Abandoned Boats of Caye Caulker

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Abandoned boats, planes, amusement parks, hotels… It is all fair game for Youth and Urban Decay. I can find something that works almost anywhere, including a small Belizean island in the Caribbean.

Caye Caulker is a small coral island off the coast of Belize in the Caribbean Sea. It is easily accessible by a quick and inexpensive ferry ride from Belize City. The small island has about 2000 residents, I was fortunate to run into one who earns a living through commissions received by helping tourists find accommodations. We got to talking and I told him about my project and he offered his grandchildren as models. His oldest grandson, Antoin was particularly comfortable with the camera and is the boy shown in these images.

Unfortunately, the island did not appear to have any abandoned buildings, but there were plenty of abandoned boats. I even think that some of these abandoned boats could be transformed into something special. All they need is a bit of tender care and love, and they’ll look as good as new. Although, I do think we’ll need to have plenty of boat vinyl wrap to make sure that the boats stay protected all year round because the last thing we want to happen is for them to get damaged in a storm. But that’s a long way into the future, and I was just looking forward to exploring all of these abandoned boats. My friend borrowed his brother’s boat and took Antoin and I out to several of them. Antoin is a Belizian Mestizo, a Belizean of mixed Hispanic and Mestizo origin. Antoin enjoys boating, hanging out with his grandfather, and spending time with his three siblings, who are triplets (two girls and one boy).

shirtless boy in jean shorts playing on an old boat

Antoin playing on a colorful abandoned sailboat.


barefoot and shirtless boy relaxing on an abandoned sailboat in caye caulker belize

Relaxing on the boat.


skinny shirtless boy sitting on a sinking boat in belize

There are plenty of sinking boats to play on in Caye Caulker.


barefoot latino boy on a boat

Antoin on the second of three boats we visited.


beautiful young shirtless latino boy with big eyes

Such beautiful eyes!


boy posing on abandoned boats for the youth and urban decay photography project

Antoin perched atop the first of three abandoned boats we visited.


hispanic triplet children two girls and a boy

Antoin’s 3 siblings – triplets!


A few other things to see and do in Caye Caulker (there aren’t many!) include:

  • The Forest Reserve – a dense mangrove forest good for birdwatching.
  • Caye Caulker Marine Reserve – a marine reef (what other kids of reefs are there?)
  • Hol Chan Marine Reserve – another reef but with people.
  • Shark Ray Alley. – Swim with nurse sharks and sting rays.
  • The Blue HoleA giant marine sinkhole and a stunning thing to see. This was the main reason for my visit. Unfortunately there were not enough people for the plane to take off, so I missed it (though I briefly saw it from my commercial flight to Belize. It is circular in shape, over 300 m and 124 m deep.

About The Author

Christopher Ryan is an international photographer specializing in conceptual portraits in unique environments, such as abandoned buildings and picturesque landscapes. His work breaks the barriers of race, age, and geographic location, capturing the energy and exuberance of the human form. He was influenced by his unusual upbringing in the American South. He seeks to retain the virtues of Southern Charm while abandoning pre-conceived notions of prejudice.

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