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Keeping in touch while living in Belize

Hello everyone,

What are the best ways you've found for keeping in touch with friends and family back home while living in Belize? How frequently do you stay in touch with loved ones?

Are there local equivalents to common instant messaging and online video calling services that you prefer or are more widely used?

If there is a sizeable time difference, how do you manage this?

Do you make international phone calls from a landline or mobile phone from Belize? What do you think of the cost?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

We are using a combination of WhatsApp, Viber, SKYPE and FB for video & text messaging.  We also purchased MagicJack Pro (a VoIP - Voice over internet Protocol service) so that we can still use our USA phone number for calls & text.  As long as we have WiFi or at least 3G service, the MagicJack works...most of the time!  It is an annual service fee, that we got for 3 years at a discount when we first registered the APP,

We use a mix of whats app, skype, and face book and that old fashioned standby telephone. Never tried Magic Jack but all others work as long as we have reasonable WIFI we use a smart MIFI on the property and the many places that offer free wifi in town (Belmopan) when there.

We use google hangouts. We actually never connected our iPhones to BZ cell service, so oversees comms (from BZ to US) require us to be near wifi. And my phone doesn't ring when I get incoming calls. We also use messenger and FaceTime works, if contactee has Apple. Friends have visited here with international roaming and have been able to make calls locally and abroad. Hangouts is free, so we went with that and purchased a local flip phone for calls within BZ.

I have WhatsApp and it works fine but I get too many notifications from some family groups that I'm a part of (these notifications cannot be muted so I had to turn off all notifications).

I have used several VOIP solutions, both hardware and Android App based with fair results.  When I have had issues, it has always been with the cable  ISP I was using in Placencia.  About 18 months ago, Verizon put out an update for my Motorola cell phone that included calls and text over WiFi. In Belize I keep this phone in airplane mode, and turn WiFi back on. So this has been my solution. There are many bars and restaurants  very near my house that have WiFi.  I just go to one of them.

This winter I will sign up with SMART for fixed location, over the air WiFi and use the Verizon cell phone from home also. I forward my Texas home phone to my cell phone so folks calling either number will get my cell phone or voice mail while I am in Belize. As long as I have a fair WiFi connection, Text and Calls are great over Verizon cell phone.  I do not know if other US cell phone companies have something similar.

I use a local flip phone for calls within Belize.

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