The Serenità dream is based on what values?
Imagine a village situated on a tropical beach, a place where you are valued for how kind you are, how softly you walk on this earth, and where beauty and connection are the norm.
The concept of intentional walking together with care was started in the 1980s in France by the international inspirational leader Thich Nhat Hanh. It is called Plum Village and is a place where people travel from all over the world to be welcomed and to share their stories.
We are creating such an environmentally and socially sustainable community in Belize.
You can have all the peace, safety and comfort of a friendly neighborhood. Our Serenità Village philosophy is outlined below in green, then the village vision is explained.
Our Tropical Dream
Our intentions are to create a reassuring and comfortable living environment, where each person is heard and their views respected. We also want fun in our lives!
The philosophy behind that is based on Compassionate Communication, or quite simply, kindness to the wider community and the environment..
Build confidence and kindness for all people we encounter – our community.
- I accept personal responsibility for my thoughts and actions, and want to improve myself.
- All humans are interdependent and everyone has value. I respect others’ rights
- I care for the lives I encounter with understanding, compassion, and love.
- I promote a culture of appreciation, tolerance, nonviolence, and peace.
- I support educational opportunities that empower people to contribute actively to sustainable development goals.
Tolerance of Other Views
The community intent is to be tolerant to all belief, religion and individual opinion.
- We agree to listen to each other.
- We accept we may not be “right”
- We try not to push political, medical or religious beliefs onto others in the Village.
- We try not to shame or blame.
What is the vision for the village?
Serenita’s vision is to have a community of people living together in the way that country towns were like in the olden days.
We want villagers to be proud of their family, their home and their neighbourhood.
They trust that their neighbours are there for them if they need help, and there are community get togethers on a regular basis – whether it be a movie night, a neighbourhood BBQ, card game or just hanging out.
We know our neighbours well enough that we can plan trips together to the local town, or Chetumal. If someone is in need of assistance, for example if they are sick, someone is there to help out and care.
Need a local recommendation for good food? – someone is bound to know.
You won’t be left on your own trying to figure things out.
The villagers decide how the village interacts, by optionally participating in a village council (attendees in a circle, listening to each other with a talking stick).
The following notes (thanks to Jo Doecke) are included so that you can see the sorts of questions & issues we will work out together…
What will I be doing?
Once I get there, what am I going to do? I need a purpose, a reason to get up in the morning, and most of all, I need something to do, far other than playing bingo or golf and watching television.
I can do those things anywhere. What will be different? (Apart from relaxation, sun and beach)
We will create a community space (hall/centre, or thatched shade area), that we can walk to for meetings or to do things together.
Learn about plants and animals from the locals.
Is there a ‘men’s shed’ that I can learn how to make a coffee table from a local craftsman?
Will one of the village musicians be around to teach me guitar? Or local women to teach how they dance?
Craft, maintenance or games?
Will people in the village share what they know about people outside the village? I am not interested in a gated community.
How do we learn about the thousands of years of Belize history?
Tell me about the community engagement meetings you’ve had….
Food - Eating Local
Will there be daily trips to Corozal Town to eat in a café/restaurant run by local people, so we have the best regional dishes using local ingredients, and being run by a local family or two?
I want to walk to the café in the morning to have a coffee, and ask Juanita how her baby is going.
I want to have a glass of red with a bowl of nachos in the evening and see how Pedro’s sick cow is going.
Food - Sources
Where is my food coming from?
Will there be weekly trips to the great local home grown produce farmer’s markets in Corozal?
Will there be a community vegie garden? Will everyone plant a fruit tree in their yard to be shared later?
I want to walk to the end of the street to put my food scraps into the communal compost bin.
Is there a meatworks somewhere close that produces the best quality steaks for our outdoor BBQ? I do not want to go to Mexico for my food.
Culture & Art
Do the markets sell locally made handicrafts that I can post back to the grandkids?
I want to spend my money helping the community in a good way.
Will there be a monthly dance meeting between us ex-pats and people from the local communities? I want to be able to talk to them during social occasions, to get to know them.
(I want to go to their festivals without feeling like an intruder.)
I want to join cooking or weaving or whatever classes the locals would be willing to teach me. I would like to learn their language basics. (Creol, Spanglish, Mayan & Spanish)
Flora and Fauna
I want to learn all I can about native plants and trees.
I want to be able to identify the birds by their calls. I want to learn what frogs and lizards are native, to ensure we don’t kill them by accident.
If there are a few local guides that can help with this, on a weekly basis, I’ll be there. Can some of them take us on walks through the forest or National Parks, to continue teaching us? (plus they get an income from doing this)
Can we set up a tree nursery to ensure that only native species are planted throughout the site? We don’t want imported species here when there are so many endemics.
Can we set up a National Parks Volunteer service? So some of us can go out and pull out weeds, or plant trees in eroded areas, or whatever the local guys tell us to do. Lets all get hot and sweaty before we have a swim in that beautiful sea water.
Can we set up a reef-clean program for those of us who dive? To pick up all of the plastics caught on the reef while we’re down there looking at things.
Those that don’t dive can pick up all of the plastics that have washed up on the beach. Some of it may even be saleable or useable – it may even start an art exhibition.
Experienced divers could offer free lessons to the locals to ensure that the plastics continue to get cleaned up even when we’re not there.
Someone can take responsibility to check who needs help, physical, emotional or spiritual.
I want to walk down to the communal phone-free firepit sometimes with my glass of red, to talk to other people while watching the fire, and maybe listen to a guitar and/or a song. Camp fires are a great way of meeting people. I don’t want to stay inside watching TV alone like in every other place.
We would like to support a community café/restaurant where two businesses could operate from the same location. One could run it as a café during the day, and another as an evening restaurant.
That way it could be open all of the time, but each business sharing the rent. Such a café/restaurant in Serenita Village could potentially support two or more local families.
What if I want to get a bunch of villagers together and go up into the mountains? Did you know one waterfall in Belize is over 1500 feet tall?
How about going down to Hopkins and experiencing the local celebrations there?
Or maybe sometimes go across to San Pedro on the ferry for a night out?
What about a 6 hour drive up to the Mexican Riviera (Cancun etc)?
We are the Answers!
The founder of Serenità Village will be living there and encouraging participation; based on empathy, not rules.
In Serenità Village, if we are open to the adventure that is Belize and it’s smiling local population, we can make a positive difference.
Founding principle, what you give, you get back!
If you explain what you want, then the community can react to your needs. We welcome your thoughts on how to improve the community!
Our People & Partners
People cooperating is what makes a community.
We support the village approach, and we partner with other established and principled Belizean companies to provide safe homes.
Phil’s vision is to make sustainable community homes that are environmentally friendly, using recycled products, and provide these into a village that combines the beauty of nature with the technology of today.
This is being manifested in Serenità Village, just north of Corozal Town, Belize.
Phil has worked with several innovative building companies in China and Canada, and is now implementing a best practice approach to the creation of tropical homes that are both safe and wonderful to live in.
Our Belizean Business Partners
Our supplier and partner for prestressed concrete, pile based foundations and building. Based in Orange Walk.