2011 was a record-breaking year for us at Sanctuary Belize, and we have started off 2012 eager to continue the trend! January saw a strong start to the year, and here are some of the developments seen by those visiting our Sanctuary this month:
Architect Stephen Green and Building Coordinator Anthony Mock completing final plans for model homes:
We first announced in our September newsletter that we had just started the first stage of planning for three model homes that will be built in the Sapodilla Ridge Estates and become part of our Sanctuary Design & Build package (see plans here). January is slated to first break ground on these homes, which will showcase 2-, 3- and 4-bedroom options available to new owners. This month, our architect, Stephen Green and building coordinator, Anthony Mock, have been very busy at the three intended lots planning the footprints for the homes. The homes are planned for lots 253-255 and will showcase both a lakefront view as well as a view over the savannah toward the Mayan mountain range.
Roads nearing completion in the Equestrian Estates:
The silver lining of the rains we experienced late last year was that we were able to clearly pinpoint the drainage needs in the Equestrian Estates. We have been hard at work digging the required culverts and prepping the drainage ditches for cement to be poured in. The main road has been topped with the same crushed rock material that reduces dust and keeps the roads navigable in the wet season. As soon as we have a good period of dry weather we will be able to pour the cement for the drainage ditches.
Weather and equipment malfunctions combine to push back marina flooding:
Many of our projects at Sanctuary Belize, marina included, depend on a few consecutive dry days together. Although the rains of the last few months haven’t been excessive, there were enough days spaced out over enough time to significantly hamper our plans for installing the marina retaining walls (guests in January would have seen long rows of walls ready to be installed). In addition, the vibratory hammer that we had purchased for the project was malfunctioning, and waiting for the repair to be made took up more time. At this point, we are estimating that we’ve lost about a month and a half of time and we’ve had to delay our proposed marina flooding accordingly. We plan to heavily advertise the opening of the marina once we’re ready, so we want to assure our owners and other readers that you will not miss the big event once we’re ready for it.
Tent hotel getting closer to completion:
One construction project that is much easier to complete regardless of the weather is the assembly of our tent hotel. Currently we are installing the final of our six tents, and the five existing are fully built with wood flooring installed. Once the tents are furnished and decorated we will start testing the hotel in-house to make sure that we are completely ready to host our tour guests when the time comes.
We had a wonderful group of guests for our first tour of 2012, and were happy to welcome quite a few new friends and neighbors to the community. Our February tour is coming up quickly, and will take place on the 17th to the 21st. We still have a few places available if anyone is looking for an escape from winter temperatures. We will have warm weather and a cold Belikin waiting for you!
Daryle Cupp had her sights set on investing in Costa Rica, and she called her daughter, Jennifer, to see if she and her husband Scott were interested in learning more about the opportunity there. Scott and Jennifer had just returned from a trip to Belize in October and suggested that Daryle check out a place in the south called Sanctuary Belize. They had purchased land there during their trip and were eager to get Daryle on board as well.
When Daryle started researching Belize and Sanctuary Belize, she found that most items on her checklist were met. Having grown up in Panama, she had watched that country’s economy get less and less stable, and Belize’s stable economy and currency were a big draw. Although she loved a lot about Costa Rica, it just didn’t offer the retirement benefits that were available to her under the Qualified Retired Persons plan in Belize. She had a lot of faith in her son-in-law’s due diligence efforts, but she knew she wasn’t ready yet to make a decision when she booked her January Discover Belize Tour.
“My favorite thing about Sanctuary Belize once I got there,” recalled Daryle, “was the effort made by the team there to do everything in an ecologically responsible manner.” She appreciated how well-planned and thought out the development was, saying, “After seeing all the thought that went into a project this size, there was really no way I could see that it would be an unwise investment.”
The magic happened for Daryle when she stepped on to one of the lots she had picked out beforehand in Sapodilla Ridge with the help of Investment Consultant Robert Schafnitz. “We walked basically into the jungle, and there were these 80-foot tall trees, and I caught sight of a beautiful butterfly with red-tipped wings. It was just too pretty to believe.” It was at that moment that she changed her mind and said to Robert, “I just got serious about this.”
By the end of the weekend, Daryle had picked out a couple lots for herself, and is starting to make plans to build on both and perhaps eventually sell one down the road. “I love the marina, it’s just awesome. The river lots and the mangroves are so beautiful, and the private island is a jewel. I can’t wait to explore the whole development on horseback,” she explains, “I really just see this as a wonderful adventure, and hopefully in two years I will be living that adventure full-time.”
We are happy to welcome Daryle (and her little dog Chloe, pictured) to the community and look forward to being a part of her adventure!
For most people, making the decision to purchase land overseas and potentially live overseas part- or full-time is a life-changing decision requiring months of deliberation, research, and comparison shopping. One big concern many people have is how well they’ll be able to stay connected while they’re away from their home country, even to such simple pleasures as television.
One of our land owners introduced us to the Slingbox technology, which essentially allows you to access your home TV (including any DVR/cable/satellite system you have connected) from anywhere in the world. Perhaps you want to stay up-to-date with local news, or you want to make sure you catch those rarely-broadcast sports events that you pay extra for at home – Slingbox makes this possible.
The way it works is that you set up your Slingbox to connect to your home tv, network router and power source. When you get to wherever you’re going, you can simply log on to slingbox.com and start watching. Slingbox is also compatible with many smartphones, allowing you to watch your home tv while waiting in an airport if you wish. With an additional piece of hardware you can even route the signal through a TV set where you are, so that it’s like you never left home.
We must admit that no member of the Sanctuary Belize staff has personally tried the Slingbox, therefore we hesitate to give it a ringing endorsement. We would love to hear from anyone out there who has tried it, so feel free to drop us a line.
We were honored to play host this month to our very first high fashion photo shoot at Sanctuary Caye!
Local swimwear success Beach Bunny Swimwear was looking for crystal clear waters and white sand beaches to feature its newest release of luxury swimwear. After seeing photos of Sanctuary Caye, the directors knew that’s where they wanted to stage the shoot.
In mid-January, a crew of about ten photographers, models, and makeup artists could be seen out at Sanctuary Caye taking in the sun and capturing the fashion of the swimwear against the beauty of the Caribbean. We are glad to know that the directors at Beach Bunny appreciate Sanctuary Caye as much as we do!
For more photos from the shoot, please see the Beach Bunny website: www.beachbunnyswimwear.com