In general, living in Belize is much more personal and there is much more communication involved. In the US or in Austria, when you see a store, you already know from the outside what things you can buy there. You can easily tell if it’s a hardware store, a furniture store, or if it’s a grocery and you just decide where to go. Here in Belize, you could go to a store that sells tires and when you go in, you’d see that they are also selling some kitchen equipment. You never know.
So you have to check out the store and you have to talk to people so you would know where to find things. It is for this purpose that we have a Facebook group called “Cayo Finds”. In case you need something, you just post it there. If somebody finds something that is rare or hard to find, they take a picture of it and post it on that page.
Shopping in Cayo is just like shopping in Austria 60 years ago. The shops here are smaller, the variety of goods is not that big, and the quality is not what we are used to from a 1st world country.
When it comes to shopping for other things like clothing, there is also a big difference. My problem is that I am too tall for the clothing here in Belize. I am 5’8”. The average Belizean woman is much smaller than I am so I cannot find clothing and shoes here. Whenever I need things like that, I either buy in Austria when I travel there or I buy it in the States. You can also purchase everything you like in one of the online stores in the States and have it shipped down here. We have forwarding companies so you can order anything from the US via Amazon and other online sites and have it shipped to the warehouses and then they will bring it down here. They do the shipping once a month on average.
(Shops in San Ignacio, Belize, pictured.)