Where The Streets Have No Names
Belize is stereotyped as a beach resort vacation destination. Those of us on the Brentwood Service Trip, however, saw the realities that most of the Belizeans had to deal with. San Antonio, the village that we stayed in, had a population of 1400 people and only two of the roads had names. Its citizens, however, were constantly surrounded by a sense of community and family, so much so that the homes didn’t have numbers on them. Everyone knew everyone.
Each person in San Antonio had purpose; they all had a job that contributed to the village. There was the pork and chicken lady, who had 300 chickens and 40 pigs in her backyard. I stayed in the home of the seamstress and each day people would come and go through her home dropping off pants to be hemmed or needing a dress for a special occasion.
In the village, there was a sense of family like no other. Mothers and fathers, brothers, sisters, and cousins all lived a quick saunter down the dusty road. In my homestay, we would sometimes go over to my host’s sister’s home to have dinner with their family where they cooked the most delicious feasts for us and raised their baby girls right next to each other.
One of my favourite things that we experienced was walking through the village at night and hearing many of the houses that were blasting their music. Inside these houses, families were dancing together while doing their day-to-day activities.
The sense of community and place that we felt in Belize was amazing because the people were happier there than a large percentage of those of us who are trapped in the isolating cycle of technology. One thing that we all have taken away from our Central American adventure is that we should all notice the people that truly make us happy, and appreciate them.
Annika M, Alex ‘21