Calico Jack’s Village

Calico Jack’s Village (CJV) is a Belizean project committed to sustainable
tourism as well as community and personal development, and in particular, the development and empowerment of Belizeans. Calico Jack’s began as a project in early 2000 initially in Placencia, Belize led by financier Dr. Ydahlia Metzgen)(“Dr. Ydahlia”) and builder Mr. Chester Williams (Mr. Chet) and moved to Cayo in 2008. After more than 30 years of public service and public works, respectively,
Dr. Ydahlia and Mr. Chet decided to apply Dr. Ydahlia’s knowledge of economics and personal development with Mr. Chet’s construction expertise and creative energy to this project aimed at sustainable development and transformation in Belize.

Calico Jack’s offers overnight guests an authentic Belizean jungle retreat with the sights, sounds, and sensations of a tropical rainforest. The property spans more than 300 acres—home to stunning wildlife and vegetation. The Village delights guests with a creek, natural swimming hole and interesting trails for birding, hiking and horseback riding as well as other wonders of an authentic tropical paradise while providing access to modern amenities. The property also offers exciting zip line and other adventure tours to overnight and day visitors alike.

Calico Jack’s location also provides accessibility to the traditional life style of the small farming villages in the area, including the idyllic village of El Progresso (7Miles) with links to the ancient Maya, indigenous to Belize, Creoles, as well asmost recently refugees from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

CJV is best known for its first-class personalized, exhilarating and safe adventuretours, including zip line tours, rappelling, rope ladder challenge and a cablewalk available to both daytime explorers and overnight guests.

CJV’s location in the Mountain Pine Ridge region of central Belize provides ideal access to the magnificent ancient Mayan site of Caracol, Rio on the Pools,Rio Frio Cave, Big Rock Falls, Barton Creek Cave, ActunTunichil Mucknaland other area activities.

Guests highly praise CJV’s engaging staff and resort and restaurant services.CJV’s spacious 2 -3 bedroom/2 bathroom villas with kitchenettes provide comfortable and stylish lodging to the nature and retreat seekers as wellas adventure lovers that visit us. In addition,CJV offers accommodations andmeal packages for student, research or family groups for up to 21 guests thatare also accommodated in our loft rooms.

Calico Jack’s elegant poolside-restaurant offers mouth-watering cuisine acclaimed by guests focused on Belizean and vegetarian specialties that showcaseour eclectic and homegrown produce including super-fruit and herbs.

Calico Jack’s operations help to facilitate the financing of training and philanthropic activities for the village of El Progresso.

Dr. Ydahlia, Mr. Chet, Maria and the caretaker staff at Calico Jack’s Village are devoted to your comfort, safety, and pleasure, from the activities you wish to pursue to the food you eat.

Expect our help in mapping out activities onsite and to other areas. Expect our assistance in helping you to experience the awe of the abundant miracles of Mother Earth or participate in other reflective transformational activities in which we engage.Expect unpaved roads through Belizean local villages, tropical vegetation and wildlife, and opportunities to exchange stories with fellow adventurers and local residents.


Calico Jack’s Village resort is licensed by the Belize Tourism Board and is a member of Belize Chamber of Commerce, the Belize Hotel Association and the Belize Tourism Industry Association.

Dr. Ydahlia
Dr. Ydahlia
Dr. Ydahlia Metzgen, the principal owner of Calico Jack’s, is committed to empowering individuals to realize their potential. Dr. Ydahlia’s goals with respect to human and economic development have been inspired by her birth into poverty and the example of her teacher of 33 years Mata AmritanandaMayi.
Dr. Ydahlia graduated with a B.A. and an M.A. in economics (with Distinction) from McGill University, Canada, and with an MPA and Ph.D. (with Distinction) in Economics and Public Policy from Princeton University. During the course of 40 years, she has also specialized in transformational-related modalities.
Dr. Ydahlia’s work in economic policy—in more than 25 countries— including as a senior-level official at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for more than 20 years has driven her commitment to human and economic development. In addition, Dr. Ydahlia’s expertise in finance including managing the IMF’s US$20 billion investment portfolio and the foreign exchange portfolios of other large financial institutions ignited her focus on the role of finance in development.
Most recently, Dr. Ydahlia served for 5 years as an EconomicsProfessorat Galen University and as a Director on the Boards of Belize’s Protected Area Conservation Trust and Galen University. She currently serves on the Boards of Belize Bank Ltd., Belize Bank International Ltd., and Caribbean Investment Holding Company.
Dr. Metzgen has published numerous research papers on Belize’s economy including an assessment of the contribution of Belize’s private sector to the economy, an examination of the evolution of Belize’s economy since independence (commissioned by the Central Bank of Belize), UN-financed studies on water resource management and assessing the impact of the withdrawal of correspondent banks from Belize and other Caribbean countries.
Dr. Ydahlia returned home to empower Belizeans to take responsibility for their lives through opportunities for education, training, and self-awareness. In this regard, Dr. Ydahlia’s vision is to have this project serve as a model of mindful development enhancing the life of Belizeans and visitors, alike. Dr. Ydahlia teaches the team tourism sector related-skills and personal development tools. CJV also facilitates advanced education scholarships for village students and donated an acre of land to the village for a Pre-Primary School. CJV offers a sustainable economic and community development program during the summer for university students and summer camp for local students.
Mr. Chet
Mr. Chet
Chester Williams, or “Mr. Chet” as he is called, is a builder, entrepreneur, and innovator. For 40 years, Chester has been an awarded builder of bridges, roads, airstrips, dams, and residential construction. Chester is originally from Washington State, USA and brings to his work a respect for nature and the environment.
Mr. Chet ran a multi-million-dollar construction company, C.W.W. Construction, in Washington State. Initially, Chester and C.W.W. Construction specialized in and became widely recognized in Washington State for constructing concrete structures for water distribution and for sewage treatment plants. C.W.W. Construction’s Public Works projects, financed by Washington State and the US Government, expanded to include bridge retrofit and road construction and retrofit. Mr. Chet has been acknowledged by Architectural Digest and also received an award for his work on the Chief Joseph Damn.
As an entrepreneur, Mr. Chet’s pioneering development of a successful beachfront resort on North Maya Beach, Stann Creek District—the initial Calico Jack’s—opened up that area to investment and growth. Mr. Chet during a visit to Cayo District was smitten by the warmth and beauty of the village of El Progresso and proposed the move of the project to the small farming village. Chet’s vision is to bring growth to El Progresso including by providing villagers with skills such as carpentry, mason, plumbing, and electrical work.
Mr. Chet and the team first built the zip line for which CJV is best known. Whether you are a zip line enthusiast or not, you will enjoy seeing the juxtaposition of the superior construction of the zip line system (including Calico Jack’s jungle lift) and the striking jungle canopy. Mr. Chet and the team subsequently built the resort buildings, the pool and most of the furniture in the restaurant and bar and units.
As an innovator, Mr. Chet invented UroBlock™ a material whose components and manufacturing processes are ideal for the tropics and unskilled workers and yet offers versatility in design and aesthetics. Chet has been able to train unskilled workers to erect a UroBlock™ structure in one or two days.
Noteworthy, is that when this project was initiated in 2008, most of the staff came to work barefoot. Today most of the team drive vehicles to work and live in cement houses with indoor bathrooms that many have built given the skills they have learned from Mr. Chet. The building of these houses has been financed by zero interest loans provided by Calico Jack’s. Future projects include the build of a meditation house, sauna, and a children’s playground.

“If you want to relax, watch the clouds, just doing nothing and having those still moments is what really happens at Calico Jack’s…”