Livingston: a mixture of cultures

Livingston is my last stop in Guatemala before I go to Honduras. It is the end of Rio Dulce and the beggining of the Carribean. The vibe is definitely Carribean. I got there on a boat from Rio Dulce. A scenic ride through the lake, the forest, and the local communities. My favourite bit of the ride was when we stopped at this waterside village and little kids in canoes surrounded us, showing us turtles and parrots, trying to make some money. I was amazed how well they navigated their canoes. They were only 5-6 years old.

Four different cultures live and mix here: the Garifuna (African decsendants), indigenous, meztitos (Spanish mixed with indigenous), and Hindu. Not much happened in Livingston – I wasn’t feeling well and I spent most of the time lying down. I went out for walks in town and spent time chatting to my also sick roommate. The one day I felt better and just before I left I went for a walk along the beach and the local garifuna community. The beach was pretty, but dirty. A sad fact and a repeating occurence. Here are a few thoughts that came to mind while there:

– I thought I’d seen it all but the arrial of a 60-year old female backpacker took me offguard. I will spare you the details, it was not pretty. The night before I had met a 40-year old lade traveller and I thought that was weird enough. She eventually became a good friend though. A great person!

– On a different note I have been thinking about the teeth of the locals. The majority of them were damaged and the front teeth were replaced by golen ones or at least fortified by gold. I spoke to a guy who even had his initials done in gold on his front teeth (as if the rest of the gold surrounding them wasn’t enough!).

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