I am definitely a girl who thinks outside the box on a lot of things. Souvenirs are no exception. I once bought a pocket-sized combo retractable box cutter and hack saw in Cancun Mexico for a souvenir. It was used for years and a great trip memory. Another time I got a large backgammon game at Liverpool Department store on a Playa Del Carmen vacation. While that one took up a lot of room in my suitcase, it was worth making space for. The hours of fun playing with my friends in Belize long outshined the fun vacation memory attached to that souvenir.
San Ignacio Belize Souvenirs
When I was traveling in San Ignacio recently, (twice) with my (then) temporary Canadian roommate Heather, I decided on some unique souvenirs. Aside from outside the box I also like practical.
1. My first San Ignacio souvenir I found randomly while I was on my way to the computer store GS-com near our vacation rental apartment. When I rounded the corner, I got stopped in my tracks by The Finishing Touch tile store. As soon as I saw their outside display, I just knew that this was my lucky day to find sheets of individual square multi-tiles I had been looking for. I was right. After pouring over all the color samples trying to decide, the shop made it easy. They brought out two big paper backed squares, one green tile, and one blue. Those were my choices if I was not buying a case. I took both. They were about $16.00 a sheet. Much better priced than the $100 (132 squares per sheet) pool grade ones I found on Ambergris Caye.
Below is the place we stayed (ground floor). We got lucky last minute and were able to squeak in a couple of nights before it was booked. It was a nice being in a local spot versus a hotel, gave us a taste of what living there would be like. It was a two bedroom with kitchen, living room and a covered backyard seating area. Fortunate choice too as it led to us meeting a great taxi hook up on our street.
2. Next came another very practical and a bit strange souvenir. It was also a pay it forward one, – crutch caps. I had borrowed crutches from Jason of Wayo’s beach bar, (Heather injured her foot) and they had needed some tlc. Aside from beefing them up for her, we both agreed an extra cap was a good souvenir for whoever got the crutches next (turned out Jason again). A total Bargain at $2.50 a piece. Should you ever find yourself in Belize and needing crutches, Codds Pharmacy sells them and spare caps. The second picture below of the pharmacy was taken by our cab driver Nestor. He is a great reasonably priced option and he uses whats app – +501 625-1017. We used him the whole time for both our trips.
San Ignacio Market
3. I knew this would be a good place to find a healthy souvenier. As we walked around taking colorful pictures, I was instantly drawn to the spice table. More specifically a giant bag of Moringa seeds. For those of you who do not know, moringa is a locally grown superfood. The leaves are very nutritious as are the seeds.
Moringa seeds (peel and eat) contain amino acids, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties. For vitamins and minerals, they offer C, potassium, A, B1, magnesium, and zinc. I got a great deal at for $5.00 for a small bag – about 40 seeds. On Ambergris Caye I have found them for the same price for about 6 or so seeds.
4. The last healthy souvenir was actually given to Heather, all-natural cacao balls made in San Pedro, Columbia Belize. As soon as we got back to our own kitchen, we started to enjoy it in my special blend coffee, banana peanut butter, and hemp protein. Absolutely yummy. Cacao is also a great superfood loaded with antioxidants. They are also high in calcium, zinc iron, and magnesium. Unfortunately for Heather, she accidentally left it in my fridge. Fortunately for my other friend Dennis, I had enough to share.
Abidas, Heather’s friend whose family makes it, was the one who actually found our cab driver Nestor when she came to visit. She and her boyfriend were on their way out and they knew we needed to score a ride to dinner. So when they saw Nestor dropping off his daughter at her grandma’s house next door to our apartment, she sent him our way.
In case you are wondering here is what cacao looks like on the tree. Both Cacao pictures courtesy of Abidas Ash.
I will leave you with a Tropic Air flight air shot. It always amazes me when flying in Belize just how undeveloped land there is in the 8867 square miles that make up our country.