The Lodge At Chaa Creek And Belize Are Both Celebrating Their September Birthdays

Belize’s vibrant September Independence celebrations are attracting visitors from around the world

we developed in a way that became attractive to today’s tourists

The Lodge at Chaa Creek is throwing a double thirty-sixth birthday party this month – celebrating its official opening as Belize’s first eco-resort just as the little country achieved independence from Great Britain on September 21, 1981, according to the popular jungle lodge’s owners.

Mick and Lucy Fleming, who had established a small farm on the banks of the Macal River, were already known on the “coconut telegraph” for their hospitality after several years of welcoming travellers with a place to sleep and plate of rice and beans back when accommodations were in short supply in Belize’s west.

The Flemings had just built their first simple one room, thatched roof cabin out of jungle materials when Belize finally achieved independence after years of life as a British Crown Colony known as British Honduras.

The timing couldn’t have been better for both Belize and Chaa Creek as word caught on around the world that a little country with vast pristine jungles, an abundance of ancient Maya temples and monuments, the world’s second largest barrier reef and the Caribbean’s most unspoiled beaches was just waiting to be discovered.

Lucy Fleming recalls the heady days of September 1981.

“It was such an exciting time. There was jubilation throughout the country, as well as a bit of trepidation. I think it was the national equivalent of leaving your parent’s home for the first time, this exciting feeling of freedom mixed with the reality of suddenly needing to make your own way in the world, of being responsible for your own future.

“But as usually happens when put to the test, Belize came through with flying colours. We built a national tourism industry from the ground up, and did it cooperatively with the belief that tourism should contribute to protecting the environment and supporting local communities. The new government and the private sector worked together to realise this vision we all had, and now, thirty-six years later, we’re still celebrating with the same enthusiasm,” Ms Fleming said.

That enthusiasm is on…

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