All shops on the island are open daily. You’ll find Toucan and a sprinkling of small gift shops on and around Front Street selling T-shirts, hot sauce, hammocks, sarongs, beach wear, postcards, photo albums, and other typical Belizean souvenirs. Caye Caulker’s sandy streets are starting to attract several skilled artisan vendors.
On Front Street is a collection of numbered stalls called Palapa Gardens. Here you can find hand-carved ziricote and rosewood, hand-painted T-shirts, Guatemalan textiles and handicrafts, beautiful model sailboats complete with rigging, jewelry, and music CDs.
Jewelry is a popular craft on the island and often sold from tables set up in the street. Calvin sells cool island necklaces at his table set up on the corner of Habaneros and Sandbox. Celi’s Music (Front St.) is where Mr. August can be found at a small table beside the shop, cutting and polishing conch shell pieces. There’s a good selection of popular Belizean music and videos.
Cooper’s Art Gallery (tel. 501/226-0330, www.debbiecooperart.com) on Front Street sells colorful Caribbean primitive art and posters, many in funky frames hand-painted by artist Debbie Cooper and her husband. Lee Vanderwalker-Alamina’s Caribbean Colors Art Gallery and Cafe (www.caribbean-colors.com) is upstairs, beside the police station.
The Go Slow Art Gallery, in Palapa Gardens stalls #6 and #7, encourages the Belizean art community and sells paintings of different styles, including acrylic on canvas, realism, and primitive. Seek out pieces by well-known local artists Nelson Young and Marcos Manzanero.
Hair braiders create “head art” with their lightning-fast fingers, braiding intricate designs and adding colorful beads and extensions. Anita Baker and her daughter are very skilled and set up their outdoor salon across the street from Palapa Gardens.
For clothing, Chocolate’s Gift Shop (Front St.), run by Annie Seashore, sells high-quality Balinese sarongs, bags, and Guatemalan textiles. Several small shops sell a limited selection of imported women’s clothing.
© Joshua Berman and Avalon Travel from Moon Belize, 9th Edition