Well-Deserved Belize Vacation Awaits Belizean Native #56 After Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Super Bowl Win

by Carolee Chanona
Belizean Beast Rakeem Roches belize Tampa bay buccaneers Super Bowl win

Rakeem Nuñez-Roches isn’t the first Buccaneers name fans think of. However, his defense as #56 definitely made the job easier for Brady and company to focus on doing what needed to be done on the other side of the field. And now, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are Super Bowl LV champions after completing a victory that exceeded expectations and made all kinds of history on Sunday night at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Not to mention, the Buccaneers’ win also made history in Belize: Rakeem is the first drafted Belizean to make it to the Super Bowl. In dominating his former team, the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9, the Bucs won their second Super Bowl and became the first team to win a Super Bowl in their home stadium. That’s exactly why the Belize Tourism Board jumped on the opportunity to extend a well-deserved Belize vacation to defensive lineman Rakeem Nuñez-Roches (and even Tom Brady!) on their expense!

Who is the Belizean-native Rakeem Nuñez-Roches?

But who is Rakeem Nuñez-Roches? Or as the locker room nickname stuck, The Nacho? Coincidentally, Nuñez-Roches actually entered the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs, reports Pro-Football-Reference. After three years in Kansas being ceremoniously cut and re-signed several times, Nuñez-Roches found a new home in Tampa Bay with the Buccaneers.

The native of southern Belize’s Dangriga town, Nuñez-Roches appeared in all 16 regular season games this season with 11 starts. Additionally, he totaled 20 tackles (seven solo) with three quarterback hurries. This is the third year for Belizean Nuñez-Roches with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, after spending the three previous seasons with this weekend’s opponent, Kansas City. Now, he’s celebrating a historical win against his former team in Super Bowl 55.

Fishing Offshore, Visiting His Family’s Home Town, and Nachos by the Caribbean Sea perhaps?

Lebeha Drumming Center Garifuna

Lebeha Drumming Center. Photo by Hopkins Uncut

Rakeem Nuñez-Roches recounts fishing and family time as his favorite ways to spend the off-season, which fits Belize perfectly! The southern coast beckons precious memories, while building new ones; Rakeem is proud of his Garifuna and Belizean heritage. How about taking it easy in Rakeem’s hometown of Dangriga? Especially suitable for road-trip ready travelers, the strikingly scenic Maya Mountain mastiffs of the Hummingbird Highway winds between rows of citrus orchards and brightly-colored bags of banana plantations before leading to Dangriga.

Related: 6 Incredible Waterfalls to Explore in Southern Belize

Known as the culture capital of the country, Dangriga is a proud and festive town, making the most of its vibrant Garifuna heritage. Love culture, and not crowds? Despite being the largest town in Southern Belize, Dangriga’s unpretentious coastal vibe and cultural sights are akin to the quintessentially laidback ‘Belize time’. Decorated with colorful stalls, friendly pelicans, and thatch huts, it’s no surprise that the tried-and-true fishing community of ‘Dangriga’ loosely translates to “sweet water is close at hand” in Garifuna. Spend your days in fierce domino competitions, sampling fragrantly-fresh Creole bread, or punta-ing into dusk with perfectly pastel sunrises. Do it all before retiring to a Gold Standard accommodation directly within steps of Belize’s coastline, like Turtle Inn, a Coppola Hideaway in Placencia or Hamanasi Resort in Hopkins.

Related: The Perfect Belize Itinerary For Every Month 

And just because it’s now the off-season, who says Rakeem won’t want to stay active? The Belizean-born Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defensive lineman can spend the day offshore by marveling at the Belize Barrier Reef, the world’s second largest after Australia’s. Hop between SUP boards, kite boards and even kayaks to take advantage of all the water sports in impossibly-blue waters. Don’t forget: the snorkeling and diving can’t be beat. Besides, who wouldn’t want to stay active in a gin-clear Caribbean Sea?

And sometimes, a real break means a break from people too. Nuñez-Roches can escape it all in ‘Airplane Mode’ on a private island for a Belizean vacay, Gilligan island style. If he’s seeking solace over crowds and solitude to truly unplug, there’s over 200 isles to choose from in Belize. If you’re in pursuit of the real Caribbean—unhurried, unpretentious, and undiluted—then look no further than Southern Belize. So, Rakeem Nuñez-Roches, when you’re ready to hit Do Not Disturb on your iPhone after that Buccaneers’ win, Belize awaits. Until then, stay curious!

Header photo courtesy Rakeem Nuñez-Roches via Instagram 

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