Does anyone have any idea what wages are like in Ambergris Caye? I know that tourism is on the rise, how well are Belizeans earning money? I did a google on this and could only find some old (i think) information, construction workers earn up to maybe 30 dollars a day? What about tour guides? Cashiers? Etc..
If you are asking because you are considering moving here and/or employing Belizean workers, please stick to the accurate information from Amanda. Some employers here pay way less and should be ashamed of themselves. I have heard of people who pay as little as $BZ 160.00 per week for hard labor six days a week (raking beach and clearing grounds etc.). You get what you pay for, and loyalty and respect work both ways. Decent weekly pay on the island for a domestic worker / grounds keeper is $BZ 225.00 - 250.00. Construction worker is around $BZ 300.00 - 360.00 per week and skilled carpenters, masons, electricians etc. should be paid around $BZ 400.00 - 480.00 per week.
I have heard of less and more. I have heard a lot of hotel workers average $300-400 BZ/ week plus some are tipped. Good thing they don't pay taxes on that or have to drive to work or pay car insurance or gas. That helps.
I don't plan on residing in Belize anytime soon nor am I going to employ Belizeans (wouldn't mind either way sometime in the future though).
I agree wholeheartedly on fair wages- improves the loyalty and morale.
I am really curious about licensed tour guides, I keep tipping them because I'm not sure whether they get paid well or not. Still would tip nonetheless but wasn't sure if I was giving out too much or too little.
My mother is considering getting a villa for a month next year, she wants to hire a maid to clean around maybe twice a week but she's not sure how much they should get paid. I guess around $50 BZ for a day is a good estimate.
spl - keep in mind, many families, especially in San Mateo, work just to put food on their tables. Health care and dental care are, too often, luxuries for them. When you have NO extra money, paying a dentist or a doctor is simply out of the question. Spend a couple of hours in that neighborhood and come back and tell me what you think.
Yes, tipping tour guides is an accepted practice. If they refuse your tip it will be because they own the business. A basic rule of thumb for tipping is 10 - 15% depending on your satisfaction level. Plus you are most likely making up for the folks that don't think about tipping!
Health care is expensive here - comparitively speaking.
I had a terrible throat infection, affecting my ears and nose. Had to have antibiotic shots then pills. $300 Bz. And no, I am not paying Gringo prices.
A typical doctor visit with prescription will run around $100.
Mammograms are only $100 or so, but then you have to take a day off work and catch the boat or plane and pay for taxis etc - so again, its a lot of money to spend if you are only making $50 a day.
Dental checkups are around $50 - so long as you don't need work.
If you have 4 kids and you are paid $360 a week - and one of the kids gets sick - you're not going to be able to put a lot of food on the table.