The Outskirts of Panajachel
It’s not a far walk to get off the beaten track, off the tourist thoroughfares through Panajachel, Guatemala. Meandering just a couple streets over brings you into a whole different world. The cobblestones dwindle to narrow slices of dirt cut through the jungle, the painted houses turn into hodge-podge shacks. The people are friendly and respond to “hola!” Kids are not hassling you to get shoe shines and buy woven bracelets, but instead, balancing tubs of tomatoes their heads (and sometimes dropping them), playing with bottle caps, running with no apparent purpose, and staggering under large loads, as in this photo. No bargaining stalls, no “special price for you.” Just the peace of lives being lived.
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