Ambergris Caye Caye Caulker HELP! Visitor Center Businesses Lodging

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#220766 - 04/10/06 01:46 AM Relocating May 2007  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 23
jubilee Offline
jubilee  Offline
my family has visited Caye Caulker many times over the last few years, but it has been over a year since I was there. We just bought land north of the airstrip and plan to relocate there in May 2007. When we were there last time, many people expressed the need for a marine outboard technician/mechanic. My husband is completing his certifications, and will be certified for Yamaha, johnson, Evinrude and possible Mercury. I know you guys are running mostly Yamahas, or at least you were, can anybody please tell me if there is still a need for a mechanic? I was starting to worry that with the popularity growing, there may be more mechanics already on the island! Thanks.

#220767 - 04/10/06 09:43 AM Re: Relocating May 2007  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 538
Dane Offline
Dane  Offline
We have used Yamahas and kept them fixed for many years.There are usually at least several guys to ask for help with repairs, but no well equipped shop in town. Don't worry about Certifications. They mean liitle here. The things that will make a new engine repair shop do well are:
-a South Island location is a must
-modest labor cost and quick turnaround
Skilled guys make US$75 a day here.
- Parts are unavailable closer than the city, so parts swapping is a not very effective way to investigate problems.
-By the book repairs are often too expensive. Many clients favor the McGyver approach for economic reasons.

#220768 - 04/10/06 11:43 AM Re: Relocating May 2007  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,435
Cooper Offline
Cooper  Offline
Keep in mind the possibility of your husband not being able to work as a machanic. Their are more than a few locals attempting this as an occupation. A gringo who is working at a profession may not be able to get a work permit as it is a job that would compete with a local. A person who works at this trade with out a work permit is likly to be turned in by the local he is competeing with, this could be serious as you could be removed from the country.

#220769 - 04/10/06 12:13 PM Re: Relocating May 2007  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 23
jubilee Offline
jubilee  Offline
Thanks for the info, we will keep researching. We have a local friend from the island who can supposedely help us with getting the permits. He is a lobster/fisherman and says that the main man who fixes motors on the island and offers quality repairs makes the prices sky high and has a slow turnaround. Plus, he says the fishing community is interested in different motors, but has no one to repair them because they only work on Yamahas. Has anyone noticed this trend? Any adfditional info will be greatly appreciated.Thanks again.

#220770 - 04/10/06 12:42 PM Re: Relocating May 2007  
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 477
Caye Connect Offline
Caye Connect  Offline

Listen to Cooper and Dane here.

97% of all motors here are Yamaha, reason for which is reliability, availablity of parts and availability of labor. As far as I know, this has been fairly static for 20yrs. Plenty of guys know these motors. What they need is incorporation (aka cooperation). This is sometimes easier said than done here.

With a proper investment of time and money, you could someday have a shop with parts and mechanic services. Whatever ANYBODY is telling you, plan on NOT doing this for at least 12-18 months after you arrive. Make sure you have a nest egg or some other type of income coming from outside of Belize.

#220771 - 04/10/06 12:58 PM Re: Relocating May 2007  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 23
jubilee Offline
jubilee  Offline
Your guys have been very helpful, the info you are providing is exactly what I was looking for. I know this is something no one can know until you actually live there, but does anybody have any idea on how much we should plan to have a month. We will have a house to live in, but are responsible for utilities. We already live very frugally, family of 4 on about 20,000 USD in Houston Texas. We are very good about only pruchasing things we need...i.e. older cars, no cable, etc. But we splurge on other things such as trips to Belize! We also have a nest egg we are building for our move, any suggestions? Also, I know foreigners have not much say in political affairs, but can anyone tell me what the political climate is? (I'm a political science philosophy major, just interested)

#220772 - 04/10/06 12:59 PM Re: Relocating May 2007  

LISTEN to good advice -- these posting are REALLY the way it is! Don't try to bypass the system, i.e. get a "local" to bend the rules to get a permit before you are legally will soon regret it. Look at the requirements for residency, citizenship, work permits on the Government website. We have laws just like other countries for LEGAL entry/working in Belize!!!

#220773 - 04/10/06 01:14 PM Re: Relocating May 2007  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 23
jubilee Offline
jubilee  Offline
I am not trying to "bend" any laws, I have researched immigration laws and visitied the consulate in Houston.The laws,as are laws of any counry are vague to allow for individual interpretation.That is why, from what i have researched, before your 90 day visa expires, it is important to get all your paperwork lined up. Because the governnment takes forever.If a local with a solid reputation and a solid legal understanding of the policies, can help me do this legally, I don't see a problem. I am not showing up on the island broke with the dream of "making it big". That is why I am on this website so I can get advice from people who are living and working on the island. Further, I am not trying to step on any toes, that is why we are tryig to provide a service that seems to be needed. The advice I have received from the other posters has been extremely helpful.

#220774 - 04/10/06 02:04 PM Re: Relocating May 2007  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,435
Cooper Offline
Cooper  Offline
I would plan on a years time before you get a legal work permit, They will usually not accept applications for 6 months, Exceptions do happen, Certain things are cheaper here, Cable TV with 40 stations HBO, Showtime etc is only $12 a month. you could probably get by on $1,000 a month. I am very serious about the work permit in your situation. You may be able to help your friend out fixing motors and nothing will happen. The law reads and it is stamped in your passport the first time you get a 30 day visa. Bearer shall not work in the country not even for no pay, You will be crossing the bridge of the locals income on top of being a gringo. If you have investments here it would be a shame to be removed from the country.

#220775 - 04/10/06 02:42 PM Re: Relocating May 2007  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 23
jubilee Offline
jubilee  Offline
Thanks, your reply was very helpful. I have two young children, so I wouldn't even think of doing anythin illegal that would put us in any jeopardy. I am just trying to get a realistic idea of what I am looking at because you hear so many different stories. A year seems reasonable. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these posts honestly. You confirmed that I should probably have at least 18 months worth of savings. How is it banking in Belize? Are the banks reliable? Can we keep the bulk of our money there, or do you suggest having a US account and wiring it into a Belizean bank?

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