“I think we’re living in tough times,” writes Intrepid Correspondent Paul Terhorst this morning. “Americans appear to hate government, Wall Street, oil companies, immigrants, trade…
“Our house is worth less than before. Our stocks are worth less than they were 10 years ago. Our taxes have gone up, our standard of living down. And we’re the lucky ones. Vicki and I have friends who have seen their financial boat sink. You may know people in that boat, too.
“The question becomes: What to do now?”
That’s what we’re convened in Belize City this week to consider: What to do now?
Here’s the good news: Times are tough, but you have options. Belize offers some of the best.
In the States right now, it’s impossible to escape the bad news about these current bad times. Wall Street, Congress, Obamacare, European banks, BP…the reports grow worse every day and are broadcast from ever-present television screens 24 hours a day.
The news from Belize?
The sun is shining, and the cave tubing is great fun. We spent the afternoon on the Belize River yesterday, floating through a series of caves the Mayans referred to as “Hell.” Seemed more like heaven.
Belizeans seem contented, as always. Walking around downtown yesterday morning, we were greeted with smiles at every turn. Not a television screen anywhere in sight.
At the Smokey Mermaid restaurant where we went for dinner last night, Belize’s own Belikin beer was served cold, the shrimp was same-day fresh, the starlight delightful.
Here in the meeting rooms of the Ft. George Hotel, friends and resources we’ve made over more than two decades spending time in this country are speaking of small business niches in need of filling, banking where the government-mandated bank liquidity rate is 24%, and emerging opportunities in the Free Trade Zone.
Arturo Lizarraga, CEO of the Free Zone, spoke this morning of development and progress. Oil has been discovered in Belize, he reported, in greater quantities than anyone expected. Some folks from Abu Dhabi, evidently, have taken notice of little Belize and have committed US$50 million to expanding the airport and the cruise dock. A stem cell research facility is being established, bringing more attention, more investment, more employment.
Maybe these things will come to pass–big-time oil drilling, bigger airport, big business. In Belize, though, you learn to pay more heed to the here and now.
And here in Belize, the here and now is hard to beat.
Kathleen Peddicord www.liveandinvestoverseas.com