Start a new Travel Blog! Blogabond Home Maps People Photos My Stuff


Livingston, Guatemala

Gustavo dropped us off at the dock in Puerto Barrios where we hopped on a skiff taking us to where we would spend the night, Livingston. Livingston is a tiny town at the mouth of the Rio Dulce and, I confess, there's little to recommend it. The "capital" of Garifuna culture, it's little more than a main drag, a few tattered restaurants, and a few even more tattered hotels. Garifuna is similar to reggae, and clearly music is very important to the people here. And the language is certainly a unique one -- not Spanish, not a Mayan dialect, not English -- it's unlike anything I've heard before.

Anyway, our housing options were limited and night had fallen, so we ended up staying at what was probably the most tattered of "hotel" of them all. Without going into details, suffice it to say, it was the opposite of where we had been and where we were going. We slept on top of the sheets and didn't use the bathroom (which we paid extra for). It was, however, less than $9 for the night.

However, the stop was worthwhile simply for seeing the place, and for meeting Phillipe. Phillipe appeared at first to be your average hustler, trying to get us to buy things, taking us to hotels and restaurants where he would receive a kick-back from the proprieters. But, he was facinating in his own right. If his stories hadn't been so detailed, including facts that you had to live to know, I wouldn't have believed him, and I'm still not sure I do. But Phillipe, born and raised in Livingston, found himself with admission and a scholarship to the University of Illinois thanks to the local priest. With a dual degree in music and environmental sciences, he went to work for the US Navy at Point Mugu in California. But neither navy life, nor life of a scientist suited him, so he went back to music, playing all up and down the west coast and in Mexico. Eventually, he returned home, and found himself hanging out with Jerry Garcia. (I checked out this last one and apparently the "rumor" of Garcia hiding out in Livingston is not just Phillipe's). In any event, whether any of this is true or not is almost beside the point; Phillipe was a great story-teller and made the night a most interesting one.

permalink written by  shoshtrvls on September 2, 2009 from Livingston, Guatemala
from the travel blog: Belize, Guatemala and Honduras (2009)
Send a Compliment

comment on this...
Previous: A Long Day, Well Worth It Next: By Sea and By Land

shoshtrvls shoshtrvls
44 Trips
27 Photos

Welcome to my travels. On this site you'll find recent trips and some very old trips. You'll note that for some trips I wrote very detailed reports (at least in the beginning), for others, I didn't even take notes of where I was on what dates. Nevertheless, I've done my best to document, to...

trip feed
author feed
trip kml
author kml


Blogabond v2.40.58.80 © 2023 Expat Software Consulting Services about : press : rss : privacy
View as Map View as Satellite Imagery View as Map with Satellite Imagery Show/Hide Info Labels Zoom Out Zoom In Zoom Out Zoom In
find city: