Life in Livingston, Guatemala

Located in eastern Guatemala, lies a town at the mouth of the Rio Dulce in the Gulf of Honduras called Livingston. The day was gray and the rain poured heavily. 

I wanted to see the rich land of Guatemala and I received the most authentic experience. I was able to feel what fed the lush greenery sprouting dramatically as the ocean stopped and the land started. I jumped into a small boat, it was very wet and extremely low. I worked through the nerves as we flew and jumped, only to touch the water over and over, atop the endless waves for forty-five minutes. We reached the small port at Livingston. Some locals worked the historic port, others observed the tourists. I kept a vigilant eye on those who were returning the favor. The main street that was lined with merchants selling used toys, worn clothes and groceries in rustic posts. The pace of the town was hectic, but the locals seemed to freeze in time. They sat in front of their businesses and greeted their neighbors. Dogs ran the street as motorcycles zoomed by while the laughter of children filled the air. 

The clash of people, ethnicities and cultures in this small town was clearly divided. Their physical features and tongues were different. The Garifuna are mixed with genes rooted from the West African, Central African, Island Carib and Arawak people. They speak the Garifuna language. The African-Caribbean population are those who come from the Caribbean who are descendants of those native to Africa. Livingston is also home to the Maya. The indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica spoke their tongue of Q'eqchi' quietly and kept to themselves. Ladino people also populated the diverse town. They are of Mestizo and spoke Spanish as they came from hispanic origin. 

Analinda Meneses