San Ignacio and Santa Elena, Belize, are on opposite sides of a river and are connected by a narrow wooden bridge.  San Igancio has a more developed downtown with tourist facilities:

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While Santa Elena, on the south side of the river, is a little more rustic.  The main route through Santa Elena is lined with small shacks (or sometimes, just tents or lean-tos) where a family makes their living by selling tacos or grilled chicken.

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The Guatemalan villages en route to Tikal were even smaller.  Our Tikal guide’s mother runs the restaurant behind the kid on the bike.  We saw a lot of shacks selling fruit, tortillas, or these plastic bowls.

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