The town of Corozal was the first stop in Belize. I couldn’t possibly know that this place would be hit and badly damaged by a hurricane three weeks later. It’s a sleepy town by day and a pitch-black spot at night. Banks, cafes and little shops seemed to be closed, even when they were actually open for business.
The only fast moving thing around Corozal was the speed boat to San Pedro Island (La Isla Bonita), a paradise for snorkelers and divers.
Belize presents a mix of laid-back, relaxed living with a strong sense of anarchy that pervades every institution. The cultural and ethnic differences between the inhabitants are very well marked, although they seem to get along just fine with each other. Life isn’t easy, though.
New River is a genuine “jungle river”. It flows like a curvaceous labyrinth trough the green forest and is the only communication line with the interior, namely the sugar cane plantations and sugar refineries around Orange Walk. Crocodiles, iguanas and patient fishermen abound.
Lamanai, in the banks of the New River lagoon, is one of the oldest Mayan cities and most of it it´s still covered in dense jungle. It is only reachable by boat and one can easily experience the sense of isolation of being “exploring” a lost city.
They’ve told me that the kids of Southern Belize villages like Santo António are the last descendants of the Mopan Maya people.
All photographs by António Marques – © António Marques Photoblog