After a wonderful night’s sleep, we arrived at Reyes’ home where we were welcomed to indulge in a delicious breakfast that consisted of some sort of fried dough called Jack Cakes, scrambled eggs with tomatoes, and beans. This may have been my favorite meal so far, but I am still eager to see what other foods we will be tasting this week. After breakfast, Reyes took the group on a tour of his cacao farm. Along the way Reyes demonstrated his vast knowledge of the land and Mayan culture by giving us an overview of the different types of plants that may be used for food, art, and even medicinal purposes. I was very intrigued by the connection that the Mayans have with the earth and everything that springs from it. Nothing is ever wasted and even the smallest things, that many of us may take for granted, are given a purpose. Reyes’ cacao farm was a great thing to witness and we even got to taste the inside of a cacao pod, which was not chocolatey but fruity! It was pretty cool to find out that Reyes’ cacao farm had been in his family for many generations before him and that he plans to one day hand it down to his sons. After the tour of the cacao farm we were able to see the process of how a cocoa drink is made. Reyes’ wife is an expert at this process and even allowed us take part in it and taste the end result, which was delicious.
 
Belize - cocoa farm- chocolate drink
 
Although it was sad to say goodbye to Reyes and his family, after having spent a good portion of last night and today with them, I was very eager to see what our next destination was all about – Punta Gorda. My first impression of Punta Gorda was that it had a strong Caribbean feel to it. Our first stop in Punta Gorda was the Nazareth Retreat Center, the place where we will be staying for the rest of the week. It is very big and very beautiful. The sisters that we have met have also been very nice and welcoming. After unpacking and getting settled in our room we all went to grab lunch at Waluco’s, a great restaurant that surprisingly had many foods that are also common in America, such as burgers and quesadillas. I ordered some very delicious barbeque ribs. We ended the afternoon with a refreshing swim on the Gulf of Honduras.
 
Eddy Caiza Class of 2014