By Daniel J Bollinger
I lived in Belize for a year a few years ago and wanted to share all of the wonder that this Central American country holds. A few simple facts that make Belize the one and only place for Americans to visit, move to, and retire in Belize: It is the only country in Central America where the official language is English, the exchange rate of the Belizean dollar is pegged to the American dollar at an exchange rate of 2 to 1 so your money goes a lot further, and Belize law is based on British Common Law – just like the legal systems in the U.S.A. and Canada making property rights safer than other countries in the region.
Other than English being the official language, the other reasons I gave above make it very attractive for many other international people of all countries to move, visit, and/or retire in Belize. But those are just ‘facts on paper’ that make Belize attractive. Let me tell you some of the REAL things that make Belize a “Paradise Found”.
Belize’s number one industry is agriculture. Belizeans are proud of this fact and it is evident in all their cuisine. The food in Belize is outstanding. In America I have to go out of my way to eat organic. Belize is just the opposite; you have to go out of your way not to eat organic. From fry jacks to gibnut to tacos to the fresh produce market in Cayo selling everything from papayas to bananas to mangos to avocados you cannot beat Belize for 100% natural organic food. You will taste and feel the difference. I lost about 30 pounds (something I wanted to do) in my time in Belize and I had no special diet and did not limit my food intake. Simply switching to an organic diet, I naturally shed the ‘chemical’ weight that a standard American diet puts on.
They call Belize’s neighbor Guatemala “The Eternal Land of Springtime” because if you are high enough on the mesas of Guatemala, the breezes keep this country in a perpetual state of perfect springtime weather. Belize’s weather is very close to this. The humidity can sometimes be high, but if you are more inland in places like Cayo and Benque for example, you won’t be stymied by it. There is no comparison to the heat and humidity in places like Florida and the Dominican Republic. There is no stifling heat or humidity in Belize like in the American South or the Caribbean.
There is so much to enjoy in Belize you will never have enough time to do it all. Belize boasts the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere and the second longest in the world. For scuba divers and snorkelers it is a must when they visit. The beaches on the southern part of the country are considered some of the most beautiful in the world and there is an array of fishing and boat excursions for the sea lover. All over Belize, from north to south to east to west there are Mayan Archeological sites. I recommend visiting as many as you can. If you have seen one Mayan site you have not seen them all. If you are a nature lover, most of Belize is covered with unspoiled jungle. Resorts, lodges, hotels, and tour agencies throughout the country offer a range of options, nature walks, birding trips, botanical trails and other activities for nature lovers.
Belize was never lost, but it is truly a “paradise found.”