Dedicated to providing you with credible information about living overseas
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroad

Questions & Answers

Q & A Menu Q & A BY TOPIC
To navigate, use menu bar to the left
Jestine Dawson of AQ Belize Car Rental – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Jestine Dawson, Belize  – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingSpeaking from personal perspective, raising children in Belize is a little bit harder than in the US because in the US, there are daycare centers where you can leave your kids and they would be given some educational activities while you are away. There is nothing like that here and it is also difficult to find caretakers or nannies. 
 
Also, the transportation here is not as convenient as in North America. You cannot just hop on a train and be where you’re going in just 5 minutes. You have to take a bus or drive a car, so it’s a little bit difficult when you have kids around.  
 
(Jestine Dawson, Belize, pictured.)
Matthew Hoy of Pelican Properties – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The Christmas Pagent at Island Academy, Ambergris Caye, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingChildren down here in Belize still use their imagination. Recently, I saw four 10-year old boys who are playing marbles. I am pretty sure that there is not a North American kid left right now who even knows what to do with a marble besides throwing it through a glass window.
 
Children here in Belize are still children. They are still able to go out and ride their bikes around town without being told that they have to be here or be there and get picked up and shuttled and moved around. Everybody is looking out for somebody else’s kids as well. There is a sense of community but kids here in Belize are using their imagination, they are being free, and they are learning by trial and error more so than being protected from the world.
 
I know some people who moved down here to Belize from North America. There is a really great school here in San Pedro called The Island Academy. I believe that they charge US $400 per month per student. It is a beachfront property with little cottages. Their class size is around 9 kids per grade. All their teachers come from North America, Canada, and the US, and their teaching style is more similar to the English school system but at the same time, they use a North American style of teaching as well. If a North American child came here and was raised here, they would still be able to go back to North America and go to a university without a problem.
 
(The Christmas Pagent at The Island Academy, Ambergris Caye, Belize, pictured.)
Bentley Wildman of Consejo Shores – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
School kids from August Pine Ridge, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingBelize is one of the greatest places in the world to raise children. I have two children. One is 26 now and the other one is 22.  I'm bringing up another one who is 8 years old and I have another one who is 18. 
 
Of my two older children, one of them lives with me now, but my oldest lives in St. Petersburg, Florida.  They've had great lives. The education system here in Belize is very good. Academically, it's excellent. When it comes to sports it’s lacking, but that's not important to me. Academics is far more important. And they do really well. No problems at all.
 
Mostly what happens is that school for the first six years is run by the churches, so in my case my kids went to the Catholic school. One of the reasons we chose a Catholic school is that their mother was Catholic, but we also chose it because of all the religious schools, it's the best. I guess they get the best teachers because they pay more money, but I'm not sure about that.
 
After that there are high schools, which they call college here. Even though they’re public schools, you have to pay for them to go (I believe, around US $400 per year), and it's very good. These schools are very difficult, very strenuous, and if you make it, great. But if you don't then you have to go to another school where you can start all over again. 
 
We live in a town outside of Corozal, with a population of about 12,000 people. I think that a lot of what’s going on in North America is trickling down here.  For example, my 8 year old now plays around with her laptop, phone, etc. all the time.
 
From the time that they start school to the time that they finish school, the students here wear uniforms, every day.  Nobody is any better or any less than the next person, which is important. I know they tried that in the States, and I think it's truly important. I don't think it's fair for someone to go to school wearing $500 to $600 worth of clothing and the next kid has $50 worth of clothing. So here in Belize, everybody wears uniforms.  It’s all straight forward.  What college you’re from, what high school you’re from, etc. determines your uniform.  
 
(School kids from August Pine Ridge, Belize in their uniforms, pictured.)
Jaseth Bassaragh of The Alpha & Omega Group – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Belize kids at the seashore – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThere are many kids running around Belize who call me “aunt.” I love to see these kids in their little bicycles and tricycles and watch them in the park. It is such a fun place for kids because it is wide open space. They could fall but you don’t feel like they are going to hurt themselves in any major way. There is always a play field or an open space to go. Kids play football or soccer. There is always something going on. You will see school buses back and forth with kids all wearing their uniforms. It’s great. I love to see the kids in Belize.
 
Belize is a nice place to raise kids because of the morals. The church is a big part of the society in Belize whether they are Catholic, Baptists, Anglicans, Methodists, Pentecostals, etc. There is always a place for you and your family in Belize to raise your kids.
 
In Belize, there is less exposure to outside influences. Kids in Belize do not stay up at night watching television because they would be more outdoors. In Belmopan, for example, the lifestyle is good. The kids are out at 10 o’clock and having a good time.
 
Expat’s kids and Belizean kids all mixt together. They go to school together. They speak English together and become friends together. Children do not see differences; they just base friendship on kindness. That is what children see. 
 
(Belize children exploring the rocks along the beach, pictured.)
Chris Leonard of Paradise Found Belize Real Estate and Development – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
swimming with children in Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingMy father is raising two daughters in Belize who are receiving an education similar to what they would receive in the US. They have a different grade structure, but they are receiving a good education and they have the opportunity to go on to college, if that is what they choose to do. 

How many kids get to be raised on the Caribbean Sea? I think kids raised in Belize are spoiled. There is an expat couple that was down there that had two young boys who went to school there. They liked it that their kids were able to learn multiple languages and interact with people from a different culture. They saw that as a better education than they could get anywhere else because the experience itself could apply to anything.

There are no concerns of children being taken, kidnapped and ransomed in Belize, like I’ve heard is the case in some Central American countries. I’ve never heard about anything like that in Belize. It is absolutely safe for kids to be in Belize. Kids ride their bikes to school. It reminds me of when I was a kid and we rode our bikes to school because we didn’t have to worry about anything. Down in Belize, every morning, there are trails of kids walking and riding their bikes to school. Corozal is definitely a safe environment for children. I would not have an issue raising my daughter there.
Macarena Rose of Rainforerst Realty – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
school children Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingTo raise children in Belize was my biggest concern when I was moving here because I didn’t know how they were going to fit into the community. I was pleasantly surprised when they started school that they actually enjoyed the whole experience. They wore uniforms with their skirts down to their knees, which was a completely different kind of scenario for them. My kids enjoy the actual community when they are in school, that the kids are really tight-knit. It is just a whole different kind of way of being.
 
With that said, my daughter, for her senior year wanted to do homeschooling. So I wondered why. My daughter told me that there is so much of Belize that she wanted to study. She wanted to know more about the culture, plants and the different things that we have here. Her experience was so incredibly enriched because she got to have the opportunity to actually take time. Families sit on their porches, they visit, they gather, they get together. Kids here do not hang out with little machines and play games, or sit on the phone. You don’t sit on the phone and talk in Belize because it costs money per minute.
 
So when raising children in Belize, I was surprised by how quickly they acclimated. I had made a commitment with my children that if after 18 months they were miserable and wanted to go home, we would go home. I was pleasantly surprised that after ten days of being here, my daughter said, “I don’t even want to go back.” That never changed for her.
 
If you are considering bringing children to Belize, the most important key factor, unless you are homeschooling, is to figure out the correct area for the right school for your child. The way to find that out is to know what special needs your child has as far as their willingness to immerse into a small school, and if they want to be in a private school level.
 
Many people prefer to do homeschooling, and then they revert their thought process after being here for a year, and they decide that they want their children immersed in a culture and be part of the school system.

Go Here Next

Go Here Next

 
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadUse the menu on this page to go to categories of Stories.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadUse the menu on this page to go to other categories of questions.
The Best Places In The World To Retire Location Advisor makes personalized recommendations for where to live and retire overseasGet matched to your ideal location to live abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadAnswers about living, working or visiting abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadStories by expats & others about their life aborad.
Best Places In The World To Retire - MarketplaceFind for profit, non-profit and religious organizations.
 

Go Here Next

 
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadUse the menu on this page to go to categories of Stories.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadUse the menu on this page to go to other categories of questions.
The Best Places In The World To Retire Location Advisor makes personalized recommendations for where to live and retire overseasGet matched to your ideal location to live abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadAnswers about living, working or visiting abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadStories by expats & others about their life aborad.
Best Places In The World To Retire - MarketplaceFind for profit, non-profit and religious organizations.
 

Our Pledge To You

Best Places will present information from the Community in a transparent way, unedited, except to conform with our Conditions of Use.

You can trust that Best Places does not manipulate content to sell you anything. All opinions in the Community Q & A and Expat Stories are those of its authors, not Best Places.

Get Known To The Community

Those who contribute to the Best Places Community are our heroes! And being a Best Places hero is fast, fun, and easy. Just go to Questions & Answers, find your first question to answer, click on it, and then click the Contribute Your Answer To This Question Button. If you’d rather enter a Story, go to Expat Stories and click the Contribute Your Story Button".

Contact/Support

Please contact us. We would love to hear from you! Customer Service
Technical Support
Business Development
Suggestions
Press
Phone: (US) 520-940-0481