What Makes Living in Belize the right choice – Part II
In my last blog, I began outlining all of the reasons why I decided to move to Belize. This blog continues with more very compelling reasons:
Lifestyle – This was probably the hardest choice I had to face. One can choose the mainland of Belize, which has many beautiful regions and villages to offer. You can live next to rivers, rainforests, or ruins in a rural or small town atmosphere. Conversely, if you choose one the many cayes, such as Ambergris Caye and the town of San
Pedro, it is quite literally like being inside a post card. There you have turquoise blue waters, white sand beaches, swaying palm trees, close proximity to the Barrier Reef, where almost any water sport you can imagine is available, and incredible resorts and restaurants. What a dilemma, huh?
Climate – Of course, living in the Caribbean means the weather is gorgeous mostly year round. Temperatures stay in the high 70’s to mid 80’s fairly consistently. June through October are technically hurricane season, and you can have lots of rain and wind, but still, it doesn’t get freezing cold, or snow, like in the States.
Moving somewhere that had the threat of hurricanes didn’t really bother me, since I came from the Earthquake capital of the world (California, USA). The nice thing about a hurricane is you have ample warning and can plan ahead, a luxury you do not get with an earthquake!
Access to Good Medical Facilities – This was extremely important to me. Every village or town in Belize has a local doctor or two either right in the village or one village over. These doctors are quite competent and capable for everyday illness and injuries. There are also a lot of pharmacies available, so getting your prescriptions filled is not generally a problem.
If you find yourself with a major illness or in need of surgery, then you can head to Belize City on the mainland and go to the major hospital there, or you can go to Chetumal in Mexico where there are many, many fine doctors. Or, if you prefer, you can travel back to your home country and see a physician there too. Houston, Texas, is only a 2 1/2 hour flight from Belize City.
There are many options if you become ill, and I felt quite confident after speaking with locals, as well as expats, that should a medical situation arise, I would be able to get the proper care.
In Part III, I’ll wrap up and reveal the final reasons why I chose this alluring country to call home. Are you feeling like you might want to do the same?
Sharon Hiebing is an American Expat living in San Ignacio Town, Belize. She is the founder of Wealth Ships’ and offers Expat Relocation Consulting Services via email, phone and one-to-one at affordable rates. She also owns the only property management company in Western Belize, Red Roof Property Management. She has written two ebooks , writes a weekly blog, and posts tidbits daily about her life and work on Facebook. She’d love it if you came and got to know her.
7 thoughts on “What Makes Living in Belize the right choice – Part II”
Nice to see you again Remo. Great idea on the â€œmedical accountâ€ – shoot me an email anytime re Canada advice.
For the ones that do not know I was born in Belize and lived about 9 years in Canada before returning back to Belize in 2005.
Concerning medical care, if you have the money go PRIVATE and not public. If you can help it please do not go to public doctors in my opinion.
Growing up in Belize my family has always had a “medical account” whereby you keep depositing lump sums into it and NEVER touching it except in cases of medical emergencies. Let it grow and collect interest.
You may ask why? Because advance medical care means traveling either to Guatemala, Mexico or in my case the USA for medical treatments. Back in the 80’s and before medical insurance was not common in Belize and you needed the so called “medical account” for medical emergencies to travel abroad. Well, the smart ones did that anyway:)
As for Cuban doctors, you heard the joke, what do you call a med student who graduates at the bottom of his class? Answer: DOCTOR!! hahaha!!
I spoke with a couple from Cuba (husband and wife doctor team) and the husband told me that Cuba keeps the creme of the crop (doctors) home in Cuba and the not so great ones they send abroad.
Why is that so? Probably, because a HIGH percentage of Cuban doctors defect while abroad and never return home. So why send all your talent abroad right? How many will return if ever?
With that said, they are very good Cuban doctors in Belize but its like rolling the dice eh?
As for me, I have a very talented Guatemalan family doctor that works at Belize Health Care Partners ltd.
Have to go now…..
Laurie how are you? long time no talk eh? I have been traveling a lot the past year because I am thinking of moving back to Canada again. Long story and I will explain in emails and may need some advice if you would be so kind?
How do know I don’t like to yank your chain Laurie ? 🙂 (most of the time). I worked with a Cuban doc back in ’06. (before he f…..d up ) Did you know that they do not need a pre med degree? And they have dated texts and poor equipment. Fine for a sore throat but if your appendix flares get your butt to Chetumal. ASAP. Trust me :))
Al, you’re right – I should have mentioned Merida in this post. My ex got shoulder surgery there, and I blogged about it on my website – they are a great option for surgery. Never met a Cuban doctor while being here, and I’ve seen a lot!
And I would never underestimate hurricanes – all I said was they didn’t scare me off from moving to Belize.
We have a good Cuban doctor on island Al. You are sure not a big fan of San Pedro lol.
On medical care in Belize of which I am an expert having provided medical care there at one time I would say that the above is largely true. But you must not use the public sector which has inept Cuban physicians. A private MD visit only cost 50$ . Do not have surgery except at Belize Medical Associates. Have evacuation insurance. Advanced medical care means Guatemala City or Merida. They are on par with USA/Canada. Do not underestimate hurricanes . Dean tore my yard and palapa up and flung trees 6” from my car. The house should be a concrete bunker which mine is. Finally as Laurie knows I don’t think San Pedro is Belize. Could be Cozumel. Just happens to belong to to Belize. Cayo is as is Hopkins or Corozal. That’s it.
Thanks for the guest blog spot, Laurie – I hope your readers are getting some valuable information. Take care!
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