Turn off the highway at the Spanish Lookout sign and watch the landscape change from ragged forest to neat, rolling green countryside with green lawns and men riding John Deere lawnmowers. Spanish Lookout is one of Belize’s largest Mennonite communities, with about 3,000 farmers and builders who supply a large part of the furniture, dairy, and poultry products for the country.
Many Mennonites here have embraced organic living, and if you drive around you’ll find produce and items that cannot be found anywhere else in Belize. The recent discovery of oil in the area has added a modern twist to this unique scene (you’ll pass a few pumps and the refinery on your way in).
Spanish Lookout has no tourist accommodations but has a few excellent places to eat, as well as shopping and services (Scotia Bank has an ATM here and there are three gas stations). Folks from all over Belize come to shop at places like Farmer’s Trading Centre, Reimer’s Feeds, the Computer Ranch, and Westrac (the best place for car parts, period).
Eat at The Golden Corral (tel. 501/823-0421, www.spanishlookout.bz/goldencorral.htm , 10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Mon.–Sat. and 5–8:30 p.m. Thurs.–Sat.), but get there just before noon if you want a seat and first selection. It’s about US$7.50 for the all-you-can-eat buffet and all-you-can-drink homemade iced tea! There are also amazing meat pies and other goodies at Midway Convenience.