Boat wharf at El Cayo Landing, mules loaded with cargo, 1904
This is the famous boat wharf at the El Cayo landing. On the top picture we see a combination of river boats and mules that transported the cargo to Cayo Sictrict and the Peten Department.
In the second photo, mules and steers loaded with cargo from the El Cayo boat wharf make their way through San Ignacio, grazing on Burns Avenue, on the journey to Benque Viejo or Peten Guatemala.
From 1859, Guatemala USED and ENJOYED the services of the Belize Old River.
The BULK of their Natural Resources, Mahogany and Chicle were transported through the Belize River with the use of hundreds of Cargo Mules, and some 26 River Boats pulling big barges. My Grand parents and many others made their living in this massive TRADE.
Likewise, most of the needs of El Peten and surrounding areas were supplied from Belize City by Boats to Cayo Wharf and, carried by Mules, passing through Benque Viejo, and today's Melchor with Food Items - Building Supplies - Top of the Shelf Drinks - English Shoes, and Leathery - Perfumery - Medicines and other items. (El Peten was then land Locked )
The Agents were people like -The Casanovas, -The Morfins, Tajers, - Diego Ramirez, - Pamfilo Cambtanes,- Baldisons, - The Dias,and other Guatemalans. - I knew some of their descendents..
Nowadays, the rapids are being navigated by shallow boats like doreys and Pit Pans.
Photographs courtesy Hector Silva
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