Mary Arnold: «Found My Heaven – This is For Me»

I have always dreamed of retiring in Central of South America. I searched a few countries but was attracted to Belize when I realized the native language was English and they use the English Common Law for all legal transactions, simplifying the process. The added benefit of the close proximity to my family in the States made it an easy decision. I enjoy the exercise I get from bicycling through the development and kayaking & canoeing in the river. I especially enjoy the diversity of the country and people. I can enjoy the view of the mountains and the river and everyone can be self-sufficient while coming together as a Community. I grew up on a farm and truly appreciate the organic gardens, plants, and I even have my own chicken coop!

London, Ontario – 2016

Gerry: «Sharing and Caring»

I was attracted to the warmth of the climate and the people. I immediately fell in love with Carmelita Gardens when I saw the potential to connect with a village and be a part of the lives of the local people in the area. I encourage all those who visit and move to the area to get to know the local people. My mission is for everyone to feel they are a part of the village, Santa Familia, as well as the community of Carmelita Gardens.

Minneapolis, MN – 2013

Tony: «Dream Come True»
I was immediately attracted to the weather and climate of Belize. As a resident and native in the Bronx of New York City, I was looking for warmer weather, a lower cost of living, and the ability to spend more time outdoors. I found all three while discovering the beauty of Carmelita Gardens all around me. I feel that I am now living the dream!!

Bronx, NY – 2016

JD and MaryAnn Longwell: «Our Carmelita Gardens Journey»

Our first visit was in February 2018. My wife, MaryAnn, and I had both been Peace Corps Volunteers in Belize in the 70’s, and we’d already fallen in love with the Cayo District. After visiting Carmelita Gardens we knew this was the community we’d been searching for. Soon after meeting Phil Hahn and his team we purchased a lot overlooking the Belize River. We worked with Phil on our home design, taking ideas from several of the homes that were already in the neighborhood.

Phil introduced us to Gerson Salas, a local contractor from nearby Bullet Tree Falls, who had built several homes in Carmelita Gardens. We broke ground in June 2019 and, almost exactly 8 months later, we spent the first night in our beautiful new home. Frequent site visits and the wonders of modern technology allowed us to closely monitor progress on the home and there were virtually no surprises. All-and-all, we couldn’t have asked for a better building experience.

Poncha Springs, CO – 2018
Andre: «I like to refer to Phil as the Elon Musk of development»
I learned about Carmelita Gardens over 6 years ago and was very impressed with Phil’s vision. In fact, I like to refer to him as the Elon Musk of development! Carmelita Gardens builds unique, beautifully crafted homes that are close to a winding river, stunning lush nature, and fertile land where you can grow your food organically and sustainably. The community values are what struck me as very unique. It’s a giant family of like-minded people who support and encourage each other. In these challenging Covid times, many of us can work remotely and are looking for a home away from home — in a safe, peaceful location, with strong community and space to roam. You will find all of that and more at Carmelita Gardens.

Montreal, Canada – 2015

Dianne Dodson: «The home for my heart, mind and soul»
I was looking for a place to retire that would be come “the home for my heart, mind, and soul.” That is important for me-after all I’ll be spending my retirement years in that place. I wanted, of course, to be close enough to visit my family in the States if I wanted to, and to find a place where I would be able to be involved with people that were like-minded, open-minded, and respectful of the surrounding community and each other. Somewhere that had options for adventure, peacefulness, friendliness, and acceptance. I didn’t know if I could find that utopia or not, but I was going to look. I’ve always wanted to travel, live in other countries, meet other cultures, and live simply and sustainably. I never got the chance to do this while raising my children, going to nursing school, and then caring for my oldest daughter.

Paris, TX – 2019

Dave Carlson: «Worth the ride? YES! Go for it!»

Overwhelming at times…

Amazing at times…

Frustrating at times…

Interesting at times…

Astounding at times…

Emotional at times…

I could go on and on, but I want to say that it was quite an experience from that first shovel overturned to the last bit of cement being poured!

Please heed my advice: Listen to everything being said before

Phoenix, AZ – 2013

John Gieg

John Gieg: «This feels like Home»

Life can be an interesting journey. I have spent my life in construction, doing many varied projects, residential, commercial, and industrial. I had my own business for some time, and also worked for big and small companies so my background has been pretty extensive in that field. I had built my off grid dream home in Alberta but due to life changes, knew it was time for a big change. As I started to research my new destination, somehow Carmelita Gardens, showed up on my radar. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. I wanted to be a part of a community, where I could perhaps contribute and find new friends to walk life’s road with. In times like these, the allure of a self sufficient relaxed lifestyle where “community” means more than just living in the new home on the block and has a very strong appeal. I think that Carmelita Gardens is just that. Will it be different than life in North America? Absolutely! If you are ready for the next adventure though, I invite you to come check it out. I think that once you arrive, you may feel just like I did as I drove onto the site and say “this feels like home.”

Leduc, Alberta  Canada – 2021