Livingston Jamaica! no! Livingston Guatemala. A little weird, quirky and isolated little corner of Guatemala where Mayans, Spanish and Garifuna culture collide. Imagine grabbing the Carribean & Central America and smooshing it together tightly into a little hacky sack of culture. To add to that, throw some mountains, oceans and rivers around it, sprinkle some fried chicken and poverty into the concoction and you have yourself a little place called Livingston, Guatemala. Accessible only by boat this was a safe haven during the civil chaos of the recent past and is in a sense still a haven of sorts aka a politically forgotten area of Guatemala, especially for the Garifuna people.
You arrive and instantly are greeted by English speaking rastas and the sweet sweet smell of fried chicken. The relentless on shore salty assault by the sea and general lack of TLC make the buildings look like crumbly pieces of dry cake. Colourful decaying paint jobs of old and streaks of rust from nails and exposed steal rods make the architecture of this town so very interesting indeed. Being able to speak English here is refreshing so is finally being able to converse on another level with the locals. Located only a simple hours boat ride from Rio Dulce where Guatemala is much more like the rest of Latin Central America, the journey winds and threads its way through a grand canyonesque type gauntlet lined and smothered with green lushness. Popping out the other end is like arriving in another time and dimension and there it is, living like it has been for many years, little old Livingston, Guatemala.