Early History of Southwest Caye

Isla Marisol History

Southwest Caye has an interesting and unusual history dating back to the pirate days, and much of the history is passed down through stories shared from one generation to another.  Isla Marisol is located on Glover’s Reef Atoll, which is named after 17th century pirate John Glover.  Pirates used Southwest Caye and neighboring islands as the base from which to raid Spanish ships laden with riches.  Modern day residents claim to have found historical artifacts such as cannon balls and glass bottles (but so far no pirate booty!).


Southwest Caye, home to Isla Marisol Resort, was originally purchased by Mr. Jack Usher in 1942.  For many years the island operated successfully as a coconut plantation.   Mr. Jack and his family visited the island during family retreats, and as the stories go, it took two full days of sailing from Dangriga to reach Southwest Caye.  For comparison, it now takes less than two hours to reach Southwest Caye from Dangriga.  In the 1990’s, a dreadful disease called Lethal Yellowing swept through the southern Caribbean, destroying countless coconut trees, including much of the plantation on Southwest Caye.

 

In 2000, Mr. Eddie Usher, a descendant of Mr. Jack, began replanting the coconut plantation to its original glory.  Eddie started with just 100 seedlings.  At the same time he began constructing what is now Isla Marisol Resort.  Isla Marisol officially opened its doors on May 2nd 2002.  It has been operating ever since under Belizean ownership, managed by the Usher family and has been replanted with over 1,200 coconut trees resistant to the lethal yellowing disease.

 

Today’s lifestyle at Isla Marisol Resort is not very different than in the past.  It is relaxed and comfortable and welcoming to all.