The hilltop community of Spanish Lookout, population 2,500, about 5 mi (8 km) north of the George Price Highway, is one of the centers of Belize's 11,000-strong Mennonite community, of which nearly 3,000 are in Cayo District. The easiest access to Spanish Lookout is via the paved Route 30 at Mile 57½ of the Price Highway. The village's blond-haired, blue-eyed residents may seem out of place in this tropical country, but they're responsible for much of the construction, manufacturing, and agriculture in Belize. They built many of Belize's resorts, and most of the chickens, eggs, cheese, and milk you'll consume during your stay come from their farms. Many of the small wooden houses that you see all over Belize are Mennonite pre-fabs built in Spanish Lookout. In conservative communities, women dress in cotton frocks and head scarves, and the men don straw hats, suspenders, and dark trousers. Some still travel in horse-drawn buggies, though most Mennonites around Spanish Lookout have embraced
pickup trucks and modern farming equipment. The cafés and small shopping centers in Spanish Lookout offer a unique opportunity to mingle with these sometimes world-wary people, but they don't appreciate being gawked at or photographed any more than you do. Stores in Spanish Lookout are modern and well-stocked, the farms wouldn't look out of place in the U.S. Midwest, and many of the roads are paved (the Mennonites do their own road paving). Oil in commercial quantities was discovered in Spanish Lookout in 2005, and several wells now pump several thousand barrels of black gold daily.
Spanish Lookout, Belize