Belize’s 31st birthday is not only a celebration of this tiny Caribbean nation’s independence, but a festival of multiculturalism and living proof that racial, religious and cultural harmony does work, the owners of theLodge at Chaa Creek said today.
In the run up to the nationwide celebrations about to take place in Belize under the theme of “Many faces, many dreams, but one goal; celebrating Belize”, Mick and Lucy Fleming said they wished to highlight one of Belize’s most fundamental but sometimes overlooked qualities.
“When people think of Belize, it’s usually the pristine rainforests, Maya temples, sparkling Caribbean islands and the Belize Great Barrier Reef that come to mind, but one of the country’s most magnificent attributes and proudest accomplishments is the racial and cultural harmony we see every day throughout Belize,” Ms Fleming said.
Ms Fleming said that as Chaa Creek was also celebrating its 31st birthday as Belize’s first rainforest eco resort, she and her husband wanted to congratulate their very multicultural staff of 135 people.
“I think we all take it for granted just how large and varied the Chaa Creek family has become over the last three decades, and in this way we truly represent Belize as a whole.
“My husband Mick is English, I was born in the US, our son and daughter are both Belizean born, as are our adopted children, and the roster of our 135 member staff reads like a veritable united nations, with people of Creole, Mestizo, Maya, Garifuna, Lebanese, East and West Indian, Asian, European and other cultures represented. Just walking through our beautiful gardens and grounds you’re likely to hear English, Spanish and Garifuna spoken along with the ever present lilt of Creole.
“We notice that all over the world, in articles and blogs, people always comment on the warm friendly nature of Belizeans, and our guests often mention the diverse makeup of our people. I think we take it for granted, and birthdays are an important time to highlight what’s special,” she said.
Ms Fleming said that with recent headlines about religious and cultural strife resulting in riots around the world, Belizeans should take time out to appreciate what a positive example tiny Belize sets for the global community. She said from the 1778 Battle of St George’s Caye, when people of different cultures fought side by side to repel a superior invasion force, through to the mass demonstrations for equality, universal suffrage, workers’ rights and the formation of a united front leading to independence on 21 September 1981, Belize has harnessed the power of many different cultures to create one unified people and nation.
“When I read the news today I appreciate more than ever what we have in this unique, colourful, quirky and still very new little nation of ours. Sometimes it takes the praise of outsiders to make you realise what you have, and that’s why this year Mick and I want to not only thank our large and wonderful Chaa Creek family, but to also say, congratulations.
“We want to say Happy Birthday and congratulations Belize for showing the rest of the world that people of different backgrounds and beliefs can live together in harmony and that by working together towards a common goal, can produce something truly extraordinary,” she said.