The retirees love Ambergris Caye. We have a lot of retirees here. So many of my friends are so much older than me that my mom comes here to visit and she asks me, “Do you know any people your own age?” Well, there are lots of people my own age here but there are many retirees, too. We also have snowbirds or people who are sun seekers. They start to arrive in the beginning of November or the end October. I would take my van towards the beach and I would see them there taking a morning walk about to see their friends for some coffee. Some of them come to Ambergris Caye for a month or two each year and some of them come for six months. Usually what happens is that they come for a month or two and they extend for six months and then you start seeing them year round.
There are lots of things to get involved with here in Ambergris Caye. There are lots of charitable organizations like the Human Society, which is always looking for volunteers. If you are a doctor or a nurse, there are many opportunities for volunteer work here. For instance, we have the Lion’s Club and they have a posting for dentists at the moment, so if you are retired dentist here on Ambergris Caye and you want to help out with this program, you can approach them. They are offering free dental care for the next two weeks. If you perhaps are a retired nurse or a physician and want to go and volunteer at the Polyclinic, they always welcome more help there.
There are many things to get involved in here. There are art classes every Thursday and I love going there with my daughter. There are many snowbirds or retirees who come to that class. A local artist comes along, takes a picture and we all learn how to paint it. It’s a great social gathering.
There are lots of potlucks and fundraisers here in Ambergris Caye, too. You can be a part of the community as much as you want or you can stay out of it and just enjoy the beauty of the island. You can go cycling on the beach. If you perhaps got yourself a little sailboat or a jet ski as a Qualified Retired Person, you can surely enjoy that here. You can do pretty much anything you want to do. The island is what you make it. If you do not go out to make an effort and be social and meet people, no one will come knocking on your door and introduce themselves and welcome you to the island, but if you walk into a social gathering, which happens a lot here, usually everybody is welcome and people will introduce themselves. You will have a whole host of people who are willing to introduce themselves to you. There is lots going here on Ambergris Caye that for the relaxed, laid- back life of a retiree, the island suits so well.
Ambergris Caye does not, however, cater very well for disabilities, so it is not for retirees who have some medical issues. If you just need regular medication for things like high blood pressure or things like that, you can certainly get care here.
If you retire here on Ambergris Caye, you are still close to your families, especially if you are from the US, because there are a lot of direct flights from the US that go straight into Belize City. Whether you choose to live here on the island or on the mainland, it is very accessible.
Belize is an English-speaking country, so perhaps if you got into an age where you do not really want to learn new tricks, you don’t have to go out and speak another language to get along in life. I know people who come here fluent in Spanish and try to speak to people who are also fluent in Spanish, but they would always answer back in English. It is very easy to understand the terminologies of the locals and to understand how the island works. The way of life here is a bit different, but it is just a bit simpler, which I think very much suits the retiree.