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Maya Village Homestay Network

Punta Gorda Town, Toledo

Hotel Description
Do you ever pass the small, thatched roof houses dotting sides of the highways and wish you could meet the families who live there? The mission of this program is to provide just that chance by connecting persons desiring to share life and learn from the traditional way of life lived by the Mayans. Visitors on this cultural exchange program will sleep in the same house with the family, share meals and chores around the house. The experiences may also include harvesting corn or working in the fields (for the men) or grinding the corn, killing chickens, making tortillas or doing laundry in the creek (for the women). The visitor is treated as part of an extended family, an aunt, cousin or uncle, not as anyone "special". Living conditions are simple and there is not much privacy. Meals are the same as the family eats everyday which is definitely corn tortilla at each meal along with eggs, beans and hot pepper or sometimes game meat. The experience is not for everyone and there are a variety of programs to meet the interests of visitors. One thing is for sure, participants will have an unforgettable experience and stories to tell!

History & Owners
The program began in the early 1990?s as Alfredo and Yvonne Villoria worked with local villages to create a grass-roots homestay program. While they help to market the program and work with visitors, each of the three active villages (Aguacate, Na Luum Ca and San Jose) has a coordinator who works with participating families in the villages. Currently there are approximately 20 families participating in the program. The registration fee that is paid for the program benefits the entire village, not just the families participating.

Amenities

Laundry ServiceMeals Available
Snack/Gift ShopChildren Allowed

Tours

Can ArrangeReferences Provided

Languages Spoken

EnglishSpanish
Mopan MayaKekchi Maya

Location & Directions
80 Main St. #3, Punta Gorda Town
Dem Dats Doin?, the main office for the homestay program, is located at #53 Main Middle Street. From the central park go north for 3 blocks. The office is located up the street from St. Charles Inn and across from Earth Runnings. Alfredo and Yvonne Villoria come to town on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and can be found at the office between 6:30 and 11:30 am. They can discuss the program further with you and get you to the right place.

The three villages currently doing homestay programs are Aguacate, San Jose and Na Luum Ca. After arriving in Punta Gorda, transportation to these villages is by the local village buses that operate only on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and depart from PG between 11:30 am and 12 noon. This is very important when planning your trip. The villages are remote and it is difficult (and costly) to hire a taxi. There are now a few independent rental car agencies in Punta Gorda but the most economical way to get to the villages is by bus.

Local Flavor

Recipes:
Caldo
Caldo with Corn Tortillas
Chicken Escabeche with Corn Tortillas
Chocolate Drink (Local)
Cohune Cabbage with Corn Tortillas

Music, Art & Interesting People:

Alfredo & Yvonne Villoria
Interesting Person - Interesting Character
Originally from Hawaii, USA, the Villorias relocated to Belize many years ago. They run a small organic seed company, have a small botanical garden, coordinate the Maya Village Homestay Network, help with TASTE (Toledo Association for Sustainable Tourism and Environment) as well as many other activities that benefit others.



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Name: Yvonne Villoria
Email: demdatsdoin@btl.net
Telephone: 501-722-2470
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 73
Punta Gorda Town
Toledo District



  • A unique & unforgettable experience
  • Supports villages and families
  • Allows close interaction with indigenous people

Price Range in US $
Less than $30
Type of Payments Accepted
Cash
Reservations
By phone or email
# of Units
13 - 25
Can Accommodate
20 Guests


  • Prices: Lodging- US $6/night plus tax
  • Meals - US $2.50 each
  • Registration Fee: US $5/per person per village. This is a one-time fee that goes to develop the village.
  • Coordination Fee: US $2/person. This is a one time administrative fee.
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