Belize Family Vacation Sweepstakes Essay#3
I would like to share with you some of my experiences in the Magical land called Belize.
At the age of twenty eight I received a call from an old friend with a job offer in Belize City. Thus began
an adventure that resulted in a Life long love for Belize, It’s people, all the diverse ecosystems and a rich history spanning thousands of years.
I was given the opportunity to visit before accepting a job and squeezed in some serious fun ranging from deep Sea fishing on the Boss’s boat to exploring the Maya archeological park at Altun Ha. What sealed the deal was an afternoon of snorkeling at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve located close to Ambergris. Years of embellishing now has me swimming with a grouper the size of a VW bug. (It was close).
After making the big move it did not take long to realize there was a lot more to Belize than just the tourist trail. I really was blown away by the diverse cultures that blend so well to make Belize a unique place that has elements representing it’s entire history that come to life in the music, food and festivals.
I was made to feel at home whether participating in a Garifuna Drum festival or eating fantastic street food (miss the meat pies the most) offered up at the Bus depot in Belmopan. Being an artist I was also enthralled by the high art that is to be seen while exploring the myriad of Mayan ruins including Xunantunich, Cahal Pech, Caracol. At a time Europe was a complete wreck “the dark ages” Mayan culture was flourishing. There is evidence of trade as far as the American southwest, Architectural advances such as the corbelled arch, an incredible volume of public monument building and an advanced understanding of the night sky and an ingenious calendar system.
Also represented are the rich cultures of peoples of Creole, Mestizo, English, Spanish, Garifuna, Mennonite, East Indians, Arabs and more recently refugees from other Central American nations that result in a very vibrant blend of cultures.
Lastly you should hear about the wide variety of natural wonders to be enjoyed in a country that is serious about nature conservancy. You can explore starting below sea Level with the second largest barrier reef on the planet, diverse Mangrove zones that are critical habitats for young fish and endless varieties of birds. Also you can see savannah, rain forest and yes even pine forest, all in pristine condition. Some of my favorite places to visit are The Blue Hole National Park, Thousand foot falls, Rio frio cave and falls, and Goff’s Caye.
Even after spending more than two years there I am still hungry for more and my list of things to see and do is lengthy. Honestly to include Chaa Creek in my triumphant return to Belize and all the comfort and hospitality that includes is exactly what the doctor ordered.
LONG LIVE BELIZE