As my time in Belize was coming to an end, I kept noticing the mixture this country has. I mentioned this before in another post. However, I never really went in depth.
With a country with a little over 350,000, the people living within it’s borders are very mixed. The people are mixed with African, Native Mayans, European or east and south Asian. Most Belizeans have some mixture of one those ethic groups. There are recent immigrants that are not mixed. However, by the next or the following generation, they would mix with the majority of the population.
Growing up in California, there were so many descendants of the Mayans that were my friend. From the Salvadoran to the Guatemalan and Mexican, I was very familiar to the Mayan facial features. Coming to Belize completely shocked me. It was like seeing all my Mayan descendants friend speak English with Caribbean accent. All this was so surprising and it was a little hard to believe.
When I first saw the Belizeans, I expected them to speak Spanish. After seeing the people at my hostel, you could tell they had some African roots. This mixture is really interesting to me. I had a few friends growing up that were half African American and half Mexican. The Belizeans I met at my hostel could pass as my friends’ siblings.
The food in Belize is amazing! You can taste the diversity of this country. It was like eating Mexican food mixed with Caribbean dishes. The rice had the flavors of Jamaican/west Indian. The rice and beans were spicy. You can taste the Indian curry in the meal. I almost felt like never coming back to the USA, after eating a few dishes here. My family comes from a Caribbean island. So eating this food reminded me of my childhood. Bringing Mexican food from the restaurants then mixing it with the home cooked Caribbean meal my mother used to cook me. The sweet plantain made the memories even stronger. All these flavors reflected the people of Belize.
Lastly, the funny thing about Belize, there is an ethic group of Europeans that speak German as a first language. They are called the Mennonites. The majority of the Mennonites have been historically white European. However, in recent years there have been some converts from all the racial groups of Belize. Yet, the white European are still the majority within that ethic group. Also, the Mennonites are a form of Christians. Think of them being similar to the Amish of the United States. I didn’t get to see them because I spent most of my time on the islands. The Mennonites are usually on the main land of Belize.
As you can see, Belize being the tiny country it is has a lot to offer. With so many ethic groups and so much diversity, it’s hard to come back home as the same person. Coming to Belize has really opened my eyes. From North to South America, the countries in them are enriched by immigrants and the culture they bring. All that mixture is what makes the western hemisphere so interesting. Glad, I got to spend my time in Belize. I wish I could had stayed longer.
Thank you for reading! Much love and safe travels!
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