told my wife that her husband had died after being bitten by
a Yellow Jaw Tommygoff snake while walking back from the field
following a hard day of farming. Dolores also told my wife that
following the death of her Monico, hard times have set in for
her and her family. So that's why Dolores says she accepted
her forced economic fate and left the simple village of Mafredi.
or forty-three, she really couldn't remember the day I asked
Dolores just how old she was, admittedly she was born 'ketchi
maya' long before they ever thought about bringing electrical
power into the remote villages.
they departed Mafredi and her birth land in the foothills of
the Maya Mountains of in the Toledo District of southern Belize,
Dolores and her family headed due east. Dolores and her family
now live in a three room wooden house on the outskirts of the
port city of Punta Gorda that she rents for sixty dollars a
month. And though no more than fifteen miles separate Mafredi
and the home Dolores left behind, today her life in Punta Gorda
is a far cry from what it use to be with her Monico.
are also a lot of mouths for Dolores to feed, for she is a single
mom trying her best to raise nine children on her own under
the metal zinc roofing of her small though caring home. The
children's ages run the gambit of the young age spectrum, ranging
down from Rosaria who now lives in Belize City, twenty-three
at the time, all the way down to the youngest who was three,
her son named Jonathan, named for her late husbands youngest
The day I befriended Dolores she was selling wooden canoes hand
carved out of blocks of discarded mahogany left over from the
process of splitting into pieces of lumber hundred year towering
old trees. That day her brightly coloured indigo blue dress
was near blinding in the bright sunlight of midday as I sat
on the sidewalk arguing with Dolores over the price of the canoe.
Over the course of the weeks to follow there would be many negotiations,
though till the end Dolores would never budge upon the price
she had originally quoted me.