From the Magnum Belize Newsletter:

Calico Jack, Real-Life Pirate

You might have seen the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean” (a sequel, by the way, is set for release in 2006, with plans for a third) and taken a spin on the Disney ride by the same name. But this is more then just legend; pirates of the Caribbean did indeed exist, and Belize was a favorite hangout.

Back in the 17th Century, various bands of ship-wrecked sailors, buccaneers and pirates – many of British and Scottish origin, established permanent bases in the region (not yet known as Belize), harrassing Spanish galleons carrying gold, silver, and hardwoods from Central America to Europe. Spain continually attempted to expel these buccaneers from then Spanish territory, and finally signed treaties in 1763 and 1786 allowing the British to continue to harvest timber in exchange for protection against pirates preying on the Spanish galleons.

Situated on the beach of a remote peninsula of Placencia in the pristine Stann Creek region is Calico Jack’s Village, with a theme inspired in part by the color and character of the 17th-century pirate trades. In fact, Calico Jack too was a real-life pirate: “Calico” Jack Rackham of the early 1700’s, noted more for his taste in clothing and his female crew members than for his mediocre accomplishments as a pirate (read more about pirates online at this entertaining web site:

Chester “Chet” Williams and Dr. Ydahlia Metzgen-Williams own and operate Calico Jack’s. The resort is close to jungle habitats, vast expanses of fruit and mangrove forests, lagoons and rivers, inlets, islands, and the Caribbean Sea.

Chet is a builder by trade, and inspired by the need for a building material that would withstand the high-velocity winds of an occasional hurricane, he invented UroBlock™ (patent issued in Belize, pending in U.S.), a material whose components and manufacturing processes are ideal for remote tropical structures. The material was used in the construction of Calico Jack’s.

A Mayan designed and pirate-themed, Belizean-owned resort destination, Calico Jack’s Village features seven spacious beachfront cabanas and two villas nestled amongst coconut palms and tropical vegetation on a beautiful secluded beach, 12 miles north of Placencia village. Amenities include a full-service bar and open-air restaurant, swimming pool, complimentary bicycles and kayaks, volleyball, and a large dock over the ocean for lazy afternoons in a hammock with a book or a pina colada. The village offers wedding packages and a variety of land and sea tours.

Calico Jack’s Village appeals to those who would describe themselves as travelers rather than tourists, ready for adventures that are “off-the-beaten track,” with a sense of eagerness to learn about new people, cultures, and natural habitats. They are vacationers wishing to explore Belize and return to “base camp” for a great meal, a comfortable refuge, and an evening of socializing with other travelers.