A few minutes later, we're cruising above a maze of underwater reefs. Our boat, which is outfitted for scuba trips, finally finds open water. While the group around me snaps screensaver-worthy pictures of the small islands all around, I introduce myself to the intriguing dock hand — who turns out not to be a dock hand at all.
His name is John Usher, and he's a third-generation citrus farmer whose roots can be traced back to the first Belizeans. Usher made his living in the orange business by using the land to turn a profit, and business was good for quite a long time. But like all good things, Belize's orange industry eventually came to an end because of stiff international competition. Fast-forward 12 years, and Usher's become one of the principals and developers of Sanctuary Belize, a 14,000-acre property on the country's east coast, working to grow tourism while at the same time preserving the nation's natural resources that he admittedly once exploited.