New Ruralism – A Modern Approach
Our Vision, Neighbors, New Ruralism & Cayo
We believe the success of a community is determined by the happiness of its residents. At Carmelita Gardens we have planned a New Ruralist village as the setting for owners and guests to enjoy a relaxing and fulfilling lifestyle. Many would-be expats are weighing their options; should they holdfast, hope the economy fully recovers and the government returns to a less invasive nature or should they make the move... and embrace a new lifestyle. The lifestyle at Carmelita includes river, rainforest, rural and recreational activities. The river is ideal for canoeing, fishing and swimming. Nestled at the edge of the rainforest, residents can enjoy hiking, bird watching and wildlife photography. The pastoral landscape is perfect for gardening, walking and horseback riding. The plan includes a community center, multiple parks and extensive greenways for various recreational uses. The overriding vision for Carmelita Gardens is that residents enjoy a relaxing and healthy lifestyle in a sustainable community.
Carmelita is located in the Cayo District, on the historic Belize River overlooking the Belize River Valley and the Maya Mountains. The same family that has owned the farm for three generations is now building this one-of-kind community. The original farmhouse is still present and the land has continued to be used for growing crops, grazing cattle and corralling horses. To the west of us is the charming riverside village of Santa Familia and to the east is the progressive Mennonite town of Spanish Lookout. Across the river, to the south of us, are the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena and to our north is an organic teak plantation and an endless tropical rainforest.
New Ruralism is a framework for creating a bridge between Sustainable Agriculture and New Urbanism. Sustainable agriculture can help bring cities down to earth, to a deeper commitment to the ecology and economy of the surrounding countryside on which they depend. As a place-based and systems-based framework, the New Ruralism nurtures the symbiotic relationship between urban and rural areas. In many ways, New Ruralism is now where New Urbanism and Smart Growth were two decades ago – powerful ideas that were being generated mostly by professionals, out of sight of public and academic views.
From: A Call for New Ruralism by Sibella Kraus
Cayo has quietly become the fastest growing area in Belize. Fueled by the country’s largest industries of ecotourism and agriculture, the resources of this region seem innumerable. The lush tropical rainforests, abundant freshwater rivers, the largest underground cave system in the Western Hemisphere and the fertile Belize River Valley once supported hundreds of thousand’s of Maya. Today the entire population of Belize is barely 300,000. While there are still Maya villages in the Mountain Pine Ridge, the friendly residents and expats of the Cayo district come from all walks of life and diverse backgrounds. Moreover, since Belize is a British Commonwealth with English as its official language, it is easy to acclimate to the rich culture and Caribbean lifestyle.