“Hamanasi Guest Book ~ December 2015″

“You have made our stay amazing in so many ways! Every detail from friendly service to a warm smile. Perfect!”

Kevin and Brenda Walker, Boynton Beach, FL

“This place is top notch. Wonderful people, accommodations and beautiful scenery.  This ranks at the top of my vacations – just keep up the great work, I will return.”

Jon and Marissa Palmer, San Antonio TX

“Felt like we were at the Ritz Carlton. Every need was anticipated and taken care of before we even asked.”

Kathryn and Mitch Drew, Rye, NH

“What a perfect experience. Perfect balance of reef and jungle.”

Laura and John Little, Cambridge, MA

“LOVE that you are eco-friendly, that was a big reason we booked here. Great that you are expanding to solar, water collection, etc.

Jennifer and Scott Bullard, Truckee, CA

“You guys have a wonderful resort with the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation. I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Tyler and Kendal McCarty, West End, NC

“We loved how everything was! Keep doing what you are doing!

Riley and Catherine Weaver, Glenn Allen, MS

“You guys do an awesome job greeting people and knowing their names. Love their efforts and programs in place for composting and recycling.”

Jacob Hardi and Family, Camarillo, CA

“Everyone was friendly, all made me feel at home.”

Judy Cowan, Boynton Beach, FL

“I didn’t realize all the eco-friendly efforts of Hamanasi but loved reading and hearing about. The gardens all impressive, you have inspired me to be more eco-friendly. I love the water bottle concept.  The citrus basil water was so yummy.”

Krista Laperle, Worthington, OH

“Keep getting feedback from your guests and holding yourself to the highest standard. There is a reason your resort is the best!  Great service all around.”

Ariel and Jamie Dalton, Hunting Beach, CA

“You have done a great job. You mastered the resort/excursion/relaxation vacation experience. We were extremely impressed how everyone made efforts to know our names.  How special you exceed expectations!”

Amy Bender, Forthworth, TX

“Hamanasi Guest Book ~ November 2015″

“Everything was perfect!”

Jim Blairs & Jenny Weyler, Shrewsburg, MA

“We were constantly amazed by the green efforts around the grounds and loved every moment.”

Anna Robinson & Nico Ager, Brooklyn. NY

“Awesome to see a resort doing everything they can to conserve this beautiful place.”

Cathy Heshmat

“We thoroughly enjoyed out visit. We were able to relax, rest and unplug.  Thank You!”

Melissa & Tom Skiavo, Alexandria, VA

“Amazing Service!”

Travis and Sina Pelleymounter, Tampa, FL

“Continue your excellent service to guests and community. We loved it here J.”

Vince Colunga, Austin, TX

“Your staff is special – it was so wonderful to be recognized by name and have our preferences remembered.”

Janet & Boyce Fender, Hockessin, DE

“Everyone is always smiling and greeting made us feel at home. Gave personal service.  Had a wonderful vacation!  Thank you Hamanasi!”

Sanjiv & Hema Bhakta, Biloxi, MS

“Quite amazing! Everything was perfect!

Margaret Kerr, United Kingdom

“Your doing such an amazing job.”

Brad & Chelsea Gruters, Flagstaff, AZ

“Lovely to know they are doing so much to promote preservation of this beautiful country and tis natural resources.”

Steve & Julia Liska, Chicago, IL

 

“Hamanasi Guest Book ~ October 2015″

“There was nothing we would have changed. Hamanasi made our honeymoon the best we could have imagined.  Thank you!

Megan & Steven Reese, Rio Osso, CA

“Hard to improve on perfection. We are in the travel and service industry and we know how difficult it is to achieve what you have here at Hamanasi!”

Blane & Stephanie Henderson, Elmhurst, IL

“We were totally impressed by this resort but the eco-friendliness of this resort took it to the highest. You are doing the best, keep on doing it.”

Zahra Boostani, Moraga, CA

“It is nice to see the resort taking steps to protect the environment. It is definitely the most eco-friendly resort/hotel we have every stayed at.”

Ed and Casey Steinmetz,

“Keep doing what you are doing! We don’t want to go home.”

Stephanie Price, Philadelphia, PA

“I believe other resorts can learn from Hamanasi’s management and over all style.”

Ken and Kelly Miller, Lufkin, TX

“I honestly could not think of any way you could improve the service. I always appreciate a facility that someway encourages water conservation.”

Mark Richardson, Austin, TX

“Love it like it is. Wonderful to involve staff in community service.”

Robbie & Ronnie McGill, Queen Creek, AZ

“Thanks for a great time. I love Hamanasi!  Love all the “green” touches.  I learned how to green at home in many ways.”

Greg & Kathie Horman, Poway, CA

“You guys are super! We felt such wonderful hospitality.”

Bill & Tammy Woods, Stillwater, OK

“Everything perfect!”

Pascal & Caroline Fragniere, Switzerland

“We loved our stay and Hamanasi’s little touches that make it feel extra special. The private dinner, the massage package, the adorable ways the napkins are folded.  Wonderful service and a beautiful resort!”

Ann & Grant Fraistat, College Park, MD

“Keep doing what you’re doing! Thank you for a wonderful trip.  I really applaud all your attention to detail on the green efforts and education.  Really makes the resort stand out and puts you at the trip of the list for a return trip.”

Shelly & Miguel Gorordo, Saint Petersburg, FL

“Garifuna Cooking Class”

Garifuna Cooking Class  

Our Garifuna Culture has been proclaimed as an intangible heritage of humanity! Join us as we introduce to you the full Garifuna cultural experience from dressing in a Garifuna traditional outfit to exploring the foods through this cooking lesson.

Hudut is the popular Garifuna dish which you will learn to cook from scratch.  It is comprised of green and ripe mashed plantains called “Fu Fu” and a coconut fish stew.

While the food is cooking you will tour a Garifuna Gallery and your host will explain and describe some of the Garinagu artifacts that have been collected throughout these years.

In addition to the Garifuna culinary wonders, enjoy the pulsating rhythm of the Garifuna Drums.  Be one with Belize while learning how to drum, dance and sing with friendly & professional indigenous people.  drumming

This tour will introduce you to the culture, history and traditions of this unique Garifuna fishing village.

“Community Love”

pic1This last year as been an amazing year for Hamanasi, we have met many new people and made many new friends. We have grown as a company and as a family, with a few new faces joining our wonderful team.

Hamanasi is built on our love for the beautiful environment that surrounds us, and we passionately try to be as sustainable as possible every day. Many of our guests will come to visit us with an understanding of the importance of preserving our natural environment, but they also come with an understanding that without our community, we would not exist. Each year we support the continued education of the children from Hopkins, but also from the surrounding communities of Silk Grass, Sittee River and Maya Center. Our education fund helps to provide financial assistance for families for schooling, but the generous donations of school supplies, crayons, pens, pencils, writing books, arts supplies, backpacks, means that the children can go to school with all the things they will need to start the school year right.

 

We have also supported the continued efforts of the Hopkins Belize Humane Society for many years, and will continue for many into the future. The clinics, supported by volunteer veterinarians both local and international has provided the communities of Stann Creek with free spay and neuter clinics as well as low cost clinics for other surgeries. The HBHS work tirelessly within the community providing education for people with pets on how best to care for them, with very few resources. This is why the donations that we receive from guests such as leashes and collars, flea treatments, pet treats, toys, all items that seem so small, mean so much to our communities.

 

Throughout the year we have been able to give out these donations to the HBHS, and to the children, especially at events such as the Kite Fest, the Easter Fest and the Hopkins Day Fest. Our big end of year celebration was to take over 100 backpacks, each over flowing with school supplies, to the schools to be able to help the children of less fortunate families.

pic3Our donations this year totaled just over 510lbs, which is nearly 100lbs more than last year, and this is all because of the generosity of our guests. We cannot thank everyone enough for what they have given to Hopkins and the surrounding communities.

“Hamanasi Guest Book ~ May 2015″

“The customer service at Hamanasi was 5 star.  Everyone made us feel important and it felt homey.  Everyone new our names.”

Julie Schenk, Crownsville, MA

“Excellent hosts!  Our stay with you was wonderful – exceeded our expectations.  Fabulous resort and country.”

Sue and Simon Byers, New Zealand

“There is nowhere else in the world where we have had such incredible, friendly, efficient service.”

Len and Tina Brooks, Canada

“Keep doing what you are doing – your service is wonderful!  Love the personal service and attention to detail.  Everything is well organized.

Kathryn Lupacchino, Kokomo, IN

“Everyone here is amazing!  We were blown away with how well you took care of us.  Thank you!”

Robyn Gibb, Scarborough, OT

“Perfect balance with nature!  Continue what you are doing!

Chris Makowski, Coconut Creek, FL

“Keep doing everything that you are doing!  We have travelled to 30+ countries and this is by far the best hospitality!”

Tim Keeler and Sarah Pope, San Francisco, CA

“Many places claim the eco-package but Hamanasi actually seems to follow through and do a number of environmental friendly things.

Anne Jake and Seth Newsome, Albuquerque, NM

“You are so dialed in.”

Ken and Rachel, Denver, CO

“Completely stellar from Check in to check out!”

Dan and Glenn Wood, CockeysVille, MD

“Stay the same and don’t lose your personal touch by expanding too much. Thank you!”

Brad and Kayla Wills, Wichita, CS

“Everything was beyond our expectations and enjoyed every minute!  Thank you so much for your fantastic effort!”

Vanessa Balwick, Houston, TX

“Everyone is outstanding at what they do here.  We had a great experience.  Eco-friendly efforts impressive and inspiring.  We’ll adopt some of these practices as well! So good to see efforts such as these, very important.”

Connor Looning, White Sand Cove, BZ

“Natural Cleaning”

images (2) (2)With the current awareness about our environment and how it is changing due to the ever growing impact of the human population, many people are looking to use more natural and less chemical based products in their lives. Many people choose to eat organic products, or purchase products that are produced locally, and among many other things it is becoming easier and easier to find less environmentally harmful cleaning products for your house. This is a fantastic direction to be heading, but the people who use these products will tell you that they are generally more expensive than the chemical filled alternative.
At Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort here in Belize, we are doing everything that we can to minimize the impact that we are having on the environment that we are blessed to be living in. Our housekeeping department uses all environmentally friendly cleaners to clean our rooms and environmentally friendly laundry soaps to wash our linens and towels. We wanted to share a few environmentally friendly cleaning products that won’t break the bank and that you make with just a few ingredients that we will bet you already have in your cupboards.

To clean windows to a shine
When you clean your windows, use 25% vinegar mixed with 75% warm water. Put on your rubber gloves and immerse an old cotton towel in the water. Heavily rub on the windows and then scrunch up a piece of newspaper and use to buff up the windows. If there are any streaks left use a dry cloth to finish off.

To remove limescale
You might already know this one, but it is possible to remove limescale from your showerhead or taps by simply using white vinegar. You can improve the effectiveness of this trick by heating your vinegar in a saucepan before using it. You can put it into a small container and tape it to any pieces that cannot be removed, or wrap a presoaked cloth around the base of taps. Allow your showerhead to soak, but for no longer than 1 hour. Afterwards just use and old toothbrush to brush the showerhead removing any remaining limescale, and run the water to remove any remaining vinegar. Be careful, this method will not work on plated showers and taps.

To clean your oven
This is everyone’s least favorite area to clean, but it really doesn’t need to be difficult. You simply spray the inside of the oven with water using a spritz bottle, then liberally cover the inside of the oven with baking soda. The baking soda and water should form a paste, and all you have to do is to leave the paste for a couple of hours, then wipe off when ready (you may need to repeat this for really baked on grime). Simple.

To remove red wine
This one is always a question for debate. Try using soda water on the spill and just keep dabbing with paper towels until there is no color showing on the paper towel.

To freshen up your furniture
This one is a good one. Mix 1/8 of a cup of 100 proof vodka (yes, vodka) into a 16ox spray bottle with water. You can add some essential oils if you would like a fragrance, but this mix makes an amazing fabric freshener. The alcohol will kill any bacteria in the fabric before evaporating away.

“Hamanasi Guest Book ~ November 2014”

“Wonderful stay, beautiful surroundings. The staff was unfailingly friendly and accommodating. Adventures were great and well organized!”

Reina Schwartz, Elk Grove, CA

“You do a great job; it’s nice to come to a resort when you feel like you’re the only guest. Quiet, somewhat remote yet well cared for. It appears your resort is very eco-conscious. Recycle and use of the property to grow products for use on site shows your concern for keeping our precious resources.”

Craig and Marcia Hansen, Mammoth Lakes, CA

“Continue the course and emphasis on personal treatment. Service is outstanding, we are grateful. Loved the consciousness to reducing waste and the natural environment was noticeable and appreciated.”

Josh and Ashley, Tucson, AZ

“We have traveled around the world and Hamanasi provided a “Best Ever” experience for our 25th Anniversary.”

Ruth and Anita Kauffeld, West Cape, NJ

“Couldn’t see how you could improve perfection!”

John and Angela Lehman, Stafford, VA

“We had a great experience. Hamanasi is a fantastic resort!”

Mike and Shasta Devlin, Pollode Pines, FL

“Everything and all staff were so nice! Couldn’t ask for more! Food was great!”

Kevin and Maggie Weathersby, Houston, TX

“Your Eco-friendly efforts continue to improve and surprise us! Your ideas are far ahead of what we’ve seen elsewhere!”

Ryc, Sandra and Nic Brownrigg, Sedalia, CO

“Kudos to Hamanasi! We are very impressed with how green the hotel is; the recycling effort is great – could not be better. It would be hard to improve the best! So we would just say keep up your great job.”

Larry and Annette Robinson, Boerne, TX

“We had a wonderful time. Thank you for making our honeymoon a time to remember.”

Michael Newell and Janet Fletcher, Renton , WA

“The services were spot-on, just keep doing what you’re doing. Loved it all!”

Jeanne Hanahan and Kelly White, Golden, CO

“Exceptional – you all were absolutely exceptional!”

Linda Santandrea, Enfield, CT

“The difference between Hamanasi and nearby beach-front hotels was unbelievable. We really appreciated the natural landscaping, composing and efforts to stay organic!”

Susan and Pradeep Kaul, Montgomery, MD

“Service is top flight; little or no room for improvement. We like how Hamanasi strives to be sustainable, all efforts are appreciated.”

Greg Clifton and Family, Tellinide, CO

“I travel the world and this was among the best experience I’ve ever encountered. Your staff is what makes the experience unique. Thank you!”

Chris and Blake Noonan, Grapevine, TX

“Everyone was fantastic. Thank you so much, you have mastered the art of customer service!”

Amanda Tobler and Family, San Jose, CA

“I’ve been to quite a few dive resorts. Hamanasi is hands down, the best so far. Thank you for a wonderful time.”

Ray Blatter, Walnut Creek, CA

“Everything was wonderful and far surpassed our expectations. We really appreciated the very personal attention. We will recommend Hamanasi to everyone we know!”

James and Stephanie Small, Houston, TX

Cassava – Healthy Living

Cassava is a great gluten-free substitute.

Cassava root after harvest before it’s been prepared to cook.

At Hamanasi we are aware that many of our guests have special dietary requirements, from low sugar and nut allergies, to gluten free diets. We want all of our guests to be able to sample to delights of our kitchen and bakery so we use native local produce to substitute certain items that may be incompatible with the dietary requirements. One of these substitutes is cassava, which we use as a substitute when cooking and preparing food for guests with a gluten free diet.

Native to Brazil and the tropical areas of the Americas, Cassava (also know as manioc, tapioca or yuca) is widely grown all over Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as Africa and the South Pacific. A root vegetable with a brown fibrous skin and a fleshy white interior, it has been around since long before the arrival of Columbus. Cassava provided a stable source of food to the Taino, Carib and Arawak populations, especially in the form of cassava bread. While there is evidence of manioc pollen in the Gulf of Mexico lowlands dating to 4600B.C., the earliest evidence of cassava cultivation comes from a 1,400 year old Maya site in El Salvador.
Cassava is the third largest source of food carbohydrates in tropical and sub-tropical regions helping to provide a basic diet to over half a billion people, mainly thanks to its ability to grow under strenuous conditions such as in areas of low rainfall and nutrient low soils.

Once harvested cassava needs to be washed and peeled before it is used, but it can be used in so many ways. When cooked properly to detoxify it, the soft boiled root has a delicate flavor and can be used to replace potatoes in many ways, including as an accompaniment to meat, as a flour in dumplings and gravies, or even fried as chips. Cassava can also be made into a sweeter choice as a crepe or a cake. This typically involves grating the cassava and mixing it with coconut milk or even fresh grated coconut and steaming it.

Belize Gluten-free sweet cassava snack

Cassava is as versatile as it is tasty and is equally good as a sweet gluten-free snack as it is as a starch at meal time.

Cassava is a food with a long list of health benefits. Cassava is very rich in many minerals that are beneficial such as calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus and manganese. As well as being rich in fibre, it is also rich in carbohydrates, making it a perfect dietary addition for a highly active lifestyle. Along with being gluten free, cassava is high in its levels of saponins, which are a phytochemical responsible for helping to lower the levels of unhealthy cholesterol in the blood stream.
So all the arrows point to cassava being a healthy choice of vegetable for any diet

Talking Diet, A Gluten-Free Alternative at Hamanasi

Belize Gluten-free sweet cassava snack

Cassava is as versatile as it is tasty and is equally good as a sweet gluten-free snack as it is as a starch at meal time.

At Hamanasi we are aware many of our guests have special dietary requirements, from low sugar and nut allergies, vegetarian to gluten free diets.  We want all of our guests to be able to sample to delights of our kitchen and bakery so we use native local produce to substitute certain items that may be incompatible with the dietary requirements.  One of these substitutes is cassava, which we use as a substitute when cooking and preparing food for guests with a gluten free diet.

Where gluten-free food starts, in the ground.

Cassava plant before harvest.

Native to Brazil and the tropical areas of the Americas, Cassava (also know as manioc, tapioca or yuca) is widely grown all over Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as Africa and the South Pacific.  A root vegetable with a brown fibrous skin and a fleshy white interior, it has been around since long before the arrival of Columbus.  Cassava provided a stable source of food to the Taino, Carib and Arawak populations, especially in the form of cassava bread.  While there is evidence of manioc pollen in the Gulf of Mexico lowlands dating to 4600B.C., the earliest evidence of cassava cultivation comes from a 1,400 year old Maya site in El Salvador.

Cassava is the third largest source of food carbohydrates in tropical and sub-tropical regions helping to provide a basic diet to over half a billion people, mainly thanks to its ability to grow under strenuous conditions such as in areas of low rainfall and nutrient low soils.
Cassava is a great gluten-free substitute.

Cassava root after harvest before it’s been prepared to cook.

Once harvested cassava needs to be washed and peeled before it is used, but it can be used in so many ways.  When cooked properly to detoxify it, the soft boiled root has a delicate flavor and can be used to replace potatoes in many ways, including as an accompaniment to meat, as a flour in dumplings and gravies, or even fried as chips.  Cassava can also be made into a sweeter choice as a crepe or a cake.  This typically involves grating the cassava and mixing it with coconut milk or even fresh grated coconut and steaming it.

Cassava is a food with a long list of health benefits.  Cassava is very rich in many minerals that are beneficial such as calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus and manganese.  As well as being rich in fibre, it is also rich in carbohydrates, making it a perfect dietary addition for a highly active lifestyle.  Along with being gluten free, cassava is high in its levels of saponins, which are a phytochemical responsible for helping to lower the levels of unhealthy cholesterol in the blood stream.

So all the arrows point to cassava being a healthy choice of vegetable for any diet.