JD, I'm glad you managed to surface, after such a long time. We have missed your smile!!
I hope you will let me shed a little bit of light on your opinion of the "poor" area. I thought the same as you did after my first visit. Since then, I have learned. By our US standards, these residents are poor. But, by island native standards, these people are rich beyond means. They have food to eat, a roof over their heads, and their children are healthy. They are not encumbered by trying to keep up with the "Jones" or get the bigger/better/faster/fancier whatever. They go home at night after a hard days work and feel like they have done a good job, spend time with their families, and rest before starting it all over again the next day. Here in the states, we go home, hit the computer/wallstreet journal/industry or trade magazines, drink too much, get ulcers and ignore the family in the quest of getting more and more stuff to make our lives easier. The Belizians have it figured out. Not having the "stuff" keeps them free. I am learning a lot from them, and hope to incorporate this into my life here in the states. Have gotten rid of a bunch of stuff, with more to go, but already feel lighter. I agree with the cost of things on the island, but will pay a little bit more and buy a lot less. Please return and keep this in mind. Remember they have never had the wealth that we have, so they don't miss it. I also agree with the vendors hitting you up while you are trying to have a nice time. Something needs to be done before it turns into another Cancun, where people get angry with the vendors for bugging them so much. Perhaps a designated area where they can set out their stuff for people to look at, and then purchase? I don't know the answer, but these things won't stop me from going back. I do love San Pedro.