Todo Lodo (All Mud)
One expects the weather and the roads to be challenging in Copán Ruinas, but this school year has been exceptionally so. At the moment, the municipality is paving the road to the Mayatan campus from the place where the paved road currently ends in the San Pedrito Abajo neighborhood. It is a well-needed fix to steep roads that are frequently traveled and very muddy or dusty depending on the season.
However, construction setbacks (work was supposed to begin in April), an especially wet rainy season, and other factors have combined to make the construction particularly tough on Mayatan, not to mention the other citizens and businesses that lie along the construction's path. We all will eventually benefit, but it is a slog getting there!
I must say that Mayatan staff, students, and families have been very patient with the process, but we did have to make the tough decision to trade upcoming vacation days for "mud days" when the roads were unsafe for transporting our students.
The city cut a temporary circumnavigation into a neighboring hillside to allow access, but this road isn't always passable. On the days when the main road is completely closed off, getting the buses to and from school can be daunting.
We've developed a plan for relaying students the 3.5km uphill on particularly tough days: the buses drop students off where the original paved road ends, and they walk the remaining 15-20 minutes or so accompanied by teachers and parents. It's a temporary fix that does the job of keeping the school running and our students safe.
We're not sure when the work on the road will end (at least the beginning of 2012), but we are excited for the day when we'll have a nice, smooth, relatively dry ride or walk to school in the mornings!
Hopefully these photos will give you a sense of what we've been dealing with, though we try to keep our chins up ... and dry.