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X-Phase Recap

Learning Garifuna history at the beach of Livingston

Hi, Yak readers! Guate X phase is officially over, the part of the trip planned by the students.We took Dragons to the Caribbean for the first time ever in Guatemala, spending 2 days in Livingston, 3 days at a community center called Ak Tenamit, and our last day in Rio Dulce the town.

Day 1, hour 3… we ran into our first problem. We were lost in Guatemala city. It only took about 30 minutes to figure out where we were and then we continued the 10 hour bus ride to the East Coast. We met up with someone we contacted to teach us about Garifuna culture, a group of people living in Livingston in Guatemala. We learned about the Caribbean lifestyle and the relationship between the sea and the Garifuna people.

Day 2… We attended National Garifuna day, starting at 6am for the sunrise over the beach and a reenactment of the Garifuna arriving on the shores of Guatemala. After a parade and some food we returned back for a beach picnic and some free time to spend.

Day 3… We had a fun dance lesson on the beach from Rogelio, a contact in Livingston. In the afternoon we traveled to Ak Tenamit on Rio Tatin, a community tourism center and school.

Day 4… We visited the school they have for girls. The school is almost free and for indigenous females who cannot afford a school and who normally have one or no parent. We hung out with some of the girls and then headed back to learn how to make jewelry with a local jewelry maker who uses coconut shells.

Day 5… We went sunrise kayaking on Rio Dulce! We also visited a natural sauna cave on the river.

Day 6… We traveled to Rio Dulce stopping at Isla de Aves and Castillo San Felipe. We got a tour of the small but beautiful castle and ended the night at the Discoteca the hostel had that night!

While our days were fun and worth the long travel, X phase was not facil. Day 3 we had a boat ride scheduled during the time of a rain storm (which we waited out), day 4 we realized we had over calculated the budget by a whole day’s worth of money, we were not always met with what we thought we had planned, and there was lots of miscommunication along the way. But when we reached the boat on day 1, and the boat driver asked for Kata, it was really real. We ended up learning a lot about us as planners and about the new spaces we traveled to, and we are now live from Antigua for transference.

See you the 6th!