Title: Toledo Howler
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00094063/00008
 Material Information
Title: Toledo Howler
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Publisher: Marta Hirons
Place of Publication: Punta Gorda,Toledo District, Belize
Publication Date: August 2008
Edition: Rev.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00094063
Volume ID: VID00008
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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The Toledo Howler


Newspaper of the Toledo Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association


AUGUST 2008


YEAR 2, ISSUE 1


Uxbenka


Unfolding Mysteries


INSIDE THE HOWLER


UXBENKA EXCA-
VATIONS
THE TOLEDO
ECO-TOURISM
ASSOCIATION

MEDICINAL
PLANTS

SAN ANTONIO
DEER DANCE


FLORENCIO MES

BTIA MEMBERS
& RESTAURANTS
TRANSPORT
SCHEDULES


DOYLE'S DE-
LIGHT EXPEDI-
TION
CLOCK TOWER
MAKEOVER

UXBENKA
(CONTINUED)



CRAFT FOCUS


WAT'S COOKIN?




OPENING OF
CROCODILE
SANCTUARY


MAP OF PUNTA
GORDA

MAP OF TOLEDO


CLASSIFIED ADS


Uxbenka lies about 22
miles west of Punta
Gorda, deep in the Maya
Mountains. The entrance
2 to the site is just outside
the village of Santa Cruz.
There is now a small sign
4 on the right hand side as
you approach the village
from the east.
5 The turnoff only goes a
short distance before
you must park next to a
5 small hill. This is the
Stelae Plaza (or A
Group). A short clamber
6 up the side of this hill,
brings you out onto an
7 ancient plaza, encircled
by small ruined struc-
tures and a central, lar-
ger structure.
8 As the name implies,
many stelae were
found here and Above: start
pieces lie scattered Gupd
around the plaza
floor. There is little anotherhillt
10 left of the pictures
and glyphs which
faced these stelae,
though teasingly,
bits of detail can
11 still be seen here
and there. In 2009,
there are plans to
12 construct a stair-
case from the park-
ing area up to the
plaza for visitors.
The Howler staff
12 caught up with
Keith Prufer, direc-
tor of the Uxbenka
Archaeological Pro-
13 ject, at the end of the 2008 dig-
ging season in June. When not at
Uxbenka, Keith teaches in the
14 Department of Anthropology at the
University of New Mexico in Albu-
querque. This was Keith's fourth
14 year at the site. He works each
season with a group consisting of
colleagues and graduate students


ing sharp lines appear amongst the rubble
e. Below: a beautiful stone floor is uncove
op, probably the home of a wealthy family.


from the U.S. plus a revolving
group of local workers from nearby
Santa Cruz village.
I asked Keith for a brief history of
the site, given what they know so
far.
He said the earliest remains found
show there was an agricultural


; community living here
from at least 250 AD,
with agricultural terracing
on the hillsides appear-
ing by 500AD. This
makes the original site
the oldest known in
southern Belize!
Although the archaeolo-
gists do not know why
terracing was used, they
do know the Maya here
were farming cacao in-
tensively as a commer-
cial crop.
Keith said they have
found proof that stratifi-
cation of this farming
community developed
between 250-500AD. By
"stratification", he means
that society became
more structured and
diversified with differ-
on top of ences of wealth be-
red on coming apparent from
the remains found of
domestic dwellings.
Kingship would also
have emerged during
this period.
The 2008 digging
season concentrated
on what the project
calls "B Group". This
is a high, narrow
ridge crowned with
structures, plazas,
ball courts and other
fascinating details.
The views from this
ridge are magnifi-
cent. In good
weather, you can
apparently see into
the Peten in Guatemala and as far
as the sea and Honduras to the
southeast. These ancient Maya
must have felt they were on top of
the world. The landscape in every
direction is filled with steep green
hillocks and narrow, jungle filled
gullies.
(continued on page 10)


BTIA's distinctive octagonal Informa-
tion Center on Front street in Punta
Gorda. All you need to know about
Toledo is inside

Join BTIA and displayyour promotional
materials in the information center.

Join BTIA and make a difference.


Contact Toledo BTIA at the Tourism Information Center,
Front St., Punta Gorda Tel. 722-2531 E-mail btiatoledo@btl.net
Chair: Bruno Kuppinger, Secretary: Yvonne Villoria, Treasurer:
Leonie Requena

Contact The Howler Editorial Team
Tel. 722-2531 E-mail btiatoledo@btl.net
Features Editor: Marta Hirons 671-7172, Advertising and Produc-
tion Manager: Rob Hirons 671-7172, Editorial Assistant Shieba
Chun 722-2531


FREE







THE TOLEDO ECOTOURISM ASSOCIATION


One of the most unique cultural experiences
available to the traveler (especially the
budget conscious) in Toledo is a stay at one
of the Toledo Ecotourism Association's ten
guest houses in villages throughout the dis-
trict. The guest house in Barranco village, on
the coast a few miles south of Punta Gorda,
is unique as it is the only guest house in a
Garifuna village. All the other nine are in
predominantly Kek'chi or Mopan Maya com-
munities.
The TEA was formed in 1991 but began op-
erating in 1994. In
the early days there
were just five villages
involved. These were
Barranco, San Pedro
Columbia, San Anto-
nio, the largest Mo-
pan village in the
country, San Jose in
the west near the
Guatemalan border
and Laguna village on
the edge of the
Aguacaliente Wildlife
Sanctuary.
Since that time new
guest houses have
opened in Medina
Bank, San Miguel,
Pueblo Viejo and
Santa Elena.
The Howler spoke to Vicente Sackul the pre-
sent chairperson of the association who lives
in Laguna village. He explains that the asso-
ciation hosts several hundred visitors each
year in the different villages. If the guest
expresses no particular preference for a
village then the association will rotate visi-
tors between the guest houses.


$--- $- $- $- --- $- $-





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* omsty
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'am. Learn aboul


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Advanced bookings are not necessary and
visitors arriving in Punta Gorda can go
straight to the BTIA Information Center on
Front Street where they can get directions
and times of the buses to the villages.
Once the visitor arrives in the village they
just ask for the TEA guest house and wil
soon be safely installed in their accommoda-
tion. The guest houses offer clean and sim-
ple accommodation in traditional wooden-
sided thatched cottages and bathrooms
which were recently upgraded through a


grant from the Inter-American Development
Bank.
Once the guest have settled in a variety of
activities are available. The women of the
village offer tours of the village and lessons
in basket making or weaving. The men will
offer a guided jungle tour. The guest house
at Santa Elena has the Rio Blanco National
Park nearby, the one in Barranco offers







experience

mutuality :

t the
$$I$$$$$$$


guests the opportunity to sample and enjoy
Garifuna culture and in Blue Creek guests
can enjoy a guided swim inside Hokeb Ha
cave where the Rio Blanco emerges from the
mountainside as Blue Creek. Laguna village
is close to the lagoons of the Aguacaliente
Wildlife Sanctuary. Harp playing, dancing
i and storytelling may form part of an eve-
Sning's entertainment.
SMeals are taken in different houses in the
village so that a number of households may
Benefit from the TEA's activities.
SThis is a wonderful window into a traditional
culture and the fact that the villagers are
English speakers makes for a genuine
shared cultural interaction between visitors
Sand hosts. Don't miss it!


Prices
Pricing Per Person in US dollars
Accommodation $11
Breakfast $3.25
Dinner $3.25
Lunch $4.00
Tours $3.50 per person per hour
How to Book
SE-mail vinsackul@hotmail.com or teabe-
lize@vahoo.com
Visit the BTIA information Center on Front
Street.
Find out More
The TEA web site is hosted by the NGO
Plenty International which also operates in
Belize.
http://www.plentv.org/mavan-ecotours/
index.html
I


. h-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --&


Sin Aguacate, San Jose and t

a Luum Ca Villages.

ct Yvonne at 722-2470

.1: demdatsdoin@btl.net
O.











M AC HAC A
Phone 722-0050

SIL L |'9a, 722-0051
50a 135, Punta 5oza,
at Lau hin Falcon Reserve i








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is the iaead pace fot watching out ttaids, expteiencing the tainfoiest canopy bi ttam, ot explortin the io
SZtade zioet by canoe.
Q1whe /4rbot Restautant features a baLanced menu of ftesh, Pocat? seaafoo and tegionaP cuisine with many of the
hetbs, negetabMes and ttopicalt ftuits otganicadzi town at _/Icacaca -fri. 4PMP of out btead and dessetts ate
homemade. Out bat offets a 1u) selection of top-shedf diquots, wine and docal beet.


















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SPOTLIGHT ON MEDICINAL PLANTS:

JACKASS BITTERS


Many modern medicines, such as aspirin,
have been derived from naturally occurring
compounds and the rainforests of the
world, while they survive, remain a treasure
trove of potential medicines on which our
own survival could at some time depend.
In this issue we highlight Jackass Bitters
(Neurolaena lobata) which grows abun-
dantly on disturbed agricultural areas in the
neo-tropics. The plant grows from 1-2m
tall, has yellow flowers and tri-lobed leaves.
Hence its Spanish name of Tres Puntas.
Jackass Bitters has been used as a treat-
ment for many parasitic ailments such as
malaria, ringworm, amoebas and intestinal
parasites. It has also been used in the
treatment of cancer and diabetes. A tea
made from the bitters is used to wash hair
infested with head lice and treat other skin
ailments.


The leaves of the plant have high concen-
trations of neurolenins, one of the active
ingredients said to give the plant such
widespread healing powers. Neurolenins
are also extremely bitter so drinking a tonic
made from Jackass Bitters takes some
courage.
Visitors who want to find out more about
traditional medicine can visit BITI (The Be-
lize Indigenous Training Institute) based
near Golden Stream. Look out for more
about BITI in the next edition.
The Toledo Howler and BTIA make no
claims or recommendations regardingthe
use of plants normally employed by trained
shamans and other practitioners of tradi-
tional medicine.


Tours operated by:



Sm Creek Lodge

& Adventre Tors


722-0112 or 600-8773





ToledoTravelCentercg mail.cor








San Antonio Deer Dance
The villagers of San Antonio and
other surrounding communities
maintained their own traditions with
their annual performance of the
Deer Dance which spanned a five-
day period with its grand finale on
Monday 25 August. This culmi-
nated in the raising of the greasy
pole. In the picture (right) Mopan
Maya women carrying censers burn-
ing copal lead a group of dancers to
the football field at San Antonio
where the performance took place.
The dance itself was preceded
hours of ceremony in front of the
statue of San Luis on whose feast
day the dance is held. The tradi-


tions include the erection of a sixty
foot ceiba trunk which may repre-
sent the walking stick or sword with
which San Luis is traditionally de-
picted. The pole is raised by six
teams hauling on ropes with others
supporting and helpingto raise the
base. At the top of the pole a
"flower" contains money and rum
and other rewards which are avail-
able to the first team to success-
fully climb the pole which is thickly
covered with lard, grease and soap
and anything else to make scaling
the pole extremely difficult. The
contents are shared among the first
team to reach the flower. See also
picture on page 11


Florencio Mes: Preserving Mayan Music


Florencio Mes has been keeping the remembers as "twice more hot than has good acoustic properties. He now
musical traditions of the Maya alive Belize because there are no more tall uses nylon strings which have advan-
for the past fifty years or more. Now trees". Florencio's most recent over- tage of being durable but do not have
seventy years old, he was born in seas adventure was when he attended the same sound quality as the cow gut
1938 close to the village of Santa the Rainforest World Music Festival in and cohune fibers which were tradi-
Cruz on the road to San Jose. Tragi- Sarawak, Malaysia in July 2005. This tionally used.
cally his father died when he was one event brought together musicians
year old and his mother Florencio enjoys receiving guests
when he was four so Flor- at his home and during a visit of
encio was brought up by his an hour or more will play his harp
brother Bartolo who is ten for guests, demonstrate his in-
years older and even today strument making techniques and
Florencio refers to Bartolo give them a tour of his kitchen
as "my father brother". He garden where they can touch,
had very little schooling taste and smell a variety of
and cannot read or write plants and fruit which are grown
but has risen above these either for food or medicine. It is
disadvantages to become a a fascinating experience giving a
great ambassador for Ma- glimpse into a vanishing world. A
yan culture and music. world whose disappearance is


It was not until the age of
sixteen that he began to
practice and play Maya
instruments and between
then and the age of twenty-
two he went and studied
with Chalio Mes in Guate-
mala and with Jose Che a
harp master from Cotton
Creek. In Guatemala he
learned more of the leg-
ends behind the music.
None of the music Floren-
cio plays with other musicians from
San Miguel and San Pedro Columbia
has lyrics but there is always a story
behind each piece.

Florencio Mes and his Kek'chi Maya
Strings have been recorded by Stone-
tree Records and have performed
around the world at music festivals. In
1992 he played in the Metropolitan
Cathedral in Mexico City along with
musicians from eighty-six other na-
tions and the year 2000 found him
and his group in Venice, Italy which he


from every continent to share their
music, with representatives from Aus-
tralia to Algeria and Peru to Pakistan.

Fernando Ash of San Pedro Columbia
taught Florencio how to make Mayan
harps, violins and guitars and he often
has some works in progress to show
visitors to his home, near Queso Creek
(on the right hand side if you are trav-
eling from San Miguel to San Pedro
Columbia village). All the instruments
are made from tropical cedar (cedrela
mexicana) which is strong, light and


still being hastened by the inter-
ference of outsiders. Florencio is
aware of the need to keep his
cultural traditions alive. He lost
some promising pupils when
their parents were converted by
missionaries who preached that
the music was evil and he now
has no students to pass on his
skills and learning.

So if you want to learn to play the
Mayan harp then Mr Mes would
be a willing and able teacher and
if you want to buy a Mayan instrument
then he is the man to see. If you want
to hire Mayan musicians for a special
event then Florencio Mes is the man
to talk to. And if you just want to meet
and talk and find out a little about the
world of the Kek'chi Maya you can
hardly do better than call by and intro-
duce yourself. You cannot make an
appointment but if he is there visitors
will be made welcome. His house is on
the road between San Miguel and San
Pedro Columbia villages. Ask a local
for directions.


Where to get your copy of The Toledo Howler:

The Toledo Howler will normally be distributed at the Toledo Tourism Information Center on Front Street as well as other
shops, restaurants and places of business of BTIA members in Toledo (see list on Page 7). The paper can also be found at
Maya Island Air and Tropic Air terminals throughout Belize plus Tropic Air and Requena's Charters in Puerto Barrios, Guate-
mala.








BTIA TOLEDO MEMBERS 2008

Business Name Email Phone Contact Person

Beya Suites info@beyasuites.com 722-2188 Lisa Avila

Blue Belize Guest House & Tours info@bluebelize.com 722-2678 Dan Castellanos & Rachel Graham

Chris Crowell chris@cottontreelodge.com 670-0557 Chris Crowell

Coral House Inn ridarbelize@yahoo.com 722-2878 Rick & Darla Mallory

Cuxlin Ha cuxlinha@hotmail.com 501-614-2518 Dona Lee Scafe

Dem Dats Doin demdatsdoin@btl.net 501-722-2470 Yvonne Villoria

Dwight Woodye Dwight Woodye

Fish & Fun Guiding Services bzdeepsouth@hotmail.com 671-0506 Ovel Leonardo

Garbutt's Marine Investment garbuttsmarine@yahoo.com 604-3548 Dennis Garbutt

Hickatee Cottages cottages@hickatee.com 662-4475 lan & Kate Morton

Larry Smith larry@seafrontinn.com 722-2300 Larry & Carol Smith

The Lodge at Big Falls info@thelodgeatbigfalls.com 671-7172 Marta & Rob Hirons

Machaca Hill Lodge info@machacahill.com 722-0050 Ovel Leonardo

Maya Bags belizeexecutivedirec- 722-2175 Desiree Arnold
tor@mayabags.org
Obsession Bar & Grill stcharlespg@btl.net 722-0193 Carlo Wagner

Requena's Charter Service watertaxi@btl.net 722-2070 Julio Requena

Romero's Charter Service rcharters@btl.net 722-2625/2924 Frances Romero

Scotia Bank elvis.perez@scotiabank.com 722-0098/0099 Jose Chan

Sun Creek Lodge suncreek@hughes.net 600-8773/614-2080 Bruno & Melissa Kuppinger

TIDE Tours info@tidetour.org 722-2129 Delonie Foreman

Toledo Eco-Tourism Association teabelize@yahoo.com 722-2531 Vicente Sackul

Tranquility Lodge mspenny@yahoo.com Penny Leonard

Tumul Kin Center of Learning Tumulkin_tourism@yahoo.com 608-1070 Rosemary Salam





Restaurant Guide


Name Address Type of Food Phone Hours
Coleman's Cafe Big Falls Village, near Belizean 720-2017 Daily: 7- 9am, 11:30- 4pm & 6-
the rice mill 9pm [ Reservations Preferred ]

Emery's Restaurant Main St, PG, just behind Belizean/ Seafood 722-2317 Daily: 8am 10:30pm
Texaco
Gomier's Restaurant Alejandro Vernon St, Vegetarian / Sea- 722-2929 Tues-Sat: 8 am-2pm & 6 -9 pm
and Soy Centre near PG welcome sign food

Grace's Restaurant Main St. PG Belizean/ Interna- 702-2414 Daily: 8am 1-pm
tional
Hang Cheong Main St, PG Chinese 722-2064 Daily: 10:30am 2pm & 5 11pm

Restaurant
The Lodge at Big Falls Big Falls Village, near International / Mid- 671-7172 Daily: 11:30am 2pm & 6:30 -
the rice mill die Eastern 9pm [ Reservations Required ]

Marian's Bay View Res- Front St, south of the East Indian/ Beliz- 722-0129 Mon-Sat: 11am 2pm & 6 10pm
taurant market by the sea ean Sun & Hols: noon 2pm & 7 9pm
Mom's Restaurant Queen St, PG, by the Belizean 620-1607 Mon-Sat: 6 am-2 pm & 4-9 pm
park 661-1359 Closed Sundays

The Snack Shack BTL parking lot, PG Breakfast & lunch/ 702-0020 Mon Sat: 7am 4pm. Closed
Snacks, Shakes & Sundays
Juices








TRANSPORT SCHEDULES

Schedule of Flights from Punta Gorda To Belize City and from Belize City To Punta Gorda

Flights stop at Placencia & Dangriga
Depart Punta Gorda Arrive In Belize City Service Provider Depart Belize City Arrive In Punta Gorda Service Provider
6:45am 7:45am Maya Island Air 8:00am 9:00am Maya Island Air
7:00am 8:10am Tropic Air 8:30am 9:30am Tropic Air

9:30am 10:30am Maya Island Air 10:00am 11:00am Maya Island Air

9:40am 10:50am Tropic Air 10:30am 11:30am Tropic Air
11:30am 12:30pm Maya Island Air 12:30pm 1:30pm Tropic Air

11:35am 12:40pm Tropic Air 2:30pm 3:30pm Tropic Air

1:35pm 2:45pm Tropic Air 2:30pm 3:50pm Maya Island Air

4:00pm 5:00pm Maya Island Air 4:30pm 5:30pm Maya Island Air

4:00pm 5:00pm Tropic Air 4:50am 6:00pm Tropic Air

Schedule of Buses leaving Punta Gorda

Departs from Punta Gorda Arrives in Belize City Service Provider Type of Service

3:00am 10:30am National Transport Regular

4:00am 10:00am James Bus Une Regular

4:30 am 9:15am National Transport Regular

5:00am 11:00am James Bus and Usher's Bus Une Regular

6:00am 11:00am James Bus Une Express

6:00am 12:30pm James Bus Une Regular

8:00am 2:30pm James Bus Une Regular

10:00am 4:30pm James Bus line Regular

12noon 6:30pm James Bus Une Regular

1:30pm 7:30pm Usher's Bus Une Regular

2:00pm 7:30pm James Bus Line Regular

3:00pm 8:30pm James Bus Une Regular

Boats To Puerto Barrios and Livingston, Guatemala

Service Provider Dep. Punta Gorda Arrive in Puerto Barrios Dep. Puerto Barrios Arrive in Punta Gorda

Requena's Charter Service 9:30am 10:30am 2:00pm 3:00pm

Pichilingo 2:00pm 3:00pm 10:00am 1100am

Marisol 4:00pm 5:00pm 1:00pm 3:00pm

Boats to Livingston depart on Tuesdays and Fridays at 10 a.m.
fi


Did you know how Mafredi
got its name?
According to Bismarck Ranguy
Sr, in the early 1900s, they
were cutting mahogany along
the banks of a nearby river. The
tractor driver got sick and died
on the banks of the river where
they were camping. His name
was Mafre. That is why they call
the place Mafredi."
See "Tales from A Forgotten
Place" reviewed on page 9.


Using Tour Guides
Always use licensed tour guides. Licensing of guides is
intended to protect the visitor.
Before hiring a guide, ask to see his or her license and
check that it is valid. Why use only licensed tour guides?
Here's a few reasons:
Licensed tour guides have had up to date first aid and
safety training and will know what to do in the case of an
emergency. They have also undergone a training pro-
gram designed by the Belize Tourism Board which devel-
ops their guidingskills and trains them in the history,
geography and cultures of Belize. A tour with a licensed
guide will greatly enrich your experience. Some guides
will have knowledge in particular areas like birding, me-
dicinal plants, archaeology or marine life. Ask about
these areas of expertise before you choose a guide.












We can take you there


Krrrt-


The Airline of Belize
Scheduled flights and charters throughout Belize

Resrvatlons: 226-2012
reservationu@tropicalr.com www.troplcmlr.corn


BTIA welcomes Shieba Chun as our new Tourism Information
Officer. Shieba is 21years old and hails from the village of
Crique Jute on the road to San Jose. She says she comes
from a "small" family since she has "only" seven brothers and
sisters.

Graduating in business studies from Julian Cho Technical High
School in 2004, Shieba went on to work at Mel's Mart and
then did an internship at the Teacher's Credit Union in Punta
Gorda. Shieba says she enjoys "meeting new people and tell-
ing them what we have to offer in Toledo". Many of them
pass by the office a second time on their departure from Be-
lize and Shieba receives a great deal of positive feed back
from visitors about their time spent here. She also receives a
few moans about the high prices here compared with our Cen-
tral American neighbors.

We hope she will stick around to promote the attractions of
Toledo for some time to come.


Doyle's Delight Their aim was to re-discover the existing gers and flesh-boring flies buzz and
trail system, clean up the camps alongi bite."
the way for future use and generally in-::
There are only two places in Belize with tThe southern Maya Mountains are
an elevation over 1000 metres, Vic- crease knowledge of the area. largely unexplored, and for
toria Peak and Doyle's Delight. Victo- good reason. The limestone
ria Peak can be seen from the coast topography is extremely
in clear weather and is, as its name rugged; overland travel re-
implies, a peak. quires carrying heavy packs
Doyle's Delight, on the other hand, is over rough terrain with no
more of a high, rounded area with- established trails; daytime
out a dramatic peak and with rela- temperatures often reach
tively deep topsoil. And at 1124m, it 100 degrees, with humidity
to match.


beaL vicLoria reaK by 4 meLres!
Doyle's Delight was named for its .
resemblance to the prehistoric set-
ting of Arthur Conan Doyle's novel
"The Lost World."
Towering palms and strangler figs,
their trunks wrapped in a green shag
of ferns and mosses, rise and con-
verge in a leafy canopy that keeps
the moist forest floor in perpetual dusk.
The ridge is so remote that the British
Army's jungle training unit, scientists and
other researchers will often drop their
members in by helicopter.
In June this year, a keen group of local
and Guatemalan tour guides, organized
a 6 day expedition to Doyle's Delight
from San Jose village.


The group discovered many unexplored caves


As Bruno Kuppinger, one of the partici-
pants, says, "For some of us, it was the
hardest six days of our lives!"
"There was no beer, no nothing, except
what we carried on our backs. This was
another world a green, dripping, dark
tapestry where rivers disappear under-
ground, howler monkeys roar from the
treetops, thousand-year-old Mayan tem-
ples await discovery and ticks, chig-


This may be why the south-
ern Maya Mountains are
thought to have some of the
greatest diversity of flora
and fauna in the world.
The group reached the top
on June 24th and managed
to find the marker which
has been covered over with


bush and soil.
For more information about one of the
world's most punishing jungle adven-
tures, contact: Bruno Kuppinger, J.P.,
Sun Creek Lodge & Tours, 12 Miles San
Antonio Road, Toledo, +501-614-2080
or +501-668-8811, via e-mail:
suncreek@hughes.net or ibtm@gmx.net


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PHOTO OP: THE 4 FACES OF OUR CLOCK TOWER


The well known clock tower in the center of Punta
Gorda has had a remarkable facelift. After years of
being a rather shabby landmark, the clock tower is
now a work of art!

The original idea came from Larry Smith, owner of the
Seafront Inn, who was also involved in the creation of
the Welcome To Punta Gorda sign.

If the artwork reminds you of the Welcome to Punta
Gorda sign, that is because both designs sprang from
the fertile imagination of Dale Langfoss, retired Ameri-
can architect and painter. Dale and his assistant, lo-
cal artist Nicomedes Gomez (better known as Bigga),
spent six weeks sitting on scaffolding in the hot sun to
finish the sides before the Cacao Fest in mid May.

Funding for the project came jointly from donations
raised by the Toledo Cacao Festival committee and
the Punta Gorda Town Council.

The Howler staff gives a resounding thumbs up for
this uniquely beautiful landmark.

Now if only we could get the clock working so it is cor-
rect more than twice a day....


sErg 2--
4 2
mL&74m


Book Review
"Tales from a Forgotten Place" by Bis-
marck Ranguy Sr. and Katharine
Staiano-Ross ISBN 0-938332-23-6 Uni-
versity of Kansas Publications in An-
thropology #23, 2003
Some readers may be familiar with the
self-published version of Bismarck Ran-
guy's memoirs of his life and times in
Toledo from his birth in 1920.
Katharine Ross an anthropologist at the
University of Kansas has taken it a step
further by retaining the memoir and
wrapping around it her own history of
the East Indian community in Toledo
from their arrival in the latter half of the
nineteenth century to the present. She
draws on a variety of secondary pub-
lished sources as well as local records
and family letters and brings it all to-
gether in what amounts to the first sub-
stantial history of the East Indian com-
munity in Toledo.


Bismarck Ranguy brings it all to life and
local residents will enjoy reading about
families and people who are still
around and of the struggles that the
East Indians and American settlers un-
derwent to develop Toledo and the re-
alization of how little has really
changed.
Ranguy's memoirs are full of tales of
traveling magicians and charlatans, law
and disorder, the folk superstitions of
the East Indians and of the life and
loves of himself and the other colorful
characters and cast that fill these
pages. He tells of how on pay day
hawkers, vendors and prostitutes would
gather at the gates of the Seven Hills
Estate where the estate itself would be
selling its own rum so that by the end of
a riotous evening many workers would
have been relieved of much of what
they had earned. It is fun and fascinat-
ing and Ms Ross' work ensures that the


East Indians of Toledo will no longer be
Just a footnote in the history books.
Available from the University of Kansas.


Make easy, affordable connections to the?










Uxbenka (continued from page 1)


Almost every hill you can see has
remains of Mayan settlements on
top. An ancient trade route came
from Guatemala through a pass in
the nearby mountains on its wayto
the sea and big cities like Tikal. The
inhabitants of Uxbenka were well
placed to take advantage of these
trade links with the outside world.
Keith estimates the settled area in
700AD as 100 square kilometers
with maybe 15,000 inhabitants.

Keith says there is ample evidence of
things falling apart quickly after
800AD and by 900AD it was gone.
The reasons for this rapid decline are
not known for certain though the
phenomenon is common to most of
the lowland Mayan sites. Keith says
the project has obtained new grant
funding to study the impact of climate View from
change on the inhabitants. The nu-
merous human bones that have been
found will allow them also to study diet, disease
and general health of the Maya, searchingfor
clues to their sudden decline.

One of the most fascinating structures on the B
Group ridge, is a pyramid shaped building with
what appear to be beautifully angled, buttress
columns along the front with deeply indented
niches between them. How dazzling this building
must have looked when brand new and covered
with smooth plaster and paint, as it surely would
have been. There are plans to excavate this struc-
ture next year.

Another structure has a clear cut, though ruined,
staircase rising up the front of it. Even though it
appears that every stone on this staircase has
moved from its original position, you eye can eas-
ily see what it should look like. Next season, the
project group hope to reconstruct the staircase to
its former glory.


I asked Keith to name his favorite discovery at the
site this year. Without pause, he said it would


the top: you can see where the Rio Blanco disappears into the ground; Blue
Creek Cave is on the far side.


have to be the incensario (incense burner) they
found under one structure on B Group. This is
about 10" high and depicts a man sitting
cross-legged on a throne. The unbroken
piece would have been several feet high
and used to burn copal incense for spe-
cial ceremonies. Although no king's
names have been found at Uxbenka,
this may have been one of them!

The team's best known find to date was
made in 2006, inside a cave 90 feet up
a cliff face near Uxbenka Here they
found a tomb with part of a ancient
wooden dory on top. Although looters
had been there, the dory was a very
exciting find the first dory ever found
from the ancient Maya world! The dory
has been carbon dated to about 800AD.

Keith and his crew will be back in March Wha
2009 for another exciting season of 200
discovery at Uxbenka


Getting there: If you don't have
your own ride, there are buses
from PG which will drop you in
Santa Cruz village. Check schedule
for times. On arrival, find the home
of Raymundo Sho, who is on the
village committee looking after the
site. He will welcome you, ask for a
BZ$5 donation for each tourist
and, if available, will be happy to
act as site guide. The donations
are used to help offset the cost of
maintaining access trails atthe
site. Raymundo and several other
villagers have not only worked at
the site with the archaeologists but
have trained as site guides and are
very keen to show visitors around.
To ensure that Raymundo will be
available to guide you, call the
village phone before you go and
leave a message for Raymundo
letting him know when you plan to
arrive Phone 609-0592


it lies beneath? This jungle-covered hilltop will be explored in
9 when the project resumes.


1







The Fajina Craft Center


Located on Front Street in front of
the immigration office, painted with
traditional Mayan symbols, Fajina
Craft Center is a crafts collective of
women's groups from 10 different
villages around the
Toledo District.
The word "Fajina" used
by Mopan /Kekchi Maya
people means to come
together in one place to
work for the good of the
community. The Craft
Center is run by the
chairladies of each
women's group. They
work together to im-
prove the production,
marketing and sales of
their traditional crafts
and local foods for the
purpose of income gen-
eration; working towards sustainable
livelihoods.
The Fajina Craft Center was opened
in October 1995 by the Chairladies'
Fajina Association which was started
to address the economic problems of
poor rural women living in the Mayan
villages of the Toledo District. The
FCC provided them with a retail out-
let for their craft work and allowed


easy access to the tourist market. for Toledo District handcrafts over
Sales increased significantly com- the years, run entirely by the Chair-
pared with the time when the women ladies, with the assistance of addi-
were dependent on individual sales tional voluntary help. Currently,
to the small number of random tour- Peace Corps volunteer, Cheryl Fran-
ces and JICA (Japanese Interna-
tional Co-operation Agency) vol-
unteer, Noriko Shimizu, are
working to support the ladies in
achieving their goals, with busi-
ness and marketing assistance,
as well as creative product de-
velopment.


ists who visited the villages. The
original facilitators were Leeann Iwa-
moto and Karly Nelson (both Peace
Corps volunteers), Billie Johnson,
and Yvonne Villoria. After 6 months
of meetings, chairladies, represent-
ing about twenty groups of village
women, registered their business as
the Fajina Craft Center of Belize. The
Craft Center has continued its unin-
terrupted operation as a retail outlet


The Craft Center is open during
market hours, 8:00-11:00 Mon-
day, Wednesday, Friday and Sat-
urday. The Center sells a variety
of Jipi Japa products such as
baskets, earrings, bracelets,
and coasters, slate/calabash
carvings, embroideries, cuxtal
bags, Maya dolls, local coffee
and cacao, a traditional Maya food
cookbook, and many other tradi-
tional items. The Fajina members are
always seeking to improve and con-
trol the production of items in order
to ensure they only sell high quality
crafts and also as a way of introduc-
ing the Maya culture to the tourists
and local people of Belize.
E-mail fajina.craft.center@gmail.com


Ilie4k atClra CGM



"I fell in love with te plate the
second we drove up, the grounds
are gorgeous and relaxed.
Service was incredible our entire
stay, the food at the resort was
the best of our trip... And our
early morning bird hike, the
butterfly house and the night
hike were all awsome.
STrip Advisor Member, June 2007


AlVttwrFlTCml~flW^B~t


Raising the greasy pole at San Antonio


REQUENAM'S CHARTER SKERVKCE


Watertaxi


'Responsibility is our Motto.'


Punta Gorda
To
Puerto Barrios


Tel/Fax:(501)722-2070
Email:watertaxi(btl net


Chaontrabt u Your Need
Camnot JuioReauaea


Daily Runs
Leaves 9am
Returns 2pm


12 Front Street
Punta Gorda Town
Toledo. Belize. C A


Site:www belizenet com/requena


PO Box: #18


nl! "T eP aI1 ba ek c t(

^^^^^ww^A .6aacreek^coH







Coral House Inn
BED, BREAKFAST AND BICYCLES

Step off of Main Street in Punta Gorda and
experience the intimate atmosphere of the
Coral House Inn, with spacious verandas
overlooking the Caribbean Sea.
Amenities include Swimming pool, conti-
nental breakfast, wireless internet, poolside


bar and use of bicycles.

www.coralhouseinn.net


722-2878


Wat's Cookin ?

Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients
2/3 cup peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
1 cup butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 1/2 cups white flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 bags Hershey kisses (optional)

What to Do

Blend the flour, salt and bakingsoda in a bowl. In a sepa-
rate bowl, cream together the butter, peanut butter, sugars,
corn syrup, eggs and vanilla. Gradually stir in the flour mix-
ture until it is all incorporated.
Use a spoon to drop the batter in spoon sized drops on an
ungreased cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven at
375 degree for 10-13 minutes.
Optional Hershey Kisses method: Form the dough into
small spoon sized balls and roll them in some extra white
sugar. Bake them in a 375 degree oven for 8 minutes, re-
move them, and push one Hershey Kiss into the middle of
each forming cookie. Then bake for 5 minutes more, check-
ing often to see that they are not too done. These are great
with coffee or tea.
Recipe donated by: Shieba Chun, Tourism Information
Officer.


Crocodile Sanctuary to Open in September
ACES (The American Crocodile Educational Sanctu-
ary) along Waterhole Road in Forest Home an-
nounced that it has received permission to allow visi-
tors to view rescued crocodiles for educational pur-
poses in order to provide self-sustainable research
and aid for other crocodilians in need of rescue. The
sanctuary opens in September.
ACES presently houses three large American Croco-
diles in a half acre secure natural habitat, two me-
dium sized Morelet's crocodiles and a small Ameri-
can crocodile in individual rehabilitation pens, and a
wild, approximately ten foot, American saltwater
crocodile that is seen daily. ACES's hours reflect
times crocodile viewings are most probable.
Bush trails are currently being cleared for adventur-
ers who like to explore off the beaten
path.
Visitors are advised that ACES is a "green" facility
running entirely on solar and has no amenities.
The entrance fee is a hefty BZ$40 per person which
should keep the crowds away.
Opening Times: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
from 9-11am and 3-5pm.
Guides: Only guides who have received additional
training by ACES can escort groups. The guides
presently being trained are Fidel Sho, Isidoro Sho,
Rosalio Sho and Terrence Woodye.
For more information contact Cherie and Vince Rose
at acesnpo@hughes.net.


-


One of the "must see" places in Belize
TOLEDO'S BOTAfNICAL ABORE6TUM
More than a thousand species of ornamentals, rainforest trees and
medicinal plants. Over 1to varieties of exotic tropical fruits.
Formerly DEM DATES DOIN
Pice up a brochure at the Toledo Info Center, pFequena
Charters or Deja Brew Cafe. /-


Call Yvonne 12-2.410
datsdoin@btl.net


E-mail: dem-


I









Punta Gorda


Services
A Texaco filling station
B James Bus Line
C Police Station 722-2022
D BTL office Public phones
E Post Office
F Customs & Immigration
G Belize Bank
H Tropic Air
I Maya Island Air
. Hospital 722-2026 or 722-2161
K Toledo Travel Centre


BTIA Members in Punta Gorda
1. Beya Suites
2. Garbutts Marine investment
3. The Sea Front Inn
4. Toledo Ecotourism Association
5. Requenas Charter Service
6. Juli Puryear
7. Blue Belize Guest House & Tours
8. Coral House Inn
9. Hickatee Cottages im south of PG
on Ex-Serviamen's Road
10. Scotia Bank


Join BTIA and Put Your Business on the Map
BTIA is businesses working together to promote Toledo
district as a tourism destination.
Join now and get a FREE blank copy of the PG town map
above. Use the map to produce your own promotional lit-
erature for your business.
The BTIA membership year runs from January to Decem-
ber so apply now to put your business on the map from
the beginning of 2009.


How Do I Join BTIA?
Visit www.btia.org to read about BTIA and all the other member-
ship benefits and to download an application form. Complete the
form and hand it in to Mrs Leonora Requena at Requena's char-
ters on Front St.
BTIA meets monthly on Wednesdays at the Tourism Information
Center on Front Street. Be a part of BTIA and make a practical
contribution to the economic development of Toledo District.


Creek


W-I-E








TOLEDO DISTRICT


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Mango


May8
Beach
Seine
Bight Village
*Placelicia


SOUTH WATER




Whipray Cave


FCOUMREST RSVE


I Santo Teres a
I MLt Rim


S San Benito Polt4
SOtoxh. .
einh ,


. tAo, Caye
ORT OOJR

Cle Landing
'unta Gorda


Water taxi to
Guatemala


ATOiNAL PAW

SF A I m Owens Caya R
Pwuts Ngra N'
Puam YccoS SAPOUA CAVES .
Snake Cyes -- \
Spodiafl NESapodifla Ca
'- Cayas .
- SaaCl Cye Frriks Cae
f ichoas Cave a
U Huring Cayas
of
Honduras Liume Cay
BTIA Members
1. The Lodge at Big Fals
2. Sun Creek Lodge
3. Dam Dats DoTn', San Pedro Columbia
4. Tumut K'n, Blue Creek village
5. Machaca Hill Lodge
6. Romero's Charters. Forest Home
7. Cotton Tree Lodge


Original map from "The Rough Guide to Belize" by Peter Eltringham, published by
Rough Guides
Classified Ads

Dream Light Computer Center
Internet for .100 a minute, Student Discounts, Printing starting
at .300 per page, A/C, Repairs, International Phone calls starting
at.250 a min., Lowest Prices in town. Money gram agent, Mari Sol
Boat agent to Guatemala (Located just past Texaco on Main
Street, below Dream Light Club.) 702-0113/607-0033 dream-
lightpg@vahoo.com or timdami0l@vahoo.com
WANTED: Principal desires 100 acres, more or less, in the
Toledo District near Punta Gorda or Big Falls. Will consider lar-
ger tracts. Land must have character. Desirable to have hills
and/or river/creek frontage. Land should be suitable for some
agricultural operation. Land must have reasonable access and
good title. Please send all information to
"whitmore5101@vahoo.com".


Plants & Shrubs for Sale
The Lodge at Big Falls offers a variety of palms, cycads, heliconia,
limonaria, mussaenda, ixora and other flowering plants and
shrubs.

Jungle Kayaking The Lodge at Big Falls offers kayaking trips on
the Rio Grande, both guided and unguided. Our Hobie sit-on-top
kayaks are easy to maneuver and very stable. By far the best way
to stay cool while enjoying Toledo's wildlife! For more information
and reservations call the Lodge on 671-7172

Rough Guide to Belize New Edition! Available throughout Belize
including Carysha's, Punta Gorda, Cayeboard Connection, Caye
Caulker, Belize Zoo, the Book Center and Marine Terminal Belize
City Caladium Restaurant, Belmopan, Orange (formerly Caesar's)
on the Western Highway and San Pedro
Great Value Advertising in The Howler I Promote your business or sale
items in our classified section $25 for up to 21 words. Make sure your
message gets to the people who need to see it!


The ladies of San Antonio anoint the pole with copal incense while
the men dig the post hole (see article on page 5)


S8


guacaliente Wildlife Sanctuary announces the launch of their web site
t http://aguacaliente.bz See the site for everything you need to know
bout visiting the sanctuary, one of the jewels of Toledo.


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