Doors of Livingston, Guatemala
Livingston is not like the rest of the Guatemala. The small town sits right on the Caribbean, where the Rio Dulce empties out from the jungle towards the islands of Jamaica, Cuba and the Caymans. While there are Guatemalan’s of Mayan descent and other indigenous residents, the bulk of the population is made up of Garifuna people. Garifuna are descendents of Carib, Arawak and West African people and have more in common with the coastal Caribbean people of Central America that they do with the rest of the country. They create wonderful music, unique food and drink and their identity is woven strongly into the social fabric of this place.
Livingston is a unique place to visit for this very reason. It’s also small and easily walkable. You arrive by boat only – there are no roads leading to this community – and the journey down the Rio Dulce is a definite highlight of any trip to this region. From dense jungle shrouded cliffs spilling into the warm waters of the river, teeming with wildlife and flocks of birds the boat cruises around the bends before opening up towards the Caribbean. Pelicans start to appear and the vibe becomes decidedly more coastal than the inland claustrophobia the jungle provides. Taking the physical journey into account, once on land in Livingston the difference once again is readily apparent.
I have a few collections from this place, starting with a small set I shot of the doors and entrances to homes and gathering places. The rains began shortly after I did, so the series was cut short due to weather. Take a look and let me know what you think. I’ve posted a half dozen images from this region already….more from Livingston and the Rio Dulce soon.
Livingston, Izabal, Guatemala, 2011.