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Livingston, Guatemala
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A Cultural Concoction Lívingston  Guatemala

A Cultural Concoction

Guifiti is an infused spirit made by the Garifuna people that settled along the Caribbean coasts of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. The Garifuna are the descendants of Caribs and West Africans that have blended their languages and customs over the centuries resulting in a unique culture today. The Garifuna's beverage of choice, Guifiti, can be either white rum or aguardiente infused with all sorts of jungle ingredients and a variety of spices. It is said that Guifiti can cure colds, flus, menstrual cramps, impotence, both high and low blood pressure and repel mosquitoes, if taken regularly.

Guifiti can be encountered throughout the Caribbean coast of Central America, but I found the strong concoction to be readily available at most bars, restaurants and shops in the Garifuna stronghold of Livingston, Guatemala. Many establishments in town provided a variety of Guifitis and all varieties offered were purported to increase libido and male stamina. The taste ranges from strongly herbal and earthy to robutussin pm and all of them finish with a fiery exhale and a smoldering bonfire in the pit of your stomach.

If you are eager to try some Guifiti, or experience Garifuna culture, Livingston is only accessible by boat. Lanchas, or small motor boats, make the trip up and down the river from the town of Rio Dulce, located on Lago de Izabal in Guatemala. By sea, ferries come and go from either Puerto Barrios in Guatemala or Punta Gorda in Belize.