Sunday Forest Funday!

Fun in the rain forest!

When we started working in Puerto Barrios, we tried to take two days off a week. The days were random, so long as we go our 40 (or more) hours in a week. Since Sunday was always a slow day for us, we would take advantage of that by reliving an old tradition that started in Brookings: SUNDAY FUNDAY

Of course, being in Guatemala, Sunday Funday was a little different. We had some more options to explore and one of my favorite activities was going to the rain forest with the family! Being that it is Sunday today, what better way to celebrate than by revisiting some Sunday Forest Fundays from the past!

Getting to the rain forest wasn’t actually too difficult. The family (Erick and Glenda, with their children Fernanda, Eduardo, Rose, and the baby Rachel) would have us all jump in the bed of the pickup and we would be on our way! This was one of my favorite parts about living down here; you can ride around in the bed of a pickup and no one cares. Even the police do it!

I’ve traced a rough route (google maps wouldn’t let me get directions off the roads) we took to reach the rain forest. We would leave Puerto Barrios and enter the neighboring town of Santo Thomas. After a quick jaunt through Santo Thomas, we would be traveling down a gravel road through the mountainside.

Check out the map from our house to the rain forest

L to R: Glenda, Erick, Rose, baby Rachel, Fernanda

L to R: Glenda, Erick, Rose, baby Rachel, Fernanda

Then we just had to find a public spot or you could go to an actual rain forest reserve site, but it cost Q80 (about 10 dollars) verses the other spots that charged Q5 (about 60 cents) for parking. There were some private spots near houses or tiendas that would charge – hold your breathe – Q3 (38 cents) per person.

Leaving Santo Thomas and off into the rain forest

Leaving Santo Thomas and off into the rain forest

The big ole friendly coconut tree.

The big ole friendly coconut tree.

Winding through the mountains

Winding through the mountains

Getting closer to the waterfalls

Getting closer to the waterfalls

We favored a particular spot that had some people around but wasn’t overly crowded.

Hola gentes!

Hola gentes!

Our favorite spot

Our favorite spot

There are tons and tons of waterfalls running down the mountain, which created some nice spots that were deep enough to dive in. I called this spot the “Fallen Tree Pool”.

 

A whole lot of waterfalls

A whole lot of waterfalls

A nice little pool that was about 8-10 feet deep. Perfect for jumps or taking a quick shower under the waterfall.

A nice little pool that was about 8-10 feet deep. Perfect for jumps or taking a quick shower under the waterfall.

Aside from all the animals and critters you would see, the children loved to take turns playing in the water as well!

Lining up

Lining up

And in we go!

And in we go!

Aside from all the fun to be had at the rain forest, I was partly responsible for a traumatizing experience in Eduardo’s life. From the picture above, you can see the children lining up to jump in the water. As you moved closer to the fallen tree, the water would get much deeper. I was playing around with Eduardo, not knowing he couldn’t swim, and threw him in the deeper end of the pool. Luckily his sister was standing next to him and quickly pulled him up while giving me a scornful look. I felt terrible about it, but we later turned it into a joke. If the kids would misbehave or cause trouble, I would say “Don’t make me take you to the rain forest!” or “Do we need to take a trip to the rain forest?”

Poor guy didn't want to get into the water, but I think he forgave me later in the day. Sorry Eduardo!

Poor guy didn’t want to get into the water anymore, but I think he forgave me later in the day. Sorry Eduardo!

 

So maybe this isn’t your typical Sunday Funday, but it was something I always looked forward to after working all week. The scenery was absolutely beautiful and I always felt refreshed after swimming around in the water. Considering it was so hot and humid most of the time, the cool, crisp water felt great! Plus there was a little bread shop we would stop at in Santo Thomas. They had some delicious pastries and coffee cake. Great after a long day of adventuring in the rain forest.

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