Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Valid: Friday, July 27 until Monday, July 30, 2012

A steady, but drier easterly airflow will prevail this weekend. A trough in the upper level in the SE Gulf of Mexico will favor low level convection on Monday and Tuesday as a weak tropical wave cross the country on Tuesday evening.

Conditions are becoming a bit more stable and drier favouring generally fair weather this weekend. Daytime heating could provoke a few isolated thunderstorms inland. A tropical wave will approach and cross the coast of Yucatan and Belize on Tuesday, under the divergent area of an upper level trough in the SE Gulf of Mexico. This will trigger localized scattered thunderstorm activity around Belize and coastal waters on Tuesday and Wednesday. Another active tropical wave will enter the eastern Caribbean early next week, and the GFS model indicate that this feature could become a bit more defined as it moves over Hispaniola by mid week. However, the model weakens the system as it reaches the NW Caribbean by late Wednesday or early Thursday of next week (See Figure 5 below).

Daily rainfall accumulations will be in the range of 0.25-0.50 of-an-inch today Friday through the weekend over some areas of the interior. However, the rainfall will be on the increase on Monday through Tuesday, with daily totals in the hills and coastal areas ranging from 0.50-0.75 of-an-inch. Higher rainfall rates are possible in the elevated terrain of the Stann Creek, Cayo and Toledo districts, but the activity will not be persistent or concentrated. Belize can see another increase in heavier showers and thunderstorms later on Wednesday and Thursday of next week.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekend Weather Report

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Official Countdown to the 20th International Costa Maya Festival BEGINS NOW!
Celebrating the culture and ancestry of the Maya and the completion of the Maya Calendar 13th Baktun-under and highlighting the beauties of the Mundo Maya World, Belize is once again proud to host the the International Costa Maya Festival from August 2nd – August 5th, 2012 on the beautiful island of San Pedro. The International Costa Maya Festival, first held in 1992, was organized to unify the Mundo Maya world, bringing together representatives from across Central America to showcase their Mayan Ancestry, which has now become one of Belize’s most anticipated annual events. This year, the Costa Maya Committee has put together a full and pulsating list of entertainment and events to satisfy friends and family alike. Today, to kick start the events will be the amiable arrivals of the 8 beautiful delegates vying for this years’ Reina Del La Costa Maya title. The lineup for this year are Miss Belize – Karen Jasmine Middleton, Miss Panama – Karen Elena Jordan Beitia, Miss Honduras – Esthefany Maolyth Piñeda Perez., Miss El Salvador – Nathaly Jazmin Mena Arauz, Miss Nicaragua – Ivey Jellisa Alvarez, Miss Guatemala – Alessandra Manzur Franco, Miss Mexico – Natalia Villanueva and Miss Costa Rica – Mariela Aparicio. Upon arrivals, the delegates will be transported to the San Ignacio Resort and Hotel where they will be hosted for dinner and enjoy a mythical Maya Tour along with an official photo-shoot early tomorrow morning.

Green Reef and foreign students clean up turtle nesting area
Green Reef through the assistance of some visiting foreign students was involved in a beach cleanup of a portion of the turtle nesting area on northern Ambergris Caye. The cleanup campaign of the sea turtle nesting beach was conducted on the eastern side of the island between Robles and the Rocky Point beach areas on July 18th and 19th. According to Mito Paz of Green Reef, a group of nine students from various high schools in Canada and one student from Bolivia were visiting Ambergris Caye and wanted to do some community service. They decided to contact Green Reef which was happy to organize a two-day cleanup along the important piece of nesting beach since it is sea turtle nesting season in Belize.

Gymnastics comes to San Pedro
The San Pedro Dance Academy teamed up with the Belize Tumblers Association to offer the first ever ‘Intro to Gymnastics’ Summer Camp to kids in San Pedro. The summer camp started on Monday July 23rd and will go through Friday August 3rd and is being offered to children of all ages, targeting the ages 5-14. According to Catherine Paz of the San Pedro Dance Academy, the idea for the gymnastics summer camp came after the Academy realized how much gymnastics moves were being used in the dancers’ choreography. “We needed to do something extra for the girls this summer, and after noticing that the dance company incorporates cartwheels and other gymnastics moves we just thought that we should get them perfected. This would help them in their dance careers.” The summer camp is for two weeks during which the kids will learn skills such as hand springs with back flips, and full twists among others. Mr. Mark Grant, President of the Belize Tumbler’s Association is on the island, teaching the kids the various gymnastics skills. Mark’s group has been performing in the Belize City and Orange Walk Carnival for years now.

Fish Aggregating Device placed in offshore Ambergris Caye
Captain Shark’s worked closely with the San Pedro Game Fish Association on June 29th to install a fish aggregating device (FAD). The FAD was placed in the waters approximately two miles offshore from El Pescador Resort on Ambergris Caye and anchored at a depth of about 2,400 feet. The main reason for placing the FAD is to show tour guides and business of the potential behind FADs so that local fishermen and tourists on local fishing tours can fish closer to the island. A FAD is a floating device tethered by rope with buoys and anchored to the water bed with a drum of cement to keep everything in place avoiding it from drifting. FADs are known to attract fish, especially tuna and marlin. However other curious marine life such as sharks, are also attracted to the floating device. The FAD that was installed was anchored at a depth of about 2,400 feet with the use of 1 1/15 inch rope. Ten buoys were also place on it also to attract other fish. The square shaping floating device was built at Captain Shark’s boatyard and was constructed from aluminum, fiberglass and plywood all anchored to a drum of cement at the seabed. On top of the FAD is a solar led light that flashes every second at night to avoid vessels from running over it. The FAD was installed at a cost of about $16,000, which was paid by Captain Shark’s.

Island women attend self defense class
With the increase in violence towards girls and women, especially after the tragic death of Jasmine Lowe in the Cayo District, there has been a significant rally to prepare and prevent such incidents from reoccurring. With “safety first” in mind, a group of women came together for a lesson in self-defense taught by instructor Renee Wentz. Held at the Banyan Bay conference room, the self-defense class was initiated by Colette Kase and Renee Wentz, organized by Jan Lyons and Ti Southwell, and marketed by Beth Hart. These ladies all had one goal in common: get as many women as possible to learn some self-defense techniques and empower themselves. Wentz has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and has taught self-defense since 2002.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Features in News Exchange Magazine
The newest edition of New Exchange (NE) Magazine is out in stores already and Ambergris Today is happy to boast a few of San Pedro’s very own featured in the pages of Belize’s first magazine. Ambergris Today, Jose Luis Zapata Photography and Wave Music Festival all graced the magazine with coverage on San Pedro’s dining experience, local photographer and a fashion show that featured the island’s top and upcoming models. Ambergris Today’s work on the Belize Dance Company and restaurant review on Elvi’s Kitchen both made it into the pages of NE Magazine, as well as an interview with local photographer Jose Luis Zapata who talks about his career in photography. His work was also featured in a large spread of San Pedro’s Wave Music Festival which presented a large fashion show. Jose Luis photographed the models on and off the runway.

Misc Belizean Sources

SIRH Hosts La Reina de la Costa Maya Contestants
The contestants for La Reina de la Costa Maya were at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel last night. They posed for pictures over drinks and appetizers. Rebecca Stirm, who represented Belize on Mission Catwalk, was one of the special guests. The Running W Steakhouse prepared an exquisite meal for everyone. Thanks go out to the SIRH for hosting an amazing night. The ladies really enjoyed their stay in Cayo.

Market Day Pictures of Cayo
There are some great pictures from around Cayo in this travel article, including some amusing pictures from Santa Elena too. Bonus points go to this article because Hotel California is mentioned. "So I made it over to the Big Weekly Market in San Ignacio Saturday where there is row after row of very affordable and healthy bean, veggie and fruit at stalls and under tents. Was a little surprised at all the other vendors, hawking everything from stick-free skillets (bought one) to amazing hand-carved crafts and bicycles... Heading back home to Succotz Village the other night, the driver had 'Hotel California' blaring from the boom box he has mounted at the front and he and I and the porter started singing along to Don Henley’s haunting classic song, the one where you can check out any time you like (but you can never leave)."

Belmopan Festive Weekend Started Last night
Belmopan is having a 'Festive Weekend' to celebrate the opening of the Olympics, tarting tonight at 6pm at GG Field. The 3 days of festivities will include mechanical rides, sporting activities, clowns, animals, music, and a business expo. Tonight, they'll have the opening ceremony on a giant screen at 7:00.

Verano Beer Free Sampling in Cayo
Belikin Beer's new Verano Beer - Summer in a Bottle - is quite good, and they will be giving free samples away tonight and tomorrow. Tonight, in Belmopan, at La Cabana, starting at 7:30pm, you can try Verano. Saturday night at Meluchi's, at 7:30pm, you can also try it. It has a good taste to it. Their new brewmaster is really earning his keep with the 3 great new flavors released in the last year.

Photo: Belize at the Olympic opening ceremony
Belize Contingent

Channel 5

Foreign Affairs Minister explains the incident that led to the death of Guatemalan national
A special session of the House of Representatives was held this morning in Belmopan. It was called for the presentations of four bills, but it was other hot button issues that dominated the session. With pressure building up, the Foreign Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington addressed the House on an erroneous report by the OAS in [...]

Minister Elrington says he accepts the OAS correction of erroneous report on incident
Minister Elrington says that while the OAS blunder was objectionable, he is satisfied with the withdrawal of its original statement and the issuance of a corrected version.   Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs “In respect of the OAS press release which first came out on last week Friday, twentieth July, I can report [...]

Colonel Javier Castellanos: is he in or out of the B.D.F.?
The fate of Colonel Javier Castellanos, as a ranking officer in the Belize Defense Force, hangs in the balance tonight. The Belize Advisory Council, chaired by Attorney Lionel Welch, has already determined that he is to be reinstated as the deputy commander of the B.D.F. On Tuesday, the Belize Advisory Council, essentially comprised of government-appointed [...]

It’s official: the Police Association and Min. of National Security have patched things up
As we reported on Thursday night, the Police Association and Ministry of National Security have mended fences. In a joint press release, it was announced that the leaders of the association, Corporal Eldon Arzu and Sergeant Edlin Lorenzo, have apologized to the Commissioner of Police, David Henderson and Minister John Saldivar for going to the [...]

Cpl. Victor Lima succumbs to gunshot wounds; he is hailed as a hero
Corporal Victor Lima passed away after two a.m. this morning in the Intensive Care Unit of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he in a critical condition since Tuesday night. The cop, who is now being called a hero, was shot while responding to a home invasion in Hattieville. Two bullets found their mark on [...]

10 year old boy remains comatose after his house fell on him
Ten year old Brithon Cordova is tonight in a coma after his house collapsed on him at around nine a.m. on Thursday. Brithon along with his seven year old nephew, were playing with a puppy under their unstable zinc house, when it crashed on them. Neighbors pulled them from under the house an hour later [...]

19 year old loses appeal of gun/ammo conviction
A nineteen year old is back in prison tonight after being out on bail for over a year pending the appeal of a firearm conviction. Orson Andrews was busted with a point thirty-eight revolver at his house on April sixteenth, 2011. He pleaded guilty to charges for keeping an unlicensed firearm and ammunition that same [...]

Jose Mendez is granted bail for charges related to gas tank explosion
Jose Mendez, the man who cut the hose from a butane tank and triggered a mini explosion at his Orange Walk house was today granted bail on charges of Wounding and Arson. Mendez received burns on his hands and body; his common-law-wife was also injured. The incident on May twenty-fourth, was believed to have been [...]

Education Ministry gets $2 Million loan
In the House, the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, announced today that it has been granted a loan of two million US dollars from the Caribbean Development Bank to be used for education sector reform. According to Faber, the monies will greatly assist in the development of a policy that will seek to improve the [...]

Toledo West Area rep. says his constituents are affected by Guatemalan incursions
Toledo West area representative Oscar Requeña, whose constituency is made up of a number of villages near the Belize/Guatemala Border, today raised concerns in the House in light of the recent encounter with illegal Guatemalan loggers in Machaquila. According to Requeña, residents of communities in those areas have been living under the constant threat of [...]

2012 Olympics get underway in London
The 2012 Olympics officially opened in London today. A Belizean delegation left this past Saturday to represent the Jewel in disciplines of athletics and Judo. First to compete will be Eddermys Sanchez, who will participate on Sunday morning in Judo, sixty-six kg. According to Sanchez’ coach, Wellington Chee, who has been in touch with this [...]

Belizean living in Scotland confesses to stealing from Post Office
A Belizean, who was working as a Post Office Manager in Fife, Scotland is now doing unpaid community service after he admitted to stealing two thousand, five hundred and fifty British Pounds; that’s over eight thousand Belize dollars. Twenty-eight year old Dylan Lindo was in charge of an office in the Balmullo area had he [...]

M.O.E. and Crime Stoppers team up for Expressive Arts Summer Camp
An expressive arts camp in drama, dance and arts and craft culminated today at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts. The camp was sponsored by the Ministry of Education to promote patriotism and by Crimestoppers Belize. Close to fifty students participated and they were beaming with pride as they showed off to friends and [...]

Be the Next Superstar gets off to hot start!
Who’s gonna Be the Next Superstar? It’s too early to tell, but we can say that the talent in the first season of the show is superb. The show opened on Tuesday night with thirteen participants in Group A. The performances ranged from drama to singing to dance and drumming and the viewing audience was [...]


It is reported that Corporal Victor Lima succumbed to his injuries at around 3 O Clock this morning at the KHMH. On Tuesday night a little after 10pm Corporal Victor Lima who is assigned to the Hattieville police substation along with another constable responded to a home invasion in t...

Marion Ali, Reports The Police Department is mourning the loss of a second policeman in one week. Corporal Victor Lima, the officer who was shot in the line of duty during a reported home invasion in Hattieville Village on Tuesday night, died at around three this ...

The Opposition People’s United Party presented its full compliments of elected representatives for today’s House meeting in Belmopan. But the PUP members were not a happy group today. On Thursday the party issued a statement condemning their late notification of...

The Dangriga Town Council held a business mix on Thursday, July twenty sixth at the Sea Breeze Restaurant and Hotel in that Municipality. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the details HARRY ARZU, Reporter “The event which got under way at 7 PM provided a forum...

Placement of students in schools around the country has always been a challenge with the demands of a growing population. In San Pedro, there are at least fifty-seven students who are out of school, not for the summer holidays, but because there simply is no space for them, will ...

The Organization of American States has issued a definitive statement on the illegal incursion into the Chiquibul Forest Reserve by Guatemalan farmers a week ago which led to the death of one of the men. Two others are currently in the custody of Belizean law enforcement authorit...

Seven Toledo students were presented with Belize Social Security Board Scholarship Awards this morning in Punta Gorda. PAUL MAHUNG, Reporter “Opening prayer at the ceremony was led by parent Robert Jacobs and welcome address by Social Security Board Punta Gorda...

Correspondent Elaine Berry tells us more about Scholarships granted in the San Ignacio, Santa Elena area ELAINE BERRY, Reporter “Social Security, Santa Elena Branch held a scholarship award ceremony at...

We now join Correspondent Harry Arzu for a report on scholarship handing over in that municipality HARRY ARZU, Reporter “The Social Security Board awarded seven scholarships to students of Dangriga who will be pursuing their secondary and tertiary education in ...


Officer Lima succumbs to gunshot injuries
Plus news visits Hattieville to speak with chairman on the recent passing of Cpl. Lima. On Tuesday night sometime a...

Police Association and Ministry reconcile
A press release from the Ministry of National Security has been issued and according to the release, the leaders of...

OAS statement amended says Minister
A release posted on the OAS website today seeks to further clarify its position regarding the shooting of a Guatema...

And what about public officers' allowances?
The People’s United Party yesterday issued a statement regarding the House Meeting. Their position was that they co...

BGYEA distributing more parcels of land
Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) has made a name amongst Belizeans by acquiring land for the......

BCVI's 16th annual summer camp for visually impaired kids
The Belize Council for the Visually Impaired holds its 16th annual Summer Camp in Belize City at the Lion’s den. Th...

House pays tribute to officers, extends condolences to families
The family of Corporal Victor Lima, is in mourning this morning (July 27). Lima who was in a critical condition in ...

SSB branch offices awards scholarships throughout country
Social Security Board held its annual scholarships awards ceremony


“Let me tell you about the few troubles I’ve had …”
Police brass and Ministry faced with new problem: overworked, underpaid, fatigued officers... There are complaints of more workers’ rights infringement coming from police officers this week, as information leaked to the media today alleges that police officers are being forced to work tiring 12-hour shifts, instead of 8-hour shifts, which, in one case, allegedly caused one officer to become so fatigued that he crashed one of the newly donated mobiles when he fell asleep behind the steering wheel.

Did the Police Association blink?
After interdiction and disciplinary charges Wednesday, executives “apologize” to Commissioner, Minister; rules on Association to “be revisited”... NTUCB expresses solidarity, but planned demonstration on hold

Hon. Godwin Hulse wants Belize Times retraction: land in River Valley was for “compensation”
Belize City Mayor also wants retraction; other UDPs suing PUP Times over “land grab” allegations... Minister of Labour, Local Government, National Emergency Management and Immigration, Hon. Senator Godwin Hulse, told Channel 7 News and Amandala today that he has demanded, through his attorneys, a retraction from Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) organ the Belize Times for an article appearing in its Sunday, July 8, 2012 issue that accuses him of improperly obtaining land in the Belize River Valley area of the Belize District just months after being appointed to his post.

Six almost killed in road accidents in Toledo
Bus ran over 5-year-old’s foot... Of five workers from Eugene Zabaneh’s citrus farm, two suffered massive injuries to their bodies, including broken bones, and were immediately rushed to Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, while another suffered head injuries and was taken to the Belmopan Hospital. A worker’s leg was broken and he was treated and released from the Belmopan Hospital, while the last worker was treated and released from the Belmopan Hospital for scrapes and bruises.

Cop, 28, shot in investigating Hattieville home invasion
Police Corporal Victor Lima, 28, is presently fighting for his life in the Intensive Care Unit of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was shot twice by a robber in his upper chest during a robbery attempt in Hattieville around 10:30 last night, Tuesday.

DFC vs Rene Villanueva, son and company for $790,000
Supreme Court Justice Oswell Legall today heard testimonies from six witnesses in the lawsuit filed by the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) of Belize to recover roughly $790,000 from broadcaster and businessman, Rene Villanueva, Sr., his son, Rene, Jr., and their company, Cahal Pech Limited.

Belize track athletes at the London Olympics
According to information provided by Ian Gray, last president of the Belize Amateur Athletic Association, Belizean track athletes Kaina Martinez and Ken Medwood, who are representing Belize at the Olympic Games in London, will both be competing in their respective heats on Friday, August 3, of next week. Kaina will compete in the Women 100m, while Ken’s event is the Men 400m hurdles.

Judo Belize to 30th Olympiad 2012 in London
The Judo Association of Belize (JAB), representing the nation by way of its 66 kg division judo athlete Eddermys Sanchez, and supported by coach Wellington Chee, President of JAB, flew to Miami on Saturday, July 21, to arrive in England by July 23 for a date with destiny at the ExCel Exhibition Centre in London and the XXX Olympic Games which begin on July

Bze City Champions Cup semifinals this Sunday, Game 1 of Finals on Wednesday
The secretariat of the Belize City Champions Cup, organized by “Marvellous” Marvin Ottley, yesterday released the detailed results of last Sunday’s games, and indicated that the semifinal playoffs schedule had already been set for this coming Sunday. The two scheduled games for yesterday, Wednesday, had been cancelled, although we had indicated in our last issue that the RG City Boys vs BDF game might have had an effect on the standings, and thus the seeding for the semifinals. What is certain, is that the four playoff bound teams would not change, and Marvin, who also coaches F.C. Belize, may have felt he was doing the aforementioned two clubs a favor by settling for the 4th spot and thus committing his team, #4 seed F.C. Belize, to meet the #1 seed, West Lake in the semi’s. Whichever way we pair them, the 4 playoff bound teams would make two exciting match-ups, which is what fans will be treated to this Sunday at the MCC. The losers “go home,” and the winners move on to a 2-game series for the championship.

Bodybuilding News
The Belize Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation held an important meeting on July 14, where preliminary planning began for the biggest competition of the year; formerly the Mr. Belize, now called the Belize Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships, to be held on October 5 at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. This year, the competition will include male and female bodybuilding, with the return of gold medalist Lurnette Sankey, Body Figure , Bikini Fitness, and the newest addition, Men’ Physique. All bodybuilders countrywide are encouraged to participate, as there will be attractive prizes and great opportunities for attending the 2013 Central American Games in Costa Rica. Tickets for this grand event will be on sale as early as August.

AIDS Commission presents plan of attack on HIV
Targets zero new infections, more and better services, education and changing attitudes... The National AIDS Commission today released an ambitious four-year strategic plan and two-year operational plan designed to tackle key problem areas in reducing the grip of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) on Belizean society.

COLA “bon fire” on OAS, Sedi
Foreign Minister Elrington branded “traitor” and “Judas,” burnt in effigy... Executive members of the organization Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) this morning, around 11:00 a.m., set on fire placards with the visage of Elrington ringed by the words “traitor” and “Judas,” along with an OAS flag carrying a similar image in the center of a design in a heap outside the Blue Marlin Drive offices of the OAS, which it shares with the Oak Foundation.

Ideas and Opinions - The Ombudsman
Governments which institute the office of Ombudsman are to be lauded for giving their citizens a great gift. This office provides a necessary protection for the ordinary citizen, who may be defenseless against the abuse or misuse of power by public authorities.

Editorial: Our perpetual problem
In a perfectly ordered world, the level of crime would be tolerable, our country would be paying its bills, and our citizens would be living the life they dream. In a perfectly ordered world, our borders would be intact, the Guatemalan claim would be a relic of the past, and we wouldn’t have to worry about incursions into our blessed land. But we don’t live in a perfectly ordered world. Because if we did, we wouldn’t have to worry about a “reprehensible” OAS release from its Secretary General, and our Foreign Ministry would have long issued a press release reporting to the citizens of our beloved land, while formally calling on the Secretary General to set the record straight. The Secretary General of the OAS, Jose Miguel Insulza, had every right to express his regret at the death of a Guatemalan logger in an exchange with Belize Defence Force soldiers last week. But he, however, perhaps more than anybody else, had a responsibility to get the facts straight before he issued an “international” press release. And he, above all, had a responsibility to maintain neutrality in such a sensitive matter as this.

From The Publisher
While attending university in New Hampshire from 1965 to 1968, I became friends with an economics student from Malawi in southern Africa. His name was Guy Mhone, may he rest in peace. He was four years older than I, and he had been active in anti-apartheid student politics in Malawi, which made him a target for the Hastings Kamuzu Banda government in his home country.

Letters: Police Department “out of touch with its rank and file,” and the Ministry “has no interest in reforming”
I write to express my solidarity with Cpl. Eldon Arzu and Sergeant Edlin Lorenzo for their valiant efforts to reform an archaic institution. Instead of showing a willingness to dialogue and address the legitimate grievances that the officers were putting forward, the Ministry of National Security has decided to cut them down and hide behind the letter of the law.

Letters: Congratulates Rowan, criticizes media and “big business”
One downfall of the whole telethon, though, was when those children took their piggy banks, full of coins, and donated it. Why didn’t the media give them live coverage donating it? Why were only those companies or organizations who donated big monies given live coverage?


Today’s theme was Bio Waste Management, and we focused on using the 3 R’s: reduce, reuse, and recycle. During our arts and crafts time, the eco-campers were lucky enough to receive a visit from the youth ambassadors of the Friends for Conservation and Development. The highlight of their visit was a chance to participate in the making of a plastic bottle garbage can. The basic concept here is that instead of throwing away empty bottles, one can make a very cool and functional trash bin. Using a re-bar outline, the campers attached rows of four bottles through wires from the top to the bottom of the structure. After there were enough rows to complete the circle, they were left with a unique place to store their full bags of trash (see the pictures at the end for an image). The youth ambassadors also brought in jewelry and accessories they had made out of old bottle caps, and gave a talk on the importance of conservation in Chiquibul. As one of our eco-campers pointed out, “when you destroy the forests, you are destroying us!” Clearly the messages of the camp are getting through to the youth. Our presentation today was given by Chaa Creek Senior Naturalist Guide and waste management expert Brion Young. Brion focused his talk on the importance of the 3 R’s, and demonstrated how Chaa Creek tries to implement these in as many of its daily practices as possible. The first R, reduce, is the method of cutting down on the products or materials used if they are unnecessary or unneeded. One of the most innovative ways Chaa Creek reduces waste is by providing guests and staff with water containers and water stations around the property to cut back on water bottles garbage. The second R, reuse, is the method of using the same item again, either for the same purpose, or for something entirely different. The eco-campers were quick to point out that yesterday they had learned that many food scraps and items were re-used by Chaa Creek to be turned into compost at the Maya Organic Farm.

International Sources

How to Set Up an Offshore Company... Highly Recommended Comparison
Anna Vaivade works for one of these companies. She is in Latvia, but her employer offers company registration in Seychelles, British Virgin Islands or Belize. She told me all these places offer no taxes and extreme confidentiality. "No third parties, no creditors, no other companies have access to this information, " said Vaivade. But what good is a company without a bank account attached? Anna Vaivade said she could help Planet Money with that too. She told me we could open a bank account in Switzerland that's tied to my offshore company in Belize. And if that's not enough anonymity for you, Anna's company offers another service — a board of directors. "In all public documents where the director's name appears, it will be our name," she told me. The idea is to ensure no one knows we are in involved in the company. Anna calls it "absolute confidentiality." And all of this is perfectly legal. I can think of legitimate reasons why you might want to have a company in Belize with a bank account in Switzerland and fake Latvian shareholders. Maybe you don't want your competitors to know what you're up to or maybe you're a large business operating across borders. It's easier to do business when you have accounts offshore.

This week’s best travel bargains around the globe
● El Secreto, a new boutique resort on Belize’s Ambergris Caye, is offering introductory deals. Rates at the 13-villa oceanfront property start at $200 a night plus $38 taxes, a savings of $250, for stays from the Oct. 1 opening date through Nov. 16. The resort is also offering a four-night grand-opening package of $1,670 for two adults, which includes lodging in a tropical villa, transfers, breakfasts and dinners, one spa treatment per person, excursion to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and taxes; priced separately, the package would cost $2,226. Book by Sept. 30. Info: 800-479-5037,

AIDS Commission presents plan of attack on HIV in Belize
The National AIDS Commission today released an ambitious four-year strategic plan and two-year operational plan designed to tackle key problem areas in reducing the grip of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) on Belizean society. Executive Director of the Commission, Dr. Martin Cuellar, told Amandala that the three listed priorities in both the strategic and operational plans – ending new HIV infections, improving the health and well-being of persons with the disease and creating an “enabling environment” by means of improving access, expanding education and changing national attitudes high and low to a disease with which 34.2 million people are living currently – are not more or less important than each other or exclusive from each other, and therefore implementation should not be done exclusively. There were 2.5 million new infections around the world in 2011 (including 226 in Belize), and 1.7 million died from AIDS-related causes worldwide, according to the UNAIDS program of the United Nations. 2011 in Belize saw a third consecutive year of decreases in new HIV infections across the board, though young people aged 15-29 and other vulnerable populations continued to be adversely affected. Overall, some 5,000 persons are infected and living with HIV in Belize currently, according to the National AIDS Commission. Dr. Cuellar pointed out that there are other HIV-vulnerable groups such as sex workers and homosexuals (aka men who have sex with men, or MSM). An ongoing baseline surveillance study is due later this year that will present the first information on these groups, but the work continues on changing behaviors to reduce HIV’s scourge and dispel lingering myths and stigma, both official and unofficial.

Guatemala logger shot in Belize was armed and working in protected area, says OAS
Initial investigations have confirmed that a Guatemalan logger, who was shot and killed by Belize Defence Force (BDF) soldiers, was carrying two firearms at the time that he was confronted by the BDF in a protected national park. The incident took place on July 19 in the Toledo District of Belize, involving BDF soldiers and a group of three Guatemalan citizens, which resulted in the death of one of the Guatemalan citizens and the arrest of the other two, who were charged with illegal entry into the country and illegal logging in a protected national park. A statement issued by the Organization of American States (OAS) on Friday confirmed that the incident took place more than 3 km from the Adjacency Line outside the Adjacency Zone administered by Belize; that the Guatemalan citizens were felling trees in a protected national park; and that the deceased Guatemalan citizen was carrying two firearms at the time that he was confronted by the BDF. Although the full investigation has yet to be completed, the OAS said it is important to note that the government of Belize has given Guatemalan authorities full access to interview the arrested Guatemalan citizens, as well as to the autopsy of the deceased, during which a Guatemalan forensic doctor was present. Members of the Embassy of Guatemala in Belize were also able to visit the site of the incident. This incident, together with other priority issues on the bilateral agenda, will be discussed at the high level meeting between Belize and Guatemala at the deputy minister level, which will take place next Tuesday at OAS Headquarters in Washington, DC.

Regional conference on Central America, Panama and Dominican Republic concludes
The ministers of finance, central bank governors, and financial sector superintendents of Central America, Panama and the Dominican Republic, and representatives of the IMF met in the Dominican Republic from July 26 to 27 to discuss the regional economic outlook and strategies for consolidating macroeconomic stability and sustaining higher growth. The conference focused on the possible effects on the region of prospects in the global economy; the relevance of continuing strengthening the macroeconomic and financial defenses against adverse shocks in the future; and the role of structural reforms, particularly intraregional trade, in boosting growth in the region. According to a joint statement issued at the conclusion of the meeting on Friday, “The conference took place in the context of a weakening global recovery. Global growth is expected to continue to be moderate in the coming years, threatened by downside risks, while global financial stability will remain fragile. It is expected that the region will then be confronted with moderate growth in external demand and will continue to face relatively high imported commodity prices in years to come, including oil. Participants agreed that risks to the region mainly result from a failure to sustain moderate growth in the global economy. “The resilience displayed by the economies of the region in the aftermath of the global crisis is a testament to the strengthening of policy frameworks in the years prior to the crisis. Those years’ efforts to lower fiscal deficits and public debt ratios, modernize monetary and exchange rate frameworks, and upgrade financial systems had paid off not only in mitigating the impact of the severe external shock, but also in supporting the region to operate at near capacity today. Participants agreed that more work needs to be done to rebuild the macroeconomic and financial buffers that have been used during the crisis to enhance the region’s preparedness to deal with future adverse shocks, with due attention to protecting the most vulnerable groups, for which they requested the IMF’s collaboration.

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