Belize Survivor: Darker Side of Paradise

What if you had lived your life differently?
What if you'd just slung a backpack over your shoulder and traveled to some faraway place?

When Nancy R. Koerner arrived in Belize in January of 1976 with her husband and 9-month old baby, they were idealistic young pioneers, "expats" looking for a place to live off the land, grow their own food, and raise their children in a clean, healthy, and natural environment.

Belize was an untamed wilderness, an unknown, uncivilized, backwater. Once the haven of pirates, renegades, loggers, and the ancient Maya, even early tourism would not begin for another decade. Roads were few, narrow, and unpaved. There were no amenities, no facilities, no modern comforts or conveniences. No traffic lights, no streetlights, no road signs, and no maps.

Living a primitive lifestyle, Nancy chopped wood, carried water, lived in a thatched hut, cooked over an open fire, cleared land with a machete, built fences, tended goats, raised chickens, washed clothes in the river, and carried her baby on her back. Transportation was via horseback or dugout canoe.

Experiencing such natural disasters as earthquake, flood, fire, and hurricane, she also learned about the darker side of human nature. Isolated in a foreign land, she gradually became a victim of violent domestic abuse.

Although Belize Survivor: Darker Side of Paradise is technically defined as “a novel based on a true story,” it is easy to read between the lines.

The names have been changed.
This is her life ...

blue morpho butterfly    Look inside   
Look inside.
Look inside Belize Survivor: Darker Side of Paradise

Nancy and Sam, Bronwen Cave, Belize
Nancy R. Koerner, Founder of Mountain Equestrian Trails

Nancy R. Koerner

Darker Side of Paradise

Full of poignant moral dilemma, it is a story of one woman's survival, of exceptional courage, strength in overcoming adversity, spiritual growth, and ultimate triumph.

Nancy lending a hand

"to raise up and help other women"

"From my perspective [Nancy Koerner's] book is a feminist manifesto and should be a requirement for university students learning about interpersonal violence.

It is well-crafted ... she is able to weave together female themes like motherhood, being a woman in distress, friendship, abuse, legal issues, politics— all of this inscribed in the context of Mayan jungles, mysterious trails, desolate shamanic temples, curanderas, jaguars and horses in a strange paradise ...

       ... she is Indiana Jones in a skirt!"

Ivette Gomez, LHMC
Shelter for Abused Women & Children, Naples, FL