One of Belize's oldest inland villages, established some 300 years ago, Crooked Tree is at the reserve's center. With a population of about 900, most of Creole origin, the community has a church, school, and one of the surest signs of a former British territory: a cricket pitch. There are many large cashew trees around the village, the serpentine growth pattern of which gave the village its name. The cashews are highly fragrant when in bloom in January and February, and when the cashew fruit ripen to a golden yellow color in May and June, they taste something like mango and smell like sweet grapes. The cashew nuts require roasting to make them edible. Villagers make and sell cashew wine. A Cashew Festival is held annually in early May.
Off Philip Goldson Hwy. (formerly Northern Hwy.), Crooked Tree, Belize