North America · 31 Days · 9 Moments · December 2018

Belize ~ Guatemala ~ Honduras

24 January 2019

New York Times June 10, 2018 An appraisal by James Donieuozik Anthony Bourdain on traveling: "There are no easy answers, I don't already know everything, I will probably screw up and all encounters have something to teach us. There are two ways to travel, really two world views. You can see another country as something to consume, a place to collect trophies. Or you can look at the environment to interact with, something that changes you through the encounter and that you inevitably change with your visit."

13 January 2019

Belize Barrier Reef Truly one of the great natural wonders of the world, the Belize Barrier Reef is home to one of the most abundant and diverse marine ecosystems found anywhere on the planet. Measuring more than 190 miles long, the reef is part of the bigger Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System that stretches from Mexico to Honduras, making it the second biggest coral reef system in the world, and the largest in the hemisphere. ( Tourism is this small county of 375K people is paramount to the well being of many Belizean's. Caye Caulker has been home for Connor and me the last few days. The residents of this small island depend solely on foreign money. In addition to eating and sleeping most tourists spend time on the reef with any number of local led tour operators. SUBA, snorkel, kayaking are just a few of the possibilities. We happen to be here during lobster season which also coincides with the peak tourism time.

11 January 2019

9 January 2019

Guatemala country profile ( Most of the country was conquered by the Spanish in the 16th century, becoming part of the viceroyalty of New Spain. Guatemala attained independence in 1821 as part of the Federal Republic of Central America, which dissolved by 1841. Belize country profile ( Formerly known as British Honduras, Belize was the UK's last colony on the American mainland and still maintains strong ties with Britain. It did not attain independence until 1981, when it became a Commonwealth realm with the British monarch as its head of state. Crime in this area is mostly in the cities. Turf wars related to drugs moving north. The northern triangle countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador attribute a large part of their crime to the insatiable hunger to get high. In addition, many failed US policies have contributed to unstable corrupt governments. Maybe in spite of this, or not, the locals are kind, gentle and welcoming. Gracias a díos.

8 January 2019

Parque Nacional Tikal is grand. By many measures. Monkeys, parrots, profusion of jungle and of course, the monuments. Who did all the work? Why? Remarkable to walk and touch the same stones. The cacophony of avian voice assails you. The visual grandeur takes time to settle. Legs aching from miles walked through jungle to another complex. Stairs to climb and monkeys to track. Love affair developing with Guatemala.

6 January 2019

Western Belize is dominated by the Belize River valley. For millennia humans have inhabited the region. Cahal Pech and a few miles west and upriver, Xunantunich (shoo-non-too-nic), are fascinating cities extracted from the jungle by dedicated meticulous archeologist. (see pics) Walking and riding public buses are a preferred method of transport. Transport might include: walking, riding in back of truck, local car, Bluebird buses used by the masses and hand ferry to cross the river; all of which I utilized today. Slow travel requires just that. SLOOOW. In this way I am able to connect more deeply with the culture. Thus my reason for being here. Kriol (creole) is the language most heard, not unlike Jamaican patois. I am reminded that the Carib region was populated with west Africans during the conquest. Africa lives on here in a most beautiful mixture with that of Mayan, European blood. Truly fascinating and glorious.

5 January 2019

Recovery day after night flight from LA. Belize City was once the capital of the country. But after a hurricane Rita in the 60s they moved it inland to Belmopan. I hitched, I thought, into town. Leonard asked for money after he left me off at the bus terminal. Saturday was a great day to arrive. Upon strolling through the market I was struck by all the cultures mixing here. Many languages being spoken. Predominantly, creole spoken by most people of African heritage. Spanish by mestizos, those of Spanish and Mayan people. My days destination entailed a three hour bus ride to the western regional capital of San Ignacio. The combined surreal experience of jet travel and slow bus travel put me in a in/out sleep stupor on the ride that takes me near to Guatemala. The experience of riding local transport is a sure way to gain access to the local people. Casa Blanca Guest House will be my base for the next two days as I wander around Cayo environs of jungle and ancient Mayan ruins.

24 December 2018

Brian and Connor for 7 days are on a reverse caravan to the northern triangle. Follow along for some on the ground insights. Commencing January 5, 2019.