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  • Raul, our friend.

    When a great man dies, for years the light he leaves behind him, lies on the paths of men.
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    Six days has passed and it still does not seem real.  On Saturday, May 5th, on the morning of the “super moon”, Raul’s wife, Luisa called to say that they were rushing him to the hospital, it appeared that he had a heart attack.  After trying to revive Raul, the doctor’s could do no more and with a very sad heart, we have to say that Raul passed away on May 5, 2012.

    Raul was one of the good guys!   If you know him, fished with him or just heard about him, you will know that Raul was special – always upbeat, always a smile and always willing to learn and try anything.  He has worked at Belize River Lodge for 22 years, with the last 20 as a guide.  He was very young, only 40, so he started his carrier as a guide early in life.  Raul was born and raised in Orange Walk, with little sea coast.  He used to tell us that he would go down to the New River as a boy and catch fish to bring home to eat.  When Raul started working at the Lodge at the age of 18, he was very interested in the how’s and why’s of guiding.  He spoke with many of the older BRL guides and picked up as much as he could on the “when’s” to fish for which species, the flies or lures that are best and so on.  With training on boating and marine life and currents, Raul quickly picked up the necessary tools of being a fishing guide and became one of the best in Belize.

    Raul was well liked and respected by his family, his BRL family and by the many guest’s whose lives he has touched.  Below are a few excerpts from e-mails sent to us by a few of Raul’s friends . . .

    “He was a great guide, person and friend who will be greatly missed to us all”

    “Raul was special.  All the other guides are good; I’ve fished with them each and enjoyed it – often they got me into more and better fish.  They’re all exceptional guys and great guides; but Raul was special – to me.”

    “The news shocked and saddened me. I considered your dad and husband to be a dear friend that I treasured year-round, not just when I was in Belize.  He was very skilled, dedicated, hardworking, reliable and cheerful — one of my favorite people.”

    “Please know that we are thinking of Raul and everyone who had the privilege to know him and work with him.  He was so well thought of and liked within the entire fly fishing industry.”

    “He was such a sweet and thoughtful person.”

    “He was such a wonderful calm and friendly guy”

    “He was just such a good dude… a once in a lifetime type personality.”

    “I’m happy I got to fish with raul,but more importantly I got to laugh,joke and just spend time with the wonderful man he was and always will be remembered as.”

    Raul leaves behind his wife, Luisa, his 20 year daughter, Odalis,  and his 14 year old son, Raul Jr.  His mother, brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces, aunts and uncles, friends from around the work, and along with all of us at BRL will miss him dearly.

    Words are easy, like the wind; Faithful friends are hard to find.
    William Shakespeare

    Raul, our faithful friend, is missed and will be missed for years to come!


    Bonefish & Tarpon Trust Board member Mick Kolassa is coordinating efforts to assure that his family will be taken care of.  Anyone wishing to help in this effort is urged to contact Mick at mick@tarbone.org.

    If anyone has any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us,
    Warm regards,
    Mike & Marguerite
    & Raul’s BRL Family

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