The 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.