The Dukes of Cambridge, William and Catalina, continued their official visit to the Caribbean and the Atlantic on Monday with a tour of Belize to explore the Chiquibul forest reserve, where they will observe the British armed forces training in the jungle.
It was at the Batsub base in Chiquibul that Prince William took his military training two decades ago.
The couple will also visit Caracol this Monday, the most recognized Mayan archaeological area in Belize, and then they will visit Caana, the tallest statue in the country.
The couple will culminate their visit to Belize with a formal reception at the Cahal Pech Mayan encampment.
The dukes will leave Belize on Tuesday morning for Jamaica and then for the Bahamas, as part of an official visit to the Caribbean and the Atlantic, to strengthen British relations with countries in the area.
For the Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II
Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas were British colonies in the past and, although they became independent decades ago, Elizabeth II continues to hold the head of state.
The Duke and Duchess’ visit to Belize is the first by a member of the British royal family since 2012, when Prince Harry visited the country as part of Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee.
At 96, the queen has assigned a large part of royal duties, such as these long-term trips, to other members of the royal family.
The agenda of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, however, was altered on Sunday.
The couple had planned to visit the Akte’iL Ha cocoa farm in Indian Creek, as it is a great example of sustainable agriculture.
However, residents demonstrated with banners against this visit, because the couple’s helicopter allegedly received permission to land on a soccer field without prior authorization.
The locals, in turn, dispute a plot of land against a group supported by the royal family.
Given this, Prince William and Catherine visited another part of the country “to show the entrepreneurial spirit of the Mayan family in the cocoa industry,” Kensington Palace reported.
Then, the couple flew to Hopkins Village, on the northeast coast of the Central American country, where the Garifuna Festival is celebrated.
There, the couple was received by the Garifuna community who prepared typical local dishes such as hudut and sahou, taught them the art of making chocolate from cocoa beans and with whom they planted a tree.
Similarly, the couple danced ” punta ” with the residents of the community, as Prince Henry did on a past visit.
Some residents, for their part, hoped that the dukes would leave with some deeper knowledge of the country, while others admitted that they did not pay much attention to the visit.
“We will not see them, so I am indifferent apart from how their visit will affect traffic,” said Yamira Novelo, a resident of Belize City. (I)