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Sanarate, El Progreso, Guatemala, Central America.





Village of El Aguacate

The village of El Aguacate has one very peculiar characteristic: it is the only one in the entire Municipality of Sanarate whose residents all belong to the same family, The Castro Family. Back when the villages of the western area of Sanarate were founded, the areas that were sought for that purpose were those which had the vital water supply necessary for human consumption as well as for the domestic animals and for agriculture. In this way, three brothers founded three villages: Agua Dulce, founded by Don Cirilo Castro; El Aguacate, founded by Don Victoriano Castro and El Plumaje, founded by Don Vidal Castro. Each one of these villages had an abundant fresh water spring which flowed from the cliffs of limestone rock.

Currently the most developed village is Agua Dulce, which has a Catholic church, a soccer field and an elementary school. Then there is El Aguacate, where the descendants of Don Victoriano Castro currently live, although the majority of a total of 10 children (9 men and 1 woman), have moved to the city of Sanarate. Among those who stayed behind to live in El Aguacate are Don Mario and Don Licho, whose main activity is the farming of loroco which produces an abundant harvest and generates good income.

The third village, El Plumaje, disappeared when the land on which it was located was acquired by the "Cementos Progreso" factory. This land became part of the ecological reserve called Los Escorpiones. However "escorpiones" does not refer to the poisonous arthropod, but to a saurian reptile of the lizard species (heloderma horridum charlesgoberti), which is an endemic resident of the banks of the Motagua river in the area of the thorny forests of the regions of Zacapa and El Progreso.

Many legends about said scorpion have been passed down orally from generation to generation, such as that "it can spend years without eating food and is capable of launching a lethal poison from several meters away and that it has the power to hypnotize people before attacking them”. In any case, because it is a highly endangered species, the cement company bought several acres of land which is now a sanctuary for this scorpion which boasts bright colors ranging from yellow, to red, to black and several shades in between. The privatization of these lands also caused the disappearance of the village of El Plumaje, and the area is now constantly monitored by Forest Rangers.

The visit to the village of El Aguacate is very pleasant due to the warm and friendly welcome that is given to those who are fortunate enough to reach this relaxing place. One can talk to the Castro brothers for hours and hours on end, talking about the subjects which they like the most, such as deer and rabbit hunting, and fishing in the Motagua river.

In this village, there are no religious institutions or services provided by the Municipality of Sanarate or the Government of Guatemala. For elementary school, the children attend school in the villages of Agua Dulce or Laguna de San Jacinto. For medical attention, the residents of El Aguacate travel to the city of Sanarate, and for this purpose they have their own double transmission vehicles or “all terrain” motorcycles. Traveling at a moderate speed, it takes them approximately 45 minutes to reach Sanarate, passing by the village of Laguna de San Jacinto, and then passing in front of the main entrance of the village of El Jícaro, then Sabaneta and San Miguel Conacaste.

It is paradoxical that in the village of El Aguacate, there are no avocado trees. However, when visiting this place, one has the feeling of being in a sanctuary of friendship and simple, honest and hardworking people.

tono herrera gudiel

Report and Photos:
Jorge H. Herrera

Translation to Ukrainian and Russian:
Світлана Шинкарук

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