“Hamanasi’s Cho Cho Soup”

Hamanasi’s Cho Cho Soup

Serves about 6-8 people


  • Cho Cho – 3 lbs, peeled, seeded, rough chop   (called Christophene or Chayote  in   the U.S.A.)
  • Canola Oil – 2 Tbsp.
  • White Onion – 1, rough chop
  • Celery – 2 stalks, rough chop
  • Stock or Water  – 12 cups (vegetable or chicken stock)
  • Salt and White Pepper to taste


  • In deep hot pot add canola oil, onions and celery to sauté lightly for 2 minutes.
  • Add in cho cho and sauté for another 2 minutes then add in your water or flavored stock.
  • Allow to boil until cho cho is soft then let cool before pureeing in blender.
  • Once pureed, season with salt and pepper to your desired flavor.
  • Serve hot.

Happy Cooking & Eating


Hamanasi’s Kitchen Staff

“Backpack Project – Another wonderful success”

Hamanasi Backpack Project Continues… Thanks to all our guest that made a contribution whether big or small towards our Pack Back Project. More than seven dozen of back packs filled with school supplies were distributed to the less fortunate children of the Hopkins Holy Family Primary School.

From kinder to eight grade, the students that received a backpack were very happy and thankful for these thoughtful gifts.  A helpful hand goes a long way in a child’s learning and education!

Thank again to all the loving contributors who helped this project to be a success!

“Marcia Nunez CIA Pro Chef Level 11 Graduate”

Marcia Nunez

Congratulations to Marcia Nunez for completing the Culinary Institute of America “Pro Chef” Level 11 in Belize City.  This course was offered by the Belize Tourism Board.  In a span of two years, Marcia traveled from Hopkins to Belize two days a week to attend the classes in Belize City. The objective of this  course was for the culinary student to better understand the nature of food, menu structure and fuse Local, Mediterranean and International cuisines.   Marcia has been a member of the Hamanasi family from the beginning and she now holds the title of Chef.  Marcia has set the bar for the other kitchen staff to follow her foot steps an  marry their culinary skills with the “Pro Chef” level education which Hamanasi funds free of charge in support of their employees.  Marcia Nunez, we raise our glass to you!

Hamanasi Named in Top 10 Hotels in the World for Service!

[jbox color="white" title="Hamanasi Wins Multiple 2011 Travelers' Choice Awards:"]

We are proud to announce that Hamanasi has gotten some very high praise in the 2011 edition of the TripAdvisor® Travelers’ Choice® awards.  We were named as one of the Top Ten Hotels Worldwide and the #2 Hotel in Central & South America for quality of service.  In addition, we’ve maintained our #1 overall TripAdvisor rating among all hotels in Belize and Central America.

Now in its ninth year, the annual TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice awards honor the world’s best hotels, earning their distinction from those who know them best – real travelers. The Travelers’ Choice® winners are based on the millions of real and unbiased reviews and opinions about hotels on tripadvisor.com™. “With the help of millions of travelers around the globe, TripAdvisor is thrilled to recognize the world’s most outstanding hotels for the ninth year of the Travelers’ Choice Awards,” said Karen Drake, senior director of communications for TripAdvisor.

At Hamanasi we push ourselves everyday to make sure that each and every guest gets a level of service that surpasses their every expectation, and it is extremely gratifying to know that these awards reflect reviews from real guests. Our guests’ satisfaction is always the greatest reward of all – check out our Guest Book for feedback from our most recent guests, and if you’ve been to Hamanasi, we’d love to hear from you, here on our blog or on our Facebook page.



“Hamanasi Guest gives life-changing gift”

“Hamanasi together with Hopkins School introducing children to Belizean History.”

On January, 27th 2011, Hamanasi sponsored a field trip to the Serpon Sugar Mill Reserve for the standard one class at Holy Family Primary school from Hopkins. “Field Trip! Woo hoo!”  was the reaction of Ms Johnson’s 22 students when she announced that they were going to go on a Class Trip. The excitement in their voices yet cannot be imitated. This is the same class which we have been working with for Christy Boyd Pen Pal Project.

Golden and Emiliano along with Mr. Woodeye, the ranger from Serpon Reserve conducted the tour where we all learnt about the sugar mill and it’s history. It is Belize’s first historical reserve established by the National Institute for Architecture and History.  Hidden in the jungle, one mile in on the access road to the village of Sittee River, is the important landmark in Belize’s colonial history.  It is the remnants of the steam powered Serpon Sugar Mill which was established in 1865, and marked the start of Belize’s industrial era.  The mill was bought by William Bowman and it, along with the Regalia, bought and owned by an American, fueled Belize’s economy for about thirty years.

Estimates are that at its peak, the Serpon Sugar Mill was producing and shipping 1,700 pounds of sugar a month.  In the late 19th century, Serpon was a technological marvel with its main crusher, boiler, beam engine, furnace, and hot air exchanger – all powered by steam.  That was a breakthrough when compared to the manual process used previously by the Mestizos and Mayans.

We also learnt about the medicinal trees and plants within the reserve and how they can locally be used.  Many birds were seen, including the Vermilion Fly Catcher and 4 Keeled-billed Toucan, our national bird of Belize.  The school children were all much exited to also see many of the Spiny Tailed iguanas from a very close range.

Once again we are happy and thankful to be working with the young students from the Holy Family Hopkins School and being able to introduce the young generation to the wonders that we have to offer in this beautiful country of ours.

“2010 Christmas Eve Cookie Buffet”

cookie cookie Hamanasi indulged all guests in a galore of sweet treats this evening on our Christmas Cookie Buffet.  We had scrumptious treats like  Glazed Holiday Sprinkle Doughnuts, Gingerbread Man Cookies, Toasted Sesame Seed Fudge, Coconut Cupcake w/cream cheese frosting, Pumpkin Spice Cupcake w/pumpkin butter cream and Chocolate Ganache Filled Cupcake.   To top it all off we had Hamanasi very own dulcet eggnog receipt on the buffet table chilled and ready to serve.

cookie cookie cookie

“Jankuno” Garifuna Dance

JanThe “Jankuno” dance is a traditional dance performed during the Christmas season. The dancer wears a mask which resembles an English face topped by a hand-made hat similar to the English naval hats of the 18th century. It is said that these dances have their origins in the days of slavery and were intended to make fun of the white masters and their lack of rhythm.

Dum, du-dum … dum du-dum, is the rhythm of the drum that seems to be coming from across the village. It is an insidious beckoning to become a part of the music. As you draw nearer, the drumbeats become more distinct and there is the rising accompaniment of “shingling” shells. Above the crowd you are approaching is the wild movement of brightly colored feathers that adorn the head of dancers you are yet to see. The urge to be a part of whatever is happening gets stronger.

It is early January, the end of the Christmas celebrations and the final phase of a fortnight of dancing culminating in “Dia del Rey”, observed January 6th (or the weekend closest to that date,) by the Garinagu. It is another activity that helps to validate Dangriga’s self-imposed title, “The Culture Capital of Belize”.  picture

You know that the dancing of the Jankuno is drawing near when you see a young man here, a young boy there, gathering colorful feathers, assembling an attractive crown, or putting the finishing touches to the painted face masks that will be worn. You might be lucky to see a fully dressed dancer or two heading in the same direction as you, in search of the drums and their captivating rhythm.

Moving slowly to the front of the crowd you are suddenly faced with 5-10 costumed dancers wearing long sleeved white shirts, white gloves, knee length black pants and the occasional skirt, stockinged feet with black or white shoes. Green, pink or black ribbons criss-cross their chests and wrap their waist. At the knees, hundreds of tiny shells strung into knee pads make that “shingling” sound that accompany the dancer’s every move. The heads are wrapped in colorful cloths and the face is covered with painted masks depicting the features of a Caucasian male.

Inside the ring of onlookers is a loose circle of dancers awaiting their individual turns to perform, beginning with the youngest. With forearms extended, the incessant hypnotic movement of the dancer’s feet matches the rhythm and pattern of the two drummers. But it is the dancer’s movement that dictates the drummers’ beat and not the other way around. Paying keen attention, the drummers know when to pause, when to change the rhythm, and how to keep the flow. Each dancer brings his own unique style and flavor so the dancing is not repetitious. The Jankuno has the added richness of the Garifuna history and culture.  dancing

Hamanasi Guest Book – November 2010

“Thank you” to all our guests that visited us in November, 2010.  We hope your Hamanasi and Belizean adventures were everything you imagined and more!  Below are some of the comments from guests that visited during November.  We hope to see each and everyone of you yet again.

All the best from the Management and staff of Hamanasi ~

“I love eco-friendly efforts. It makes us feel like we aren’t just sucking down resources, but being aware of our impact on the local environment.  Don’t change anything!  Even with the hurricane scare, things were so great and we don’t want to go home.”

Stephanie and Kenny Capps,  Fairfax, VA

“All awesome!!!  Everything was perfect!”

Josh and Melissa Stewart, Van Nuys, CA

“The entire staff was great! Kid friendly, patient and knowledgeable!”

Kristina and Tim Coleman, Herndon, VA

“Knowing our names is GREAT!  Very personal.”

David and Michelle Smith, Quinton, VA

“Everyone was a joy to know.  I will never forget their kindness.  Wonderful, wonderful staff!!!  The reason we come to stay – we like Eco-Friendly resort.”

Donna  Peger and Thomas Ballman, Neptune, NJ

“Everyone was great!  Thanks for a great time.”

Matt and Bethany Brosicus,  Fort Myers, FL

“Every single member of Hamanasi staff was so nice and friendly! Having your own compose and garden is efficient.”

Kevin Cook and Amanda Miller, Oakland, CA

“As an activist, I really appreciate businesses making an effort to conserve and reuse. This is very refreshing.”

Emily Pederson, Minneapolis, MN

“Everyone was great.  LOVE the customer service.”

Jason and Michelle Pierce, Upland, CA

“Over-all a very attentive staff, warm and friendly!”

John Bardash and Liz Alquist, Denver, CO

“Everyone was so friendly and welcoming.”

Michelle and Dan Alderman, Carlsbad, CA

“We appreciate not only that Hamanasi is Eco-friendly, but encouraged and guided us on easy ways we could also help be Eco-friendly.”

Mitch and Zhanna Elkins, Selma, CA

“Continue the friendly and genuine customer service and guest interactions – this made our stay.”

Bella and Jon Obergefell, Lumberton, NC

“You’re doing great!”

Joan and Skip Wolfe, Vienna, VA

“Everyone was very friendly, kind, helpful and gracious.”

Bobby Best, Richardson, TX

“Facts on the lion-fish”


Lionfishes belong to the scorpionfish family, which includes some of the most venomous fishes in the oceans. The lionfish has striped colours and spines of about 15 inches. They tend to take advantage of their camouflage to stalk their prey and when they are close enough, the lionfish quickly open their jaws to snap up their prey.  Its prey are usually small fishes, shrimps and crabs but it feeds on almost anything that can fit in their mouths and they always swallow their food whole. They feed all day long which allows them to consume much more than the average fish!

The lionfish has a lifespan of about 5-10 years and its native to the tropical Pacific and Indian oceans, but have recently been found in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea near our barrier reef, far from their natural home. They live among the coral reefs and shallow bays. This unique fish has few predators. Some fishes may try to eat them, but lion fishes’ venomous spines protect them from most predators.

This family of fish, including the lionfish, are external spawners. The male expels sperm immediately after the female releases her eggs, and the eggs are fertilized as they float in the water. These eggs and the newly hatched larvae drift in ocean currents for 25 to 40 days. Once the hatchlings are large enough to swim, they leave the currents to hide among corals and rocks. It probably takes 1 or 2 years for these hatchlings to reach breeding age. A female can lay one million eggs in a year.

Lionfishes are in no way threatened, but they have recently been found in the Caribbean and along the East Coast, as far north as Long Island, NY. The presence of these Pacific fishes in the Atlantic threatens many species that have not yet evolved defences to these voracious predators.

Our warm waters are being invaded as we speak. The dangers of the lionfish are yet unknown but from the facts we know about them, we can assume that they will soon become detrimental to our second longest Barrier Reef. They live long and multiply by millions, along with that they are not prone to many predators which give them maximum chance of survival and the oomph to live.

Although there is no written law as yet to enforce this, many of our local fishermen, dive masters and environmental organizations are now taking it into their own hands to kill the lionfish. It is nature’s law that the lionfish should not be a part of our ecosystem in such prevalence. Many different dive shops have begun doing this to preserve the reef.

Here at Hamanasi we have made the first step that we believe can save our reef system.    This picture is one of the lionfish that we have came up with to spread the awareness. We have created posters that we have placed in our dive shop and on our dive boats to show guides and guests. So if you see any lion fish, be sure to let your dive master know! It will make a safe dive today and help our reef system to last longer for more exiting dives in the future.  The Hopkins Divers dive crew are monitoring and logging each fish killed, its location and the date since this fish is still under research in the US.

Here’s another idea! It has also been said that it makes a good meal for the people who have tried it; therefore the lionfish will soon be a part of many Belizeans’ menu. Think of a fish that is so plentiful with no season of when to catch!