Nancy R. Koerner, Author of Belize Survivor: Darker Side of Paradise Returns to Origins of Literary Inspiration in Modern-Day Belize

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SW Florida author, Nancy R. Koerner, goes back in time to tell the story of thirty years of "gringo" pioneering in Belize, both before and after.

After an extended absence of nearly two decades, Nancy R. Koerner, author of "Belize Survivor: Darker Side of Paradise" returns to find modern technological innovation changing the face of the tiny English-speaking country. As one of the original early pioneers of the 1970's, Koerner's book reveals the story of a much more primitive Belize, when young counter-culture Americans pursued an alternate lifestyle, carving out their own little empires in a tropical Eden, and creating what would eventually become some of the finest tourist destinations in the world. Koerner is actually the founder one such entity. Mountain Equestrian Trails (referred to as "Belize-by-Horseback" in her book) is one of only three locations in Belize to be featured in the best seller, "1000 Places to See Before You Die".

Now, nineteen years after-the-fact, Koerner finds that Belize is a country of unusual contrasts. Although three hydroelectric dams high in the mountains now control excessive flooding on the Macal River creating a safer environment for valley inhabitants, Mayan women are rarely seen washing clothes along its banks. Instead, they live in the villages with electricity, running water, and washing machines. Laptop computers are commonplace, yet wireless internet cafes are often housed beneath thatched roofs within earshot of grunting pigs and crowing roosters. "Probably the strangest revelation was to see a Maya in San Ignacio riding his horse, with a weed-whacker over his shoulder, and talking on his cell phone," says Koerner. "When I first lived here, it was primitive jungle subsistence. We had no means of communication whatsoever. If you wanted to call someone, you had to shout."

Koerner had feared that certain cherished natural and ancient wonders may have ended up in a carnival-like atmosphere of cigarette butts, colored lights, and T-shirt vendors. But she was delighted to discover that the integrity of these national treasures has been well-preserved largely due to the unyielding efforts of the BTIA, the Belize Tourism Industry Association. Mayan ruins, caves, waterfalls, and natural medicine trails are now protected as pristine national parks, complete with the entrance fee revenues to insure ongoing protection and maintenance, and licensed guides to provide richly-informative tours for guests.

The historical and compelling story of Belize Survivor: Darker Side of Paradise provides a unique inside view of the land and its challenges as it once was, in stark contrast to the present-day visitor experience of the spectacular recreational opportunities in a now-civilized and tourist-friendly country.

"Belize Survivor: Darker Side of Paradise" is currently available for purchase at http://www.belizesurvivor.com . All "Direct-Order-from-the-Author" purchases are personally signed and inscribed.

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