With the world’s second largest barrier reef (some say the world’s longest living barrier reef), huge tracts of unspoiled rainforests surrounding ancient Maya cities and temples, pristine rivers, waterfalls, hundreds of lovely little islands and a stunning Caribbean coast, what’s not to be happy about? Oh yes, then there’s the people. Nowhere on the planet will you find a more multicultural mix of happy souls who have long ago worked out how to live in harmony. Just about everyone who comes to Belize remarks on the natural, easy going friendliness and warmth of Belizeans. And it’s infectious – after a few days even the most harried travellers notice a spring in the step and a propensity towards smiling. It just grows on you…
In order to survive in the increasingly competitive tourism industry, even the most remote resorts must pay careful attention to their kitchens as travellers are placing greater emphasis on a quality dining experience, the food and beverage manager of a popular Belizean eco resort advises. Bryony Fleming Bradley, of The Lodge at Chaa Creek in western Belize, said that the days of adventurous travellers being satisfied with food that was simply hot and palatable are over. ”Some years back, our guests would always comment at how happily surprised they were with the quality of the food we served, as it usually exceeded their expectations of what would be found in such a pristine location.
The Belizean culture is unlike anything else on Earth. It’s a unique blending of many different influences, ranging from the Spanish Mestizos, to the German Mennonites, and the Ancient Maya. Today, aspects of these people live on in the nation of Belize and its folktales. Here are some of the land’s most compelling legends:
Belize would not be the Belize that we know and love if it wasn’t for the many contributions of the Garifuna, and their proud history if one of the most interesting and enduring sagas humanity has known, beginning with a fateful shipwreck off St Vincent’s Island in the Caribbean in the 1600s, when surviving African slaves made it to shore and mixed with the local Arawak, or Carib, population.
“If you can’t make it down here for the celebrations, you owe it to yourself to learn more about one of the most interesting, intriguing and colourful cultures on the planet. It’s a fascinating journey in every sense of the word, and here at Chaa Creek we’ll be taking the time out to join our Garifuna brothers and sisters in saying, ‘Gibe Memegili Wayumaha; Lidanba Uarani Wawansera’, which fittingly translates to ‘We continue to have many aspirations; in Unity we advance’ ,” he said.