So where are you going for the Easter weekend? Chetumal?…Cancun or maybe you will just stay at home with family or friends. While those are all
options, there is one spot that we know will be crowded with locals and tourists: and that’s the Cayes. Today we went to both Water Taxi’s in the city
to find out just how crowded it will get – and what you can do to avoid the rush and stay safe:
Courtney Weatherburne Reporting…
And that signalled the start of the Easter weekend vacation for these passengers.
This is the crowd we caught up with this morning at the San Pedro Water Taxi. And more people are expected to pour in later today and during the weekend.
According to Operations Manager Kein Marin, Easter 2015 is hectic but manageable.
Kein Marin - Operations Manager, San Pedro Water Taxi
"It's a hectic one for us. Our high season is good this year. Of course it's easter so we will be having more passengers but so far so good. We have
control of it."
"So in terms of the crowd control. Yes you said it's a large in flow of people coming in travelling for easter. How do you guys manage or navigate
through the crowds coming in?"
"What we normally do is have a fleet of 15 boats. So as people come we have boats leaving every half and hour. So from 7 o'clock we have a crowd we're
leaving. In terms of crowd control we're working along with Belize port authority and the coast guard and also the tourism police. This year crowd
control for us will be the least of the problem. The crowd is big, we have people coming from Guatemala, Mexico. A lot of Mexicans and Guatemalans in
right now. But San Pedro so far until today they have the crowd right now.”
One of those Guatemalan nationals in the crowd is Denora Hill. This is her first time celebrating Easter away from home.
Delora Hill - First Time Visitor
“Now we are going to a place called San Pedro because they said it is very beautiful and so we are going there but we are very happy and it has been a
marvellous experience, everything is different, the culture and everything I like.”
American Bob Reed is also liking everything so far and breaking from his Easter tradition.
Bob Reid - American Visitor
"They told us to go to the jungle first, so we came from the jungle. We spent 4 days in the jungle and no we're coming to the coast to San Pedro."
"What do you usually do, how do you celebrate easter?"
"At home, normally we go to church and we have a big easter meal with friends and family but this year we are going to spend it here in Belize.”
But not everyone has the luxury of taking an Easter vacation. Others have to work!
"Your travelling to Caye Caulker right?"
Leon Tillet - On Easter Business Trip
"Do you usually celebrate the easter weekend in Caye Caulker?"
"Not really, usually busy for the easter."
"So you'll be busy this easter as well?"
"What kind of work do you do?"
"So you're going over to Caye Caulker to work not really for a vacation?"
"No, maybe next easter."
While he will have to wait for next Easter for some time off, these passengers are cruising to the shores of Caye Caulker and San Pedro for some sun and
And that is the experience passengers at the Caye Caulker Water Taxi are looking forward to.
Natalie Harris - Belizean American
"Last year I went to San Pedro and Caye Caulker and it was great, had a great time. It was a little hassle going on the boat of course but once you get
there everything was great. Coming back was okay too. It was a good time. This year i'm spending a couple days in Caye Caulker and then we spend a
couple days in Placencia - this is my first year in Placencia and Hopkins, so i'm really excited about that. So we'll see how that goes."
"So you're here with family? Or you take this time alone?"
"Just me and my husband Gilbert. Last year I came by myself but this year he made it so it's just going to be me and him. We want to do a little bit or
snorkelling and little bit of suva diving. That's the main thing i'm looking forward to and of course the great Belize food. That's what i'm looking
for, that good original food because in Texas we get mostly Mexican border food but this is the good Caribbean food.”
"So where you going? San Pedro or Caye Caulker?"
Zion Sutherland - "Ready Fu Caye"
"You usually go to Caye Caulker for the easter weekend?"
"What you like about Caye Caulker, what calls you every time for the easter in Caye Caulker?"
"The first and lobster."
"And the party right?"
"So you're going with your friend, your brother, who you're going with?"
"Only you 2?"
"How long will you stay there, for the entire weekend, when will you come back?"
"I will come back on the Tuesday."
"So this is your first time in Belize?"
Anthony Yu - New York College Student
"Very first time here."
"Any expectations as you were telling me before there was none?"
"Yeah, I really wanted to come with just a backpack and I wanted to do it alone. I looked up just a list of best places to go solo travelling, this was
definitely top of the list. I'm really just going to try to do anything that I can next couple of days."
Wilder Uricir - Guatemalan
"Actually, we are always home but this year after 10 years, we decide to make a really big trip and here we are. So it's really tiring but it's really
exciting, the view and everything is beautiful. So we're really blessed to be here."
The Caye Caulker Water Taxi is also blessed to have such a heavy inflow of people. They say they are prepared to cater to all of them.
Luis Carillo - Marketing Officer, Caye Caulker Water Taxi
"This weekend we have about 10,000 people will be passing through this terminal and we're ready. To start we have a promotion with different companies
and local companies if you buy a round trip you get a chance to get a free drawing that we're going to do with Caribe beer, Belizean rum, Smart and
Digicell. So you could enter a chance to take a case of beer to the cayes and a bottle of rum."
Viewers may remember that in April of last year, The San Pedro Belize Express Pier in Caye Caulker collapsed because of the excessive load it carried.
Several passengers fell into the sea and lost phones and other belongings. Well, you won’t have to worry about that this year because that water taxi
service has built a sturdier pier and say they are all set for the massive inflow. Nonetheless, the Port authority today told us they will be
overseeing water taxi safety all this weekend:
"Will you all be monitoring the water taxis to make sure they aren't going overloaded - is almost a natural state for those, but too overloaded or
Michael Jenkins - Chief Safety & Security Officer, Belize Port Authority
"Yes sir, we will sure will be taking out that part of the excitement of the easter travels this year and we will have officers at all our major
destinations. We will be enforcing the maximum capacity of each vessel and making sure the safety equipment such as the life jackets, first aid kits,
the fire extinguishers and radio communication is working and available on these vessels. So this year, yes we are talking it very seriously and we
will be having officers working throughout the weekend."