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Belize is located on the Yucatán peninsula. It is
bordered by Mexico on the North, and
Guatemala on the West and South.
Belize is a land of mountains, swamps, and
tropical jungles. Most of the people on the main
land live primitively in thatched huts. There are
very few paved roads…the main highways are
shown in red. The rest is all dirt roads
Off the coast lies Belize Barrier Reef, the world's
second largest barrier reef. The islands, called
cays are beautiful and have been made into very
touristy tropical destinations.
There are numerous Mayan Ruins throughout
Most Belizeans are of mixed
(Maya and Spanish; African and
British), with smaller groups of
Maya and Garifuna.
1. Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Flew into Belize City
2. Took puddle jumper to Punta
Gorda, with stops at Dangriga
and Placancia on the way. The
flight took about an hour and a
3. Stayed in Punta Gorda at
night, and rode out to church
site (2 hour trip) during the day.
4. San Benito Poite Village is
about 3 miles from the
Guatemalan border…near the
Dem Dats Doin Dot.
My “puddle jumper” Plane Yep, it is a SMALL plane!!!
owned by Maya Island Air
The “airport” in Punta Gorda
Flying over Placencia
The Village of San Benito Poite.
Thatched Huts are what most of the people live in.
Some have Solar Panels for minimum electricity. They have no
running water, and use gas stoves or wood fires for cooking.
They wash their clothes and bathe in the nearby river.
The Current Nazarene Church
Here is the
everyone’s stuff is
hanging all over the
And I thought my old
churches pews were
The New Church…with the old
one in the background.
The new church as seen from
the door of the old one.
Walking up to the Bathroom
Yep, its for real.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
This is where we eat breakfast in the
morning. The locals have been brought
food and paid to cook it for us.
Sister Patrona from Big Falls Village was
our cook (Orange Blouse)
Breakfast was Fryjacks (Fried
Flour Tortillas…very good)
Stew Beans, Spam, and
cut with a
There was only a single
hacksaw available to cut all of
These were used to tamp down the rebar.
the dirt inside the church
Scaffolding was a very
shaky experience. It
was simply a piece of
wood laid on top of
stacked blocks. Only
the brave ones tried
standing on it. I was
not among them!
Someone brought us all a snack of sweet corn to enjoy. It was good!
Julian and his little sister, Sylvia.
They said their Mom had died, and their
father was working. They were supposed
to be at school, but skipped so they
could hang around and watch us.
Lunch was some
kind of Chicken and
vegetable stew. It
was really good. It
was served with
fresh corn tortillas.
Today is all about mixing the
concrete and carrying it to the
men who are pouring the
The Pastor of the Church is
working hard on the new
His name is Martin Tot.
I am not needed at this point, so I walk around
the village with Carol and take pictures. Several
villagers beckon for us to come inside, and then
show us their “handicrafts” they want to sell us. I
bought bracelets here from these ladies.
Their names are Alsenia and Lucia Makin. The
older baby is Lovinia.
Several girls ask us to take their pictures. They love to
run up and see themselves on the digital display.
This woman’s name is Elisa Chub. She asked me
to take a picture of her beating the rice for her
family. Then she showed us a few “handicrafts.
Carol bought a purse from her.
This is my friend Lupita,
who was visiting from
Guatemala. I think the little
boy, Matthew is her brother.
She only speaks Spanish, and
though my Spanish is
terrible, she loved me for
trying to speak with her.
I painted her nails and we
hung out together a lot. She
showed the other kids her
nails, and many girls came
and asked me to paint theirs.
I gave the nail polish to
Lupita when we left. She was
This is a picture of the
Catholic Church of the
village. I believe they built
the school for the village,
which is very nice.
While we were wandering
around, we were invited in to
watch the family make the corn
tortillas for our lunch.
Conditions are rather
primitive inside the homes,
with no real furniture to
speak of, and simple
That’s my friend Lupita
next to me in the red
Carol and I were invited to give it
a try. The ladies had a good
laugh at our attempt and then
Lunchtime was a lot of fun.
The kids loved to play with Ron
and I painted all the girls
Lee, Henry, and Ron with Brother Andre and Ricardo
they are from Big Falls Village, helping build the church.
Signs in the Garifuna Language at our restaurant
in Placencia Village
Placencia is well known for it's very laid-back, no-shoes ambience
where locals go out of their way to make sure you enjoy your visit.
Neat places in Placencia
Imagine the beach as your
A one mile concrete sidewalk serves as the main street for Placencia Village, around
which wooden houses built on stilts rest underneath palms. Constructed over 30 years ago as a
means of wheel-barrowing fish around without fighting the sand, Placencia's walkway now
has the distinction of being the narrowest street in the world, acording to the quot;Guinness Book
of World Records.quot; A number of village accommodations, restaurants/bars, and gift shops are
located along the walkway.
This is another Orchid that was growing
from a tree. It looks like Angels with
wings and fluffy dresses to me.
Don’t forget to try the “cowfoot” soup
while you’re here…ummm no thanks.
Of course Ron was all for it, and just
about everyone else tried it. Not me.
A quaint little gift shop on the
1 mile sidewalk
This old couple looked so
grumpy I just HAD to take
a picture of them. LOL!
Lots of neat little signs in
Placencia…and apparently the Hokey
Pokey is thata way!
The Cat I rescued in
Placencia. She was so thin
and pitiful. Ron and I
named her “Cleopatra”
because we knew she
would be beautiful one
She is now with the
Humane Society in
Placencia and will be
shipped to me when
healthy. I can’t wait!
In the morning we all ride quietly together one last
time, as we prepare to say good-bye. Its been an
amazing trip, one that brought strangers together as
friends, building relationships as well as a church.
All of us have been touched and changed in
hundreds of ways that we only just have begun to
understand. It was a precious time, and a beautiful
tribute to my husband. He would be proud to know
how much was done to honor his memory. Thank
you for letting me be a part of it.