Boatbuilding in Sarteneja

In Belize, I had the opportunity to meet Juan Guerrero, an artisan boatbuilder. Since he was 14, he has been taking locally harvested timber and transforming it into beautiful sailboats in the town of Sarteneja. Located in the northeast tip of Belize, Sarteneja was historically a fishing village and is still home to many of the country’s small boatbuilders. Quite a few of the sailboats I saw in Belize City and Caye Caulker had their origins in Juan Guerrero’s workshop.

The lifecycle of these sailboats presents an interesting contrast to the typical lifecycle of the buses I’m studying. Instead of being produced from thousands of anonymous industrial parts on an assembly line, these sailboats are uniquely crafted from various local woods by one craftsman in his backyard. Instead of heading south like the old school buses, the boat I saw being manufactured was, according to the wishes of its future captain, going to head north making no/low-emission trips to Cuba ferrying organic produce grown around Sarteneja.

Pictures below:

Related Posts:


Northern Belize – Bus Photos

Ferry to Africa

Buses of Western Belize

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  1. There are no more trees to harvest around Sarteneja but since two years I’m working with local carpenters to develop a positive cycle in the production of boats, instead of always taking from nature we give back to it, we plant trees while building boats. I build the first SUSTAINABLE BOAT of Sarteneja with Cristobal Verde, Natty Dreads (Find more on and now working to this new cargo-sailboat with the master Juan Guerrero. We use also Bio-Epoxy that I’m introducing to Belize.
    Thousand of pictures:

  2. ED says: is not reflecting our village.

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