Belize It!

It isn't just the real estate industry that American expat Macarena Rose loves about living in Belize - there are also many other factors that have made her move to this Central American country a most pleasurable experience. If you need more information about living in Belize, Macarena is glad to help.


-Where were you born?

Washington DC, USA

-In which country and city are you living now?

BELIZE, San Ignacio

-Are you living alone or with your family?

My dogs

-How long have you been living in Belize?

5 years

-What is your age?


-When did you come up with the idea of living in Belize?

5.5 years ago - Belize is the only Central American Country where English is the primary language, and I wanted to stretch my hard earned money.

-Was it hard to get a visa or a working permit?

Not at all

-Was it difficult for you to get medical insurance before you went there or when you first arrived?


-How do you make your living in Belize? Do you have any type of income generated?

I opened Rainforest Realty, as I wanted to help bring ethics to Belize as to the Real Estate industry. I helped begin and am the President of the Belize National Association of Realtors. I employ locals, and other expats, and found it would have been easier to buy an already established business. However, my reputation, has kept us so on the charts in Belize, as I know what it is like to move to Belize!

-Do you speak the local language and do you think it's important to speak the local language?

English is our local language, and this is what made it so easy to in fact to move here.

-Do you miss home and family sometimes?

No, I do not miss them, as I always have someone here visiting me. Everyone wants to COME to Belize! Laughing

They always want to see the ocean, the jungle, the ruins and, I am a popular destination in and of itself.

-Do you have other plans for the future?

I love helping people relocate here and seeing their dream come true of living in a new country!!

-What about housing, have you bought, or are you renting a home? How much do you pay for it?

I bought here.

-What is the cost of living in Belize?

One can live here comfortably for under 800 USD...if you own your home.

-What do you think about the locals?

I LOVE the locals, and in fact are extensions of my family. In Belize, expats are welcomed.

-What are the positive and negative aspects of living in Belize?

Positives are the English speaking, the ease of getting around Belize and how friendly everyone is.

-Do you have any tips for our readers about living in Belize?

Enjoy each and every day here, and do not wait to experience it! Smile

-Do you have any favorite Web sites or blogs about Belize?

I recommend this site, for people looking into Belize:, and please do feel free to email me, Macarena Rose at macarenainbelize(at)yahoo(dot)com. Kiss

My website is and here you can find alot of different resources about Belize also, not just Belize real estate.

Thanks for all the GREAT words to you ALL !

macarena's picture

I do so adore sharing the ins and outs, the to do's and the not to do's...
It makes the journey so worth while, and alot more enjoyable to share the experiences and wisdom with you !

Being a Relocation Specialist, I have seen the pitfalls of folks looking and scouting the wrong way in Belize,,
this is not my work for you, this is my service in life-
to have you realize your dream, cut your living expenses and really enjoy your life here in Belize !!
Contact me for your questions-

I send you smiles,

My dad visited more than ten

chelle8358's picture

My dad visited more than ten times while I was growing up. I would love to come there to live. Know a man named "Cowboy" would love to get in touch with him but dont know if you can help would be so grateful. Thank You
Michelle Grimes

Cowboy in BELIZE !

macarena's picture

Rev. Macarena Rose-

Hello to you Michelle,

Do you mean Cowboy in San Ignacio ?


Wondering about living in Belize

CalifDeb's picture

My husband and are are wondering about living in Belize part time. Is is reasonable to rent to live there for several months? What would you recommend? We are keeping our home here but would consider buying a home there. After Jan we will have a steady monthy income and would like to have some part time volunteer work. Can we bring out pet dog with us in and out of the country, or should we leave her at home?

Belize It !

macarena's picture

Rev. Macarena Rose-

Hello to you both,
Yes, you can rent here, and we do handle rentals to. There are many wonderful opportunities to volunteer here. I myself am on the Winsom Foundation which helps to keep kids in school. I am also on the San Ignacio Humane Society.
There is also Cornerstone Foundation here to.
Yes, you can bring your dog to Belize, I moved here with 10 animals form Florida !
My dogs love it here, and I could not imagine having left them abroad.
Feel free to email me at and please do take time to read the testimonials at
So you have a feel for me-

Moving to Belize

soontobexpat's picture

I am thinking about moving to Belize. Possibly to Mexico.

I have done research on Mexico, but not a lot on Belize.
How is the cost of living? I am on a very fixed income. I would need a one bedroom apartment, furnished if possible, but can also have my things shipped there. Would I need to bring my car? What about a Visa? How many months can I live there and not have to leave the country if I do not have the proper documents? Can I keep my US status? How much a month will I need to live on? I am on Social Security disability and take in about 11 hundred american dollars a month. I want to start a business there, what kinds of things would I need to have to do this? My business idea is to open a sweet shop, I am proficent in handmade candies and also cakes and cupcakes. Right now I am teaching a class through Community Ed. on basic candy making. Would this be an idea that I could do, along with making and selling cakes, cupcakes and handmade candies?

Sorry for all the questions, I need to know if this is where I'd like to move. Right now I'm leaning towards Mexico. But as I said I would like to visit Belize and find out what is in store for me.


Linda Thompson

Isn't belize quite

dennygg's picture

Isn't belize quite dangerous? With gangs & crime as well as bad infrastructure, nice that you can live off 800 bucks, but I guess wages in belize are low? Isn't it also known as a tax haven? For setting up offshore businesses and bank accounts :)

Isn't belize politically

dennygg's picture

Isn't belize politically highly unstable? Bad infrastructure, gangs, crime? No wonder you can live with under 800usd, I guess thats an advantage, but only if you earn a good living, I guess wages are their are low? I think it's also known as a tax haven, and for setting up offshore businesses and bank accounts.

Pet to Belize

macarena's picture

Rev. Macarena Rose-
Hello to you , You sure can bring your pet to Belize- you have to get a permit first. There are many volunteer opportunities here, with really good people. How may I help you best ? My website is

or my email is

Belize Relocation

macarena's picture

Rev. Macarena Rose-
Hello Linda,
There are many questions that you have, and this is very good !! You do not need a Visa for Belize. You will need to get a monthly stamp at Immigration - and you can stay indefinitely.
You would still be a US citizen, if you are now-
As to sweet shop- this sounds yummy !!! There are rentals in Belize- from 200 USD and up-
Many smiles to you, Macarena

Belize Relocation

macarena's picture

Rev. Macarena Rose-
Hello Linda,
There are many questions that you have, and this is very good !! You do not need a Visa for Belize. You will need to get a monthly stamp at Immigration - and you can stay indefinitely.
You would still be a US citizen, if you are now-
As to sweet shop- this sounds yummy !!! There are rentals in Belize- from 200 USD and up-
Many smiles to you, Macarena

Belize Crime

macarena's picture

Rev. Macarena Rose-
There is crime in Belize- it is not more dangerous than other places I have been in - for sure ! St Pete Florida has some areas I would not go into- here, I have enjoyed the locals and they look out for you- Smiles to you !

Belize Wages

macarena's picture

Rev. Macarena Rose-
Wages are relatively very low in comparison to US averages- There are offshore opportunites here in Belize to.

Environmental work

StevenDC's picture

How is the outlook for an environmental attorney to find consult business? Thanks for all the info, we are looking forward to visiting in Fall '10.

towns to think of

aaron edmondson's picture

We are looking at living in Belize for the winter months, but are not familiar with the country. We are looking for a nice smaller town that has good food, ease of walking to shopping, and some lively activities on weekends or evenings. We would like to be within a reasonable distance to the ocean for fishing and snorkeling. The biggest demand we would have is the ability to grow fruit on the property. A monthly budget of about $1500-$1700 would be what we are willing to spend starting out. We are planning to visit this January to scope out the country, and see what the life styles are for expats. Any suggestions would be great, thank you.

Email me direct for Belize expat FAQ's

macarena's picture

Rev. Macarena Rose-

My email is
I can answer your questions- directly-

My website is

Smiles to you from UN- Belizeable BELIZE !!

As to distance from beach

macarena's picture

Rev. Macarena Rose-

As so much of Belize is coastline, you can find reasonably priced properties that are close to the shore-

There are different areas, that are better suited though to choose to live- as to access,, schooling and amenites-

Contact me for more info if needed-

Simple Questions...I Believe!

clfrun's picture

Hello Macarena...

It's ironic that I work for a man named Rose in OH. We are considering settling outside of the USA when we retire. I like the idea of Belize and some friends of ours are coming there in July and we will get feedback from them as well. Would you mind answering a few questions?

What part of the USA is similar to what you have found in Belize?

What would likely be the toughest adjustment for a moderate/conservative husband and wife moving there?

What is the economic outlook for Belize and has the bad economic situation in the USA/world had a dramatic impact where you live?

Would you suggest finding an expat neighborhood or just a safe/enjoyable neighborhood to live?

I'm sure you would recommend an extended visit, but would you recommend renting before buying?

What website would you recommend we review to learn the 'in's and out's' of making Belize our home?

Thank you so much for your time...if you don't have time to answer them all, please answer those that you have time to answer.


Jobs in Belize, Residency

Jennifer's picture

I have been to Belize twice in the last 7 months. On my last visit, I started talking with expats and locals on Caye Caulker and was wondering if you could clarify some things for there such a thing as a residency program? I'm a jane-of-all-trades, with a bachelor degree in nursing, an ESL certificate, and a bartender! I was told that one can't work in a job that would displace a local, but one can certainly run their own business...e.g., I can't work as a bartender, but I can open a bar. If this is true, is it possible to establish residency, and then after a year, work in any type of job? If not, is opening a business the only option?

I'm on a single income, and am prepping my condo in NJ to put it on the market, but I don't want to invest that money (at least not yet!) into opening business. Also, I have spent hours on the internet trying to find out how I can find a nursing job in Belize - probably in a clinic vs. a hospital, but I am coming up short!

All the expats I met on Caye Caulker owned their own businesses, but I was wondering if there was a less expensive way of doing things at the start?

questios from Alabama, USA

paulabelle's picture

Reverend Rose, I've read every posts here and it seems you are the "moderator" or this blog. Am I right? I'm a teacher by profession, but have done some missionary work in South Africa, living there just shy of two years. I am also a writer and looking for a place to go, first on a temporary basis, and then maybe settle there. I'm a "Jane of all trades" as one lady posted here. I have my own business training dogs, dabble in making jewelry, and also buy jewelry out of India and resell it here on E-Bay (in that biz with a friend of mine and just learning the tricks of that trade). My goal is to get to a place of P&Q where I can work on my writing. I could very well create a business there, that could employ several of the natives. OR I could volunteer in several areas. I love children and dogs! I draw $1300/mo disability. I don't expect to live "the life of Riley" by any means, but can I live comfortable, close to the beach on that income? I would def want to rent at first. Do you know if there are any US citizens there that are still able to draw their SS disability. I am disabled b/c of two back surgeries, but certainly not crippled ... just have to pace myself. I have lived on the Gulf Coast in Florida a lot of my life and the beach life just seems to be where I am happiest. BUT I have to admit, to live on or near the beach here is quite costly now! I am looking at going down iin April or May (wish I could go sooner) to stay for 2-3 mo. and just get a feel for the place. I've done loads of research and connected with the lady, Jennifer, who sent the last post on this blog. PLEASE give me any help or advice you can in regard to my goals. God bless you in advance!


Hello, My name is Ed Abel

ejabel's picture

My name is Ed Abel and I work for a US based company that will soon be doing some work with the Belize Police Department and possibly with some other government organizations. I am looking at being in Belize in mid-October and if things work out there is a strong probability, that myself and my wife may look to live in Belize a good portion of the year.

I was there in May and had the luxury of staying at Chaa Creek Lodge. I fell in love with both the area and the people. I was also fortunate enough to travel down to Palencia for a couple of days and realized how great it could be to live and work inland near San Ignacio or close to Belmopan and still be only a couple of hours away from the beach.

I'd love to be able to speak with an expat who understands the region and may possibly be able to assist me if a move is in my future. I am scheduled to be there for at least 4 months and like I said if all goes well I'll be spending most of my time in Belize.