Mennonite History at Spanish Lookout – Cayo District, Belize

This is a documentary from 2008 describing the journey of the Mennonite people from Europe, Canada, Mexico, and eventually to Belize. It’s a great bit of history, and glimpse into the hardship of settling forested land. It also captures the local Mennonite language, known as Plautdietsch. Most everyone can speak English and Spanish, but amongst themselves they use their own language. Luckily the film is subtitled!

Many people come to Western Belize and the Cayo District looking to see and interact with the local Mennonite community. It is very likely you will see Mennonites riding a bus on your way to Lower Dover Jungle Lodge, but that’s not very authentic!

Local Barton Creek Mennonite on the Western Highway going to Spanish Lookout

Belize has both industrious Mennonites using modern machinery at Spanish Lookout and off the grid, fundamentalist Mennonites at Lower Barton Creek.  The Barton Creek Mennonites are the ones with the horse and buggy, normally seen cruising at 4 m.p.h. on the Western Highway, or selling watermelons at the side of the road.  Lower Dover sits right between both of the communities.

Most of Lower Dover Jungle Lodge’s shopping is done at Spanish Lookout, a short 10 minute drive (even though its right across the river). If any guests are trying to see the community first hand, hop along for a ride and see what the buzz is all about!

 

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