The type of shopping we have here in Corozal is an adjustment for a North American or a European in that there are not superstores like the ones we are used to where you can get everything you are used to from clothing to hamburgers.
However, you can get what you need here in Corozal. There are some stores that cater to expats in Corozal. They sell food products that Westerners want. They also import some of the things that they know Westerners would enjoy.
If somebody wants to go on a big shopping spree and get more things like what they are accustomed to and have the selection that they are used to, they would travel to Chetumal in Mexico, which is only 35 minutes away from Corozal. As soon as you cross the border to Mexico, you are on paved and very smooth roads, which mean something because in Corozal, particularly in the eastern part of Corozal where we are, the roads are not very good. They have potholes and you have to drive with care; otherwise you could harm your suspension. As soon as you cross into Mexico, you are in a more developed area. You will notice more First World development and the shopping in Chetumal is good. Most people from Belize who want to have a good selection, travel to Chetumal and go to full-on malls and they buy anything that Westerners are used to, including fast-food like McDonald’s. You could also get a good steak and other things that we are used to in North America.
In comparison, the shopping here in Corozal is different in that you can get what you need for sustenance like fresh vegetables, used clothing that is very good and some new stuff, but the selection is not that great. Recently, my girlfriend bought me some things for my birthday – a new pair of shorts, some shirts, and a pair of shoes. She ordered the shoes from Chetumal in Mexico because Corozal doesn’t have the wide selection that you are accustomed to. In Belize City, there is a little bit more variety. Overall, you can get what you need here in Corozal.
A lot of people go shopping in Orange Walk as well, which is about 45 minutes away from Corozal and you don’t have to ride a ferry. So it takes you almost as much time as it takes you to get to Corozal. Orange Walk is a little bit more populated and there is a bit better selection. You can get household products there. But if you really want to have a big and wide selection or if you are one of those who love to have a shopping spree, then you can go to Chetumal in Mexico.
One of the reasons why people relocate up here in Corozal is because of the proximity to Mexico. They love the laid back nature here, the simplicity, and the rest of it but those who want to shop will go to Chetumal.
(Bath and Body Works pumpkin display, Plaza Las Americas, Chetumal, Mexico, pictured.)