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#134725 03/17/01 03:43 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 9
checker Offline OP
OP Offline
I posted this in another area of this forum and have yet to get a response. So perhaaps if I post this here some of you regulars will be able to answer my question.
All of you talk about AC and how you love the place, yet none of you mention much interaction with the local people.
My examples would be on one day you discussed giving out candy to the the local kids. On the other Forum it was discussed about getting an adequate clinic for tourist
yet as far as I can determine the GOB is not able to provide this for the regular population.
I am interested in knowing do any of you count the local population as their freinds and families. Do any of you go to their houses to eat or sleep? Do you know them and the families or are these people in your lives such as waitress and service people.
Just interested in knowing if you guys are active in this area and if you are are not, then why is that?

#134726 03/17/01 04:51 PM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 7,059
Checker, just a thought, if you would fill in your profile, to give us a clue about you, we could better answer your questions.

I have not been personally invited to a locals home to eat or sleep, but that does not surprise me, they have been busy working all day to make we tourist comfortable, when they go home they want to be with their families. It seems most locals on Ambergris
are involved one way or another serving the tourist, and that is how they earn their livelyhood. I have met many locals and shared good conversations with them, and used their services, even met their children.
My way of showing appreciation is to tip them more, and with that money they can provide for the family. I don't really think passing out candy is enough. But that is my opinion only.
As far as a clinic it would not just be for the tourist, it will serve the whole island.
The hospital is under construction, but in need of more funding is my understanding.
I do keep in mind, I am visiting a third world country, and not going to tell them how to live their lives. They seem very happy, and relaxed.

Dare To Deviate
#134727 03/17/01 06:42 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 601

Evidently you did not monitor this board during Hurricane Keith, which occurred in October, 2000.

If you had, you would have read at least a thousand tales of the "interaction" that you seem to think this board lacks.

#134728 03/17/01 11:46 PM
checker, i think your problem was the way you phrased your questions. to me they sounded like accusations/ anyway, most of these people, from my observation, are quite poor. i would almost feel bad taking an invitation if i got one. that said, i have had many conversations with locals, even tho my visits were brief. i talked to a little girl and showed her how to treat her puppy, i let a bunch of kidsd play with my camera. they asked me what things are like for kids in the US, we talked for maybe 45 minutes. i had fabulous conversations with the resort staff on their views of marriage, childrearing, relationships, etc. i even met several of their children.

so, what exactly is your definition of interacting with locals?

#134729 03/18/01 05:31 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 318
OK. 'nuff said on this stupid subject. I am a local as is EDD. The hospital project is still on going. We lost a lot in the hurricane. This is the third world. Things don't happen as fast as US, or Canadians, think they should. Try living here before you draw conclusions. I didn't respond to the catch and release question on the other board because it also was stupid. Eat all the fish and what have you got? Nothing! You feed the locals by having a vibrant tourism industry. This is where the jobs come from here. Vacationers come to see fish and beauty. We preserve this as well as we can. Interaction with us is easy. All you have to have is an open mind to a different place. This ain't Indiana brother. I'm hacked at the tone of both posts. Don't tell others to do what you have never done. I'll buy you a Belikin and discuss all these topics with you when you get here. I'm easy to find.

#134730 03/18/01 08:34 AM
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 1,419
Dave,dan, and the rest,

Perfectly put, and amen..


#134731 03/18/01 11:18 AM
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 1,205
WOW...who let the dogs out....glad I don't ask questions like that...

Narrow minds never interact..they sit back and pick on everyone else's actions.

I interact with everyone...and 42 years on this planet no one in all the places I've Ever been has ever invited me into their homes....would you invite a stranger into your house?

In a perfect world we might all hold hands...and sing we are the world....but...
it ain't like that...wish it was...

Forgive me for letting off steam folks...I've traveled to MANY very primative countries...Thai, Phillipines, The Outback...
and it never fails to amaze me how hard it is for people in the US to understand what it's like there.
Phillipines average income PER YEAR was $385

I gave a girl I met there a Zippo light...she was willing to take home..have Sex...feed me all week end and show me the jungle above Manila...for a lighter.'s what happened for those who are wondering.
I met her parents WAY up in the Hills...ate with them, she translated for me...slept on a dirt floor, had a rat as big as a cat run accross my chest as I slept.
When we got ready to leave to go back to Subic Navy Base I emptied my wallet, knowing that this families ONLY means of support to stay ALIVE was to send their ONLY Daughter into town to sell her body....would you do that if you had to????
The point I'm trying to make is this...
We Americans have NO IDEA..NO CLUE....and NO right to judge or even expect anything from the people we meet..THEY DON'T OWE US ANYTHING, with the exception of a returned smile...
ok..I'm done ranting...very sore subject with me. Please forgive me if I offended anyone.

Life May Be a Beach...I prefer Reefs...
#134732 03/18/01 12:52 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 139
Hey checker I am not a regular poster on this forum generally because I prefer another message board. But yes I have a Belize family. Have been visiting Belize for 12 years now and three years ago we built our own home. For nine years we stayed with a local family on all of our traveling and it can and has been quite an eye opening experience. My husband and I have had several Belizeans come to our home in the states and stay with us for extended periods of time. We also are proud to be godparents to several Belizean children. Actually there are quite a few Belizeans in our area of south Florida and we are very active with them and their families.

Living with a local family for an extended period of time can have great joys and also be depressing. Yes the average Belizean is poor. Our family had six kids, two parents and then us visiting which brought the total of 10 people in a very small living quarters about the size of a three car garage. No hot water, one toilet, you bathe with a pail, ususally sleep on a sponge instead of a mattress although later on our family was able to acquire a mattress for us. Lucky for us they had electricity which means you get such wonders as refrigeration and a fan. Its a hard life. Prices for the locals are the same that you pay at the store. Their incomes are very low. I am still always shocked that they can afford to buy anything. Some of our local friends make less that $150.00 dollars a week US and support their families on this amount. Do we have differences. Sure lots of them and we have a great discussions about them. Racism, crime, cost of living, religion, school, health care, birth control, women rights, children, politics. The most asked question last time I was there was what about our new president Mr. Bush. Now why a the average Belizean would think that he has any effect on them I still don't understand.

I thought your question was a legitmate one and deserving of an answer. Most of the responses have been pretty defensive. Maybe you have touched on a sore subject or maybe this is not that kind of messge board.
Even I took offense at the catch and release guys answer. First time ever we fished in Belize we brought home maybe thirty fish. Stood in the backyard and cleaned them and threw the parts (heads ) to the cats and dogs. No one ever said a word to us about this. Next trip down my Belize Mom mentioned to me that there are some very poor people in our village that would love to have a fish head for a soup or stew. I was ashamed that I had not even considered this and really it never would have entered our heads to give a fish head to anyone.
Nor would we ever think of keeping a fish 6inches long. But if you will take it home and eat it than that is fine with me. Now maybe I am being stupid but you can not tell me that there are some local people in San Pedro that could use a fish for supper. Maybe ask your guides or maybe the Lions Club could be a source of help.

Hey I hope that you will get some more responses from the regulars on this board and maybe they will have some better insights than I do.
Another message board that covers all of Belize is fund at maybe you can post there and see what happens.

#134733 03/18/01 01:36 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,976
we have been going to AC every 6 months since 98. We have very many "local" as well as Transplants that have been there a really long time. We have MANY friends there and yes have been to their "homes" for dinner. We have a group of rasta friends that we give fish to after a fishing trip and they will spend all day cooking a wonderful meal for us "outside" It takes many trips to nurish such relationships. Most of the locals who are friends we meet our first trip and have maintained those relationships throughout the years. In my opionion, it just is determined in how opened minded you are and how receptive you are(adaptable) to there way of life and their friendship. God grants us choices in life...choices that YOU are responsible for making and accepting the results of your choices. There's been many times that our "friends" have no where to sleep except on the floor, so when we're there, we try to give them an opportunity to sleep in a comfortable bed, so we offer one of ours in our hotel room. You should be able to make friends anywhere, if yoyu have respect for their "way of life" and can be HUMBLE above all else. We are also active w/the Lion's Club when we're there! Last trip was invited to a friends wedding. You choose your life and who you want relationships with. C

#134734 03/18/01 02:32 PM
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 1,205
Thanks R&C...yours is much nicer than mine and will be accepted alittle more willingly.

After rereading mine I realized how much being overseas for 6 years, liveing with and interacting with the "locals" has made me rather defensive.
I was constantly ashamed of how US Servicemen treated people and vowed to never allow that attitude to fester in myself.

I'm looking forward to enjoying the company of the people who work and live in AC. Thats what life's all about...expanding our understanding of others.

There's a saying I heard once that stuck...

"Contempt prior to investigation is the premier cause which will keep man in everlasting ignorance."
I hope checker understands that some of our life's experience cause us to be rather protective of the "3rd World".

Life May Be a Beach...I prefer Reefs...
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