The Vilisar Times

The life and times of Ronald and Kathleen and our voyages aboard S/V Vilisar, a 34.5-foot wooden Wm-Atkin-designed sailing cutter launched in Victoria, BC, Canada, in 1974. Since we moved aboard in 2001 Vilisar has been to Alaska, British Columbia, California, Mexico, The Galapagos and mainland Ecuador, Panama and Costa Rica.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


LEAVING A BOAT IN BAHIA DE CARAQUEZ, ECUADOR
Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador, 30 November 08

There are only two places that you can leave your boat with any confidence in Ecuador: Puerto Lucia, Salinas, and Bahía de Caráquez.

Puerto Lucia has a full range of marina and haul-out/yard facilities. At a price, of course. I have not sailed there myself. The general feeling has been that they are not all that interested in cruisers since they serve basically the well-heeled yacht-owners in Guayaquil. Cruisers who have visited Puerto Lucia have occasionally also run into problems with Aduana about "importing a vehicle" (i.e., a boat) into Ecuador for longer than 90 days. Whether this was simply an attempt at extortion, there is in fact an import duty on 'vehicles' of 10% of the value.

The other possibility to leave your boat is Bahía de Caráquez, closer to the equator.

To deal with Customs first, Aduana in Manta (which is responsible for Bahía de Caráquez) does not apparently regard a vessel as a 'vehicle' and therefore there has been no harassing of cruisers who wish to leave their boats for longer periods in Bahía. A few times Aduana have sniffed around the Bahía, however, and are now involved in departure clearances for the first time (various government inspectors - health, agriculture, customs, what-have-you) have now to be brought out to Bahía from Manta by taxi so cruisers can clear out [expect approx. $60 in taxi costs, which can possibly be shared if there is more than one boat leaving]. Migración clearing is still done in Manta, two hours away, so you still have to travel there personally for that (it can be done cheaply by bus).

The bottom line is that you can leave your boat in Bahía for basically any amount of time. At least for the moment. Of course, where there is potentially money to be garnered, expect government officials to be almost as quick to get it figured it out as local businessmen. Who knows when Aduana’s attitude will change.

Leaving your boat in Bahía.

There are really no yacht-handling facilities in Bahía; i.e., no slips, no travel-lifts, no cranes, no hard-standings, not even a dock to tie up to (except a small float that could handle at most one yacht at the Bahía Yacht Club at $5-$10/day, the price being sort of ad hoc). We ourselves use a makeshift grid for bottom painting, but this is suitable only if you have the nerve for it, your draught does not exceed maximum 6 feet and you can get excellent tides. Marine craftsmen are in short supply here; there are in fact good mechanics, carpenters, machinists, welders, electricians, painters, etc, but no sail-makers or riggers and but few canvas-workers or upholsterers). We have been fortunate to be able to hire an excellent local mechanic who also handled our fuel-tank replacement (including putting us on to excellent welding and machining in town as well as other support craftsmen). There are a number of local men who will do basic cleanup or painting work on your boat; such help has been improving in quality and reliability over the last couple of years as they gain experience with cruisers. There are, in other words, good people around, but they are not all that used to working on yachts and are only slowly gaining the needed experience. The work rates, on the other hand, are very attractive, which can make up for a lot. Parts can be a problem here; it ometimes requires frequent trips to Manta or Puertoviejo, where you can get most things if not everything you will need. Importing from the U.S. or Europe can be quite expensive (Ecuador has no set-up for a “vessel in transit” so you pay high import duties.


To park your boat, you can rent a mooring buoy near town from Puerto Amistad (somewhat expensive at $270/month but the people are friendly and the facilities more than adequate with not-on-the-boat-wifi, laundry, delivered drinking water, propane and fuel also available). Much farther up river and out of town is Saiananda (somewhat cheaper at $170, also with wifi)) Or simply anchor off the town (the holding is excellent anywhere off the town; even the owner of Puerto Amistad has his yacht anchored off; no anchoring up at Saiananda, I have heard) and pay dinghy-docking fees (currently only at Puerto Amistad ($100/month) or Bahía Yacht Club ($60/month). The Bahía Yacht Club is friendly but very noisy at weekends and facilities (except the pool) are a bit tacky; taken together, that is likely why there are no boats there. They don’t have an agency either. A new causeway across the river is being built upriver a bit from the town. This will impact access to Saiananda starting perhaps within a few months since the clearance will be too low for normal sailboat masts. Rumours are that Saiananda will have a solution ready in time. Check with them. Although anchor holding is good everywhere, there is really no place near the town to land your dinghy on the beach.

Only Puerto Amistad and, I guess now, Saiananda can act as clearing-in or clearing-out agents with the Capitania de Puerto. an agent is mandatory. There have been cases reported in the recent past where Puerto Amistad has declined to be agents (or provide entry pilots) for anyone not staying at that marina, so you need to clarify this with them in advance. But, given the shifting nature of the river-mouth sandbars, you will likely want a pilot to enter and perhaps leave Bahia's estuary; Puerto Amistad can provide a pilot at $30 per one-way trip, somewhat cheaper if there are more boats assembled to enter/depart in convoy. I was required to sign a waiver of responsibility before I was guided in last April. If you are planning to stay somewhere other than Puerto Amistad, make sure someone will provide you a pilot if you want one.

Refuelling once you arrive can be a problem. Fuel is highly subsidised in Ecuador; diesel costs only $1.04/gallon at the pumps. But it is not available for foreign-flagged vessels at either that rate or any other. As far as I know, only Puerto Amistad can procure diesel for you at present ($1.50/gallon delivered to your boat). The Port Captain is insisting you have a receipt for some purchased fuel in order to issue you with departure documents; the only place to get this is from Puerto Amistad, although they can get any amount of fuel you need, I am told. You can purchase tiny amounts of gasoline yourself at (2) petrol stations for your outboard. Be sure to filter everything going into your tanks!

In addition to the phalanx of government inspectors that must inspect physically and approve your departure, the latest wrinkle in Paradise is that, whereas you once could easily get a 90-day tourist visa upon arrival and a 90-day visa extension just by asking, Migración will now only give you 90 days y nada mas. I was told this personally last week at Migración in Manta.

There are however a variety of various visa extensions available including a longer tourist visa (see Ecuador site on contact list below), but they are issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Commercio e Integración). And, they are expensive: $200 per person (payable if approved) plus $30 application fee (payable when applying). The Ministerio has an office in Manta near the Malecón and the Terminal Terestre. You will likely also require an Ecuadorian to provide a personal (and notarised) guarantee and you have to prove you are financially solvent. The visa can be for 3-6 months but you must have at least 6 months left on your passport.

Clearly, this system is an indication that Ecuador does not expect tourists to stay longer than 90 days except in exceptional circumstances. The measures are probably aimed more at stemming the flow of migrants from Peru and Columbia than making life difficult for cruising tourists, but that is hard to keep in mind when you are running out of visa time.

That said, some cruisers, who have travelled out of the country to Peru or the U.S.A., have received new 90-day visas at the aeropuerto in Guayaquil or Quito upon return. Those returning from Peru or Colombia by bus have frequently been less fortunate and received only minimal extensions to allow them to get back to their boats. Very hit and miss.


Like the fuel restrictions (see below), I don't suppose any of this is actually aimed directly at cruisers. The government is trying to stamp out the smuggling of subsidised fuel to other countries. And, there are major border and border-crossing issues between Ecuador and its neighbours, Colombia and Peru. Some of the borders in the oil-rich Amazonian headwaters, for example, are still disputed, i.e., just waiting for trouble in the age of expensive petroleum. Large numbers of exiles enter Ecuador from civil war-torn Colombia, for example, and this has become a problem for Columbia's neighbours. Relations between the two countries have been severely strained since Columbia refused to stop spraying Agent Orange along the border. Colombia also actually attacked militarily into northern Ecuador earlier in the year, which inflamed public opinion. Ecuador hasn't like the USA or Israel yet resorted to building a wall along the border, but they are introducing various measures that, as it happens, also impact cruisers.

All that said, Bahía is an excellent place to leave your boat. The weather is always benign. Unlike other cities, the town is quite safe even at night. We have experinced no anti-Americanism or anti-gringoism in Ecuador at all and have heard of none; the people are reserved but friendly to gringos. Hell! Twenty percent of Bahía’s population now lives in Charlotte, NC, New York City or Madrid! The overall cost of living is low.

You can definitely leave your boat here without worry. Marina services are basic though sometimes comparatively expensive withal. There are boat-related tradesmen but at a still basic level. This is a fine place to wait out the hurricane season in Central America, a safe place to leave your boat and travel home or to Machu Pichu and an excellent spot to jump off for the Coconut Milk Run. The Galapagos are only one week's sailing due west.

But, since you can only get a normal tourist visa for 90 days, you will have to leave the country before the visa expires while leaving enough days to be able to get back in. This is undoubtedly going to be a pain in the arse for most cruisers.

When winding up to pitch something at its problems, Ecuador seems regularly to smack visiting cruisers with the back of its hand.

Contacts:
http://www.ecuador.org/visas.htm
www.puertoamistadecuador.com
www.saiananda.com
www.puertolucia.com.ec/cms/english
www.VilisarTimes.blogspot.com

Tuesday, November 25, 2008



VILISAR IN NEW COLOURS
Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador, 25 November 2008


Here are some shots of Vilisar in her new colours. OK, they're not really all that new. But the topsides have been freshly painted and a new accent stripe added.


BUILDING BOATS ON A BEACH
Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Aboard Vilisar we’re faced with two serious problems at present. First, we need to replace the wormshoe underneath Vilisar’s keel. Like the zinc anodes that protect the bronze shaft and propeller from electrolysis, I guess we have always known that a wormshoe is ‘sacrificial’, that the traditional wood, felt-and tar system designed to protect the boat’s keel from shipworm damage (see the blog in November 2007 for information about shipworm) would need replacing at some point. But, as long as the wormshoe looked all right when we painted the bottom each year, we didn’t really have to think about it much. Up on the grid last week, however, there was no doubt that something had to be done.

At first I was dismayed. My God! Shipworm! The plank that holds the tar-soaked felt in place is totally riddled with shipworm holes. That plank never gets bottom paint on it, of course, because, on a grid and especially on a makeshift grid, you cannot access the wormshoe when the boat is standing on its keel. The divers who clean the bottom have been telling me that, while the rest of the bottom is generally fine, there are invariably huge clusters of molluscs that have to be laboriously chipped away from the shoe. Once the wormshoe disintegrates, the keel is totally open to invasion by shipworm. It’s a serious problem everywhere, even in northern waters, but in the tropics, those little critters can grow much, much faster, reaching sometimes several metres in length and following the grain of a piece of wood. I have been kept awake at night at the vision of having the bottom fall out of the boat one night!

What I don’t know at present is whether shipworms (teredo navalis) have in fact encroached into the keel. Vilisar was creosoted several times both inside and out when it was built thirty-five years ago, we were told by George Friend, the vessel’s builder up in Sidney, British Columbia. From records I found on the boat when we moved aboard, the hull was ‘wooded’ (i.e., all the bottom paint removed) somewhere back around 1991 and the hull and keel soaked with several coats of creosote before building up bottom paint again. So, one hopes that some of this anti-teredo-worm chemical has still not leached completely away. Creosote is now prohibited in Canada and the U.S.A. But it is a famously effective barrier. Will have to investigate other treatments.


Visiting the beach shipwrights in Manta

Whenever your drive over to Manta, the busy fishing port with its many trawlers of all sizes(reputedly, the largest tuna-landing port in the world) about two hours away to the south, the entrance highway from the north takes you right along the long, curving sandy beach. I have always told myself that I wanted to walk along the part of the playa where they are building quite large wooden fishing trawlers and find out how they do it, i.e., how do they get them into and out of the water, what kind of wood do they use, what are their tools, do they have plans or are the boats build from half-models or even just from memory? But somehow, I have never so far had time to stop.

The replacement of our sacrificial wormshoe now gives me the opportunity. Of course we could take Vilisar to Puerto Lucia in Salinas (near Guayaquil) where they have a proper travel lift. But, intrepid and self-sufficient cruisers that we are, perhaps we might find a local solution. In a real pinch, I think I could get a new wormshoe onto the keel myself with the help of local craftsmen. But, if there is all that shipwright experience over in Manta, maybe we can tap into that. There’s no point in going up the learning curve by yourself – and, statistically, certainly not with only one chance to get something right.


So it was that I travelled to Manta yesterday with Wacho, our friend, mechanic and general guardian angel. Julio from the Chilean sailboat, “Pancho” was also along for the trip; he and Wacho needed to find motor mounts for his sick Volvo Penta inboard diesel engine and get the engiine head planed, and Wacho was buying plywood and outboard-motor stabiliser-fins for another cruiser. My aim was to discuss our wormshoe problem with the carpenteros de ribera on the beach with Wacho's assistance.

After the two hour drive to town, we spend most of the morning in futile attempts to find motor mounts and stabilising fins. But we do drop off Pancho’s engine head to be reground and pick up new gaskets from Empaques de Columbiano near the bus station. Finally, around noon we are driving along the sandy beach and parking Babushka, as I call Wacho's Russian-built truck, in front of the giant wooden trawlers-in-progress near the water. Wacho asks around for the maestro. He is referred to a man in his late thirties who is at present sawing a yellowish-coloured plank laid out on the sand using a Stihl chainsaw; another worker stands on the other end of the plank to keep it from moving about. Wacho indicates he needs to talk to the maestro when he has a moment free and we withdraw to the shade to wait. (The head craftsman is always addressed formally as maestro until - and even after - he has been introduced. It is a sign of respect, and handy also if you can’t remember names.)

Eventually he comes over and we stand in the shade of the stake truck to talk. I have printed out photographs of Vilisar up on the grid so he can get an idea of the hull shape. Clearly, Vilisar is but a toy compared to the 80-100-foot giants we are surrounded by. Wormshoe? No problem! We do this all the time for the trawlers! He gestures towards the hull they are working on.

Although, until you walk around to the other side, it appears to be a new vessel, it is in fact a complete rebuild of an older trawler. All the rather beat-up looking frames have been “sistered” with cut timbers made new from red guaiacum (spelling?), a tropical wood roughly equivalent in weight and density to ironwood, and bolted with stainless steel to the old ones. The sharply-angular frames for the hull where it narrows near the propeller and the stern are actually made from pieces of the tree that have a natural angle to them, much as I think hickory hardwood branches were once used in North America for the same purposes. The planking, Maestro Alberto, the carpentero de ribera, tells us, is made from yellow camphorwood from the Amazon. Each plank is roughly shaped, not by measuring, but by eye-balling, and then cross-cutting or ripping it freehand using the chainsaw. Finally, the plank is fastened to the ribs with large, square, galvanised ships nails . I never saw anyone using plans or drawings or half-models, but the shipwrights were in this case basically using the old boat as a form. There were other new, large trawlers in framed-up condition, but nobody was working on them at that moment; maybe they do use drawings in that case.


While they were still installing camphorwood planking, up high near the decks of the boat, two caulkers were busy paying out cotton or oakum material and hammering it into the seam with mallets and irons, filling the sometimes quite large cracks between the planking and the air with the echoing sound of hammers. Indeed everything about the work going on was about as traditional in methods and hand-work as any shipyard one hundred years ago. The only modern tools I saw were the chainsaw and an electric handhled grinder. There were no travel lifts about, no cranes, no vehicles except pick-up trucks, no table saws or circular saws. Nothing of the kind. A third man was adding a grey paste into the caulked seams. I asked if tar would be used in the seams, but Maestro Alberto said, no.

While we talked, we were watching an engineless fishing smack beating its way to windward across the large bay against the whitecaps toward the fishing harbour. By the time we had finished, it had made good the mile or so and had the anchor down. “We don’t build sailboats (valeros) any more, he said. “Antiguado!” he said, smiling. The big trawler he was working on would be powered by a large eight-cylinder Caterpillar diesel.

Maestro Lister

Alberto told us that he was too busy at the moment to work on Vilisar. But he said he had a colleague who was extremely good and he might be available. Twenty minutes after a cellphone call, Maestro Lister Rodriquez appears on the scene. Am I grasping at straws when I take it as a good omen that his first name is the same as Vilisar’s diesel engine? Maestro Lister is middle-aged, short, dark and rather overweight. But his eyes are bright and, although his accent makes it very difficult for me to understand his Spanish, he and Wacho converse at a rapid rate, Wacho going over what he has already told Maestro Alberto. By this time we have a small crowd of interested workers standing around us in a shady semi-circle.

We flash the photos of Vilisar taken recently on the makeshift grid so he can get an idea of what it’s about. As it turns out he knows Bahía de Caráquez well and suggests that he can probably do the work on the beach there. The work is quite usual for him, albeit on a much larger scale. In further questioning, he says he will cut a new “zapato” (shoe) out of iron wood (guaiacum) and fit it to the keel after removing the old one. He didn’t seem to know about using tar or asphalt-impregnated Irish Felt between the wormshoe and the keel. But he went and got us an open gallon can of a sticky, viscous, tar-like substance called “Alquatran”, which he said he would liberally smear on the keel and the shoe. The wood is impervious to guisandos (shipworms) as long we don’t hit anything too hard and break it off. He would fasten the zapato with stainless fasteners, but if we want bronze, he could do that too. If we want fieltro in between, that's fine with him too.

The left open the question of whether we should take Vilisar around to Manta, place her on the massive sledge that they use to pull up and launch the big trawlers. I can imagine how they get them up the beach: they bring the boats into about eight feet of water and over the sledge and then use a big Caterpillar front-end loader as a tug. After blocking up the boats, they pull the sledge away. There is only one sledge for everybody and it was just standing around on the beach. Have not quite yet figured out how they get a boat back in, though. Big timbers, that's for sure! But, Maestro Lister said, they charge $800 to handle a big trawler; he had no experience with toy boats like ours but imagined we could save the cost altogether by doing hteh work over in Bahia.


He was unable to give us a rough estimate on time and cost, but he suggested we put the vessel up against the wall in Bahía de Caráquez at the next high tide (around 14 December). He would travel over, take a good look and get down to numbers. We exchanged cellphone numbers (if anyone is interested you can reach him at Ecuador +9+405-7770) and promised to check tides and get back to him. Wacho said he would drive over to Manta personally and pick Amestro Lister up on the date we agree upon.

As we drove away in Babushka, we were all a-jabber about the possibilities and happy that we have a way forward.
MORE ON BUILDING BOATS ON BEACHES
Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador, 24 November 2008







BATWING DEPARTS BAHÍA
Bahía de Caraquéz, Ecuador, Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Here are some photos of our friends, Diane and Ron, departing Bahía de Caraquéz in their junk-rigged, Skookum-built sailboat. They are bound for Las Perlas Islands in Panamá. The panga next to them brought out a petty officer from the Port Captain to do the last-minute safety and other inspections.

Bueno Viaja, Batwing!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

OVER 360 LATIN AMERICA EXPERTS CALL ON OBAMA TO IMPROVE U.S. - LATIN AMERICAN RELATIONS

WASHINGTON - October 28 - Anticipating a democratic victory in the November 4 presidential elections, 368 academics specializing in Latin America recently sent a letter urging Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama to become a partner, rather than an adversary, concerning changes already under way in Latin America.

Above all, the signers are asking Senator Obama to understand the current impetus for progressive change in many of the region's countries: the rejection of the failed "free-market" model of economic growth that has been imposed in most countries since the early 1980s - a period which has seen the worst economic growth failure in the region, in terms of per capita GDP, in over a century -- and the adoption of more socially just and environmentally sustainable development styles.

The signers expressed their hope that an Obama administration will embrace the opportunity to inaugurate a new period of hemispheric understanding and collaboration for the welfare of the entire Hemisphere.

Most of those signing are members of the Latin American Studies Association (http://lasa.international.pitt.edu/eng/index.asp), the largest and most influential professional association of its kind in the world. Signers include Eric Hershberg, President of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) and twelve LASA Past Presidents, along with over 350 other academics and Latin America experts.

The letter follows:




October 20, 2008

Dear Senator Obama:

We write to offer our congratulations on your campaign and to express our hope that as the next president of the United States you will take advantage of an historic opportunity to improve relations with Latin America. As scholars of the region, we also wish to convey our analysis regarding the process of change now underway in Latin America.

Just as the people of the United States have begun to debate basic questions regarding the sort of society they want-- thanks in part to your own candidacy but also owing to the magnitude of the current financial crisis-- so too have the people of Latin America. In fact, the debate about a just and fair society has been going on in Latin America for more than a decade, and the majority are opting, like you and so many of us in the United States, for hope and change. As academics personally and professionally committed to development and democracy in Latin America, we are hopeful that during your presidency the United States can become a partner rather than an adversary to the positive changes already under way in the hemisphere.

The current impetus for change in Latin America is a rejection of the model of economic growth that has been imposed in most countries since the early 1980s, a model that has concentrated wealth, relied unsuccessfully on unrestricted market forces to solve deep social problems and undermined human welfare. The current rejection of this model is broad-based and democratic. In fact, contemporary movements for change in Latin America reveal significantly increased participation by workers and peasants, women, Afro-descendants and indigenous peoples-- in a word, the grassroots. Such movements are coming to power in country after country. They are neither puppets, nor blinded by fanaticism and ideology, as caricatured by some mainstream pundits. To the contrary, these movements deserve our respect, friendship and support.

Latin Americans have often viewed the United States not as a friend but as an oppressor, the guarantor of an international economic system that works against them, rather than for them-- the very antithesis of hope and change. The Bush Administration has made matters much worse, and U.S. prestige in the region is now at a historic low. Washington's tendency to fight against hope and change has been especially prominent in recent U.S. responses to the democratically elected governments of Venezuela and Bolivia. While anti-American feelings run deep, history demonstrates that these feelings can change. In the 1930s, after two decades of conflict with the region, the United States swore off intervention and adopted a Good Neighbor Policy. Not coincidentally, it was the most harmonious time in the history of U.S.-Latin American relations. In the 1940s, nearly every country in the region became our ally in World War Two. It can happen again.

There are many other challenges, too. Colombia, the main focus of the Bush Administration's policy, is currently the scene of the second largest humanitarian crisis in the world, with four million internally displaced people. Its government, which criminalizes even peaceful protest, seeks an extension of the free trade policies that much of the hemisphere is already reacting against. Cuba has begun a process of transition that should be supported in positive ways, such as through the dialogue you advocate. Mexicans and Central Americans migrate by the tens of thousands to seek work in the United States, where their labor power is much needed but their presence is denigrated by a public that has, since the development of opinion polling in the 1930s, always opposed immigration from anywhere. The way to manage immigration is not by building a giant wall, but rather, the United States should support more equitable economic development in Mexico and Central America and, indeed, throughout the region. In addition, the U.S. must reconsider drug control policies that have simply not worked and have been part of the problem of political violence, especially in Mexico, Colombia and Peru. And the U.S. must renew its active support for human rights throughout the region. Unfortunately, in the eyes of many Latin Americans, the United States has come to stand for the support of inequitable regimes.

Finally, we implore you to commit your administration to the firm support of constitutional rights, including academic and intellectual freedom. Most of us are members of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA), the largest professional association of experts on the region, and we have experienced first-hand how the Bush administration's attempt to restrict academic exchange with Cuba is counter-productive and self-defeating. We hope for an early opportunity to discuss this and other issues regarding Latin America with your administration.

Our hope is that you will embrace the opportunity to inaugurate a new period of hemispheric understanding and collaboration for the common welfare. We ask for change and not only in the United States.

Sincerely,

SIGNED:
 Eric Hershberg, LASA President 2007-09, Professor of Politics and Director of Latin American Studies, Simon Fraser University
 Charles R. Hale, LASA Past President (2006-2007), Professor of Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin
 Sonia E. Alvarez, LASA Past President (2004-2006), Leonard J. Horwitz Professor of Politics, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
 Marysa Navarro Aranguran, LASA Past President (2003-2004), Charles Collis Professor of History, Dartmouth College
 Arturo Arias, LASA Past President, (2001-2003), Professor of Spanish and Portuguese University of Texas, Austin
 Thomas Holloway, LASA Past President (2000-2001), Professor Of History, University of California, Davis
 Susan Eckstein, LASA Past President (1997-98), Professor of Sociology & International Relations, Boston University
 Cynthia McClintock, LASA Past President (1994-95), Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University
 Carmen Diana Deere, LASA Past President (1992-94), Professor of Food and Resource Economics and Director, Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida
 Lars Schoultz, LASA Past President (1991-92), William Rand Kenan, Jr., Professor of Political Science, UNC, Chapel Hill
 Jean Franco, LASA Past President (1989-91), Emeritus Professor, Columbia University
 Helen I. Safa, LASA Past President (1983-85), Emeritus Professor of Anthropology and Latin American Studies, University of Florida
 Paul L. Doughty, LASA Past President (1974-75), Distinguished Service Professor, Emeritus of Anthropology and Latin American Studies, University of Florida
 María Rosa Olivera-Williams, LASA Past Congress Chair (2001-2003), Associate Professor of Latin American Literature, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana
 __________________________________________
 Thomas Abercrombie, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, NYU
 Holly Ackerman, Ph.D. Librarian for Latin America and Iberia, Duke University
 Judith Adler Hellman, Professor of Social and Political Science, York University, Toronto
 Norma Alarcon, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley
Alfonso Alvarez, Social Worker, Boston College Graduate School
 Wayne F. Anderson, Professor of History and Latin American Studies, Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, NC
 Robert Andolina, Assistant Professor of International Studies, Seattle University
 Frances R. Aparicio, Professor, Latin American and Latino Studies Program, University of Illinois at Chicago
 Kirsten Appendini, El Colegio de México, Mexico
 Juan Manuel Arbona, Associate Professor, Growth and Structure of Cities Program, Bryn Mawr College
 Benjamin Arditi, Professor, Centro de Estudios Politicos, UNAM, Mexico, DF
 Mauricio Arenas - CUPW Local 626
 Andres Avellaneda, Emeritus Professor, Spanish and Latin American Studies, U. of Florida
 William Avilés, Asociate Professor of Political Science, University of Nebraska, Kearney
 Dra. Emperatriz Arreaza-Camero, Investigadora adscrita al Cine Club Universitario de Maracaibo, Universidad de Zulia
 Florence E. Babb, Vada Allan Yeomans Professor of Women's Studies, University of Florida
 Xóchitl Bada, Assistant Professor, Latin American and Latino Studies Program. University of Illinois at Chicago
 Gianpaolo Baiocchi, Director of Development Studies, Associate Professor of Sociology and International Studies, Brown University
 Sharada Balachandran-Orihuela. Doctoral Student. English department, University of California, Davis
 Deborah Barndt, Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies and Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean, York University, Toronto, Canada
 Magdalena Barros Nock, Professor/Researcher, CIESAS México
 Leslie Bary, Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
 Emilio Bejel, Distinguished Professor of Latin American Studies, University of California at Davis
 Lourdes Benería, Professor of City and Regional Planning, Cornell University
 Carollee Bengelsdorf, Professor of Politics, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA
 Rina Benmayor, Professor, Humanities and Communication, California State University Monterey Bay
 Vivienne Bennett, Professor, Liberal Studies Department, California State University, San Marcos
 Charles Bergquist, Emeritus Professor of History, University of Washington
 Michelle Bigenho, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Hampshire College
 O'Neill Blacker-Hanson, Assistant Professor of Latin American History, Valparaiso University, Indiana
 Mario Blaser, Assistant Professor of International Development, York University, Toronto
 David Block, Curator of Latin American Collections, Cornell University
 Laura Bonilla-Merchav, Department of Art History, Graduate Center, City University of New York
 Stephen R. Boucher, Associate Professor, Agricultural and Resocurce Economics, UC Davis
 Kirk Bowman, Associate Professor, Sam Nunn School International Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology
 Kalina Brabeck, Psychologist, Assistant Professor of Counseling, Rhode Island College
 Rosalind Bresnahan, Ph.D., Collective of Coordinating Editors, Latin American Perspectives
 M. Brinton Lykes, Ph.D., Associate Director, Center for Human Rights & International Justice, Professor, Community-Cultural Psychology, Boston College
 Janet Brody Esser, Emeritus Professor and Past Associate Director, Center for Latin American Studies, San Diego State University
 Alejandra Bronfman, Associate Professor, Department of History University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
 Dr. Ronda Brulotte, Lecturer III, Department of Anthropology, University of New Mexico
 Monica Bucio, PhD Candidate, University of Warwick, United Kingdom
Stephanie Buechler, Research Associate, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
 Amy J. Buono, Assistant Professor of Art History, Southern Methodist University
 María Cristina Burgueño, Associate Professor of Spanish, Marshall University
 Kathryn Burns, Associate Professor of History, UNC Chapel Hill
 Marisol de la Cadena, Associate Professor of Anthropology, UC Davis
 Kia Lilly Caldwell, Assistant Professor, Department of African and Afro-American Studies University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
 Maxwell A. Cameron, Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia
 Ginetta E.B. Candelario, Director Latin American & Latina/o Studies and Associate Professor, Sociology Department, Smith College, Northampton, MA
 Gloria Cañez, Investigadora del Departamento de Estudios Sociales del Sistema Alimentario CIAD AC, Sonora, México
 M. Carmen Carrero de Salazar, Course Director, Faculty of Education, York University
 Jennifer J. Casolo, PhD Candidate in Geography, University of California at Berkeley
 J. Celso Castro Alves, Assistant Professor of Black Studies and History, Amherst College
 Emma Cervone, Department of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University
 John C. Chasteen, Distinguished Professor of History, UNC Chapel Hill
 Ronald H. Chilcote, Professor of Economics and Political Science, University of California, Riverside
 Donna Chollett, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Minnesota-Morris
 Aviva Chomsky, Professor of History, Salem State College, Massachusetts
 Clemency Coggins, Professor of Archaeology and of Art History, Boston University
 Jorge Coronado, Associate Professor of Spanish & Portuguese, Northwestern University
 Fernando Coronil, Presidential Professor, Graduate Center, City University of New York
 Dominic Corva, Ph. C., University of Washington Department of Geography
 Jennifer N. Costanza, PhD student, Sociology, Brown University
 Liliana Cotto-Morales, Professor, University of Puerto Rico
 Raymond Craib, Department of History, Cornell University
 Altha Cravey, Associate Professor of Geography, UNC Chapel Hill
 Marta G. Cruz-Concepción, Teaching Fellow, 2008-10 University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
 Marco Cupolo, Assistant Professor of Spanish, University of Hartford
 Edward D'Angelo, Professor of Philosophy, Quinnipiac University
 Juanita Darling, Department of International Relations, San Francisco State University
 Karen Davis, Faculty Lecturer, California State University Monterey Bay
 Don Deere, PhD Student, Philosophy, DePaul University
 William D. DeGrush, St. Michael's College, Colchester, VT
 Guillermo Delgado, Lecturer in Latin American Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz
 Jonathan Dettman, M.A.T. Associate Instructor, Department of Spanish, University of California, Davis
 Dr. Rosalina Diaz, Associate Professor, Education Department, Medgar Evers College, City University of New York
 Ariel Dorfman, Walter Hines Page Professor of Literature and Latin American Studies, Duke University
 Lindsay DuBois, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada
 Christopher Dunn, Associate Professor and Chair Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Tulane University
 Luis Duno-Gottberg, Associate Prof. Rice University
 Christine E. Eber, Associate Professor of Anthropology, New Mexico State University
 Marc Edelman, Professor of Anthropology, Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York
 David Egilman MD MPH, Clinical Associate Professor, Dept of Community Health, Brown University
 Lynn England, Lecturer, Utah Valley University
 Cecilia Enjuto Rangel, Assistant Professor of Spanish, Romance Languages, University of Oregon
 Edward Epstein, Professor of Political Science, University of Utah
 Arturo Escobar, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, UNC, Chapel Hill
 Francisco Escobedo, Assistant Professor, School of Forest Resources & Conservation, University of Florida
 Diego Escolar, Profesor Adjunto de Antropología, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo
 Mónica Espinosa-Arango, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Universidad de Los Andes, Bogota
 Alicia Ivonne Estrada, Assistant Professor, Central American Studies Program, California State University, Northridge
 Judith Ewell, Newton Professor of History Emerita, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA
 Reverend Marc Fallon, csc, Catholic Social Services, New Bedford, MA
 Claire Farago, Professor, Department of Art and Art History, University of Colorado at Boulder
 Linda Farthing, independent scholar and author
 Paja Faudree, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Brown University
 Karen Ann Faulk, PhD, Department of Anthropology, University of Michigan
 Sandra Fernández Castillo, Associate professor of Philosophy, University of Chile
 Sujatha Fernandes, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Queens College, CUNY
 Virginia M. Fields, Ph.D., Senior Curator, Art of the Ancient Americas, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
 Luis Figueroa, Associate Professor of History, Latin American, Caribbean, Latina\o Studies Coordinator, Trinity College, Hartford, CT
 Eileen J. Findlay, Department of History, American University
 Liz Fitting, Assistant Professor Sociology & Social Anthropology, Dalhousie University, Halifax
 Sara María Lara Flores, Investigador, Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México DF
 Yvette G. Flores, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology Chicana/o Studies Faculty Director Quarter Abroad Program Education Abroad Center U.C. Davis
 Alcira Forero-Pena, Assistant Visiting Professor of Anthropology, UCD, Denver
 Jonathan Fox, Professor, Latin American and Latino Studies Department, University of California, Santa Cruz
 Erich Fox Tree, Visiting Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, Wellesley College
 Elisabeth Jay Friedman, Associate Professor of Politics and Chair of Latin American Studies, University of San Francisco
 Max Paul Friedman, Associate Professor of History, American University
 Monica Frölander-Ulf, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown
 Carmenza Gallo, Associate Professor of Sociology, Queens College, New York
 Alyshia Gálvez, Assistant Professor, Latin American and Puerto Rican Studies, Lehman College/City University of New York
 Forrest Gander, Writer, Professor of English & Comparative Literature, Brown University
 Angela Garcia, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, UC Irvine
 Spike Gildea, Associate Professor of Linguistics, University of Oregon
 Andrea Giunta, Professor of Latin American Art, The University of Texas at Austin
 Helen Sabrina Gledhill, Scholar at the Centro de Memória da Bahia, Fundação Pedro Calmon, Brazil
 John Gledhill, Max Gluckman Professor of Social Anthropology & Co-Director, Centre for Latin American Cultural Studies, The University of Manchester, UK
 Tanya Golash-Boza, Ph.D., Assistant Professor Department of Sociology, University of Kansas
 W. L. Goldfrank, Prof of Sociololgy and Latin American & Latino Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz
 Roberta E. Goldman, Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine, Brown University
 William W. Goldsmith, Professor and Director, International Studies in Planning, Cornell University
 Judith Goode, Professor of Anthropology and Urban Studies, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
 Gail Gonzalez, Associate Professor and Chair Modern Languages Department, University of Wisconsin
 Miguel Gonzalez, Sessional Assistant Professor, International Development, York University, Toronto
 Soledad González Montes, Profesora-investigadora, El Colegio de México
Paul Gootenberg, Professor of History, Stony Brook
 Hubert C. de Grammont, Investigador, Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México DF
 Greg Grandin, Professor of History, New York University
 Karen B. Graubart, Associate Professor of History and Director, Program in Latin American Studies, University of Notre Dame
 Terence Grieder, Professor Emeritus, Department of Art and Art History, University of Texas at Austin
 Anna Gruben, Acting Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Oregon
 Kevin Guerrieri, Associate Professor of Spanish, University of San Diego
 Matthew Gutmann, Professor of Anthropology, Ethnic Studies, and Latin American Studies, Department of Anthropology, Brown University
 Liza Guzmán, Ecology Graduate Student, UNC-Chapel Hill
 LaDawn Haglund, Assistant Professor, School of Justice and Social Inquiry, Arizona State University
 Richard L. Harris, Professor Emeritus of Global Studies, California State University
 Faye V. Harrison, Professor of Anthropology and Director, African American Studies, University of Florida
 Daniel Hellinger, Professor of Political Science, Webster University, St. Louis
 Elizabeth A Hennessy, PhD Student, Geography Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
 Kimberly Hernández, Spanish Language Instructor, North Carolina Central University
 Marco Polo Hernández Cuevas, Associate Professor of Spanish, North Carolina Central University
 Doug Hertzler, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Eastern Mennonite University
 Peter E. Hildebrand, Professor Emeritus Food and Resource Economics, and Director Emeritus, International Programs, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences University of Florida
 Derrick Hindery, Assistant Professor, International Studies Program and Department of Geography, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
 Donald Hindley, Professor of Politics and Latin American and Latino Studies, Brandeis University
 Mary Holper, Boston College Immigration & Asylum Project, Boston College Law School
 Lori Hopkins, Associate Professor of Spanish, University of New Hampshire
P. Terrence Hopmann, Professor of International Relations, Johns Hopkins University
 René Harder Horst, Associate Professor of History Appalachian State University
 Sallie Hughes, Associate Professor, School of Communication, University of Miami
 Janise Hurtig, Senior Researcher, College of Education, University of Illinois at Chicago
 Forrest Hylton, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, New York University
 S. Ryan Isakson, Assistant Professor, International Development Studies, Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
 Reiko Ishihara, Ph.D., Former Visiting Professor, Institute of Interethnic Studies, University of San Carlos of Guatemala
 Deborah Jakubs, Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian, Vice Provost for Library Affairs, Adjunct Associate Professor of History, Duke University
 Laura Jensen, LMT, Cultural Anthropologist, MPH candidate, New Haven, Connecticut
 Reynaldo L. Jiménez, Associate Professor, Spanish and Portuguese Studies, University of Florida
 Benjamin H. Johnson, Associate Professor, Southern Methodist University
Jennifer Jolly, Assistant Professor of Art History, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY
 Susanne Jonas, Latin American & Latino Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz
 Tedd Judd, PhD, ABPP-CN Adjunct Clinical Faculty, Department of Psychology, University of Washington
 Karen A. Kainer, Assoc. Prof., School of Forest Resources and Conservation, and Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
 Susana Kaiser, Ph.D., Department of Media Studies, University of San Francisco
 Marina Kaplan, Associate Professor of Literature, Smith College, Northampton, MA
 Nicole Kellett, Research Associate, University of New Mexico
 Norma Klahn, Professor of Literature, University of California, Santa Cruz
 Cecelia F. Klein, Professor, Department of Art History, 100 Dodd Hall, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
 Benjamin Kohl, Associate Professor, Geography and Urban Studies, Temple University
 Sarah Koopman PhD Candidate, Geography, University of British Columbia
 Elizabeth Kubick, Independent Scholar, Latin American and Caribbean Issues
 Maria L. Lagos, Associate Professor Emerita, Lehman College, The City University of New York
 Victoria Langland, Assistant Professor of History, University of California, Davis
 Brooke Larson, Professor of History, Stony Brook University
 Nathalie Lebon, Assistant Professor of Women's Studies, Gettysburg College
 Catherine LeGrand, Associate Professor of History, McGill University, Montreal
 Michelle Lenoue, MA Latin American Studies, San Diego State University
 Kelley León Howarth, Senior Instructor of Spanish & Head Undergraduate Advisor, Department of Romance Languages, University of Oregon
 Alejandra Letelier Kramer, Anthropology Department, University of California Santa Cruz
 Fredric G. Levin, College of Law, Gainesville, FL
 Elizabeth Lilliott, Associate Researcher, Pacific Institute of Research and Evaluation
 Amy Lind, Mary Ellen Heintz Associate Professor of Women's Studies, University of Cincinnati
 Flora Lu, Assistant Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies, University of CA--Santa Cruz
 Anibal Lucas, Director, Organización Maya K´iche´, New Bedford, MA
 Jennie M. Luna, Ed.M., Doctoral Candidate Native American Studies, U.C. Davis
 Silje Lundgren, Ph.D. candidate, Inst of Latin American Studies, Stockholm University, Sweden
 Amy Lutz, Professor of Sociology and Education, Syracuse University
Barbara Lynch, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology
 Ann Magennis, Associate Professor, Anthropology, Colorado State University
 Mary Ann Mahony, Associate Professor of History, Co-coordinator, Latin American Studies Committee, Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, CT
 Maria Margarita Malagon-Kurka, PhD in Art History
 Laura Malosetti Costa, Co-Director Magister in Sociology of Culture and Cultural Studies, IDAES, Universidad Nacional de San Martin, Buenos Aires

Bernardo Mançano Fernandes, São Paulo State University
 Valeria Manzano, History Department, Indiana University at Bloomington
 Michael Marchman, PhD Candidate, Department of Geography, University of Kentucky
 Maxine L. Margolis, Professor Emerita of Anthropology, University of Florida, Gainesville
 Diane Marting, Past President of the Mississippi Foreign Language Association, University of Mississippi
 Lillian Manzor, Associate Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures, Director, Degree Programs in Latin American Studies, Director, Cuban/Latino Theater Archive, University of Miami
 Patricia M. Martin , Professor of Geography, Université de Montréal, Montréal, CANADA
 Rubén Martínez, Fletcher Jones Chair in Literature & Writing, Loyola Marymount University
 Patricia Mathews-Salazar, Associate Professor of Anthropology, BMCC & Graduate Center, City University of New York
 Kathleen McAfee, Faculty of International Relations, San Francisco State University
 Frank D. McCann, Professor Emeritus of History, University of New Hampshire
 Robert McKee Irwin, Professor of Spanish, UC Davis
 Marc McLeod, Associate Professor of History and Director of Latin American Studies, Seattle University
 Malcolm K. McNee, Asst. Professor of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese, Smith College
 J. Patrice McSherry, Professor of Political Science and Director, Latin American & Caribbean Studies Program, Long Island University
 Carmen Medeiros, Assistant Professor and Faculty Fellow, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, New York University
 Zoila Mendoza, Professor of Native American Studies, University of California, Davis
 Cecilia Menjivar, Professor of Sociology, Arizona State University
 Brent Metz, Asst Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Kansas
Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, Rutgers University
 Kenneth J. Mijeski, South Eastern Council of Latin American Studies (SECOLAS) Past President (1999-2000), Professor of Political Science, East Tennessee State University
 Rosamel Millaman Reinao, Assistant Professor. Escuela de Antropología. Universidad Católica de Temuco, Chile
 Rosamel Millaman Reinao, Assistant Professor, Universidad Católica de Temuco, Chile
 Marilyn G Miller, Associate Professor, Tulane
 Lisa Mills, Assistant Professor, School of Public Policy and Administration, Carleton University, Ottawa
 William P. Mitchell, Prof. of Anthropology and Freed Foundation Professor in the Social Sciences, Monmouth University
 Raúl Molina Mejía, Adjunct Professor of History, Long Island University
 David Mora-Marin, Assistant Professor of Linguistics, UNC-Chapel Hill
 Julio Moreno, Associate Professor, History and Latin American Studies,
Co-Director, Center for Latino Studies in the Americas, University of San Francisco
 Kim Morse, Assistant Professor of History, Washburn University, Topeka, KS
 Julia E. Murphy, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Calgary
 Dr. Silvia Nagy-Zekmi, Professor of Hispanic and Cultural Studies, Director of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies, Villanova University
María Isabel Neüman, Profesora titular de la Universidad del Zulia, Maracaibo, Venezuela
 Liisa L. North, Professor Emerita, Political Science and former director of Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC), York University, Toronto, Canada
 John M. Norvell, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Pitzer College
 Marcia Ochoa, Assistant Professor of Community Studies, UC Santa Cruz
 Joanna O'Connell, Associate Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, University of Minnesota
 Patrick J. O'Connor, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies, Oberlin College
 Elizabeth Oglesby, Assistant Professor of Geography and Latin American Studies University of Arizona
 Diana Ojeda, PhD student, Clark University, Worcester MA, USA
 Anthony Oliver-Smith, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, University of Florida
 Andrew Orta, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
 Gerardo Otero, Professor of Sociology and Latin American Studies, Simon Fraser University, Canada
 Okezi T. Otovo, Doctoral Candidate, Department of History, Georgetown University
 Mark Overmyer-Velázquez, Associate Professor of History and Director, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, University of Connecticut
 Javier Eduardo Pabón, Assistant Professor International Studies, St. Augustine's College
 Joseph M. Palacios, Assistant Professor, Sociology, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
 Amalia Pallares, Associate Professor, Latin American & Latino Studies and Political Science, University of Illinois at Chicago
 Juan Manuel Leon Parra, Graduate Student, Post-Deportation Human Rights Project, Center for Human Rights & International Justice, Boston College
Professor Alberto Julián Pérez, Director, Latin American and Iberian Studies, Texas Tech University
 Melanie Pérez Ortiz, Catedrática Asociada, Departamento de Estudios Hispánicos, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Río Piedras
 Héctor Perla Jr., Assistant Professor, Latin American & Latino Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz
 Ann H. Peters, Visiting Assistant Professor of Geography and Urban Studies, Temple University
 Anna Peterson, Professor of Religion, University of Florida, Gainesville
 Brandt Peterson, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Michigan State University
 Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, Adjunct Professor of International Studies, Center for Latin American Studies, Watson Institute, Brown University
 Nancy Postero, Associate Professor, Anthropology, UC San Diego
 Kerry Preibisch, Associate Professor, University of Guelph and Visiting Fellow, University of Sussex
 Yolanda Prieto, Professor Emerita, School of Social Science and Human Services, Ramapo College of New Jersey
 Lola Proaño Gómez, Professor, Languages Division Pasadena City College.
Edwin Quiles, Professor, University of Puerto Rico
 Joanne Rappaport, Professor of Anthropology, Georgetown University
Laurel Rayburn, PhD in English, Brown University
 Cynthia Radding, Gussenhoven Distinguished Professor of Latin American Studies, Department of History, UNC, Chapel Hill
 Ana Cristina Ramírez Barreto, Profesora-investigadora en la Facultad de Filosofía, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Morelia, México
 Margo Ramlal-Nankoe, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Ithaca College
 Elías A. Ramos, Professor of Latin American Literature, California State University-Northridge
 Marcus Rediker, Professor of History, University of Pittsburgh
 Martha W. Rees, Professor, Agnes Scott College Decatur, GA
 Bernardo Rengifo Lozano, Professor of Philosophy, Universidad de los Andes
 Gerardo Renique, Associate Professor of History, City University of New York (CUNY)
 Rosana Resende, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Florida, Department of Anthropology
 Jennifer F. Reynolds, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, The University of South Carolina
 Patricia Richards, Associate Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies, University of Georgia
 Kenneth M. Roberts, Department of Government, Cornell University
 William I. Robinson, Professor of Sociology, Global Studies, and Latin American Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara
 Debra H. Rodman, Assistant Professor Anthropology and Women's Studies, Randolph-Macon College
 Marisol Rodriguez, Senior Research Assistant, Center for Child and Family Policy, Duke University
 Maria Rogal, Associate Professor of Graphic Design & Affiliate Faculty of the Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida, Gainesville
Karem Roitman, Lecturer, Regent's American College London, London UK
 Cristina Rojas, School of International Affairs, Carleton University, Ottawa
 Rachel Rosenbloom, Post-Deportation Human Rights Project, Center for Human Rights & International Justice, Boston College
 Regina A. Root, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies, College of William and Mary
 Frances Rothstein, Professor of Anthropology, Montclair State University
 Frederick Royce, Assistant Scientist, University of Florida, Gainesville
 Alma Ruiz, Curator MOCA, The Museum Of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
 Rubén G. Rumbaut, Professor of Sociology, University of California, Irvine
 Dereka Rushbrook, Lecturer in Geography and Regional Development, University of Arizona, Tucson
 Eduardo Sáenz-Rovner, Professor of Economic History, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota
 Frank Salomon, John V. Murra Professor of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
 Robert Samet, Ph.D. Candidate, Stanford University Department of Anthropology
 James Sanders, Associate Professor of History, Utah State University

Luis Sandoval, Graduate Student, Post-Deportation Human Rights Project, Center for Human Rights & International Justice, Boston College
 Myrna Santiago, Associate Professor of History, Director, Women's Studies Program, Saint Mary's College of California, Moraga, CA
 Patricia Sawin, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
 Suzana Sawyer, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Davis
 Marianne Schmink, Professor and Director, Tropical Conservation and Development program, Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida
 Barbara Schroder, Ph.D., City University of New York
 Ofelia Schutte, Professor of Philosophy, University of South Florida, Tampa
 T.M. Scruggs, Associate Professor, School of Music, University of Iowa
 Miguel La Serna, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of History, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
 Maureen E. Shea, Associate Professor of Spanish, Tulane University.
 Barry G. Shelley, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
 Avrum J. Shriar, Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Urban/Regional Studies and Planning L.D. Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, Virginia Commonwealth University
 Sharleen H. Simpson, PhD, MSN, MA, ARNP, Associate Professor of Nursing and Anthropology, Affiliate Faculty in Latin American Studies, University of Florida
 Peter Singelmann, Professor of Sociology, University of Missouri-Kansas City
 Sandy Smith-Nonini, Research Assistant Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, UNC, Chapel Hill
 Dr. Caridad Souza, Lecturer, SUNY-College at Oneonta
 Liv Sovik, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
 Karen Spalding, Professor of History, The University of Connecticut
 Shannon Speed, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Coordinator, Indigenous Studies Initiative University of Texas at Austin
 Dr. Anita Spring, Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Florida
 Barbara Stallings, William R. Rhodes Research Professor, Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University
 Maya Stanfield-Mazzi, Assistant Professor of Art History, University of Florida
 Steve Stein, Professor of History, Director Center for Latin American Studies, University of Miami
 Marcia Stephenson, Associate Professor of Spanish, Purdue University
 Steve Striffler, Doris Zemurray Stone Chair of Latin American Studies, University of New Orleans
 Margarita M.W. Suarez, Department of Religion & Philosophy, Meredith College
 Christina A. Sue, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Colorado-Boulder
 Heather Sullivan, PhD Candidate in Political Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
 Henry W. Sullivan, Dept. of Spanish & Portuguese, Tulane University, New Orleans
 Sharon Sullivan Mujica, Consultant, Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
 Daniel O. Suman, Professor, Division of Marine Affairs & Policy (MAF), Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS), University of Miami
 David Sweet, Prof. Emeritus of Latin American Histor, University of California, Santa Cruz
 Analisa Taylor, Associate Professor of Spanish, University of Oregon
 Beatriz de la Tejera H., Profesora e Investigadora Titular en Desarrollo Rural, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México y Universidad Autónoma Chapingo
 Miguel Tinker Salas, Arango Professor of Latin American History, Pomona College
 Cynthia Tompkins, Asc. Prof. Spanish, School of International Letters and Cultures, Arizona State University
 Marion Traub-Werner, Dissertation Writing Fellow, University of Minnesota
 Donaldo Urioste, Professor of Spanish & Chicano Literature, School of World Languages & Cultures California State University, Monterey Bay
 Andrea Valenzuela, Assistant Professor of Spanish, Whitman College
 Ivonne del Valle, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan
 Lucila Vargas, Associate Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, UNC Chapel Hill
 Verónica Vallejo, Doctoral Candidate, Department of History, Georgetown University
 Stefano Varese, Professor of NAS, University of California, Davis
 Adrián Ventura, President, Organización Maya K´iché, New Bedford, MA
 Adam Versényi, Barranger Distinguished Term Professor of Dramatic Art, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
 Steven Volk, Professor of History Director, Center for Teaching Innovation and Excellence, Oberlin College
 Lissie Wahl, Research Fellow, Department of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School
 Kay Warren, Tillinghast Professor of International Studies and Professor of Anthropology, Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University
 Ronald Waterbury, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, Queens College CUNY
 William F. Waters, Chair, LASA Ecuadorian Studies Section (2006-present), Professor of Sociology and Public Health, Universidad San Francisco de Quito (Ecuador)
 Ronald W. Webb, Director, Latin American Studies (2006-present), Temple University
 Susan V. Webster, Jane W. Mahoney Professor of Art and Art History, College of William and Mary
 Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director, Center for Economic and Policy Research
 Cliff Welch, Professor of History, Grand Valley State University
 Norman E. Whitten, Jr., Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Latin American Studies and Curator of the Spurlock Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
 Linda Wilcox Young, Professor of Economics, Southern Oregon University
 Justin Wolfe, William Arceneaux Associate Professor of Latin American History, Tulane University
 Wendy Wolford, Associate Professor of Geography, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
 Stephanie Wood, Associate Director for Development and Dissemination, Center for the Study of Women in Society, University of Oregon
 Edgar Woznica, Brown University undergraduate '09
 Robin M. Wright, Full Professor of Anthropology (Universidade Estadual de Campinas) & Associate Professor of Religion (UF Gainesville)
 Horacio Xaubet, Associate Professor, Modern Foreign Languages, North Carolina Central University
 Qingwen Xu, Assistant Professor, Boston College Graduate School of Social Work
 Caroline Yezer, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, College of the Holy Cross
 April Yoder, PhD Student, Georgetown University
 Professor Jordan Young, Professor Emeritus Brazilian Civilization, Pace University, New York
 Phil Young, Professor Emeritus, Department of Anthropology, University of Oregon
 Emma Zapata Martelo, Colegio de Postgraduados, México, Profesora Investigadora Titular
 Pat Zavella, Professor and Chair, Latin American and Latino Studies Department, University of California, Santa Cruz
 María Zebadúa Serra, Professor, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, México
 Lori Zett, MIA School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, and Adjunct professor, Temple University
 Marc Zimmerman, Professor and Director, World Cultures and Literatures, Director, Global CASA/LACASA Publications, University of Houston
 Ann Zulawski, Professor of History and Latin American Studies, Smith College

Friday, November 21, 2008

UNA FIESTA DE FAMILIA
Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador, 20 November 2008









Kathleen and I were invited to a family birthday celebration for Consuelo. In her roomy flat in downtown Bahia, many of her teaching colleagues were assembled with Kathleen, Julio (SV Pancho, out of Chile) and me, as the token foreigners. Only a couple of weeks before we had attended a birthday party for her 11-year-old daughter, Germita. Invisible out int he kitchen until we insisted upon thanking here, was Consuelo's mother, who had cooked a full meal as well as cakes and cookies.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008




ON THE GRID AT BAHÍA
Bahía de Caraquéz, Ecuador, Sunday, 16 November 2008


We are long overdue for a paint job on the bottom. I had wanted to do it on the beach up in Panamá last winter, i.e., after six months. But we were saving money for new sails and for summer air travel. So it had to be put off until we were back in Bahía. We booked the November tides because: a) there was a chance we could afford the paint by then and, b) these are some of the highest tides of the year.


We decide that we can afford to hire Maestro Luiz to do the actual painting. Even though we had some communications problems two years ago – concerning money. But we knew that he does good work, so give him a call at his cellphone number (091 179.058). We meet briefly, and after a little haggling, nail down a fixed price of $150 for the work - to include two coats of bottom paint, two coats of white enamel on the topsides, and the “Vilisar” lettering at the bow. (The Canadian Registrar of Ships requires that commercial vessels must have the ship’s name in 4-inch letters on each side of the bow. Vilisar was originally registered as a commercial fishing vessel back in 1973 and the letters are carved into the planking still.) The work has to be done on the weekend because Maestro Luiz is busy all week in Manta at present. We have booked the Yacht Club's makeshift grid (actually, it's just a stone wall, not even a grid, really) for four days over the monthly-extreme tides. Maestro Luiz is sure that it can all be done in two days with just himself and two painters. And, as it turns out, he is right.



My job is to act as Step&Fetch. The paint has been stored over at Suzie’s Hostal Coco Bongo since we Vilisar has been torn apart for the fuel-tank work and there has been no place to store paint on board. As soon as Pinturas Maestra opens on Saturday, I carry two 5-litre cans of bottom paint over there to be shaken up for twenty minutes on their machine. (There is a touchy moment when the owner asks why I had not bought my anti-fouling paint from him when he charges the same price. But, we had already been through this six weeks ago. I bought Hempel Olympic 86900 ablative anti-fouling paint from Pinturas Zambrano in Manta because Pinturas Meastra’s Hempel bottom paint is not ablative. It’s hard anti-fouling paint meant for fiberglass pangas, the open fishing boats that are used up and down the coast. Pinturas Maestra also sells it retail to the locals out of 5-gallon drums, I noticed, and does not bother to agitate it before dipping into the barrel to sell paint into smaller cans.) Even Maeastra Luiz, the painter, is shocked to hear that the paint costs $98 for a five-litre tin when best-quality local outdoor enamel sells for $13 for four litres (they call it a ‘gallon’ here, but it is actually a little more). Basically, Luiz is not used to working with paints that have such large amounts of expensive copper in them, metal that settles to the bottom of the can during the work and therefore has to be stirred frequently. I stick around to make sure they were doing that. At these prices, local fishermen don’t use much bottom paint; they just run the pangas up on the beach occasionally and scrape the bottom clean.

Using 15 litres of bottom paint and about 2-3 quarts of white enamel, we get two coats of paint on everything including the new “forest green” accent strip along the cap rail (it actually looks blue-ish to me, but then again, I’m red-green colour-blind, so what do I know?). The paint costs $350 altogether. Other materials like thinners, brushes, rollers, epoxy filler and the like cost another $50-$60. I already had the three sacrificial zincs on hand; they cost about $10 each, so another $30. (Bring zincs from home - esepciaoy doughnut shaft zinks if you need non-metric sizes - if you need them as they are not easily located here in Ecuador. The alternative is to buy much larger zinc plates meant for fishing boats and cut them up into the desired size and shape.)

The Maestro and his two men work about ten hours altogether over two mornings. We had agreed to $150 flat rate, but I pay him $160 and give $5 to each of the two hired hands for helping with various other tasks like moving the wooden bents, etc. We have set four iron-wood bents (about 5x5 inches) but we are not very successful at landing on them. Mostly we just manage to get one of them under us and that buries it deeply into the sand. Not much use, really. You need to have more depth for going on the grid too to allow you to get on them.

The Club de Yate de Bahía charges $10 a day, so $20 in this case. The endlessly long rock concert on Saturday night was an added though doubtful pleasure. But at least we can use the Club’s toilets, showers and swimming pool. Altogether I reckon the whole paint job cost us about $600. At less than 30 percent of the whole cost, the workmen were the very least of the cost. Painting the bottom is not cheap any more as the costs of anti-fouling paint seem to have doubled over the time we have owned the boat.

I did find two little teredo worm holes on a piece of bare wood just at the water line; I snagged a floating mangrove trunk out at sea one night on the way down from Panamá and chipped some paint. The little buggers are fast workers. I should have slapped some underwater putty on it right away but was thinking we were going on the grid soon anyway. Now I work underwater putty into the two holes and paint over it with bottom paint. What bothers me more is that, even though I examine everything carefully, there may be other places with worm infestation that I cannot see.

Inspection also reveals that it is more that time to replace the sacrificial wormshoe, used on a wooden boat to prevent teredo worm damage to the keel. Traditionally, tar-soaked material is applied under the keel and kept in place by a length of wood; this system is called a wormshoe. As mentioned, this wormshoe is sacrificial and from time to time has to be replaced and renewed or the bottom of the wooden keel, i.e., the part you cannot usually get at when painting the bottom, will be attackedaten by shipworms. Sometimes it just rots away. The real keel is thereby exposed. We are now past this point. I have regularly filling gaps with emergency epoxy caulking. But soon I shall have to haul out or careen on the beach and get a carpentero de ribera (shipwright) to shape a new wormshoe for me. Hauling out might be easier, but there is no place nearby and the costs when you do get to Puerto Lucia at Salinas, Ecuador, to the Costa Rica Yacht Club at Puntarenas, or to the Flamenco Yard in Panamá are frequently very, very steep. Why can’t fairly self-sufficient sailors like us just careen the boat here on the beach and employ Maestro German Panda, the same carpenter who did our interior work around the engine heat exhaust and the new battery box? It would be new for him, but I bet he could handle it without difficulty. It’s not too difficult, after all. The hard part is to get the keel fully exposed. Gary Swenson, the American who first started Puerto Amistad, told me that he can get us tropical woods (e.g. cedros amargar?) that would be nasty for shipworms and also be rot-resistant underwater. The carpentero also mentioned rot-resistant woods too. Must give this some thought.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

LIEDERABEND IN BAHÍA
Sunday, November 16, 2008


It’s been only five days, but already the recital is fading into the distant past. But still, when we meet people on the street whom we know, they tell (sometimes again) how much they enjoyed the recital at the Museo de Bahía de Caraquéz last Tuesday evening. This praise (I modestly hesitate to call it adulation!) is of course milk & honey for performers. It comes even before money, of which there was none this time round.

We are already in the artist’s dressing room near the recital hall when Senora Mendoza de Quijeje from the Oficina de Cultura appears - dressed to the nines. She was quite a-tither because the Alcalde (the mayor) was already present in the recital hall, and, as she had predicted, the hall is quite full. People are in fact being turned back. Normally there is seating for 140 but they have added another 10 or 15 chairs along the wall aisles. In addition, about 20 people are standing at the back just inside the doors, and there even a few in the wings. We are very pleased as punch to see so many people attending. And the good news is that they were all still there after the intermission. That’s the real test!

The Alcalde makes a nice little speech, which we could not hear or understand from the wings. Then somebody reads out in Spanish the little blurb I had written about the cruceros (cruisers). Then at the intermission, he reads out our short potted biographies.

As far as both Kathy and I are concerned the concierto went really well musically. I can actually only see the first two rows of the audience; German halls are kept brighter so the performers have more visual contact with the listeners. This is lit more like a cinema. Some members of the audience tell us later that it has been a rather restless group and most hadn’t bothered to turn off their cellphones. Even the Alcalde, seated in the front row as he had promised a week or two ago, accepted one cellphone call. Alfredo, from the Saiananda retreat centre and school, was there and had brought a dozen high-schoolers with him. Apparently they spent most of the concert texting with their cellphones. We didn’t notice and we didn’t really care. We were just glad they were there and we never noticed any disturbances at all.
People clapped enthusiastically after each individual piece and the clapping usually broke out even before each piece was actually finished. Better than stunned silence, of course. We were even given three encores (Otra! Otra1 Otra!). It was nice to have friends like Wacho, Consuelo and his two girls, Gemita and Floriela come backstage to congratulate us, as well as Senora Mendoza, who appeared tickled pink that it had all come off so well.

Certainly it was an unusual programme (mainly German Romantic Lieder) for a place like Bahía de Caraquéz. But there you are! You never know, do you?

Friday, November 14, 2008


GETTING A CONCERT READY IS NOT THE SAME AS MAKING MUSIC!
Bahía de Caraquéz, Ecuador, 11 November 2008

Kathleen and I have been practising our programme every weekday for weeks now in preparation for the recital tonight. (The museum’s recital hall where the piano – probably the only one in all of Bahía – is located is closed on the weekends.) We know the songs, of course, but getting them ready again for a public concert still requires a lot of polishing and getting the voice and the fingers limbered up.

It isn’t, in fact, really the music that raises the tension before a concert; we can deal with that. It’s all the peripheral and administrative stuff! After our initial offer of a concert was accepted by the Alcalde (mayor) on behalf of the city, for example, it was unclear to us who actually was going to be responsible for the advertising. Our Spanish was either not good enough to clarify this point, or perhaps the people at the Municipio’s ‘Oficina de Cultura’ were not sure themselves. So, we made up a simple poster on MSWord, ran off a hundred photocopies and started sticking them up and handing them out around town ten days ago. As of yesterday, I noticed however, they had all been either torn down or had disappeared for some other reason. Oh, well!


The cruisers are very supportive. We reckon that the 140-seat recital hall will probably be partially filled by thirty cruisers, who will be there perhaps more out of either support or curiosity, or maybe for a change of pace, then for a real love of Lied. Our local Bahía friends will come too. So, maybe at most forty listeners. That’s actually a nice size for Lied (chamber music) anyway. Curiosity might not be the best of all reasons, but, whatever it takes to fill a hall! Back in the 18th century, Dr. Johnson went (out of curiosity) to hear a woman preacher at a Quaker meeting house. He was later asked what it was like. “It was rather like a dog walking on its hind legs,” he responded; “It wasn’t done very well, but one did not expect to see it done at all!”

Getting dressed

It’s the unexpected of course that gets you. First, when I opened the plastic storage box that was by now under a huge pile of sail bags in Vilisar’s forecastle last week in search of my white shirt, black trousers and a pair of leather shoes, I found that somehow the whites had all received a coating of brown that might just have been the engine oil that had been spilled in there two years ago. That just shows you how often we actually dress up!

Fortunately, and unusually for me, I had not left all this to the last minute! I took the black C&A trousers to a local seamstress to be let out a bit (singers generally consider breathing to be a good idea during a recital!). The trousers are, thank God, washable. There is no laundry in town except at Puerto Amistad. But the seamstress said she would wash them by hand and iron them after her sewing was completed. Two dollars total.

I don’t have a suit or blazer on board; that might be too warm for the concert anyway. And, the thought of wearing just black trousers along with a white shirt and a black bow-tie calls up memories of high-school choirs. So, while I was in Manta last week, I also found a Guayavera, which is a dress shirt worn without a necktie in hot Latin countries. It is open at the neck, is worn outside the belt and looks rather like a dentist’s smock. But for $12 I had solved my dress shirt problem. Finding a plain white T-shirt to wear underneath (singers tend to perspire at lot at their work) proved more difficult, but I eventually found one in Bahía for $3 (expensive by local standards).

Although I have dress leather shoes on board that had curiously enough not become covered in mildew, how was I going to get them polished up? Then I remember that there is a shoe-shine stand over near the Municipio, and of course there are lots of little seven-year-old urchins on the streets eager to spit-polish leather shoes. Although leather shoes give you a certain standing in Latin America (nice sandals are acceptable, flip-flops are déclassé and bare feet are common amongst the poor and confirms that you really are at the bottom of the social heap). Cruisers don’t usually wear leather shoes; too impractical around the salt water and in the salty air. So, I had not taken real note of the shoe-shine guy till now.

The first time I take my shoes ashore in a plastic shopping bag, there is a cute little kid hanging around the restaurant with his little wooden box. Shoe-shiners and shoe-shine boys are an open testimonial that poverty is rampant and that fifty percent of the population of Latin America is under the age of 18. Even so, only the poorest of boys (no girls) – and there are plenty of them- are reduced to shoe-shining; in the major cities of Latin America shoeshine boys, often homeless, run around in swarms, surviving hand to mouth in the streets, sometimes killing themselves with cheap drugs and slipping into petty –and, if they live long enough, later perhaps – into violent crime. You can view it as a Dickens novel but leave out the upbeat moral lessons. It’s genuine poverty with not much chance of ever rising above it.


There are shoeshine boys of this kind even in little, backwater Bahía, though perhaps the scene here is not as desperate and the boys don’t run in such large packs. But, you do sometimes see them playing cards in a side alley or smoking, BS-ing and quarrelling with each other at the curbside. Or, they hang around gringo restaurants - hoping for business, perhaps, but also thinking they might get your leftover food, too. Sometimes, they just want coins so they can play video games.

Although there is a great deal of poverty here in provincial and rural Bahía, it does not seem as grinding as it does in the giant cities. Like most gringos, I have trouble dealing with obvious poverty and with begging. In the case of the kids, I don’t usually want to give cash to them when there are enough old people begging. At first I tried to ignore all beggars. I guess my sense of moral outrage at ‘slackers’ was at work. Get out and find a job! I thought to myself. But there is no real work for anybody here, and, if you are old, sick, handicapped or have no family to support you, you are driven onto the streets to beg. There is one very ancient, blind old man who rides the car ferry back and forth all day with holding out a plastic cup for coins, for example. And, I have often seen an elderly blind lady being led around the streets by a young child to collect alms. In Canada and the U.S.A., where relative poverty certainly exists, we keep it physically separate so we don’t have to see it. But here it is right next to you. There are no middle-class suburbs to escape to. Don’t worry! In countries where begging is so common, it is all too easy to learn to ignore it altogether; the beggars somehow just become invisible. Here in Bahía at least, I usually give something to the old people, though it is usually only loose change. Sometimes other gringos will tell you that ‘these people’ will just waste it on drink. But, I have decided that what the recipients do with the little money they get from me is their moral quandary; what I do about obvious poverty and poor beggars is mine. I know it does nothing to solve the real problems, but an old and blind lady might get something to eat today.


The restaurants nearly always serve you far more rice and plantains than you can eat, which is embarrassing if some street-kid’s eyes are watching you from a few yards away, i.e., far enough not to be totally intrusive and so you can safely ignore him, but close enough that you can see him if you want. If they can catch your eye, they will shaft their gaze obviously back and forth between your plate and your own eyes. But, on the other hand, I don’t like to give anyone just my scraps. So, if I see them before I start eating, I might tell the waiter to put half of my meal on a separate plate for the kid, or pack in the ubiquitous plastic take-away containers. If I see them after lunch, and I am feeling flush, I buy the kid a whole meal. The restaurant operators always seem a little amazed, and sometimes they won’t actually let the kids sit at the tables reserved for paying guests, but, looking back as you leave, those kids are diving into the food like they haven’t eaten in a week (maybe they haven’t), and my conscience is partially salved for a while.

Anyway, here is this kid with the most charming smile. How do Latin American girls and boys get so beautiful? I wave him over and hand him the shoes. He sits down on the pavement next to the table nearly at my feet and gets right to work, looking up occasionally and flashing a smile. I pay him the going rate of 50¢ and he beams another smile. We are just ready to leave by then and I tell Junior, the waiter at El Maná (Manna, as in ‘from heaven’), to fix a plate for the shoeshine boy, which I pay for as we are leaving with my like-new leather shoes. Looking back the kid is heads-down over the plate and shovelling it in.

Getting the word around

As I mentioned, we have been expecting maybe our cruising colleagues and perhaps another 5-10 of our local acquaintances and friends to come to the recital. Wacho, our mechanic friend will definitely be there along with his ‘family’, i.e., his ex-wife Consuelo and a few of his kids. Wacho thinks the idea of me singing is rather hilarious and says he and his friends have been saving up all their tomatoes and eggs for the occasion. This joke might get a little old for a singer. But, for Wacho, it has been a knee-slapper for days. At least the cleaners and technicians at the Museo, where the concert is being held, are very supportive. They have been dropping in nearly every day to listen to tus rehearse.


Then last night, a lady shows up a Puerto Amistad to talk to Kathleen while I was somewhere else. As it turns out it was Señora Mendoza de Guijeje, the head of the Oficina de Cultura; she was the person I met when I offered the concert originally. She tells Kathleen that the concert is being advertised regularly on the local radio station and the Municipio is expecting a very large crowd. (Hot dang! A good thing I polished my shoes!) But would we please write a blurb that can be read in Spanish by way of introduction tonight? Man, this is starting to develop into work. That’s what I mean about all the peripheral stuff to get a concert off the ground.

I have already written up programme notes in English. Kim Corson, a cruiser aboard his S/V Altair out of Phoenix, Arizona (one of the great seaports in the U.S.A.!), agreed to translate them. A local friend and native Spanish speaker, Margarita Moreno, is reviewing his work and making corrections. But now, more stuff to be written and translated! I sit down at a table in Puerto Amistad and get to work. Francis, an English teacher from Colegio Interamericano who also works part-time in Puerto Amistad’s office, is translating it and getting it over to the Municipio.

Anyway, despite all this, I think we’re ready! Tomorrow we shall take it really easy, no boat work, avoid conversation as much as possible to save the voice, rehearse very briefly at the recital hall before lunch, enjoy a leisurely lunch, head back to the boat for an afternoon siesta, get over to the recital hall around 1845 to make sure everything has been set up as agreed, and then hide out in the artists’ dressing room (yes, they actually have one; it is in fact much nicer than most people’s houses in Bahía!) until the various introductions are finished and the lights go down.