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Nov 30, 2021

Umbraland Adventure Gear Offers Belizean Made Footwear

In business news, today News Five has the story of a local footwear company trying to compete with international imports.  Jaime Marin only brings in a few of the components but sources all the leather locally.  Marion Ali visited Umbraland Adventure Gears’ in Georgeville Village, Cayo today.


Marion Ali, Reporting


A man’s idea for footwear that is suitable for all-weather conditions came to fruition three years ago all by happenstance. But Jaime Marin said it was inspired by the weather.


Jaime Marin

Jaime Marin, Operations Mgr., Umbraland Adventure Gear
“Just by working at the farm and when it was the rainy season we couldn’t find shoes that was durable enough and we were always getting wet. It trapped in mud and we came across something called hunting boots or duck boots and we said to ourselves that I think we can do this here in Belize.”


Marin went about ordering the machinery and began to import accessories and soles and began to stitch the treated hides.


Jaime Marin

“This was our version of the work boots, but for wet conditions and then we moved into what we know now as the general work boots. This is our general work boots. We had to put in all the safety standards, the steel toe, the puncture proof, slip proof, shock.”


Marin says that his superior quality leather boots cost a little more than generic ones found in the downtown stores, but are more affordable than name brand ones. However, he quickly found out that landing a sizeable market in Belize is  hard to accomplish.


Jaime Marin

“We’re up against huge names from abroad like Red Wing, Knicks, Timberland, massive companies that started manufacturing in the late 1800’s. The difference that we do in our work boots is that we create our own foot bottoms and it’s from natural cow hide fibre. It’s not cardboard like the mass-produced footwear are. So the inside foot bed is a raw hide leather. The outside is another raw hide. Between the two of them goes a steel shank to support the arch of your feet. We’ve already been able to send this to Mexico to a lab to test all the OSH standards and we have gotten a pass on it.”


The whole process of shoemaking starts with cleaning and treating the cattle skin. Initially Marin has had to import the product, but now he buys the skin from local butchers. He has also invested in a tannery where the skin is soaked and processed. After a few days of drying and processing, it is then taken to shoe factory where it is cut and shaped and fitted onto shoe soles.

Now that Marin’s boots have met international standards, he is hoping that the local market will support his business.


Jaime Marin

“It’s not the one, one that will get us there. We need the institutional support. Even if it’s five, ten, thirteen people like corporations or institutions that can do that for their employees, that’s where it will get us to the point where we can stand on our two feet.”


Marin says he intends to expand the business to include other types of footwear for different occasions. Eventually, his plan is to also cater to students. You can contact him at 638-0611 or order online at

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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