Hopkins has stunning Caribbean views, delicious lobster caught daily, and a balmy sea breezes – but our favorite part of this trip has been the people we’ve met. By staying a month in a house – rather than a resort – we have had to live like a local. And we have loved it.
On my work days, Frank says his “job” is to take the golf cart and run around town.
- He stops at the local gym (owned by the same people who own Lucky Lobster) for coffee, which they have flown in from Guatemala.
- He runs to the Chinese market for any groceries we need.
- And he checks in on our property manager Janette (pictured below). She runs a trading post of sorts, where everyone in town gathers at some point during the day. Her refrigerator is stocked with beer and wine – you just grab what you want and write your name in the book. Around 5 o’clock, the community starts gathering on the picnic tables for drinks to talk about their day.
We also have a whole crew helping us. Gregorio rakes the beach – he has 15 kids, and his wife makes beautiful hand-sewn bracelets and headbands (we bought a few).
Alex and Franz work with Janette and do a little bit of everything. They live at Maya Center, which is where the chocolate factory was (their brother has the chocolate farm!). Their dad is a pastor and they have a gospel band. To thank them, we asked them out to lunch and let them choose the place. They chose the new Chinese restaurant in town. How is that for a unique experience? Chinese food in Central America with the family of a Mayan chocolate farmer! We had a great time.
And Alicia helps with our house –s he is a bundle of energy, and we’ve enjoyed getting to know her. Her husband is an amazing gardener and sends different tropical flowers each week.
We took her family to dinner at Lucky Lobster – so fun to meet her husband (from El Salvador) and 14-year old son. We learned that there is a local primary school in Hopkins and also Sittee River (we are in between the two), but students must go to high school in Dangriga, about an hour away. Alicia’s son likes math and wants to go into the tourism industry he thinks.
And our first friend in Belize was Adam, who drove us here and introduced us around. He is from South Africa and moved here with his sister to start a business transferring tourists. He bought a lot of land right outside Hopkins and is building it up. His sister makes really delicious Indian samosas, which she sells at Janette’s outpost. We buy them every Thursday. We told Adam how good they were, and he delivered a whole bag of them as a good-bye gift.
Hopkins has gotten into our hearts – we are going to really miss this place!