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Village of Sarteneja
Sarteneja is located in Belize
Location of Sarteneja in Corozal District, Belize
Coordinates: 18°21′12″N 88°8′46″W / 18.35333°N 88.14611°W / 18.35333; -88.14611
Country  Belize
District Corozal District
Constituency Corozal South East
Sarteneja 1847
 • Chairman Luciano Cruz (UDP)
 • Total 90.33 km2 (34.88 sq mi)
Elevation 2-4 m (−11 ft)
Population (2016)
 • Total 3,500
Demonym(s) Sartenejeño(a)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central)
Climate Aw
Sarteneja North Front at Sunset

Sarteneja, first known as "Tza-ten-a-ha", is the largest fishing community in Belize. This community is the largest in the Corozal District and also the second largest village in Belize. It recorded a population of 3,500 according to a 2016 estimate.[1] The name "Sarteneja" is a distortion of its original Mayan name, "Tza-ten-a-ha", to Castilian Spanish both meaning "water between the rocks".

It is located on the Sarteneja Peninsula, approximately forty miles by road from Orange Walk Town and is near the privately owned Shipstern Conservation & Management Area. The village's economy is based primarily on fishing for lobster, conch and finfish. There are many farmers, particularly retired fishermen that develop their farmland with agriculture. Recently, tourism is becoming increasingly significant as a source of income or at least as another alternative livelihood for those no longer interested in extracting the aforementioned species but instead help with their conservation or even with their sustainable exploitation.

Most of Sarteneja's inhabitants are of Yucatec Maya Mestizo ancestry.[citation needed].

The village of Boatbuilders[edit]

Sarteneja is home of the shipwrights that are still in activity, having built most of the traditional fishing boat fleet (visible in Haulover creek in Belize city) and many of the sailing boats that operate in tourism for sailing tours, most notably; Sirena Azul (San Pedro), Ragga King, Ragga gial, Blackhawk (Caye Caulker), Brujula (Hopkins), and Zayann.

The Sarteneja Easter Regatta[edit]

Sarteneja is famous for the Easter Regatta that takes place every year on Easter Sunday when most of the fishing boat fleet is back to the village for the traditional haul out on the water front during the fishing season break.

[1] Pictures gallery of Sarteneja boat construction and the Sarteneja Easter Regatta


  1. ^ Belize Population and Housing Census 2010 (PDF) (Report). Statistical Institute of Belize. 2013. p. 64. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 January 2016. Retrieved 14 May 2016.