Sunday, May 27, 2007

You Better Belize It !!! (Introduction)






by Uncle Hans
Custom Smiley
Wendy and I have just gotten back from our semi-annual visit to Belize. We made our first visit there in 1999 and have been back twice a year since. If this map comes through, Belize is in the center, just south of the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico on the east or Caribbean side of Central America. We visit an island called Ambergris Caye which is just under the top of the "E" in "BELIZE" on the map. 90% of the tourists stay here, and make day trips to the mainland. We chose Belize years ago for several reasons. We were looking for a fun spot in the sun to spend some time in retirement. It is the former British Honduras, having peacefully negotiated their "emancipation" from Great Britain in 1984. The language is English, and everyone learns it in school, where most people attend and graduate. The money is tied to the US dollar and 2 Belize dollars equals 1 US dollar. No funny business on exchange rates. The legal system is based on the British system and there is justice, so there is relative safety. We successfully bought properties in the form of condos which are occupied and managed year around. Many people own vacation or weekend properties here in Spooner and leave them unoccupied most of the time. It is rare to hear of break-in or vandalism. That would just not work in Belize (or in most places in the world, think about it). The people speak English, are educated, and have a good work ethic. It is their downfall, unfortunately. The combination of traits (and the lack of opportunity in Belize) makes them perfect for immigration, legal or otherwise, to the US. Less than 300,000 people live in Belize. Sadly, there are more Belizeans in Los Angeles than in Belize.


We dragged Rex and Mary down here a couple of years ago and had lots of fun. We are trying to tempt them back, so I wrote this photodiary of our trip. If you find it interesting and would like to learn more, the island has an excellent website:
ambergriscaye.com


Uncle Hans


(EDITOR'S NOTE: HANS AND WENDY WERE IN BELIZE THE SECOND WEEK OF APRIL, AND HANS WROTE THIS SERIES OF BLOG ENTRIES SHORTLY AFTER THEIR RETURN. IT'S A MULTI-PART SERIES AND WE WILL BE INSERTING THEM INTO THE BLOG OVER THE NEXT MONTH. ENJOY !!!)


1 comments:

Nikki said...

wheres the photo diary????