I was last in that area about a year ago and also very briefly this summer. I don't know what it was like in 1980, but there hasn't been a lot of development there in recent years. There are Mennonite farms and up north of there, at Copper Bank near Cerros, some yahoo from the U.S. has been trying to sell lots on the bay. From Orange Walk Town, the roads to Progresso and also to Chunox and Sarteneja are pretty good gravel roads. There is bus service from Orange Walk. Also, there is now a hand-crank car ferry across the New River from near Corozal Town, which saves a lot of travel time if you are coming from the north.
--Lan Sluder www.belizefirst.com