Everyone living in the Toledo District knows the government is in the process of paving the highway to the Guatemalan border. There have been mixed feelings about this development but we at the Toledo Howler believe it will be a good thing all around. Once the road is paved, getting into PG will be faster and easier for those living in remote villages. A smooth, all‐weather surface will reduce wear and tear on village buses and vehicles generally as well as reducing fuel consumption.

For tourism, the new road will mean easier access to some of the most beautiful destinations in the district, such as Blue Creek and Rio Blanco National Park and falls. Travelling times to these beauty spots have already been greatly reduced. The project also includes improved signage along the road which will help visitors with their own vehicles to find their way around more easily.

We are told the present phase of the project is due to be completed in April 2014—weather permitting of course! Completion of this phase will mean 20 miles of paved highway from the junction known as Dump to Treetops, the BDF’s outpost near the border. There will eventually be a formal border crossing point although we understand the exact location has not yet been confirmed.

The most challenging aspect of this project, according to our sources, is the earthworks. Western Toledo is very hilly and becomes more so as you get closer to the border. This is of course one reason Toledo is so picturesque but it also means the construction team have to excavate into hillsides with heavy equipment to make way for the widened highway. That takes time and as much dry weather as they can get. We look forward to seeing completion of the project next year.

The Toledo Howler