Rolando

 photos by aidan lynn-klimenko

photos by aidan lynn-klimenko

Tattoos are definitely trending, and it’s very apparent here among the young travel culture. There is something about people with tattoos, an air that is exclusive because lets face it, if you don’t have any tattoos, you aren’t quite as cool, mysterious or tough as those who do. Which means Madison is much cooler, more mysterious and definitely tougher than the rest of us, and we’re jealous. Parker and I are at least in the club, but we’d sit in back of the clubhouse- if ever one existed- feeling guilty for only having very small tattoos. Joel would be waiting out in the car, left to wallow over his bare skin.

That all changed when we met Rolando, rather, when Rolando swept into our lives and demanded we step up our tattoo game. It all happened so fast, we had no choice, really. San Pedro la Laguna is full of tattooed youth, walking around with no shirts, silently intimidating us with their obvious courage and fearless dedication to looking awesome. We wouldn’t last long, and Rolando knew it.

In fact, Rolando was so committed to helping us survive the jungle of ink and potential life-long regret, that he came to our hostel, and gave Joel, Madison and I reason to finally feel better about ourselves. We wouldn’t have to sit in back of the cool-kids club any more. Our guide (or was he our guardian?) worked tirelessly for hours, concentrating diligently on first Aidan, then Madison and finally Joel, leaving only once he knew his work had finished, and we would no longer have to walk in the cold shadows of inferiority. 

Rolando, you came into our lives and left so quickly, however, whether we like it or not, we’ll remember you for life.