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Valid: Friday, July 6 until Monday, July 9, 2012

An active tropical wave (TW) just west of Jamaica this morning will approach and move over Belize and Yucatan late Saturday, producing more outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms, and squally conditions. The airflow will remain moist and unstable on Monday through Wednesday as low pressures persist over northern Central America.

The features of interest over the NW Caribbean and Belize this weekend are an approaching, active tropical wave (TW), coupled with a low level easterly surge in the trade winds. The TW is tracking westwards at 15 mph and will cross Belize on Saturday evening and night. Outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms will continue today, increasing on Saturday through Sunday. The showers and thunderstorms will be intense at times, accompanied by squalls. The showers will be concentrated over the coastal zone and areas of the Belize, Stann Creek, Cayo and Toledo Districts. Showers will also affect northern districts but will be less concentrated.

Daily rainfall totals over central and northern areas will range from 0.50- 1.00 inch today Friday. Higher, daily rainfall amounts of 1.50-2.00 inches are expected on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, especially in the higher elevations of the Cayo, Stann Creek and Toledo Districts. Soil condition over most districts is near field capacity, so the runoff in the hilly terrain will be quicker.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekend Weather Report

The San Pedro Sun

Presenting Miss Costa Rica for Costa Maya 2012!
With the current line-up for the International Costa Maya Festival including Los Pasteles Verdes and Kevin Lyttle, the news is only getting hotter as the highly anticipated announcement of delegates for the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant keep coming. This week we present to you the gorgeous Mariela Aparicio, and she hails from the land of Pura Vida, Costa Rica! Mariela is a lovely dark-eyed brunette model and cosmetologist who enjoys listening to music, traveling and exercising. She stands at 5’ 7” and measures 34-23-35. All eyes will be on her and the other beauties from Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama on Thursday, August 2nd. Mariela joins Miss Belize: Karen Middleton, Miss El Salvador: Nathaly Jazmin Mena Arauz, Miss Honduras: Esthefany Maolyth Pineda Perez and Miss Panama: Karen Elena Jordan Beitia, in the race for the title currently held by Miss Mexico, Valentina Cervera Avila.

Presenting Miss Nicaragua for Costa Maya 2012!
The list of beauty pageant delegates continues to grow, and we present to you the lovely Miss Nicaragua, Ivey Jellisa Alvarez Hunter. She is 20 years old, and stands at 5’ 8”, has dark brown eyes and hair. She is an International Relations & Diplomacy student who speaks both English and Spanish. Ivey joins other beauties from Belize: Karen Middleton, Costa Rica: Mariela Aparicio, El Salvador: Nathaly Jazmin Mena Arauz, Honduras: Esthefany Maolyth Pineda Perez, and Panama: Karen Elena Jordan Beitia. These lovely ladies will be joined by delegates from Guatemala and Mexico, on Thursday, August 2nd as they compete for the title of Reina de La Costa Maya, which is currently held by Mexico’s, Valentina Cervera Avila.

Ambergris Today

45th Annual Benque Fiesta Kicks Off This Weekend!
July is here and it is time for the “Benque Fiesta”. The community of Benque Viejo del Carmen will be celebrating its 45th Annual Benque Fiesta. The Fiesta is celebrated every year to honor the Town’s Patroness – Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The activities will kick off this Saturday, July 7th, 2012 with the “Señorita Flor de la Feria” Pageant and will officially open on July 13th to carry on until July 16th, 2012. This year, “The Señorita Flor de la Feria” Pageant will entertain attendees with the beauty, charm and talent of five of Benque’s beautiful young women. According to Oscar Nabet, coordinator of the pageant, “Last year, Ms. Alexis del Valle became the Flor de la Feria. The contenders for the crown are judged by career, cultural and evening attire.” He added, “The pageant will commence at 7:00 p.m. and will be held at the Cancha Marshallek in Benque Viejo del Carmen. Everyone is welcome to come and support their favorite queen.” The Benque Fiesta will officially open with an opening ceremony by the Benque Viejo Town Council at 8:00 p.m. on July 13th, 2012 and the night explodes with a massive fireworks display at the stroke of midnight. Saturday, July 14th will feature a football match; Belize VS Guatemala. The party continues through the night. Sunday, July 15th will host a “Benque Fiesta Bandfest”. There will be games and entertainment for the entire family. The festival will culminate on Monday, July 16th with a ‘People’s Day’, which will be filled with cultural presentations. The Benque Fiesta is where families and friends share in tradition and enjoy momentous moments. Join Benqueños as they celebrate their Benque Fiesta!

Flavors of Belize Launches Cookbook
Finally, all of Belize’s most delicious dishes all brought together in one beautiful hardcover cookbook; Flavors of Belize is our nation’s first cookbook of its kind. Bringing together the best of Belizean recipes from across the country, this amazing book includes signature dishes from some of the country’s most renowned chefs and family recipes passed down through the ages. The book was officially launched at the Biltmore Plaza in Belize City on Tuesday, July 3, 2012. With over 120 authentic recipes, from delectable soups and starters to main courses and desserts, Flavors of Belize features specialties of the Maya, Mestizo, Creole, East Indian, Garifuna, Chinese, Caribbean, Lebanese and the British. This incredible cookbook also captures the influences of Belize’s rich history and culture, ingredients and cooking styles from far and wide. With detailed recipes and beautiful photographs, your kitchen can now be home to the same delicious dishes that have made Belizean cuisine famous around the world. “Whenever I travel, I’m reminded just how incredible Belizean food is,” says Tanya McNab, publisher and the creative force behind the making of Flavors of Belize. “I wanted to offer every interested cook around the globe a complete, authoritative hardcover cookbook on the best of our delicious cuisine,” she says.

Costa Maya Fest 2012 Presents Miss Costa Rica
The International Costa Maya Festival is happy to introduce, Mariela Aparicio, Miss Costa Rica, vying for the title of Reina de la Costa Maya 2012 at the International Costa Maya Festival. Mariela is 25 years old, 5?7? tall and is a professional model and cosmetologist who enjoys listening to music, travelling, and exercising. Mariela is an official representative of Costa Rica in Miss Earth 2012 the 12th edition of the Miss Earth which is scheduled to be held at Coral Theater in Ninh Thuan, Vietnam in December, 2012. She will join seven other contestants from around the Mundo Maya countries, including Belize, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and Panama Rica, at the Miss Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant (August 2, 2012) that will take place during the San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival taking place from August 2 to August 5, 2012.

Open Clinic at Dr. Otto Poly Clinic
Open clinic for children's dental and adult dental, Open clinic for dermatology, Open clinic for general health evaluations, Open clinic for prolonged and chronic pain. Clinic Hours: Friday, July 27, 2012 - 1PM to 5 PM Saturday, July 28, 2012 - 8 AM to 12 noon Monday, July 30, 2012 - 8 AM to 5 PM Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 8 AM to 5 PM Dr. Womack served at Northern Regional in February and is a well known children's specialist and problem patient specialist for dentists in his area in Dayton Ohio. Dr. Wayne Bauman is a dermatologist and served at Northern Regional and the Poly Clinic 5 years ago with Dr. Peter Craig. Dr. Bauman is a dermatologist in Cincinnati Ohio. Dr. Magda Kerschner is a pain specialist doctor of anesthesiology and has performed the general medical checkups on past trips to Belize including two summers ago at the Poly Clinic in San Pedro. In Cincinnati she has a pain clinic for those with chronic pain issues.

Learn Self Defense in San Pedro!
Black belt in Tae Kwon Do, Renee Wentz, willl be holding a self defense class on Saturday, July 21, 2012. Self Defense course for Women and Girls will be held at the Banyan Bay Conference Center. For More information contact: Jan Lyons - - 604-5265 Ti Southwell - - 610-3499 Beth Hart -

Picking Dane Cherries - By Chris Emmanuel
Chop wood, wash clothes, eat cherries - Zen I was up a tree in Toronto, looking down at my Mothers back yard. “Watch you don’t fall off the ladder.” You are an ass anyway, Chris, Ernie, whatever your name is.” Oh, that the voice of my inner critic. He likes to come around when things look like they might tip. He has a voice like my friend Pedro in Belize. He cusses and spits his words at you. But he loves at the same time. You just have to ignore his bad side, like the rotten part of an overripe fruit. I didn’t feel like picking cherries today. But the cherries are red ripe. The squirrels and birds are having a hay day, and my mom is nervous we won’t get any. Ha! Ha! Ha! I can almost hear the tree laughing, knowing it has so many cherries to feed the whole neighborhood. OK. The morning air smells tangy fresh and I am feeling good touching the leaves. I am glad I decided to do it now. It’s like Zen. When you get started anything after a while you just can’t help but start to see and feel something different. Like my girlfriend’s brother Dane says, “I just gotta get out on the trails Chris, then everything feels OK.”

Dying Arts Of Fishermen -Making Gill Nets #1
Fishermen of the past were skilled in many arts besides the art of catching fish and lobsters. Some people might not think of catching fish as an art, but have you tried catching fish with a hand line or reel and failed? Of course you fail many times because fish were biting but you just could not get them hooked. That is because you failed in that simple yet complicated art for a few. I think the art of dancing and cooking is a simpler art than fishing. However, today I want to touch on the art of making fishing nets, which is an art every fisherman in the past had to learn and teach it to their children too and pass it to a new generation. It's an enjoyable and productive pastime, and with some knowledge, a supply of string, and a couple of handmade tools, you can start tying your own meshwork right in your living room or back yard. I learned the art from my father who taught me to "knit" a net that is, to build a series of "meshes" to create an overall pattern.

Misc Belizean Sources

Commentary: Time for the Belize Government to Take Back All the Ports Given Away for Nothing
I have never heard of any sane government, except my country Belize, giving away its port facilities and airports to a private business or businesses in this world to operate, because they are needed to secure the nation’s national security interest and bring in huge revenues for the country and people. When the People’s United Party was in power under the leadership of the then Prime Minister Said Musa, this was done in 2002 and subsequent years after. Not only were the ports given away but the agreements that were signed are not available to the Belizean people to know the terms of these agreements, as if we are living in a Communist country. One would think that in a democratic country like Belize, agreements of this nature should have been brought to the Cabinet, the House of Representatives and the Senate for approval.

For the July, 2012 edition of Roots and Reef, Peninsula Citizens for Sustainable Development’s environmental newspaper, CLICK HERE

The July 2012 edition of Roots and Reef incudes articles on Belize’s new water management act, lionfish, the linkage between the Placencia Lagoon and our Barrier Reef, a guest article on preserving our trees by local student Ciara Vernon, and features on local residents including Miss Cunchie Villanueva and Omar and Therese Sierra of Omar’s Creole Grub.

Central Bank of Belize ECONOMIC BRIEF
A steeper-than-expected contraction in petroleum output and an irregular citrus blossom held GDP growth to 6.0% in the first quarter as compared to the 7.8% increase recorded in the first quarter of 2011. The outturn reflected continued buoyancy in tourism, a rebound in sugar and banana as well as an upsurge in electricity production. Banana output rose by 32.0% due to the rehabilitation of storm-damaged acreages and favorable agronomic conditions. Sugarcane deliveries and, by extension, sugar production rose by 55.4% and 40.7%, respectively, as the cogeneration plant benefitted from its first full quarter of uninterrupted operations since coming on-stream three years ago. BELCOGEN’s improved performance coupled with production increases from BECOL accounted for the 74.7% escalation in domestic output of electricity. Bolstered by an aggressive marketing campaign, the tourism sector maintained upward momentum even in the face of headwinds from a protracted recovery in the US. Stayover visitors returned to the pre-crisis levels of 2008 with a 6.2% increase during the first quarter. Hotel revenues consequently posted a solid gain of 16.3%, while cruise arrivals increased by 7.2%. The ripple effects of higher acquisition costs for petroleum and related products underpinned a 0.5% rise in quarterly CPI (November 2011 to February 2012) and resulted in a year-on-year (February 2011 to February 2012) annual inflation of 1.9%

Market Price under various assumptions for coupon and exit yield of the belize superbond

The July 8th, 2012 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Esquivel Takes The Rap - Pandy Walks
  • Belize City Men Busted With Guatemalan Weed
  • A Few Chancy Men Still Around
  • The Tragic Passing of Marco Tulio Polanco
  • Will Cristo Rey Village Ever Get Water Again?
  • Truly An Inspiration - In Just Six Hours. $15,180.36 Contributed To A Worthy Cause
  • Ministry Donate Machines For Dengue Control Program
  • Ministry of Health participates in Indigenous Children Symposium
  • HECOPAB conducts workshop for Community Health Workers
  • Regional HIV Testing Day
  • Ceibo Chico Conservation Post And South Chiquibul Joint Enforcement Unit Launched
  • Opponent Demand Recount In Mexico’s Presidential Election
  • Successful Lobster Festivals 2012
  • Meet Charles The Tree Frog
  • STAR Humor
  • Editorial: Facts Are Stubborn Things
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

Longtime Placencia Resident Cleveland Berry Passes
Popular Belizean musician and beloved member of the Placencia community, Cleveland Berry succumbed to cancer today, July 6, at 1:20 p.m. at Belize Healthcare Partners Hospital in Belize City. With plenty of family members at his side, he passed away while Dave Brubeck’s “Take 5” – one of his favorite jazz tunes – played in the background. Cleveland Berry’s popular Creole calypso singles: “Hurricane Hattie”, “Krismus Bum”, and “Good Mawning Miss Lady” are national classics and often heard on the local radio station Love FM. “CK” as he was affectionately known by friends, played the flute and acoustic guitar. He occasionally played on the Placencia Peninsula with local band The Rejects and joined spontaneous jam sessions often coming unannounced.

Annual Benque Fiesta kicks off in Belize this weekend
July is here and it is time for the “Benque Fiesta”. The community of Benque Viejo del Carmen will be celebrating its 45th Annual Benque Fiesta. The Fiesta is celebrated every year to honour the Town’s Patroness – Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The activities will kick off this Saturday with the “Señorita Flor de la Feria” Pageant and will officially open on July 13 to carry on until July 16, 2012. This year, “The Señorita Flor de la Feria” Pageant will entertain attendees with the beauty, charm and talent of five of Benque’s beautiful young women. According to Oscar Nabet, coordinator of the pageant, “Last year, Ms Alexis del Valle became the Flor de la Feria. The contenders for the crown are judged by career, cultural and evening attire.” The Benque Fiesta will officially open with an opening ceremony by the Benque Viejo Town Council on July 13, 2012 and the night explodes with a massive fireworks display at the stroke of midnight. Saturday, July 14, will feature a football match; Belize vs Guatemala; the party continues through the night. Sunday, July 15 will host a “Benque Fiesta Bandfest”. There will be games and entertainment for the entire family. The festival will culminate on Monday, July 16, with a ‘People’s Day’, which will be filled with cultural presentations.

Channel 7

GSU Gets Gun, Police Detain Man Who Beat Murder Rap Twice
Yesterday evening at a quarter to 6:00 - multiple shots rang out in the Sarstoon Street area. Police were already posted in the general area - after random shots were fired there last Saturday morning. They moved quickly to lock off Mayflower Street and detained John Chessman - who just got off his second murder rap in May. The GSU and other police units were there in force and searched intensively in a swampy area near Mayflower Street where they found a black CZ brand 9mm pistol. The firearm was cocked and loaded with 12 live 9 mm rounds of ammunition and one inside the chamber. The magazine is an extended magazine with a capacity of 26 rounds. Police have not indicated if Chessman will be charged - but he remains detained.

CCJ Says Mayan King Must Pay (A Little Less)
About 2 and a half months ago, 7News told you about the Belizean case which was heard in Barbados before the Caribbean Court of Justice. This case involved a judgment, which was handed down by the Supreme Court of Belize. One of six former employees of the Mayan King Banana Farm alleged that in June 2001 the company terminated them because they were leading a recruitment drive for the Christian Worker's Union. They claimed union-busting, and Justice Awich agreed with them when he ruled in 2009 against Mayan King Banana Farm, which is owned by John Zabaneh. He awarded the 6 employees a total of $420,000 Well, Zabaneh appealed that decision, but the Court of Appeal dismissed that claim, and added that there was evidence of injury to feelings. However, they did reduce the award to $180,000.

Stole The Sweetness Out Of Sugar (Barge)
Last night, we told you about the developing story at the Belize Sugar Industry that approximately 125 tonnes - 275,500 pounds - of raw sugar, valued at $125,000 dollars, went missing. Well today the men, who police caught with the supposedly stolen sugar, were taken to court. 68 year-old Oscar Mena, his 35 year-old son, Alex Obrien, and 25 year-old Ernel Brooks, were arraigned before Senior Magistrate Frazer for theft and handling stolen goods. In a blockbuster allegation, Obrien told Senior Magistrate Frazer that he bought the sugar from one of the stevedores, who work on the barges, and that he didn't know it was stolen. However, he did not identify this person who he bought it from. Because the offenses are serious, no plea was taken, but Obrien begged the court to grant him bail. He said that he has 3 children in high school, and he must be able to get them several hundred dollars in school fees before the next school year starts. Due to the strength of the prosecution's objections, Senior Magistrate Frazer was forced to remand them to prison. However, she did take Obrien's plea into consideration, and she granted them an early adjournment of July 20, in which the prosecution must provide strong evidence against them.

GSU Charges Ten For Two Ounces Of Weed
The GSU arrested 10 persons after finding a total of 92 grammes -less than three ounces of marijuana at a Belize City residence yesterday. The unit searched the residence of Vic...

The Tale And the Trail Of The KHMH Credit Card
Tonight we continue looking at the KHMH Special Audit Report from April 2010 to December 2011. The matter at hand tonight is the use of the facility's credit card. It was reserved for the hospitals top two administrators, the CEO and the CFO - and the auditor found a number of irregularities. We look at them tonight:.. Jules Vasquez reporting The KHMH has a corporate credit card with a limit of twenty thousand dollars. The audit notes that only two persons, The Director of Finance, Carlos Perera, and CEO Gary Longsworth, are the only two persons authorized to make purchases with the card. These are the credit card purchases for which no receipt was seen - they take up four pages of the addendum to the audit. They show assorted credit card charges in Belize, Chetumal, Mexico and Houston, Texas - all for which the auditor says there were no receipts.

Belize Has Special Task With FORPEL
FORPEL is the Central American regional forum for heads of Parliament. We haven't heard of them in Belize before but they held a high level meeting today. Leading Belize's delegation is the Speaker of the House of Representatives Michael Peyrefitte and he explained Belize's emerging role in the group:.. Michael Peyrefitte - Speaker of the House "What we do as elected presidents is to attempt to form this group and form committees so that we can come up with ideas that hopefully will turn to policies and laws. Different countries have different responsibilities, in the last couple of months the executive secretary for FORPEL Dr. Santiago asks me if we could promote for Belize to be the chairman of the education and health committee for FORPEL." "Of course I liaise with the Hon. Patrick Faber, the Minister of Education and he jumped on the opportunity for Belize to represent for education held in FORPEL and what we are doing here for the first time ever in Belize we have a FORPEL meeting and we are trying to come up with different resolutions that Belize will strive for and represent and contribute to the parliament of Central America."

Musical Legend Cleveland Berry Passes
Tonight, we note the passing of a musical legend. 77 year old Cleveland Berry Sr. succumbed to the symptoms of cancer this afternoon at Belize Healthcare Partners in Belize City. If, by chance you don't know his name, every Belizean knows the music that he popularized, including "Good Mawning Miss Lady", "Hurricane Hattie", and "Krismus Bum" - which are considered cornerstones of the Belizean songbook. The Placencia resident known as "CK" had his heyday in the 1950s when he played with The Skylarks at the Fort George and the Bellevue Hotels in Belize City. He also hosted his own jazz radio show on Radio Belize in the 1970s called the "Jazz Hour with Cleveland Berry". And fittingly, his family reports that he passed with plenty of family members at his side, while Dave Brubeck's "Take 5" - played in the background. Berry was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005 by the Association for Belizeans Artists First at the Bliss.

The Launch Of The South Chiquibul Enforcement Unit
The war in Belize City's streets may dominate the media - but the real battle of Belize is going on every day and night in the Chiquibul National Park. The park covers 7.7% of Belize's land mass - and it is under severe stresses from Guatemalans who come across for farmland, timber, Xate, game meat, and now even gold. And that's why The Friends For Conservation and Development has built a conservation post which will house the South Chiquibul Enforcement Unit. The fact is very little is known about South Chiquibul because it is extremely remote and requires an arduous two day hike to get there. But it is now the latest hotspot in the battle the save the Chiquibul from the silent invasion. The new building at Ceibo Chico was inaugurated on Wednesday and here's the story:.. Jules Vasquez reporting This is the Ceibo Chico Conservation post at the southern end of the Chiquibul Forest. This map shows its location in the vicinity of the Boiton Camps where they are mining for gold. Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director, Friends For Conservation and Development "The activity that is taking place here is mining of gold and Guatemalans have now gather that gold is there and so now there is a spiral of activities taking place in south Chiquibul, so we believe that there was an importance of group putting a presence there institutionally to be able to address that and the other issues occurring in south Chiquibul."

Belize Judo To Olympics
The 2012 Olympics are only 21 days away, and today the Judo Association of Belize was the first organization to announce that a Belizean Athlete will participate. Belize only won an entry into this Olympics discipline by way of a wildcard, which is given out to countries least likely to qualify for the competition, but today, the Association's President told us we have a top athlete participating. Eddermys Sanchez is presently in Guatemala receiving some final intensive training to prepare but on Sunday, he will be showcased to the Belizean public at the Princess Hotel. The Judo Association President told us at this showcase, a top-level trainer is coming to Belize to give a free demonstration: Here's what he told us about the event: Wellington Chee, President Judo Assoc. Belize "We were re-selected to represent Belize at the upcoming Olympic Games in the event of Judo, so I am taking an athlete to London to participate and compete in Judo."

Channel 5

90 undocumented K.H.M.H. credit card purchases including jewelry store
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital audit shows thousands of dollars paid to a business called Skilled Solutions LLC, which is a house in a residential area of Pembroke Pines. The preferred business was paid for items never received by the K.H.M.H. But tonight we look at the auditors findings about the corporate credit card which [...]

Friend of slain mother and daughter believes someone close is responsible
It is yet to be determined how the Prime Minister feels about the money trials of the K.H.M.H. or the undocumented trail of transactions that beleaguers the National referral hospital. But another trail of blood that the cops are following may lead to a stash of cash. The double homicide of a mother and daughter [...]

Maya King Case resolved at CCJ
While there are no charges filed against those men in local courts, inside the Trinidad courtroom of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), a judgment was handed via teleconference this morning in the case of six former employees who were unlawfully terminated from Maya King Banana Farm in June 2001. The union busting case which [...]

Sweet case of stolen sugar
It was discovered on Monday that one hundred and twenty-five tons of sugar had been stolen from different barges that docked at Drowned Caye between April first and July second. Three persons were arrested within hours of the report made by thirty-nine year old Linberth Seguro, the Chief of Security at the Belize Sugar Industries [...]

Soldier charged for aggravated burglary
A Belize Defence Force Soldier was also before the court this morning to answer to charges of Aggravated Burglary and Harm. Thirty-four year old Evan Robert Ramclam is accused of entering the home of Iguana Street resident, Anthony Leslie on Sunday. He was allegedly armed with a machete and intended to harm Leslie. Ramclam appeared [...]

Zenaida’s plans for restaurant in the sea
Recently former Mayor of Belize City, Zenaida Moya began driving piles into the Haulover creek near the Courthouse with plans to construct a restaurant. But the activity was suspended pending meetings with the building authority and central government. The Prime Minister weighed in on the future of Moya’s project and said that she needs to [...]

Youth man’s entrepreneurial bicycle plan
While the former Mayor’s battle as a businesswoman and entrepreneur is well documented, another local businessman is trying to get the word out on his endeavors. A local youth man is tired of being unemployed and he is starting a courier service called Cornie Courier Service and he hopes you would send some business his [...]

Senate discusses $2 Million DFC Housing Write-offs
As we reported earlier in the week, the Senate met for the first time since the March seventh General Elections on Tuesday to discuss three bills that have been put on the table by the House of Representatives. Among the proposed laws is a motion to write-off a little over two million dollars in non-performing [...]

P.U.P. deeply concerned about write-offs
Across the floor, People’s United Party senator Lisa Shoman, shared similar concerns, particularly on the subject of records proffered by the DFC regarding loan payments made by homeowners in Mahogany Heights.   Lisa Shoman, P.U.P. Senator “Like him I am deeply concerned and I have absolutely no doubt the Leader of Government Business must be [...]

Belize to have representation in 30th Olympic Games in London
A local athlete, who has no intention of being written off, actually wants to be written into the record books. Belize will have representation in the thirtieth Olympic Games to be held in London this year in a sport that was introduced to the country in the eighties, but has only been picking up traction [...]

Kids get the Belize Camping Experience
Summer camps are popping up on every radar across the country and another began this week in Belize City, specifically targeting the children on the south side. It’s the Belize Camping Experience and it provides a well rounded program for the kids with everything from spiritual guidance, education and counseling to fun activities, entertainment and [...]

Creative Arts to bolster talented youths
If your child is still trying to choose a camp, perhaps this one may bring out their talent. It’s the third annual Summer Arts Institute being held by the Institute of Creative Arts to bolster the arts of acting, singing, dancing and playing an instrument. The arts program began on Monday and runs through to [...]

Gospel truth for the youths says dancehall singer
In recent weeks we’ve seen a number of protests and demonstrations against the violence in the streets, particularly those targeting young children. And there is another group that will be speaking out through gospel music. Reality Youth, a dancehall Gospel artist says that he, along with other talented acts, will bring a positive message to [...]

FOPREL aims to improve grades with proper nutrition
The Forum of Presidents of Legislative Branches in Central America and the Caribbean (FOPREL) consists of eight permanent members: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic. The Central American Initiative seeks to improve education of students by fostering healthy eating habits; a topic which took center stage at a [...]

Meet the delegates for Queen of the Jewel (Miss Belize)
The Miss Belize pageant is now known as Queen of the Jewel. Freelance reporter Duane Moody caught up with the current queen and the delegates as they were preparing for Saturday’s pageant.   Maryam Abdul-Qawiyy, Delegate, Miss Belize “My name is Maryam Abdul-Qawiyy and I am representing Port Loyola Belize City. Originality; creativity. I’m bringing [...]


The appeal by 25 year old Ludin Najera , a taxi driver of San Ignacio was dismissed yesterday by the Belize court of appeal. Najera was convicted of rape and was sentenced to 11 years. The conviction and sentence were affirmed and the reason will be given in writing at a later date. ...

A non-governmental organization dedicated to assisting with first aid training and response is appealing to the general public to keep its doors open. The National First Aid Team, according to its founder and director Darwin Slusher is running low on supplies and he is turning to...

Last Wednesday the International Olympic Committee held an award ceremony at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall in Belize City. The awards were presented by Governor General of Belize Dr. Colville Young. Shelmadine Carr was awarded for her dedicated participation in Women in Spo...

Belize is currently chairing the first inter-parliamentary forum of presiding officers from Central America and the Caribbean, also referred to as FOPREL. Foprel is a regional institution based in Nicaragua whose purpose is to enhance parliaments in the region. Belize&rsquo...

Concerns were raised recently that the government of Belize was in the process of cancelling a crucial exam that students pursuing a career in pharmacy need to write. But according to officials in the Ministry of Health, those concerns can be safely put to rest, because there are...

Esso is a name that has been around for decades in Belize. But that name will soon be replaced by Puma Energy. A ceremony was held at the Radisson Fort George Hotel on Thursday night for the rebranding of service stations from Esso to Puma Energy. This will begin in m...

Activities to keep young people, especially school children on vacation, positively engaged continue around the country. For a report on one such activity in the south this weekend, here is our Toledo correspondent Paul Mahung. PAUL MAHUNG, Reporter “The ...

It’s that time of the year again for one of the biggest fairs in the country. The Benque Fiesta will be taking place next weekend but activities leading to this grand event kick off tomorrow with the Señorita Flor de La Feria pageant which is celebrating its sapphire...


FOPREL meets in Belize
FOPREL meets in Belize. Today at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel for the first time the FOPREL meeting was held in Belize...

Community keeps busy with sporting activities
Members from the Yarbra community are also rallying together in creating activities for the kids to engage in. Some..

BCE hosting discipleship camps in Belize City
Belize Camping Experience (BCE) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to restore Belize with the love of Ch..

Yarbra Community Policing Unit anchors summer program
Yarbra Community Policing Unit is also hosting its annual summer program for kids. The Community Policing Unit is p..

Belmopan teenager reported missing
A Belmopan teenage girl has been reported missing. Dorothy Choco, of Belmopan City reported that around 5:00pm on T..

Suspected sugar thieves arrested
The Belize Sugar Industry has been reconciling their inventory in an effort to account for a large stock of unproce..

Stocked container broken into
Oscar Echeverria, 31yrs Office Manager of Kendal Bridge Construction reported that on Thursday July 5, he made chec..

Foster Center seeks whereabouts of two minors
In other related cases of missing persons two minors are unaccounted for in Belize City. On Thursday (July 5) at 9:..

Mother searches for 15 year son
Oneida de Avila, a Guatemalan national of Melchor de Mencos has also reported that her son 15 years old ANIBAL AVIL..

Sury's Restaurant is target of attempted robbery
Maria Santos, 35yrs Manager for Suly’s Restaurant located at #8 Farmers Market reported that on Thursday 5th July, ...


Journey home from Hopkins - Day 5
If you read our last blog post, you'll know that I'd written a note to Angela and Tony explaining how early we needed to leave in the morning and that we wouldn't have time for breakfast but would like some coffee. I also asked them to please call us a taxi to get us to the bus stop in the village by 7 am (the only other bus is in the afternoon). And Barry planted the note in the gate to their apartment upstairs from their restaurant as they were out to eat in town when we went to bed, early. Fortunately, they did find the note. When we got up on Saturday morning and ventured out, I saw Angela, and the first thing she said was "we got your note". Relief! She also said that Tony would run us up to the bus stop, which was great. We finished our last-minute packing, enjoyed some good coffee, and I signed their guest book before we left.

Hidden Valley Inn: It's Easy Being Outdoorsy When You are Living Like This
In my post yesterday, I was patting myself on the back for getting outdoors, for being a bit rugged. (See my post about the water falls and wild life of Hidden Valley Inn.) And...well...some of you who have visited Hidden Valley called me out. Pointed out that it is very easy to hike and enjoy the outdoors when you are eating and staying in 5 star accommodations. are right. Here is a look at the gorgeous lodging and food at Hidden Valley Inn. So here is how I was really living...The rooms are large and clean. Each with a small sitting area, desk and a fire place! Good sheets, good mattress, good pillows, good products in the bathroom, good Wi-Fi. I was very happy.

Belizean Rice and Beans
Rice and beans is a simple, but nutritious dish. Although it's considered a poor man's dish when prepared plain with water and no entrée, it can be quite an exquisite meal when prepared with herbs and coconut milk as in this recipe and served with an entrée

Spicy Belizean Stuffing
In this recipe I redo my spicy bread stuffing and introduce my new stove. Stuffing is one of my all time favorite meals, but I only eat it in moderation. I make this recipe truly bare by only using bread, cilantro,onions and butter. You can certainly add other ingredients that you may desire, like nuts and raisins and some type of broth.

Beef Tamales
Belizean Tamales are usually made from chicken, but sometimes beef and pork are used. I stewed the beef Belizean style and tried to wrap them in the leaf the correct way. In this video I also show you a little bit more of my home as a way of inviting you in.

Chicken Tamales
My Aunt Jenny was the one who taught me how to make Tamales. In this video, I show you how to make the Tamales that's make all over the Yucatan. We use masa and chicken and every aspect of it is cooked. This meal is very spicy, savory and satisfying. eat this meal at many festive events.

Belizean Conch/konks Soup
Conch/Konk or Abalone is shellfish that has a very tough meat inside. It is considered a delicacy due to the fact that it has a definite harvest season. When seasoned correctly and cooked for the appropriate amount of time this meat can be quite delicious. This soup is savory and spicy and very filling.

Introducing Ragga ‘Max’ – our new guard dog!!!
I have to, with pride, introduce you to the newest member of the Raggamuffin Team – Max! Max is a 1 year old German Shepard that we are lucky enough to have adopted last week. Estice and Lisette Schraven have raised Max but unfortunately for him they have been forced to move back to Holland. They have been looking around for someone suitable and responsible enough to adopt this handsome dog and the family of Raggamuffin are the lucky ones!! Max’s role in Raggamuffin will be that of security! By the nature of his breed this fiercely protective and loyal dog will police the property and the personel of the crew as well as have a lot of fun with us too!! We want to say a huge ‘thank you’ to Lisette and Estice – we promise to look after your boy!!!

Fourth of July Without Fireworks
This year since we are now living in San Pedro, Belize where there is no red, white and blue celebrations and no fireworks. You can always get some good barbecue in Belize, so that is no big deal. But last night a few of us Americans here on the island decided to celebrate with Wednesday night at Roadkill Bar in San Pedro with Karaoke Joe's. There were lots of Karaoke singers and of course the evening would not be complete without a round of Lee Greenwood's song "Proud to Be an American". So we felt a little bit American last night even without all the fireworks and celebrations.

International Sources

Fitch Affirms Belize Sovereign Investments
Fitch has taken the following rating action on the notes issued by Belize Sovereign Investments III (BSI): -- $85.7 million notes affirmed at 'A'; Outlook Stable. The rating action reflects Fitch's Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) rating of Steadfast Insurance Company (Zurich Insurance Company Ltd.; 'A+', Outlook Positive). The affirmation of the notes also reflects the timely payment of interest on a semi-annual basis. The one-notch rating differential reflects limitations to the policy's claims-paying probability. Specifically, Fitch focused on the policy's conditionality, termination events, and claims-paying process. Fitch believes this claims-paying process is straightforward with limited conditions and limited potential for timing delays.

Do you Belize it?
Tiny Belize has caught the attention of investors lately, but for all the wrong reasons. The government of Prime Minister Dean Barrow has been strategizing what to do with the country's onerous $544 million Superbond. In Barrow's eyes, the Superbond's terms (such as the date of its maturity as well as its coupon payments, which are scheduled to increase to 8.5% this August) are too tough on the government, which is struggling to revitalize a sluggish economy, invest in crumbling infrastructure, and figure out a way to reduce skyrocketing rates of crime and violence. Behind closed doors in the capital city of Belmopan and during secretive meetings with the IMF and the IDB, the government is discussing its options, and it's scaring the heck out of Wall Street. As Adam Williams reports in Bloomberg today, various traders and strategists are making serious bets on Belize's decision, and yields on its bonds are some of the highest in the world:

Travel Writing Adventures in Belize
Waking up to the sounds of howler monkeys quickly reminds me that I am, in fact, in the middle of the Belizean jungle. I’m at Cotton Tree Lodge, an eco-lodge in the southernmost region of Belize in the Toledo District. Why am I here? For the chocolate. Cacao is the source of chocolate and Belize is one of the sources of cacao. Today, I’ll visit a jungle farm which supplies cacao along with a fascinating variety of plants used for food and medicine by the Mayan people living in the district. After a breakfast of freshly made tortillas, eggs from the chickens at the lodge and tropical fruits from the trees that grow around it, I’m off with my fellow chocolate lovers to visit a jungle farm owned by a man called Eladio Pop. Eladio is Mayan and has lived in this jungle his entire life. He never wears a shirt. He always carries a machete. He has one wife, 15 children, boundless energy and is truly the happiest person I have ever encountered. As we hike through his jungle farm, Eladio cuts down plants, whacks various items with his machete and opens up fruits for us to sample. If he tells us to taste it, we pop it right into our mouths—after all, he is the one with the machete! Eladio explains to us how he plants a cacao tree and his “co-farmer”—a rodent known as the agouti—plants the seeds of another shrub or tree nearby to provide the shade necessary for the cacao tree to thrive. Eladio believes nature works in harmony with us when we pay attention to the natural order of things. With our tour complete, Eladio invites us to his home. His wife, Virginia, serves a traditional Mayan meal of chicken, tortillas, pepper slaw, plantains and rice with vegetables. After lunch, Eladio’s daughter demonstrates traditional Mayan chocolate-making techniques. She prepares spicy hot chocolate for us to sample—a drink that has been consumed by the Mayan people for centuries. The drink is thought to provide energy and vitality. The ever-energetic Eladio, father of 15, drinks this every day, so there might be some truth in it. You’re probably wondering why would I travel to such a remote area of Belize to hike through jungles and learn about cacao? Well, because it’s my job. I’m not a chocolatier…and I’m definitely not a farmer. I’m a travel writer. Seeking adventures, experiencing other cultures and, in this case, making chocolate is just another day at the office for me. I never mind going to “work” because travel is my passion. Being a travel writer means I get to indulge that passion—and get paid for it, too. My travels are often free, or at least substantially discounted, and I have access to events and destinations not available to the average tourist. When an adventure concludes, I write about my experiences and collect my paychecks. For me, there really is no better job.

Edited by Marty (11/17/12 10:00 AM)