Belize City is located below sea-level - so when you die it's impossible to dig a tomb... if you do, you'll find water. yet, people need to be buried. Here's Belize city's clever solution: tombs tha are built over the earth's surface...
After what looked to be a ghost city on Sunday, it was a pleasure to see Belize City come alive on Monday morning, even if we were heading for the airport within a couple of hours! Instead of empty streets, there were now market stands set up like this one at the swing bridge and the streets and sidewalks were bustling. We had a brief look in the big concrete market in the centre of the city (second photo) and noted that Big Daddy's restaurant was doing a great business - but we had already had breakfast at our lodgings. Although unusual for a Monday, a cruise ship had arrived and anchored off-shore overnight. During our morning walk about town, we watched as the tenders shuttled load after load of passengers ashore, and it was not long before we noticed the streets filling up with lots of people wearing little green sticky circles on their tops!
Belize is officially English-speaking, but the creoles (the largest ethnic group) speak their own colorful dialect as well as standard English. Spanish is the main language in the north and some towns in the west. You may also hear Mayan, Chinese, Mennonite German, Lebanese, Arabic, Hindi and Garna (the language of the Garinagu people of Stann Creek district) being spoken.
The majority of Belize's population are Roman Catholics, but British influence has created a sizable and varied protestant congregation, including German Swiss Mennonites. The Mayan practice of Catholicism is a fascinating fusion of shamanist-animist and Christian ritual.
Belize has never really developed a national cuisine. Its cooking borrows elements from the UK, the USA, Mexico and the Caribbean. The traditional staples are rice and beans. These are often eaten with chicken, pork, beef, fish or vegetables. Coconut milk and fried plaintain add a tropical flavor. Exotic traditional foods include armadillo, venison and fried paca, a controversial brown-spotted rodent (similar to a guinea pig) that conservationist-gourmets won't touch with a ten foot cassava.
I would say the most interesting thing you can do in Belize is to meet a local family. Luckily I have a friend which is originally from Belize and so I had this awesome pleasure to spend an entire day with a Belizean family. It was wonderful and I loved the kindness and warmth of these family.