Belize Chocolate Company Wins Big at the International Chocolate Awards

The Belize Chocolate Company was recently awarded the silver medal at the International Chocolate Awards in Hoboken, New Jersey, beating out more than 800 entries submitted by 130 companies from around the world to clinch a stunning second-place finish.

Formed in 2007, the Belize Chocolate Company is a family-owned craft bean-to-bar gourmet chocolatier that uses ingredients entirely sourced from Belize, including organic cacao beans grown in Toledo District and pure sugarcane grown and processed in Orange Walk District. Currently, the only place to buy or sample products from the Belize Chocolate Company is from one of their stores on the islands of Caye Caulker or Ambergris Caye.

All of the Belize Chocolate Factory’s products are organic, fair trade or direct trade certified and made by hand at their processing facility in San Pedro. Owned and operated by a local family, the Belize Chocolate Factory works directly with local farmers. The Belize Chocolate Family personally selects the cacao nibs, roasts them according to a proprietary recipe to make chocolate bars, chocolate syrup, chocolate-coated truffles, cocoa butter, and other luxury chocolate treats. They also hold chocolate-making classes at their facility in San Pedro.

Cacao beans and products made from them, including rich chocolate drinks, have been a mainstay of the Maya culture for more than 5,000 years. The center for modern Belize chocolate making is in Toledo District where the rich mineral soils are ideal for growing cacao that is used by famed chocolatiers like Maya Gold and the Belize Chocolate Company.

One of the most popular chocolate festivals in the world is held every May in the southern Belizean town of Punta Gorda in Toledo District. Featuring a range of delicious chocolate treats as well as unusual delicacies like chocolate wine and chocolate beer, the Belize Chocolate Festival is a great opportunity for chocolate lovers to sample concoctions both ancient and modern from some of the finest chocolatiers in the country, including the Belize Chocolate Company.

If you’re interested in sampling some of the incredibly delicious chocolate made in Belize, you can stay at the Chabil Mar Resort. A perennial TripAdvisor favorite, Chabil Mar is a luxury beachfront resort with two freshwater infinity swimming pools, a gourmet restaurant, a lush tropical garden, and 22 elegant villas.

Chabil Mar is close to all of the top attractions in the country and regularly organizes tours to visit traditional Maya villages and cacao farms.

For information about Belize, feel free to chat with our Concierge at: concierge{@}chabilmarvillas.com or contact our Reservations Manager at:reservations{@}chabilmarvillas.com. Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

Belize’s Mennonites Featured in the New York Times

In a recent special feature in their “The Look” section, the New York Times documented the Mennonite community in Belize with a series of photographs and in-depth interviews. According to the New York Times, the Mennonite community is based entirely on their Christian faith, which includes strict commandments to keep the affairs of the state separate from those of faith.

The Mennonites are often confused with the Amish as both faiths have conservative wings that largely eschew modern technology. But while the Amish are largely found in the United States, the majority of the more than one million Mennonites around the world live in tight-knit communities in countries like Paraguay, India, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Belize.

The New York Times article tracks the first Mennonites of Belize from their origins in Russia to their numerous escapes from the intolerant governments of Poland, Canada, and later Mexico. But once in Belize, the Mennonites liked what they saw, including legal exemption from mandatory military service and the ability to create parochial schools with instruction in their native language: a variant of German called Plautdietsch.

The expose and photographs published in the New York Times compares and contrasts the Mennonite’s philosophy about integration with the modern world. On one hand, they are largely restricted to conservative forms of dress, but savvy Mennonite businessmen use computers and smartphones to help sell their products while cruising down the road in a horse and buggy. But their choice to use older forms of transportation is more about keeping their communities close-knit than any belief in the inherent evils of modern technology.

One interesting fact not mentioned by the New York Times is that 2018 is when the Mennonite community is marking the 50th anniversary of their arrival to the then-British colony. After facing persecution in Mexico, the community emigrated to the village of Spanish Lookout in what is now Cayo District, attracted both by the welcoming atmosphere as well as the abundance of fertile farmland.

Today, the Mennonites in Belize are largely known for their cattle ranching and dairy production, and Mennonite cheese, butter, beef, and other products can be found on supermarket shelves all across the country. It is estimated that approximately 11,000 people in Belize are active members of the Mennonite community.

Chabil Mar resort in Placencia Belize offers jungle and beach vacation packages that include cultural trips to indigenous communities across the country, including tours of Mennonite villages.

For information about Belize, feel free to chat with our Concierge at: concierge{@}chabilmarvillas.com or contact our Reservations Manager at:reservations{@}chabilmarvillas.com. Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

Alyssa Faux, Placencia’s Queen of the Bay 2018

On September 10, 2018, on the occasion of The Battle of St. George’s Caye Daye, the main pier at Placencia was where the new Placencia Queen of the Bay was formally crowned. Alyssa Faux had already been previously chosen as the 2018-2019 Placencia Queen of the Bay, but her formal coronation marked the beginning of the peninsula’s annual parade and holiday celebrations.

Faux was crowned at 10:00 AM as large crowds of locals and visitors alike gathered to enjoy refreshments and get psyched up for the holiday celebrations. Following her coronation, Faux lead a roundtrip parade to Atlantic Bank before returning to Placencia for a high-energy “jump up” party. Attendees thronged the streets, waving Belizean flags. And there were many in the crowd with painted faces as well as bicycles and golf carts all proudly decorated with the red, white, and blue national colors.

See Also: What You Need to Know About Belize’s September Celebrations

“We congratulate Alyssa Faux and wish her all the best as she represents Placencia this year,” said Larry France, marketing manager of Chabil Mar. “Her coronation was an excellent start for a fun-filled day of celebrations on The Battle of St. George’s Caye Day that we shared with our friends, families, and guests.”

On September 10, 1798, a small English naval force defeated the Spanish navy in the waters just off St. George’s Caye Day just a few miles from Belize City, a pivotal moment in history that led Belize to become a British colony and the reason why it is the only English-speaking country in Central America.

In modern times, the Battle of St. George’s Caye Day kicks off a series of patriotic celebrations in every town and village across Belize that culminate on September 21, Independence Day, which marks the occasion in 1981 when Belize gained full sovereignty from Great Britain. The Placencia Peninsula will be holding several events in September, including a two-day fishing tournament on September 21-22.

For information about visiting Belize in September, feel free to chat with our Concierge at: concierge@chabilmarvillas.com or contact our Reservations Manager at: reservations@chabilmarvillas.com. Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

Sun Country Airlines Announces New Nonstop Service to Belize

Low-cost airline Sun Country has just announced that it will be offering non-stop service to Belize City (code: BZE) from its hub in Minneapolis-St. Paul (code: MSP) throughout the upcoming 2018/19 winter season. Sun Country is a leading low-cost airline in the Upper Midwest that flies to warm-weather destinations across Central America and the Caribbean.

Beginning on December 22, 2018, and continuing every Saturday throughout the winter season until April 20, 2018, Sun Country will be flying non-stop from Minneapolis to Belize City. The new route will make Minneapolis the 10th city in the United States with non-stop service to Belize along with cities such as Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Newark, Dallas, Houston, and Ft. Lauderdale.

The four biggest airlines in America, Southwest, United, Delta, and American Airlines, all fly non-stop to Belize, and WestJet and Air Canada fly non-stop to Belize from Calgary and Toronto, making it easier than ever for people in North America to escape the cold and enjoy a wonderful vacation in sunny Belize.


                                      See also: Enjoy a Video Tour of Your Belize Vacation in Beautiful Placencia


Belize is a former British colony and the only nation in Central America where English is the official language, making it easy for visitors to get around and talk to locals. Belize is a leading eco-tourism destination where visitors can enjoy activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, cave tubing, zip lining, horseback riding, and bird watching all year round.

“Along with recent announcements from COPA Airlines, Aeromexico, and WestJet about new flights to Belize, we are thrilled to hear that Sun Country will also now be flying to Belize,” said Larry France, the marketing manager of Chabil Mar Resort. “Located right on the beach, Chabil Mar is the ideal place for visitors from North America to warm up and enjoy some fun in the sun.”

If you’re planning on taking advantage of the new Sun Country flights to Belize, be sure to stay at Chabil Mar, a multiple award-winning resort located just steps from the beach on the Placencia Peninsula. Offering world-class customer service, Chabil Mar is perfectly positioned close to top attractions in the country, including the lively Placencia Sidewalk Arts Festival, scuba diving and snorkeling on the Belize Barrier Reef, ancient Maya cities, and the pristine vastness of the Cockscomb Basin Wilderness Sanctuary, home to the world’s only jaguar conservation project.

Chabil Mar is a boutique resort with authentic Belizean roots. In the Mayan tongue, “Chabil Mar” means “Beautiful Sea,” an apt description for the shimmering waters of the Caribbean that lie steps from the resort’s lush tropical garden and two freshwater infinity swimming pools.

For more information about visiting Belize, feel free to chat with our Concierge at: concierge@chabilmarvillas.com or contact our Reservations Manager at: reservations@chabilmarvillas.com. Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

Enjoy a Video Tour of Your Belize Vacation in Beautiful Placencia

Luxury Latin America magazine recently published a stunning video of the beautiful Placencia in southern Belize. Long overlooked by the throngs of tourists who annually descend on Belize City and Ambergris Caye, Placencia is a tranquil oasis of sand and sun located on the Caribbean coast.

One of the finest resorts in Placencia is Chabil Mar. A boutique resort with deep roots in Belize, Chabil Mar is at once classic and contemporary in design. Designed as a jewel of a beachfront resort, Chabil Mar has a lush tropical garden of flowers from all regions of the country in order to create a relaxing environment for its guests.

The resort has 22 luxury villas, each handsomely decorated with local art and fine furnishings as well as a full range of modern comforts, including high-speed wireless internet. Chabil Mar also has a fully stocked bar, freshwater infinity swimming pool, and a gourmet restaurant beloved by guests and locals alike. Diners can choose to enjoy their meal at the restaurant, in their rooms, or on the resort’s lovely seafront pier.

In the Mayan tongue, Chabil Mar means “Beautiful Sea,” an apt description for this guest exclusive resort on the Placencia Peninsula. Guests arriving by air at the nearby Placencia airport are warmly greeted in person by resort staff with a bottle of chilled water and a cooling towel. Guests then enjoy a short, five-minute drive to the resort where they will be served with a glass of homemade lemonade and a snack of chocolate made in Belize before being personally escorted to their private villa.

Chabil Mar is conveniently located just steps from Placencia Village at the southern end of the 16-mile-long peninsula, a small community where guests can enjoy shopping, restaurants, and a vibrant nightlife. Guests of the resort also enjoy the complimentary use of bicycles, stand-up paddle boards, and kayaks for use in exploring the area.

For 12 consecutive years, Chabil Mar has been the recipient of several hospitality awards, including the Best Hotel in Belize, a Top Hotel in Central America, and a top location for Service, Family Vacations, and Romance by members of TripAdvisor. Chabil Mar was also chosen as Fodor’s top pick for “Choice for Luxury in Southern Belize.”

The resort elegantly blends both the modern and traditional in its uniquely Belizean beauty design with an intimate and inviting atmosphere ideal for weary travelers after a fun-filled day exploring all of the amazing sights and sounds in the country.

Visit our website chabilmarvillas.com for more information on Chabil Mar and Belize, and don’t hesitate to send us an email, or call US/CAN Toll Free: 1-866-417-2377, Local: (011-501) 523-3606, if you have questions or need help in planning your Belize vacation.

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