Over the years Barry and Claudia Leon lived happily all over the States. They both had full and varied careers in psychology, college teaching, business, and biology. But after retiring to their 56-acre ranch in Texas, the couple decided they wanted to add another place to their long list of residences.
It's certainly still possible to find a place to eat overseas that will make you sick, but over the past dozen years of living in and traveling around Latin America, we've found that many of the stomach problems expats get come from two common sources that have nothing to do with poor food preparation or foul water.
Let's face it, dumping your old life and taking off to live -- even part time -- in Ecuador or Belize or any other likely foreign haven is not what most folks do. They may dream about it. But actually doing it is not something most folks seriously consider. It isn't what most people would call "normal."
Pizza is essentially comfort food. For many, if not most, U.S. citizens, it carries with it a lifetime of associations with happy times and full stomachs... parties and get togethers, congenial late-night work sessions, relaxing weekends watching sports, special evenings at that favorite little Italian restaurant with family and friends.
You won't find the huge resorts of other Caribbean destinations in Bocas del Toro, Panama... just an easygoing, water-lover's paradise, where snorkeling, island-hopping, and beach-combing are the order of the day. This is the Caribbean as it should be -- clean, white-sand beaches; the freshest fruits and seafood; colorful wildlife; and smiling, laid-back locals.
Ambergris Caye is Belize's top tourist destination. And it's easy to see why. Turquoise waters, swaying palms... And the longest barrier reef in this hemisphere. The reef system is home to an underwater sinkhole called the Great Blue Hole, and to hundreds of other idyllic islands, snorkel and dive locations. And Ambergris Caye is the jumping off point to it all.