south of Belize

The Strange Life in the Black Caribbean Sun

Unusual bathing
Outsiders relax on a beach on the peninsula of Placencia.
Fuel Pontoon
Pontoon that leads to a nautical fuel station in Placencia.
One more Cayo
One of the countless cayos off the mainland of Belize.
Westwind Hotel
A sign indicates the existence of vacancies in a modest hotel in Piacenza.
Sold out
Passengers on a speedboat traveling between mainland Belize and an offshore cayo.
Shaded chair
A chair in the well-drawn shadow of a coconut tree almost over the sea.
Way home
Mayan sellers travel by boat between Placencia and the mainland coast of southern Belize.
green caribbean
Snorkeler buoys in translucent water next to the second largest barrier reef in the world.
Great Caribbean
Belizeans follow the nautical action from an elevated dock.
Landing only for one
Pelican reheats on a post lost in the Caribbean Sea.
PG's little brothers
Two young residents of Punta Gorda are waiting for their parents to return from the post office.
tropical rest
Guest relax in the pool of one of the seaside resorts between Seine Bight and Piacenza.
Yooo, man.
Belizean is getting ready to leave the post office in Punta Gorda, the southernmost city in Belize.
blue sea and coconut trees
A cayo full of coconut trees off the peninsula of Piacenza.
A Brewer's Landing
Worker prepares to unload beer crates from a boat to a pub in Piacenza.
A Brewer's Landing
Worker unloads crates of beer from a boat to a pub in Piacenza.

On the way to Guatemala, we see how the proscribed existence of the Garifuna people, descendants of African slaves and Arawak Indians, contrasts with that of several much more airy bathing areas.

The vehicle's importers had not even bothered to repaint it, as was happening all over Central America. The old former US school bus hummed along the Hummingbird Highway that linked Belmopan's mysterious capital, Dandriga, a no less peculiar town already perched on the Caribbean Sea. The driver talked to passengers the entire trip and seemed to maintain the dizzying speed from a kind of brain autopilot that only turned off to pick up passengers. Even so, we arrived shortly after sunset, already late to catch a call to the south. "Here's our dandriga, fellas” announced the driver in the inevitable cavernous ragga voice as he opened the doors of the tan-yellow bus. "Love it or Leave it!"

It was under the twilight precipitation that we were able to appreciate its main street, full of shops of adventurous and opportunistic Chinese families, decorated by the headquarters of the two main political parties in Belize, among various other businesses and institutions. Around the centre, a poorly littered domain of prefabricated one-storey houses and among coconut trees give way, in a centrifugal way, to more and more stilted stilts.

Elderly people and children in their care listen to the telephone on the worn out porches of their homes. Under stakes that support others, groups of black men and teenagers maintain convivialities, games, or businesses as intriguing as the unlikely African Central America around them.

As we approach the humble inn where we were going to stay, tropical chords of Garifuna music increase in volume that seem to come from Guinea-Bissau or even Cape Verde. The historical origins of many of the residents – they were also curious about our incursion in those non-touristy places – was not very far away but was lost in time and in the complexity of the diasporas suffered by those people.

In the 2500th century, the Caribbean from the delta of the Orinoco River dominated Saint Vincent and several other small Antilles. The first genetic confluence that generated the Garifunas took place when a slave ship allegedly coming from Nigeria sank. The natives rescued many of the survivors, took them to Saint Vincent and gave them women, as it was taboo in their tribes for men not to have mates. However, the French and the English disputed Saint Vincent and the Antilles. Countless conflicts later, at the top, the British ended up separating the “pure” caribs from those already mixed with former African slaves. They determined that the latter, more independenceists, were dangerous and exiled some XNUMX of the newly named black Caribbean survivors on the now Honduran island of Roatan. Roatan proved too small for the new inhabitants. 

These soon asked the Hispanic authorities to welcome them to the continent. The Spaniards thanked the free labor and the Garifunas settled in the lands that are now Belizean, Honduran, Nicaraguan and Guatemalan through which we were traveling.

The next morning, we shared Dandriga with several hundred of the 7% of Garifuna Belizeans identifiable by their more African than Indian looks and their much more Indian than African commonplace language they use if other compatriots or outsiders do not force them to resort to Spanish or English Creole.

"You just have to go to the end of this street and take a right!" we think it explains to us, in an almost imperceptible and angry Creole, the native of a somewhat reddish black who, around noon the next day, we asked where the buses to Placencia departed.

Proud and somewhat irascible, Belize's Garifunas are not lacking in reasons to be revolted. Their communities are present almost only in the south of the nation, by decree of a British governor of what would become British Honduras. This XNUMXth-century decree determined that the Garifuna would have to stick to the “bottom” of the territory, in practice so as not to mix and destabilize Belizean slaves of only African origin.

Last September, the Dandriga community came together behind the official representation of their Mayor Gilbert Swazo. They took the opportunity to accuse the country's prime minister of pettiness and remind him of the discrimination they have long been victims of, all triggered by a manager of the First Caribbean International Bank having banned the use of the Garifuna language in the bank's local branch.

Other reactions proved to be much more mediatic. Shortly after the world premiere of the saga “Pirates of the Caribbean”, the Garifunas joined the Caribbeans of Saint Vincent, Dominica and Trinidad in protest against Disney for the sequel introducing them to the world as cannibals, without which, in their view , for this there are historical foundations.

Irony of irony, many Hollywood millionaires use and abuse Belize as a bathing playground. As a rule, their incursions were along the northern coast closest to the second largest barrier reef in the world. But, with time and competition, they spread to the long peninsula of Placencia, where we have moved in the meantime.

At first, this which is the most privileged coastline in Belize almost only welcomed backpackers. Until famous personalities such as Francis Ford Coppola discovered it and began to invest there in private homes and exquisite resorts where the damage caused by the many devastating hurricanes that pass through there were demanding major repairs.

We walk the beach from end to end and take a look at the Blancaneaux' Turtle Inn that the director bought and remodeled to offer his followers an alternative of equal luxury to another one. resort Coppola brand on a northern cayo (islet).

We did not detect garifunas enjoying the vast sands between the village of Seine Bight and Placencia. Instead, American and Canadian vacationers stroll and board, staffed by local guides and helmsmen, on short snorkeling excursions in the crystal clear waters offshore, or on other shark-whale shark diving excursions in the barrier reef that is some 30km away.

But this is not the time for whale sharks, and the others are too unpredictable predators for our tastes. Guaranteed the dose of maritime relaxation we were longing for, we retrieved our backpacks at the headquarters of one such Ocean Motion and got into a boat full of Mayan women who were returning home from another day of selling their handicrafts among gringos. During most of the trip, a girl follows all the movements of our, for her fascinating, photographic action, in front of the mother who is breastfeeding her youngest child. After disembarking and an additional four hours by bus, we arrived at PG, so the Belizeans have less work to pronounce on the town of Punta Gorda.

We had reached the southern edge of Belize and the damp and jungle perpetuated an alliance that no investor had yet managed to break. We were once again in Black Caribbean territory, but the location on the border with its southern neighbor gave the village a strong Belizean multiethnicity. On these sides, Americans, British and Canadians who teach or work in humanitarian organizations coexist. In much larger numbers, Belizeans Creoles, Chinese, Indians, Maya Kekchi and Mopan. We still slept a night in the peace of cosmopolitan PG. At dawn, we sailed first to Livingston, then to the Dulce River, both sheltered in a luxuriant marine nook that was already Guatemalan but, for a while longer, still Garifuna.

Island of Goreia, Senegal

A Slave Island of Slavery

Were several millions or just thousands of slaves passing through Goreia on their way to the Americas? Whatever the truth, this small Senegalese island will never be freed from the yoke of its symbolism.”

Amberris Caye, Belize

Belize's Playground

Madonna sang it as La Isla Bonita and reinforced the motto. Today, neither hurricanes nor political strife discourage VIP and wealthy vacationers from enjoying this tropical getaway.

Lake Cocibolca, Nicaragua

sea, sweet sea

Indigenous Nicaraguans treated the largest lake in Central America as Cocibolca. On the volcanic island of Ometepe, we realized why the term the Spaniards converted to Mar Dulce made perfect sense.

Cahuita, Costa Rica

Dreadlocked Costa Rica

Traveling through Central America, we explore a Costa Rican coastline as much as the Caribbean. In Cahuita, Pura Vida is inspired by an eccentric faith in Jah and a maddening devotion to cannabis.
Corn Islands - Islas del Maíz , Nicaragua

pure caribbean

Perfect tropical settings and genuine local life are the only luxuries available in the so-called Corn Islands or Corn Islands, an archipelago lost in the Central American confines of the Caribbean Sea.
Antigua (Antilles), Guatemala

Hispanic Guatemala, the Antigua Fashion

In 1743, several earthquakes razed one of the most charming pioneer colonial cities in the Americas. Antigua has regenerated but preserves the religiosity and drama of its epic-tragic past.
Rhinoceros, PN Kaziranga, Assam, India
PN Kaziranga, India

The Indian Monoceros Stronghold

Situated in the state of Assam, south of the great Brahmaputra river, PN Kaziranga occupies a vast area of ​​alluvial swamp. Two-thirds of the rhinocerus unicornis around the world, there are around 100 tigers, 1200 elephants and many other animals. Pressured by human proximity and the inevitable poaching, this precious park has not been able to protect itself from the hyperbolic floods of the monsoons and from some controversies.
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 5th - Ngawal a BragaNepal

Towards the Nepalese Braga

We spent another morning of glorious weather discovering Ngawal. There is a short journey towards Manang, the main town on the way to the zenith of the Annapurna circuit. We stayed for Braga (Braka). The hamlet would soon prove to be one of its most unforgettable places.
shadow vs light
Architecture & Design
Kyoto, Japan

The Kyoto Temple Reborn from the Ashes

The Golden Pavilion has been spared destruction several times throughout history, including that of US-dropped bombs, but it did not withstand the mental disturbance of Hayashi Yoken. When we admired him, he looked like never before.
Tibetan heights, altitude sickness, mountain prevent to treat, travel

Altitude Sickness: the Grievances of Getting Mountain Sick

When traveling, it happens that we find ourselves confronted with the lack of time to explore a place as unmissable as it is high. Medicine and previous experiences with Altitude Evil dictate that we should not risk ascending in a hurry.
Newar celebration, Bhaktapur, Nepal
Ceremonies and Festivities
Bhaktapur, Nepal

The Nepalese Masks of Life

The Newar Indigenous People of the Kathmandu Valley attach great importance to the Hindu and Buddhist religiosity that unites them with each other and with the Earth. Accordingly, he blesses their rites of passage with newar dances of men masked as deities. Even if repeated long ago from birth to reincarnation, these ancestral dances do not elude modernity and begin to see an end.
city ​​hall, capital, oslo, norway
Oslo, Norway

A Overcapitalized Capital

One of Norway's problems has been deciding how to invest the billions of euros from its record-breaking sovereign wealth fund. But even immoderate resources don't save Oslo from its social inconsistencies.
young saleswoman, nation, bread, uzbekistan
Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan, The Nation That Does Not Lack Bread

Few countries employ cereals like Uzbekistan. In this republic of Central Asia, bread plays a vital and social role. The Uzbeks produce it and consume it with devotion and in abundance.
scarlet summer

Valencia to Xativa, Spain (España)

Across Iberia

Leaving aside the modernity of Valencia, we explore the natural and historical settings that the "community" shares with the Mediterranean. The more we travel, the more its bright life seduces us.


Man: an Ever Tested Species

It's in our genes. For the pleasure of participating, for titles, honor or money, competitions give meaning to the world. Some are more eccentric than others.
Christmas in Australia, Platipus = Platypus
Atherton Tableland, Australia

Miles Away from Christmas (part XNUMX)

On December 25th, we explored the high, bucolic yet tropical interior of North Queensland. We ignore the whereabouts of most of the inhabitants and find the absolute absence of the Christmas season strange.
small browser
Honiara e Gizo, Solomon Islands

The Profaned Temple of the Solomon Islands

A Spanish navigator baptized them, eager for riches like those of the biblical king. Ravaged by World War II, conflicts and natural disasters, the Solomon Islands are far from prosperity.
portfolio, Got2Globe, Travel photography, images, best photographs, travel photos, world, Earth
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Portfolio Got2globe

The Best in the World – Got2Globe Portfolio

Garranos gallop across the plateau above Castro Laboreiro, PN Peneda-Gerês, Portugal
Castro Laboreiro, Portugal  

From Castro de Laboreiro to the Rim of the Peneda – Gerês Range

We arrived at (i) the eminence of Galicia, at an altitude of 1000m and even more. Castro Laboreiro and the surrounding villages stand out against the granite monumentality of the mountains and the Planalto da Peneda and Laboreiro. As do its resilient people who, sometimes handed over to Brandas and sometimes to Inverneiras, still call these stunning places home.
Champagne Beach, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu
Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

Divine Melanesia

Pedro Fernandes de Queirós thought he had discovered Terra Australis. The colony he proposed never materialized. Today, Espiritu Santo, the largest island in Vanuatu, is a kind of Eden.
Boats on ice, Hailuoto Island, Finland.
Winter White
Hailuoto, Finland

A Refuge in the Gulf of Bothnia

During winter, the island of Hailuoto is connected to the rest of Finland by the country's longest ice road. Most of its 986 inhabitants esteem, above all, the distance that the island grants them.
On the Crime and Punishment trail, St. Petersburg, Russia, Vladimirskaya
Saint Petersburg, Russia

On the Trail of "Crime and Punishment"

In St. Petersburg, we cannot resist investigating the inspiration for the base characters in Fyodor Dostoevsky's most famous novel: his own pities and the miseries of certain fellow citizens.
Early morning on the lake

Nantou, Taiwan

In the Heart of the Other China

Nantou is Taiwan's only province isolated from the Pacific Ocean. Those who discover the mountainous heart of this region today tend to agree with the Portuguese navigators who named Taiwan Formosa.

Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
El Tatio Geisers, Atacama, Chile, Between ice and heat
Natural Parks
El Tatio, Chile

El Tatio Geysers – Between the Ice and the Heat of the Atacama

Surrounded by supreme volcanoes, the geothermal field of El Tatio, in the Atacama Desert it appears as a Dantesque mirage of sulfur and steam at an icy 4200 m altitude. Its geysers and fumaroles attract hordes of travelers.
Masada fortress, Israel
UNESCO World Heritage
Massada, Israel

Massada: The Ultimate Jewish Fortress

In AD 73, after months of siege, a Roman legion found that the resisters at the top of Masada had committed suicide. Once again Jewish, this fortress is now the supreme symbol of Zionist determination
Correspondence verification
Rovaniemi, Finland

From the Finnish Lapland to the Arctic. A Visit to the Land of Santa

Fed up with waiting for the bearded old man to descend down the chimney, we reverse the story. We took advantage of a trip to Finnish Lapland and passed through its furtive home.
The Dominican Republic Balnear de Barahona, Balneario Los Patos
Barahona, Dominican Republic

The Bathing Dominican Republic of Barahona

Saturday after Saturday, the southwest corner of the Dominican Republic goes into decompression mode. Little by little, its seductive beaches and lagoons welcome a tide of euphoric people who indulge in a peculiar rumbear amphibian.
Young people walk the main street in Chame, Nepal
Annapurna Circuit: 1th - Pokhara a ChameNepal

Finally, on the way

After several days of preparation in Pokhara, we left towards the Himalayas. The walking route only starts in Chame, at 2670 meters of altitude, with the snowy peaks of the Annapurna mountain range already in sight. Until then, we complete a painful but necessary road preamble to its subtropical base.
Flam Railway composition below a waterfall, Norway.
On Rails
Nesbyen to Flam, Norway

Flam Railway: Sublime Norway from the First to the Last Station

By road and aboard the Flam Railway, on one of the steepest railway routes in the world, we reach Flam and the entrance to the Sognefjord, the largest, deepest and most revered of the Scandinavian fjords. From the starting point to the last station, this monumental Norway that we have unveiled is confirmed.
Weddings in Jaffa, Israel,
Jaffa, Israel

Where Tel Aviv Settles Always in Party

Tel Aviv is famous for the most intense night in the Middle East. But, if its youngsters are having fun until exhaustion in the clubs along the Mediterranean, it is more and more in the nearby Old Jaffa that they tie the knot.
Women with long hair from Huang Luo, Guangxi, China
Daily life
Longsheng, China

Huang Luo: the Chinese Village of the Longest Hairs

In a multi-ethnic region covered with terraced rice paddies, the women of Huang Luo have surrendered to the same hairy obsession. They let the longest hair in the world grow, years on end, to an average length of 170 to 200 cm. Oddly enough, to keep them beautiful and shiny, they only use water and rice.
Amboseli National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro, Normatior Hill
Amboseli National Park, Kenya

A Gift from the Kilimanjaro

The first European to venture into these Masai haunts was stunned by what he found. And even today, large herds of elephants and other herbivores roam the pastures irrigated by the snow of Africa's biggest mountain.
The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.