Introduction to West African Rhythms

Introduction to West African Rhythms

Kpanlogo, Krokrokoto, Fanga, and others

4-week session
Mondays 4:30 pm-5:45 pm May 7, 14, 21 & June 4
$25/lesson or pre-pay $80/4-week session, plus a $1.00 per student per session donation to the Guemes Island Community Center
Class size limited to 15
For information and sign-up call Michael 360-298-6855


Saeed Abbas is from the Hausa tribe in Accra, Ghana. He has performed and taught traditional West African percussion for almost 30 years. At 19, he auditioned into Ghana's prestigious National Dance Ensemble becoming their master drummer. In 2012, he was awarded the Master Drummer certificate from the Ghana ministry of culture.


With the National Dance Ensemble, he traveled the world performing for many dignitaries such as Bill and Hillary Clinton, Queen Elizabeth II, Tony Blair, and at the Kennedy Center. After 4 years in the Northwest, he moved to the East Coast in 2008 where he taught and performed at such prestigious schools as the Berklee College of Music and Dartmouth. He also did an 8 state tour with Taina Aisili and her La Bande Rebelde. He has recently been selected by the Washington State Arts Commission for their Teaching Artist Roster 2018.


Since, moving back to Whidbey Island in May 2016, he has performed with his own group the Gye Nyame Ensemble, Obo Addy’s Okrapong, JLP of Seattle, at the Anacortes Arts Festival, and at Hollyhock B.C., Canada, for the annual Dance of Life, where he also taught weeklong youth workshops.


He is passionate about the many indigenous rhythms of Ghana and wants to share his energy and enthusiasm. Helping others expand their musical expression is joy for him.


Meet Your Neighbor – Wren Schultz

Meet Your Neighbor - Wren Schultz

Wren Schultz is a juggler, house sitter, web developer, Wheel of Fortune winner, trivia host, and aspiring movie extra who calls Anacortes, Washington home. In his spare time (which, being a professional house sitter, there is plenty of), he likes doing and making crosswords and traveling the globe to anywhere there is cheap street food. Tacos and coconut ice cream are his favorite. But not together. That'd be weird.

Read more: Anacortes Pride October 2016 Alumni Profile

Trivia Night, Friday April 13

Trivia Night, Friday April 13

With renowned local trivia host Wren Schultz!

Bar snacks, drinks, music, prizes!

Get your game on!


To read more about Wren click here.

Space is limited. Reserve your seats now by emailing the following information to


  • Name of each participant
  • Phone number of person reserving seats


Registered participants will check-in and pay at the door.






“A Very Guemes Adventure”

"A Very Guemes Adventure"

In our February newsletter we introduced you to "A Very Guemes Adventure" a trip to link the 4 Guemeses of the world - Spain, Argentina, Mexico, and Guemes Island, Washington. The adventurous group is comprised of Ernesto Bustio Crespo, Francisco Gonzalez-Sainz Güemes, Alfredo Mazas Crespo, Marina Hervás Muños and, hopefully, Julio Ceballos Rodríguez.


The travelers leave Spain on April 4 and arrive on Guemes Island on April 22 - visiting first Argentina and Mexico along the way. The Guemes Island Community Center Association plans to host an evening at the Hall for islanders to meet our traveling friends and hear their story. More details about their trip and their Guemes Island visit will be provided as plans develop.

Click here to learn more about the travelers.

A ‘Very Guemes’ Adventure

A 'Very Guemes' Adventure

A Guemes Islander Visits Guemes, Spain

by Wendy Gingell


We recently had the great pleasure of meeting Ernesto Bustio and friends at his amazing albergue in Guemes, Spain, which, by the way, in many ways seems quite similar to Guemes Island, WA (both geographically and population-wise). When we arrived, we were greeted with an incredible meal and exceptional hospitality. Following the meal, we were given a tour of Ernesto’s albergue (pilgrim's shelter), which hosts over 11,000 folks every year.


The albergue includes an amazing library with an extensive slide collection, a museum regarding his Land Rover travels around the world and a lovely meditation room with fantastic original artworks. Ernesto’s albergue is top notch, one of the best on the Camino de Santiago, in our opinion and, more importantly, Camino guide reviews - though Ernesto would be embarrassed by this. Ernesto is an exceptional person, a real inspiration to meet. Ernesto is 80 but probably in better shape than most people we know.


Ernesto and friends were lovely. We’re so thrilled that Guemes Island has been so responsive to Ernesto in his interest in meeting others in other Guemes communities around the world. If you have the chance, we’d really recommend connecting with Ernesto and friends while they are on Guemes, you won’t regret it.


Click here to learn more about Ernesto and friends.

Travelers from Guemes, Spain

Travelers from Guemes, Spain


Ernesto Bustio Crespo
Born in Guemes, I am a Catholic priest who practices with an ecumenical approach to faith. I have traveled the world all my life developing humanitarian projects; the most fascinating of which lasted for 27 months through Africa and Latin America on a Land-Rover. Five others joined me, in turns, throughout an amazing trip that we titled "Journey into Life's University." All the collected material helped us to give, in return, many conferences in schools, universities, high schools, and churches (this was the "pre-TED" era).  Our one simple goal was to establish solidarity ties between the different communities here in Spain and those, often very unknown, places we had visited.
I am 80 yrs-old but I keep a young spirit. I am still working as a priest in the town where I was born, Güemes. The work I am most actively engaged in is the daily management of a Pilgrim's shelter on the North Camino de Santiago where, just last year, we accommodated over 11.000 pilgrims from 80 different countries. This is a fascinating place. From USA we have quite a big number of visitors.
During our visit, we are more than happy to explain everything you might want to know about our hometown, the pilgrimage, our shelter, our different projects and any other matters that might interest you.

A personal note from Ernesto:
Guemes, Spain is a little town on the north coast of Spain very close to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by hills and farmhouses. Most people here live from breeding cows. I was born in Güemes myself, 80 years ago. Here I run a big shelter for pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela that also provides a platform for social & cultural activities. Over the past 20 years over 70,000 pilgrims have stayed in our shelter.

I have spent all my life trying to create links between people, especially international bottom-up ties among cultures, races, beliefs, and nations.


This trip is inspired by the same idea: cultivating friendship ties between four different places sharing one same name, in the conviction that, somehow, all 3 called-Guemes places in America share the original name of our little Güemes here in Spain and, somehow, keep a distant root here.


Moreover, our little research has shown us that Guemes Island, in particular, is of about the same extension as our municipality. Demographically, both Güemes and Guemes Island are two similar places: we are around 500 neighbors here scattered in little farm houses over green fields, hills covered by eucalyptus forests and cows. We seem to share a similar rural environment.


We would, therefore, love to use those days on your island to start a friendship partnership or somehow promote a stable and lasting contact between both communities, ours and yours, that remains after our trip.

Francisco Gonzalez-Sainz Güemes
Francisco is 60 yrs-old and a permanent member of the Shelter's managing team. He has also traveled a lot but, above all, he has led a very intense activity with juvenile movements and neighborhood communities in Santander (the biggest city around here and the capital of our province, Cantabria). He has worked as a fireman for over 40 years and just recently retired.
Francisco likes photography and is a member of BREZO,  a small NGO established in the Albergue to raise awareness over poverty and social problems through conferences and trips.
Alfredo Mazas Crespo
Alfredo is 68 yrs-old and is my cousin. He is a volunteer in the Shelter, also a fellow neighbor from Güemes and likes traveling a lot.
Marina Hervás Muños
Marina is 28 yrs-old and is my niece. She is currently finishing a PhD in Berlin and will join us in the last chapter of our trip: Guemes Island, in order to help us as a translator. She is a musician and graduated in Philosophy and Musicology.
Julio Ceballos Rodríguez
Julio comes from a place a few kilometers away from Güemes, Spain but now lives in Shanghai. He has been most helpful in email communications in English (on behalf of Ernesto and team) - thank you, Julio!
Julio hopes to join the travelers on Guemes Island, if possible (TBD). We hope so as well!