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The San Pedro Sun

Sylvia Joseph is Caye Caulker’s Miss Lobster Fest 2012-2013
On Friday, June 30th, the 2012 Caye Caulker Lobster Fest activities started off with the 2012 Miss Lobster Fest Pageant. After all the planning and preparations were put in place for this much anticipated event, five stunning young ladies took to the stage and wowed the crowd as they vied for the coveted title. They were Miss Jasmine Skeen, Miss Shania Sanchez, Miss Jasmine Arce, Miss Vicky Canul and Miss Sylvia Joseph who all took turns dazzling the audience in a dance presentation, talent competition, traditional costume and of course evening wear/Q&A segment. In the end the decision of the judges was met with joy and adulation as the undeniable crowd favorite, Miss Sylvia Joseph, was awarded the title of Miss Caye Caulker Lobster Fest 2012-2013. Sylvia performed so well that she was also awarded three other titles of Miss Creativity for her work in designing her float for the delegate road march, Miss Amity for her optimistic and friendly nature, and Miss Photogenic. The entire event was a hit, and the crowd seemed to be very entertained and exited throughout the show, carried along by the superb mother and daughter duo Indira Craig and Emaun Hyde who served as Co-Mistresses of Ceremonies. Indira and her daughter Emaun did a splendid job interacting with the crowd, presenting the delegates for their segment and keeping the audience entertained during segment changes and intermissions by poking fun at one another and offering fun and quirky jokes with the crowd.

Misc Belizean Sources

National Geographic Features Belize’s Sacred Maya Caves
National Geographic ranks ATM as its number 1 sacred cave of the world. Cayo's Joe Awe talks about it in this article. "The National Geographic’s recent article was extracted from their book, Sacred Places of a Lifetime, and lists their top cave destinations from around the world, including caverns in India, Sri Lanka, Greece, China, Malta, France, Ethiopia and Italy, as well as Belize. Mr Awe said he believes that researchers have just barely scratched the surface, so to speak, of Belize’s sacred Maya caves, which exist within a vast network of naturally formed caves, underground rivers and cenotes, or deep sinkholes. The ancient Maya considered caves and cenotes to be portals to a cosmological underworld and revered them as places where their priests and rulers could communicate with and send offerings to appease their deities and to petition them for divine assistance. Actun Tunichil Muknal, for instance, features impressive altars and ceremonial areas and is packed with pottery and shards as well as numerous implements and artefacts made of jade, obsidian, bone and other materials. It’s most well-known feature is the famous 'Crystal Maiden', the intact skeleton of a young sacrificial woman that, due to an accumulation of calcium carbonate over the years, sparkles eerily in torchlight."

VIDEO: Luna Maya Presents
Presenting: Luna Maya Dance Group ... another one of Belize's Very Own!

Here are some pictures taken from the opening night of the Belize International Film Festival.

Her Own Words: Lauren Burgess-Egan
Lauren Burgess-Egan, the self described "hostess with the mostest" in her element. Definitely one of Belize's Very Own.

An innovative program designed to teach the basics of the sport of cycling has started in Belize City. It targets young people from the age of 8 - 16. It runs every Saturday for the next 8 weeks and anyone interested in taking part in this bold initiative can just show up at the UWI Open Campus on Princess Margaret Drive on Saturdays at 9 am.


New Belize Beer available at Roadkill Bar
If you are looking for a new choice of beer on Ambergris Caye head to Roadkill Bar for some ‘Summer in a Bottle’ and try the new Verano Beer. Belize Brewing Company has officially introduced it’s new seasonal summer beer. It’s light golden color combined with orange peel and spices make it the perfect drink for a hot summer day. Verano is available from now till the end of August so stock up while you can. Since my beer [and tequila] drinking days are long gone my taste report comes from Changes in Latitudes and Matt who both agreed it was very tasty. Matt recommends drinking it in a glass – he thinks beer tastes better that way. Adam and Jackie the owners of Casa Picasso stopped by Roadkill yesterday while I was enjoying my ‘world’s best panty rippa’ and were happy to have a new choice for Belize Beer. My prediction – I can see it now people will start making their Belize travel plans around the seasonal Beers so they can try them all – or get their non beer drinking friends to stash a few for when they return

2012 Coral Reef Summer Camp Graduates TONS of Kids
Each year, for the past 13, education and marine biology students from Smith College (in Northampton, Massachusetts) come to San Pedro to run a 2-3 week FREE summer camp with Hol Chan Marine Reserve for the kids of San Pedro. On Thursday night, one of the graduates invited me to attend the party at the San Pedro Lions' Den. One cool thing about this program? They teach the kids all about the island's environment, how it works and how we need to conserve it, through games, super cool artwork, lessons, songs and visits. Another cool thing? I went to Smith College (Class of 1995) and had no idea this was going on in San Pedro. (Okay...probably just cool to me.) The kids performed some songs about the mangroves, reef and even coral polyps. (They are graduating knowing WAY more than I do.) The place was PACKED. I'm guessing about 100 kids went through the camp over the past 2 weeks. My favorite song was a remix of Aretha Franklin. The coral reef needs a little R E S P E C T too. Or the little diddy about zooxanthellae (tiny plant cells that live on and feed the reef) and coral polyps. Always good to learn a new word.

International Sources

Postwar Confederate colony in Belize
After the war, McRae settled in Belize, British Honduras. McRae purchased land and continued running a plantation and mercantile business. Since he was never officially pardoned, McRae decided it was too risky to return to the former Confederate States. In May of 1868, McRae’s sister, Catherine McRae (Hempstead), and brother, John McRae, visited him in Belize. John, the ex governor of Mississippi, was gravely ill but wanted to see his brother one last time. John died soon after arriving in Belize and was buried there. While in Belize, Catherine met and married Christopher Hempstead, a successful businessman and friend of McRae, who was an exiled Confederate. During 1875, McRae willed all of his property to his sister Catherine until his nieces and nephews from his other sister, Isabelle Armor, were of age. McRae died in February of 1877.

Nora Parham: The only woman ever hanged in Belize
“Under the British laws at the time she was found guilty and sentenced to die. Today it would probably have been different.” So said George Price, the first black prime minister of Belize, recalling the case of Nora Parham who, after a long period of physical and sexual abuse by her partner, Letchel Trapp, finally killed her tormentor by pouring petrol over him and setting him on fire. The court in Belize was told that Trapp died in agony. Nora, an Asian, was the 36-year-old mother of eight sons and Trapp was the father of four of them. She was said to have complained several times to the police about Trapp’s violent behaviour. Although the jury at her trial recommended mercy, the British governor of the colony, then called British Honduras, declined to interfere with the verdict. On Wednesday, June 5th, 1963, Nora’s sons kept vigil outside the prison where their mother became the first woman to be hanged in British Honduras.

How One U.S. Carpenter Secured a Slice of Paradise
It was while sailing up the Moho River in Belize that Chris Crowell spotted his future. His 40-foot skipjack schooner, Juanita, was cutting through the calm waters as he rounded a point…and saw an abandoned jungle farm for sale. “Looming high above this beautiful property was a huge cotton tree. My breath was taken away and I knew this was where I should be,” says Chris. This wasn’t his first trip to Belize. Chris had discovered the region in 1979 while traveling from Guatemala to Mexico. “At that time it was simply a means of getting from point A to point B. But the wondrous natural resources and the mystique of the predominantly Mayan district resonated with me,” he says. Chris hadn’t planned to live in Belize. In fact, he really didn’t start out with any plan…just a dream to do something different. “In 1988 I started a small, sailing charter company called ‘Timeless Tours’ and set sail for Belize from Florida,” says Chris. “At the time, my sailboat had no motor—everything depended on the wind—so the tours really were timeless!” After his initial sailing trip to Belize, Chris returned each year to take tourists on trips into the Bay of Honduras and up the Moho River. “Sailing in the tropics instead of working in winter as a carpenter in New England was a no-brainer,” says Chris. “And I loved the simplicity of Belize.” It was on one of his chartered sailing trips that Chris found his new home. “But for 10 years I did little more than maintain the fruit trees, dreaming of what could be,” says Chris. Then in 2000 he moved to Belize permanently. He was going to turn the abandoned farm into the Cotton Tree Lodge—an eco-lodge surrounded by lush rainforest. It wasn’t without its challenges. “I had to adjust to the cultural differences and learn to live with fewer conveniences than I was accustomed to. The rewards, however, make it worthwhile. “Living here gives me the opportunity to have more control over the outcome of my day, and the commute to work is great. Each day is different. There is always an adventure waiting to happen,” says Chris. His “commute” is a short walk along a wooden boardwalk through a lush rainforest, accompanied by the sounds of howler monkeys in the distance. Chris has been able to create a comfortable lifestyle without spending a lot of money. “We have a garden that supplies fruit and vegetables for our meals,” says Chris. “The climate is tropical, which is perfect for the plants. We have goats that supply milk for fresh goat’s cheese and the chickens keep us supplied with eggs.” Chris has just bought another 22 acres of riverfront property for under $8,000 and is building a tree house there: “I am building a simple structure…a place to escape to now and then. I may eventually rent it out, but right now it is just for me…”

Edited by Marty (11/17/12 10:01 AM)