14-Feb-2007 -- On 13 February we drove back towards Raxrujá and on to Fray Bartolomé de las Casas. We had pavement for a little while, but then; back into the rough road we go. By now we probably had our brain so jarred or maybe, we were getting callous about it. We spent the night here. This little town was named in honor of Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, a Spanish monk whom was an advocate for the Guatemalan natives. He has several Literary works (His journal and also translated some of Christopher Columbus notes) describing the terrible conditions of Las Americas and their natives oppressed by his fellow country men. The only flaw on his character and love for his fellow humans is that, he suggested bringing African Slaves, and letting the Guatemalan natives go free.
Early the next morning, we began our trek to find our point. We tried approaching the confluence from the other side of the river La Pasión. This has to be one of the most beautiful rivers that I have seen! However, the only canoes available did not have a motor. Part of the way would have to be against the current’s flow. This river is kind of deep and wide. We decided to go around it.
The trip to Santa Isabel la Boca and then, onto Santa Isabel, Petén was very hard, due to the road’s condition. There were men with heavy machinery working on grading it.
Anabella tried to ask if we were on the right direction to Santa Isabel. To our surprise, Spanish was of no use because the elderly only spoke Quekchí dialect. Some of the very young natives spoke a little Spanish; at least we could buy something to drink. They looked at us in a weird way when we tried to buy bottled water.
We arrived at Santa Isabel and to my delight; it was only a few meters walk from the main dirt road (so I thought!) The confluence was directly behind the Cabnal Family’s home, in a bog where several pigs were cavorting and eating. The mud was very deep and stinky. Yuck!!! Genaro, the eldest brother, laid some hay, for me to dig my boots out of the vacuum that the mud had me locked in. We found the confluence. In retrospect, distance and walking wise, this has been the easiest one to reach out of the 8 that we have visited.
Genaro was very attentive and interested in our maps; I gave him the letter to land owners and several maps in document protectors. He was very proud showing them off to his family and neighbors.