Located on the road to the Mountain Pine Ridge, the village of San Antonio was named after St. Anthony of Padua when a Spanish Priest who visited regularly from the town of Benque Viejo del Carmen brought a statue of St. Anthony to the Village.
The statue can be seen in the Catholic Church near the Village Square. Prior to the name change, San Antonio was known in the local Yucatec Maya dialect as “Osh Multun Kakab” which translates to “Three Mound Virgin Forest”. Today, villagers casually refer to their village as “Tanah,” which is the Maya term for “our home.”
This is mainly an agricultural community and the local residents grow crops such as peanuts, corn, squash, and beans, much like their ancestors. There are currently three Women’s Groups in San Antonio. One group operates the community bakery, the other specializes in pottery, local jewelry and embroidery, and the most recent group makes hammocks, embroidery and clothing. Local Maya lunch included with your tour.
After a visit to Barton Creek Community, we will learn about the Mennonites. Although originally of European descent and heritage, many Mennonites have been born and raised in Belize, creating a unique blend of culture and spirituality. The Mennonites are much like the Amish, living a humble and religiously pious lifestyle. The Mennonites of Belize are peaceful, hardworking people and the more remote communities of Barton Creek retain a very traditional and simple way of life, relying on their knowledge and strength to farm and survive in the jungle with few modern amenities.
The communities are very conservative and the women wear bonnets and long dresses while the men wear denim overalls and hats. They use horse drawn buggies for transportation and till their farm fields with horses. In the most remote communities they still use horses to drive their sawmills. The Mennonites of Barton Creek are very restrictive on their use of machinery and they produce many agricultural crops without any modern machinery. They are highly productive people and produce honey, milk, eggs, poultry, beans and other staple crops.
Come and explore this fascinating and reserved culture on a trip through the jungle and back in the time to help us remember how things were before cell phones, cars, iPads and even before electricity. Return to San Ignacio in the afternoon.