- On Sunday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge kicked off their Caribbean tour in Belize.
- The royal couple visited a local cacao producer, spent time with the Garifuna culture and learned more about Belize's marine conservation efforts.
- Prince William and Kate will travel to Jamaica and the Bahamas later in the week as they continue their visit to the Caribbean.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have landed in Belize.
The royal couple kicked off their Caribbean tour, on behalf of Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee year, in Belize on Sunday.
Today’s Schedule in Belize:— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) March 20, 2022
1?? Visiting a cacao producer to learn more about Belize’s world-famous Maya chocolate making ??
2?? Spending time with the Garifuna culture in Hopkins
3?? Learning more about Belize’s marine conservation efforts and incredible marine environment
A rocky start
Things got off to a rocky start after one of their first engagements in the tropical country had to be cancelled. Villagers staged a protest about colonialism and the use of a football field by the royals for landing their helicopter ahead of the couple's arrival.
Per People, William, Kate and their staff were happy to continue with their planned visit to a sustainable farm in the foothills of the Maya Mountains and talk to the indigenous people at the heart of the dispute. Still, the local Belizian authorities advised against it.
Instead, they visited the family-run Che'il Mayan Cacao Farm and Chocolate Factory in Maya Centre Village, where they toured the farm and learned about the chocolate-making process.
It was an incredible experience to see first hand how this world famous chocolate was made - using all organic products, all grown on their land or nearby.— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) March 20, 2022
We can see why this is loved all around the world! pic.twitter.com/awkCzgd2ix
Shaking it off in Belize
The couple also paid a visit to the beach-front village of Hopkins. They joined in the festivities, dancing the local "punta" and sampling the Hudutu broth-style meal as they immersed themselves in Garifuna culture.
"They are an amazing couple. We would love them to come any time with their children Charlotte, George and Louis," local woman Laura Cacho, who helped host the visit, told People.
Cynthia Ellis-Topsy, ambassador at large for the Garifuna nation, says she also encouraged the couple to dance.
"I said, 'I'll hold your hand, and we will do it together.' He [Prince William] did dance, and it was beautiful. [Kate] was a bit nervous, and she certainly appreciated the children," she says.
"We need to change the mindset, and that's best through the children."
The dancing Duke and Duchess of Cambridge getting into the swing of things on Day 2 of #RoyalVisitBelize at the beachside village of Hopkins, where William and Kate had a taste of Garifuna culture and with some of the local community. Kate wearing @toryburch #RoyalTourCaribbean pic.twitter.com/nw2S1jl2R2— Roya Nikkhah (@RoyaNikkhah) March 20, 2022
For the final engagement of their first day in Belize, the couple met conservation specialists to hear about marine protection and the incredible restoration efforts being taken to preserve the area's precious barrier reef.
Belize is home to the world’s second largest barrier reef, thanks to decades of work to protect this incredible marine environment.— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) March 21, 2022
In 2017, offshore oil exploration was banned, resulting in the reef receiving UNESCO World Heritage Status ?? pic.twitter.com/0r1uKRYT63
Prince William and Kate will travel to Jamaica and the Bahamas later in the week as they continue their visit to the Caribbean.