Fodor’s – the largest publisher of English Language travel and tourism information in the world published last week on their website 5 top reasons why travelers should visit Belize. The article was written by Fodor’s Guest Blogger Brian Major who insists to travel to Belize as soon as possible before the crowds arrive.
Beach bumming is one of the top five reasons to visit Belize! “Just off of Belize’s Caribbean coast is an archipelago of sunny islands (known as cayes), featuring myriad natural wonders and a series of charming beach towns, all easily reached via the well-run local carrier, Tropic Air. Placencia (in southern Belize) has few docks or developments, allowing for miles of uninterrupted beach, and just a few cozy boutique hotels”, writes Brian.
For the adventure seekers, the Fodor’s Guest Blogger recommends cave exploration and river tubing at Caves Branch in Cayo where they can rappel into caverns and float along an underground river on inner tubes. He also urges adventure travelers to check out Shipstern Wildlife Reserve in Corozal, Antelope Falls in Mayflower Bacawina National Park and Cerros Caye in Corozal Bay for panoramic views of the Caribbean.
And yes diving is one of the reasons to visit Belize! We all know that Belize has the second largest barrier reef on the planet and offers world class diving. “The Hol Chan Marine Reserve off San Pedro features more than 160 species of fish and nearly 40 types of coral, plus nurse sharks and stingrays. Try the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, accessible from Dangriga, or hit up the Splash Dive Center in Placencia, for whale shark diving excursions near Gladden Spit, plus day and overnight trips to the Great Blue Hole submarine sinkhole, ranked among the world’s 10 best dive sites by Jacques Cousteau” writes Brian.
To read the other two reasons, please click here http://www.fodors.com/news/5-reasons-to-visit-belize-now-7369.html
To learn more about Belize adventure vacations from Placencia and Chabil Mar – Contact Us – Click Here
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Every year on November 19, Garifuna Settlement day is observed which marks the arrival of the Garifuna people in Belizean territory in 1802. The holiday was created by Thomas Vincent Ramos, a Belizean civil rights activist and is celebrated for a whole week with major festivities that include parades, live music, drumming, dancing, prayers and pageantry in Garifuna communities. Here are 6 things to know about the Garifuna people of Belize:
1.) In 2001, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognized the Garifuna language, music and dance as a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity. This designation means that it is a important culture that should be preserved, promoted and celebrated.
2.) According to Historians, the Garifuna resisted British and French colonialism in the Lesser Antilles and were defeated by the British in 1796. Because of a violent rebellion on St Vincent, the British moved 5000 Garifuna across the Caribbean to the Bay Islands off the north of Honduras. From there, they migrated to the Caribbean coasts of Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Belize. By 1802 about 150 Garifuna had settled in Stann Creek (present day Dangriga) area and were engaged in fishing and farming.
3.) The Garifuna are resilient people who have survived many years of extreme hardships and are the only black people in the Americas to have preserved their native Afro-Caribbean culture due to the fact that their ancestors were never slaves. The Garifuna’s deep sense of kinship and participation in community cultural activities have provide them with a sense of solidarity and cultural identity during times of turmoil.
4.) The religion of the Garifuna consists of a mix of Catholicism, African and Indian beliefs. They believe that the departed ancestors mediate between the individual and external world and if a person behaves and performs well, then he will have good fortune. If not, then the harmony that exists in relationships with others and the external world will be disrupted leading to misfortune and illness. Their spiritualism is expressed through music, dancing and other art forms.
5.) The Garifuna foods consist of fish, chicken, cassava, bananas and plantains. One of the staples of the diet is cassava. Cassava is made into bread, a drink, a pudding and even a wine! The cassava bread is served with most meals. The process of making the bread is very labor intensive and takes several days. Hudut is a very common traditional meal. Hudut consists of fish cooked in a coconut broth (called sere) and served with mashed plantains or yams. Dharasa is the Garifuna version of a tamale made with green bananas. It can be made either sweet or sour. The foods are very labor intensive and used to be cooked over an open fire hearth. Today, stoves save time, but some families still prefer the taste of the fire hearth.
6.) The Garifuna flag consists of three horizontal strips of black, white and yellow, in that order, starting from the top. The flag has been accepted internationally as the flag of the Garifuna Nation and the colors have been used in forums where Garifuna people assert their Garifuna identity. Discover the culture of Belize.
What’s it like in Placencia? Where is the Peninsula? Where is the Village located?
Living in Placencia, Belize: Paradise Found
FROM SUZAN HASKINS AND DAN PRESCHER and International living – Excerpts
Just where is Placencia? It’s about a three-and-a-half hour drive south of Belize City. Placencia town lies at the tip of a 16-mile long narrow strip of land known as the Placencia Peninsula. The peninsula, only a half-mile wide at its widest point, offers Caribbean beachfront to the east and a protected lagoon on the western side where manatees are often seen. Everything here is close to the water, and all along the paradisiacal peninsula on either side you’ll find restaurants, hotels and small resorts, individual homes, and all those new residential communities. Here are some fast facts about the Placencia Peninsula. There are basically three villages on the peninsula: tiny Maya Beach (more an “area” than a town), the Garifuna settlement of Seine Bight, and Placencia town. Only a few thousand people live on the peninsula, centered around these three small villages, the largest of which is Placencia town with about 1,000 residents.
On a fun note, that road we talked about earlier… it dead ends at the southern tip of the peninsula in Placencia town, which itself offers another north/south transportation artery — the Placencia Sidewalk. It’s 4,071 feet long and 4 feet wide, and according to the Guinness Book of World Records, it’s the narrowest main street in the world. Read the entire article here!
The Ancient Maya Of Belize
By: Jaime J. Awe Ph.D.
Copyright: First Edition December, 2005
(Following are excerpts taken from the above publication and do not constitute the book in its entirety)
What Mayan language was spoken in Belize before the arrival of the Spanish? Epigraphers and historical linguists believe that two major languages were spoken in Belize during the Classic period (A.D. 300-900) of Maya civilization. Yucatec was spoken in the northern two thirds of the country, and Cholan was the common language of the people who lived in the south. Cholan speakers are now only found in Guatemala and in the state of Chiapas in Mexico.
What Mayan languages are spoken in Belize today?
Today Yucatec is still spoken by the Maya who live in the villages of San Antonio and Succotz in the Cayo District, and by people in the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts. Mopan, which is spoken in San Antonio Village in the Toledo District, is a dialect of Yucatec. Other Maya communities in the Toledo District are Kekchi speakers. Kekchi originated in the Alta Verapaz region of Guatemala.
When was Maya civilization fully established?
In the past scholars believe that Maya civilization was not fully established until about A.D. 300, at the start of the Early Classic Period. Recent research, however, has provided conclusive evidence that ancient Maya civilization was actually in full bloom by at least 100 B.C. in the late Pre-classic period. By this early date the Maya were already carving stelae on altars, conducting long distance trade, utilizing mathematical and calendrical systems, and constructing monumental architecture.
How did the Maya perceive their universe?
They perceived their world as having three levels: the heavens, earth and underworld. The heavens were subdivided into thirteen levels and the underworld into nine levels. At the center of the universe was the sacred Ceiba tree whose limbs touched the heavens and roots descended into the underworld. Heaven was the adobe of sacred gods and deified ancestors. Earth was the home of humans, the forests, and all other creatures. The underworld was a place of death and diseases, and home of the Bolontiku (nine evil gods).
For more information on the Maya of Belize, visit http://www.chabilmarvillas.com/images/pdf/TheAncientMayaHistoryandCulture.pdf
Or, connect with Mr. Joe via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joe.awe?fref=ts
Travel writer Shanon Kaiser has written an article entitled “ Five Common Myths About Belize Busted” for the Huffington Post, the popular American online news aggregator and blog. In the article she describes Belize as a diverse culture with a deep Caribbean influence and debunks 5 myths about Belize. “It wasn’t long ago that no one knew of Belize. No one knew that the best diving in the world was here, and no one knew how easy and affordable it was to get to, and to stay in. No one knew how nice the locals were, and no one knew they all spoke English. Shatter all your beliefs as we dive deeper in the topic of Belize by debunking five myths about Belize,” she writes.
You can read the full article here: “Five Common Myths About Belize Busted“.