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living/visiting Ambergris Caye #173214
02/14/05 11:10 PM
02/14/05 11:10 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 577
Bayfield Ontario
PattiCake Offline OP
PattiCake  Offline OP
Thank you for your advice Capt Jeff. I have reached a point in my life where I do not want to deal with the hassles of winter and spending six months of the year chilled to the bone. I am investigating moving to a warmer climate (I live in Canada on Lake Huron)and am curious about the people who visit Belize, would be capable of living there but do not live there. It sounds like living in paradise (I am sure there are exceptions). If one has a marketable trade (I am a chef) why not live in Ambergris Caye rather than visit? Is there something I haven't figured out yet that makes it difficult to live there? Does happiness become boring too?

The price of land seems within grasp, the crime rate is comparable or lower than other "resort" areas, people speak English. What are the barricades?

Re: living/visiting Ambergris Caye #173215
02/15/05 08:11 AM
02/15/05 08:11 AM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 381
Savannah, GA USA
CrackerLarry Offline
CrackerLarry  Offline
PattiCake, I'm certainly no expert in living in Belize, just a visitor, but I'll respond.

Have you spent much time in any of the "Bannana Republics" and had dealings with the governments or locals? Quite different than you may be used to. Corruption abounds.

They will not let you work a job that can be done by a local citizen. Jobs for them are too hard to come by and fiercely protected. While a chef is marketable in the US or Canada, SP has roughly 1 restaraunt for every 3 citizens already (slight exageration). I doubt you would ever get a work permit as a chef. You have to reside there for awhile before you can apply for a work permit. You will have to have political connections and cash. I have even heard of nurses who can't get work permits there.

They may allow you to buy a restaraunt and employ Belizeans as chefs, but it is doubtful they would even let you work in the establishment that you own.

If you haven't read it, I highly recommend Herman Wouks book "Don't Stop the Carnival" to give you some accurate ideas of what you are up against.

Hopefully you will get a lot of response to this from people who have actually done it.

My advice FWIW would be to burn no bridges and take baby steps.

Re: living/visiting Ambergris Caye #173216
02/15/05 08:32 AM
02/15/05 08:32 AM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 381
Savannah, GA USA
CrackerLarry Offline
CrackerLarry  Offline
Let me add another thought or two.

These countries encourage you to come down and spend your money with them. They will not encourage you to come down and compete with them for their money.

Are you familiar with Jimmy Buffet, the great sage and songwriter? I recommend you listen carefully to the lyrics of his song "Bannana Republic". He's been there!

"down to the Bananna Republics, things aren't as warm as they seem...none of the natives are buying...any second hand American dreams..."

Not saying it can't be done, but you will have a very difficult time of it. Good luck!

Re: living/visiting Ambergris Caye #173217
02/15/05 09:26 AM
02/15/05 09:26 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,001
New Jersey/sanpedro
captjeff Offline
captjeff  Offline
Crackerlarry you are on fire this week you have said it all ,and so right on .the truth shall set you free.. patti have great intentions and good for you .I have lost big money and made big money ,and haved chased lots of dreams.more hot then not,wich is why I have the bucks to do it all. you need to baby step is the answer .one day at a time .check it out .make sure the juice is worth the squeeze ..stay a few months make sure this is the place for you..I love to come down as a gringo and spend wonderful days in sanpedro town it has changed my life ..but I also like a hot crap game in las vegas ,broadway shows.and and like some craziness in life but thats me ..could I live here all year round ???? maybe .but I like to live some differant dreams all at differant times .balance is better for my life.a little of each makes me happy, happy .. so if comming here is yor passion go do it ..go live your dream... but you must have a back up plan ... and good luck to you and hope you get to live your dream ......

Living The Dream Every Day!
Re: living/visiting Ambergris Caye #173218
02/15/05 09:50 AM
02/15/05 09:50 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 185
streetchie Offline
streetchie  Offline
The wisemen have spoken, take note. Good advice, guys. After living in San Pedro on and off (currently off) for several years I have met and become friends with several small business owners. They all have a similar story for following their dreams south of the border and all seem to have grown remarkably from the experience. Baby steps would be key to success....or sanity. One correction though, I believe that you can work as a chef in Belize if you own the restaurant. If this is not the case I know several chefs and bartenders that will soon be deported. Go for it!

Re: living/visiting Ambergris Caye #173219
02/15/05 09:56 AM
02/15/05 09:56 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 591
Catatonic Motivator Offline
Catatonic Motivator  Offline
I hear Captain Jeff's Pepto Bistro is looking for a chef. laugh

* I Go Pogo *
Re: living/visiting Ambergris Caye #173220
02/15/05 11:51 AM
02/15/05 11:51 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 577
Bayfield Ontario
PattiCake Offline OP
PattiCake  Offline OP
Great name, Pepto Bistro. Surely a restauranteur would not host lengthy discusssions about his own food poisoning, so I am almost certain this is an ongoing tease, is it?

Re: living/visiting Ambergris Caye #173221
02/15/05 02:52 PM
02/15/05 02:52 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,337
MALIBU Offline
MALIBU  Offline
capt jeff - I love your words: Make sure the juice is worth the squeeze. Excellent! I will use this my friend.

PattiCake - I hope your dreams take you where you want to go.

Re: living/visiting Ambergris Caye #173222
02/15/05 07:39 PM
02/15/05 07:39 PM
Joined: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,157
San Pedro and Caye Caulker, Be...
silkpainter Offline
silkpainter  Offline
Capt. Jeff, next time your tummy is upset stop into the art gallery for some fresh ginger lime sorbet. Its a tummy tamer.
Many resorts have "blanket" work permits for chefs, especially if its a specialty type of restaurant. If the business wants/needs you bad enough, they will get your work permit for you, or steer you thru the process. Lots of foreign chefs working in Belize.

Re: living/visiting Ambergris Caye #173223
02/15/05 11:52 PM
02/15/05 11:52 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 577
Bayfield Ontario
PattiCake Offline OP
PattiCake  Offline OP
While feeding 60 or 70 folks tonight I gave further thought to the job predicament (besides emailing two Belizian consul generals here in Canada).

I could offer myself as a mail order bride (the non-reproductive sort), enter into a marriage of convenience, find a man "anchored" in Belize and take it from there!

It is a thought... I have a great sense of humour, MANY skills... speak three languages, am educated, love to fish, cook fish GAWD the list is endless and I haven't even started on my collection of first editions, my wardrobe OR my endless patience, sense of honour, let alone my humility (when I make humble pie I include a few cranberries)...

And I could get written testimonials to all the above from my customers in the bar, a reputable banker/lawyer bunch..

Ginger lime sorbet sounds wonderful Silkpainter. Could throw champagne in it for evenings too. Thanx all.

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