‘Chain Gang’ in Ambergris Caye,Belize

Full of anticipation (and if I admit it a fair amount of excitement) I was on the veranda with my mug of coffee by 4 am this morning. With the pour for the First Floor of our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize scheduled for 5.30 am I didn’t want to be at the site when the guys arrived to start work. But, I didn’t want to get there too much after them and miss too much of the action. A bit like a kid at Christmas I suppose.

Showered, dressed ( with the boots on) and was at the site by 6.45am and was greeted by the wonderful sound (may have replaced my fixation with rebar!) of not one but two concrete mixers churning away.


Look at those two beauties. And note the light in the background for the early start.

Daniel Camal, our building contractor, had told us that he would have a lot of guys on site but it still surprised me as I approached our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize.


A hive of activity.

Knowing that I wouldn’t be able to get up on to the First Floor for a while I walked back to the ‘mixing area to see that they were in the process of filling up the water container.


Let’s get the flow going.

It wasn’t long though before the piping sprang a leak and Nicholas very quickly found a replacement bit of pipe.


How about this bit Sam and Martin?


That does the job.

I could see that the opportunity was there so I very quickly ascended the form work currently representing the stairs and made it to the First Floor to see that the concrete for the western (veranda) had already been poured.


Looking good.

I hadn’t been up there very long when I saw the guys disappearing in ones and twos. What was going on? Was there a strike? Thought I had left this behind in the UK (remember I used to work in the newspaper industry)! No, not all, they were going to get a drink and a snack.


The golf cart chuck wagon.


‘Let’s drink this quick and get back to work’.

Within minutes they were back at work continuing with the concrete pour. That wasn’t the only bit of action on the First Floor though because the plumber/electrician was finishing off the pipe work and was working on the eastern (roadside) on the house.


Kneesy does it!

All the while the buckets of concrete were being lifted up to the First Floor and being emptied into the wheelbarrows and then wheeled to the designated area for pouring.


One more bucket will do.


That hit the spot.

Watching the guys eat their snacks had made me feel quite hungry so I ‘phoned Rose up and suggested that when I picked her up that we grab a quick bite at Lily’s Treasure Chest restaurant which is my second favourite (it was Tuesday so Estel’s wasn’t open) place to eat breakfast. Rose readily agreed.


The view from our table. Not bad is it.

Suitably refreshed Rose and I then drove to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. and when we got there she was as gobsmacked as I had been when I got there earlier.

There was so much going on and I took so many photos (107 in all) that I have decided to spread (yeah I know it is a terrible pun) this out over two editions. So to find out what went on next you will have to read Thursday’s edition. Tantalising isn’t it.

The headline is based on the 1960 classic by Sam Cooke which reached number two in the US pop and R&B charts and number nine in the UK Singles Chart.


  1. Larry Merrill says:

    John: You told me that you don’t have water from the Caye water company. Where are you getting your supply from. I know it’s not wise to use saltwater when mixing concrete?

    1. Hi Larry. Think what I said was that we will not have mains water,hence the water tank. Do not know where Daniel is buying the water for the build but will ask him and let you know. They are definitely not using salt water for the concrete. Been there enough times during pours to state that will absolute confidence. From memory the price of a gallon of water is cUS$0.50. Regards John

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