On Friday morning, I woke up in my little jungle bungalow and had to pack and prepare for our day on the lake and then visiting the small Caribbean town of Livingston. After breakfast, we all piled into a little speedboat and set out for a lovely day on Lake Izabal. Cruising through mangroves and passing by colorful lake front beach shacks, it felt like paradise but also, as though I had left Guatemala and been transported to Jamaica.
We arrived in Livingston, a sleepy little town with a super relaxed vibe and a really interesting history. It's located in Eastern Guatemala and sits at the mouth of the Rio Dulce at the Gulf of Honduras. It's well-known for its unusual mix of Garifuna, Afro-Caribbean. Maya and Ladino (mestizo) people and culture and several languages are spoken there including English, Spanish, Mayan and the Garifuna language. It's a lovely and vibrant town with colorful buildings and very nice people. There also seems to be a great deal of cultural pride.
Upon our arrival, we met up with our local guide that took us on a walking tour around the very small town. He pointed out
important statues, interesting buildings, their local dance club where they dance "punta", their traditional dance and fruit trees that grow prevalent in the region. We ended the tour at Las Tres Garifunas, a restaurant owned by a local woman who is known for taking in homeless children from the town. There she prepared a delicious local dish called tapago which is coconut soup with local seafood. We were served a whole fish and a side of rice on the side. I think this has been the best meal of my trip thus far (photos included).
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