Placencia is perched at the southern tip of a 16 mile long, slender peninsula. Once an isolated, sleepy fishing outpost, a mile-long concrete sidewalk serves as the main street for Placencia Village. It has the distinction of being the narrowest street in the world in the “Guinness Book of World Records.”
We trade the lush green of the rainforest for the clear blue of the sea. Predominantly Maya in the rainforest the culture here is more Garifuna. The Garifuna are mixed-race descendants of Carib, Arawak and West African people.
America is often described as a melting pot, blending cultures into something homogeneous and indistinguishable. Belize, on the other hand, maintains harmonious distinctions; many cultures co-existing, none replacing the other. The French gelato shop owner holds the baby of the Maya produce stand owner, chatting about how much she has grown, while an expat beach bum bicycles past making his way to the Chinese owned grocery store next to the Garifuna owned barber shop. While this could be any street in any American city the difference that is so striking is that the total population of Belize is just over 300,000. The result is that anyone, of any color and origin, feels at home.