Will Moving to Belize Make You Happier? Probably. Here’s Why

by Larry Waight
Carmelita Gardens vegetables

Philosophers, thinkers, and mystics have long pondered the question of happiness. Wise teachers have suggested several strategies to increase contentment. These include simplification, staying active, and being part of a community. Americans often find themselves seeking these answers as they become disenchanted with the materialism and frenetic pace of modern life. One solution is to leave the United States for the beautiful tropical country of Belize. Why Belize? Here are some great reasons.

It’s easy to assimilate

morning yoga Belize digital nomad Umaya

Morning Yoga at Umaya Village, a growing digital nomad community in Placencia. Photo by Rosanna Stevens

Since the official language of Belize is English, it is very easy for newcomers to assimilate. They can read road signs and maps, order from menus, talk to people in the markets and at attractions and navigate public transportation without worrying about language barriers.


Hummingbird Highway, Belize. Photo courtesy Vista Real Estate

Additionally, they won’t need an interpreter to process the legal paperwork required to apply for temporary residency, for example, or to apply for the Qualified Retirement Program (QRP) which helps those who are over 45 to find a new home in Belize.

They can open a bank account, rent or buy their new residence, and even start a new business or find a job if they want without any issues due to language. This gives new residents a great deal of freedom and independence.

You will never be bored

Diving with Ramon’s Village.

What do you like to do? Chances are, no matter what it is, you will be able to enjoy your favorite activities in Belize. If you are a sporty type – you can enjoy scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, hiking, biking, canoeing, and many other activities. You can enjoy the adrenaline rush of a zipline canopy tour or have a more laid-back adventure swimming under waterfalls.

waterfall rapelling bocawina

Tap into your eco-warrior in Belize with plenty of adrenaline-packed adventures. Photo © Duarte Dellarole

Although if you love culture, you can deep dive into the country’s rich history. There are Maya ruins, cooking classes that teach ancient techniques, farm tours, live music concerts, and festivals as well as a variety of other opportunities to really learn about and become involved in the heritage of your new home.

And if you love to shop – there are exciting local craftsmen and artists you can discover as well as more mainstream boutiques. For those who crave an active social life – there are vibrant ex-pat communities throughout Belize where you can harmoniously integrate.

Enjoy a relaxed pace and lower expenses

children Hopkins school belize

Hopkins Village. Photo by Duarte Dellarole

The pace of life here moves more slowly than you might be used to in the United States. While this doesn’t suit everyone, most of those who move to Belize find it to be refreshing. They can focus on relationships and experiences instead of the rat race. Since this relaxed pace is combined with a lower cost of living, it’s no wonder that ex-pats report high satisfaction and low stress.

 A sustainable community

The final ingredient in the recipe for one’s happiest possible life – being part of a sustainable and self-sufficient community of like-minded people. Carmelita Gardens is an off-grid community set on 98 acres along the banks of the Belize River. It was founded eleven years ago with a commitment to sustainable and ecologically friendly practices. Located in the Cayo District, it is only seven miles from San Ignacio. It is therefore located close enough that residents can enjoy all the amenities of town while still hewing to a pastoral and communal vibe.

Carmelita Gardens self-sufficient

In a sense, Carmelita Gardens is part of a larger, more universal movement. As urban dwellers tire of commercialism and wasteful practices, they are turning to gentler and more holistic ways of being. People all over the world are embracing the idea of minimizing their carbon footprint and being more in harmony with nature and each other.

A Sense of Community

Casa del Rio - Aerial Carmelita Gardens

What makes the community of Carmelita Gardens remarkable is that it is truly 100% off the grid. Solar power is used, as are rainwater catchment systems. All construction uses sustainable building practices. Here, you can dwell in a comfortable, artisan cottage. You will have every necessary amenity while you enjoy living in a smaller and easy to care for space.

The core values at the heart of Carmelita Gardens are its commitment to sustainable resilience and its stable community structure. The first-class infrastructure is paired with an artistic sensibility.

You really can have the best of both worlds. You can live in a beautiful pastoral setting while still being close enough to San Ignacio to enjoy its cultural vibrancy. You will have every modern amenity while being able to enjoy a more relaxed pace of life. You will live completely independently while being able to exchange ideas and assistance with neighbors who are also committed to the same values.

You will live in a beautiful natural setting while still being only a few minutes from the local hardware store as well as a plethora of restaurants, bars, and other social meeting places.

The lot sizes here are large enough for you to grow a good-sized garden if you like, as they go up to about half an acre in size. Not to mention, the price to purchase is quite reasonable.

Come and visit Carmelita Gardens to discover for yourself how you can enjoy your happiest possible life.

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