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May I welcome our guest blogger for this week: Bruce Callow, Communications Officer at the British Embassy in Costa Rica, who along with Edward Smith, Political Officer at the British Embassy in Guatemala, are in the Falkland Islands with a group Central American journalists (including Luis Velasquez of Guatemala’s Prensa Libre) where they have traveled to experience the life on the islands, their customs and most importantly, their right to decide their own future. Forward to you Bruce.
We arrived in Stanley at 3 pm local time yesterday afternoon and Eduardo Smith from the British Embassy in Guatemala City and I have settled into our accommodations at the Governor General’s House. Our layover in Santiago gave our five journalists and film crew a chance to get to know each other and allowed us to discuss our collective plans for coming visit.
While in Santiago we were grateful to have had a meeting with Jon Benjamin, the British Ambassador in Chile. The Ambassador reminded the journalists that the islanders have the right to determine their own future and Britain is imposing no agenda whatsoever on that decision. He encouraged the journalists to ask the Islanders directly about their way of life, customs and relations with Latin America.
It was interesting to hear from the journalists that so far the people on the Falkland Islands have remained “invisible” to Latin Americans, and that now is the time to raise their voices and share their plans with their neighbours in Latin America.
Today our group travelled to North Pond, a 1.5 hour car ride from Port Stanley where we had an “up close and personal” penguin experience with three species of penguins (Gentoo, Megalanic and King) as well as other Falkland Island wildlife. The route to North Pond took us through the Verde and Port Sussex mountains as well as Goose Green, site of a significant battle during the 1982 conflict. We also visited the San Carlos British military cemetery and museum.
All of the members of our group learned a lot during this trip and took plenty of photos and video. So keep on following what we will be doing during the week as we reveal many interesting details about the Falkland Islands and the people who call these Islands home.