Say I Do, Your Way

[Jamil, with no exclamation mark pls]    A wildly romantic, diverse landscape made for once-in-a-lifetime weddings.     By Rachel Roe    Enchanting jungle waterfalls, towering Maya temples, and secluded islands make Belize a highly sought out wedding destination. Throw in a myriad of flights, and it’s the ideal choice for couples looking for that perfect package.  According to The Knot 2017 Real Weddings Study, the average wedding in the United States costs almost US$35,000. Couples are now looking for a more budget…

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Hit Reset

From indigenous rituals and empowerment retreats to a yoga festival—renew, restore, and reconnect to your best self.    By Michelle Williams  It’s no wonder wellness vacations have increased in popularity. Today’s fast-paced lifestyle keeps us in constant fight mode, exposing us to toxins, noise, and electromagnetic radiation, among other nuisances. Travel is an act of letting go, and an opportunity to renew, and invigorate one’s system—mind, body, and spirit.  …

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#WePrettyBad

By Janelle Chanona1      In October 2016, I received a phone call that brought my world to a standstill.     “Seismic ships are on their way,” said the voice on the other end.     The “saltwater” in my veins ran cold. My mind raced imagining apocalyptic scenarios. My heart said,“You have to stop them.”    My earliest and fondest childhood memories are of me in the Caribbean Sea: licking mango juice and salt water…

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The Power of Pan

From Trinidad to Belize, the steel pan’s intoxicating sound unites the Afro-Caribbean diaspora.    By Alexander Evans    Pan Yaad is Belize’s grandest steel pan concert—a signature event of our annual “September Celebrations,” a near month-long calendar of festivities countrywide, leading up to Belize’s Independence Day on September 21. At Pan Yaad 2016, I was on the verge of leaving my country to become the first Belizean to pursue a Bachelor in Musical Arts at the University of the West Indies St. Augustine Campus, in Trinidad and Tobago. This meant leaving Pandemonium behind—the steel pan band I’d directed since its…

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Pok-Ta-Pok

My quest to revive an ancient Maya ball game in Belize.    By Felicita Cantun     Fifteen years ago, I was at a linguistic conference in Bullet Tree Falls, in the Cayo District, with participants from Guatemala, Mexico, and Belize. In the midst of the event, I witnessed a Guatemalan group playing pok-ta-pok—an ancient Maya ball game and ritual played over 500 years ago. The players hit the ball from the hips, with no hands, feet, or head, and…

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Passion for Cacao

An ancient food standing the test of time.  By Caroline Oliver    While visitors flock to Belize for adventures in its vast forests, or to relax beside blue Caribbean waters, few experience one of the country’s best kept secrets: chocolate. Dating back over two and a half thousand years, Belize produces some of the world’s finest cacao, and it’s an industry that helps both small–scale farmers and the environment. If you haven’t yet experienced Belizean cacao, you’re in for a surprise. …

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Generation of Heroes

At 12 years of age, Rowan Garel became the first visually impaired Belizean to reach the summit of Victoria Peak, the country’s second highest point. He later dove the Great Blue Hole. His adventures raised funds for the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI). This year, Rowan received a Caribbean Adventure Ambassador of the Year Award from the Caribbean Tourism Organization.    As Told To Mike Rudon   Written by Lebawit Lily Girma      MR: At what age did…

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Toledo

  By Lebawit Lily Girma  Belize’s southernmost district is replete with thick jungles and wildlife, while straddling the Caribbean Sea with its pristine reefs on the east. To boot, its interior is dotted with traditional Mayan and Garifuna villages, as well as East Indian communities. It’s no surprise then, that the Toledo District boasts a handful of Belize’s most established…

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Placencia

By Lebawit Lily Girma  Sticking out of Belize’s south coast like a tall, slim boot, the Placencia Peninsula basks in the Caribbean Sea and enjoys 18 miles of “barefoot perfect” sand. The beach village life never looked better: Placencia Village, the heart of the peninsula, moves to the beat of its diverse population, with a multitude of colorful beachfront bars, hotels, restaurants, roadside fruit stands, and arts and crafts galleries.   Stroll Placencia’s famous, 24-inch wide sidewalk—–the narrowest street in the world according to Guinness…

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Hopkins

By Lebawit Lily Girma    Lining the Caribbean Sea with close to five miles of beaches on Belize’s eastern coast, Hopkins bursts with Garifuna culture, water activities, diverse culinary experiences—over 40 establishments from local to chef-prepared meals—nearby national parks, and budget to plush resorts. It’s a place that draws the backpacker as much as the luxury traveler, all of whom…

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