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Melisa Ayala of Grand Baymen – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Lion's Club – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingPeople from other countries who come to live here like it because it’s pretty laid back, so it is perfect for retirement. There are a few people who complain and say that they want to go back, but most say that the American economy is now doing well and they want to get away from it.
 
The expats here are all friendly and open-minded. They are very outspoken and they want to be a part of the community. Many of the expats here are involved with charities like the Humane Society and the Red Cross. People from outside bring in some really interesting things to San Pedro and it really helps us. It’s really something that people are united about and self organize.  We have people all the time who are originally from the States and other parts of the world and they just want to help with charities. People do come here to help. They open businesses and that opens job opportunities to Belizeans. Or they start charities that help us along the way.
 
The Lion’s Den is a club has been around for a long time and most of its members are American. They interact with locals because locals are the ones who run it. I’m a member as well. What they do is they help people who are in need. If you have a sickness and you can’t afford your medicines, they do bake sales, barbecues, etc., to help out.
 
Most people who are expats are involved in these organizations. You would be surprised. If you ever come here and you have a charity, you’re going to see a lot of Americans who will support you. 
 
(Lions Club International symbol seen at the San Pedro Lion's Den, Belize, pictured.)
 
Matthew Hoy of Pelican Properties – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Kareem Abudul Jabbar has visited Belize looking for a vacation home  – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe expats here in Ambergris Caye are a very diverse group. There are expats here who are former CEOs and there are also expats here who are living on a disability pension.
 
Even though it is a diverse group but they all have the same thing in common in that they all like the sense of community. They like the feeling that they are in a place that is totally different than North America but at the same time having enough familiarity to it and you don’t feel like they are completely in a foreign land.
 
Generally, expats who live here are those that would enjoy being outdoors, people who enjoy sunshine and warmth, people who enjoy being near the sea, people who enjoy good friends, good music, and good company. The expats here are just so diverse that it’s hard to believe that someone would not fit in. Generally, a cynical person who isn’t very trusting or accepting in meeting new people would have a much harder time living here than people who are just willing to go with the flow and see what life gives them as opposed to trying to change everything around them.
 
(Kareem Abdul Jabbar has visited Belize looking for a vacation home, pictured.)
Josh Buettner of Ambergris Seaside Real Estate – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Enjoying the Caribbean during lunch, Ambergris Caye, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe expats in Ambergris Caye have a fairly interesting dynamic that has changed substantially since when I first got here. When I first got here, any time an expat came to Ambergris Caye, you basically met them.
 
To give you an idea of how much that has changed, I will tell you a story. A few weeks ago, I met somebody who has been on the island and I asked him how he was doing and how long he’s been here. He told me that he had been here for 3 or 4 years, and I have never met him before. In the early 2000s that was unheard of. Back then, if an expat came to Ambergris Caye, you met them pretty much within a couple of weeks and it was never a couple of years.
 
Most of the people who are here in Ambergris Caye are here in order to have a laid back atmosphere. We really get to see a more interesting side of people than you might in some other places, not necessarily in Belize, but in their home countries. One of the things that I really like about Belize and Ambergris Caye in general is that there is essentially nobody who drives a Mercedes Benz here. Nobody wears Armani suits. Everybody just wears t-shirts, shorts, and flip flops, so you really have no idea who you are talking to or who they are or what their status is. That gives you a much better feeling for who people are in reality.
 
For the most part, people here are very laid back and you really get to see a good side of people, which is probably the best side of people in this atmosphere here. The people here are very likeable, very friendly, and very outgoing.
 
We have a population that is maybe not as welcoming to newbies or to new expats as they could be but the people who behave like this is a fairly small group. Overall, people are welcoming and always willing to answer questions and to assist new people to the island.
 
If you are coming to Ambergris Caye to retire, you can do a lot of different things, whether it be helping animals through SAGA (which is our humane society) or helping women or children, or reading books at the library, joining various groups such as the Lions Club, the dart team, soccer team, etc. There are lots of different activities going on here in Ambergris Caye and that is why there is always a need for volunteers who have the time or who can donate.
 
(Enjoying the Caribbean during lunch, Ambergris Caye, Belize, pictured.)
Bob Hamilton of Century 21 Coral Beach Realty – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Performer at Wet Willy's, Ambergris Caye, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingMost of the expats in Ambergris Caye are pretty happy and most of them do not work. It is very easy to live here in Ambergris Caye. If you come down here, you will see that everybody is happy.
 
I won’t say that it is a bar culture but most of the events that happen here such as the fund raisers, the chicken drop, etc., all occur at the bars. You can spend two weeks here in Ambergris Caye and go home with a dozen new friends.
 
We have a hotel here that is famous for its chicken drop, which has been going on for over 20 years. They have a big plywood board painted like a bingo card. They put it on the sand in front of the bar on the beach. Everybody buys a ticket that has a number. There are one hundred numbers. Then they take a live chicken, they put it in this big bingo card that has no fence around it and wherever the chicken poops, that’s the winning number. It’s low-tech bingo!
 
Probably 80% of the expats who move here to Ambergris Caye have saved enough money. The expats who come here are those who want to get out of the United States. I hear that a dozen times everyday – “I want to get out of the United States and get my money out.”
 
Canadians are coming down here to Ambergris Caye because the Canadian dollar is not performing well right now. They want to come down here and buy themselves a nice place to live, whether it’s to rent or own, and just relax.
 
There are always events going on here in Ambergris Caye. We have poker rounds here where you get a different poker card that everybody goes to six bars. You get a poker hand and see what you win. It’s a laid back, low stress, and very easy to get along community that we have here in Ambergris Caye.
 
(Performer at Wet Willy's, Ambergris Caye, Belize, pictured.)
David Drummond of Georgetown Trust – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
expat family in Ambergris Caye, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe expats in Ambergris Caye tend to know where most happy hours are. They know where the best food specials are. They have a lot of activities, too. A lot of expats in Ambergris Caye go fishing, they snorkel, they dive, or do whatever they like. It is really fun when you are talking about an island of only about 15,000 people, but there is a diversity of what expats in Ambergris Caye do to keep themselves busy.
 
The expats in Ambergris Caye are usually happy. Most of the expats here in Ambergris Caye came from the cold, and here, it is not 16 degrees below or snowing. We have a Caribbean lifestyle, so it is very tranquil. No one is on a rush to be anywhere. Most likely very few people would be on time for anything, but that is accepted because that is sort of the norm.
 
I find the expats here in Ambergris Caye more libertarian. They are a little bit more free-spirited. There are expats who have been here in Ambergris Caye for a very long time – some 10 to 30 years, and some have been here for 2 or 3 years, but the common thing that you will find in them is just this adventurous side that likes to get away from the hustle and bustle of North America or any English-speaking country. That is one thing that I think most expats have in common. They wanted to get rid of everything fast and the same fast-food restaurants, the same chain restaurants, same plazas, etc. In Belize, everything is different. There are a lot of interesting individuals that you will meet but most of them are just trying to get away from the hustle and bustle.
Allan Lima of Blue Tang Inn – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Guests at the Blue Tang Inn, Ambergris Caye, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingExpats in Ambergris Caye are a regular part of the community. They mingle with the locals and they are considered locals. There is no difference between locals and expats here in Ambergris Caye. We are all living the island life the same way. We do the same things, buy at the same places, mingle with the same people, and go to the same bars.
 
When expats come to Belize, they get the feeling that they are at home and they mingle with everyone, so that it seems that everyone has known everyone else forever. The more you stay here, the more you get to know people, and the more you blend in.
Kate Corrigan  of Georgetown Trust – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
San Pedro Ambergris Caye main street – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingEverybody here on Ambergris Caye chooses to be here, so I think, for the most part, they are very happy and if they are not, they have been here too long and they need to go. Ambergris Caye is a beautiful place. Whether you are working here or you are here to retire or you are just here on vacation, when you wake up in the morning, no matter where you live, you will be looking out to the most beautiful views you will see in the world.
 
Someone who decided to expatriate has definitely looked outside of the box. In my own personal experience, I came here because my partner got tired of commuting every day and we looked at retiring early. So I think the expats here are people who wanted to get out of the rat race a little bit. They are adventurous people, but you don’t have to be super adventurous to move to Ambergris Caye.
 
To me, Ambergris Caye is a safe place. Your family can come and see you. You are not moving to the other side of the world. It won’t be difficult for you to see your family and you can definitely afford go come back and forth, especially if you are from the US. Ambergris Caye is really for people who do want to expatriate, but do not want to go too many miles to do so. Everything is quite accessible from Ambergris Caye. It is a different way of life but it is still familiar with what you are used to. ,

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