An Unexpected Hiatus

Some of you may be wondering why there were no photos in my last post, no visual record of the cigar makers of Estelí. Well, that’s because my camera was stolen just a few days after my visit to the cigar factory. And although that might be nothing more than a minor hiccup in anyone’s holiday (unless the tourist is a professional photographer and all their pictures were on the camera), for me it was more than a hiccup. Not because of the camera, but because the bag that the camera was in (the bag that was stolen) also contained my passport and bank cards. Oops. Continue reading

The Dark Side of Belize – Part 1

Like many places in the world, Belize is a developing country; and like most developing countries, the development isn’t even or consistent, there are some areas in the country which are more developed than others – the concrete condos and seaside cabanas of San Pedro or Placencia are a completely different world from the thatched wooden huts of the Mayan villages.  Even in one town there are enough variations in living standards to make you think you’re in a different country – the private security-patrolled, air-conditioned houses of the leafy northern suburbs of Belize City are a universe away from the wooden-walled, tin-roofed shacks and open sewers of the Southside.  Some parts of Belize City aren’t so much ‘developing’ as just plain poor.  And poverty (as well as being bad enough in and of itself) also breeds other problems, like alcoholism, drug addiction, and crime. Continue reading