Located on the eastern tip of Guatemala, tucked under Belize and at the mouth of the Rio Dulce is the town of Livingston, an often forgotten part of Guatemala, but one of great contrast.
On the Caribbean coast and only accessible by boat, Livingston is a Garifuna village more akin to Caribbean isle than a Guatemala town. The Garifuna are a mix of indigenous Caribs and shipwrecked slaves from the seventeenth century. The town is fairly basic with painted clap-board houses and one main street that winds down to the sandy beach below. Their language (creole), culture and cuisine are all preserved, in part, by the town’s inaccessibility.
The Rio Dulce begins from Lake Izabal, the largest lake in Guatemala, and flows through a vast area of National Park to the Caribbean coast. The river is the main access route to Livingston and is used to ferry supplies. Thatched roof villas dot the banks, with hidden thermal springs in the jungle. Turtles and lily pads bob on the water. The mangrove swamps are also home to the elusive manatee.