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Moving to Belize from Canada

Hello everyone, my name is Angie and I am 60 years old (single) and have been
dreaming for some time of moving to Belize, however some of my obstacles are
- where in Belize ..Ambergis seem nice.
- How do I make this happen smoothly?  I will be visiting in November with my brother
and would like to look at apartments that may be for rent, do some local activities,
meet with some other ex[pats etc., to get a feel for my possible move.
I have a bit of a challenge since I am legally blind, I manage well enough by myself,
since I see enough to get by, however cannot read newspapes etc, without my special
equipment (computer), so I would need to be someplace where I can walk to shiops,
and stores and close to amenities and not isolated.
Your experiences and words of wisdom are welcome.
Thank YOu,
Angie.

I would suggest San Pedro (Ambergris), Corozol, San Ignacio, Placencia, or Hopkins. They all have decent sized expat communities and plenty of shops, etc. I strongly recommend several weeks of visiting, preferably on multiple occasions. It's good to really get an in person feel for the place. Belize is not really known for accommodations, but if you manage alright on your own you should be fine. Almost everyone here is kind and helpful.

Thank you this helps a lot.  I am planning 1 week in November..my brother will be
with me and we hope to have someone (property management?) to maybe show
us around.   Are all these place you mention in Belize close in proximity ie: how many
hours from one place to another if we drive?  Ideally I would like to be close enough,
at least walking distance to a beach and rent a small apt. while we are there to get
the feel of apartment living and weigh out the pros and cons..Thanks..Angie.

All the towns listed are beach towns with the exception of San Ignatio whjch is inland, Belize is a very small country and all those Mainland towns are within a  couple of hours drive. of each other. San Pedro is on Ambergris Caye so to travel to and from it is either a Small airplane flight or a boat ride.

The info helps a lot..thanks.  Do you think, given my circumstances that San Pedro
would be best for me, for shops, groceries, dining out etc?  What about health
care ..if I hurt myself (hopefully not ..lol) and renting? if I decide to move?

The info helps a lot..thanks.  Do you think, given my circumstances that San Pedro
would be best for me, for shops, groceries, dining out etc?  What about health
care ..if I hurt myself (hopefully not ..lol) and renting? if I decide to move?  Just
wondering where I should visit in Nov, when I go down, looking for the best
bang for my buck, local things to do and not isolation..

terrific :

All the towns listed are beach towns with the exception of San Ignatio whjch is inland, Belize is a very small country and all those Mainland towns are within a  couple of hours drive. of each other. San Pedro is on Ambergris Caye so to travel to and from it is either a Small airplane flight or a boat ride.

Hi Angie, I hope you and your brother spend the time to really review this forum's previous threads/conversations as many questions you  probably did not know you needed to ask have been answered here.  ;)

In the current thread, the towns listed were: "San Pedro (Ambergris), Corozol, San Ignacio, Placencia, or Hopkins." 

San Ignacio is in the Mountains, and does have a river running through it. 

It has been some years since I was in San Pedro, and seem to recall the good sand beaches on Ambergris Cay were well north of town. Several previous post in other threads,  online articles and Google maps indicate no good sand beaches near Corozal. I certainly did not see any during  my two day tour of the area in 2015.

During my several visits to Hopkins it does have sand beaches, but I have not seen a downtown area, rather the few businesses are scattered around.

To me that leaves Placencia as the only Village with good sand beaches within walking distance to shops restaurants, small hotels and some businesses. However most of the long term rentals near the beach are small houses.

I love Placencia, its people, climate, its rustic qualities. I bought my 2nd home there, but still would be hesitant to recommend it to Angie.  But to tell for sure, as Bill might say, you have to put your own "Sandals in the Sand".  :)

There's a small clinic in Placencia, but it's small and not equipped for big stuff. You'll get a good feel by being here. Take your time to really feel it out, and rent for at least a year before buying.

The government decided to transfer Doctor that was at the clinic for years. Even after much of the town signed a petition asking he be retained. He has now set up a private practice just North of town in his own office. By all reports is staying very busy. I have not heard anything about the Doctor that took his place at the clinic.

A more affordable location is Corozal and its surrounding areas

A lot of expats have chose this mainland area.
A few benefits are the weather and the proximity to Chetumal and Mexico

Have you looked at other areas in Mexico and the Carribean islands?   for many reasons, I believe that someone with a disability is at risk in Belize.  A week here as a tourist during tourist season is not the same as living here full time.   Please be careful and listen carefully to the people who offer their experiences.

Thanks for you reply, I am getting mixed signals, some are telling me the
people there are really friendly and helpful, yet you tell me to beware..can
you give me some examples of the risks that would be in front of me pls.
as a legally blind woman.   I see enough to get by ie:  walk to stores, read
large signs, and have a gizmo that reads labels on clothing and food etc,
and would have to transport my CCTV/Computer which has enhanced voice
to text with me >  If i plan on getting a VISA..so I need to weigh the pros and cons
of that as well.

Angie Saumier :

Thanks for you reply, I am getting mixed signals, some are telling me the
people there are really friendly and helpful, yet you tell me to beware..can
you give me some examples of the risks that would be in front of me pls.
as a legally blind woman.   I see enough to get by ie:  walk to stores, read
large signs, and have a gizmo that reads labels on clothing and food etc,
and would have to transport my CCTV/Computer which has enhanced voice
to text with me >  If i plan on getting a VISA..so I need to weigh the pros and cons
of that as well.

Hi Angie;
It is hard to do research online to determine if Belize is right for you. I always say that you can make the decision to not move based on information that you find on Forums and Social Media, but the decision to move can only be done by getting your "Sandals in the sand".

Mixed messages are inevitable as everyone hopefully comments based on their own experiences. These experiences will differ from someone that is still planning to move and is sharing what they have learned and believe to be true. Others live here for only part of the year, and when the daily routine becomes a challenge, they see the light at the end of the tunnel when they can return to the conveniences and abundance of their normal 1st world routine. Those of us that are all in and choose to live here permanently are not always nessisarily better informed, but have learned to overcome many more of the challenges, or have lower expectations of what will be done for us.

Happiness here in Belize, IMHO depends on two general things, Expectations and comfort level.

Those that say I would not move again because there is no entertainment to keep me occupied here, came either with a lack of knowledge, or expectations that were too high. Belize is a country where you must find happiness from living life, the little things become the big things, and if you require someone else to keep you happy and engaged, then in time you will probably be disappointed.

Also, being aware that animals are not treated as family members, and are often skin on bones, or permanently chained up in a yard for the sole purpose of security. This is also part of the culture, and while I still find that disheartening in a lot of cases, we must learn to look past it, and accept it for what it is if we truly wish to emmerse in the culture as we all say we do.

Emmersing in the culture is more than saying good morning to everyone you meet, living in villages amongst the locals rather than gated expat comunnities, or having tacos for dinner on Tuesday and Thursday nights. It is also accepting that there are real cultural differences that we must adapt to rather than condemn them in hopes that they will go away. For example, petty crime is rampant and a way of life in poor countries, so you will have to learn to pick up your stuff, if you are continually robbed of stuff from your yard while having this knowledge, then it is hard to hold anyone other then yourself responsible. Crimes are seldom solved, this knowledge that there will usually be no recourse in those cases when things go wrong, is again part of the culture and puts the owness on you to be vigilence in protecting yourself and your property.

It also occurs to me that those that dislike Belize can usually rhyme off a long list of generalized experiences of things that have gone wrong for them. While all of these experiences are valid, I often find myself questioning if they have truly accepted and adapted to the cultural differences. Or, were their expectations too high? Were they honest with themselves in the beginning or did they think they were the exception to the rule? Or, are they just really unlucky? So your request for specifics on a comment that "you are risk" is certainly legitimate if that person really wants to help you to make an informed decision.

Yes, your visual impairment will probably increase your risk of being taken advantage of (I hope that is an acceptable term, although I would rather be honest than politically correct).  You may be seen as an easier mark to be short changed. Or less likely to be able to identify someone that snatches your purse, and so on. You will have to make certain adjustments to protect yourself. I do not know you, so don't take these examples personal, they are just examples that I can think of off the top of my head with no real knowledge of the daily challenges that you face. If you are determined to be totally self sufficient then you may experience some disappointments. If you are willing to have help and friends accompany you to watch your back, then you can reduce these disappointments considerably.

I guess what I am saying is that all of the mixed messages are probably true based on someone elses experience. The real truth of what will be your reality can only be determined by you, and must be based on real time living in Belize for several to many months away from the resorts or vacation scenario. You will have to embrace the positive things you hear with acute awareness of all the negatives you have heard. Then, honestly assess your additional individual challenges, and then weigh all of this against what your comfort level and expectations are.

Sorry this is so long, but I hope it helps.

This is an awesome reply and I thank you sincerely.  I am used towatching out for
myself and try to be as independent as possible, most times when I go out alone
I don't bring my white cane with me so people don't really know if I'm drunk or
just "not right"  lol...
My expectations are much, I need "laid back" and calm.  I will be visiting in November,
at which time, I will probably apply for a VISA, put my stuff in storage and stay for
awhile.   If, it doesn't work out for me, at least I have the option or returning to Canada
and renting an apartment.   I need to look into transporting a couple of large enough
pieces of equipment if I chose to stay there (CCTV/Computer - specialized equipment
that helps me read and see).  I will be down with my (sighted) brother and we are
hoping to fit into the local scene, rent an apartment there for a week etc.,  and take it from there.
I appreciate you taking the time for me...Angie.
Oh -the one thing that is a huge concern for me is spiders - I am deadly afraid of
even the smallest ones, but I've been told that as long as I'm not near the jungles
I should be okay.

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