BEST OF BELIZE NIGHT BELIZEAN CUISINE
BEER & CURRY
A NIGHT FOR THE LOCALS, GUESTS AND FRIENDS! Join us for a night of authentic Indian flavors with Chef Subu from Chennai. Every Tuesday starting 6:30pm - Reservations Only -
Featuring Belize local cuisine and live entertainment on the beach! Every Friday 7pm. - 9pm.
SUNSET SOIREÃ‰ AT THE CLUBHOUSE Treat yourself with a great view over the lagoon! $12 wine glass, $8 whiskey drinks, a delectable assortment of Tapas crafted by our Local chef Indeira and Live Music Every Sunday 6pm - 9pm
BE HERE NOW A TRUE BOUTIQUE HOTEL
BOOK WITH US!
(+501) 671 - 4500 USA (TOLL FREE): 800 - 882 - 9282
BELIZE OCEAN CLUB RESORT, PLACENCIA RD, STANN CREEK, BELIZE
FISH RIGHT, EAT RIGHT Certifying Belizean Restaurants and Recognizing Fishers
18 HIP HIP HOORAY 09
BELIZE’S BUCKET LIST 90 Amazing things to do in Belize
11 BREAK YOUR BAG HABITS
Join in on the September Celebrations!
FALL INTO SUMMER IN THE CARIBBEAN
22 SMALL COUNTRY, BIG BIRDING
Belize a Destination to be Enjoyed for Years to Come
PHOTO: JASON TIESMAN
A RACE TO SAVE THE REEF
BORN TO FISH It’s a Way of Life
16 CATCH AND RELEASE
Ways to Keep Your Catch Swimming
Caribbean Culture and Lifestyle, The Belize Edition is a travel publication aimed at sharing the very best of Belize and the Caribbean. Shared both digitally and in print, the magazine is the go to for the latest travel news and trends. Serving up knowledgeable destination information along with inspiring culture and lifestyle content, the magazine is sure to inspire curiosity and excitement in the hearts of its readers. More than just a magazine, Caribbean Culture and Lifestyle is a brand that aims to connect with travelers on a journey where adventures are endless. CARIBBEANLIFESTYLE.COM
MAKE A DIFFERENCE A Look at Inspiring Individuals Paving the Way for a Better Belize
26 4 ALTERNATIVES TO PLASTIC STRAWS Help save our Caribbean Reefs
BELIZE’S HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY IS GOING GREEN
BIRTHPLACE OF A CULTURE Mestizo Origins at Santa Rita, Corozal
29 PROTECTING THE MANATEES 32
PROFITING IN PARADISE
A DAY AT GOFF’S CAYE Come Visit a Slice of Paradise
34 A COUNTRY WITH A RICH CULTURAL HERITAGE People and Culture
THE PRINCE OF BRUKDOWN CELEBRATES BELIZE Cocono Bwai - Roots and Forward
2019 CALENDAR OF EVENTS
WHAT’S NEW, WHAT’S HOT!
Welcome to Caribbean Culture and Lifestyle’s conservation issue. It’s in every Belizean’s nature to proudly share our country’s wondrous beauty as well as our unique cultures with you. The diversity of our people, jobs and food are all rooted in our natural resources; it’s why we recognize the importance of doing everything possible to protect our home. As a conservation organization dedicated to advocacy, Oceana focuses on achieving policies through strategic, directed, science-based campaigns that help to make marine resources more bio diverse and abundant. We don’t need to look too hard to see that our natural ecosystems are in trouble. Destructive fishing practices including overfishing, pollution and unsustainable development projects are wreaking havoc on the natural world. Plastic litter is probably the most “inyour-face example”. (Warning, you’re likely to see it in places you shouldn’t). Other less obvious consequences are things like the sargassum influx that’s overwhelming the entire Caribbean. Belize is proactively leading on addressing the list of challenges in several ways. In the last two years, the Government and people of Belize have said no to offshore oil through a legislated, indefinite moratorium; mangrove regulations have been strengthened and the law to ban single-use plastic in the food sector is set to be enacted by December 2019. Simultaneously, the NGO community is also advocating for policies that increase protections for rivers and watersheds, food traceability and stopping the use of destructive fishing practices like gillnets. And that’s where you come in; as a visitor to Belize, you can play a vital role in supporting national efforts at sustainability. As Belize’s single most important economic driver, our tourism brand is big on the integrity of the environment. You’re likely here because you want to immerse yourself in the natural world. Use your voice to call out the ways that the property or sites you are visiting can improve or establish practices to make Belize’s environment healthier and cleaner. Walk with your water bottle. Say no to single-use plastic utensils when you’re grabbing a snack or a meal. Include a reusable bag(s) in your day pack for souvenirs. Respect closed seasons for popular products like lobster and conch (these dates are published). Don’t be afraid to ask how your favorite fish meal was caught. As you already know, Belize isn’t just pretty. Together we can all help to safeguard the beauty and bounty of these resources and experiences you’re enjoying today so that generations to come can enjoy them tomorrow.
Janelle Chanona Vice President, Oceana, Belize
ABOUT THE COVER
Dear Travelers, Through these pages, we invite you to explore the Conservation Issue, which marks the 7th issue for the Caribbean Culture and Lifestyle brand! In this issue we share all the incredible changes being made towards sustainable tourism, and the steps being taken to make Belize a greener destination. As a proud supporter of efforts towards environmental sustainability and in aid of reducing ecological footprints, our print magazines are available online as an E-Book version. In keeping up with the digital world and with the innovative spirit of the brand, the website has also received an uplift. Restructured and redesigned as a hub for travel information on Belize and the beautiful Caribbean region, you can discover all that Belize has to offer. As a travel resource, through the website and social media channels, informative destination information and inspiration are shared daily. I invite you to venture beyond our print edition and discover Belize with us online at
On behalf of the Caribbean Culture and Lifestyle team, we thank all our advertisers and contributors for joining us in marketing Belize! Belize is a small country with extreme beauty. We look forward to continuing to leverage digital technologies to attract visitors and share all that Belize has to offer.
Offshore Placencia, Southern Belize Moho Caye is an idyllic 12-acre, palm-fringed private island, located 12 miles east of Placencia. This haven is located on the fringe of the Laughing Bird Caye National Park and is surrounded by crystal blue waters and incredible natural coral reefs and is on track to be #plasticfree in 2020. Here’s how they plan to keep Moho Caye Plastic Free! 1. Soft drinks in glass bottles and cans are welcomed on the island but must be taken back when guests leave. Plastic bottles will not be permitted anywhere on the island. 2. Reusable water vessels are encouraged when visiting. If you do not have one, aluminum water bottles will be available for sale when on the island. Water filling stations will be available to refill your reusable water bottles. 3. Bring your paper, bamboo, or aluminum straw with you. Plastic straws are prohibited. 4. When bringing food, guests will be required to use reusable containers. If tour guides need to bring food to BBQ on the grills provided, meat or produce will also have to be placed in reusable containers. Styrofoam containers and trays are not allowed on the island. 5. Island keepers will be provided with reusable bags and crates to bring supplies back and forth from the mainland. 6. Be sure to take away all of your trash when you depart.
Louise Roe Lead Brand Manager Caribbean Culture and Lifestyle, Belize
“Be A Part of The Solution, Not A Part of The Pollution” You can read more about Moho Caye on their website www.mohocayebelize.com CARIBBEANLIFESTYLE.COM
~ 90 Amazing things to do in Belize ~ WRITTEN BY LOUISE ROE
BELIZE DISTRICT 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.
Take the Old Belize Historical Tour Visit the Museum of Belize Visit St. John’s Cathedral, the oldest church in Belize Learn about and taste local rum at Travellers Heritage Rum Museum Sightsee and take pictures at the Baron Bliss Lighthouse with the infamous and colorful Belize sign Meet people for Happy Hour at Belize Biltmore Plaza Best Western Plus Enjoy delicious pastries for breakfast at Sugar Fix Bakery Visit the Belize Zoo Enjoy a Wildlife Cruise on the Belize River Explore the Archaeological Site of Altun Ha Take the Birding and Boat Cruise at Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary Try delicious meat pies for breakfast
CAYO DISTRICT 13.
Swim at Big Rock Falls and Rio On Pools in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve
14. Take in the view at Thousand Foot Falls in the Mountain
23. Interact with Green Iguanas at the Green Iguana Conservation Project at the San Ignacio Resort
24. Visit San Ignacio’s Saturday Market, and try the craboo, you won’t regret it!
25. Explore the Río Frío Caves 26. Cave tube and zipline around Jaguar Paw 27. Enjoy a private picnic at Butterfly Falls while staying at the Hidden Valley Inn
28. Visit the Blue Morpho Butterfly Farm at Chaa Creek
29. Explore the Archaeological Sites of Nim Li Punit and Lubaantun
30. Learn to play the drums at Warasa Garifuna Drum School 31. Explore Hokeb Ha, Laguna and Tiger caves in Blue Creek 32. Swim at Rio Blanco National Park 33. Experience an overnight stay at a Maya Village Home Stay 34. Book an Organic Chocolate Making Tour at Copal Tree Lodge
Pine Ridge Forest Reserve
35. Visit the Offshore Islands of Sapodilla Caye and Snake
36. Visit the Spice Farm and experience the Botanical Gardens
15. Trekking and Birding in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest 16.
20. Explore the Chiquibul National Park 21. Swim at the St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park 22. Jungle Trek to the Crystal Cave at the Blue Hole National
Visit Archaeological Sites – Cahal Pech, Xunantunich and Caracol
17. Ride on horseback to Xunantunich 18. Canoe inside the Barton Creek Cave 19. Experience caving at Actun Tunichil Muknal CARIBBEANLIFESTYLE.COM
37. Enjoy Garifuna Cuisine 38. Shop at the Punta Gorda Market 39. Have fun as you kayak on the Moho River 9
STANN CREEK DISTRICT
40. Take a day trip to Offshore Islands – Silk Cayes and Laughing Bird National Park
41. Snorkel the Silk Caye and South Water Caye Marine Reserve
42. Explore Hopkins Village and Placencia Village on bike 43. Shop along the Placencia Sidewalk 44. Enjoy Beachfront Walks 45. Take the “Bunches of Fun” Banana Farm Tour 46. Go birding on the Sittee River 47. Visit Belize’s historical reserve, Serpon Sugar Mill near the village of Sittee River
48. Spot wildlife on the Monkey River Boat Ride 49. Visit Gulisi Garifuna Museum 50. Kayak at the Glover’s Reef Atoll 51. Jungle Hike, Zip-line and Waterfall Rappel at Mayflower Bocawina National Park
52. Hike Victoria Peak 53. Explore Davis Falls on a ATV 54. Dive with Whale Sharks (between March – June) 55. Try the Seré, a favorite Garifuna dish 56. Enjoy beer and curry night every Tuesday at Belize Ocean Club
OFFSHORE CAYES/BELIZE BARRIER REEF
57. Island hop between San Pedro and Caye Caulker 58. Try the famous Lizard Juice at the Split in Caye Caulker 59. Explore Caye Caulker and San Pedro on golf cart or bike 60. Enjoy the view of the Caribbean Sea on a Sunset Cruise 61. View the Great Blue Hole from above with Maya Island Air 62. Take a day trip to dive and snorkel the Great Blue Hole 63. Spot the Red-Footed Booby at the Lighthouse Reef Atoll and Half Moon Caye National Monument
64. Try your hand at Deep Sea Fishing 65. Snorkel the Elbow at Turneffe Atoll, South Water Caye,
Gladden Spit, Silk Cayes, Hol Chan, Mexico Rocks, Bacalar Chico and the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve
Share your bucket list with us 10
66. Swim with nurse sharks at Shark Ray Alley 67. Go fly fishing, you might just catch a “Grand Slam” 68. Get your fix of Jamaican cuisine, while dining at Jambel Jerk Pit Restaurant and Bar at Sunbreeze Suites in San Pedro
69. Try the Island Style Grouper at O Restaurant at Las Terrazas Resort in San Pedro
70. Take a real estate tour with Sandy Point Real Estate in San Pedro
71. Enjoy fresh seafood at Blue Water Grill, at Sunbreeze Hotel in San Pedro
72. Visit Mahogany Bay Village and try some artisan food options
73. Visit Corozal Town Hall and Corozal House of Culture 74. Take a dip in the Corozal Bay 75. Shop at the local market 76. Visit the Corozal Museum 77. Visit the East Indian Museum 78. Shop at “Art in the Park” in Central Park (a monthly event) 79. Explore Archaeological Sites - Cerros and Santa Rita 80. Go birding at Shipstern Conservation and Management Area
81. Take a day trip to Sarteneja 82. Savor a unique plate of Black Relleno
ORANGE WALK DISTRICT
83. Visit Banquitas House of Culture 84. Try the famous Orange Walk tacos for breakfast 85. Head over to Queen Victoria Park on Saturdays to savor Mestizo and Maya cuisine
86. Enjoy birding at Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area
87. Cruise the New River Lagoon on a Boat Tour 88. Explore the Archaeological Sites of El Pilar, La Milpa, Lamanai and Cuello
89. Swim and have a picnic at the Honey Camp Lagoon 90. Visit Shipyard Mennonite Village
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Follow us @caribbeanlifestylebelize
WRITTEN BY LOUISE ROE
Leave only footprints behind... Belize’s lush jungle, pristine Cayes, vibrant reefs, Maya sites, exotic wildlife, and rich culture make it a destination not to be missed, and to be shared with others. Tourism is crucial to Belize’s economic development and stability, accounting for over 38% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product and is a top foreign exchange and revenue earner. As visitors enjoy the best of Belize, travel in itself plays a large part in destroying destinations natural resources from overcrowding, pollution, cultural distortion and much more. One way to minimize one’s impact on the destination is traveling responsibly. Your travel decisions make a difference to the environment with small changes making a big impact. Here are our top 5 responsible travel tips to consider when traveling in Belize. - CARRY YOUR OWN WATER BOTTLE Reduce plastic waste with a reusable water bottle. Plastic bottles take on average 450 years to biodegrade in the ocean. Many resorts and hotels offer complimentary reusable water bottles upon check-in to support the plastic free in the country. - BE WATER AND POWER CONSCIOUS Belize has many resorts located in remote locations in the jungle and on beautiful Cayes, making power and water sources limited. The environment suffers when these resources are used in excess. Small actions such as switching the lights off when not in the room, having a shower versus a bath, or reusing your towels where you can, will make a marked difference. - RESPECT TOURIST ATTRACTIONS Be respectful when visiting attractions, particularly natural ones. Belize is home to the only living Barrier Reef in the world. When snorkeling, be mindful of where you are. Do not touch or step on the coral reefs below. When exploring Maya sites, be mindful, these historical places date back to 2500 BC so take only memories and leave only footprints. Do not litter, and respect cultural grounds. - BREAK YOUR BAG HABITS As Belize phases out single-use plastic, be sure to carry your own reusable bag around. Plastic bags take 10-20 years to biodegrade in a marine environment. While on a tour you may stumble across a souvenir shop; carry your reusable bag to hold your great new find. Also, when shopping for groceries, shop local. The San Ignacio market is a great place to source fresh produce and fewer packaged products.
Belize, a destination to be enjoyed for years to come.
- DINE OUT AND EAT LOCAL Belizean authentic cuisine is one to be enjoyed. In the mornings, enjoy coffee with a view of the Caribbean Sea, before jetting off on your excursion for the day, rather than grabbing a coffee on the go. For lunch, dine at a local restaurant and be sure to ask for the fresh catch of the day, rather than getting your meal to go. Styrofoam plates and cups take on average 50 years to biodegrade. You’re on holiday so relax and take time to cherish your new vacation memories over a nice meal.
“If we don’t change the way we produce and use plastics, there will be more plastics than fish in our ocean by 2050.” Frans Timmermans, European Commission first vice-president
A RACE TO
Save the Reef Fragments of Hope Coral Restoration Project Across Belize and the Caribbean WRITTEN BY MONIQUE VERNON
oral reef systems are among the greatest natural wonders across the world and provide a number of services to people living in coastal communities around the Caribbean. These services include things such as shoreline protection, nursery habitat for hundreds of other animals including fish and lobster, and aesthetic value for the tourism industry. In Belize these services were valued at more than 500 million USD/year. Climate change and other local threats are impacting these vulnerable ecosystems resulting in a major decline of healthy corals and their associated marine life, putting livelihoods at risk. Caribbean acroporids are key reef-building species but are already critically endangered, hence coral reef restoration is key to climate change adaptation. In Belize, reef restoration began over a decade ago, after Hurricane Iris - a category 4 storm, hit Placencia and Laughing Bird Caye National Park in 2001. Pioneered by Ms. Lisa Carne, she later founded the community-based not-for-profit organization, Fragments of Hope (FoH), which continues to lead restoration efforts in Belize in partnership with the Belize Fisheries Department (BFD). With funding from Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) in 2006, trials began with naturally broken pieces of the critically endangered elkhorn (Acropora palmata) transplanted from Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve (GSSCMR) to Laughing Bird Caye National Park (LBCNP), which is part of Belizeâ€™s Barrier Reef Reserve System, World Heritage Site. The majority of these original transplants are still thriving today, having survived multiple bleaching events, tropical storms and a Category 1 hurricane. Furthermore, they have been shown to spawn, with an 89% survival after over twelve years.
Nurseries were installed in 2009, with a focus on the three Caribbean acroporid taxa but also including eight other slower growing stony coral species, which led to massive out-planting beginning in 2010. Since then, Fragments of Hope has installed and maintained over 23 in situ coral nurseries throughout Belize and out-planted over 80,000 nursery-grown corals to LBCNP alone, where they have increased coral cover from less than 6% to over 50%. CARIBBEANLIFESTYLE.COM
PHOTOS: FRAGMENTS OF HOPE
In addition to actively restoring the Belize Barrier Reef with acroporid corals, Fragments of Hope has been very active in several outreach programs. Fragments of Hope has expanded their reef replenishment efforts to ten other reef sites including Gladden Spit and the Silk Cayes Marine Reserve, Moho Caye and False Caye, South Water Caye Marine Reserve (SWCMR) and Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve (TAMR).
These include Sandwatch a UNESCO based program that focuses on evaluating community environmental issues and developing sustainable solutions with the three primary schools on the Placencia Peninsula.
Other programs have involved leading several lionfish round-ups with community members from the Placencia Tour Guide Association as well as working with the Belize Fisheries Department to provide a manual plus a three-day training workshop aimed at training coastal community members who are then employed part-time in restoration efforts. The success of coral reef restoration at Laughing Bird Caye National Park is hope for the threatened coral reefs.
WAYS TO PROTECT
CORAL REEFS BE A MARINE DEBRIS CRUSADER
IF YOU DIVE
In addition to picking up your own trash, carry away the trash that others have left behind
donâ€™t touch Coral reefs are alive. Stirred-up sediments can smother corals
PRACTICE SAFE BOATING! Anchor in sandy areas away from coral and sea grasses, so that the anchor and chain do not drag on nearby corals
SUNSCREEN Use oxybenzone free
AVOID! CHEMICAL PESTICIDES AND FERTILIZERS
Nutrients from excess fertilizers increases algae growth that blocks sunlight to corals
To learn more visit fragmentsofhope.org CARIBBEANLIFESTYLE.COM
Born to Fish It’s a Way of Life WRITTEN BY MARTINIQUE FABRO
rowing up in Southern Belize with the Caribbean Sea as their own personal playground, it’s no surprise that the Garbutt brothers have become heavyweights in all things fish, flats and fun in Belize. Born and bred Belizean fishermen, Dennis, Eworth, Scully and Oliver come from a long line of fisherfolk, with the Garbutt name being no stranger to the world of fishing. The brothers were raised in the quaint village of Punta Negra in Belize’s most southern district, Toledo.
“It’s the most beautiful life, I wouldn’t change it for anything.” - Eworth For this family, fishing wasn’t just a hobby, it was their livelihood, a differentiation unbeknownst to the brothers growing up, for whom it was a way of life. At a young age, the Garbutt brothers were introduced to handline fishing and gillnets, eventually finding their way to a life of fly fishing in the early 90s. After years of working for other local lodges, the brothers decided to branch out and create a legacy of their own. Their journey from commercial fishing to sports fishing didn’t always go as planned, but they can all agree that it’s been worthwhile. Now owners of Garbutt’s Marine Investment Company Limited, the umbrella company for Garbutt’s Fishing Lodge and their family lodge at Lime Caye, the brothers’ success is a testament to the value of sustainable fishing methods. With business operations in both Placencia and Punta Gorda, they are helping propel Belize to the top of the flats fishing industry as both beneficiaries and custodians of some of the world’s finest flats fishing.
PHOTOS: JIM KLUG
As fly fishers with plenty of experience on our waters, the Garbutt men found a way to first diversify their streams of income, and then completely transitioned from commercial to sports fishing – all while earning more and doing their part to protect our ecologically and economically important marine resources. When discussing defining moments in their journey to sustainable fishing, their most prominent memory was seeing the damage to the coral and fish stock in the areas of Punta Negra and Monkey River caused by fishermen who were setting “lobster nets” that caught and destroyed everything in their path. CARIBBEANLIFESTYLE.COM
The promotion of more environmentally-friendly activities, coupled with the desire to offer that homelike feeling, has allowed the Garbutts to build their business from the ground up. Their choice to move away from commercial fishing has also inspired other fisherfolk around them to do the same. Realizing the value of it, fishermen are now catching and releasing the same fish they would once have put on the market scale. Exploring the sports fishing sector has not only motivated others to do the same, but it’s also given them the opportunity to provide for their families and communities in a more meaningful way. The Garbutt brothers are not only businessmen, but also active members of various fishing associations, advocating for more sustainable fishing practices. As men who focus on long-term sustainability, an issue they are very passionate about is the banning of gillnets, having witnessed the destruction caused by this gear themselves. In an effort to take care of our Belizean waters, something that has always taken care of and provided for them, they support a 100% ban on gillnets with room for meaningful alternatives.
“Whatever we did, whether commercial or sports fishing – it was always together.”
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST LESSON TO GAIN FROM THE GARBUTT BROTHERS? It’s knowing that you don’t exist in isolation and that we live in a shared environment, then having this knowledge leads us to discover methods that benefit our marine life in the long run. To look at the resources we’ve been blessed with and see how we can not only maintain, but also improve them over time. As Eworth once said, “People nuh come da Belize fu eat beef, they come here to eat fish - to look at fish, eat fish, swim with fish, catch fish – it’s all about fish. We’re talking about preservation.” Interested in all things fishing, flats and fun? Contact: www.garbuttsfishinglodge.com
CATCH & RELEASE Ways to keep your catch swimming WRITTEN BY CRISTINA REYNA
What better way to spend your holiday in Belize than fishing! Belize is the perfect destination where you can find many options for sport fishing all year round. Whether fishing from shore, deep sea or on the flats, you are guaranteed a great time.
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE BOOKING YOUR FISHING TRIP
No matter what time of the year you choose to visit, there are always fish around.
Many local fishing charters include fishing licenses as part of the package. If they don’t, you will need to purchase one from Belize’s Coastal Zone Management Authority (CZMA).
The weather and moon cycle influences fishing and is also monitored by the guides to promise a successful getaway. The fishing day usually begins with a good breakfast in front of the beach and ends at sunset, although times are adjusted depending on the tides, weather and other factors.
In 2010 Belize became one of the first countries in the world to insitute a ban on botton trawling, a destructive commercial fishing technique that involves dragging nets along the bottom of the sea floor.
It’s important to know that locals believe strongly in “catch and release”. Which means the act of catching the fish and immediately releasing the fish into the water in the same state that the fish was landed, to protect the fishery.
The only thing you need is a guide along with the perfect equipment and you’ll be good to go.
Belize is proud to be a country that protects bonefish, tarpon and permit as catch and release species. According to the legislation: No person or establishment shall have in possession any Bonefish, Permit or Tarpon or any product form, save and except in the act of catch and release.
Check our Annual Fishing Tournaments:
However, you can always book a fishing trip in unrestricted areas where you can catch and keep other species.
After all, what can be better than a fresh catch of fish grilled at the beach? 16
IF YOU WANT TO GO “PRO”
✔✔ Tres Pescados Grand Slam Fishing Tournament – Ambergris Caye
✔✔ Grand Caribe Belize Deep Sea Classic Tournament – Ambergris Caye
✔✔ Yamaha Saltwater Fishing Tournament – Placencia, Stann Creek District
✔✔ Blue Water Classic, Belize Game Fish Association Tournament
*Find more information in our Calendar of Events CARIBBEANLIFESTYLE.COM
FISHING HOT SPOTS While fishing is good across the country, there are a few prime locations. AMBERGRIS CAYE AND CAYE CAULKER • GETTING THERE You can take a ferry which runs from Belize City almost every hour. The trip lasts between 70 - 90 minutes and tickets cost roughly $18USD to $28USD one-way. There are also regular 20-minute flights to San Pedro Airport from the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport or Municipal Airport in Belize City on Maya Island Air. • CHARTER A FISHING BOAT Spend the day out at sea on a chartered boat. Deep Sea Fishing, the price usually ranges starts at $625USD for a half-day trip, extending to $925USD for a full day trip. Book a Fly Fishing trip, price range from $350USD for a halfday to $525USD for a full day. BELIZE CITY • GETTING THERE: Many resorts and charter boats offer a pickup service from Belize city, often with an extra cost. • CHARTER A FISHING BOAT: Most charter operators from Belize City offer different all-inclusive day trips, Flats or River Fishing start at $550USD, if you prefer Reef Fishing a half-day trip start at $750USD. PLACENCIA, HOPKINS AND PUNTA GORDA • GETTING THERE: Driving down South to Placencia or Hopkins takes approximately two and a half to three hours from Belize City, either by car or bus. Another option would be to take a 40 minutes flight from the International Airport in Belize City on Maya Island Air. • CHARTER A FISHING BOAT: In shore and reef fishing trips range from $350USD for half-day to $450USD for a full day. A Fly Fishing trip the price range from $350USD for a half-day to $525USD for a full day.
Fish Right Eat Right Certifying Belizean Restaurants and Recognizing Fishers WRITTEN BY: DESEREE ARZU
Can you imagine not being able to purchase or eat fish in Belize? Now, imagine Belize without seafood at all. Seems gloomy, doesn’t it? For seafood lovers, it is difficult, or even impossible, to fathom – both now, and in the future! Fish Right Eat Right is an initiative that seeks to guarantee Belizeans, and tourists alike, a long lifetime of enjoying fish and other seafood. It is called FISH RIGHT EAT RIGHT! The Fish Right Eat Right Certification was born from a collaborative process with Belize Tourism Board, Belize Tourism Industry Association, Environmental Defence Fund, Oceana, the Belize Fisheries Department, and the Wildlife Conservation Society. Fish Right Eat Right (FRER) certification ensures a future of seafood in Belize, and it provides incentives for fishers, seafood sellers, restaurants, and consumers to promote and support the harvest, trade, and consumption of sustainably and legally caught seafood. Fish Right Eat Right establishes a local brand that promotes restaurants and hotels which are sourcing seafood in a responsible manner. The Fish Right Eat Right App is available for download for Apple devices on the App Store and for Android on the Play Store. For more information visit http://www.fishrighteatright.com or follow on Facebook @fishrighteatright.
Hip Hip Hooray!
JOIN IN ON THE SEPTEMBER CELEBRATIONS! WRITTEN BY VIVIAN LIZARRAGA
Ask any Belizean, young or old, which month of the year is the one they look forward to the most and hands down the overwhelming response will be September. It is a time of great patriotic celebrations! A month filled with festivities commemorating two important dates in our young country’s history, The Battle of St. George’s Caye and Independence Day. The Battle of St. George’s Caye is celebrated in Belize as a Public and Bank Holiday every year on the 10th of September to honor the British settlers, buccaneers, and slaves who defeated the Spaniards from occupying the territory of Belize on September 10, 1798. After this defeat, the Spaniards never tried to invade the territory of Belize again as they had done several times before between 1716-1779. Belizeans everywhere are very proud of our forefathers for standing up and defending this small nation and making it the only English-speaking country in Central America. After the victory at St. George’s Caye, the British held control over the territory until it was granted selfgovernment, and then had its name changed from British Honduras to Belize on June 1, 1973. The road to independence then followed, with Belize achieving its independence from Britain on September 21, 1981. Now that you have an insight into why Belizeans are so passionate about celebrating the month of September, it is time to get the activities going.
Mark your calendars and join in a month filled with countrywide parades, music fests, dancing, carnivals, food festivals, and of course one of the biggest expos in the country showcasing Belizean goods and services. You will be welcomed upon arrival into the country by colorful patriotic decorations with Belizean flags flying high on every lamp post, office building, home, and even cars and bicycles.
PHOTOS: OLIVERA RUSU
QUEEN OF THE BAY - August 30th Move over Miss Universe! The Queen of the Bay pageant is every little Belizean girl’s dream. Beautiful young ladies from all over the country’s districts vie for this prestigious title. The night is filled with tradition dating back to the first pageant in 1946. You can expect to see a stage decorated in the national colors of red, white, and blue with a throne fit for any royal, flanked by jesters and a heralder. Future Queens grace the stage in elaborate formal gowns ready to demonstrate the art of the curtsy for which they have trained to execute flawlessly to impress the judges and the audience. The winner of the pageant joins a lineage of queens to be recorded in history. She is officially crowned on September 10th at the official ceremonies of the Battle of St. George’s Caye Day Celebrations. CARIBBEANLIFESTYLE.COM
Envision constant music and dancing, stages and streets filled with colorful costumes, and strangers soon becoming dance partners covered in mud, chocolate or paint as they immerse themselves in Soca songs. The following events are a must to be experienced firsthand. King and Queen Competition – August 31st Giant, colorful and elaborate costumes are put on display by people of all ages. They are judged for their creativity and originality. The participants show off their dance moves to a crowd of revelers and keen judges. At the end of the night, a King and Queen are chosen to lead the biggest carnival in Belize City.
Join us in this truly patriotic month of the year!
Jouvert - September 7th Get some rest the night before and be sure to set your alarm for this event usually starts at 4 a.m. This party involves participants smearing mud, chocolate or paint on their bodies as they dance the morning away through the streets of the old capital. Anyone can participate in the fun and there is no fee unless you would like to join an all-inclusive group which provides all the must-haves for this event, including alcohol. Road March - September 7th After a couple of hours to recharge your body’s batteries and a quick lunch, it is time to head out to the streets and immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of carnival. The King and Queen of Carnival are joined by participants decked out in all their costume magnificence ready to dance for about five hours to music exploding from huge speakers on trucks. Be prepared to join in the fun. A block party usually follows at the Marion Jones stadium or at one of the parks.
PHOTO: ANDREW USHER
Expo Belize Market Place - September 14th & 15th Time to get some shopping done for some of the best deals in the country. A range of Belizean products are on display for two days at great prices. People come from all over the country to enjoy food, drinks, music and of course freebies. OFFICIAL CEREMONIES
The Battle of St. George’s Caye September 10th The official ceremony takes place around 9 a.m. at the Memorial Park in Belize City and is hosted by the Mayor of the city. The Queen of the Bay is crowned on this day and makes her debut on a float during the parade which follows immediately after. Flag Raising Ceremony - September 20th The night is filled with excitement as fireworks light the Belize City Harbour. The night starts with free music concerts and at the stroke of midnight, the Belize flag is raised to a great display of pomp and circumstance. Independence Day - September 21st Official ceremonies take place in Belize City as well as the new capital Belmopan, and are attended by government leaders, local and foreign dignitaries and special guests. This is followed by parades which includes schools, the military and floats by various businesses. CARIBBEANLIFESTYLE.COM
IN THE CARIBBEAN WRITTEN BY CLARA DOBSON
ate summer and early fall may not be known for their packed event calendars in the Caribbean but you’ll still be amazed at the number of things taking place! CC+L takes a look at some of the things happening on the calendar as summer and fall arrive. FOR THE CARNIVAL LOVERS… If there is ever a time in the Caribbean that doesn’t have a carnival happening, we are yet to find it! Synonymous with Caribbean culture, it seems there is always something to celebrate! In Belize, August and September are huge months for celebrations, you can experience multiple activities such as Carnival Road March, Battle of St. Georges Caye parades, and Independence Day Celebrations. FOR THE FOOD LOVERS Much like carnival, the Caribbean is well known for its incredible flavors and fresh ingredients. It’s no surprise then, that even at the quiet times of the year, you can still always find somewhere that is celebrating something to do with food! First up – St Lucia and it’s much-celebrated Food & Rum Festival. Taking place between September 19th - 22nd, this event attracts some incredible chefs, food critics, wine connoisseurs and of course, rum fanatics! The festival includes cooking demonstrations, plentiful tasting opportunities, celebrity chef dinners and many cultural food experiences. In true Caribbean style, there are of course musical events to enjoy alongside all the culinary enjoyment. See more information at www.stlucia.org If you can’t make it to St Lucia, fear not! Barbados has its very own Food & Rum Festival from October 24th-27th. Often referred to as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean, this year celebrates 10 years of the festival and features Tom Aikens, one of the UK’s most acclaimed British chefs, and the youngest British chef ever to be awarded two Michelin Stars. Journey your way across the island as you experience a series of food, drink events, and gastronomic galas, all designed to celebrate the unique flavor of Barbados. Tempt yourself further at www.foodandrum.com Third on the food diary is the Jamaica Food & Drink Festival where you can really uncover the tastes of the island. Jamaicans take their food seriously and this festival features seven distinct culinary events, each showcasing their own unique flavors. Across the city of Kingston, Jamaica’s most talented chefs and drink experts come together to create dishes and dining experiences based on specific themes. Even better, most
of the festival events take place at night meaning that you can take full advantage of exploring the vibrant city during the daytime. The festival lasts a week and begins on October 26th. You can find all the information you need at www.jafoodanddrink.com
Local Businesses Going Green Sustainable Operation Survey conducted by Caribbean Culture and Lifestyle to 30 Belizean Developments
35% Embrace Recycling 85% Go Green by turning off lights and air conditioner when not in use 100% Encourage guests to reuse LOOKING FOR SPORTS? If sport is your thing you could head to St Lucia during the second week of September for their 3rd annual DiveFest – a celebration of their vibrant underwater wonderland. The festival features a plethora of exciting diving and conservation experiences, infused with events such as a lion fish derby, underwater photo workshops, sunset cruises, a pirate-themed dinner and even an opportunity to attend an underwater wedding! Dive and accommodation packages are available from most resorts during this time and you can find out all about the underwater extravaganza by visiting the website www.stlucia.org For the runners out there… why not sign up to do one of the most beautiful races you’ll ever run by heading to the Nevis Marathon and Running Festival from September 5th – 7th! With a full marathon, half marathon, 10km and 5km race, there’s something for every level of runner. Better still, the event is kid friendly, and what better way to relax your legs after a race than by relaxing on one of the islands incredible beaches! You can register for the event by visiting the website www.booknevis.com and searching for Nevis Marathon.
towels if possible
85% Use environmentally friendly products 60% Care about water conservation by installing toilet tank fill diverters in bathrooms
70% Find other uses for old table cloths, napkins or even bed sheets 100% Encourage all employees to practice conservation at work and home 50% Have heating and cooling systems 85% Have energy saving technologies 100% Reduce plastic usage for food and beverage by choosing reusable alternatives
“Small Country, Big Birding” WRITTEN BY CAROLEE CHANONA
elize offers the best of both worlds: jungles and beaches, Maya history and ancient ruins, wildlife and nature, adventure and relaxation. Being both Caribbean and Central American, our tiny English-speaking nation nestled at the base of the Yucatan Peninsula is a naturalist’s delight – and birders have certainly learned Mother Nature’s best kept secret. With 85 ecosystems and nearly 600 bird species to explore within approximately 9,000 square miles, Belize contains a vast diversity of forests from pine savanna to lowland rainforest to ecologically-rich island cayes and atolls. With such flora, incredible fauna lies just within reach that new and experienced birders alike will revel in a neotropical birding adventure. Often compared to a form of meditation that demands quiet focus and movement with intent, birding reveals unexpected delight in the discovery of new species, the usual suspects, and the beauty of adventure in-between. If you’re a beginner birder, I suggest a little patience. Through your binoculars, you’ll likely see movement amongst the branches not yet identifiable, but your feathered reward may emerge before you know it. Minutes may pass before the oddly-shaped bird with an oversized beak emerges in a flash of yellow, and while you may be delighted with the tiny glimpse of color, a little patience would reveal the Keel-billed Toucan in all its glory. As you wait, take a moment to become swathed by the tapestry of birdsong that surrounds you. Though you may not be able to identify what species are making these sounds, you’ll start separating the different strands of the forest’s symphony and realize the avian-diversity that surrounds you.
PHOTOS: JASON TIESMAN
With October marking the peak of migration season, be sure to plan out your day by region to reap the most benefits. Explore fertile wetlands, savannas, and mountainous terrain for avifauna in Southern Belize by waking up within Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. Rustic accommodations place you in the heart of the world’s first jaguar preserve with your alarm being a cacophony of the jungle, like the sweet sounding Whitebreasted Wood Wren and Northern Schiffornis. Within the 127,000 protected acres of Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary lie all five of Belize’s wildcats, boisterous howler monkeys, rambunctious game birds, and even the boar-like Peccaries of Belize – not to mention the beautiful (and rare) Black and White Hawk-eagle, Lovely Cotinga, and Crimson-collared Tanager. Keep your binoculars handy during your lunch break at the coastline of cultural Hopkins Village, which offers both coastal and wetland birding. If you’re feeling adventurous, end your day with an adrenaline-pumping zipline in Bocawina National Park.
2ND ANNUAL BELIZE BIRDING FESTIVAL October 19th - 20th, 2019
in San Ignacio Resort & Hotel
MEGA*- BIRDS IN BELIZE
PHOTO: RONI MARTINEZ
An early departure out of Western Belize towards Las Cuevas lands you within Belize’s largest national park, Chiquibul National Park, where pristine greenery envelopes you in the Scarlet Macaw’s first choice for their breeding grounds. Grab lunch as you head towards the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve for an afternoon of high-elevation species, including the critically endangered Orange-Breasted Falcon and the mega-rare Solitary Eagle. Reward yourself with a dip in Rio on Pools and end with the awe of Belize’s 1,000 Foot Falls. Travelers venturing to Northern Belize should explore the vast wetland diversity of Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, a RAMSAR Site since 1998, where you can find concentrated flocks of Roseate Spoonbills, Fulvous Whistling-Ducks, White Ibises, and the Jabiru – the tallest flying bird in Central and South America. Grab a northern favorite fast food, like cornbased street tacos, before heading further North towards the Lamanai Mayan Ruin. If you’re willing to bump up your Belizean Lifers, the night boat tour offered by Lamanai Outpost Lodge along the New River can yield the much-sought after Yucatan Nightjar, Northern Potoo, and Yucatan Poorwill. As eco-tourism in Belize grows, lodges are increasingly catering to hikers and birders with plenty of local guides willing to jump headfirst into your next avian adventure. Wherever your adventure takes you, hiring a locally-trained bird guide enhances your birding experience while strengthening Belize’s growing eco-economy! Birding provides an incentive to safeguard natural habitats for our feathered-friends, while simultaneously improving livelihoods. So, start planning your bucket list of Belizean lifers today!
• • • • • • • • •
Solitary Eagle Lovely Cotinga Stygian Owl Orange-Breasted Falcon Ornate Hawk Eagle Rose-Throated Tanager Slate-Colored Solitaire Speckled Mourner Elegant Euphonia
BIRD SPECIES IN BAS PROTECTED AREAS (2018): •
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary: 350 sp.
Guanacaste National Park: 120 sp.
Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary: 332 sp.
St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park: 300 sp.
NOTEWORTHY BIRDS OF THESE PROTECTED AREAS 1. Shining Honeycreeper 2. Keel-Billed Motmot 3. Slate-Colored Solitaire 4. Black and White Hawk-Eagle 5. Band-Tailed Barbthroat 6. Uniform Crake 7. Speckled Mourner 8. Lovely Cotinga 9. Elegant Euphonia BIRDING SLANG
1. Lifer : The first-time sighting of a bird for an individual. 2. Mega : A very rare bird. 3. Big Day: To observe as many species as possible within a calendar day. Same applies to a Big Year. 4. GISS: Acronym for General Impression Shape and Size; experienced birders can often identify birds from this tool, and not one particular feature. 5. Nemesis Bird : A species that constantly eludes you. 6. Warbler Neck: A pain or crick-inthe- neck caused by an extended time looking for birds high up in trees, like warblers. 7. SOB: Acronym for “Spouse of Birder”; someone who is married to or involved with a birder but is not a birder themselves. 8. Butter Butts : Yellow-rumped warblers.
Make a Difference
WRITTEN BY CRISTINA REYNA
here’s no better feeling than traveling with a purpose and being part of a bigger change by supporting local communities. You can contribute to long term goals and experience life in this beautiful Caribbean country while making a difference.
In Belize there are many inspiring individuals leading the way in conservation!
FOR A BETTER FUTURE A LOOK AT INSPIRING INDIVIDUALS PAVING THE WAY FOR A BETTER BELIZE
PACK FOR A PURPOSE Rebecca Rothney Educational Programs -----------------------------------While traveling around Belize, you can also find ways to make a difference by supporting a community.
PROJECTS ABROAD Belize Conservation --------------------------------The perfect way to volunteer in Belize, either in San Pedro or Placencia, is to join a long-term volunteering project with Projects Abroad.
Rebecca Rothney founded Pack for a Purpose with the idea that everyone can choose to give something back to small communities and support education, health and agriculture projects to build a better future. She was always taught to take a hostess gift when she was a guest, as a way of expressing gratitude for the hospitality. So, she decided to simply transfer that lesson to extend to a country when she founded Pack for a Purpose.
This organization has the goal to support conservation and reserves in Belize. They offer the opportunity to help in the conservation of this beautiful country with different programs. One of the conservation projects consists of monitoring sea life for scientific data which is then shared with the Belize Fisheries Department to create policies that protect sea life; keeping corals in good condition and safeguarding the animal ecosystem.
There are many non - profit service projects and organizations and to which tourists can donate. With Pack for a Purpose, a visitor interested in responsible tourism can help children in Belize by donating: • School supplies including backpacks, notebooks, and writing equipment to a number of these nonprofits. • Medical supplies to support hospitals and clinics, improving wellness in small communities. • Agriculture small tools for community sustainable Agricultural projects.
As a tourist, the best way to help them is by being an environmentally conscious traveler; be careful around the reef when swimming, choose plasticfree products, and keep trash out of the water.
On the website, you will find the specific needs list for each project so you can bring what is most beneficial for that project. You don’t need to do more than make space in your suitcase and fill it with the purpose of helping.
Take a step out of your comfort zone and volunteer in this extraordinary tropical setting!
For more information visit www.packforapurpose.org
Belize is a beautiful country with diverse cultures. There are spectacular beaches, marine parks, and the second largest barrier reef in the world. This is definitely a destination for beach lovers. Belize also has a rich Mayan history. There are fascinating museums and archaeological sites.
For more information you can contact Projects Abroad Team on the website www.projects-abroad.org and join a good cause by giving the best of yourself to this beautiful country.
ECOTOURISM BELIZE Marcelia Assi Sustainability & Eco Tourism ---------------------------------------Southern Belize is the perfect place to have transformative experiences. Marcelia Assi works as works as Business
Manager for award winning, non- profit, non-governmental organization, Ya’axche’ Conservation Trust’s social business arm - Ya’axche’ Institute for Conservation Education (YICE).
Their vision is “connecting nature, wildlife and communities for a more sustainable world.’’ Marcelia is passionate about the offerings that Ecotourism Belize has, because its main goal is to be a funding source to the conservation work of Ya’axche’ which is essential to nature, biodiversity, and communities. The social business offers the world unique adventures and transformative learning experiences through local guidance. You can tour a cacao farm and savor the rich, organic chocolate crafted by farming families. Immerse yourself in the Maya culture for a day through our Maya Cultural Experience. You will learn how to cook, make crafts and maybe even dance the cultural dances after a firehearth cooked meal. Travelers with great interest in being a part of the change by supporting conservation work in southern Belize can do so by booking a stay or a tour, and engaging in experiential learning with Ya’axché Conservation Trust. You will leave knowing that you are contributing to the development and protection of nature in Belize. Visit ecotourismbelize.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org. CARIBBEANLIFESTYLE.COM
It’s not difficult to make the switch. WRITTEN BY TANYA MCNAB
aribbean countries depend more on coastal and marine environments than any other region on Earth. Its coral reefs, beaches, and fisheries serve as an economic engine. The livelihood of so many of us depends on it, yet we seldom make a conscious effort to take care of it. The scale of plastic pollution in our oceans is truly staggering. An estimated 8 to 11 million tons of plastic enters the oceans every year — the equivalent of emptying a garbage truck filled with plastic into the oceans every minute! It doesn’t have to be this way. We can make a difference. Globally, we need to work on reversing the effects of the last 30 years of plastic pollution, as well as ensuring that we do better for our oceans in the future. Every individual or business has to decide where to start. It’s actually quite easy to make a switch, and every effort counts. For example, straws might seem like a trivial place to begin — but they are available just about everywhere a drink is sold. The US alone uses 500 million straws each day. The sad truth is that none of them can be recycled because they’re typically made from single-use plastic and are so flimsy that they can’t endure the recycling process. Most of these straws end up in the world’s oceans, rivers and lakes where they clog shorelines and endanger wildlife. They can easily end up being mistaken for food by marine life, which, when swallowed, can cause injury or even death. There has been a discussion around Polylactic Acid Plastics (PLA), made from renewable resources such as corn starch or sugar cane, as an alternative source. Even though they are produced in a way that provides less pollution to the environment, they are not a viable option in countries, such as Belize and other Caribbean islands, where composting facilities do not exist. PLA Plastics do biodegrade, however, they do so very slowly, taking about 100 years. As a culture, we have become accustomed to using a straw, but the good news is, there’s no need to give it up, you just have to make a conscious effort to use an appropriate alternative.
Let’s do our part to save our reefs!
ALTERNATIVES TO USING PLASTIC STRAWS
1. Bamboo Straws – Reusable for years and is biodegradable. 2. Metal Straws – Very durable, and a great personal option - and most come with a carrying case so you can always have it on the go. 3. Paper Straws - For a disposable straw, paper is your best bet and an excellent alternative for businesses which need to offer straws. An even better way, is to only offer straws in your establishment upon request! 4. Reusable Cups with built-in straws – A trendy and fashionable alternative for both hot and cold beverages and especially useful at home, travel and work.
BELIZE’S HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY is going green What does it truly mean to go green?
The movement for going green has been exemplary throughout the years. Many consumers and companies have taken the extra step to positively contribute to the well-being of the environment. Whether it be done through the three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle), purchasing organic food, biodegradable products or turning down the thermostat, these actions can make a huge difference to our planet. By adopting eco-friendly habits, not only are you doing your part to protect the environment, but it is also self-satisfying. Utilizing and maintaining conservational techniques make the planet livable for the next generations to enjoy, and it gives us hope of a cleaner and brighter future.
BELIZE OCEAN CLUB Is Committed To Taking Strides to be a Eco-Tourism Leader WRITTEN BY: MARCIA MARTINEZ LAAS’
Belize Ocean Club brings its ecologically conscious initiatives to Placencia, contributing to wildlife conservation and sustainable systems and helping the country reduce waste and pollution. Nestled away in the quaint village of Placencia, Belize Ocean Club is flanked by water on either side, placing their guests a few steps away from the pristine Belizean beaches just off the world’s largest living barrier reef, while still overlooking the breathtaking Mayan mountains. The property has recently been brought under new management of STEM®, a “true boutique hotel” management company going the extra mile to ensure the protection of the countries’ incredible natural landscape that attracts tourists from all over the world. Belize Ocean Club is fully committed to the country-wide prohibition of single-use plastics by enforcing the use of locally manufactured bamboo straws on the property. The straws are made in the province of Stann Creek without the use of electricity by cutting the bamboo trees and letting them dry in the natural sunlight. This switch to local biodegradable and reusable materials largely contributes to the elimination of pollution and waste. The on-site organic garden allows guests to delight in delicious farmto-table cuisine using the freshly-picked ingredients harvested just a few yards away from the kitchen. Among the multitude of produce harvested, one can find tropical fruits, native herbs, and staple vegetables used to prepare amazing meals that educate guests even more about local Belizean dishes and food culture. The hotel is decorated with various locally sourced materials used to outfit the common areas and furnish the suites, not only reducing the properties’ carbon footprint but maintaining the unique rustic look and feel found in Placencia. Under the leadership of STEM®, Belize Ocean Club plans to continue growing and implementing its sustainability efforts on the property, aiding in the preservation of Belize’s beautifully diverse nature. CARIBBEANLIFESTYLE.COM
PHOTOS: BELIZE OCEAN CLUB COURTESY
RAY CAYE ISLAND RESORT Experience paradise the way nature intended WRITTEN BY VIVIAN LIZARRAGA
Travelers are increasingly becoming eco-conscious and prefer staying at an eco hotel when booking their vacation. Contrary to the popular misconceptions about sustainability, eco-friendly travel doesn’t mean you need to skip out on luxury. Take a look at Ray Caye Island Resort, located 17 miles East of Placencia, Belize; on this island, you get to wake up to sunshine and blue waters every day, while leaving nothing but footprints in the sand in keeping with your love for conservation and sustainability. Ray Caye’s primary source of power is solar power. Solar panels generate free electricity by transferring the sun’s heat to produce all the energy needed to operate the property. Constantly looking for new ways to take care of the environment, the resort is Belize’s first to introduce the TESLA Powerwall. This rechargeable lithium-ion battery stationary energy storage product is the most recent addition to the solar power grid, enabling Ray Caye to run wholly on clean, green energy. One of its features allows the resort to have an insight on how much energy is generated through the power grids so for those times when the sun isn’t shining or it’s raining, the resort has plenty energy stored for backup. What makes the resort so unique is that guests still have the pleasure of enjoying all the facilities and accommodations they would expect on any other private island getaway. Warm showers, electricity to charge devices, lighting whenever needed and great food at the Lionfish Grill are all offered without them having to make any sacrifices to enjoy their stay. In 2018, Ray Caye developed their own organic garden sharing with its guests freshly grown produce that is used to prepare tasty and flavorsome meals at the restaurant. The private island resort truly caters to vacationers who are looking for an exotic and fun place that is also authentic and completely natural. PHOTOS: LEONARDO MELENDEZ
The resort understands how important protecting Belize’s marine ecosystem is. Recently, the proprietors of Ray Caye partnered with The Getch Foundation, a program started in 2015 by Sir Richard Branson and the Caribbean ClimateSmart Accelerator that focuses on ocean conservation, to assist in protecting Belize’s Marine Reserve Cayes. One such reserve suffering from erosion are the Silk Cayes three tiny islands that form an integral part of the larger Gladden Spit and Silk Caye Marine Reserve – a wellknown diving and snorkeling spot. The Getch Foundation recognizes that change begins at home – in this case, their Ray Caye home of Belize.
“We are truly committed to making a real and quantifiable difference when it comes to ocean conservation so it is with great pleasure that we are able to provide funding to Belize, a country that has proven time and again that they are dedicated to preserving their marine life. We are especially excited to be able to finance the Silk Cayes project and help save this valuable Marine Reserve” - Jesse Robinson, Executive Director, Getch Foundation
You can read more about the Getch Foundation on their website: www.getch.org CARIBBEANLIFESTYLE.COM
PHOTO: THE FAMILY COPPOLA HIDEAWAYS
THE FAMILY COPPOLA HIDEAWAYS
A Green Getaway doesn’t Mean Sacrificing Luxury WRITTEN BY VIVIAN LIZARRAGA
As people become more conscious about going green, many are now wanting to stay in eco-friendly resorts when they travel. Blancaneaux Lodge, located in Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, and Turtle Inn, located in Placencia, are incredible places to do just that in Belize. The resorts are dedicated to sustainable tourism practices, designed to protect endangered species. Owners Francis and Eleanor Coppola see their role as conservators to preserve and strongly support Belize’s “Best Kept Secret”. With that said, the luxurious hideaways were created and designed in a way to blend into the natural environment by using low profile, environmentally sound designs, thatch, hardwoods, pine, bamboo and locally produced tiles. The design for the rooms allows the resorts to not use air conditioning. The windows, screened doors, ceiling fans and high thatch ceilings allows air circulation to enable hot air to escape; therefore, allowing cool breeze to flow in and out. For nearly twenty years, Blancaneaux Lodge has implemented eco-friendly systems and procedures, including a focus on renewable energy use and waste management. In 1993, a hydroelectric plant was installed at the resort supplying the property with clean and renewable power. Excess energy that is generated is used to heat the hot pool at the hideaway’s Waterfall Spa. Both Blancaneaux Lodge and Turtle Inn monitor water usage and apply comprehensive strategies to reduce water consumption, such as using a natural filtration system and controlling the flow of showerheads in the bathrooms at all properties. Guests are also supplied with bulk purchased, locally sourced, and organic handmade toiletries. This helps reduce the hideaways’ carbon footprint by eliminating the need for packaging and transport. You can also enjoy a beautiful lakeshore setting at La Lancha, located above the shores of Lago Petén Itza in Guatemala. Buried deep within the rainforest, its the ideal destination for being one with nature. Staying at these resorts gets more interesting as they feature an expansive organic garden offering guests a variety of fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs which in turn gives them a tastier meal at the on-site restaurants. The resorts also employed the stainless steel water bottle program, aimed to reduce plastic water bottle usage. Blancaneaux Lodge and Turtle Inn have also ditched the plastic straws and are fully onboard with using bamboo straws. So as you can see, these amazing resorts are proof that a green getaway doesn’t mean sacrificing luxury during your stay. Guests still have the comfort and pleasure of enjoying all the amenities they would expect on any other luxurious vacation. CARIBBEANLIFESTYLE.COM
Birthplace of a Culture Mestizo Origins at Santa Rita, Corozal WRITTEN BY G. MICHAEL BOWEN
he ruins of Santa Rita in Northern Belize are believed by researchers to be the central structures of the ancient Maya city of Chetumal, and the legendary birthplace of the Mestizo Culture. Santa Rita is a small archaeological site just outside Corozal Town, near the Mexican border. A small but impressive pyramid with a grand central staircase rises at the site’s center. From the central platform at the top of the pyramid, one can gaze out over the vast blue-green expanse of the Chetumal Bay. This vantage point would have been perfect for the ancient Maya as it is strategically positioned at the intersection of two critical trade routes; the great Rio Hondo to the North, and the New River to the South. Though current day Chetumal is located just over the border in Mexico to the north, evidence found at Santa Rita and the surrounding areas leads researchers to believe that the site is in fact the center of the famed Mayan city of Chactemal (Chetumal). Trade objects of foreign origin such as jade, obsidian and gold, link the site with nearby regions including Northern Yucatan, Highlands Guatemala and Central Mexico. These foreign treasures were likely traded for locally produced goods such as cacao, honey and wax.
SECTION OF WEST MURAL AT SANTA RITA DEPICTING ITZAMNA RECREATED BY MAYA RESEARCHER THOMAS GANN
Making up roughly half the population of Belize, the Mestizo are a mix of American indigenous (often Mayan) and Spanish bloodlines. Mestizo people are spread across the Americas and make up the majority of the population of Latin America.
In recent years, the pyramid at Santa Rita has become the stage for a series of wedding reenactments, depicting the famous union of the Mayan Princess Zazil Há of Chactemal, and her Spanish husband, Gonzalo Guerrero.
Today, the pyramid at Santa Rita is mostly quiet, except for the few times a year when wedding reenactments or other events take place. Across the Rio Hondo, modernday Chetumal has grown into a bustling border-city marketplace, living up to its ancient namesake.
Guerrero was a Spanish solider and sailor who was shipwrecked off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in 1511. He and one of his mates survived the wreck, but were captured and imprisoned by the Mayans and sold to King Nachán Kan of Chactemal.
The Mestizo culture however, transcends borders – and the story of Gonzalo Guerrero and Princess Zazil Há lives on.
Legend has it that Guerrero battled a river alligator in order to protect a local lord, thereby impressing the King, and earning his freedom. Guerrero soon assimilated. He worked with the warriors of his new clan and taught them European war techniques. He learned the language, pierced his ears, and even tattooed his skin. Eventually, Guerrero integrated fully into his new community and was encouraged to marry the King’s daughter, Princess Zazil Há. The children born to Gonzalo Guerrero and Princess Zazil Há are the first recorded children of the ethnic group known as Mestizo.
Santa Rita is located on the outskirts of Corozal Town, just off the Northern Highway that leads to Mexico. Take the highway through town heading north, then take the first left after the Mayan pyramid roundabout (traffic circle). The site is one block down on the right.
What to Bring
Bottled water, comfortable footwear and mosquito repellent. CARIBBEANLIFESTYLE.COM
PROTECTING GENTLE GIANTS WRITTEN BY JAMAL GALVES
anatees are some of the most interesting and unusual mammals in the world. With 800-1000 individuals, Belize is home to the highest-known population of this species in the world due to its coastline being highly conducive to manatee life. These playful and gentle giants, often described as “Sea Cows”, live in shallow and warm waters. Because of their slow metabolism, they spend half of their day resting and the other half slowly swimming in search of food. Manatees can be found up and down the entire coast of Belize however, the best area to spot them would be:
Another Love Affair Itzamna & Ix Chel Researchers studying ancient objects unearthed at Santa Rita suggest that the site may have been home to a specialized religious order or cult which venerated the Mayan god Itzamna. Often personified as an elderly male emerging from the mouth of a reptile, Itzamna is a creator deity of Mayan mythology who resides in the sky and is associated with wisdom, occult knowledge and the sun (Knich Ahau). Itzamna is paired with Ix Chel, a Mayan goddess of medicine, water, motherhood and the moon. Legend tells that this power couple birthed thirteen children, from whom humankind is ultimately brought forth. This cult of Itzamna may have been linked with the cult of Ix Chel whose home was further north on the Mexican island of Cozumel. Mayan women seeking assurance of a fruitful marriage journeyed to Cozumel to praise the goddess Ix Chel. Could it be possible, Mayan men journeyed to ancient Chactemal (Santa Rita) to commune with Itzamna, thus attaining wisdom and even getting a taste of secret knowledge? CARIBBEANLIFESTYLE.COM
• • •
Northern Lagoon: located inside of the Corozal Bay Wildlife Sanctuary Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary: located approximately seven miles from Belize City. Gales Point Manatee Wildlife Sanctuary: located in the Southern Lagoon just offshore from the southern part of Belize District.
Manatees are still considered endangered in Belize as the threats and mortality rate of this species continues to increase rapidly each year. While they can live as long as humans, generally manatees live up to 30 years in the wild due to human activities that threaten them. Poaching, which was once the main threat to this species, has been replaced by watercraft collisions, destruction of coastal habitat, entanglement in fishing gear, and garbage pollution. Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute, formerly Sea to Shore Alliance, has been working in Belize since 1997 to help study and protect the manatees. The organization focuses on conserving our world’s fragile coastal ecosystems
PHOTO: MANATEE CONSERVATION
and the endangered species that call them home. It is critical to protect Belize’s manatee population as they are a part of the country’s culture, heritage, history, and provide ecosystem services that benefit coastal communities and other wildlife. Manatees are vital to Belize’s marine ecosystem as, primarily herbivores, they consume 10% of their weight daily. By processing this consumed vegetation and releasing it into the environment, it serves as a fertilizer for the environment and food for smaller species. Many tourists flock to Belize’s waterways to experience these gentle giants in their natural habitat, thus helping the local economy by providing sustainable jobs and opportunities to many Belizeans. The Manatee is both a beautiful symbol of the culture in Belize and a graceful animal to witness in the wild. For all of these reasons, it is important to continue our conservation efforts and educate the public to protect manatees by being careful in the water, and reducing our impact on their habitats in Belize and around the world. YOUR
#1 BELIZE RESOURCE
SERVICES Real Estate, Retirement, Vacation Planning, Business Formation & Acquisition CONTACT ME NOW email@example.com 501-615-0333 www.ParadiseGuy.TV
Profiting in Paradise WRITTEN BY WILLIAM NAROD “THE PARADISE GUY” PHOTO MONICA GALLARDO PHOTOGRAPHY
elize, our tropical paradise and one of the last hidden treasures of Central America, is no longer a secret.
Fast becoming a world class vacation destination, this Caribbean, English speaking, tax haven is also home to a hot real estate market. Today, Belize is attracting investors and entrepreneurs from all around the world. Once popular with retirees and vacationers, Belize now attracts people of all ages and financial means who dream of starting their own business, investing in real estate, or building their dream home. Early on, Belize relied on fishing and coconut plantations for its financial survival, but today, tourism is king. Visitors quickly fall in love with the natural beauty, friendly people, amazing marine life and close proximity to North America. More direct flights by major carriers continue to be added making it less expensive and more convenient to reach Belize. This has helped the tourism industry grow consistently over the last three years. In the 1st quarter of 2017, Belize had over 38,000 international visitors. In the same quarter of 2018 that total grew to over 40,000. For 2019, it is up once again to 46,400, a 15% increase. In April of this year, almost 28,000 Americans arrived in Belize with 76% flying into Phillip Goldson International Airport in Belize City. Despite recent renovations and expansion, the airport is once again near capacity. According to travel experts, Belize won’t get any less popular. Confidence in this market is growing quickly. And why shouldn’t it?
With increasing tourism, higher occupancy and nightly accommodation rates, as well as more direct flights, many are betting Belize will continue on its current trajectory. Even big hotels have planted their flags on Ambergris Caye, the country’s number one tourist destination. This vote of confidence by the big brands has spurred outside investment, jump-started development and forced infrastructure upgrades. Overseas publications recognize Ambergris Caye and Belize as a top investment and tax haven, the best place to retire, and even the best island to live on. All of this together has investors rushing to catch the Belize prosperity wave. One popular investment strategy is to acquire a property and list it on sites like Airbnb to generate rental income. This also provides a great place to stay or live when it is not rented. Others buy land in the path of progress to cash out for profit or develop at a future date. Increasing demand and steady appreciation have benefited many who have done this in past years. All indicators point to more of the same for the foreseeable future but buyers beware; make sure you understand the way things are done in Belize. Prior to purchasing property, starting a business, retiring, or vacationing, you should seek the guidance of an experienced team of professionals to guide you on where to go, what to do and, how to get things done in Belize.
Amazing adventures, a dream lifestyle, and potential profits await you in Belize! CARIBBEANLIFESTYLE.COM
A DAY AT Goff’s Caye WRITTEN BY KYLE CASTILLO
f you’re looking for things to do in Belize City, one of the most beautiful attractions you can visit is the nearby island of Goff’s Caye. Managed by Belize Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI), Goff’s Caye has been a part of the Belizean heritage for many years and is also registered as an archaeological site because of its history as a colonial settlement area. Located 12 nautical miles east of Belize City in the central region of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, the island is one of the major marine destinations for cruise ships and local visitors alike. This is because it is easily accessible and offers a unique mixture of sun, sand and healthy reefs, embodying the true essence of Belize and a tropical adventure. Some of the most spectacular snorkeling in Belize happens just a short swim off the white soft sandy beach of Goff’s Caye. The crystal-clear blue waters and beautiful coral gardens makes Goff’s Caye a true haven for sunbathers and snorkelers. Approximately 1,461 acres, the small island sits right on the edge of the Belize Barrier Reef with waters to the South and East, where you will be able to discover a community of resident corals, lobster, an abundance of colorful fish, stingrays and much more.
PHOTO: BELIZE COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT
SUSTAINING THIS LITTLE JEWEL FOR GENERATIONS TO COME! Since 2004, Belize Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI) has been committed to preserving and sustaining this jewel. When you arrive at the island, you will notice that Goff’s Caye is filled with nothing but coconut palms swaying in the cool sea breeze, pristine sandy beach, turquoise waters, picnic tables, communal facilities, and BBQ grills. In its commitment to make infrastructural improvements to facilitate a greater experience for visitors of the island the Government of Belize recently signed a US$10 million loan contract with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); a portion of which will be used to improve overall management and monitoring at Goff’s Caye. In addition to providing access to day-to-day facilities and maintaining the island’s cleanliness and infrastructure, CZMAI also takes steps to reduce Belize’s vulnerability to climate change, by conducting monitoring efforts to understanding the difference between natural and man-made disturbances. Through realizing these sustainable management efforts and striking the balance between development and protecting the environment, CZMAI intends to maximize Goff’s Caye’s facility, both for current and future generations. Getting to the Island There is no public water taxi service that can take you directly to the island; however, you’re free to use your own private vessel or book a day tour with many tour operators around Belize City who can facilitate your travel needs to Goff’s Caye for an affordable price.
Come Visit a slice of Paradise CARIBBEANLIFESTYLE.COM
A COUNTRY WITH A RICH CULTURAL HERITAGE
People and Culture
WRITTEN BY CRISTINA REYNA
Exploring New Cultures Is the Best Part of Traveling. Whether having a friendly conversation or trying a local dish, you will be immersed in all the various cultures! MAYA The Maya that live in Belize today are descended from one of three denominations – Kekchi, Yucatec and Mopan Maya. They live in small villages in Southern Belize and still embrace their ancient rituals. Hello: Ba’ax ka Wa’alik Traditional Dish Hot Corn Tamales – these can be found for sale at the market or by street vendors throughout the country. They are made from a combination of ground corn masa filled with chicken or pork and veggies and a tasty sauce, wrapped and steamed in banana or plantain leaf. Delicious! MESTIZO Mestizo people of Belize were initially descendants of the Spanish and Maya. Today, many are recent immigrants who have left neighboring Central American countries to seek refuge in Belize. Hello: Hola Traditional Dish Chimole - don’t see it on the menu? Search for Relleno Negro or “Black Dinna.” This main course soup is made with chicken, and spices.
CREOLE Creole are descended of Africans who were brought over as slaves during British colonization. Many Belizeans who have African traits in their blood are identified as Creole. Hello: Weh di go aan? Traditional Dish Cow Foot Soup - no mysterious meat in this hearty stew-like soup that’s cooked slowly so ingredients like potatoes, onions, okra, and carrots absorb the cilantro and black pepper flavors. Usually served with white rice and habanero pepper sauce for more heat, this is one of the signature Belize dishes.
MENNONITES The Mennonites are another cultural group which has found a home in Belize. The Mennonites are descendants of Anabaptist followers of Menno Simmons, a Catholic Priest who left the church and accepted “believer’s baptism” around 1536. Mennonites came to Belize in the 1960s and today live in secluded communities. They are mostly farmers and craftsmen who provide an ample supply of grains, poultry and dairy products to the Belizean market, as well as furniture, and industrial vehicle parts. Hello: Goondag
GARIFUNA Garifuna people of Belize are descendants of mixed heritage from West African, Central African, Caribbean and Arawak people. As a melting pot of culture themselves, the Garifuna are now regarded as one of Belize’s most predominant ethnicities.
EAST INDIANS East Indians were brought to Belize to supplement the workforce on plantations after slavery was abolished. Today, the East Indians have immersed themselves into Belize’s cultural melting pot and own many businesses around the country.
Hello: Buiti binafi
Hello – Namaste
Traditional Dish Seré - this fish soup owes its flavor to a blend of fried fish, coconut milk, plantain and cassava.
Popular Dishes Their food is unique, aromatic and traditional. A few tasty treats include: Butter Chicken, Samosas, and Tandoori Chicken.
MIDDLE EASTERN Middle Eastern people who have come to Belize from Lebanon and Syria serve as merchants, entrepreneurs and professionals. Their cultural presence is evident around Belize with restaurants and a small Mosque which is located in Belize city. Hello: Marhaba Popular Dishes Kebab, Hummus, Kibbeh, Shish Kebab, Tabbouleh and Fattoush are among the favorite traditional dishes. ASIANS Asians are the fastest growing ethnic group in Belize and are primarily from Taiwan and China. Many have immigrated to Belize as entrepreneurs owning supermarkets and restaurants which are popular with locals and tourists. Hello: lēe hò Popular Dishes With a long list of dishes the most popular dishes Include:ChowMein, Wonton, Dumplings, Sweet and Sour Meats and Spring Rolls.
According to the Statistical Institute of Belize, Spanish is dominant in Corozal, Orange Walk, and Cayo Districts, as Kriol is mainly spoken in Western and Southern Belize, but Mayan dialects are used in Toledo and Stann Creek. That means that no matter where you go, you can learn about this melting pot of cultures. Although culturally different, everyone is able to get along with one another and live in complete harmony. People can celebrate their own cultures, while still sharing the commitment to keep Belize’s natural beauty and captivating history.
THE PRINCE OF BRUKDOWN CELEBRATES BELIZE Cocono Bwai – Roots and Forward WRITTEN BY G. MICHAEL BOWEN PHOTO: ERNIE ALPUCHE
The evolution of Brukdown is central to the story of Belize Creole Culture, known locally as Kriol. The music traces its roots to the rhythm and song of African Slaves, brought to Belize to cut logwood and mahogany. Like other music of the African diaspora, early forms of Brukdown were centered on drum and dance, and followed a call-and-response format.
ward winning Belizean vocalist and entertainer Cocono Bwai, The Prince of Brukdown, is keeping the sound alive, and the hits coming. Music in Belize reflects the culture – it’s a real mash up of genre and style. But when we de talk ‘bout Kriol Kultcha, you done know… Brukdown da de ting!
Other traditional Brukdown instruments include banjo, accordion and guitar, plus anything lying around that can be used for making sounds and keeping time. Favorite percussion instruments include the fork and grater, jawbone of an ass, and even the ribbed side of a Fanta bottle. In recent years, technologies like drum machines and pre-recorded tracks have widely replaced live musicians in performance environments for many genres, including Brukdown, along with its Caribbean cousins - Reggae, Soca, Calypso, and Punta Rock. However, some Brukdown artists still perform with live bands, Cocono Bwai among them. Born Cecille Jenkins Jr., Belize City vocalist and songwriter Cocono Bwai is a young musician with an old soul. From the time he stepped on the scene in 2014, Cocono Bwai has been a local favorite. After winning the Belize National Song Competition in 2014 in the Junior Category, Cocono Bwai returned to claim the top spot again in 2015, this time in the Belize Song Category.
PHOTO: SAN PEDRO HOUSE OF CULTURE
Brukdown (also spelled Brukdong) is a cultural music specific to Belize that was popularized by the iconic bandleader and accordion player Mr. Wilfred Peters, well known as The King of Brukdown – RIP. His tune “Good Mawnin’ Belize” serves as a sort of local anthem, and is guaranteed to play daily on radio stations across the country. CARIBBEANLIFESTYLE.COM
In 2016, Cocono Bwai teamed up with producer-of-the-year Junie Mar to record the hit “Dengue Fever”, which was highly acclaimed by Belizean audiences. Together the pair then released Cocono Bwai’s first album, Prince of Brukdown. September of that year was one to remember as Cocono Bwai again clinched a first place title in the Belize National Song Competition for his track, “Border to Border” featuring female vocalist Shamrock.
September is always a big month for music in Belize as the country celebrates with street festivals, carnival parades, and massive music events. Patriotic music can be heard playing in the streets, on the radio, and from DIY sound systems all around the country. Listeners are guaranteed to hear cultural favorites like “Tenth September” from Calypso Rose and Lord Rhaburn Combo, plus “Kriol Kulcha” by The Queen of Brukdown, Leela Vernon. With all the fanfare and excitement related to the Independence Day, Cocono Bwai’s “Border to Border” is sure to be a hit. Since that track released in 2016, Cocono Bwai has been busy releasing more hit singles including, “Dengue Fever Pt. 2 - Dr. Malarkie”, “Cedar Bark”, “Ms. Leela”, “Wielo Wielo”, and “Pango”, plus the 2018 Belize National Song Competition winner, “My Sweet Belize”. He’s performed at many of the biggest Belizean events including, Sir Barry Bowen’s Belikin Bash, Belize Soundfest, and Belize City’s Annual Brukdown Bram. The young artist even had the chance to share the stage with internationally acclaimed Jamaican dancehall artist, Popcaan, during his performance in Belize. Over the last few months, Cocono Bwai has been tightening up his performances and writing new music with his band, The Brukdong Jam Band. The band features live drums, keys, percussion, guitar, and bass, plus moves with the support of sound system engineer and crew, Gemini Sound. THIS SEASON, LOOK OUT FOR COCONO BWAI’S NAME NEAR THE TOP OF THE FLYER FOR ALL THE SEPTEMBER CELEBRATIONS IN BELIZE CITY AND BEYOND. THE PRINCE OF BRUKDOWN IS ON THE FORWARD LOOK OUT FOR HIM!
Here is what’s happening!
Keep an eye on this calendar during your visit and take part in Belize’s most significant events of the year.
Stann Creek Lionfish Festival - Stann Creek, Dangriga
13th - 22th
San Pedro Lobster Festival- Ambergris Caye
21st - 23rd
Placencia Lobster Festival Stann Creek District
28th - 30th Caye Caulker Lobster Festival Caye Caulker
• JULY • • JANUARY •
KREM New Year’s Day Cycling Classic Corozal District
Horse Race - Burrel Boom, Belize District
Easter Monday Horse Races at Burrell Boom Fair - Belize District Sittee River Easter Monday Fair and Canoe Race - Stann Creek District
26th - 28th
• FEBRUARY • 9th - 10th
16th Annual Placencia BTIA Sidewalk Arts Festival - Placencia Village, Stann Creek District
• MARCH • 3rd - 5th
Carnival de San Pedro - Ambergris Caye (Weekend before Ash Wednesday)
8th - 11th
La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge - San Ignacio to Belize City
In lieu of National Heroes and Benefactors Day - Originally Baron Bliss Day
• APRIL •
National Agriculture and Trade Show Belmopan, Cayo District
International Costa Maya Festival Ambergris Caye
• AUGUST • Tres Pescados Slam Grand Tournament - Ambergris Caye
16th - 18th
11th - 12th
Cashew Festival - Crooked Tree Village, Belize District
24th - 26th
Belize Chocolate Festival Punta Gorda, Toledo District
In lieu of Belize Commonwealth Day - (Sovereign’s Day Holiday)
22nd - 27th
19th - 21st Grand Caribe Deep Sea Classic Tournament - Ambergris Caye
• MAY •
Easter Weekend Semana Santa Processions (Holy Week) - Benque Viejo del Carmen, Cayo District
Benque Fiesta - Benque Viejo del Carmen, Cayo District
1st - 3th
BTB Love Belize Sea Challenge Starts at Punta Gorda Town Toledo, and ending in Corozal Town
Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic Round trip Belize City to San Ignacio
12th - 14th
• JUNE •
Mango Festival - Hopkins, Stann Creek District
San Joaquin Fiesta - San Joaquin Village, Corozal District
24th Orange Walk Tourism Expo Orange Walk
• SEPTEMBER • 7th
Carnival Road March - Belize City
Battle of St. Georges Caye - Parades in Belize City and Belmopan
14th - 15th Expo Belize Marketplace - Belize City 21st - 22nd
Yamaha Saltwater Fishing Tournament - Placencia, Stann Creek District
Orange Walk Carnival Orange Walk District
23rd In lieu of Belize Independence Day - Countrywide Parades
• OCTOBER • 11th - 13th TIDE Fish Fest - Punta Gorda Town,
In lieu of Pan-American Day Countrywide
19th - 20th
Belize Birding Festival - San Ignacio
• NOVEMBER •
6th - 10th Belize International Film Festival - Belize City 16th - 17th
Battle of the Drums - Punta Gorda, Toledo District
Garifuna Settlement Day - Dangriga, Hopkins Village and Punta Gorda
Taco Festival - Orange Walk Town, Orange Walk District
• DECEMBER •
7th Holiday Lighted Boat Parade Ambergris Caye 14th Placencia BTIA 20th Annual Mistletoe Ball - Placencia Village, Stann Creek District 25th
PRODUCED AND PUBLISHED BY MCNAB PUBLISHING LTD. BELIZE CITY, BELIZE E D I TO R I A L T E A M ASTRID NAVARRO CLARA DOBSON CRISTINA REYNA LOUISE ROE VIVIAN LIZARRAGA C R E AT I V E T E A M TANYA MCNAB CREATIVE DIRECTOR CRISTINA REYNA GRAPHIC AND LAYOUT DESIGNER MARKETING, SALES, AND ADMIN TEAM LOUISE ROE MARKETING AND SALES DIRECTOR LEAD BRAND MANAGER WAYNE AND CARLA MCNAB ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTORS COV E R P H OTOG R A P H LEONARDO MELENDEZ PHOTOGRAPHY COVER LOCATION: MOHO CAYE, OFFSHORE PLACENCIA COPYRIGHT CARIBBEAN CULTURE AND LIFESTYLE IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF MCNAB VISUAL STRATEGIES. NO PART OF THIS PUBLICATION MAY BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM THE PUBLISHER. C O N TA C T PH: + 501.223.1025 CREATIVITY@MCNABVISUAL.COM
WHAT’S NEW What’s Hot! BELIZE’S GREAT BLUE HOLE TOUR FROM CAYE CAULKER The Blue Hole is so popular it’s on most bucket lists. Therefore, if you’re visiting Belize, this should definitely be on your list of things to do. Maya Island Air will now be offering a one-hour Scenic Tour of the Blue Hole departing from the beautiful island of Caye Caulker on Sundays only at 11:00 am. Maya also has a Blue Hole tour from the island of San Pedro on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, departing at 1pm. PHOTO: LEONARDO MELENDEZ
Visit www.mayaislandair.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book your seat. 2ND ANNUAL BIRDING FESTIVAL: OCTOBER 19TH – 20TH The Belize Audubon Society in partnership with the Belize Tourism Industry Association and the Belize Hotel Association are hosting the 2ND annual Belize Birding Festival. It will be held at San Ignacio Resort & Hotel in Cayo District on October 19th and 20th.
PHOTO: JASON TIESMAN
Visit for more information about birding www.belizebirdingfestival.bz or at www.belizeaudubon.org 501 HUB – A NEW RESTAURANT IN BELIZE CITY 501 Hub, offering signature dining, opens up in Belize City! This trendy restaurant with a Caribbean twist offers a true culinary experience for Belizeans and tourists alike. Everything from the vibrant décor to the ambience, to the exotic food & drink cocktails, and the service, have been created with the intention of providing guests with a unique, creative, fun, enticing, delicious, and satisfying culinary experience! Call 639-6949 to make your dinner reservation today. SIRENIAN BAY RESORT & VILLAS: COMING JANUARY 2020 New things are coming to Sirenian Bay Resort and Villas in 2020! Located in Placencia, Belize. Sirenian Bay is a luxurious private resort with comfortable accommodations and an abundance of amenities. Adding to their property, the resort is set to add seven bungalows, a pool, a bar and a mini golf course. From foundations to furnishings, every aspect of Sirenian Bay has been crafted for spending time with loved ones – for relaxing, connecting and making memories together. Make sure to add this luxurious home away from home to your bucket list! For more information visit www.sirenianbay.com 50 BIG EXPERIENCES ON AMBERGRIS CAYE, BELIZE: A SMALL THINGS GUIDE Sure you want to snorkel with stingrays and sharks, or see the Blue Hole, but there is so much more to do in Ambergris Caye. With 12 years living on Ambergris Caye, Rebecca Coutant is the best seller in Caribbean Travel books. Author of 50 BIG Experiences on Ambergris Caye, Rebecca gives readers an insight of all the must dos on the island, including food, drinks, shopping and day trips. Plus, a bonus DIY fly fishing section by Jeff Spiegel of Cayo Frances Farm and Fly. Want even more info about Ambergris Caye? The book is now available on Amazon.