While there is a decent sized foreign boating community here, it appears that most of the visitors to this area—at least this week-- are from Guatemala. This week is Semana Santa, or Holy Week, for Easter. All week long the Rio Dulce as been filling up with visitors and tourists from all over Guatemala that have come for vacation. The wealthy fly in by helicopter landing on a pad near our boat. Many have taken their faster power boats out to the near Caribbean islands and waters for their week vacation.
This weekend the river is filled with lancha boats taking tourist groups around, or fast boats with jet ski’s or tubes behind them, or wave runners riding all around. The bridge is filled every day with tourists stopping for the view. We haven’t ventured much into town, but there is a carnival set up in the park under the bridge where we usually see homeless sleeping and the poor bathing and doing laundry. It is filled with picnics and swimmers cooling off from the heat and enjoying the holiday weekend. Main street is lined with traffic and the shops are all full of produce and items to sell to all the visitors. It is a non stop party at the fuel dock near us, music all day long for the parade of boats that come in to gas up. Reminds me of 4th of July.
This is the beginning of summer here and the dry season. It is very hot, in the 90’s every day, with a heat index usually over 100 degrees. It’s no wonder everyone is swimming in the river. Even our kids are out riding the hotdog behind the dinghy or swimming off the back of the boat at the marina just to stay cool.