Then came the day in April 2003 when I traveled with my Church to San Ignacio, Belize to do healing work. We settled ourselves into Cahal Pech Village Resort, and the journey began.
I was astounded by the breathtaking mountains and the ever so hospitable Belizeans. It also amazed me to be in Central America and the primary language was English!! When I got back to Florida, I could not take my mind off the trip. The very positive energy generated from the journey continued to resonate in my heart and mind.
But, as I came to understand, that energy didn't come from the workshop. It was the energy generated by being in Belize itself! There is no other way to put it -- Belize just kept calling me back. The feel of it and the memory of it was in everything I did. So I decided to return with a friend in October 2003. We traveled throughout the country but seemed to find a special call to San Ignacio, so we ended our stay there. The whole trip was wonderful and excited me. My feelings about Belize did not change, only increased ----- so I took a chance on life. It was one of those transcending moments that you look back on. I knew it was Belize for me!
When I returned home to Florida, I told my children that when the last one graduated, I was moving to Belize! To my amazement, my daughter, Chiara, who was 15 at the time, said, "I have a feeling we are supposed to be there now."
Well, being ever the practical mother, I asked her to please do research on Belize, to see if anything she uncovered might change her feelings. She did this and remained steadfast in her resolve to go to Belize. So I didn't wait. I sold our family home, packed up our containers and took them to the shipping yard in Florida. With our 2 dogs in tow, we boarded the plane to Belize and have never looked back.
We, the mother and daughter, lived at the Cahal Pech Resort for awhile, becoming familiar with our new town and the community that would become home. Chiara immediately started school here - and was amazed that her uniform went down past her knees. Ah, the changes she went through!
Her big thing was that she had to find Dr. Pepper to drink. (!) So, while I was out getting her lunch at one point, I actually found it. I was then able to work out a deal for the vendor to bring a supply into Belize, special for her. That was it --- she was solidly sold on Belize! Never underestimate the determination of a mother!
Indeed, we were here less than 10 days and Chiara decided, like me, that Belize was home.
I've been very fortunate in how I quickly became very involved in my new community here. Since coming to Belize, I've had the privilege of hosting a weekly TV show which provides biographies of Belizeans’ lives.
This is a wonderful opportunity for our locals to get their wisdom and history of Belize known and into the record books. While hosting this TV show, I was then asked to be "the voice" on the Smart cell phones for automated replies.
I was also asked to be the fitness coach and team medic for the Cayo Avengers semi pro men’s football (soccer) team. This is an interesting aspect of Belize, as "football" is the life blood of locals here.
Through this experience, I have had the opportunity to travel and visit all over Belize. It was interesting to see folks' reactions to a woman on the field! I am very appreciative for all the support given to me in this role. In addition -- and lucky for me -- it was like I got to be Mom to a whole team of great guys and also be their number one cheerleader! This has been a greatly rewarding experience.
Shortly after settling in, we began our search for a home to buy. This was an eye opener as we were surprised and disappointed with the lackluster quality of salesmanship amongst most of the real estate agencies. In addition, we discovered the agents here were neither licensed nor trained.
| ||That's when I decided to open up my business, Rainforest Realty. I came to Belize as a Director of my church -- but the opportunity presented itself, the timing was right, and I decided to offer my vast experience in real estate to the public. My emphasis was to be total integrity, service and southern charm! |
Recognizing I had an uphill battle in this endeavor -- not only as a newcomer but a female in a Latin American culture, I knew I needed to approach the "right people" for help and training. I give thanks daily to the (Lands Dept who did you go to) for their excellent training and support.
Then I was up and running. To this day, I assist the Lands Department in clearing up title work and work with others to help with offshore banking, financing, incorporations. I help just about anyone who walks through the office door with a legitimate issue.
My agency, Rainforest Realty, now has a colorful office on Benque Viejo Road in San Ignacio. Locals and tourists are most welcome and come and go all day with questions, homes, businesses and land to sale, and properties to buy.
This was followed by the United States' National Association of Realtors® recognizing our Belizean delegation's efforts to create a professional organization across the country of Belize. This is a great historic event for Belize. It brings to our country a whole new level of confidence in investing by locals and foreigners.
|I have three young Belizeans training and working as Realtors® who have either come from another firm or from another occupation to work for Rainforest Realty. They know they'll get the best experience and have the best reputation in the marketplace here. |
Now fast forward to four years later in November 2007. Those years reflect a tremendous amount of work by many dedicated people. The outcome is I had the honor to become the first President of the Belize National Association of Realtors® (BNAR).
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I take great pride in saying that Belize is a truly amazing country where one can move, live your life, and become one with the community with a lateral move (not sure what this means i.e. lateral move, what are you saying here).
As Americans moving to Belize, we were always welcomed with open and inviting arms. With that said, I invite you to come see for yourself WHAT BELIZE IS ALL ABOUT!
Rev. Macarena Rose