In hard times resourceful people have to find a way to get by. And for city residents clearing land in the wetlands surrounding the city, this often means cashing in on Crocodiles and Snakes that are found in the bush.
Apparently these reptiles, which are thought of as menaces in Belize, are considered exotic foods for the Chinese.
And so, now, many who catch a nice big snake won't kill it; instead they'll find a Chinese willing to pay top dollar for it.
We found two men on just such a quest today: to find someone willing to buy the snake they found in the area of Western Lake called Dungulung. They told us about it:..
"Well we went to do some cutting this morning and when we were cutting, we came across 3 snakes. We know that the Chinese normally buy them, so we bring them out because we know they are dangerous to people and their pets."
"You are not afraid of this Boa around your neck?"
"No because we are used to them, so it's not a problem."
"So how much you think you can get for it?"
"Well some Chinese will give us about $5 a pound."
"How much pounds do you think this weighs?"
"Well, it's at least about 40 or 50 pounds."
"Ok and you're not afraid that if you sell the Chinese, you might end up eating it back in something?"
"Well right now we don't eat too much food from the Chinese; we eat food from the Chinese but not much and not so often, so anything is anything (laughing)."
We could not find out how much per pound they were able to sell the snake for - but competition is tough because we've met others who are capable of skinning and cleaning the snake before they sell it.