How to ‘Give Back’ When Visiting Belize this Summer
The peak of the year is right around the bend, and with it comes days promising sun-kissed skin, stuffed-full bellies and hearts jam-packed with bliss. Whisking yourself away for a vacation in Belize is as easy as can be–whatever purpose you set your heart on. Should you choose your main focus to be relaxation, adventure, or cultural integration, Belize has it all– and more.
American Express cites a whopping 75% to 85% of travelers wanting a peek into local culture and supporting the communities they visit. In Belize, you won’t have to worry about an itinerary makeover. As you step into our microcosm of teeming cultural identities and eye-catching scenery, supporting this sliver of paradise comes naturally. Here, we’ll highlight just how effortless it is to enjoy Belize’s homey ambience while sustaining the cogs that keep the wheels turning.
Staying Green in the Jungles
While hues of forest green and emerald cocoon you as you begin your journey in Belize, staying green is a state of mind, not just a view! When you set foot in the jungles of Cayo District’s Mountain Pine Ridge, eco-consciousness blankets your adventures. Understanding that you have an important role in nature is key to keeping it thriving for you–and other visitors– to enjoy. Embarking on a trail is one of the best ways to remember how you can contribute to your part in eco-friendliness.
A medicinal trail in Mountain Pine Ridge illuminates Mother Nature’s generous gifts to her inhabitants. Making sure the path stays clean and respecting the wildlife that surrounds it is a sure way to keep it flourishing. In addition, picking sustainable lodging is another way of staying green. After a long day of exploring the rainforests, resting in a place that partakes in sustainable practices such as water conservation, locally made furniture and renewable energy makes it all the more worth it!
Supporting Local Artisans
Belize consists of an amalgamation of cultural identities and with an array of artistic tendencies. Each ethnicity has their distinctive way of preserving long-held traditions. A popular activity among locals and globe-trotters alike is learning how to make chocolate, just like how the ancient Mayas used to. Provided as a tour by AJAW, you’ll learn how to craft chocolate by hand, stone grinding exercises included! At the end, savor the taste of creamy chocolatey goodness and the richness of spices to accompany them.
In the tucked-away village of San Antonio in the Cayo district, a group of Maya women banded together to offer a sustainable way of teaching people how to create traditional dishes and pottery. Named the San Antonio Women’s Group, these women showcase how using only one’s hands and a fire hearth can create a myriad of things. From hand-made tortillas to hand-pressed pottery, you’ll leave with a new taste of Belize and a clayware to prove it.
Visiting Off the Beaten Paths
We’ve all heard of visiting in the off-season, but how many have truly thought of combining it with a less-than-usual route? Forgo the visits to the often sought out beaches and all-inclusive resorts that isolate you from interacting with the community. Instead, create a path only consisting of your footprints and your companions’. Set out on discovering hidden gems such as waterfalls nestled in Mountain Pine Ridge, hiking trails not fully explored yet and creatures never before seen. Imagine the fulfillment of creating your own schedule, choosing your own adventures all without any detrimental carbon footprint. Selecting your own excursions alongside a local guide means you learn all about Belize from vistas to long ago historical facts. How else would you experience Belize in its entirety?