I ended up about 5kms down a dirt road off the main route in Guatemala one day on the recommendation of someone else. It took me to Las Pozas, a magnificent riverside camp and events area. The handcrafted farm with soccer pitches, zip lines, fishing, camping, rope swings and a little bar, right next to the most amazing set of river falls in the world was the works of Jose Blanco.
Jose had spent the last decade or so, manicuring this site for all to enjoy. I was surprised to find out he had once lived "The American Dream", spending about ten years in the USA and some time in Canada, he still held an I.D. card to come and go as he pleased from the U.S.A..
Some time later he had started his own painting business and during this period he was up for another exam to achieve immigration papers. He arrived nervous once again to get the paperwork under control while they examined his background and time in the USA, again he started to chat with the lady who would be working on his case that was to take several months to complete. She realized that he had in fact painted her house recently for a fair price and had done an excellent job. Jose's paperwork was complete and he was a legal immigrant in a record couple of days. Jose tells me that he never once did anything wrong while in the USA and that if your a good person then life is easy.
He realized that maybe the American Dream wasn't all he hoped it might be and ended up back in Guatemala caring for his parents before they passed away then took over the family land and developed it into a place for all to enjoy. He continually showed up with various foods and fruits for me to try while I was camping at his place & he was so damn happy just to be able to share it with everyone that came I had to interview him about life.
A few things we're lost in translation and my second camera died right off the start, thou it should give you an overall idea of Jose and his love of life.
3/4/2017 08:41:48 pm
I love that you introduce us to the people you meet. What a lovely and humble man. Truly blessed to have such a beautiful spot, a mini paradise.
3/5/2017 07:59:10 am
Jose was awesome! I wish I had a film crew to follow me around, there was some many soild gold moments at his place that got missed.
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