Back in the 1950’s an unlikely group settled in the expanses of Belize, the Mennonites. Sticking out like a sore thumb, these blue eyed, blond haired, and suspender-wearing cousins of the Pennsylvania Amish, lead a manufacturing and agriculture empire in Belize. They are responsible for much of the countries eggs, poultry, dairy and have a burgeoning home building business.
They have several important settlements in Belize, one being in the Cayo district in Spanish Lookout (just outside San Ignacio). After driving and traveling through Belize for a week, you will think you have crossed into another dimension. The area is totally controlled by the local Mennonites looks like a summer in Pennsylvania. Large well tilled farms, long drives to immense, immaculate homes and shiny pick-ups out in front (yes- some of the sects are considered progressive and allow machinery and electricity- see note below).
[box type=”info” style=”rounded”]NOTE: Some stick to the more traditional ways of their ancestors, no electricity or motorized transport (see photo below), while other shun these strict rules and embrace some of the 20th centuries best inventions. One thing is for sure, whether they are a traditional or progressive sect, the sight of them surely feels surreal.[/box]