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#364721 - 01/21/10 06:59 AM Some questions about a move to Belize.
Toodles Offline
I am a 19 year old woman, and I am contemplating a move to Belize. Within the next year, I want to save enough money to head over there for a three month period so I can see if it's something I really want to commit myself to. I speak excellent English, very little Spanish and a little German(which apparently has a population there?). I have some accounting experience and a little college.

I have never left the country before, and I am very inexperienced in the ways of other cultures. I feel that I am a very excepting person, and I don't have problems with people of different colors, languages, beliefs and cultures.

How does one actually prepare for a big move like this? How does a person get their passport and various travel permits? Will I need to get new shots? What kind of things can one not find in Belize? I have read both on this forum and others that phone, internet and electricity is very expensive. Why is this? Do most state-side phone companies still do international roaming charges?

I would want to live by the ocean, so I can wake up in the morning and see blue for miles. Are there there resorts in San Pedro? Do those resorts usually hire English speaking ladies for a livable rate? How does one get a work permit in Belize?

I keep on reading that it is possible to live in Belize comfortably on about 500 US dollars a month. Is this true? Do people coming into the country make that much money? I read that in order to even get hired, the employer has to fill out papers saying that no native citizen can fill the position.

I have seen on this site and others, that money often changes hands under the table in Belize. How often does this really happen? Are customs agents really as messed up as is suggested? On the topic of customs agents, what gets through to the country and what doesn't? Do tariffs only apply to new goods, or will old beat up books(dog chewed and coffee spilled) be charged too?

What kind of food is there in Belize? What fresh produce comes in? I know they don't have Walmarts and Targets there, so how is shopping? Is there a market or something, or does one do most of their shopping in the tourist shops?

How do people get around in Belize? Is there a public transportation system in major cities? Is a bike acceptable transportation?

I realize that Belize isn't all paradise and beautiful sunsets, but I long for a simpler, slower and more laid back lifestyle. I ache to be away from the bustle and rush of city life, and to wake up in the morning to a beautiful panorama of nature. I want to be able to meet new and interesting people, see amazing things and eat wonderful new food. Can I do this in Belize?

I have many more questions, and I'm sorry for just tossing these all in one place. Thank you for bearing with me and reading all this.

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#364724 - 01/21/10 08:17 AM Re: Some questions about a move to Belize. [Re: Toodles]
CindyO Offline
Toodles, you need to check out the BTB. Belize Tourism Board as a start. http://www.belizetourism.org/

Another good resource is Toucan Trail. http://www.toucantrail.com/Home/

Moving Guide to Belize
http://www.movingtobelizeguide.com/

Passports and Visas are issued from your home country. Assuming you are coming from the US, you should do a web search for recommendations about innoculations. Nothing is required at this time, but malaria prophylaxis is something to think about if you are in a jungle area.

At age 19, you will need to obtain permanent residency status in order to be allowed to work. That means you will need to have enough money to live on duriing the year or so waiting period.

Start doing web searches and you will find answers to all your questions.

I've been doing that for months and months and months, reading these forums, researching, planning, budgeting, etc. Although my circumstances are different than yours, it does not appear to me that living on $500 a month would be an easy thing for a 19 y/o from the US to adjust to. That would be a very spartan lifestyle. Belize is a developing country. Basic things such as electric, phone, gas, etc is equal to or more expensive than in the US. Clothing and food as well. Food being more expensive if you expect to eat and drink things you are used to. Think about this: Cornflakes = ~$8.50 a box.

Good luck to you. Don't give up your dream. Anything is possible when you put you heart and soul into it.

I'm counting of the residents and frequent posters on the forums to correct any information that I've provided that may be inaccurate.


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#364726 - 01/21/10 12:03 PM Re: Some questions about a move to Belize. [Re: CindyO]
Toodles Offline
Holy cow! Thank you Cindy! Your resources are excellent!

So they do not have a working visa? I would be 20 by the time that I leave for there permanently, if that makes a difference.

I understand the price challenges when it comes to buying processed and prepared foods, but what about produce and raw ingredients? I do most of my cooking from simple foods. I think that maybe it was on this board that I read that a person can get about a day's worth of produce for about 5 US dollars?

I am definitely going to do some more searching around. After some sleep maybe though.

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#364728 - 01/21/10 02:03 PM Re: Some questions about a move to Belize. [Re: Toodles]
SimonB Offline
What CindyO is saying that you would have to live HERE for a year, leaving the country for only 14 days, to obtain residency to work legally. Residency itself costs several thousand dollars.

The generally accepted norm for living in San Pedro is $2000US per month. Rent would run you, if you were lucky, $300US to $500US plus utilities. Cable is $20US per month, water depends on how much you use but probably $25US per month, electricity another $25US minimum. Don't even ask about phone and internet, I pay at a minimum $175US per month and don't make any long distance calls.

If you only ate rice and beans for every meal and drank only water ($2.5US per 5 gallon) you might get away on $5US per day. More likely $5US per meal if you were lucky. Two meat pies and coffee or juice for breakfast alone is around $2.50US.

Mainland is cheaper but not by much.

Just read this article stating a fact about the $5US per day for food: http://ambergriscaye.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/364723/Poverty_Line_at_10_a_Day.html#Post364723


Edited by SimonB (01/21/10 02:06 PM)
Edit Reason: addition

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#365242 - 01/27/10 06:05 PM Re: Some questions about a move to Belize. [Re: SimonB]
Otteralum Offline
Toodles. I am not a Belize local, but what struck me is that you have not been out of your native country before.

First things first. Make a tourist trip to Belize for 4 or 5 days. Stay at a cheap hotel, walk the streets, talk to the people. Then reconsider the priority of your questions -- I would guess they might change somewhat.

Then consider a longer stay, a few months perhaps, after you've had time to digest what will be a whirlwind of information for a first time traveler.

Best of luck and I admire your adventursome spirit!
_________________________
I will have a Belikin -- put it on klcman's tab.

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#365293 - 01/28/10 01:46 AM Re: Some questions about a move to Belize. [Re: Otteralum]
krehfish Offline
troll.


Edited by krehfish (01/28/10 01:47 AM)
_________________________
Flyfishing my way through mid-life crisis.

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#365305 - 01/28/10 02:52 AM Re: Some questions about a move to Belize. [Re: krehfish]
Otteralum Offline
probably right...
_________________________
I will have a Belikin -- put it on klcman's tab.

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#365314 - 01/28/10 06:23 AM Re: Some questions about a move to Belize. [Re: Otteralum]
seashell Offline
Entertaining though, covered the gamut.

Also, one doesn't often hear a 19 year old refer to themselves as "one". smile

_________________________
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?


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