Ocean’s Edge, Belize Central America

The fellow was sitting at a bar in southern Belize in a small village named Placencia. He had local drawings of properties for sale out on the counter and was having a beer. I asked if he had anything for sale in a certain price range right on the water and he said, ‘Yup’. Next day, we drove up to view the property. It was a jungle, literally. We could not walk from the road to the Caribbean only 200 feet away without machetes. It was perfect as far as I was concerned and I said, ‘I’ll buy it’. Yim said, ‘Are you nuts?’

Oceans Edge

Ocean’s Edge was the fulfillment of a dream for me. Yim and I bought land on the Caribbean, conceptualized and built a small Eco Resort.

For the next four years, we worked on the development of the property and landscaping and enjoyed the adventures the project brought with it and the challenges until a successful sale in 2004.


The Site Plan

In 1999, after we bought the property, I began conceptualizing what the small property would look like. We decided that the front would be two larger homes and the back acre, four smaller houses on stilts up about twelve feet to catch the ocean breezes and for the view.

The walkway would wind through the property with dense foliage planted on both sides with bananas, limes and plantain scattered through the property.

We also built a small watchmans quarters where our caretaker could live and also take on jobs with other local properties.


Pre Fab Sections

The houses were built in San Ignacio and transported to Maya Beach on a flatbed truck and set down on the property and we then positioned them and started to add the roofs.


The First House

The house closest to the beach was the first to be placed on its footings and then the roof was added. We wanted to get the roofs on as quickly as possible so we could start working on the interiors.

Our help was mostly hired from San Salvador and Guatemala and were a good group of guys - hard working. It was actually a lot of fun...


The Interiors

Once we had the roofs on, it was time to start varnishing the interiors and setting up house for incoming guests, who arrived the week after we finished. The hardwoods were are local and polished up beautifully but it was hard work... we did it all by hand with two small hand sanders because that was all we could find.


Two Finished Houses

Here are the two houses completed less than three weeks later, with Yim testing the walkway. We were now ready to start landscaping. Yim and I traveled around Belize buying trees and collecting them as sprouting coconut palms we found along the beach... carrying them back and planting them. I think we planted a little over 140 Coconut Palms...


Sunrise

When Yim and I were planning the property, we purposefully located the houses so the sun would rise directly through the front windows and lighten the house and on many days, the soft sunrises illuminated the property just enough to wake me up and head out for an early morning swim.


The Resort We Built

In 1999, Yim and I purchased a parcel of property on the Caribbean Sea and set about designing our own small Eco Resort we named Ocean’s Edge. We planned every element of the property from the design of the house to the landscaping to the website and advertising. We oversaw every aspect of construction, hired the builders, supervised the installation of the pre-fabricated houses and lived on the property for almost four year to establish and then sell the property.


The Solution & Result

This was a lifelong dream for me. Buying a piece of Caribbean Beachfront and designing and building our own Eco Resort. WHO does not want to do that? Over a four year period, Yim and I built a small resort which was profiable from Day 1 and sold it. Yes. Having Caribbean Beachfront is awesome but it was time for us to move forward and are both very proud of the beautiful little resort we built and which is still virtually the same as it was the day we left except our landscaping has made the gardens exquisite in 2015.

Client Review

I had the opportunity to visit and dive the second largest barrier reef in the world in southern Belize led by Steve Roper. Along on this trip were several members of the Board of Directors of the World Wildlife Fund.

During the trip out, Steve explained in great detail the wonders of the barrier reef system and the need for people to respect and protect this wonderful resource of ours. He carefully explained the dive to us and led us along a remarkable visit. I happen to recall his charm when he commented on how good a diver I was. He made us all feel at ease.

His commitment to our oceans impressed me as he outlined his vision to reduce commercial fishing vessels and install moorings along the barrier reef to preserve this pristine environment, a vision I share. I am pleased that he is continuing to contribute and promote awareness, knowledge and insight into ways others can protect our oceans at Ocean's Edge.

Keep up the good work, Steve.

-Kathryn Fuller World Wildlife Fund

 

Dear Steve: I wanted to thank you again for making my recent trip and first diving experiences particularly wonderful. I couldn't have asked for more consideration and encouragement. Conrad and I hope to bring some diving friends back down next year. I will be able to consistently clear my mask by then! If I could write like my husband, you would have seen a scuba story instead of a fishing one in the Philadelphia Inquirer this past Sunday. At least he was able to weave you into the story. Also, if he'd heard my 2-cents worth you would have been described as more "affable". I would have at least added patient and professional. My best to all of you and wish for continued success.

-Brenda Grove

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