The Joys of Boat Travel

7 Oct

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Livingston, Guatemala is not an island, yet the only way to get here is by boat.  In many ways, this has helped preserve the local culture and charm, but in other ways it has also limited development and educational opportunities in the area.  To get to a hospital, grocery store, university, or shopping center, you need to take a boat ride.

At first I thought it was lovely going everywhere by boat- what a beautiful concept, right?  However, after living here for a month I have already grown tired of the commute and dealing with all the hustlers down on the dock.  I have also had to deal with quite a few rocky rides through the crashing waves, clutching my laptop to my chest and praying the water doesn’t come overboard.

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Since I’m here working on a project in sustainable tourism, one of the proposals that always comes up is building a road to Livingston to increase the flow of tourists in the area.  While the reality of this happening in the near future is almost non-existent, I can’t help but wonder, would this destroy the place or improve it?  At what point are development projects and improved infrastructure more detrimental to the places they are trying to help then beneficial?

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