Belize Island Adventure Blog

MARCH 2019: WOMEN’s MONTH at BLUE MARLIN

Who rules the world? Girls! March 2019 is International Women’s Month. The strength, creativity, versatility, intelligence, and skills of women worldwide are highlighted here in our staff and crew at Blue Marlin. Without women, this would certainly be a much different place. The dedication, hard work, kindness, and friendliness of our female staff make Blue Marlin what it is– a place where guests can come relax, eat well, explore, and enjoy the beauty and comfort of our accommodations, setting, and dining here at Blue Marlin. The staff is over 50% female and most are single moms.

Meet our Blue Marlin Beach Resort “Woman Power” Team and see what makes us so special:

Ms. Rosella: Owner/General Manager/Chef

“Momma” Rosella

Ms. Ros has been lovingly welcoming guests to her island paradise for nearly 30 years. She is a born- and-raised Belizean, dedicated to providing the best in personalized service. She has become a personal friend to many Blue Marlin guests over the years. After her husband passed away, she continued on with the business on her own as well as raising two daughters on her own. On many a day, you can still find her in the kitchen being “Momma” preparing delicious home-cooked meals for our guests. Or, in the office making sure that all your needs are filled and that you can have an unforgettable time on her private island getaway, Blue Marlin Beach Resort. Her guests come as friends and leave as family– with her trademark family-style, home-style service here at Blue Marlin. She is heavily involved in the tourism industry and community enhancement projects, being the President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association Dangriga chapter.

Ms. Julissa: Inland Activities Liaison/Licensed Tour Guide

Ms. Julissa-mother, licensed guide, entrepreneur

Ms. Julissa is also a member of the Blue Marlin family, being the oldest daughter of Ms. Ros. She is our mainland tour guide as well as personal liaison for our guests. She will meet-and-greet you at the Dangriga airstrip upon arrival, transfer you to the boat, and show you all the mainland attractions such waterfalls, ziplines, jungle hikes, birding, Mayan ruins, Garifuna culture, and Marie Sharp hot sauce tours on an unforgettable inland day trip.

Ms. Mariel– mother, masseuse, business woman

Ms. Mariel: Masseuse/Marketing

Ms. Mariel is maintaining the tradition of her mother, Ms. Ros, by literally being “hands on” in her family business. She is the island masseuse, having studied and practiced the art of massage for almost a decade. She is also involved in marketing, overall island operations, and has grown up assisting with the family business at Blue Marlin in all aspects since childhood. Mariel is also dedicated to fitness and healthy living. She makes sure that our guests have access to healthy activities and meals. She is devoted to motivating women and girls take charge of their bodies with exercise and mental focus.

Ms. Makayla: Photographer/Model

Ms. Makayla–student, model, photographer

Ms. Makayla is the youngest member of our team, but has grown up at Blue Marlin, her grandma’s family business. Makayla is still a student, so she can only assist part-time, but she spends her weekends and school holidays taking amazing photos on the Caye. Makayla is very artistic, creative and beautiful and she works both sides of the camera as model AND photographer. She has a great eye for the beauty of the island and the joy of spending time out here.

Check her out at Instagram @Makayla Leslie.

Ms. Stacey: Divemaster/Island Guide

Ms. Stacey– Island divemaster and guide

Stacey is an all around powerhouse when it comes to water activities and island knowledge. She is a skilled divemaster, has a plethora of knowledge about marine life, and can show you the ins and outs of the island environment here on South Water Caye on an island walk or night walk. She has been living and working on South Water Caye on and off for over 12 years. Stacey does a little bit of everything on the island. She certainly makes it an exciting experience for our guests with her sharp wit and vast knowledge of island life.

Ms. Sonia: Staff Supervisor/Bartender

Ms. Sonia, Stacey’s mother, has been coming to Blue Marlin for many many years and has been working here full time for a couple years. She is a no-nonsense kinda’ gial and she is full or stories and history of the islands and Belizean traditions. She mixes a mean margarita and welcomes our guests with a complimentary welcome drink upon arrival. And she will play anything from country music to dancehall music at the bar at your request.

Ms. Carlene: Sales and Reservations Manager

Ms. Carlene- right hand wo-man to Ms. Ros

Ms. Carlene is based at our mainland office in Dangriga. She has been with Blue Marlin for 5 years and she is the glue that keeps it all together when it comes to reservations, scheduling, organizing transportation, and communicating guest needs to the staff on the island. She does everything from personally transfering guests to the boat to representing Blue Marlin at trade shows and conferences. She is no stranger to the resort and she is also involved in managing the BTIA office.

Ms. Ilana: Bonefish Hotel Operations Manager (our sister resort)

Ms. Ilana– our go-to lady

Ms. Ilana has been a dedicated member of the team for the past 12 years. She is the heart of the mainland office and works tirelessly behind the scenes ordering supplies, ordering maintenance, and making sure everything runs smoothly for our guests. She is always happy to assist with anything and everything. Ilana is a critical back up player to our Blue Marlin Team and we truly appreciate her.

Ms. Marjorie: International Airport Liaison

An old family friend of Ms. Ros and remote member of our Blue Marlin Team, Ms. Marjorie will be your first point of contact upon arrival in the country in Belize City. She will personally meet and greet you at the Phillip Goldson International Airport and make sure you make your connecting island hopper flight to Dangriga on Maya Island Air.

Ms. Amber: Kitchen Assistant

Ms. Amber- Women’s advocate and assistant cook

Ms. Amber is new to our team and has worked in kitchens at big hotels in the city. She is a kitchen assistant and baker, prepping our delicious meals, as well as baking breads and desserts. She is socially involved in women’s issues and is a member of the activist group, Our Circle, dedicated to human rights and equal rights in the LGBT community, particularly for women.

Ms. Faust: Staff Cook

Ms. Faust– doing her thing in the kitchen

Someone has to keep all of our hardworking staff well-fueled and nourished. Ms. Faustina is often the first to get up and the last to go to sleep, making sure that the staff has three homecooked meals a day while on the island. She has a daughter in university and is a dedicated mom, working hard to pay the school tuition. She makes a killer corn tortillas, stewed chicken, and pizza.

Ms. Eleonora and Ms. Amina: Housekeeping

New to the team, Ms. Amina has experience working on mainland resorts and will make sure our guests are well taken care of with fresh linens, fresh water, clean towels, and an evening turn down. Ms. Eleanora is also new to the team and she has experience in the cruise ship industry and in hotel housekeeping. These ladies make sure all of our guests have a wonderful clean environment and that their needs are well-covered.

Ms. Mireya: Dining Room Hostess/Server

Ms. Mireya- service with a smile

This is Ms. Mireya’s first season at Blue Marlin, and she has proven to be dedicated to fulfilling our guests’ wishes by accommodating their dietary restrictions, helping them select the best wines, and folding their napkins in beautiful and artistic shapes. She is always on her toes and, if you need anything at all related to dining, she is there to assist. Mr. Mireya has years of experience working at high end resorts and has even worked for Francis Ford Coppola. Ask about her napkin folding classes.

Ms. Isabelle : Guest Services/Marketing

Ms. Isabelle- mother, guest services coordinator, blogger

Also a new member of the team, Ms. Isabelle (the author of this blog) is an experienced blogger, naturalist, and guest services manager. She has worked in resort and tour sales, marketing, and guests services for over 15 years throughout Belize. She has been working around the Belize cayes for over a decade and has been all around the waters fishing, snorkeling, and free diving in her free time with her two sons. Isabelle has also worked inland managing nature reserves, eco-resorts, and tour companies.

Feel free to ask any of our power ladies about the latest happenings and activities available on and off our island base.

SUSTAINABILITY at BLUE MARLIN RESORT

Being situated on the largest living Barrier Reef in the world, the staff and crew at Blue Marlin insist on maintaining the most environmental alternatives to traditional sources of water, fuel, and food.

As an eco-resort, we have taken initiatives to avoid harm to the reef that supports and sustains us. In order to maintain the local ecosystem, with as minimal impact as possible, the staff, guest and crew at Blue Marlin are committed to protecting and preserving our local back yard, which also just so happens to be on a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

By abiding by green practices, we minimize waste and still provide the quality of service our guests have come to expect.

Whatever we consume needs to be transported to the island, processed, and disposed of properly. We make every effort to be conscious of the sensitive environment in which we choose to live and enjoy ourselves. Our eco-consciousness starts from what we eat to how we dispose of it.

These are the top 5 eco-friendly steps we are taking at Blue Marlin Beach Resort, Southwater Caye Marine Reserve, to protect the precious natural resources on which we all depend for our livlihood, health, enjoyment, and future!

1. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE WAATA

It’s ironic that being on an island surrounded by water, one of our main concerns at Blue Marlin Beach Resort is water conservation. Freshwater sources are limited, althought the island was named in honor of several natural freshwater wells that supplied early traderwind merchants and fisherman with water. Alternatively, the rain is a perfect source of water for showers and washing dishes.

We have several large collection tanks that hold 2800 gallons of rainwater at a time. We ask that our guests conserve water when showering and brushing teeth. We supply biodegradable soaps to our guests as well as ask our guests to assist with water conservation by reusing their bath towels and only laundering when needed. Blue Marlin also has a desalination system as a back up water source.

Reusable straws are a big step in the right direction to ocean conservation efforts

2. SAVE A TURTLE: AVOID SINGLE-USE PLASTICS

Plastic waste is destroying the world’s beautiful oceans, killing wildlife, and poisoning humans. We make every effort to reduce, reuse, and recycle. On our adventure trips to the inland which include picnic lunches, we do not pack lunches in disposable containers. We use reusable containers and cutlery. Or we patronize a small, locally-owned restaurant and sample Belizean culture in cuisine as well as explore the beauty of the country.

Every guest receives a reusable Blue Marlin metal canteen to refill throughout their stay with free drinking water provided from the dispenser in the dining area. This makes for a great way to stay hydrated on the boat during a dive trip and also makes for an amazing souvenir to take home along with your memories..

Charlie’s Bar is also phasing out the use of plastic straws and is moving toward biodegradable or bamboo straws. We encourage our guests to consider bringing their own reusable straw to enjoy their Frozen Mango Tangos, a bar favorite. The Government of Belize has recently launched a nationwide initiative to phase out all single-use plastics by the end of 2019.

3. PROTECT THE REEF

Our dives and snorkels take place on the largest living barrier reef in the world. Reefs around the world are dying due to global warming, bleaching, and human destruction. Every time we touch a coral it is injured. Every time we feed a wild animal the balance of nature is thrown off. Every time we use sunscreen and insect repellant that is not biodegradable we add more pollutants to the fragile ecosystem in the sea.

Our divemasters, Bo, Stacey, and Abel, are all avid naturalists. It is part of their mission to educate guests on reef ecology and conservation.

We our guests to assist with reef conservation by following these basic rules:

  1. Do not step on the coral and do not touch the coral. Find a spot on the sandy bottom if you need to take a break or readjust your mask.
  2. Avoid using sunscreen just before entering the water. If possible use biodegradable sunscreen or protect yourself by covering with protective swimear
  3. Do not attempt to lure in wildlife with food and do not touch the wildlife such as turtles, whale sharks, manatees, sting rays, or nurse sharks.

4. IN HUNT OF THE LIONFISH

Lionfish are a predatory invasive species that kill off many endemic reef species. They are highly reproductive as well as highly aggressive. The lionfish is actually quite a beautiful creature covered in orange and white stripes and in an impressive array of spikes. Don’t let its beauty fool you– the toxic spines can injure a human. One lionfish can kill hundreds of native fish per day and this can lead to almost local extinction on some species.

In response, conservation organizations, dives groups, and local resorts have all gotten together to make an effort to decrease the lionfish population. The best way to kill a lionfish is with a speargun. Many divers carry spears along their dives, killing and collecting lionfish. The lionfish filet is actually very tasty once cleaned properly and has become in high demand in local restaurants. And local artisans have been making beautiful lionfish jewelry with the spines and fins.

5. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT

Here at Blue Marlin we believe in serving our guests the freshest meals. We bake all our breads in- house as well as provide our own supply of seafood. When they are not out SCUBA diving, our divemasters and boat crews are out freediving for lobster and conch., You can arrange to join them on spearfishing/drop fishing/trolling trip as you catch seafood for the evening dining. What could be fresher?


Lobster thermidor, coconut cilantro rice,corn on the cob, pesto sauce, glazed beets and asparagus with stem, cho-cho and carrots.

All our meals are made with love and use only local ingredients from organic farms on the mainland or catch of the day from the sea. Enjoy a snack of ceviche or conch fritters, fish panades or fried plantains at our Happy Hour Snack Time. We also cater to dietary restrictions. Our international cuisine incorporates tropical fruits, free range meats, and local veggies. Your wish is our command!

How will you treat yourself on your next vacation?

Jumping around on overcrowded beaches with drunken spring breakers is not your idea of fun?

We’re with you on that one. For those of us focused on holistic living and natural wellness, there is so much more to discover and experience on a Caribbean getaway . Blue Marlin Beach Resort provides the perfect space to get away from the crowds and truly experience a melding of spirit, body, and nature in one place.

One of the best ways to enjoy the Caribbean is by benefiting from the physical and spiritual power of the sea and its bounty. Island life is perfectly blended for a healthy Belize vacation. Wellness surrounds you with nature, marine activities, and fresh seafood as part of daily life.

Here is a list of some of the amazing opportunities for a relaxing and adventurous vacation with a focus on you:

Fresh coconut waata! Photo courtesy Makayla Leslie.

Coconuts

Our property abounds with coconut palms. Coconuts are filled with sweet water and pulp perfect as a refreshing and cleansing alternative to juice. Coconuts have many nutritional properties are are packed with vitamins and minerals. Coconut water can cleanse the kidneys as well as hydrate and possibly help lower blood pressure.

Beach Yoga

Each of our private cabanas is equipped with two yoga mats. So grab your partner and watch the sun rise as you get your energy flow focused with a little morning yoga session.


Photo courtesy Makayla Leslie.

Vitamin Sea

Nothing promotes health and wellness as much as exercise. Here at Blue Marlin, you can get exercise and have fun in the water at the same time. Sea kayaks are a perfect way to explore the nearby reef. Swim, snorkel or dive once of even twice daily to discover the largest living barrier reef in the world. Or you can just take advantage of where the land meets the sea and go for a little jog around the island.

Homestyle Goodness

Charlie’s Bar and Dining offers delicious smoothies made with fresh tropical fruits from the mainland and amazing seafood dinners. Catch of the day is usually caught by our marine staff. When they’re not diving, they’re  fishing! This brings a variety of amazing homemade healthy meals, such as grilled snapper fillet topped with a pineapple chutney, lobster and conch ceviche (seasonal), or shrimp scampi.

Meditation


Photo courtesy Makayla Leslie.

One thing about the lack of crowds and the pristine natural setting situated in the middle of a Marine Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site is that this makes for a peacfeul and quiet environment. Relax in our hammocks or do a personal meditation on the dock. Here the loudest thing you will hear are the pelicans plunging into the water or the sound of the dinner bell.

Massage

A one hour massage is said to have the same health benefits as getting 8 hours or sleep. We can arrange for a private massage or couple’s massage right on the beach in the shade of the palm trees. Our certified massage therapist, Mariel, will help you ease off the stress and aches of daily life. Guests can pre-book massages as part of their vacation package or can arrange with the island guest services for a treatment 24 hours in the advance.

EASTER on the BELIZE CAYES 2019

Nothing says “family time” and “beach time” more than Easter in Belize. Easter is a four-day weekend and a bank and public holiday at the end of April. Traditionally, Belizeans take this time to reconnect with friends and family, barbeque on the beach, go to Church, and enjoy cooling off in the sea.

Family and fun in the sun dominate the Easter holidays in Belize

The dry season is at its height at this time of year with warm winds prevailing. This makes for the perfect conditions to spend some time on the beach. Many Belizean families will head out to the islands, or cayes, for the weekend to truly make the most of the holiday.

Easter is a magical time in Belize and it is a great time to enjoy the beach parties, clear weather, and time together with loved ones. Book your vacation now for next year as space is limited. Or enjoy a last minute deal here at Blue Marlin. Blue Marlin Beach Resort is your perfect base for exploring and enjoying during the Easter holiday. Here you will see a flotilla of sailboats, catamarans, and day trippers from the mainland coming to enjoy the amazing reef and crystal clear waters at South Water Caye.

No matter where your spring break plans take you, here are 5 top things that make Easter what it is here in Belize and throughout the Caribbean:

Handmade kites in flying in the Caribbean breeze

Go Fly a Kite! Belize falls culturally between Latin America and the Caribbean, drawing from the religious traditions and superstitions of both cultures. Flying kites around Easter time is a practice found in countries such as Bermuda, where is was said to have originated by a teacher using a kite to help illustrate the Ascension of Christ. Here in Belize, children make their own kites and have kite competitions along the beach. Arrange for a day trip to the mainland from Blue Marlin, for a cultural immersion in the local Garifuna coastal village of Hopkins. Watch the Annual Kite Festival and learn how to make hudut (a traditional fish and coconut milk dish served with mashed plantain dumplings). Then come back to the resort for an evening dinner of the fresh fish lovingly prepared by our cooks.

Good Friday: In some Caribbean countries it is considered disrespectful to go into the sea on Good Friday as it is the day of the Crucifixion. In Belize this taboo stems from a blend of superstition and religion as there is an old saying about going in the sea and turning into a mermaid. For more religious Belizeans, this was more to do with foregoing pleasures to imitate the suffering of Christ. This still doesn’t stop most Belizeans or tourists from enjoying the sun and sand with fresh fish on the grill and reggae music playing throughout the long weekend.

Fish is eaten throughout the Lent in the form or hudut (above), BBQ-ed, steamed, in Sere (fish soup), or fried in coconut oil.

Off to the Races: Belizeans love a great road bicycle race. Every year the country’s main highway is shut down for part of the day for the Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic, a grueling 140 mile bike race from Belize City to San Ignacio and back. This brings in the top athletes of the region as well as crowds of thousands to excitedly cheer on the racers. You may run into a portion of the race if you go inland for a Maya ruins day tour, such as Xunantunich. Keep a lookout for Tariq Cano, a local favorite, and a spokesperson for opportunities in athletics for the youth.  This race  tradition started in the colonial era when the main mode of transportation to watch cricket and football matches was on dirt roads from village to village on bicycle.
Also inland in the village of Burrell Boom, come spend the day at the horse race, the Easter Monday Fair, and enjoy the thrill of the races and some great Belizean food.

Beach Parties and Nightclubs: Belizeans love a good party and especially a good party on the beach. Usually there is some combination of Caribbean rum, ice cold Belikin beers, scrumptious homemade meals, seafood, chicken or pork BBQ, music, dance contests, watermelon eating contests,drinking contests, bikini contests, and more. So bring your bathing suit, a love of good food, music, and fun, and come enjoy with locals and tourists alike. The party continues into the night and sometimes to sunrise at outrageous club parties with international DJs and the best Caribbean dancehall music, especially in Placencia, San Pedro, and Caye Caulker.

Art and Reverance: Easter is not only a time for family, but also for Catholic processions, parades, and fairs. In the inland town of Benque Viejo del Carmen, the Latino traditions flourish with an annual decoration of the main street with colored sawdust in the form of elaborate carpets depicting religious scenes and symbols. This is followed by a reenactment of Christ’s procession with the Cross.

No matter what you decide to do on your Belize spring break 2019 vacation, come make Blue Marlin Beach Resort your base for exploring the natural and cultural beauty of our “Jewel” of Central America!

Escape to a secluded island getaway for adventure and relaxation with easy access to prime snorkel, dive and fishing sites, personalized service and a homey atmosphere where you arrive with a handshake but leave with a hug. Check out these top 5 reasons you should book Blue Marlin Beach Resort for an extraordinary tropical island vacation.

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