The Famous “Bamboo Chicken” of Belize

Belize iguanasBelizeans are known for having a colorful sense of humor which is why the local nickname for the green iguana is “bamboo chicken”. The largest species of lizard in the country, an adult bamboo chicken can measure nearly seven feet in length, although most of the length comes from its enormous tail. The flesh of the “bamboo chicken” is popular in Belize and used for many local recipes. Even more popular are the creamy eggs of the green iguana which are considered a true delicacy by local gourmands.

Once heavily hunted for its eggs and meat, today the green iguana is protected by law and the Belize Zoo now organizes several captive breeding programs throughout the country. The native habitat of the green iguana is on tree branches overlooking a river as the lizard will dive into the water when it is startled or threatened by predators.

Juvenile green iguanas spend a lot of time on the floor of the rainforests of Belize, hunting for insects, snails, worms and grubs. Once they’ve matured, adult green iguanas start climbing higher in the branches of trees to eat berries, fruits and leaves. On occasion, green iguanas will eat small mammals and birds.

For information about Belize’s flora and fauna , 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.

6 Things to Know about the Garifuna people of Belize

garifuna flag Chabil Mar Resort Belize Garifuna Settlement Day Drummer Garifuna Settlement Day Banner

 

 

 

 

Every year on November 19, Garifuna Settlement day is observed which marks the arrival  of the Garifuna people in Belizean territory in 1802. The holiday was created by Thomas  Vincent Ramos, a Belizean civil rights activist and is celebrated for a whole week with  major festivities that include parades, live music, drumming, dancing, prayers and pageantry in Garifuna communities. Here are 6 things to know about the Garifuna people of Belize:

1.) In 2001, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognized the Garifuna language, music and dance as a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity. This designation means that it is a important culture that should be preserved, promoted and celebrated.

2.) According to Historians, the Garifuna resisted British and French colonialism in the Lesser Antilles and were defeated by the British in 1796. Because of a violent rebellion on St Vincent, the British moved 5000 Garifuna across the Caribbean to the Bay Islands off the north of Honduras. From there, they migrated to the Caribbean coasts of Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Belize. By 1802 about 150 Garifuna had settled in Stann Creek (present day Dangriga) area and were engaged in fishing and farming.

3.) The Garifuna are resilient people who have survived many years of extreme hardships and are the only black people in the Americas to have preserved their native Afro-Caribbean culture due to the fact that their ancestors were never slaves. The Garifuna’s deep sense of kinship and participation in community cultural activities have provide them with a sense of solidarity and cultural identity during times of turmoil.

4.) The religion of the Garifuna consists of a mix of Catholicism, African and Indian beliefs. They believe that the departed ancestors mediate between the individual and external world and if a person behaves and performs well, then he will have good fortune. If not, then the harmony that exists in relationships with others and the  external world will be disrupted leading to misfortune and illness.  Their spiritualism is expressed through music, dancing and other art forms.

5.) The Garifuna foods consist of fish, chicken, cassava, bananas and plantains. One of the staples of the diet is cassava. Cassava is made into bread, a drink, a pudding and even a wine! The cassava bread is served with most meals. The process of making the bread is very labor intensive and takes several days. Hudut is a very common traditional meal. Hudut consists of fish cooked in a coconut broth (called sere) and served with mashed plantains or yams. Dharasa is the Garifuna version of a tamale made with green bananas. It can be made either sweet or sour. The foods are very labor intensive and used to be cooked over an open fire hearth. Today, stoves save time, but some families still prefer the taste of the fire hearth.

6.) The Garifuna flag consists of three horizontal strips of black, white and yellow, in that order, starting from the top. The flag has been accepted internationally as the flag of the Garifuna Nation and the colors have been used in forums where Garifuna people assert their Garifuna identity. Discover the culture of Belize.

Contact Us to “Reserve your custom Belize vacation package.”

8 Reasons to Make it a December to Remember in Placencia, Belize

Belize and Placencia in December

Have you declared 2020 the year you shake things up and end routines? Launch your mission by trading that December Florida or Arizona trip for Belize—and for all of the right reasons.

North America is awash in moody holiday shoppers by the time December 1st rolls around each year, which is why it’s not surprising to see more and more tourists grab their resort togs and flip flops and flee south.

While Florida and Arizona are traditional destinations for many, there’s been a sea change in December travel: These days, Belize is the idyllic solution to winter blues. It’s gorgeous, nearby, affordable and very therapeutic for those desperate for a respite once Thanksgiving leftovers are nothing but memories.

For tourists craving an extreme party scene, Ambergris Caye beckons. For those eager to have a blast, go adventuring, relax and avoid crowds, there is no better destination than Placencia, the destination that is fast becoming the trendiest place in Belize.

This 16-mile-long finger of land has the unique distinction of offering something for everyone, regardless of their vacation style, which is why you’ll hear it mentioned regularly when travel writers survey solo travelers, families, couples, honeymooners and groups eager to spend quality time far from obligations back home.

Consider these 8 incentives, each of which is compelling on its own.

1. Pile on the sunscreen. Daytime temperatures average 83; it’s a comfy 70-degrees F at night.

2. Flights to Belize from the U.S. and Canada are so frequent use your frequent flyer miles, fly last minute or take advantage of “deals” aggregators like Kayak offer.

3. The beaches along the Placencia coastline are pristine. Whether you are into sunbathing, kayaking, picnicking or finally getting that book read, take to the beach (and don’t forget sunglasses).

4. Placencia resorts are fast becoming known as Belize’s most beautiful properties and if you choose Chabil Mar, expect top-draw service, lush surroundings and movie set-worthy accommodations that can be hard to leave!

 

belize in december

5. Express your wildest wishes to your Chabil Mar host and you’ll be accommodated. The resort’s adventure menu is a smorgasbord of treats: rainforests, jungles, caves, Maya ruins, scuba diving, wildlife refuges and cultural experiences. Shopping Placencia Village is an adventure unto itself if this is your passion!

6. Belize food is an amalgam of exotic cuisines with deep roots in Creole, Garifuna and European culinary traditions. Chabil Mar chefs are skilled at preparing fusions that take advantage of locally-grown produce and freshly-caught seafood. Yes, you could gain a few pounds.

7. Enjoy an amazing Christmas or New Year’s Eve holiday if you come at the end of the month. From sacred services to fun activities, you won’t miss the traditions of either holiday and there’s a good chance you’ll spend less than you would back home, too.

8. Yes, we saved the best for last! Book immediately and as long as your reservation is on the books by October 31st, get a deal that could be too irresistible to ignore.

Visit our website chabilmarvillas.com for more information on 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 a Belize December Vacation.

FLIGHT An Inspirational Film For Future Astronauts and Families

kia moses

“FLIGHT,” is a short film made by Jamaicans that continues to wow audiences as it tours the international film festival circuit, including the esteemed “Belize Film Festival” which has been receiving and judging films since 2005. It was at the Belize Film Festival that FLIGHT took home “Best Short Film.”

Kia Moses, co-director of the film, expressed how surreal it was to her to have made such a prestigious film. Her wish was to produce a film that would reach people all over the planet. Despite the praise of critics, Moses is also humble enough to admit her doubts that her film had anything special to it. This attitude changed after receiving accolades from the “Black Women Film Network.” Between receiving commendation from that organization and then Guadeloupe’s Nouveaux Regards Film Festival, bolstered her faith that she had created something special.

FLIGHT is a story about a young Jamaican boy who longs to travel across the stars and explore the cosmos, if only to become closer to the mother he lost. The boy’s father, still quite active in his life, repeatedly shoots down the boy’s optimistic dreams until he discovers the reason why his young son aspires to join a space program. Wishing to help his son achieve his dreams, the father not only supports his son with all of his heart but is even brought on as the co-pilot of the boy’s imaginary space shuttle.

While each film festival has its own stipulations for submission and excellence, Moses believes that the human element of her story is what has continued to grab the hearts and minds of audiences. Moses opines that the natural development of the characters, the realistic, at-home depiction of Jamaica and the dynamics between father and son are the major draws.

When asked about other film-makers, Moses believes that it is never too late to begin a career as a director. Despite the imminence of her 35th birthday, Moses has no formal film training, only some familiarity with advertising. She advises anyone with dreams of filming to not overthink themselves or their decisions, just run and see how things turns out; fight any perfectionist tendencies, allow the picture to flow naturally and you will be amazed at what you have when you step back and see the final product.

Chabil Mar Villas wishes to congratulate Kis Moses and Adrian McDonald and wishes the duo continued success.

Chabil Mar Resort Congratulates Belize’s Newest Beauty Queen

Chabil Mar Resort Congratulates Belize’s Newest Beauty Queen

She’s beautiful. She’s charming. And she’s Belizean! Imagine the excitement this nation felt on November 26, 2019, when Jalyssa Arthurs was crowned Miss Central America.

Beauty pageants come and go, but that doesn’t diminish the excitement an entire nation feels when a crown is placed on the head of “one of their own.” That dream came true for Belize when the 5th edition of the Miss Central America pageant was held at the Јоѕé Dе Lа Сruz Меnа Тhеаtеr іn thе сіtу оf Lеón, Nісаrаguа.

Belizean beauty ambassador Jalyssa Arthurs may only be 19, but she exhibited the poise and elegance necessary to take the crown over all other contestants on that warm September evening. Jalyssa was so thrilled to win, she could hardly believe it had happened. “Тhіѕ іѕ thе fіrѕt tіmе thаt Веlіzе hаѕ wоn thіѕ раgеаnt!” she exclaimed.

“І lеаrnеd а lоt,” she told reporters eager to interview her after her win. “Representing mу bеаutіful јеwеl Веlіzе was the thrill of a lifetime,” despite the fact that she experienced what many travelers do when visiting foreign lands. “Belize is thе оnlу Еnglіѕh-ѕреаkіng соuntrу іn Сеntrаl Аmеrіса, so there was a lаnguаgе bаrrіеr. But not only was I able to соmmunісаtе wіth fellow contestants, I еvеn lеаrnеd some Ѕраnіѕh!”

What will Jalyssa do now that she has achieved this honor? No mystery. “І hоре tо rерrеѕеnt nоt оnlу Веlіzе but аll оf Сеntrаl Аmеrіса іn thе mоѕt impactful way I can. І wіll dеfіnіtеlу uѕе thіѕ рlаtfоrm tо hеlр іmрrоvе Belize’s role on the world stage and I intend to be an ambassador for Сеntrаl Аmеrіса, too.”

Having represented Belize in the 2018 Miss World Pageant without a win, Jalyssa offers this advice to women eager to achieve success: “Don’t give up if you don’t win the first time!”

Chabil Mar Resort is proud to congratulate this bright, talented young woman. Resort management and staff can’t wait to see what Jalyssa accomplishes for herself and her homeland in the years ahead.

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