Belize is great, and you better Belize it!
University of Belize, Belize
This past semester (Fall 2007), I had the wonderful opportunity to study abroad. I learned many different things about a variety of cultures, and I also learned to be more independent. Through my experiences, I’ve discovered that there is always somewhere new to explore, and someone new to meet. Like most countries in Central America, Belize is very small. One convenient thing about it’s size, is that it’s very easy to travel to the surrounding countries. On the weekends, I was able to go to Guatemala and Mexico. Originally, I was searching for waves, but instead I found a small indigenous Mayan village. The people were extremely beautiful, and their culture was very fascinating.
Of all my experiences abroad, the best times that I had were on the weekends. The bus ride to the coast was particularly fun because I was able to meet many different types of people. On the bus, I was able to feel and experience the local culture, while interacting with a variety of colorful personalities. The bus ride was like a huge get together. People would sing and dance to loud music throughout the entire drive.
Almost everyone in Belize speaks English and Spanish fluently. They can also speak ‘Garifuna’, a combination of the two. Some of the older generation still speaks Mayan, but it is an uncommon sight at the University of Belize. Along with tortillas and rice, fruit is an important part of their diet. The most popular fruit are oranges, mangoes, and pineapples. Surprisingly, their mixture of green mango with salt and pepper is really good!
My study abroad has been rewarding, because I was able to study and experience another culture at the same time. I am an Anthropology and Marine Science major, and my study abroad contributed to both majors. My anthropological interests were satisfied by the knowledge I gained about Mayan culture. Almost every weekend, I went diving and viewed many different species of coral, sharks, and magnates. Overall, my experience in Belize was very fruitful.