We visit the remote Mayan village of Santa Teresa on our Ultimate Adventure and Wild South trips. Santa Teresa Village is located in the Toledo District of Belize and has a population of approximately 330. This is a region of isolated villages lying amongst an unspoiled tropical wilderness.
Guests on these trips are hosted for lunch at the home of a local family. They also have the opportunity to walk through the community, checking out the tiny primary school and simple village store. A different family hosts the lunch on each of our departures, allowing this cultural experience to be shared amongst the villagers.
We wanted to share these beautiful images captured in Santa Teresa that give an amazing insight into the culture and life of the vibrant and thriving culture of the Maya people.
Santa Teresa Village – upon arrival local resident and one of our guides Pedro, offers a walking tour of the Village.
Hanging the laundry out to dry – a home in Santa Teresa
The village store - A family waits outside a small store in Santa Teresa
A glimpse into everyday living in Santa Teresa – after walking around the Village, guests are invited into a host family’s home.
Preparing food – a traditional open fire is used to make meals.
Corn, coconuts and plantains - Corn is the staple diet of the Mayan people. It takes 7 months to cultivate a single crop.
Corn tortillas – preparing corn tortillas with guide Pedro’s wife. Preparation of corn known as "poch" is made by leaving the massa (corn mush) to ferment. The massa is then placed in a large waha leaf (a large, flat leaf) and then boiled like a tamale.
Sleeping quarters – the family sleep in hammocks (across ways, not long ways!)
For lunch a traditional midday meal of “Caldo” is often served. Caldo is made of local chicken and broth with fresh tortillas. After lunch, a cacao drink is usually offered. The cacao is dried, roasted, ground and used to prepare a drink resembling a richly chocolate-flavored coffee.
The aim of Island Expeditions is to support basic education in Santa Teresa and the other jungle villages that we visit by providing funds, supplies, computers and solar power. We employ local people from the villages and use local Mayan guides to lead the trips through this area.