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Blue Creek Village


Getting Here | Accommodations | Area Attractions
Activities | Local Flavor | Find a Tour Guide

Mennonite settlements do not generally attract tourists, but Blue Creek has modernized that common perception. Visitors to Blue Creek sometimes rub their eyes in disbelief that they are actually still in Belize. Supporting the border-to-border diversity found throughout Belize, Blue Creek fascinates curious travelers keen to experience a lifestyle (almost definitely) different from their own.

Like all Mennonite settlements, Blue Creek still retains its highly religious roots. Groups of families originally came from Canada and Mexico in 1960. The Old Colony Church monopolized the religious activity of the community until 1966, when it disbanded and its devotees scattered throughout Central and South America. Over half of the community's 400 residents now belong to the Evangelical Mennonite Missionary Church, while the remainder has joined the more conservative Kleine Gemeinde.

The Mennonite lifestyle is fundamentally pure and simple. Each family has a few acres of pasture. Most speak an archaic form of lowland German and wear conservative clothing to cover their conspicuous pale skin and blonde hair. Girls marry young and cover their heads after they are baptized at age 16 or 17. Wholesome food takes on a new meaning in this preservative-free community. Their diet consists mostly of potatoes, chicken, eggs, cheese, fruit, and freshly baked bread. Most Mennonite communities support their own rigorous school system and elect a new leader every three years. The Belize Government has given the Mennonites a certain degree of autonomy since their settlement in the country.

The majority of the villagers earn an income from carpentry, cattle ranching, or agriculture. All Belizeans are familiar with the uncanny ingenuity of the Mennonites. To acquire electrical power, the residents of Blue Creek dammed the Rio Bravo and cut a channel to provide water for a small hydroelectric dam. Still, they lacked the equipment needed to regulate the flow of water. When a cargo plane crashed at the International Airport, the Mennonites purchased the wreck and converted its fuselage into a barn and used its hydraulic gear to control the flow of water-voila! Electricity.


Getting Here

Blue Creek Village is located about an hour by road from Orange Walk Town or approximately half way to the Maya site of Lamanai (by road). From Orange Walk, turn by the Fire Station and travel towards San Felipe Village (pass Yo Creek). At the village of San Felipe, turn right onto the well-paved, 10-mile road to Blue Creek. It is also possible to take the bus to San Felipe and hitch a ride up to Blue Creek Village.


Accommodations

Click here to find Belize Explorer accommodations in Blue Creek Village.

There is one restaurant in the village serving up traditional Mennonite and Belizean meals.


Area Attractions

Check out the interactive map for a complete list of area attractions

Rio Bravo Conservation Area: Thanks to the foresight and management of the Programme for Belize, the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area, a 250,000-acre tract of subtropical broadleaf forest, has become a national example of sustained forestry development and conservation. The Programme for Belize is a private, non-profit, Belize-based organization dedicated to the preservation and management of Belize's natural resources, namely the Rio Bravo area. Programme for Belize hopes to eventually incorporate the nearby Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala and Mexico's Calakmul Biosphere Reserve in a tri-national "Maya Peace Park".


Activities

Canoe trips down the Rio Bravo, boat rides in the Rio Hondo, and trips to the ancient Mayan city of Lamanai can all be done in a day with the direction of a local guide.

Farming Activities: Because agriculture plays an integral role in the economy of the region, many activities cater to this expertise. Horseback riding, cattle round ups, and ranch tours showcase this Mennonite proficiency.

Visit Maya Sites: Mennonites of Blue Creek share their land with a rich ancient Mayan past. Excavations of the nearby Blue Creek ruins have uncovered a city inhabited during the Middle Preclassic period. Blue Creek was apparently a nucleated village engaged in complex communal rituals and intense trade. Fragments of jade, coral, obsidian and a number of marine shells have been found throughout the region.

Local Flavor

The people of Orange Walk District are extremely friendly and helpful. Check out some of the local talent and interesting people in the area and if you meet more along the way, drop us a line so that we can include them in this section.

Musicians & Artists | Interesting People



Orange Walk District:  Orange Walk Town | Blue Creek Village





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