Run the equator: Change of Venue

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Change of Venue

Today we crossed the border into Belize and arrived in Orange Walk, a sleepy and dirty little town. It seems that with every step we take we are farther and farther away from western civilization as we know it. Streets here are worse, garbage piles up in the alleys between the buildings and food choices are more limited. There’s a Caribbean air to the place; it reminds me more of Jamaica than of Mexico.

The population seems more diverse than in Mexico: there are Mayan descendants, whites, blacks and Asians in the streets. Out hotel is run by a Japanese family. People speak both English and Spanish. I wonder how the tiny nation of Belize, home to about 250,000 people, can keep things going and ensure social and racial equality for its citizens.

Our hotel is a nice change after the three nights we spent in Tulum “paradise” on the beach in a bungalow with no electricity, salty water at the showers, sand trickling in from everywhere and bugs crawling through our pierced mosquito-net. And let’s not forget the lizards eating our food… Other than that, everything was perfect, just like in the movies.

Now we lost the beach, but we have a decent shower and a room cool enough to sleep in.


Not with a bang but a whimper said...

I really liked Orange Walk Town, although we stayed outside of the main city and it was also during a huge festival so probably a different experience.

I found the cultural diversity of Belize really interesting, too, especially how many Chinese were there. A teacher we hired as a guide had a lot of information on the cultural history but it's too much to type here and I'm sure you've probably already heard it anyways.

Big Fat Rat said...

I guess the cultural and racial diversity can be summed up in a single word: "the british empire". Ok, three words.