Belize is rooted in rich customs and traditions from the large families to the friendly and informal ways they interact with each other. The social belief in greeting everyone they meet creates an environment that is engaging and rich. Don’t be surprised if everyone you meet is quick to smile or nod at you. This type of social structure makes it an interesting place to visit and an even more intriguing place to live. The soccer fields and basketball courts are filled with enthusiastic players, who also enjoy boxing, track, volleyball, softball, and cycling. School fairs and concerts are everywhere to be found which make it easy to hear the sounds of soca, calypso, punta-rock, and reggae as you mingle and enjoy the sites.
September is the perfect time for a Carnaval. The streets are lined with parties and parades. They take place on the Saturday following Saint George’s Caye Day. The 21st of September marks the Independence Day in Belize. The festivities run almost through the entire month of September. But you won’t have to wait all year to celebrate because there are still national celebrations for other holidays like Baron Bliss Day on March 9th and Labor Day on May 1st. Easter and Christmas are also celebrated in Belize. However, with the nearly perfect weather year round, there is likely always something going on to celebrate.
The primary staple in Belize is kidney beans and white rice, they is usually served with seafood, fish, beef, or chicken. The Maya enjoy maize with most meals, usually in tortilla form. Some of the most popular dishes and the ones that people come from miles to have include panades, which are shells made of fried maize that are filled with fish or bans, garnaches, which are fried tortillas with sauce, cheese, and beans, and exotic fruits. These include oranges, bananas, papayas, mangoes, and limes. Various soups are popular like escabeche, an onion soup or chirmole soup. Many of the vegetables have to be imported because they are in short supply. Rural areas usually have less variety than the urban centers when it comes to fresh food choices.
Breakfast in the urban areas consists of bread, cheese, fruit, beans, cereal, or eggs. Usually lunch is the biggest meal of the day, but dinner is important in various regions. The most essential part of the meal is the time spent with family and friends. This is a valued tradition and that is why businesses and schools close midday to allow people to get home to their families, so they can eat together. It is a time to get a little conversation in and enjoy the meal that was prepared for the day.
There is a lot to enjoy in Belize. The friendly nature of the individuals who live in Belize make it a warm and inviting place to visit. Celebrate life with the local traditions, bask in the warm sun, join in the festivities, and listen to the beautiful sounds of this tropical paradise.