Poco's great adventure 2009 - 2010 travel blog

The Peck home from the road

some of the children surrounding Fiona

Posing for a photo with one of the daughters

Intrigued by technology

Help me, help me, I am being swallowed alive.

Family photo

the view of the ceiling from our bedroom

Sunset at the village

In front of the house

Christina and Justino, their daughters wanted a photo of their parents.


So we arrived in Punta Gorda, on Wednesday, April 8. We had a bite to eat and spent some time on the internet. Easter is much larger down here, and finding places to stay can be a bit challenging. The whole week is a celebration called Semana Santa. After getting our bearings we headed down to the tourist information centre. We were in luck because Justino Peck, was in town and was heading home to his village in 5 minutes. The girl in the office called him, and we made arrangements to go with him. One condition we had was to make sure we could be back early afternoon the next day, so we could catch the boat to Livingston, Guatemala. More of that in a future entry.

Justino and his nephew picked us up, and we drove the 33 miles through the jungle on rough roads to his village of San Jose. Do you know the way to San Jose....? Turns out Justino is the head of the Cacao Grower's Association and the co-ordinator of the Mayan Home Stay program. He was certainly the right man, to meet. He decided that we would stay with him. We weren't quite sure how his wife would feel about having three unexpected guests. We are still travelling with Fiona. He said she would be fine, and tamales were on the menu for the evening. On the ride out Justino told us he has 8 children. The oldest is 27 and married with 4 children, and the youngest is 16 months.

After another bumpy and dusty ride, we arrived at his home, where we were welcomed. His second oldest daughter was home visiting from university in Punta Gorda, so we met all 8 of his children. His wife Christina, was a most welcoming and gracious host, and just seemed to take our arrival in stride. The girls were quite sociable, and the boys tended to be a bit more shy. Of course, Elaine and Cory introduced me. They all were very happy to meet me, but I did have a very scary moment, and thought that my life was in danger. You see Arden the youngest, believes himself to be a purple people eater, and shoved me into his mouth. I know how Jonah must have felt when he got swallowed by the whale. Cory and Fiona were sharing photos with the children, and they were quite fascinated with them, as you can see in the photos.

Their home, is fairly large, and quite basic, but extremely functional. If you are facing the house the right side is the kitcen area. It is an open concept. There is a stove, but also an cooking area on the floor. It is divided into three sections, where a fire is burned underneath, and a grill put over top. While we were there only one section was used, but on busy days, all three areas are used. Hanging by a thread on the wall behind this area were approximately 25 armadillo tails. Christina says she keeps one from each one Justino brings home.

In the middle area of the house, there is a living area. Here again, a very open concept with a kitchen table. To the left, there are three rooms, that have walls, and these are the bedrooms. Cory and Elaine and I shared one room, and Fiona had the other. We are not sure where everyone else slept, but we know that we did displace them. Like many of the accomodations we have had on this trip, we had a shared bathroom. It was outside. Yep, it was an outhouse. Not the most pleasant, but I guess when at a Mayan homestay....

It gets dark quite quickly, and around 7:30 lights were out, and it seemed everyone was in bed, so.... it was a very early night for us. Then Justino came in, we didn't realize he had been outside visiting, and was now ready to visit with us. We were prepared to get up, but he figured we were tired, so wished us a good night. We got up early the next morning, and had breakfast before heading off on a tour of his farm. More about this in the next entry.



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