Men working on their boat onshore, Placencia 1971. Also a bit on the history of Placencia
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Sunday July 15, 2018

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Belize Abroad
It is saddening to reflect that no great ancient races inhabited these lovely Isles, that no great man ever lived, and laboured, and worked, and fought, and died, and left a name for posterity to honour and to cherish as a ‘household word’; that no time-honoured tower or world-famed temple, or pilgrim haunted shrine ever stood on yonder cape—in short, that the past is all a blank.
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Men working on their boat onshore, Placencia 1971. Also a bit on the history of Placencia

That might have been the boat that belonged to the Coffee's... I remember blue hull, two masted boat that was theirs; the parents and two sons lived board.

How Placencia Got Its Name

The puritans who were some of the early settlers of the area are well known to use names like Grace, Hope, Faith and Joy . One of the more well-used puritan names is Patience which comes from the Latin word patientia in Spanish paciencia. If you look at this map from 1726 you see the names Patience Bother and Point Patience (Quamina and False Cay area ). The Baymen map of 1787 also make reference to the "Patience Lagoon." The title on the map below is "An exact draught of the river of Bellese as high as the Barcadares. A new draught of the Bay of Honduras by Capt. Nathaniel Uring." The geographical description is "Map of Hondoras showing [top] the course of the Belize River and [bottom] a chart of the Bay of Honduras including shoals, islands, reefs, keys, location of the Musketo Indians and lost ships, and rivers." To view the whole map, click here.

History of Placencia in capsule form, by Hector Silva

In the beginning the Mayas roamed. Followed by the brief English Puritan settlements. Glanced by the Spanish conquistadores, passing by, on their way to Honduras and Finally settled by the ancestors of present generations.

Plancencia is surrounded by many historical and interesting landmarks such as:

Wild Cane Caye, dating back to thousands of years. Jonathan Point, where a Slave Jonathan could not take any more punishment from his cruel master, so he killed him. Then Kendall, Bleatoll, All Pines, Riversdale, Seine Bight and more, where Confederates settled on their way to Toledo where they establised many sugar factories. etc.

History of the Placencia Peninsula

Placencia was first settled by the Mayas. There are many sites which show the maya presence centuries ago. These original settlers were mostly fishermen and pro-ducers of salt.

Later on, it was settled by the English Puritans but only for a short while.

The Spaniards that traveled the southern coast of Belize, including perhaps Hernan Cortes, who crossed to Peten somewhere on the southern part of Belize, gave Placencia its name. At that time Placencia was called Placentia, and the point was called "Punta Placentia" or Or Pleasant Point.

First permanent settlers

The Placencia peninsula was resettled in the 1800's by the Garbutt family, who decided to settle and eventually own most of the peninsula.

In 1894 Abner Westby, whose family originated in Scotland, came to Placencia and purchased land from The Garbutts. Later on he was joined by a member of his family, John Eiley.

The Cabral Family, originally from Lisbon, Portugal, closed their business in Sao Paolo, Brazil and the Caribbean and sailed to the southern part of Belize on two schooners, "The Colibri" ( Humming Bird ) and the "Jane." Soon they began doing business with and eventually married into the Placencia community.

In the early 1909's the Leslies, originally from Roatan also came to Placencia. Placencia prospered and soon became a village. Today it is a Tourist Mecca.

So, the five pioneering families of Placencia are: The Garbutts, The Westbys, The Eileys, The Cabral, and The Leslies.

Photograph courtesy Belize Abroad

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