The register through STEP allows you to get the latest security messages and allows the US Embassy or nearest Consulate to contact you in case of an emergency.   If you do not have internet access, you can sign up directly on the nearest Embassy or Consulate.
Fiambre -- the salad with 50 ingredients E-mail
Features - History and Culture

(Editor's Note: This article was written for the Chisme-Vindicator 5 years ago by our wonderful, beautiful and oh, so talented friend Valeria -- and it's still just as informative and entertaining as when she first wrote it. Now, right before the Day of the Dead, Nov. 1, Guatemalan families are gathering the ingredients for their own particular style of fiambre. To see more of Valeria's articles, click on Features in the left hand main menu, then select History and Culture. Enjoy! Ok, Valeria ... send us some more!)



Guatemalan traditional cuisine
 When the Spanish came and started colonizing the new world, they brought with them to this strange land everything they could carry with them to recreate their memories from home.

There was no quarantine back then of course, so ships came full of new spices, seeds and sea sick animals to cure melancholy.
These colonists brought as much as they could to make the transition easier; that’s how we got pork and chickens and horses and many other things like spices and herbs.

Traditional food has its roots in the Spanish influence adding the new local ingredients back in the 1500's and 1600's, when they settled in Guatemala. They adapted their recipes to the local flavors in the attempt to recreate the memories of home through food, resulting in a brand new list of dishes that the population adopted as their own and started building new memories and traditions around them.

That is the case of fiambre.


Fiambre was pretty much a “leftovers” salad that was brought (and still is) to the cemetery on November the first, the Day of the Dead. It is brought with tons of flowers and ornaments and, of course, some white liquor to the tombs.

 Now the thing is this picnic was not for the living but for the dead. The families came and cleaned the graves of their loved ones, put fresh flowers in the vases and wrapped chains made with colorful paper around the tomb stones, had a little snack, said prayers and left a dish of fiambre with a bottle of rum or cusha (local illegal liquor) for their deceased to feast on later.  

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