I have been doing a series of articles comparing life in Belize as opposed to retiring or living on the Mexican Caribbean,(Mahahual). As I stated earlier I took the top ten reasons to retire in Belize off of the belize.com website. Today I am going to pick where I left off last week with comparing the people and the laid back culture of both Belize and Mahahual, Mexico.
I ran into a woman from the USA over the weekend that I know that has lived in Corozal, Belize and Caldaritas, Mexico, just like I have, and now she lives in Playa del Carmen. She lived in Corozal, Belize the same time I did, and because we were both expats from the USA we used to run into each other a lot at different functions and establishments. I think she left Belize soon after I did, and I ran into her a couple times in Caldaritas and Chetumal, Mexico, when I lived there. I also run into her all the time when I am in Playa del Carmen. In both Belize and Mexico there are usually in most nice sized towns a place where the local Gringo crowd hangs out. It is usually a bar or restaurant, and these are easy to find, just ask any local on the street where do the Gringos hang out, and they point you in the right direction.
In Corozal, Belize, one of the expat hangouts was Bumpers Chinese Restaurant, in Playa del Carmen a couple of the expat hangouts are Mom’s Bar and Grill and Bad Boys Beach Club. A lot of expats like to hang out and socialize with each other I have noticed in both Belize and Mexico. Even though a lot of expats work and own businesses down here, they still like to drink and socialize with people from the USA, or Canada. But they draw the line at tourists, for some reason expats hate tourists and do lot like to socialize with them, and they avoid all tourist bars or establishment. You will never see an expat go to Senor Frogs or Margaritaville.
So I asked this woman last time I saw her to read my blog and series on living in Belize, because I knew she had a lot of the same exact experiences I have had. So I asked her when I saw her this past weekend, if she had a chance to read the blog, and what did she think. She said she had read it, and she agreed with what I wrote. I asked her if she thought I was being hard on Belize, like some comments I have gotten suggest. She said no, she thought I was being fair. So I told her I was in the middle of an article comparing Belizeans people to people in Mexico, and I could not come with anything really negative to say about the Belizean people, and could she help me out. She thought for a minute and said no, Belizean people were on the whole good and friendly people.
So today I am finishing comparing the people of Belize with Mexico.
The Mexican people are exceedingly warm and hospitable. Unlike North America, the Mexican culture is characterized for being very ‘touchy-feely’, similar to parts of Europe. Mexicans grow up with a group orientation and are primarily family and group directed. The nuclear family is the common household unit. Even though Mexican culture is diverse, there is also a strong identification with the nation-state; nationalism is vigorous.
Fiestas abound in Mexico. Every village of the nation’s larger towns and cities has a designated saint or virgin in whose honour civilians hold annual fiestas that have a religious content. Many religious celebrations have their roots in the pre-Hispanic era, while most civic holidays reflect modern historical events. Government offices, banks, schools and some businesses close across the nation for major national holidays. Such shut-downs may also occur during important religious celebrations in individual localities.
Mexicans are proud of their roots and traditions: it’s evident in the way they carry out their daily activities as well as in the way they celebrate important occasions.
The Mexican Caribbean (Mahahual) and Belize also both are on a different time clock. In Belize it is called “Belize Time”, In Mahahual it is called “Manana Tiempo” or “Mahahual Time”. Take it easy slow down is the key. I think it is because of the Caribbean and all the hot sunny weather that things run real slow in Mahahual sometimes, but trust me they run even slower in Belize. But it must work, because people on the average live longer here than other parts of the world.
So to sum up as best as I can. The people of Belize and Mexico have different traditions and cultures, but most people from both countries are warm and friendly. I have a lot of nice people in both Corozal, Belize and Mahahual, Mexico during my travels, and enjoyed my time with locals from both places. The expats in Corozal Belize are a little more hardcore,( for sense of a better word) than say the expats in Mahahual, but besides from that not much difference.
Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina