Broken Bones and Baby Turtles: Final Days in GuateAMALA

At the beaches in El Paredón, the sun rises and sets over the ocean.

El Paredón, or “the wall,” is a relatively undiscovered Guatemalan coastal village where locals fish in the mangrove rivers and surf the challenging beach breaks. Far removed from the tourist hustle and bustle, El Paredón is where I spent my final adrenaline-pumping days in Guatemala.

Arriving at the beach-front hostel just minutes before sunset, I immediately grabbed a board and B-lined for the waves (surf first, check-in later!). A fiery sunset provided a dramatic setting as we surfers tumbled away into the sea

When I’d gotten back from my morning surf session the next day, I found a small crowd gathered outside the hostel – they were crowding around a lady who’d broken her leg surfing.
As noone else in the village nor the hostel was medically trained, I jumped in true park ranger-fashion and rigged a stiff seat pillow to stabilize the limb and comforted the Colombian lady. Using a surfboard as a “litter” (or a carriage, in medical terms), we lifted her into a car headed 2 hours to the closest hospital. After taking vital signs and saying good-byes, Karen (the patient) suddenly yelped: “WAIT!!! We need picture!
I guess you gotta Instagram or it didn’t happen amiright?

Big ups to the Wilderness First Responder course at the National Outdoor Leadership School NOLS for giving me the skills to continually respond to medical emergencies!

Kudos to Karen, the tough cookie from Colombia who broke her leg but still managed to smile?

I woke the final day before dawn and witnessed the release of baby turtles into the sea. Holding one of the little dudes was unreal. Admittedly though, I had to hold back the temptation of taking one for later to make tortuga tacos 😋

El Paredón was the perfect beach getaway with stunning scenery – and equally stunning ladies 😏 As I ate lunch back in Antigua later that day, still dreamy from my time at the coast, the waiter said to me “El wifi password es GuateAMALA” (a play on the country’s name and amor, the Spanish word for love).
I grinned and replied: “Perfecto

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