Surprises in Belize
The ship had to anchor 5 miles out so we had to take a tender ferry to the mainland. After my last boat ride, I was a little nervous, so I took some seasick medicine this time, but the ride was fine.
On the way, the guide told us a little about the country. He kept saying how poor the country was and at one point he pointed out a strip of land and said that’s where the rich people live. He thanked us ahead of time for any shopping we did to help their poor economy. We soon saw what he meant…
Shopping in Belize
The tourist shopping area in Belize was somewhat small and we noticed there was a wall around the area that was closely guarded. We had to stay in the tourist area and not venture beyond the wall for our safety. We have to say, the prices at the souvenir shops were the cheapest of all the ports we went to.
A Nice Surprise
There were lots of people along the dock, trying to sell tours – city bus tours and some in the country to see the monkeys. Charles just happened to stop at this girl and listened to her whole sales pitch without noticing her blue badge. When she got done describing the tours, I asked if we would get to see a Kingdom Hall. Of course she was delighted and after hugs and laughter, she introduced us to a couple other brothers, one who was the owner of the tour company.
You can see more of Belize City from this short video clip. The driver said there were stiff fines for littering – so the streets were mostly clean. There were some nice buildings – like the hospital, government buildings and homes in certain neighborhoods near the shore.
But in the city, many of the buildings were dilapidated and obviously not maintained. Also, the people seemed to be struggling to make a living, selling goods on the side of the road.
We saw armed military rounding up truckloads of men. The driver said 3 people had been killed the night before, so they were looking for those responsible. Very scary.
It was a comfort to see the local Kingdom Hall amidst the chaos. We’ve heard about need-greaters retiring to Belize. They must face many challenges.