By Lorenzo Gonzalez
All and every Saturdays, in western Belize, residents of the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town and villagers from all over the Cayo District come to San Ignacio to sell their local produce.
There you can witness a wide array of different foods, fruits and vegetables and many miscellaneous items. Villagers start setting up their stalls from early morning and at the crack of dawn the market place comes alive with many people buying, trading and conversing amongst each other. The cultural dynamic at the Market place is really extraordinary; all the diverse cultures of Belize can be witnessed, thus emphasizing the melting pot which Belize represents. Mennonites, Garifuna, Creoles, Mestizos, Mayas, Asians, East Indians and even American Expats are all interacting and making the best out of the spectacular day.
Whenever someone walks down the aisles it isn’t surprising to hear various languages being spoken, see different cultural attires and sample a wide variety of different ethnic foods.
Going to the Market place is the ultimate luxury for many Belizeans, enjoying the environment, socializing with friends and family, and having a wide variety of fresh produce stacked up neatly for your choice is unparallel to none.
Since Belize is located in Central America amongst Latin American countries, one may ask how Belize ended up having such a diverse melting pot of cultures and bearing English as it’s official language?
If you are current with World Geography you will know that Belize was once a British Colony and it can be easily noticed when viewing on our colourful money – Queen Elizabeth II is on all our bills. Therefore, though Belize is in Central America, it can be more categorized as part of the Caribbean because of its cultural aspects and links to the Commonwealth countries.
Belize has always been a haven for people and many immigrants have made this safe nation their home, either it be that they were fleeing from persecution, political unrest or seeking a better standard of living. The most important thing is that we co-exist harmoniously and we don’t only say that, we show it.
Come familiarise yourself with Belize’s cultures – come see for yourself how extraordinary the experience is.