After becoming enamored of a new place when visiting, oftentimes the only tangible memories you can carry back home with you are photos and souvenirs. This is why when picking for the latter, normal over-done nifty gifts don’t cut it. For instance, Belize is an anomaly that begs to be experienced in the most nuanced and adventurous ways possible, which means the souvenirs should match. Keychains and t-shirts are nice, but they are also things you can get at the last minute at an airport (and your friend will be able to tell, too.) Instead, try these souvenirs that are bound to encompass the uniqueness of Belize.
Belize is blessed in its multitude of talented artists that span from coast to coast. Visit any large department store, and you’ll notice they also carry canvassed paintings from local artists. If you want something even more authentic – and a chance to speak with the artists themselves – head to the Sidewalk Art Festival that is held every February in Placencia. Here, artists from all over the country set up their booths and stalls offering their art for sale. Sometimes, you might even catch them painting a new never-before-seen piece! It may be a Belize City landscape or a beautiful, vibrant painting of a Permit fish in the midst of being pulled from the water. Chat with these talented folk and that way you’ll have an even deeper connection to the piece you wrap and bring back home.
Painters aren’t the only talented artists in Belize. Woodcarvers are also a familiar presence at festivals, as well as dotting the shoreline in San Pedro and Caye Caulker. Ranging from intricately detailed wood art such as native animals to large, abstract pieces, there’s bound to be one destined to live atop your coffee table. You can even purchase smaller pieces in the shape of the map of Belize or a Keel-billed toucan to give out to friends.
If you’ve been to Belize before, you know the jewelry is unlike anywhere else. Creative doesn’t even begin to cover it. Browsing through gift shops at hotels or in the beach destinations, you’ll come across completely sustainable sea glass jewelry or Lionfish earrings. These are made entirely by hand from the jeweler themselves, a process that takes time, patience, and passion. And all of that is evident in the pieces that for sure no one else has.
Did you even go to Belize if you didn’t buy your own set of mini Marie Sharp bottles? The sauces in Belize are arguably the most popular thing travelers take back with them and for good reason. From locally sourced mango jams and dressings to fiery habanero hot sauces, there are heaps of condiments that’ll remind you of Belize. Whether it’s from Marie Sharp’s, Gallon Jug’s Estate, or Hot Mama’s, you can’t go wrong with a few drops on any dish.