5 Creative Belize Experiences That Will Bring Out the Artist in You

by Gisselle Hernandez

Whether you’re someone who relishes creating something from scratch, or someone who loves learning how an art form is made, Belize is a country that is chockfull of different artistic experiences. It is unique in a way that it both teaches you a new skill while also showcasing the history of its culture. Often described as a melting pot of ethnicities, Belize caters to artists of every kind. From practicing traditional music and weaving baskets to molding ceramic pots, and then cooking something for those very same pots to hold. Even if you’re just an avid enjoyer of these art forms, seeking out how these creations come to be is an extraordinary experience, even more so when you’re contributing to the creation. Here are five distinct activities that are sure to make an artist out of you.

Jippi Jappa Basket Weaving

It is well known that the Maya thrived on crops such as corn, beans, and cocoa so it should be no surprise that they harvested them for other purposes than food. While edible, the Jippi Jappa plant is primarily used for basket weaving in rural Belize. Developed to store food and things of similar importance, these baskets come in various sizes and designs, and can now be used for storing jewelry, mementos, or coins. Offered on a tour in Belize, you will learn how to weave intricate patterns with plant fibers, into a functional item. This encounter will have you acquire a new skill and experience to talk about.

Making Ceramics and Tortillas

Ka’ana Resort in the Cayo District offers many adventures for its guests, but joining the San Antonio Women’s Group for a class in the ceramic making might arguably be the most artistically pleasing one. The class demonstrates the “coil” method used to create these particular pots and then you’ll have a chance to construct one of your own. After this, the women then teach you how traditional tortillas are made by hand.

visit belize pottery San Antonio

Pottery making with the San Antonio Women’s Group. Photo by the Belize Tourism Board.

While your pottery bakes and your lunch is cooked, you’ll have the property to explore and learn the elaborate processes of ceramics kilns and maintaining organic gardens. In the end, you’ll leave with a full belly and an art piece of your own.

Learning to Drum with the Garifuna

A night drumming session at The Lodge at Jaguar Reef. Image via The Belize Collection

If you’re more on the musical side of art, Southern Belize is the place to be. It is the home of the Garifuna, a people that immigrated from the Caribbean to Belize in 1832 and brought along their vibrant culture with them. The Garifuna are celebrated in Belize as a very artistic culture. With their colorful clothing, delicious food, and riveting dances, they capture the attention of anyone. In Hopkins, a quaint little town in the Stann Creek District resides the Warasa Drumming School. Here, you can partake in learning the traditional songs of the Garinagu and even some dances that the women do. It’s an activity that will have you moving to the beat and smiling for hours.

Taking a Chocolate Making Class

Found in the southernmost district of Belize, the Copal Tree Lodge hosts a class that chocolate lovers will be sure to like. The Bean to Bar Chocolate class includes you in the process it takes to make chocolate, from the cocoa seeds to the edible bar itself. You get to visit the cacao nursery and even taste the fresh fruit it gives and then you oversee the procedure it needs to undergo in order to turn into that chocolatey goodness you so like.

christmas giftLastly, an expert will teach you how to mold your own chocolate bar, which you eventually get to take home and enjoy.

Taking a Cocktail Mixology Class at Copal Tree Distillery

To celebrate learning all these artistic skills, you can top it off by signing up for the Mixology class at the Copalli Distillery, part of the Copal Tree Lodge in the Toledo District. Here, you learn the art of merging fresh ingredients with rum and other liquors. This experience teaches you which flavors complement each other, and how local Belizean spirits are one of a kind when it comes to taste. The class also offers you a shot of each Copalli Rum and its signature cocktail in their new Copalli Tasting Room. Be sure to savor it!

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