Ak TenamitStrengthening the indigenous community

Support Community Tourism

Tourism Initiatives in Livingston and Rio Dulce

map of areaAk’ Tenamit, a local social development organization, supports several community tourism projects in Guatemala’s Rio Dulce region, including Livingston and Rio Dulce (city). It also owns and manages owns several restaurants and businesses in the area, which serve as practical classrooms for students in our sustainable tourism program.

Visit Livingston

Livingston is one of Rio Dulce’s most popular destinations. It is the heart of Guatemala’s Garífuna culture, and here you will find an intriguing blend of Mayan, Garífuna and Ladino cultures, as well as beaches and access to Belize and Honduras.

It is also one of the entry points into the Rio Dulce region and a quick boat ride from Puerto Barrios.

Just arrived? Need information?

Visit our tourist information center, located by the main dock in Livingston next to Café La Buga. Here, you can find information about local community tourism opportunities as well as Ak’ Tenamit and its programs.

Ak’ Tenamit owns and runs the following local restaurants. These restaurants and businesses also help fund Ak’ Tenamit’s educational programs and 100% of profits are invested back into secondary vocational school. Each restaurant and store is staffed by students in its vocational training program. These students learn invaluable customer service, management, and culinary skills, as they work towards a degree in Sustainable Tourism or Rural Community Development. Upon graduation, students use their skills to improve services and living conditions in their villages.

Looking for a clean, safe place to eat in Livingston?

bugamamaBugaMama Restaurant

BugaMama boasts waterfront views and a menu ranging from Garífuna seafood dishes, typical Guatemalan cuisine, and Indian curries to international favorites, like pizza and pasta. BugaMama received the Tenedor de Oro (Golden Fork) recognition in 2009 for exceptional food quality. In addition, the restaurant is Green Deal Certified by the Rain Forest Alliance for taking steps to protect the environment, conserve energy, and comply with health and sanitation standards.

Visit www.bugamama.org to view the complete menu and learn more about the restaurant.

Café La Buga

Café La Buga is Ak’ Tenamit’s newest restaurant, and its two distinct settings makes it the perfect place for an intimate dinner on the waterfront, or some appetizers and drinks while taking in a game on our big screen TV. Café la Buga serves a variety of high quality seafood, pizza, and Thai dishes and is located close to the municipal dock and Ak’ Tenamit’s visitor information center.

Visit www.cafelabuga.org to view the complete menu and learn more about the restaurant.

Shopping and Internet in Livingston

Ak’ Tenamit’s Fair Trade Handicrafts Store

Located in Buga Mama Restaurant, this is one of two fair trade handicrafts stores run by Ak’ Tenamit. Here, products from dozens of community handicrafts cooperatives, made up almost exclusively of women, are sold at fair prices. This provides a valuable source of income for families as well as giving women more respect and influence within their family and community as income earners. The crafts are made from renewable materials such as corn husks, seeds and coconut shells, making it a sustainable source of income.

Intern CafeBuga Net

This Internet café is located across the street from BugaMama and provides computers with Internet access as well as copy, printing, laminating, and binding services. Aside from being frequented by tourists, the café is also used by staff, volunteers and students from Ak’ Tenamit.

Along the Rio Dulce

Ak’ Tenamit’s primary site and secondary boarding school is located along the Rio Dulce, just a short speedboat ride from Livingston and a common stop on boat tours between Livingston and Rio Dulce. We welcome visitors to our site and, if you’ve visited our restaurants or handicrafts shops touring our site is a great way to see the project that your patronage is supporting.

Visit Ak’ Tenamit’s “Nuevo Centro”

Father Tom Moran Education Center

Ak’ Tenamit offers guided tours of its secondary boarding school campus, the Father Tom Moran Education Center, which is the highlight of Nuevo Centro. The school serves approximately 500 Mayan students and, if school is in session during your tour, you may have a chance to see the classrooms in action. Students will guide your tour as part of their training in sustainable tourism. Ask your boat driver to visit Ak’ Tenamit, and they will know where to stop.

Please contact oscar.diaz@aktenamit.org for more information.

cafe tatinCafé Tatín

While visiting Ak’ Tenamit you can enjoy a meal, snack, or just a coffee at Café Tatín. Café Tatin is located on the campus and is known for its “pachay”, a typical Q’ eqchi Maya dish of grilled fish wrapped in Santa Maria leaves, as well as other local specialties. This restaurant caters to large tour groups from cruise ships and river tours and is one of the practical classrooms where our Sustainable Tourism students receive on-the-job restaurant training. Surrounded by lush greenery and with a beautiful thatched roof, the restaurant provides a refreshing place to share a meal after exploring the school. 100% of proceeds benefit Ak’ Tenamit’s Father Moran Education Center.

Visit www.cafetatin.org to view a complete menu and learn more about the restaurant.

Fair Trade Handicrafts Store

Located at the entrance to Nuevo Centro, this is one of two fair trade handicrafts stores run by Ak’ Tenamit. Here, products from dozens of community handicrafts cooperatives, made up almost exclusively of women, are sold at fair prices, providing a valuable source of income for families as well as increasing the influence and respect of women within their family and community as income earners. Just outside the store, visitors can observe a local craftsman at work carving pieces from renewable materials such as corozo palm seeds and coconut shells.

Visit Rio Dulce

At the eastern end of Lake Izabal, this city straddles the point at which the Rio Dulce begins its descent to the Caribbean. A long bridge spans the river, connecting the two banks. The Castillo de San Felipe, a fortress built in 1652 to deter pirates, is one of the main attractions. Part of a protected park, you can also swim in the lake and enjoy the grassy picnic areas. Be sure to visit Ak’ Tenamit’s restaurant, La Cueva del Pirata (The Pirate’s Cave) during your stay. This is also a great place to explore the river from as there are river tours to Livingston departing from here.

Looking for a clean, safe place to eat near Rio Dulce?

La Cueva del Pirata (The Pirate’s Cave)

This restaurant offers excellent seafood as well as traditional Garífuna and Q’eqchi dishes. The restaurant is located in the Castillo de San Felipe Fortress, and its unique setting on a national park allows diners to choose from a wide array of foods before taking in the sights at the castle – a Guatemalan National Park. The restaurant was recently renovated to provide a new practical classroom for students at Ak’ Tenamit’s Father Tom Moran Education Center and to continue to share local culture with visitors. 100% of proceeds benefit the Father Moran Center, a secondary boarding school located along the Rio Dulce.

Visit www.lacuevadelpirata.org to view a complete menu and learn more about the restaurant.