University of Arkansas, Fayetteville


In the summer of 2004, three companions and I set out on an adventure after a month of archaeology work in the northwest jungles of Belize. This essay is not only a loose account of some exploits and misadventures, but it also illustrates how the tourism industry has affected this region. Through my experiences I was able to create a dichotomy of two contrasting countries, Belize and Guatemala, in order to convey how tourism can affect the culture and structure of different societies. Here I present a portrait of how socio-economic changes, complex acculturation, and changes in environmental stability have occurred in these countries as a result of tourism. In this article, I hope to convey the importance of tourism in shaping the host-guest relationship and its relation to ethnographic research.