Independence Day

Happy Birthday, Belize! Only 35 and still celebrating like a youngster!

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Belize Independence Day Parade, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, celebrating the 35th year as an independent nation.
Belize Independence Day Parade, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, celebrating the 35th year as an independent nation.

To me this picture says everything you need to know about Belize on Independence Day. The country is young, vibrant, ambitious — you’d have to be to wear a rig this bountiful on a day this hot!  It is no accident that this costume reflects the natural blues and greens of the foliage and Caribbean Sea in the background.

San Pedro’s Jump Up parade completely lacks the gravitas of nations with long histories of war and loss. The country’s one significant battle for independence is celebrated on Sept. 10, The Battle for St. George’s Caye, and even that seems to be receding into the realm of legend.

The 21st is given over to celebrating the people of Belize with sensuous dance, loud music, outrageously stunning costumes and a joviality that just shouts “Damn! It is good to be in Belize!” Read the rest of this entry »

More photos from the Independence Day Jump Up Parade in San Pedro, Belize

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Happy 33rd Birthday, Belize!
Happy 33rd Birthday, Belize!

Just like the parade, the images keep on coming.

The Jump Up Parade — anyone care to venture why it is called that? — is such a joyful and colorful Independence Day celebration, I couldn’t stop taking pictures.

Well, yes, I could. Read the rest of this entry »

A Belize Independence Day parade that marches to the beat of many different drummers

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Let the parade begin! The long, slow departure from the Boca del Rio staging area began promptly at 1 p.m. but as in any parade, it is the journey, not the destination that matters. (What ever that might mean in this context ...)
Let the parade begin! The long, slow departure from the Boca del Rio staging area began promptly at 1 p.m. but as in any parade, it is the journey, not the destination that matters. (What ever that might mean in this context …)

San Pedro celebrated the 33rd year of Belize independence with a good old fashioned Jump Up Parade that included a band, lots of marching groups, trucks loaded with two-story high sound systems that pumped out crazy dance beats, floats, a beauty queen, gaily decorated golf carts and children by the dozens.

The parade started promptly at 1 p.m. and don’t think that its promptness didn’t have plenty of wags wagging their tongues.

Nothing ever starts on time in Belize?

Well, this parade did. Read the rest of this entry »

Belize emerges from the darkness to celebrate birth as a nation

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Rose and I were all set last night to head down to Central Park in San Pedro Town for the launch of Independence Day celebrations — music, dance, speeches and the best fireworks in all of Belize.

Then the lights went out.

Not just our lights. All of Belize.

And probably parts of Guatemala and Mexico too.

You’ve not experienced darkness until your whole nation goes dark. Read the rest of this entry »