It’s very interesting because the majority of the expats in the Cayo District are retirees but many want to do something. Some of them are doing a little farming, animal husbandry, and some do absolutely nothing. They like the idea of going to San Ignacio and going to little restaurants or cafes, hanging out and having coffee, socializing, and visiting people.
Every expat here in the Cayo District has their own thing going on. They do whatever it is that they want to do. Every now and then we will meet up and have a little get together and have a potluck or celebrate a birthday party.
There was one girl here from the US, who has a special needs child. She has a little ranch and makes candles and sells them in stores and gift shops. There are other people who are into holistic healing. Everybody has their own thing and if we find that it’s something that sparks our interest, then we see each other and start sharing with each and then you start getting to know them. Then they will start knowing your friends as well.
To live in the Cayo District, you don’t really have to be a special type of person. You would only struggle living here if you are the type of person who needs to have all the conveniences and amenities at arm’s reach because we don’t have that here.
I met a woman once who didn’t like Belize. She complained all the time. She kept talking about how the eggs in the US are all white and here in Belize, the eggs are brown. She didn’t want to eat Belizean eggs because the shells are brown. She was very unhappy. So we told her, “I think you should go back to the US because this is not for you.”
You do need to make some adjustments while you are here in Belize because it is not what you are used to in the US. If you can make those adjustments then you will be fine. You need to have a lot of patience and you need to have some tolerance and understand that things are going to be a bit slower, but if you can get used to those things then you can come here. Just think of it as being a pioneering type of country.
Howard and I run all the time and we think of what good businesses could be done here. Anybody who moves to Belize realizes that there is business opportunity here. They say, “Oh, that would be a good business here…” The foreigners coming to live here see the potential long before the Belizeans do. Sometimes expats see a need and they do something to cater to that need.
(Wilana and Howard Oldham selling "hot legs" with their Hot Moma's sauce at a fair in Belize, pictured.)