Update from Placencia, Belize – Restrictions loosening in-country, possible July airport opening?

Thank you again to Randy for the update on the experience of this crisis in Placencia. Although Belize is a small country, the impacts have been SO different in each area…..I (Laura) will be keeping you updated about Ambergris Caye, and Randy is holding down the fort in Placencia. (HERE yesterday – with some info about why I moved here!….. and HERE is one from about a week ago, this one explains the VERY different personalities of the popular areas throughout the country – hope this helps you in your search for your next perfect Belize itinerary! – these are a couple videos that I have recently posted on the International Living page, that can hopefully better explain the recent experiences on the island)….

Just today, the Prime Minister came out with the latest news. We are now allowed to SWIM! This was a big deal and something VERY missed here. Restaurants are allowed to open to “eat-in” customers, and hotels are allowed to open to in-country guests. A BIT of the alcohol law was lifted but you are only able to have alcohol when ordering food. There are still limits – no local food stands, still have to wear masks, and of course – all the safety precautions that the rest of the world is following (social distancing, sanitization, etc) must all be followed at all establishments. The biggest news we have been all waiting for – when is the international airport going to open?? The PM said that he is working hard to make this happen by July – but a lot depends on the news out of the US – and the availability of rapid testing to ensure that no one is traveling with the virus. We will keep you updated as we get more info!
I also want to take this opportunity to acknowledge that we are super proud of Belize – NO ONE would have guessed that this tiny country would have been the last in the Americas to have the first positive case, and this week, it was announced that they are the first in the Americas to have NO positive cases in the country at this time. We all know that things can change quickly in this weird time – but for this country to have this success over the first 60 days has us all in wonderment, and extremely proud!
PUR Boutique Cabanas will be opening today – YAY! Lots of limits, but a step in the right direction!
PUR
And on to Randy’s Update!!!
The world is slowly awakening from it’s induced slumber. COVID 19 is still a very real threat everywhere, and we here in Belize have been weathering the storm in unison with the rest of the world. Hopefully today we will learn if our Draconian laws and regulations may be lifted a little, as the Prime Minister makes his press conference later this afternoon.What is life like now down in Placencia? Much remains the same in our little hamlet by the sea. People are generally still smiling and optimistic as before, but there happens to be a weathered varnish that now accompanies each expression. Having been raised and spent the majority of my life in the United States, life was easily taken for granted. So much of this new chapter of my life has been focusing on what Belizeans already knew. Less is More, which is part of the charm and ironic freedom of being in Belize. When the curfew law was mandated 6 weeks ago, I thought it would drive everyone insane. But as humans do, we adapt and continue on. It will be interesting to see the cultural shift that occurs when our “night ban” is lifted. So when we can go out after 8 pm without fear of being arrested, what is everyone going to do? Besides storming the doors of Barefoot like they were that of Versaille, the village will still remain quiet, charming, and inspiring. The Caribbean has been so serene every morning. The biggest shift in the water is the wonderful lack of plastic! The breeze lazily wafts towards my veranda, through my open windows carrying a smell of warm sand, lemongrass, and fresh mango.

Tutti Fruit has reopened along with a handful of other village favorites. The shops are now staying open later than before. We often joke down here in Belize that life is just like the film Groundhog Day. Every day is exactly the same as the previous one. Thankfully we have Mother Nature to remind us that summer is upon us. The winds have shifted bringing their much needed Tropical rainstorms every night. And the humidity has returned as it does every year in May and June.

For those who have yet to come down to Placencia, rest assured that all will be as wonderful and dreamy as it was prior to this medical hiatus. Perhaps it’s living as our ancestors did 100 years ago. We are still connected, but with a distance that cannot be breached. I’ll never forget taking my first trip to Europe in high school and having to call collect from a payphone in Paris to talk to my family back home. That very idea would have sounded so antiquated and laborious two months ago. Now things changed. How things have changed.

The kids are still all being homeschooled, with one month to go before they are out for the summer. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Funny how this saying can apply to all of us now at the moment in which we live. Placencia has changed so much by having so little open with very limited options. But didn’t we have that, to begin with? So life is still beautiful down here. It’s still as mystifying as ever. The peace and quiet are like nothing I have ever heard before. Get down here as soon as you can. I implore every one of you to come and bear witness to what I have been so lucky to have experienced first hand every day for the past two years.

Thank you Randy!
I always like to close with images from Placencia – I feel like sometimes we repeat some of our favorite images…but they never, ever get old 🙂 We are all waiting with open arms to have you all back here (safely) asap!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Laura Diffendal

Laura and her husband David purchased a half acre on the Caribbean Sea in 2014, in Placencia, Belize. They have built their own version of paradise, and they now operate the only boutique, adults-only microresort, walking distance to everything in the village. Caribbean Beach Cabanas was rated the 2017 Small Hotel of the Year by the Belize Tourism Board, and was featured on HGTV's Beachfront Bargain Hunt. You can visit their site at www.caribbeanbeachcabanas.com. In April of 2018, they opened their second boutique hotel, www.purboutiquecabanas.com, in Ambergris Caye!

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