Livingston: The Other Side of Guatemala

Descendants of shipwrecked slaves from Nigeria; Jerry Garcia's rumored Caribbean seaside bungalow hideout; warrior dances (see video below) and turtle shell drums; echoes of an accented pigeon pidgin English that smacks of Jamaica; and a remarkable coconut seafood soup called tapado.This is Livingston, home of the Garifuna. This is the other side of Guatemala. … [Read more...]

A Road Trip, Some Banditos, and a Dose of Fear

There we were at the dock in San Pedro bargaining for a boat to Santiago. The price seemed prohibitively high for a whimsical afternoon side trip on Lake Atitlan. Natasha, another traveler hoping to take the same boat, also questioned the price.“You know, I have a car here. We could drive. You can just give me some gas money.”Sounded like a reasonable … [Read more...]

Holy Guacamole, It’s Semana Santa!

Sawdust carpets adorned with brightly-colored designs and cut fruit line the streets, giant carved floats sway on the backs of local men and women, and depressing dirges creep out of battered horns. Ceremony is high with marching Roman soldiers and elaborate crucifixion ceremonies as Guatemalan communities come together to mourn Jesus' crucifixion and celebrate his … [Read more...]

Guatemalan Pepian: Please Try This at Home

A Guatemalan cooking class? Aren't you supposed to be learning Spanish?Learning a new language is great, but doing so through the lens of food and markets strikes us as ideal. So when the topic of Guatemalan cuisine came up during our Spanish lessons (day two, as we steered each of our instructors there fairly quickly), we seized the opportunity and asked if … [Read more...]

Beautiful and Ghastly: China’s Ethnic Markets

china ethnic markets

Where can you find pig face manicures, dog steaks, gambling novice Buddhist monks, snake oil laxatives, and locals getting their teeth replaced on the street? How about dazzling embroidered traditional clothing, mountains of fresh greens, and meat so fresh that it still moves?Only in China and only in this video. … [Read more...]

China on Speed: The Shanghai Maglev

Welcome to the view inside the Shanghai Maglev (magnetic levitation) train once it reaches its maximum speed of 431 kilometers per hour. No typo there - that's 268 miles per hour for the conversionally challenged. The trip from the center of Shanghai to the airport takes a cool 8 minutes and costs an even cooler 50 Y ($7.00).Wonder what 260+ mph looks like in … [Read more...]