About Me

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San Ignacio/Santa Elena, Cayo District, Belize
I chose to move to Belize, September, 2007. I've been in sales and marketing for years, a real estate investor by habit and a Quaker by upbringing. I have a great interest in the ancient Maya civilization so what better place to be than Belize?! It's now January, 2009. I'm fortunate to be a member of the Rotary Club of San Ignacio. It is an active club with members who hail from 11 different countries. The club focuses on education and health issues in the Cayo District. I had forgotten how much I enjoy the experience of new places, people and spaces. The internet and VoIP makes communication fast and easy so I stay up to speed wiht family and friends, as best I can. I love Belize – it has its ups and downs – but it still one of the most beautiful places in the world. People are kind and caring and we all live very close to Mother Earth. Come see for yourself.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The House by the Side of the Road

By Sam Walter Foss


There are hermit souls that live withdrawn

In the place of their self-content;

There are souls like stars, that dwell apart,

In a fellowless firmament;

There are pioneer souls that blaze their paths

Where highways never ran –

But let me live by the side of the road

And be a friend to man.

Let me live in a house by the side of the road,

Where the race of men go by –

The men who are good and the men who are bad,

As good and as bad as I.

I would not sit in the scorner’s seat,

Or hurl the cynic’s ban –

Let me live in a house by the side of the road

And be a friend to man.

I see from my house by the side of the road,

By the side of the highway of life ,

The men who press with the ardor of hope,

The men who are faint with the strife.

But I turn not away from their smiles nor their tears,

Both parts of an infinite plan –

Let me live in a house by the side of the road

And be a friend to man.

I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead

And mountains of wearisome height;

That the road passes on through the long afternoon

And stretches away to the night.

But still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice,

And weep with the strangers that moan,

Nor live in my house by the side of the road

Like a man who dwells alone.

Let me live in my house by the side of the road,

It’s here the race of men go by –

They are good, they are bad, they are weak they are


Wise, foolish -- so am I;

Then why should I sit in the scorner’s seat,

Or hurl the cynic’s ban?

Let me live in my house by the side of the road

And be a friend to man.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Belize - waterfront and mountains, ruins and rainforest

Situated on the Caribbean coast of Central America between Mexico and Guatemala, Belize is geographically small but extremely diverse. One fifth of the total land area of the country is protected as nature reserves with dense rainforest providing refuge to an exotic variety of wildlife, including the tapir, the black orchid and the keel-billed toucan - all national symbols of Belize. In addition, the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, a major attraction for the growing number of tourists to Belize, lies (at its closest point) only one kilometer off shore.

An Exotic Mix

Belize was once the center of the Mayan Empire (which stretched through Guatemala and southern Mexico) that flourished from 1500 BC until about AD 900. Direct descendants of the Maya still live in Belize, mostly in the southern districts, amongst an eclectic mix of newcomers. The Mestizo (from Spanish and Yucatan Mayan descent) constitute almost half of the population. Resident in the northern districts of Corozal and Orange Walk, Mestizo smallholders mostly practice subsistence farming (maize, beans and pepper), and also grow sugarcane. Refined sugar is one of the country's main exports.

Creoles, those of African heritage, live mostly in urban areas and are the next largest ethnic group in Belize; whilst the Garifuna - an intermingling of African people with Carib and Arawak Indians - practice traditional fishing and agriculture in the southern region of Belize.

The most conspicuous newcomers are the Mennonites, who relocated to Belize in 1959 from America and Mexico in search of a life free of religious persecution and the pressures of modern society. Widely respected by other Belizeans for their disciplined work ethic, the Mennonites have transformed wilderness into highly productive farmland and dairies, which provide a significant contribution to the economy.

Belize remains one of the least densely populated countries in the Americas, despite the recent influx of immigrants from its Central American neighbours. The population is currently less than 300,000 people, with more than 30 per cent living in the former capital, Belize City. It is estimated, however, that as many Belizeans live outside the country, in the US for instance, providing vital remittances for family members remaining at home.

Agriculture - Backbone of the Economy

Despite the growing tourism industry in Belize, agriculture continues to provide over 70 per cent of the country's total foreign exchange earnings, and employs almost a third of the total labour force. About half of the land used for agriculture is under pasture, with the remainder planted to a variety of permanent and annual crops. The traditional system of milpa (shifting cultivation) involves the annual clearing of new land for crop production but, with increasing land pressure, the practice is no longer sustainable and a greater number of farmers make permanent use of cleared land.

Sugar, citrus (mainly orange and grapefruit) and banana plantations have traditionally dominated export production in Belize. More recently, however, there has been a shift to non-traditional exports including papaya, hot peppers, fresh fruit to the US and organic cacao, produced by the Toledo Cacao Growers' Association and used in Green and Black's fairtrade chocolate, Maya Gold. Inland fish and shrimp culture are also rapidly increasing. With threats to the sugar and banana industries (sugar currently accounts for 60 per cent of agricultural exports), as a result of changes in EU preferences, further diversification will be vital if Belize is to maintain its proportion of foreign exchange from agricultural exports.

One such initiative has been to expand soybean production in order to reduce the US$12 million cost of imported animal feed and cooking oil.

An oil extraction facility has almost been completed in the north, which will require an acreage of 8,000 acres to run at full capacity.

It is estimated that a total of 25,000 acres of soybean would be needed to meet national demand for soybean products. To help expand production, the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) in Belize is assisting in research to improve seed quality and small-scale production within the country.

Conservation and Climate Change

The coastal locale of Belize City has long meant that its residents have been at the mercy of tropical storms. In 1961 the devastation caused by hurricane Hattie forced a relocation of the capital 70 kilometers inland to Belmopan. Concern over the increasing frequency of tropical storms and the potential impact of climate change in the Caribbean region has also led to the establishment of the Caribbean Community Center for Climate Change. The Center, which will co-ordinate the region's efforts to better inform its policies and to manage and adapt to climate change, was recently officially opened in Belmopan.

Eco-tourism is a growing industry for Belize (see also Establishing the balance: Eco-tourism and farming) and helps to support conservation initiatives such as the Program for Belize. One of its flagship activities has been The Rio Bravo Conservation and Management area, which has become a national example of sustained forestry development and conservation. Since 1992, the Programhas promoted low-impact tourism, regulated timber harvesting (particularly for mahogany and cedar), and funded on-going ecological research.

Conservation is also at the heart of a reforestation project in central Belize. Reforestation efforts in The Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, one of the oldest geological areas in Central America, are targeted at replacing 90 per cent of the pine trees that are currently dead or dying due to attack from the Southern Pine Bark Beetle (Dendroctomus frontalis). Initiated in 2002, the reforestation is one of the world's largest carbon sequestration projects and it is estimated that over 24 million tonnes of CO2 will be sequestered during 50 years of re-growth in the forest.

Economic Concerns

Whilst the Government can be commended for its support for conservation initiatives and climate change mitigation, there are concerns over the country's economic policies. The economy has grown

(3.5 per cent in 2004), but much of the increased revenue has been poorly spent. Since President Musa took office in 1998, public debt has increased from 41 to 93 per cent of GDP, much of it borrowed at commercial rates. Belize, although more politically stable than many of its Caribbean neighbors, is amongst the top ten heavily indebted emerging-economy governments. With trade privileges for bananas to end in 2006 and sugar in 2009, the Government will have to do much more to convince its voters if Musa is to survive beyond the next presidential elections in 2008.

Country: Belize

Capital: Belmopan

Area: 22,966 sq km

Population: 279,457 (July 2005 est.)

Languages:English (official), Spanish, Mayan, Garifuna (Carib), Creole

People: 49% Mestizo, 25% Creole, 11% Maya, 6% Garífuna Life expectancy: male: 65.02 years; female: 70.08 years (2005 est.)

GDP: purchasing power parity - $1.778 billion (2004 est.) GDP per capita: purchasing power parity - $6,500 (2004 est.) GDP composition by sector: agriculture: 17.7%; industry: 15%;

services: 67.3% (2003 est.) Land use: arable land: 2.85%, permanent

crops: 1.71%, other: 95.44% (2001)

Major industries: Sugar, bananas, fish products, garment production, food processing, timber, tourism, construction Agricultural products: bananas, cocoa, citrus, sugar; fish, cultured shrimp; lumber Natural resources: arable land potential, timber, fish, hydro power Export commodities: sugar, bananas, citrus, clothing, fish products, molasses, wood Major export partners: US 36.8%, UK 28.5%, Thailand 3.6% (2004)

Your Home - Funny How Everything Is Relative

Your Home

As seen by you –

As seen by your buyer –

As seen by your lender –

As seen by your appraiser –

As seen by the tax assessor -

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Charlotte, NC Home Needs New Owner


(Cotswold/Churchill Downs)

Reply to: CUNBelize@gmail.com
Date: 2008-1-1, 4:39PM EST

Home needs new owner, mine is moving to Belize. Looking for caring homeowner, with a some yard experience. I'm a 3 BR/2 bath home that's been almost completely remodeled. I have an all new kitchen - solid surface counter tops, oak cabinets, huge island, and extra tall counters. My new 300 sf tiled sunroom and all the big windows make it feel like the wooded backyard has come inside. With my open floor plan, big dining room, and the separate laundry room, 2100 sf is plenty of space to live in. There are hardwood floors throughout and the family room has built-in bookcases and a ventless fireplace. My new windows keep me energy efficient. Put all of that on a .5 acre in a cul de sac, add the woods, fenced yard, and workshop with electricity in the backyard, and the good schools - I'm a great place to live. Buyers Agents welcome. Call 704-953-3150 or email CUNBelize@gmail.com now. The seller is a licensed NC Real Estate Broker.

  • Location: Cotwold/Curchill Downs
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests