Unfortunately when there is economic hardship anywhere in the world there is a higher potential for crime. Belize crime happens, and low season on Ambergris Caye is no exception. Although for many, low season is now as slow as it has been in the past, there is still a decrease in cash flow on the island and sadly this can result in more petty crime.
This post is a reminder to both locals and tourists to be smart.
Tips for Surviving low season on Ambergris Caye
- For those on vacation, do not bother with flashy jewelery. After all, you are on a beach vacation and it is nice to go simple once in a while. At night do not bring out more than you need cash wise, and do not flash a large wad around – I have seen people do it. Do not walk the beach at night alone (We do the odd time but only on special occasions and in a larger group).
- For new businesses, during high season try to put your business a few months in advance (cash flow wise). This way if things get a little tight during low season, you will be able to handle it easily. Not the best idea to double your drink prices at the start of low season.
- For those of us that live here, it is important pay attention and be vigilant. When you notice things in your neighborhood, do not just keep it to yourself – tell your neighbors and neighborhood watch group. Take pictures if you see something not quite right, if that includes a person in the picture be cautious and put your safety first.
- For anyone anywhere, separate your cash when going out at night. If you find yourself in a situation where someone wants your money, you can pull $20 out and say you were going to the store for eggs and bread and that is all you have – or what ever is appropriate to say depending on where you are.
A good example of something that might be not quite right; I noticed that someone had clear cut a path from the canal to the road in the empty lot that sits between us. I alerted our neighborhood watch internet group and put out a call for help to find out who owns the lot. My first thought was it was possibly done by someone who wanted to gain easy access between the lagoon canal and road.
Here is a visual for tip #3: The pictures below show foot prints in my friends backyard of someone who did not belong there. This person was clearly scoping out my friends belongings. We have no doubt that if needed the pictures would have been able to identify the person from the size and shape of his big toe. Thankfully nothing was missing.