The Creole Culture of Belize

Photo by Matadornetwork.com

Belize is an outstanding example of a true melting pot society where different cultures, religions, and traditions have formed a harmonious whole. By the numbers, the Creole people, sometimes spelled Kriol, are the largest segment of society. Originally of African origin and brought to the Caribbean as slaves to assist in the valuable logging industry, the Creole people constitute approximately 25% of modern Belize’s population.

In the early 18th century, English loggers came to Belize in order to harvest valuable timber species such as logwood and mahogany. Some of these loggers made huge fortunes and began importing slaves from other British colonies such as Jamaica. Being on the periphery of British society, many English loggers intermingled with the slaves. Today, the term Creole refers to a culture rather than physical appearance as some Creole have light skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes as a result of centuries of cohabitation.

And while the atrocities of slavery can never be forgotten, Belize was always a place where the lines between different segments of society were blurred. In 1798, when English loggers banded together to fend off a Spanish maritime invasion, they would’ve been unsuccessful had not they received vital assistance from Creoles.

The British Empire formally outlawed slavery in 1807, and the Creole population of Belize soon began thirsting for more autonomy and equal rights. After a series of protests in the early 20th century, the British government placed Belize on a fast-track towards independence, and the Creoles formed the dominant political force in the then-colony. In 1981, when Belize gained full independence from Britain, approximately 70% of the population was Creole.

The Creole then began opening Belize to other groups which had been persecuted elsewhere, including indigenous Maya people from Guatemala and Mexico, the Garifuna (an Afro-Caribbean people), East Indian entrepreneurs, and German-speaking Mennonites. Over time, the Creole developed their own unique version of English that is now the lingua franca for most people in Belize even if standard English remains the official language.

Creole food and its long heritage form the backbone of modern Belizean cuisine, including standards like rice and beans with spicy chicken, potato salad, wild game meats like peccary and gibnut, and a variety of seafood dishes. But the most popular Creole food is fry jacks, soft strips of puffy, fried dough that are a breakfast mainstay.

The current prime minister of Belize, Dean Barrow, is Creole.

For more information about traveling to 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.

The Best Rums in Belize

belizean rum

Perhaps one of the most popular and iconic locally-made drinks in Belize is rum. Made from the abundant sugar cane crop that still plays an important role in the domestic economy, rum is a distilled spirit that pairs excellently with fresh, locally-grown fruits to create unforgettable cocktails or can be consumed neat. Famed throughout the region for its high quality and smooth taste, Belizean rum is something that every visitor is encouraged to try.

Currently, two different domestic manufacturers offer an excellent selection of fine rum in Belize.

Cuello’s Distillery

Cuellos

Founded more than 70 years ago, Cuello is a family-owned and operated business. Based in the town of Orange Walk in the heart of Belize’s sugar cane farming region, Cuello was founded by Ignacio Cuello, a master blender and distiller who later trained his sons in the secrets of how to produce high-quality rum and other spirits. Cuello has their own festive theme song that was composed by celebrated local artist Lord Rhaburn, and the labels on all of their rum varieties celebrate Belizean culture.

Cuello’s signature rum products include:

  • Caribbean White Rum
  • Caribbean Rum (Dark)
  • Caribbean Gold Rum
  • Extra Strong Rum
  • Caribbean Coconut Rum

Travellers Liquor

travelers

Founded in 1953 by master blender Omario Perdomo, Travellers is the manufacturer of what is perhaps the most famous rum in Belize: One Barrel. A simple gold rum with a smooth finish, One Barrel is a popular choice with both visitors and locals alike. With a fresh, tropical scent, One Barrel rum has natural hints of passion fruit, hibiscus, and papaya.

Travellers Liquor is named for its early success in supplying travelers to and from Belize City with a fine assortment of distilled spirits. Travellers is renowned in Belize for using only high-test molasses, carefully fermented according to traditional practices. Travellers is also the only beverage producer in the country to make liqueurs and wines made from local fruits.

Located in Belmopan, the capital of Belize, Travellers use only local molasses to ferment and then distill their rum using a triple column still. The rum is then carefully aged and bottled in Belize City.

A few of Travellers’ most popular rum varieties include:

  • Don Omario Vintage Rum
  • Aged Dark Rum
  • Classic Gold Rum
  • Cristal Parrot Lite Rum
  • Classic White Rum
  • Kuknat Rum (made with coconuts)

Copalli

Copalli

Copalli is among the best rum brand available not only in Belize but also in the world. Their organic single estate rum is sustainably crafted with only three ingredients in the heart of the rainforest in Southern Belize. A few of Copalli’s most popular rums include:

The Copalli White Rum

After fermenting the fresh-pressed sugar cane juice, the Copalli white rum distills in both a pot and column stills before blending the two distillates. This is followed by the resting of the finished product in stainless steel. This creates a smooth white rum that’s as good served straight on the rocks or in a cocktail such as a daiquiri.

The Copalli Barrel Rested Rum

First, Copalli ferment the fresh-pressed sugar cane juice then they double distill it in their full-bodied pot still before resting it in American Oak used bourbon barrels. The result is a rich, sweet high-quality rum that tastes delicious, and neat and is a powerful and flavorful base for your favorite rum cocktail.

The Copalli Cocoa Rum

Copalli takes their delicious Copalli white rum, place it into a tank to rest with roasted, 100% organic cacao nibs grown on the neighboring Copal Tree Farm. Over several weeks, the cacao nibs infuse a rich chocolate flavor and aroma into the rum, which is then redistilled to create a smooth finished premium product that is delicious on the rocks or for your favorite rum cocktail recipes.

Big Titty Rum

big tity rum

Rum and pirates color the history of the entire Caribbean and Belize is no exception. Pirates gave pet names to the rums of various ports of call. Legend has it that pirates amused by the local practice of mothers dribbling rum on their breasts to calm teething babies named Belize rum “titty rum”. Big Titty Rum honors this fine tradition.

Big Titty Rum is more than just a cute name. They take this craft seriously. But, in matters of taste, there can be no dispute. 

Savor a Rum Cocktail at Chabil Mar

chabil mar

If you’re interested in sampling one of Belize’s classic rum formulations, the bar at the Chabil Mar resort in Placencia offers a full complement of delicious cocktails made from 100% Belizean rum. Travelers and guests interested in trying Belizean rum or other locally-made spirits should inquire at the bar in Chabil Mar.

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 vacation.

What You Should Know About Dangriga Belize

dangriga belize

Dangriga Town will charm you with its color, vibrancy and friendliness. The town is the capital of the Stann Creek District in Southern Belize. With a small population of over 9,000 people, it’s small enough to be enjoyed in a day.

Get to Know a Vibrant Community

Dangriga Town is often called the cultural capital of Belize because it’s the heart of Belize’s Garifuna culture. The Garifuna are descended from slaves who escaped from a sinking ship. Over the years, the escaped slaves mingled with the indigenous people of St Vincent in the Caribbean and then migrated to the coastlines of Honduras, Guatemala and Belize. Today, the Garifuna people live in communities like Dangriga, Hopkins, Placencia and Punta Gorda.

Enjoy Art and Culture

Garifuna Settlement Day in Belize

Dangriga Town is the birthplace of Punta Rock, an authentic Belizean musical style. It’s also home to festivals that celebrate Garifuna music, art and food. Spend some time at the Gulisi Garifuna Museum to learn more about this vibrant, thriving people.

Make sure to make your way to the Pen Cayetano Art Gallery, owned by the celebrated Garifuna painter and musician Pen Cayetano.

Get Close to Nature

cockscomb basin wildlife sanctuary

Natural beauty is never far away in Belize, and Dangriga Town is no exception. It’s surrounded by pristine rainforest, sandy beaches, coconut trees and the Maya Mountains. Dangriga Town is close to the southern edge of the Belize Barrier Reef. It’s also close to the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the most beautiful natural areas in Belize.

Taste True Belizean Flavor

hudut

The Garifuna people have added to Belize’s rich ethnic flavor. You can get a taste of that in the delicious, freshly cooked meals you’ll enjoy here. Sample some traditional Garifuna dishes like sere, a stew made from fish and coconut milk. Dangriga has other specialties like cashew wine, mashed plantains and cassava bread.

Do you love chocolate? Learn how the ancient Maya of Belize make their world-famous Maya chocolate at the Maya Center which is located a few miles outside of Dangriga Town. At the Maya Center you can sign up for a farm-to-factory tour with a master chocolate maker. The tour includes a trip to a cacao plantation.

Chabil Mar

Belize and Placencia in December

Every trip to Belize should include the beautiful beaches and fun, friendly towns of southern Belize. At the Chabil Mar, we’re in the perfect location for all your Belize explorations. We offer luxury accommodations and we’ll help you enjoy all that Belize has to offer.

Discover Maya King Waterfalls in Southern Belize

Maya King Waterfall in Southern Belize

Swimming in a waterfall is the ultimate jungle adventure. In Belize, you can enjoy this experience at the Maya King waterfalls. These waterfalls are located in a privately-owned park and are about a 45-minute drive from Chabil Mar.

Belize has the tallest waterfalls in Central America and the Maya King Waterfalls are just one example of these magnificent cascades of pure, untouched water. 

The Maya King waterfalls are a hidden gem that will take your breath away with its spectacular surroundings. The waterfalls end in a large, natural pool filled with cold mountain water. You can swim, stand under the rushing waters or simply sit on the natural rock sides and enjoy the scenery. 

This is an easy, relaxing tour that’s fun for both locals and travelers alike. There is no hiking or climbing involved. You simply take transportation directly to the waterfall. Then you just climb out of the vehicle and step into the clear, cool waters of the natural pool. You will spend two hours at the waterfalls and then head back to Placencia. It’s a great excursion if you want just a touch of jungle adventure. 

If you do want to add some adventure to your tour, add zip-lining to your visit. Spend the morning flying through the jungle treetops, then cool off and relax at the waterfalls. As you traverse the jungle, you’ll be joined by tropical birds flying through the trees beside you. 

You can also add river tubing to this excursion. Get ready to ride a river that’s shaded on both sides by leafy jungle trees filled with colorful flora and fauna. You’ll be guided by an expert guide who can point out the key sights and sounds along the way. Finish your river adventure with a refreshing dip in the Maya King Waterfalls.

The Chabil Mar Difference 

Your Belize vacation starts at Chabil Mar Villas. Our award-winning luxury resort is the perfect haven to return after a day of adventures. 

The resort staff will arrange all your tours, excursions and transportation. All you have to do is relax and enjoy every minute of your perfect Belize holiday.

Take a Purpose-Filled, Luxury Belize Vacation That Changes Lives

Take a Purpose-Filled, Luxury Belize Vacation That Changes Lives

According to Cause Inspired Media, support for charitable causes experienced fluctuations during recent economic challenges. However, a recent Fidelity Charitable study revealed some encouraging news: Looking ahead, donors are not only committed to continuing their contributions to worthy causes throughout the year but also, 25 percent of respondents plan to increase their donations in the years to come.

Why mention these statistics when you’re all about finding a vacation spot for your next getaway? Because if you support nonprofits, why not choose a luxury resort that is close to home to double down on the reason for your visit? At Chabil Mar Resort, the property’s “Pack for a Purpose” initiative generates lots of goodwill and help for underprivileged Belize school children. Guests are drawn to this cause and you will be, too.

About the initiative that captures hearts and minds

The ability to help children in need while enjoying a lavish vacation at a boutique property that is running out of wall space to display awards is likely to give you the most amount of satisfaction you’ve experienced in years. Pack with a Purpose is a dynamic, global nonprofit committed to both the kids who benefit and the personal aims and goals of travelers looking to make meaningful contributions at the same time they enjoy getting away.

At Chabil Mar Resort, frequent guests know to leave a little room in their suitcases when they pack for items that may be small but make a world of difference to the kids who don’t have them, like school supplies, age-appropriate books, arts and crafts materials, educational games and especially soccer and basketballs plus jump ropes and other activity-inducing items. Leave your donation at the resort’s front desk where you will receive the thanks of a grateful staff on behalf of the kids.

pack for a purpose

Kids and animals: you can help both!

Chabil Mar has “adopted” St. John’s Memorial School in Placencia Village, which was established in 2009 and serves kids whose ages range between 3 and 12. If you’re a big animal supporter, you can also pack goodies that are dog and kitty appropriate, all of which will be donated to the Placencia, Belize Humane Society where much-appreciated food, treats, bowls, bedding and everything pet appropriate is needed and received with love and gratitude.

Imagine yourself lounging on an unspoiled, private Caribbean beach having just come from your elegant digs after enjoying gourmet meals at the resort’s restaurant and knowing that the items you brought are making a bigger difference than you will ever know. Need specifics? Check the list on the resort’s website and contribute what you can.

There’s only one upside to making Chabil Mar your go-to destination: It could become your favorite habit! Embrace the spirit of giving by supporting meaningful causes, and add this one to your list. Imagine the joy of contributing to something impactful, mirrored by the bliss you feel as you’re served an icy beverage under the warm Belize sun at this luxurious resort. Your generosity at Chabil Mar doesn’t just support a great cause, it also enriches your own experience in this tropical paradise!

pack for a purpose chabil mar

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 vacation.

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