While Itz’ana is located on the Placencia Peninsula and only five short miles from Placencia Village along the mainroad, technically we are nestled on the southern border of the Seine Bight community. This is a point that is near and dear to our hearts.
The least developed of all the villages on the peninsula- of which there are 4 (Placencia Village, Seine Bight, Maya Beach and Riversdale)- this is a place where you can still see the true culture of Belize thriving in tune with the steady beat of a Garifuna drum.
This is a place where kids still go to the grocery store with a note and five dollars in their hand from their parents to the cashier. A place where babies are rocked to sleep in a hammock, snacks are pulled right off the trees and being barefoot is the common way of life.
The family of Itz’ana Resort & Residences is made up of over 80 sets of individual villa owners. People from all over the world who are well traveled, successful and accomplished and they decided they could see the potential in Itz’ana from it’s conception. They also choose to see Seine Bight for the authenticity it maintains in what is a growing tourist destination. Afterall, who wants to come to Belize and not have it look and feel like Belize?
This summer there have been many great strides on the Seine Bight scene and so many ways that our homeowners have gotten involved to augment the synergy between a luxury resort like Itz’ana and the community where so many of our staff live.
One of the most exciting recent developments is the new Village Council that was elected this year. With a term lasting three years in duration, Seine Bight has had the same Chairman and council for over half a decade. This year it was a group of young Belizean men- most under 30- that took to the campaign trail. For years, they’ve been volunteering with the kids as soccer coaches and camp counselors, organizing beach clean-ups and acting as mentors. They campaigned hard and with the highest voter turnout in Seine Bight’s history, they won with a pledge to be of the people and for the people. As a result, there is a vibe of hope for positive change, for more pride and for growth.
Jose Aleman and Kirwin Rimiriz are now Chairman and Councillor and one of their first orders of business was to organize a Sports Day Camp for the kids. Two of our homeowners, a mother and daughter team, volunteered their holiday time during every day of camp making sandwiches and cutting watermelon and being there to serve it to the kids.
One set of solar cottage owners have provided more shoes to the running club than any other donor over the past two years. Bringing new and used runners by the suitcase with every trip they make. Another have taken on the Seine Bight Library with a passion. Collecting books by the bin at their local bank in Canada and even getting it featured on their local news.
Our recent and first ever bride and groom at Itz’ana, raised money for Seine Bight in lieu of wedding gifts. This money has gone to entry fees for the running club races that all go towards high school scholarships. That money will fund a guided field trip to Cockscomb for a group of local boys in need of inspiration for a future vocation. It will be the first time many of them leave Seine Bight and get to see Belize through a tourist’s eyes.
Combined with donations from other owners in addition to supplies brought by their wedding guests, Itz’ana was enabled to hand out school bags filled with supplies to 30 children in need this fall. The Reservoir to Museum Foundation held their annual August 5K Run and it was awesome to see a family of our homeowners out there running alongside the locals.
Whether its donating the jersey’s to the women’s softball league- the Seine Bight Flames- to rescuing dogs in need of care of just offering a golf cart ride where they can, it’s been a beautiful thing to witness these two communities coming together. One sharing their land, sea and culture and the other providing opportunity and lending a helping hand.
We look forward to many years of fostering this budding synergistic relationship where future guests of Itz’ana can still be privy to the Belizean way of life and where this community is empowered to be the best version of itself.