Jan. 20, 2011:

"Kathleen, as a younger person, I was in Honduras on a relief effort and heard about the incredible snorkeling in Belize. But I was warned off, told that that country was extremely dangerous.

"I have been receiving and reading your articles recently about Belize, but there has never been a mention of danger. I plan to travel and possibly to invest in a vacation home there, so safety becomes a priority.

"Please comment on this issue.

"The last time I was in Central America was about 1998."

--Jeff Q., United States

Nowhere is 100% crime-free, but I feel safer traveling in Belize than I do in my home town of Baltimore, Maryland, for example.

That is to say, Belize, beyond Belize City, is one of the safest places on earth.

Some sections of Belize City, south of the river, have gang and drug problems. Walk around these neighborhoods at night, and you might end up mugged or worse. Everyone you meet will warn you away from this section of the city. I've explored these streets, though, during the daytime, and had no trouble.

Bottom line, you certainly shouldn't be scared off from visiting Belize, snorkeling off this country's coast, or even investing in a new home here, on the coast, on Ambergris Caye, or inland in the Cayo. I wouldn't buy a house southside in Belize City...

In most of the rest of this country, though, you'll find that crime is as close to non-existent as it is anywhere in the world.

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Kathleen Peddicord

Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group. With more than 25 years experience covering this beat, Kathleen reports daily on current opportunities for living, retiring, and investing overseas in her free e-letter.

Her book, How To Retire Overseas—Everything You Need To Know To Live Well Abroad For Less, was recently released by Penguin Books.

Read more here.

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