28
Oct-2013

Minorities in Belize through our Eyes

All the ethnic minorities in Belize have an interesting story, as probably all the minorities around the world have. We did not stay long enough in the country to deeply learn and understand all the background of their origin and development in the country. But we did stay long enough to see them coexist in a rather peaceful manner, and with a little research we found a lot of interesting facts that we will now share. Bare in mind that most of this facts are not official but based on conversation with locals, so we may not have the real picture:

Mennonites

-a very closed German based community, that speak a type of ancient German and behave very much alike the famous Amish (Amish originated from Mennonites)

-unlike the Amish, they have different levels of technology aceptance: some live with the original rural life, others have phones and tractors

Mennonites

They don’t like pictures! This was a nice coincidence, and yes he has a mobile 🙂

-this branch of Mennonites came from the Canadian Mennonites

-they mainly inbreed and farm, so when the gene pool and farmland is getting scarce some of them move to another country

-they are the country providers of: dairy products, auto parts, and other essentials

-they have their own rules, religious establishments, even schools and ambulance service, they don’t integrate at all with the rest of the country

-for the first time in History, a Mennonite was elected to the government, as they normally don’t care about politics. One year after, he was sacked due to a passport illegal selling scandal

Chinese and Taiwanese

-they migrated to Belize originally in the mid 19th century as cheap labour to the sugarcane plantations

-when Hong Kong was transferred to Chinese control, the residents did not have British citizenship so they used Belize, former British Honduras, as way to get it

Taiwan Store in Central America

Taiwan Store in Central America

-they also migrated when the Chinese invasion to Taiwan was a real threat

-most of them work in thousands of groceries around the country, some towns have more groceries than population

-there are several investments around the country, the most visible ones are on farming research (Central Farm is a good example)

-some of them work in groceries shops, maybe to get a passage way to the US, even tough US has changed the rules limiting this access

 

Garifuna

-they came from Honduras after they were kicked out of the St. Vincent Islands by the English almost 200 years ago

-they are the black community of the country

-normally dedicated to fishing and music

-the most famous Belizian musician was Andy Palacio, a Garifuna

Fisherman in Dangriga, teh Garifuna capital

Fisherman in Dangriga, the Garifuna capital

-very proud of their African heritage

-very easy going and always ready to play some drumms and dance

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