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Memorial for Don Hutson of SV Anon E-mail
Births, Deaths, Anniversaries, Graduations, Life Changes - Deaths

Rest in Peace, Don Hutson, of SV Anon

November 20, 2016
by Jody Aston, Editor and Publisher

Family and friends gathered at Bruno's Marina on Thursday to celebrate the life of Don Hutson, of SV Anon, who recently passed away. Don and his wife, Lodi, sailed up the Rio Dulce for a quick trip, and ended up staying 13 years. During that time, they acquired a multitude of friends and their big hearts touched the lives of many expats and locals, alike. Lodi preceded Don in death in June of 2013.

Don and Lodi were involved in so many things around the rio, it is hard to list all of them, but here's a sample...Don was a Net Controller on the morning Cruiser's Net VHF radio channel for many years. He contributed photographs and stories to the "Chisme." He and Lodi donated generoulsy to Casa Guatemala, and every other charity or fundraising event that surfaced on the rio. After Lodi's death, the young local girl (Letty), who helped clean Anon and take care of Lodi, was in need of more work. Don purchsed inventory and set up their friend in the mini market business, on the grounds of Bruno's. This project gave Don a lot of joy, and he wanted her shop to be a success, not only for her, but also her family. We are sure Don will smile down on the boating community if we continue to shop and support the business.

(Story continued below - click "Read more...")

Don's Biological Family and Guatemala Family at the Memorial
Photographs from our Readers E-mail
Features - Photographs from Around the Rio
Plume de Ciel by Guy Marquis, of SV Gaara
November 17, 2016
Photographs by Guy Marquis on SV Gaara

Thanks go to our reader, Guy Marquis, for sending the "Chisme" his beautiful photographs. Surprisingly, the one above was not retouched or photoshopped in any way - the elegant feather was Mother Nature's sky-writing quill. Guy titled the photo "Plume au Ciel," roughly translated as "Heaven's Feather" or "Sky Feather." It was taken on the Rio Dulce, as Guy was on his way to Abel's boatyard.

From the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail
The hilarious bird, that looks a bit like an extra from the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, is a Fou de Bassan, in French, and a Brown Booby, in English. Guy was in Livingston when it landed on his boat. There's a second photo of the Booby in a more recognizable pose. The last photograph is of a Heron, a Vulture and Egrets, also on the Rio Dulce. 

We welcome more reader photographs. Don't be shy!

This Strange-looking Creature is a Brown Booby

Lanquin Cave, Semuc Champey and Chocolate E-mail
Features - Adventures

The Road to Lanquin and Semuc Champey

November 6, 2016
by Guest Reporter, Diana Ector, of SV Dreams Float

Utopia! The name of the Eco Hotel in Lanquin, Guatemala, says it all!

We left Fronteras, Guatemala in a minivan at around 1 pm. The trip to Lanquin was definitely part of the adventure. The majority was on bumpy dirt roads that twisted and turned up the mountain. After about 5 or 6 hours we were in Lanquin. Here we were loaded into the back of a pickup truck with big rails much like a mini version of Guatemalan cattle trucks. As we headed out of town, the road turned back into a dirt road and, again, we started heading up and down steep roads back into the jungle in the pitch dark. It was very fun and not a little scary!

The View of Semuc Champey is Worth the Hike
Halloween 2016 E-mail
The News - Latest News

Pirate Mike Was No Match for these Ghoulish Girls

November 3, 2016
by Jody Aston, Editor and Publisher

The Sundog Cafe had a musical Halloween this year, as the holiday fell on Monday night's Open Mic Night. There were plenty of goblins...and pirates, of course. This IS the Rio Dulce, after all!

Marvin (proprietor of The Shack) and his wife, Janet, brought 2-month-old Joseph along for his first Halloween celebration. Isn't he a cutie?!

Enjoy the photos, and join The Sundog gang for the next Open Mic Night.

Janet, Joseph, and Marvin's First Halloween as a Familly


The Guatemala City Zoo E-mail
Features - Guatemala City

One of the Many Critters Encountered at the Guatemala Zoo!

Editor's Note: We're starting a new category in Features: Guatemala City. Muchas gracias to Susan for kicking off the first article about things to do in Guatemala City!

October 19, 2016
by Guest Reporter Susan Tiefenbach, of SV Alpenglow

The Parque Zoológico La Aurora is a zoological park in Guatemala City within walking distance from zona 10. As you first walk in and look at the map, it looks quite small but in fact, it's huge!  It is home to rhinos, numerous species of wild cats, elephants, giraffes, numerous owls and different species of monkeys,0 just to name a few.  It has animals from different regions of the world; Africa, Asia, America, Oceania, Guatemalan jungles and forests and even penguins.  The zoo is clean and well kept and several animals were playing around and seemed quite content.

Address:  Address: 5 Calle Interior Finca La Aurora | Zona 13,Guatemala City 01013, Guatemala.  
Phone Number: 502 2463 0463
Entrance fee 30Q per adult.
Canadian Thanksgiving Dinner E-mail
The News - Latest News
Canadian Thanksgiving Dinner at Backpackers
September 7, 2016
by Heather Graham and Jody Aston

Notice: The Canadian Embassy will be CLOSED Thanksgiving Day, Monday, October 10, 2016.

General Contact Information for the Canadian Embassy:

Street address:
13 Calle 8-44 Zone 10,
Edificio Edyma Plaza

Mailing address:
Embassy of Canada
Apartado Postal 400,
Guatemala, C.A.

Tel: (502) 2363-4348
Fax: (502) 2365 1210
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Hours of operation:
Monday to Thursday:  08:00 - 12:30 and 13:00 - 16:30 (closed from 12:30 to 13:00)

Website here.

Rodger's 'Pet' Iguana E-mail
Features - Flora and Fauna of Guatemala

Rodger's Iguana, Clumsy
October 4, 2016
by Rodger Hanks (Ra-Ra)
Editor’s note: Post 2nd op update – this one was much more involved than the first and I am still not able to type much. I’m not asking for sympathy, but I AM asking for more reader submissions! ;) Thanks go to Ra-Ra for sending this one.

My resident iguana, Clumsy, and I had a run-in yesterday, as he didn't want to relinquish his warming spot on my back porch. The big rocks warm up in the heat of the day and, being a cold-blooded reptile, he gets heat wherever he can find it. I convinced him to let me by after a short confrontation...the porch ramp is 5 1/2 ft. wide. There's another one that lives out back that's larger, maybe close to 7ft. He don't come on the porch...yet!

Bob Meredith's Jabiru Stork Sighting E-mail
Features - Flora and Fauna of Guatemala
Jabiru Stork in Flight Over Lago Izabal

September 19, 2016
Story and Photographs by Guest Staff Reporter Bob Meredith

Editor's Note: Many thanks to Bob Meredith for his article and photographs of the sighting of an unusual bird here on the rio. I’m afraid my broken arm did not heal and broke a second time, so I have been in Guatemala City recuperating from another operation. It is difficult for me to type, and I would love to have more guest articles to fill in the gaps until we can get back to more regular reporting! Send them to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

The 9th of September at 3:48 pm Trish and I saw two uncommon visitors to this area hunting with a Great White Egret among grazing cattle on the edge of a wet land on Lago Izabal’s northern shore.

One of only two storks found in Guatemala (the Wood Stork is the other) the Jabiru Stork is the largest flying bird in the Americas. Standing from four to five feet tall, its wing span can reach over eight feet and its massive bill can be over a foot long.

It uses this bill to feed on all sorts of smaller fish, amphibians, reptiles, snakes, small mammals, and birds. The Jabiru will carry larger fish and small caimans taken in the water to shore and beat them with his bill.

Much more common in Belize, if you wanted to see a Jabiru in the wild a sighting is guarantee at Crooked Tree once the normally solitary birds congregate during breeding season.


Jabiru Storks in a Field - nearly as tall as the cows!

Fireworks at the Fort - El Castillo E-mail
The News - Latest News
September 10, 2016
by Jody Aston, Editor and Publisher
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