The serene, island village of Caye Caulker was first inhabited by the Mestizos fleeing the Caste Wars in Mexico. The settlers found this island paradise a haven for fishing and coconut farming (Cocals) and were the first to form the country’s (Northern) Fisherman’s Cooperative, today one of the country’s largest exporting industries.
While coconut plantations are now rare, the extraction of coconut oils and the baking of coconut breads and pies still exist on a small scale. In the evenings, as you wander back from your day’s tour, you will find many children with baskets selling an assortment of hot, fresh, home-baked coconut breads, pies and cakes.
As the new century emerges, however, one can notably see that Caye Caulker’s focus is turning more and more towards tourism. The main street, known as “Front Street” is dotted with small businesses, dive & snorkel shops, restaurants, and gift shops, mostly locally owned, casual in appearance and atmosphere.
Locals welcome the avid listener to tales of island myths, stories of life past, when open-aired outhouses dotted the tips of piers, kerosene lanterns lit houses and bathing was done in the street next to the water well. Enthusiastic listeners themselves, they too lend keen ears to new ideas, lifestyles, experiences, embracing the exotic blends of international cultures.
Pull up a chair next to an island native and have a splendid evening of chitchat, share a little something, experience life through the eyes of a local, see the world from a new perspective... Take a bit of Belize with you - it’s people, it’s culture!