Toledo’s villages are scattered across the district, ranging from 100 to over 1500 people. Most of the villages are either Mopan or Kekchi Maya communities, such as San Antonio and San Pedro Columbia.
The villages retain much of their traditional charm – with thatch houses, clear rivers and creeks where many local families still bathe and do laundry. Around the villages are the fields where the families plant their corn, beans and other staple foods. Many of the families still live a mostly subsistence lifestyle.
In many villages local women and children will come out to try and sell their crafts to visitors. You shouldn’t feel like you have to buy anything, but remember to be polite and respectful. What they are selling are authentic Belizean Maya crafts. At many stores in the towns, they are selling cheaper imported crafts from Guatemala and Mexico, so keep that in mind.
If you see people bathing or doing laundry in the river or just going about their daily lives, don’t take photos without asking first. You wouldn’t want somebody photographing you in the shower without permission!