Jaibalito (Hi-balito), Guatemala, is considered the smallest and most remote Lake Atitlán village along the shores of Lago de Atitlán. Heaven if you ask me! The lancha (the local transport around the lake) was packed with backpackers, a dog, locals and myself as we sped our way from Panajachel, to Santa Cruz, and finally to my drop off point in Jaibalito. Lucky for me, there were blue tanks blocking my exit point from the front of the boat where I sat, so I had to crawl over everyone inside the boat with two bags. Navigating my way though a tightly fitting space, as the boat rocked with every single movement that I made, was quite the experience. I was the last one of a handful off, and as the back of the boat slowly began to creep away from the dock, I thought to myself, "I'm gonna make an ass of myself here and fall into the water." I threw my bags up on the dock to save my gear in case I went in, but the captain hopped back on and reeled the boat back towards its moorings. My body tight from all the traveling I had endured beforehand, made it a bit of challenge to get up onto the dock, but I'm happy to say I survived the ordeal completely dry. As I began to walk away the captain yelled at me asking for payment. I had no idea where or whom I was supposed to pay, but at least I knew how much. Veinticinco quetzals, the country currency of Guatemala. My brain was absolutely shot!
Lake Atitlan Guatemala | Landscape Photography Prints | Pictures From Guatemala Those rickety old docks that I wrote about in the first blog post about my Lake Atitlán travel landscape photography project can be seen above. If you happened to miss it, you can catch up by clicking on the link: HERE. You can also purchase this fine art photography print, by clicking directly on the photograph.
A young man named Lucas greeted me as we made our way up to my Air B&B for the next several days. I stopped at the local market, picked up a few goods and we continued on our way. Mi casa en el cielo (my house in the sky/heaven), which I soon came to call my place, was a 10/15 minute hike up a mountain. It reminded me A LOT of the uphill walk when I stayed in St. John U.S.V.I., but the only difference being that I had done that voluntarily. There were no roads that led to my place, just a foot trail that ascended upwards. I finally settled in, when a booming thunderstorm rolled by. The volcanoes that surrounded the lake were hidden by a grey veil of clouds, lighting struck off the lake hitting it directly where I could see, and the thunder reverberated off of the surrounding cliffs. Sunset would give me a small glimpse to what awaited me the following day. What a welcoming!
The next morning I awoke to semi-clear skies, as Volcán Tolimán and Volcán San Pedro, captured above, made their appearance. Since my prior two days were filled with traveling, I decided to spend the day photographing and being present to the tiny village that I decided to call home. The streets were narrow and colorful, as I dodged piles of dog shit, left by the copious amount of stray dogs that inhabit the various villages. One in particular took a liking towards me. She had followed me down lakeside, having taken shelter from the storm the night prior near my residence. We both sat and enjoyed the view, as the sun shone brightly, warming us up in her ever healing ways.
I meandered around the town which only took about 20 minutes to walk through and continue to capture photographs that caught my attention. Two in particular I really found alluring. The first being the local playground. Set amongst the backdrop of a jungle, there was just a very rustic feel to it. Off topic, I think every kid should be sent to Central America for an extended period of time! The second being of a man and woman carrying a load of wood on their backs. As I was heading back up the mountain to my place for the remainder of the day, they were coming down it. We smiled and exchanged a hola as we passed each other by. These are the small moments that make you realize how much we take for granted living in America. If you're ever jonesin' for a humbling experience, travel through Central America and be present to how these people live.
My day ended with a 90 minuted sweat session inside the temazcal, located on the property I was stying at. Inside of a metal barrel, a fire raged, as I stepped behind the curtain and slowly drifted away. A cleansing experience to say the least. I laid my weary head down early that evening and fell into a deep, refreshing sleep, as the melodies of the forest accompanied me to my dreams.
Visit the entire photography project, by visiting my Behance account. Click the link: HERE
Continue to my day spent in San Marcos, Lake Atitlan by clicking on the link: HERE
To browse and purchase any of my fine art / landscape photography prints, click the link: HERE.
To browse my current inventory of repurposed barn wood framed photos, click the link: HERE
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