Photo Mixtape No. 4

A visual playlist for discovering Antigua’s creative culture.

Destinations, Inspirations — Ryan Kim

Many people have similar assumptions about Guatemala. They think of it as dangerous, crime-filled, and dirty. They also recommend avoiding the tap water. But after spending some time there I was pleasantly surprised to find some of these perspectives debunked (except for the water bit). 

Upon arriving in Antigua, an old sleepy town with no cars on the cobblestone streets, I was lost for an hour, trying to find my listing. Unbeknownst to me, it was on the other side of the street. Although this introductory experience initially left me unsettled, I quickly became more comfortable, and found the lifestyle was something to be desired. Everybody seemed to know each other. Locals and tourists consistently greeted each other warmly with “Hola,” or “Como Estas,” as they passed each other in the streets. The pace of life also moved very slowly, a nice balance to the speed of San Francisco.

My objective while visiting Guatemala was to document a community of creators with the intention of creating an Artists Residency program. We called upon local Hosts to open up their homes to artists. The highlights of my trip were successfully communicating non-verbally with a Tuk Tuk driver when we realized we had a language barrier, and learning textile dyeing and new weaving styles. The songs I selected for this mixtape take me back to my time in this sleepy, creative city. Consider Antigua the next time you are planning your next exploration–it might surprise you.


Ryan is a Photographer at Airbnb. He's often found dangling off rock climbing walls, reinforcing “Positive.Mental.Attitude” playing Dota 2, and trying to earn his cat's affection. You can find more on instagram @miknayr.

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