Manatees…or maybe Mermaids?

Caye Caulker, an island off the coast of Belize, is surrounded by waters filled with manatees. John Ryan, a writer for, writes about a visit to Caye Caulker to experience the island and the manatees in his article; People You Meet-Chocolate and the Manatees.

“Spend even the shortest amount of time on Caye Caulker and you will get to know ‘Capital-C’ Chocolate. Wiry and impossibly-tanned, Lionel ‘Chocolate’ Heredia (the nickname comes from a boyhood job delivering chocolate bread) has lived and worked Belize’s coastal fringe all his 76 years, and most might think he has earned the right to sit out the rest of his days outside his little gift shop, soaking up the sun and mellowing out. But he has another agenda.

On an uncharacteristically cloudy day, we set off with Chocolate and a collection of American tourists to see the manatees live and up-close. Before setting off, Chocolate talks to the group in his Caribbean-accented English, explaining that there were no guarantees that we’d see a manatee and that, unlike other tour operators, we certainly wouldn’t be swimming with them (‘I don’t believe in that’ he says simply).”