Home Belize Forum Belize Guide Belize Resources Real Estate Healthcare in Belize
Belize
Resources
City Guides
Cigna International Health Insurance
Join Sign In
Cigna International Health Insurance

Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Hopkins, Belize

May 12, 2017


Belize

An expat in Hopkins, Belize describes in great detail about life there. Here cultural blunders, the food available there, and the pace of life and much more provide a nice glimpse of what it means to be an expat in Belize.

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Hopkins

Did you receive any cross-cultural training for your move abroad? If yes, was it before or after the move?

In college I majored in Cultural Anthropology, but the only countries I had visited at that time we're Canada and Mexico. In moving to Belize I hoped to move from being an "armchair" anthropologist to a real life anthropologist.

Expats living in Belize interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.

If they speak another language in your new country, do you speak the language? If yes, did you learn the language before you moved or while abroad? If no, are you planning to learn the language?

In Hopkins, Belize you commonly hear English as well as Garifuna and Spanish. I had taken Spanish classes in College, but my understanding is still very limited. Since most people here do speak English though, it makes it less of a priority to learn either of the two languages.

Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?

I was more intrigued than worried. For a long time I have wanted immerse myself in another culture rather than simply visit and then return to the US.

Moving to Belize

Moving to Belize soon? Crown Relocations owns and operates over 207 facilities in almost 54 countries. Their global network means they're unique in the relocations business and they're able to use Crown crews and vehicles wherever possible. Get a quote online by May 25, 2019 and you'll be entered to win 1 of 5 Amazon $250* gift cards.

How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?

Being such a friendly people, the Beleazians are easy to be around. I immediately had to adjust to the easy going attitude toward time. The day is as long as it is light, so there is generally no hurry. For example, if someone is going to meet me, he may say "mid day" rather than two or three o'clock. If he's late, "no worries," he'll get there eventually, even if it isn't until the next day.

Expats often talk about going through the "stages of culture shock." Examples include the honeymoon phase, the irritation-to-anger stage, the rejection of the culture stage, and the cultural adjustment phase. Do you feel like you went through these or any other stages as you settled into the new culture?

Again, the friendliness and warmth of the people in general made the transition easier. In the beginning I was frustrated with the lack of interest in meeting specific dates or times, but now I'm accepting that life is slower and at times I enjoy the relaxed attitude. No worries! How does worrying change anything anyway?

What, if any, were some of the changes you noticed in yourself that might have been caused by culture shock? These might include things such as anger, depression, anxiety, increased eating or drinking, frustration, homesickness, etc.

I've learned to accept the culture and pace here and even enjoy it. Around noon, for example, many businesses, banks and government offices close for a "siesta" time. Keeping this in mind, I have learned to shop or do business in the morning or afternoon. Oftentimes I take a siesta too!

What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?

I appreciate being reminded that it's important to live as stress free as possible, and this includes appreciating the pace of the culture and not expecting North American precisene.

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Remembering not to be in a hurry! The day is plenty long and there is always tomorrow.

Did you "commit" any embarrassing or humorous cultural blunders? If you did and you'd like to share them, please do tell!

Many! In a nice, small outdoor cafe I was served a traditional Garifuna dish called hudut. A whole fish lay in a bowl of delicious broth and on a plate was a mound of mashed plantain. I had no idea what to do with the plantain, so I asked the waitress. With a bashful giggle she told me to dip it in the soup. Additionally, a napkin was put on the table with a smooth rounded brown rock. I asked what this was, thinking it was also something to eat! Even the cook laughed and said, "it's a rock so the napkin won't blow away!"

Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?

When you move to another country, or even just visit, don't frustrated yourself by demanding or expecting behavior you are familiar with. Recognize differences and adjust. Too often I hear tourists or expats complaining that the people are not like them!

Read Next

Retirement-In-Hopkins-VillageAn Expat Shares What it's Like Retiring in Hopkins Village, Belize

An expat in Hopkins Village, Belize talks about deciding to retire part time in Belize. He and his wife enjoy teaching local kids how to play baseball, attending a church and meeting other expats in their neighborhood.

Retirement-In-Hopkins-VillageAn Expat Shares What it's Like Retiring in Hopkins Village, Belize

An expat in Hopkins Village, Belize talks about retiring in Belize. He offers advice about renting before buying, buying a car, cost of living, going to church, adapting to Belizean culture (and humidity!), opening a bank account and much more.

Moving-To-CorozalAn Expat Talks about Moving to Corozal, Belize

An expat who originally moved to Ambergris Caye decided to move to the mainland after the AC became overpopulated and prices on the island rose dramatically. He moved to the Corozal area and appreciates the lower cost of living there.

Cigna International Health Insurance

Write a Comment about this Expat Report

Sign In to post a comment.
Expatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Belize from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

Culture-Shock-in-Hopkins-VillageAn Expat Talks about Culture Shock & Living in Hopkins Village, Belize

An expat in Hopkins, Belize describes in great detail about life there. Here cultural blunders, the food available there, and the pace of life and much more provide a nice glimpse of what it means to be an expat in Belize.

An expat in Hopkins, Belize describes in great detail about life there. Here cultural blunders, the food available there, and the pace of life and much more provide a nice glimpse of what it means to...

10 Tips for Living in Belize

Whether you are living in Belize or considering a move to Belize, this article offers a glimpse at some of the tremendously helpful advice that expats share on Expat Exchange's Belize forum and in our expat reports.

Whether you are living in Belize or considering a move to Belize, this article offers a glimpse at some of the tremendously helpful advice that expats share on Expat Exchange's Belize forum and in our...

5 Great Places to Retire in Central America

Central America is an increasingly popular retirement destination. Retirees love it's proximity to the United States, lower cost of living, beautiful cities, amazing beaches, healthy lifestyle and friendly people.

Central America is an increasingly popular retirement destination. Retirees love it's proximity to the United States, lower cost of living, beautiful cities, amazing beaches, healthy lifestyle and fr...

Expat Belize: 5 Great Places to Live in Belize

If you're thinking about moving to Belize, we have 5 great places to recommend based upon the experiences of expats living in Belize.

If you're thinking about moving to Belize, we have 5 great places to recommend based upon the experiences of expats living in Belize. ...

Top 5 Reasons Expats Move to Central America

From lower cost of living to affordable healthcare and beachfront living, expats discuss the top reasons they moved to Central America.
From lower cost of living to affordable healthcare and beachfront living, expats discuss the top reasons they moved to Central America....

Belize Guide
Other Links
Our Story Our Team Contact Us Submit an Article Advertising Travel Warnings

Copyright 1997-2019 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal