Week 1 (January 21 -27, 2024):

              Adrian and I arrived in Belize on Sunday January 21, 2024 and were picked up at the airport by Brian Woodye and transported to the San Ignacio Hotel. On Monday we met with Dr. Melissa Badillo in Belmopan and received our formal permit for excavation at Caracol during 2024. Following lunch in Belmopan, we proceeded on a shopping trip to Spanish Lookout where we purchased items that would be needed for the field season and for our kitchen. On Tuesday we went into Caracol to unload what we had and to meet with Angie, her staff, and the four men who were already in camp (they had all come into camp on Thursday January 18 to begin to get things ready and to open a trail to the groups we planned to excavate). We found out that the water pump that they had been using was broken (threading was stripped) and that they could neither pump fresh water nor aguada water. After another night in Cayo, we did more shopping on Wednesday morning for the water pump and other materials that we had been told were needed for camp or for the kitchen. Then, back into camp with all of the items and to drop off Adrian who would now stay at Caracol. I went back to Cayo. On Thursday, more shopping and then off to the airport to pick up Gabriella Saldana for the field season. After she arrived from Dallas, we drove to Caracol and both of us set up to stay for the duration. The men were having issues using the new water pump, so we requested help from David Griffith (who lives in Belmopan) on Saturday to ensure that it worked. Friday was an organizational day, primarily checking everything in camp and then assessing the status of trails and bushing. We have opened up the Conchita Causeway and will use this feature as the primary transportation route for the season; our groups are located approximately a mile down the causeway on its east side; four are on hills and two are in the valley. On Saturday, Brian came into camp with five more men and David Griffith. David fixed the electrical system (our outlets had been stolen in the off-season and people had gone through all the boxes in the labs) and also made sure that the new water pump was working. Saturday evening was movie night with “Pancho Villa, starring as himself” (Antonio Banderas); it was a hit. Late Sunday morning we had a visit from the Houston Rotary Club and provided them with a background slide show to Caracol.

Adrian and Brian in Camp January 2024
David and Carlos working on water pump
Linda and Glenda in the kitchen
Angie and Linda on break in kitchen
kitchen storage area
kitchen stove
Gabriela and Abner
Visit from Rotary Club of West U, Houston

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