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Feb 21, 2011

B.T.B. tours the city ‘old school style’ on horse and buggy

Sightseeing in the old capital is a favourite activity for visitors to the Jewel. The visitors learn about Belize’s colonial past as well as its modern history from tour guides, who take them through the city mainly on horse and carriage rides. To boost their knowledge of our history, the Belize Tourism Board facilitated a short training course for the guides. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

Isani Cayetano

“A horse and buggy ride is a great means of sightseeing.  It’s also a favorite of cruise tourists wishing to learn a brief history of the Old Capital.  But have you ever stopped and wondered how it’s done?  The lessons that these tour guides need to learn in order to take you guys and, of course, the tourists visiting Belize on an expedition to find out all about Belize’s historic past.”

For many visiting our shores, a tour of Belize City can be bought just about anywhere within the Fort George Tourism Zone.  A journey through the streets by horse and carriage is a voyage through time as these certified guides revisit various tourist attractions.

Kirk Craig

Meet Kirk Craig, a licensed chaperon whose wealth of knowledge in Belizean history is nothing short of remarkable.

Kirk Craig

“Good morning ladies and gentlemen.  Welcome to Belize.  Thanks for choosing Belize By Carriage.  Okay I’ll start off this tour by saying this entire area that we are all at right now is known as the Fort George Area.”

Craig is among a number of Belize City tour guides who were today accredited by the Belize Tourism Board for participating in a crash course on the Jewel and its storied past.

Kirk Craig

“Most of the houses you see around here are old colonial structures.  The B.E.C., the Belize Estate & Company use to once reside in this house right here, as well as the Great House was one of the first colonial mansions in Belize City as well.  The B.E.C. was the company that use to export all the raw chewing gum, chicle, to England.”

Like his colleagues he is a student of Fred Hunter, a well known Belizean who has spent countless hours researching people, places and events in Belize.

Fred Hunter

Fred Hunter

“I told them first how Belize got its name.  How Belize came to exist.  Who founded the Settlement of Belize [because] there are a lot of stories going around?  All my historical pronouncements are backed up by positive evidence.  Then I showed them how Belize City grew and the famous buildings in Belize and it was closely built around those four things so they get to know the city of Belize but you have to know your country too.”

…and learning about the country was the most important aspect of the training.  For Sherema Forman the opportunity for her guides to expand their knowledge of history goes a long way in teaching their guests about Belize.

Sherema Forman, Belize Horse & Carriage Tours

Sherema Forman

“Well we know that knowledge is very important and in order to impart that to the guests it needs to be done in a very structured way and entertaining for cruise ship passengers that are coming on the cruise ships.  So in order for that to be displayed and to have consistency or good feedback from our guests we have to, it is very important for us to get training and to keep up training as the years go along because information changes or new information is needed to be added and also we want to keep current with the times.”

Doing so meant that this class had to sit through an intense session on everything Belizean which when coupled with Craig’s gift of gab also makes for an interesting crash course in the country’s history.

Kirk Craig

“This is the Fisheries Department right.  The Fisheries Department or the people that control the rules and regulations of fishing within our country, right, because in our country if you don’t know it, it’s just like in your country where you have hunting season.  We have what you call lobster season and shrimp season and when the season is closed you cannot catch shrimps and lobster.  That’s a very big no-no.”

At the end of the course participants received a certificate from the Belize Tourism Board qualifying them for municipal tours. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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8 Responses for “B.T.B. tours the city ‘old school style’ on horse and buggy”

  1. Adios says:

    Take the tourist to a tour of the GETTOS in thre nasty city.

  2. Maria Marshall says:

    I have just returned from visiting the old hometown and today was reading about the Belize horse and carriage tours which sounds very interesting and now feel like I’ve missed something good. I have always seen them around but never given them much thought.
    Now I think It would have been a bonus to my holiday with a lovely recollection of memories.

    I believe this experience would also be historically appealing to Belizeans whether on holiday from abroad or from local surrounding areas.

    While we’re at it why not make it a special treat for schoolchildren as well.

  3. Overworked horses says:

    I first thought this horse and carriage business was nice for Belize but ive had second thoughts since. If people only knew how they treat these horses. they are in the sun all day, scorching sun at times, with no food and water and u can see the sweat dripping off thier backs. Yes people horses sweat. some of them i feel sorry for…actually all of them..i’m guaranteed that all of them are mal-nourished. people just take these animals to be a joyride. its a pity. not just cuz they are animals u shud treat them like hardcore animals. Imagine u were the horses. I really wish this type of business did not exist in Belize AT ALL!! U shud see how these horses are kept and in wat conditions. sometimes u see them roaming around on Princess Margaret Drive just eating the grass cuz they are so hungry. it takes a lot of money to care for these animals but people just dnt care.

  4. Xaan says:

    I agree with you “Over worked Horse” I am an animal lover and i totally agree………

  5. cindy says:

    If you are an animal lover you must know that animals arent like humans. and they love to do what they do best. this is the best that could have happen in the tourism industry for it is providing jobs to people. and if the horses were to be left to the sun they would have collapse! common sense.

  6. Skywalker says:

    Animals love to do what they do? So if you leave a horse alone it will naturally start hauling stones and trees in the sun because it loves it? What an asinine comment. Whenever I see these horses I think it is a clear case of animal abuse.

  7. Earl Grey says:

    Over worked……….YOUR CONCERN NOTED…………
    BUT It is nothing that rules and regulations cannot fix.

    Bring back the “MULE &CART” too……….save gas……….GO GREEN. ;-)

  8. SUCIO says:

    uno di worry about the horse ,a horse is a horse and that is what they do best.what you should be worring about is the B.T.B pretending to be doing something for the tourism industry and all they are doing is driving big @$$ trucks all day long .

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