While in Belize, I felt very privileged to have the time and money to afford a vacation (especially) while unemployed. Upon arriving at the resort, my friend Roberto and I were immediately asked if we were honeymooners. The bar then laughed in disbelief, when we explained that we’re friends. Had we actually been on a honeymoon, I may have cried.
Arriving at the end of the rainy season, the mosquitoes were horrendous. I nearly made myself sick the first night trying to stay completely under the covers – although there were lots of spilled mosquito blood and guts on my pillow and sheets. The buzzing in my ear woke me more than once. The resort sprayed for these pests twice everyday. Here is the photo of my hut’s front door the following morning. Fortunately, some rain and a change in the winds seemed to drive most of the mosquitoes out-of-town.
I had a bit of a hard time when we left the resort property and saw how poor the locals were and the polluted beaches. BUT… the locals were some of the friendliest people I’ve met while traveling. Everyone says hi, no one tries to pressure tourists into buying anything, and they seemed to offer true recommendations of what to do (not for profits sake). It was lovely.
While eating lunch in San Pedro, we met a woman from New Jersey who had bought a retirement house for $50,000 US and only paid $10 per year in property taxes. It costs more than $10 to ride the water taxi ($11 US) for 15 minutes. How is this possible? Would you want to retire in a country where the water isn’t potable or where healthcare may be inadequate?
While out touring the countryside, the tour guide told us there was only one prison in Belize and nearly no laws…. drugs, drinking… he kept repeating “It’s a free country.” He also told us that no work had been done to the road we were driving on since the British left in the 1980s.
When Roberto and I went for a walk steps away from the resort, we stumbled upon what the water really looks like when not being cleaned and raked by staff multiple times a day.
Although it was a wonderful trip with fun adventures like swimming with sharks, snorkeling, going to ancient Mayan ruins, cave tubing and riding a real life jungle cruise, it was disappointing to see that much of the country’s beauty is a facade for tourists. If not cared for, it could easily disappear before our very eyes.