Tag: Belize

Little Dinosaurs of Belize

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 132 0

We have over 100 types of reptiles in Belize. Here are a few things you might not know about 2 of our most common iguanas

1: The Green Iguana, scientifically known as Iguana iguana is the largest iguana in Belize, with potential to grow up to 10 feet from tip to tail. They are magnificent and simultaneously scary looking creatures.

2: Belizeans call them Bamboo chicken, because apparently that’s what they taste like – chicken.

3: Funnily enough, despite its name, it’s green only when younger. As it matures, the male becomes more olive, changing to a magnificent orange color when mating. The female is a dull greyish color.

4: Green Iguanas are usually found inland hanging around in trees although they are known to hang out at the Cayes (who doesn’t love to hang out at the Cayes?)

5: They are very good swimmers, and are often seen launching themselves from great heights into a river in order to escape predators and boy, do they make a splash!

6: Apparently green Iguanas often star in dinosaur movies!

7: The other ubiquitous iguana of Belize, is the black or Spiny Iguana, whose scientific name is Ctenosaura similis. This one is usually found along the coast or on the Cayes. It’s locally known as Wish Willy and it likes to hang out on rocks and on the sand but can also climb trees.

8: These critters literally hoover up plants. They seem to eat anything even the ones they aren’t meant to. They especially love young green shoots or flowers , much to the annoyance of many a keen gardener.

9: Both the Spiny and the Green Iguana have a third eye known as a parietal located on the top of the head and looking very much like a scale. This is their early warning alarm. Though they can’t actually see completely through this, they can detect dark shadows and movement and the iguana will move its head to see properly through its true eyes if it detects danger.

10: Both iguanas use a bobbing head movement when threatened. They also use this movement during mating season which is normally from December through to February.

11: Our Iguanas love to sunbathe. In fact, they need the sun to warm their body temperature to at least 75F in order to move.

12: Like all lizards , they shed their tail in order to escape a threatening situation. The tail will continue to move whilst the iguana runs off. Its a very disconcerting thing to see. See this iguana here, his tail is still growing back but he doesn’t care.

13: Belize has a Green Iguana Conservation Project! It is located and run by San Ignacio Resort Hotel and they offer educational tours where you can not only learn about these reptiles, but also get up close and personal with them. Check them out –> Green Iguana Conservation Project

Honoring Belize’s Female Heroes

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 241 0

March 9th was originally called Baron Bliss Day, in honor of Baron Henry Edward Ernest Victor Bliss. The Englishman willed a large sum of money to Belize upon his death on March 9, 1926. In 2008, the Belizean Government opted to highlight several other people who have made an impact in the development of our little country, and so March 9th is now officially called National Heroes and Benefactors Day.

This public and bank holiday honors 11 heroes: Gwendolyn Lizarraga, Julian Armando Cho, Felipe Santiago Ricalde, Thomas Vincent Ramos, Nicholas Pollard Sr., Cleopatra White, Samuel Haynes, Phillip Stanley Wilberforce Goldson, George Cadle Price, Sir Isaiah Morter and Robert Sidney Turton.

With March 8th being International Women’s Day, we thought it would be fitting to highlight two of the women who marked Belize and left a legacy. We honor Gwen Lizarraga and Cleopatra White.

Gwendolyn Lizarraga

Born to Sidney Smith and Guadalupe Baeza on July 11, 1901 in Maskall Village, Gwendolyn Lizarraga was a successful business owner, outspoken politician, and women’s rights activist. Madam Liz – as she is known to Belizeans – was the first woman to serve as a government minister in Belize (then British Honduras). She operated a chicle and mahogany farm, eschewing convention by driving a land rover, wearing pants, carrying a gun and smoking cigarettes. Can you imagine what a sight that must have been? Talk about a trailblazer!

Gwendolyn Lizarraga

As an outspoken woman, she dealt with large companies like Wrigley’s, Castillo and Thurton without hesitation and with authority. In her dealings with employees however, her compassion was notable. She supported equal pay for equal work, particularly urging the protection of women workers.

The 1950s were the beginning of her work for women’s rights. In 1953, she was hired as a female parole officer, and the following year she began organizing women politically. By 1959, she had formed the United Women’s Group with 900 women throughout Belize, aiming to empower Belizean women culturally, economically and politically. She even co-founded the United Women’s Credit Union. She pushed for women to acquire property, surveying swamp lands and creating a map of parcels for women so they could become eligible to vote. Those parcels are now known as the Collet Constituency, between Curassow, Elston Kerr and Gibnut Streets, bounded by North Creek.

When Madam Liz noted that children couldn’t get an education because there were no schools in working-class neighborhoods, she and the women from the UWG got down to work, physically clearing mangrove swamps. Their efforts drew attention from the Publics Works Department, resulting in two new schools: Belize Junior Secondary Schools N° 1 and N° 2. Those schools are now known as Edward P. Yorke School and Gwen Lizarraga High School.

In April, 1961, the first year women were allowed to run in the country’s national elections, Gwendolyn Lizarraga became the first woman elected to the National Assembly of British Honduras. She won the Pickstock division with 69% of the votes, after which she was appointed as Minister of Education, Housing and Social Services, making her the first female Minister in the country.. She was reelected in 1965 and 1969, both times reappointed to her ministry. Her final run as Minister saw her spearheading a project to build low-cost housing in the neighborhoods of King’s Park, Lake Independence and Queen’s Square. (Fun fact: this writer lived on Lizarraga Avenue while studying at Junior College!). On June 9, 1975, after building an unimaginable legacy, Madam Liz passed away after battling illness.

Cleopatra White

By contrast, we have a hero in Nurse Cleopatra White, who was born in June 1898 in British Honduras. Following the death of her mother, she would be raised by her father until she entered school for nursing.

A dedicated community helper all her life, White became inspired by Nurse Vivian Seay’s work, and the two were instrumental in forming the Belizean branch of the Black Cross Nurses. White’s system for village councils in the management of hurricane preparations have been a model for villages across Belize. Her leadership and nursing skills, as well as her social work made her a leader in her country, and deserving of the honor of being a Belizean Hero.

For almost 20 years, Cleopatra White was a rural nurse, having worked alongside other nurses following a devastating hurricane in 1931. Their combined efforts established nursing and supply stations, and this experience pushed White toward social work. She went so far as to set up village council plans and organizing frontline emergency response in Gales Point (a true hidden gem of Belize). Her community development work nabbed her the Victoria Medal in 1953. During relief efforts after Hurricane Janet in 1955, the emergency plans she had worked on became a standard, and the model is still applied in Belize today. She was further awarded with the Member of the Order of the British Empire medal in 1958. In 1961, during Hurricane Hattie, she worked at the Hattieville Clinic, where she remained until she retired before the decade was over.

Cleopatra White
Cleopatra White Polycinic. – Photo: Katie Kaizer Photography

Retirement wasn’t about languishing, as White continued to train future nurses through the Black Cross Nurses. She was an art advocate, and a gifted songwriter and storyteller too. Despite all of her works to serve Belize, at the age of 89, Cleopatra White died poor in 1987, after several years in the Belize Old Folks Home. Following her death, The Cleopatra White Polyclinic in Belize City was opened in her honor.

So on March 9th, as you enjoy the holiday, I hope you can reflect on the impact made by these two amazing women. They, alongside nine distinguished gentlemen, are an invaluable part of the fabric of our Belizean society. May we honor them always.

TROPIC AIR ANNOUNCES INTRODUCTION OF THE BEECH 1900D AIRCRAFT

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 718

PRESS RELEASE San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize Friday, September 27, 2019

Tropic Air has announced that it has acquired a twin engine, 19 passenger, Beech 1900D aircraft in a deal worth nearly US$3million. Delivery is scheduled for December with first revenue flight early in the new year. Initially, the aircraft will be placed on current international routes to Cancun, Roatan and Flores. Flying time to those destinations will be significantly reduced.

“The 1900D is a fantastic aircraft. It is fast, pressurized, roomy, and has a stand up cabin,” said John Greif III, President of Tropic Air. “This is a significant investment for Tropic Air, and we are excited to be the first in Belize to fly it. We also hope to buy more.”

“Adding a new aircraft type with new capabilities also means opportunities to look at new regional markets to add to our network, and we intend to do that. The 1900D brings cities such as Guatemala City and San Pedro Sula within a comfortable flying time for our passengers,” said Steve Schulte, CEO. “This investment underscores our commitment to Belize, and to our confidence in tourism.”

The 1900D is a turboprop aircraft that is designed primarily for regional routes. It is popular for its speed and passenger comfort, and is the most successful 19 seat airliner ever built.

About Tropic Air With 40 years of service, Tropic Air currently flies over 200 daily scheduled flights with 20 aircraft to 15 destinations in Belize, Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. Tropic Air now employs over 360 team members and will carry over 300,000 passengers and 425,000 items of freight system wide this year. It has two additional aircraft on order. Tropic Air is a member of the Latin American Airlines Association (ALTA), and recently successfully completed IATA’s Industry Standard Safety Audit for the third time, after joining the program in 2015. Tropic also won the Traveler’s Choice Award in the Speciality and Leisure Category in Latin America in the 2019 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice awards for Airlines. Journalists with media enquiries, please contact the press office: pr@tropicair.com

What do you do in your spare time?

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 1628 2

Here at Tropic Air, we have some pretty active employees who take advantage of all that Belize has to offer. Kenrick Duncan and Lennox Myvett, customer service agents at Tropic Air’s PGIA International terminal are two such individuals. Next Friday 12th April both are taking part in the arduous hike and climb to Victoria Peak, the second highest mountain in Belize at 3.675 feet.

The three-day hike, according to Kenrick, is not for the faint hearted and requires a degree of fitness and endurance. Kenrick trains by running and both he and Lennox are no strangers to physical challenges. Just a few weeks ago in March, for the ninth year, they took part in the grueling 180-mile Ruta Maya Belize River challenge, finishing sixth in their age group and 35th overall.

The hike to Victoria Peak starts bright and early at 5.00am from the basecamp in Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, where the team of five men, five women and a guide, set off, carrying backpacks with minimum equipment – tents, hammocks, other essentials and food. This is the third time that Kenrick and Lennox have climbed the peak so they are familiar with the routine. On the first day, they hike the 12 kilometers along mostly flat terrain reaching the first camp after crossing the Sittee River. After lunch of, according to Kenrick, mostly protein bars, because they don’t want to be hauling lots of weight, they continue to hike the rest of the trail another 7 kilometers. This is more difficult terrain with the trail going up and down. Along the way they encounter the infamous Heartbreak Hill. Once they reach their camp for the evening everyone usually takes a dip in the waterfall (which Kenny said is extremely chilly but refreshing). On Saturday, its another early start .Once the group reaches the base of Victoria Peak it’s a scramble up a rocky stream bed leading to the forest canopy. Ascending the rock gully requires rope and harness. They finally reach the peak at around 11.00am. The view from here is stunning. According to Kenrick all you see is hills and hills all around. On a clear day you can even see the coast. The area has unique flora with elfin shrubland, sphagnum moss, small trees of only two to three meters and the rare fiery-colored orchid which only grows at high elevations.

The team usually spend about thirty minutes taking in the amazing view and then it’s a climb back down and back to nineteen Kilometer camp for the evening to rest before returning to base the following day. Last year, they were extremely excited, and a little scared, to be followed by a jaguar on their trail. They also encountered several snakes along the way. Don’t worry they are prepared and the guides always carries anti-venom.

Each year, Kenrick explained the team have a name or a motto which is usually decided upon once they start the trek. In 2018 their motto was “I’m not just living, I’m alive “. To find out what their motto is for this year and to find out more about their adventures along the way stay tuned for our next blog. We all wish them good luck on their journey.

40 YEARS OF SERVICE

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 928

PRESS RELEASE
February 5th, 2019
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize

A few weeks ago, we welcomed our newest addition, a Cessna Caravan 208B EX to our fleet. This brings our fleet to 17 aircraft, and gives us the third largest passenger Caravan fleet (14) in the world.

To celebrate this milestone, and our 40 years of service, we have adorned the new aircraft with a special Belizean flag themed livery, and dedicated it to the people of this great nation.

As the airline of #Belize, we are honored to fly the flag of our homeland every day, and take great pride in being Belizean.

About Tropic Air
Tropic Air currently flies over 200 daily scheduled departures with 13 air conditioned, glass-cockpit, Cessna Caravans to 15 destinations in Belize, Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. Tropic Air now employs over 360 team members and will carry over 300,000 passengers and 425,000 items of freight system wide this year.

Tropic Air recently completed IATA’s Industry Standard Safety Audit successfully for the third time, after joining the program in 2015. In September 2017, Tropic was admitted as a member of the Latin American Airlines Association (ALTA), after meeting its professional standards requirements.

Journalists with media enquiries, please contact the press office: pr@tropicair.com

Christmas in Belize

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 1545 0

Belize is a veritable melting pot of different races and cultures. At no time of the year is this more visible than at Christmas. Whilst the decorating of Christmas trees, lights and giving of presents is a countrywide occurrence, other traditions handed down from one culture and generation to another have been adopted, diluted and adapted over the years.

Amongst all Belizeans, Christmas is a time to clean house. In preparation for expected or unexpected family and friends, the house is tidied, new curtains hung and often new flooring laid. Albert Street in Belize City was traditionally the place to shop for new material, decorations and tiles. Today most towns stock these products.

In most major towns of each area the season kicks off with the lighting of the town Christmas tree in the town square, an event often accompanied by carol singing and other celebrations. Already by this stage most shops have already put up their Christmas decorations and Christmas music in both Spanish,English and reggae versions can be heard belting merrily through the streets.

Image ©Truck Stop

On Ambergris Caye, one of the highlights of Christmas is The lighted boat parade which usually takes place on the first Saturday of December.  This is a beautiful sight to behold as the local community pull together and an array of fishing boats, catamarans, tour boats, water taxis and barges take to the water lit up with Christmas lights and parade from north to south of the island.  It’s a great opportunity to grab a beachside seat in one of the many restaurants and bars and enjoy this festive seaside tradition.

©SanPedroScoop

Image ©Sanpedroscoop.com

In Dangriga in Southern Belize there is a strong Garifuna community and on Christmas afternoon it is traditional to watch or indeed take part in the Joncunu a colorful masquerade dance.  The performance is an imitation of the European slave masters as seen by the pink painted masks that the dancers wear and the white shirts and often skirts which parody Scottish kilts that the British used to wear. The dance is often accompanied by Garifuna drumming.

©JC Cuellar

©JC Cuellar

Another grand tradition of Dangriga is The Grand Ball .an occasion which dates back to 1914 where dancers performed traditional ballroom dance steps such as the Fox Trot, Quadrille and the Waltz. This event continues today every Christmas and New Year’s Eve, largely attended by an older crowd.

Las Posadas is a mestizo tradition which occurs throughout communities in Belize but is strongly observed in Benque Viejo del Carmen. The 9 day custom starts on 16th December with the statues of Mary and Joseph being taken from Church to someones home which is locked. This procession is usually accompanied by marimba music, candles and firecrackers. Eventually after prayers and a reenactment of the nativity the doors are opened and the statues remain at the house for the evening. The following few nights the statues are taken to other families.

In the Toledo district where the Maya influence is strong, the ancient ceremony known as Deer Dance is often performed traditionally at Christmas and other special occasions. The Dance is performed by 24 dancers in masks including a jaguar, deer, a hunter among other characters.

Belizeans love their turkey and ham for Christmas dinner and this is usually served with trimmings including stuffing and of course the Belizean favorite of rice and beans. In certain cultures, tamales or rellenos are served instead or in concert with the traditional Christmas dinner. Black fruit cake is a favorite Belizean dessert at this time.

Christmas is a really wonderful time to visit Belize. The weather is warm , the welcome is warm and you will feel like family. And don’t forget to try the Rumpope!

What to do in Mexico City

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 1876

With our friends from Aeromexico starting first-of-its-kind flights from Mexico City to Belize in November, we thought we would do our part to help bring awareness to the service to our fellow Belizeans.

So, if you take the new flight, what is there to do in Mexico City? First of all, it is one of the most fascinating and diverse cities in the world and deciding exactly what to do depends on what your interests are.

Here are some ideas:

If you want to do the sightseeing thing
The first thing you should do, early in your visit is to hop on and hop off the Turibus, an open top bus that is one of the best ways to see Mexico City. From here you can see famous landmarks such as Zocalo, the main central square with its diverse architecture ranging from Aztec to colonial Spanish to modern. You can also experience the Paseo de la Reforma with its iconic statue, The Angel of Independence and the Castle of Chapultepec, formerly host to sovereigns, now the home of the National Museum of Culture.

If you want to do the cultural thing
With over 160 museums, 100 art galleries, and 30 concert halls  Mexico City is a culture vultures paradise. If you had a year, you couldn’t see them all.

If you want to do the ancient History thing.
50 km northeast of Mexico City is the ancient city of Teotihuacan with its huge Pyramids of the Sun and of the Moon. Here you can marvel at the wonders of the ancient cultures who are responsible for this epic site.

If you want to do the Frida and Diego thing
Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera are two of Mexico’s most famous artists. Visit the Blue House otherwise known as the Frida Kahlo Museum in Coyoacan to see where Frida was born, grew up and died. It also houses a collection of both Frida and Diego’s artwork. You can also visit their studios and interlinked houses where they lived until their divorce. Afterwards have a delicious lunch in San Angel Inn, a converted hacienda that’s serves the best Margaritas.

If you still want to look at more artwork
The spectacular building of Museo Soumaya located in the upmarket area of Polanco showcases a varied selection of over 60,000 pieces of artwork and what’s more it’s free. It is the city’s most visited museum.

If you want to do the Foodie thing
Visit some of the world’s most famous restaurants such as Pujol (featured in the Netflix series “Chefs Table”) to try the 1000-day old mole. Eat Mexican street food – tacos, street corn, Chapuline (a Mexican delicacy of crickets, grasshoppers, and locusts). Do not miss Churros at El Moro right in the heart of the city, where they have been making churros for over 80 years.

If you want to do the local thing
Spend Sunday at the Hanging Gardens of Xochimilcho. Jump on a gondola-esque boat, and order delicious Mexican fare from the passing vendors, Then sip on a magnificent Michelada, whilst being serenaded by one of the many Mariachi bands.

If sport is your thing
Of course, there is always football, Mexicans are very passionate about it. But a worthwhile alternative is to go watch Lucha Libre, Mexican wrestling where masked wrestlers dressed as superheroes provide an entertaining evening. In December, this year for the 3rd year running, The National Basketball Association (NBA) will feature the Orlando Magic playing regular-season games against the Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz at the Arena Ciudad de Mexico
And, if none of the above are your thing, you could always resolve to some retail therapy.

So Belizeans, go have some fun in one of the largest cities in the world.

The Blue Holes of Belize – there’s more than just one!

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Blue holes or cenotes are underground cavities occurring in carbonate rocks that are open to the surface.

©Tony Rath Photography – trphoto.com

One of Belize’s most famous attractions, and an example of these, is the Great Blue Hole. Located in the lighthouse reef atoll approximately 62 miles from Belize City, it is an almost perfect circular chasm of deep blue in an azure sea. 1000 feet in diameter and more than 400 feet deep, it is the only Blue Hole on earth that is visible from space, and it’s a diver’s paradise.

Most visitors to Belize are probably unaware that in mainland Belize close to Belmopan, Belize’s capital city, and just off the Hummingbird Highway lies another of these craters, known as The Inland Blue Hole. Unlike its marine counterpart, this Blue Hole is a fresh-water cenote, located within the St Hermans Blue Hole National Park, a 575 acre forest teeming with wildlife. It is significantly smaller than the Great Blue Hole with a diameter of 300 feet and a depth of 100 feet. It’s a great spot for a refreshing dip while taking a Belizean road trip.

© Tony Rath – trphoto.com

Belize’s third Blue Hole is still something of a secret. Located in the rainforest area on the border between the Orange Walk and Cayo districts between the Valley of Peace and San Jose, Cara Blanca is just one of a series of 25 cenotes. If you look it up on google earth the pools can be clearly seen. Cara Blanca is approximately 330 in diameter and 230 feet deep. In recent years archaeological diving expeditions have discovered pre-historic bones of huge mammals, along with Maya artifacts. The latter demonstrating how Cenotes and caves played an important part in ancient Maya culture as they were thought to be the opening to Xibalba or the underworld. The presence of a small plaza with sacrificial pots and other relics here, is thought to be evidence of this worship.

It is rumored that other Blue Holes exist in Belize. There are definitely underwater caverns behind Caye Caulker and deep blue cenotes in both southern and northern Ambergris.

Let us know if you know of any, elsewhere in the country. We’d love to hear from you.

TROPIC AIR AND COPA AIRLINES ANNOUNCE INTERLINE AGREEMENT

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 1587

PRESS RELEASE
June 15, 2018
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye

Tropic Air and Copa today announced the commencement of an interline agreement that allows customers to purchase connecting flights on one ticket and receive boarding passes for all segments at their first check-in. Tropic serves 15 destinations from Belize’s Goldson International Airport which Copa serves nonstop from its home at Panama’s Hub of the Americas.

“We are thrilled to enhance our partnership with Belize and provide great connectivity to our customers from 75 cities in the Americas offering the best regional on-time performance and service standards,” said Christophe Didier, VP of Global Sales for Copa Airlines.

Steve Schulte, Chief Executive Officer of Tropic Air commented, “We are thrilled to start our interline relationship with Copa. We look forward to welcoming more Latin Americans to Belize, and to providing both of our customers with access to our growing list of destinations across the region.”

“At Tropic, we strive to put the customer first in everything that we do,” said John Greif III, Tropic Air’s President. “This partnership will enable us to connect our customers to Copa’s extensive network of destinations, offering greater choice and convenience. It also enables our tourism partners to have seamless travel options, and demonstrates our determination to expand and strengthen our connecting route network.”

The agreement commences immediately, and tickets are available for sale. Connecting flights can be bought through professional travel agents.

About Tropic Air
With neary 40 years of service, Tropic Air flies over 200 daily scheduled flights with 15 aircraft to 15 destinations in Belize, Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. Tropic Air now employs over 350 team members and will carry over 300,000 passengers and 425,000 items of freight system wide this year.

Tropic Air recently successfully completed IATA’s Industry Standard Safety Audit for the third time, after joining the program in 2015. In September, Tropic was also admitted as a member of the Latin American Airlines Association (ALTA), after meeting its professional standards requirements.
Journalists with media enquiries, please contact the press office: pr@tropicair.com

About Copa Holdings, S.A.
Copa Airlines and Copa Airlines Colombia, subsidiaries of Copa Holdings, are leading Latin American providers of passenger and cargo services. The airlines offer service to 79 destinations in 32 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

During Copa Airlines’ 70 years of continuous operations, the Hub of the Americas in Panama has become the leading hub on the continent. Copa operates one of the youngest and most modern fleets in the industry and has one of the best on-time performance rates in the industry. In addition, in 2017 Copa received the award for “Leading Airline in Mexico and Central America” at the World Travel Awards and earned three Skytrax 2016 awards: “Best Airline in Central America / Caribbean,” “Best Airline Staff Service in Central America / Caribbean,” and “Best Regional Airline in Central America / Caribbean.” Copa is a member of Star Alliance, which offers passengers more than 18,450 daily flights to 1,300 airports in 190 countries.

Gud Maanin Belize

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 2595

Belize is a happy country and its normal to greet each other with a “Hello”,” Good morning “, a “Hi how are you” or a “What’s happening”. We are the only country in Central America where English is the official language. But depending on where you are in the country and who you are talking to, you will discover quite a diversity of language in the manner of greeting strongly related to the melting pot of cultures that are our people.

“Gud Maanin” or “Weh di go aan?” are two familiar Kriol greetings, sung here in a Belizean favorite by the late and well-respected King of Brukdown, Mr Wilfred Peters.

Whilst English is the official language, Kriol is spoken by most Belizeans, particularly at home or in informal situations. Often thought of as a dialect, it is in fact a language with its own set of rules and grammar.

In areas where the Mestizo culture is strong particularly in northern Belize and the Cayo district, the favored language is Spanish and familiar greetings are “Buenas Dias”,”Hola” and “Que Pasa?” Northern Belize still has several Maya villages, where Yucatec Maya is still spoken, though sadly the language is dying out. “How are you” is “Bix yanikech”, Good morning is “Ma’lob Ja’atskab K’iin”

Two other Maya languages are spoken in Belize, predominately in villages in the Toledo district where the Maya culture is strongest. The village of San Antonio is mostly populated with Mopan Maya and a traditional greeting which means both Hello and Goodbye would be “D’yoos”. San Pedro Columbia is the largest Q’eqchi Maya community and they also have their own language. A typical greeting would be ” Ma sa’aach’ol” (how are you?) When speaking to an older woman the greeting would be “Naxin” and for an older man “Waxin”. The younger generation greet each other with the more informal “Chan xawil”.

Stann Creek is the cultural heart of the Garinagu or Garifuna. “Buiti Binafi” is the greeting here. This language which is part of the Arawak group of languages is rich in stories of the Garifuna culture.

In the Mennonites communities of Belize such as Spanish Lookout, Blue Creek and Barton Creek, the language spoken is low German. Good morning is “Goomorjess” or the informal “Morjess” Like many other Belizeans they also speak Spanish, English and Kriol.

Whilst the languages mentioned above make up the main cultural groups in Belize, today there are many other peoples, who have visited, fallen in love with and settled in the country. It’s not un-usual to hear Lebanese, Chinese and even French. Belize really is just one big melting pot.