Despite its name, Spanish Lookout is a community predominately inhabited by Mennonites who speak Plattdeutsch and whose ancestors immigrated from Europe. Unlike other Mennonite communities around the world, most residents of Spanish Lookout use modern conveniences, including electricity, computers, and cars.
Why You Have to Visit the Spanish Lookout Community in Belize
In the late 1950s, a community of Mennonites who had emigrated to Mexico were facing persecution for their beliefs and so decided to move to Belize. The fertility of the soil and welcoming environment of Spanish Lookout formed the nucleus of a growing community that later included other Mennonites from Canada, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
Today, the Mennonite community of Spanish Lookout is one of Belize’s most celebrated and respected groups, famed for being the only operators of a commercial dairy farm and the growers of the country’s most popular brand of chicken. Although the community dresses conservatively, their faith allows them to use all modern technology. Known for being an industrious and pious community, the Mennonites of Spanish Lookout are very friendly and welcoming to visitors of all faiths and backgrounds.
Where in Belize Is Spanish Lookout Located?
Spanish Lookout is located in the northern part of Cayo District in western Belize about an hour and a half drive from Belize City. The nearest large town is San Ignacio, about 33 km (20 miles) away.
When Is the Best Time to Visit Spanish Lookout Belize
Spanish Lookout is a faith-based community, so it’s generally best to avoid unannounced visits on religious holidays, including Christmas Day (December 25), Epiphany (January 6), Good Friday and Easter, Ascension Day (sixth Thursday after Easter) and Pentecost (seventh Sunday after Easter). The rest of the year is the perfect time to visit Spanish Lookout.
Note: Celebrating Halloween in Spanish Lookout is strongly discouraged.
Best Way to Get to Spanish Lookout Belize
Part of the attraction of visiting Spanish Lookout is the wild beauty of the area far from more developed urban centers. Spanish Lookout can be reached by personal car by following the Western Highway via the Iguana Creek Bridge or by bus from San Ignacio.
Best Way to Experience Spanish Lookout Belize
There may be only around 2,500 residents of Spanish Lookout, but the area is famous for its woodworking, agriculture, and furniture making, making it ideal for obtaining high-quality foods (especially dairy products and chicken) and goods. The residents generally speak English and visitors are made to feel right at home.