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Living in Belize

A little known very cool Ambergris Caye souvenir shop


Ambergris Caye is not known as a shoppers paradise and most repeat visitors have ‘seen it all’ when it comes to bringing home vacation gifts for friends and family.

If you want something unique and handmade in Belize that comes with the added benefit of knowing that you are helping a good cause, Holy Cross Sewing  Center is the place for you. This little known but very cool souvenir shop offers a good selection of  wonderful bags, really cute dolls and jewelery. The sewing sisters Mirla, Catalina, Elsa, Aurora and Mayra can also do custom orders and alterations as well.

The Sewing  Center at Holy Cross Anglican School is located in North Ambergris Caye, on the other side of  the Boca Del Rio River. You will see the  Red  Roofed school on the right school as you cross the bridge. Just head towards it and check in at the school office and they will direct to the Sewing Center.

Mary and I took a visit to see the Sewing Sisters this week to drop off a donation from the Kumars and Sew What. The Ladies were happy to show us around and very excited by what we brought.

A bit of back story – I had asked Leisa and Kate if they wanted to chip in with me on a like new sewing machine from the Kumar’s yard sale and when Carolyn found out that is what our plans were, she would not accept any money and said “They were happy to see the machine go to a great cause.” Kate still wanting to help was willing to go through her fantastic fabrics and select some pieces for the Sewing Sisters. When we got to her store for pick up there was a big bag of colorful pieces – perfect for making bags and dolls.

If you would like to help by donating much needed supplies, please see the Sewing Center wishlist is below. You can also contact Holy Cross to check in if the list has been updated and if there are any urgent or specific items needed at the time.

Sewing Center Wish List

holy  cross belize

Souvenir dolls picture courtesy of the Holy Cross School website

  •     Laptop Computer – for accounts and records.  Used in good order is fine.
  •     Cloth cutting scissors
  •     Bright, colorful fabrics that would be great for bags. Heavier fabric like duck cloth is accepted too. Ideally colors that work together. (Please, not your old fabric that’s been lying around since the 70?s that you’re only donating as you cannot think of anything to make from it – we have plenty of that already!)
  •     Webbing – Webbing for the straps on tote bags.  White, black and beige are a good standby, but the ladies also welcome brighter colors that match with fabrics purchased for the bags (for example, red, pink, green).
  •     Zippers – 20inch in a variety of colors as well as 15 inch in grey (for uniforms)
  •     Cotton thread – all colors are fine, but we especially need white and DARK grey – the colors of the school uniform. Note: Uniform fabrics are purchased locally to ensure consistency.
  •     Buttons – all colors. Most needed are dark grey buttons for trousers and most important is white shirt buttons lots of 20+ that match.
  •     Felt in a variety of colors suitable for hair on the dolls in the photo above
  •     Cotton in a variety of skin tone colors for the dolls in the photo above.
  •     Patterns and materials for great ideas for selling to tourists. Note – try to avoid patterns with specialist pieces – they can be hard to get here!
holy cross sewing center

3 of the 5 Sewing Sisters

belize sewing center

These cute colorful handmade dolls make a great gift

belize cratfs

Sewing Sisters handmade jewelery

belize souvenirs

Beads used to make the jewelery

belize shopping

Large variety of stylish and sturdy bags

shopping in belize

Very reasonable pricing especially for custom orders

A bit more on Sew What: Located on back street in downtown San Pedro. this is the place to go for high quality custom sewing work. They offer a wide range of sewing services including interior furnishings, furniture cushions, boat cushions, canvas work, re-upholstery, indoor/outdoor  weather shades, golf cart covers for rainy season, lounge chair cushions and  more. You can choose from a a wide selection of fabric on site or bring your own. If you have any questions or would like a quote please contact  contact Kate Vincent at 226-4255 or email: kateinbelize@yahoo.com. Opening Hours are 8:00 am to 12:00 noon and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm Monday to Saturday.

sew what san pedro belize

Large selection of fabric

sewing center belize

This is where the magic happens

fabric choices at sew what store downtown belize

For those who like a bit more flare to their fabrics


  1. tacogirl October 5, 2013

    Wonderful Liza, thanks for helping 🙂

  2. Liza October 5, 2013

    I am gathering for the wish list. 😉

  3. tacogirl October 5, 2013

    I can always mail you a doll anytime Emily. Her roller shades are great my friend Dick had one made for his sun porch and Kate did an amazing job on it.

  4. Emily October 5, 2013

    How cool! Wish I’d known about the Sewing Sisters when we were on the island. The dolls are adorable! And we can vouch for Sew What! as we had some excellent roller shades made by Kate. They do great work there.


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