Looking for an retirement in Belize? Corozal is a lovely quite relaxed place
Corozal Town was badly damaged by Hurricane Janet in 1955, and was substantially rebuilt afterwards. Corozal, the northmost town in Belize, was founded in 1848 by refugees from the Maya Indian uprising against the Spanish in neighboring Yucatán. This uprising, known as the Caste War of Yucatán (from the Spanish "castas" or race), began as a war against the Spaniards, but it eventually became a war against the Mestizos. The Mestizos, half Spanish and half Indian, had proved to be formidable allies of the Spaniards, and were thus mortal enemies of the Maya Indians.
A massacre at Bacalar, Mexico — a Mestizo stronghold about thirty miles north of Corozal Town — finally led to the exodus of thousands of Mestizos from Bacalar and the surrounding area. Between 1848 and 1856 more than 10,000 refugees crossed the Rio Hondo, the river that now serves as a boundary between Belize and Mexico. These immigrants sought refuge in northern Belize, and increased the population of Corozal Town to 4500. Mr. James Blake, a magistrate, let them settle on lands in the Corozal District and helped them to establish the new crop — sugar cane.
The Mestizo refugees were far from safe in Corozal Town as the Maya Indians from the Mexican base in Santa Cruz Bravo — today Carrillo Puerto — made several incursions in Corozal Town. In defense, Corozal became a garrison town and Fort Barlee was built here in 1870. Today, the brick corner supports of the fort surround the post office complex of the buildings across from the central town square.
Within Corozal itself can be found another Maya ruin from the fourteenth century AD. Known as Santa Rita, the pyramid site sits atop the remains of a Maya city that dominated the area for more, than 2000 years. Burial sites rich in jewelry and artifacts have recently been unearthed here. Santa Rita was probably part of ancient Chactumal, the Maya capital of the area at the time of the first Spanish attempt to conquer the Yucatec Mayas in the early 16th century. The ruins of Santa Rita is located near the town's Hospital and is surrounded by the villages of San Andres, San Antonio, and Paraiso, by walking distances. An estimated 90% of the town was destroyed by Hurricane Janet in 1955, and most of the present structures post-date that hurricane.
The immigrants brought with them Mestizo culture: Spanish and Yucatec Maya language, Catholicism and Maya folklore, the use of alcalde, their family structure and way of life. Soon, there emerged a local replication of the society of the Yucatán within the boundaries of a country ruled by English expatriates. Across the bay from Corozal Town are the mounds of Cerros, the first Maya coastal trading center. Cerros is considered one of the most important late preclassic Maya sites because it represented the first experiment with kingship in the Maya world. The remains include a number of temples, plazas, ballcourts, canals, and minor structures. The most interesting artifacts so far discovered are the five jade head pendants.
Corozal is the country’s fourth largest populated district, with 20,335 residents. and home to a growing community of North American and European retirees.In 2010 the American Association of Retired Persons, the AARP, ranked Corozal a top retirement destination. The article describes Corozal: “The Corozal district, a few miles’ drive from the Mexican border, is far more affordable. Corozal expats live a laid-back life, with year-round outdoor play (boating, hiking, swimming, diving), but are still only minutes from the malls and cineplexes of Chetumal, the capital of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo.” Check out our Top Ten Reasons To Live or Retire in Belize page.Another interesting view of Corozal comes from an American retiree in Corozal.He writes: “When we first visited Corozal in May 1998, Charlotte decided that she wanted to live here. It was hot and dry in May, and the town was in the economic doldrums, but we still loved it. The bay front reminded me of Santa Monica.”
Cost of Living in Corozal, Belize
Here's a list of optional visit in Corozal:
Map view from Corozal and a map to Santa Rita Heights and Corozal House of Culture.
Click here to find out where to eat in Corozal
A Tale of Two Low-Cost Retirement Towns -- Corozal in Belize and Boquete in Panama
Fly Maya Island Air in Corozal
It’s easy to have a simple, laidback, Caribbean lifestyle in Corozal.
Entertainment, food and everyday expenses are affordable. The town’s open-air market is a great place to buy everything from snacks and souvenirs to handmade clothing. Nearby are shops and restaurants that serve Belizean, Mexican, and American dishes, all at relatively low prices.
If you’re looking for a bit more on your shopping trip, the nearby border with Mexico allows a more Americanized shopping experience, which can even include a stop at Walmart, Sam’s Club, or a shopping mall.
There are many outdoor activities to keep you entertained in Corozal, including: sailing, fishing, swimming, visiting historic Mayan sites or just enjoying the laidback social life. There’s also a local museum and many activities in the local park.
Real Estate in Corozal, Belize
Real estate in Corozal has historically been more affordable than in some other seaside destinations in Belize.
Some expats choose to live in or near Corozal Town itself, with mostly local Belizeans as neighbors. You can still find Belizean-style homes for less than $100,000, though you’ll have more choices and better materials at $150,000.
Here are some property examples for real estate in Corozal:
A 10,100-square-foot lot. This parcel is one lot from Cocos Lagoon. Most utilities are now in place. The Progresso Heights Community Association Limited has been established for common property management and deed regulations. Price: $20,000.
Two sea view lots, north of Corozal Town, parcels 1084 and 1084, each at 682.46 square yards. Selling together. Price: $80,000.
A two-bedroom, two-bath home. It is 1,000 square feet, and located south of town. The upstairs could easily be expanded. The rooftop porch looks out to the Caribbean Sea. It is a short walk to the sea. Price: $149,500.
A three-bedroom, two-bath Spanish-style home, with 2,300 square feet, an open yard, and a sea view. Price: $193,000.
Corozal District is the northernmost district in the country of Belize, with a population of over 48,000 (2010 census). The district is composed of four political divisions and includes over 25 villages which include Calcutta, Chunox and Corozal Town, the main center of the district. Spanish is the most spoken language here, although about 60% speak English very well. Part of the district was built over an ancient Maya city. Aerial of Corozal Town courtesy of Wikipedia and jon of London,Canada. See our country review of Belize. Picture of Beachfront of Sateneja courtesy of Wikipedia and Jennifer Williams.
With so many seperate villages in the district, real estate prices and types of homes vary greatly. It's all about location.Belize is very welcoming to expatriate retirements. Corozal District is slow paced and composed of many diverse neighborhoods with a mix of languages and culture. Maya ruins and the beaches of the Yucatan Peninsula, along with sport fishing and nature preserves have made popular tourist and retirement destinations, not to mention weather. The world's second largest barrier reef spans almost the entire coastline of the country.Can't say much that is not specail about the Corozal District, but some may not like being so close to the Mexican border.Those looking for a low cost of living in a tropical climate with diverse cultures would enjoy living here.Sugar production and other agricultural crops such as papaya are still vital to the economy, but tourism is slowing becoming prominent in Corozal District.The villages in Corozal are divided by color and language. Multinational blend of cultures is evident everywhere. There is a mix of Belize's races and cultures such as Mestizos, Hispanic and Creole, East Asian, Mennonite and American Expats. Most common languages spoken are Spanish, English and Yucatan Mayan. The area offers much to do with Mayan sites, wildlife sanctuaries, and seaside parks.
In Belize the government operates the hospitals and clinics in the towns and villages, although there are some privately run systems.
Transportation can be made right here in Corozal. Such as bus system, water taxis and Fly with Maya Island Air..