We got up and on the bikes early to avoid the heat of the day. The plan: head out of Monterico for 17.5 km towards La Puerto San Jose...return...for a total of 35km to complete our overall goal of 300 km. That is what we did...but knowing the end was in sight, we stopped more frequently than usual to 'smell the roses' and witness the sights and sounds of early morning in coastal Guatemala. We chatted with a lovely young shop-tender, visited the open air butcher shop, walked into fields of huge gourds that are turned into loofa sponges, visited with a grandmother sitting with her 9 month old granddaughter and waded through a sea of cows being driven down the road. (See pictures on old guys in action Facebook page).
And then, after posing for picture by the Atlantic Ocean, we were done. After breakfast we said goodbye to our driver, Milton and to the gracious and talented Jorge Sandoval, CAUSE Canada's Guatemala Country Director...and spent the rest of the day with CAUSE Canada Founder (Paul Carrick) and Executive Director (Bev Carrick). We have so much respect for them and their work among the poor and disadvantaged in a number of countries...including Guatemala, where they have had a major influence for over 35 years. We heard many incredible stories about their work, but one hit close to home for our driver in particular. Bev and Paul's first project in Guatemala some 35 years ago was to drill a well to provide clean water to a village on the outskirts of Guatemala City were the population, babies in particular, were getting sick and even dying because of the dirty water being used. Our diver, Milton, grew up in that very village and knows the sight of the well...including the plaque at the well giving credit to the
Canadians who installed the well. Milton is 35 years old and may have died without that project.
Our ride was to support another great initiative, one focused on mothers and their babies in the highlands of Guatemala. We have no doubts whatever that this project, like the water project of 35 years ago, will save the lives of many babies like Milton in the years to come. .
Thanks so much for your support! (And there is still time to give). We'll have a few more retrospective post about the trip in coming days.