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#421536 - 11/10/11 02:22 PM Belize Snapshot: Coco Plum
Marty Offline

Coco Plum – Caye Caulker, Belize

This fruit, known as the Coco Plum, not only has a beautiful pinkish color and a somewhat sweet taste, but it also has a strong relationship with the small island known as Caye Caulker.

The relationship: Caye Caulker’s name is based on the fruit’s name.

Caye Caulker was derived from the Spanish name of the island “Cayo Hicaco”, which refers to the Hicaco plum (Coco Plum). In the past, the Spanish gathered the fruit to combat scurvy – a disease caused by deficiency of vitamin C. Still to this day, the Coco Plum grows wild on the island.

But, that’s not the only theory as to where the name Caye Caulker comes from. One theory says that boats were caulked in the protected bay, La Ensenada (on the western side of the island), leading to the “Caulker” name. Another theory says that since Belize was part of England till 1981, on early British maps the island’s name is spelled “Cay Corker.” Cay Corker may have come from the island’s reputation for an abundance of fresh water at La Aguada. This made the island a favorite stop for sailors to replenish and cork water bottles

Even though the official name is Caye Caulker, the residents love to refer and call Caye Caulker, La Isla Carinosa (the friendly island). And this I know for sure; this is a friendly island.

GloboTreks.com

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#422030 - 11/15/11 03:46 AM Re: Belize Snapshot: Coco Plum [Re: Marty]
Nate Offline
I think I've heard the revisionist Hicaco story more times than I can stand now.
Caye Caulker appeared on Englsh charts as Caye Corker almost 2 centuries before the first Spanish families settled here.
To cork, corking or corker are the terms English speaking mariners have used to refer to caulking the seams of larger vessels since who knows when and still do today.We still use corking hammers and corking chisels to pound oakum into seams. A wright corking is a corker.
Somewhere along the line some word nazi apparently revised the sailor talk name to better English and hence Caulker. The terms are synonymous.
As to why they named it Corker I'd suggest one speculation. The oakum used in corking is typically either hemp or coconut husk fiber. If coconut trees existed on the island at the time it may suggest why they would be doing their (often annual) corking work here.

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