Belize Retirement News

August 1, 2017 - Chat with an Expat: Living in the Corozal District, Belize with Grant D'Eall from Canada

Ever wonder what it’s like to live in Belize?

Belize is known for its world class coral reefs, bountiful azure blue beaches and Mayan ruins. Beyond that, Belize makes it easy for foreigners to choose to invest and retire here by offering programs such as the QRP and making it affordable to purchase beachfront property - the kind that would cost millions in North America or Europe. It’s no wonder why some people decide to call Belize home!

In the first installment of our new Chat with an Expat series, our office spoke with Grant D’Eall, a Strategic Planning Facilitator from Toronto, Canada. We sat down and talked about why people who are bound for Belize should consider moving to the Corozal District. 

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Living the dream.

Wrobel & Co: Thank you, Grant, for taking a few minutes to chat with us. First question, when did you move to Belize and why did you choose to move here? 
Grant: Belize was completely unknown to me when I was asked to move there in 2013.
My background is in Business / Human Resource Consulting and one of my clients requested that I set up an office in Belize City to provide customer support for their international company. I had to recruit employees, find a suitable office, setup office equipment and a host of other things you would expect when essentially starting a new business. But Belize? What is it about? Where is it? What is it like? A myriad of questions about this foreign country came to my mind. 
I did my research. After doing a google search on Belize, I found so much negativity mostly related to crime and violence. I don’t believe everything I read or hear. It could have been a turnoff but I am an adventurous sort and plunged into this adventure with gusto. The reality is I did not have one hint of a problem in term of my personal safety. In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Belize City. I met so many wonderful Belizean people and continue to feel drawn to the laid back nature of the wonderful culture of Belize. I have grown to love the country.
After my contract ended, I worked alongside a Belizean businessman doing consulting work for a large Contact Center he was establishing. It was just on the outskirts of Belize City. 

W & C: What was the process of moving to Belize like for you? 

Grant: Moving to Belize was not difficult. I rented a comfortable apartment close to my new office and, after two months, I found a long-term apartment in a safe and comfortable area. I purchased a vehicle, set up a bank account and did all the things you’d expect when basically relocating to a foreign country. I quickly made friends and with the help of people like (Managing Partner) Ryan, I got everything taken care of so that I could live and move around as needed. The process of settling is somewhat different than my home country of Canada, but that is to be expected. 

W & C: At one point, you flew back to Canada.  What made you return to Belize and why did you choose to move to the Corozal District?
Grant: After my time in Belize City, I returned to Canada for a few months to attend the wedding of one of my sons. During that time, I explored different opportunities in Canada and all the while my heart’s desire was to return to Belize. A few months passed and a friend of mine opened a business in the Corozal District of northern Belize and asked me if I was available to assist him by bringing my experience and expertise to his business. I jumped at it – thinking I may stay for a few months. I thought wrong. 
Shortly after returning to Belize in 2015, I met Mark Leonard, owner / Developer at Cerros Sands. We became good friends. Initially I did photography for his development. The more I became involved, the more I caught the vision for his development. My photography continues but my work for Cerros Sands has developed into more as I now work full time with him as Director of Marketing. 

Photo of a an expat in Belize law firm mahogany bay Belize attorney relocate to belize lawyers

A slightly dated photo.

W & C: You like to talk about how much you enjoy living in the Corozal District. Why would other people enjoy living in the Corozal District and why should people consider purchasing property there? What makes it different from the rest of Belize?

Grant: Living in the Corozal District is a different than living in the city. There are vast open spaces and less population. There is plenty of jungle which is more than interesting. The District has some unique aspects to it in comparison to some of the other fine locations in the country.

Firstly, the proximity to Mexico and all it has to offer. The city of Chetumal, Mexico is just a 45 minute drive from where I am living. It’s very convenient when you want / need some “first world” things expats are accustomed to. Easy access to Mexico is very appealing for conveniences and medical expertise (when needed) among other things. 
Secondly, the small town feel of Corozal is unique. This quaint town of approximately 15,000 people (includes surrounding areas) provides most amenities that an expat would need – groceries, government services, an outdoor market and vehicle servicing just to name a few.

W & C: What does the real estate market look like in the Corozal District right now?
Grant: The Corozal District has several expat communities. In the past year, I’ve seen an interest spike for those looking to retire or have a seasonal home here in Northern Belize. There are numerous reasons for this increased interest. Some have always dreamed of retiring in a tropical country. Others are drawn because Belize is English speaking, It’s a natural place to look. Others are disgruntled with their home country for political reasons or they simply want to escape the rat race hustle bustle of where they have spent the bulk of their life. I should also note that some are buying here for investment purposes. 

W & C: What do you do for a living in the Corozal District? Let’s let the person who’s reading this know what your business is about. 
Grant: My work varies but I spend most of my time at Cerros Sands doing numerous things - website design / maintenance, giving sales tours, blogging and photography. I also offer Business Consulting services including facilitating Strategic Planning Sessions. 

W & C: Nice! Where can people go to learn more about you and what you do?
Grant: Cerros Sands is my primary involvement in terms of work here in Belize. On the site anyone can see my photography and blogging work. You can also find my professional resume on my LinkedIn profile. As I mentioned, I offer Business Consulting services including facilitating Strategic Planning Sessions.  

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Interested in retiring or relocating in Belize like Grant did?  Contact Wrobel & Co, Attorneys-at-Law, and we’ll get you started on your Belize retirement or relocation journey today.

To learn more about retirement in Belize, visit our Belize Retirement FAQ page here.

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