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Specials and Events

The January 27th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Barroom Brawl Lands B.D.F Behind Bars:
    A heated argument which began inside a popular nightclub in San Ignacio Town culminated in near fatality. In the incident two on-duty security guards emerged with serious cut wounds while a police special constable was stabbed in the arm and the three alleged aggressors were badly beaten. The incident reportedly began inside the Blue Angels Nightclub at around 2 0’clock on the morning of Sunday, January 20, 2013. It is reported that the incident began when the attention of Jermaine Pandy, one of the club’s security guards, was drawn to difficulties a colleague guard, David Wright, was experiencing at the top of the entrance stairs, as he was seeking to eject two male persons from the club.
  • Rene Montero At Work:
    Although it is early into his second term in office, Hon. Rene Montero, Minister of Works and Transport is certainly not committing the errors of the past. He is not leaving things for the last few months before the next general elections as his works in the constituency continues. The road into Hillview up to Eden Adventist High School has been paved with the commitment to completing the paving of that entire stretch of access road into the Hillview community a project which has been promised by several Area Representatives dating as far back as to the days of the PUP’s Daniel Silva Jr. The Hon. Rene Montero is making reality his promise to the people living in the Hillview Community.
  • Letters: Police Covering For Police:
    Your comment in last week’s edition of the STAR is indeed a valid one. It is no secret that the police covers up for police. They go to every means to cover the corrupt activities of those within their ranks. Apart from covering up the involvement of fellow policemen in drug trafficking and other corrupt activities, they also cover up the abusive domestic violence of those within their ranks. My sister lives with a jealous policeman and whenever he comes home drunk, which is increasing in frequency, he never fails to administers a severe beating on her.
  • Letters: We Now Have An Adequate Supply Of Vehicles:
    There was a time in the recent past when the police was operating with scarce transport. The problem was brought to Government’s attention and the matter was quickly addressed. We are now in a much better position. We no longer transport prisoners in an open back vehicle as they get wet when it rains on the road to and from prison. Today we have a new enclosed van to transport prisoners. Our vehicle supply is now adequate and for this we thank the government of Belize in general and the Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar in particular.
  • Belize Wins First-Ever Copa Centroamerican Game:
    Belize won its first-ever game at the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana and grabbed the inside track on an automatic berth in the CONCACAF Gold Cup with a thrilling 2-1 victory over Nicaragua on Tuesday at the Estadio Nacional. The scoreboard was opened against the run of play in the 29th minute, when Midfielder Trevor Lennen ran onto a ball at the top of the box, and rifled a shot into the back of the net that Nicaraguan goalkeeper Denis Espinoza could do little about. Nicaragua continued to press, but it was Belize that nearly extended its lead two minutes before the half. Harrison Rochez shot strongly from the top of the box, but his drive was denied by a diving Espinoza, and Lennen's follow up shot rolled just wide of the Nicaraguan goal, sending the game to halftime with Belize up one.
  • North Korea 'Plans Third Nuclear Test':
    with plans for a third nuclear test. In a statement carried by KCNA news agency, the country's top military body said the "high-level nuclear test" and more long-range rocket launches were aimed at its "arch-enemy", the US. The statement gave no time-frame for the test. North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests, in 2006 and 2009. The move comes two days after a UN Security Council resolution condemned Pyongyang's recent rocket launch.
  • Mexican Man Barbecued Neighbour’s Dogs:
    A municipal police official in northern Mexico says officers have arrested a man who confessed to killing his neighbour’s three dogs and barbecuing them. Police spokesman Adrian Sanchez says the arrest was made late on Tuesday based on an emergency call about a fight in the streets. Police said on Wednesday that Ulises Rodela, 39, was a confronted by his neighbour and told him he turned the dogs over to animal control upon finding them in the street. The owner told police that animal control had no record of receiving the dogs. Police said Rodela then confessed to barbecuing the dogs. Officials were still trying to confirm whether Rodela sold the meat.
  • Female Smoking Death Risk 'Has Soared':
    News Changing habits such as starting earlier and smoking more cigarettes have been blamed for the dramatically increased risks of lung cancer. The trends, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, show death rates in women have caught up with men. The study looked at data from more than two million women in the US. The first generation of women smokers started during the 1950s and 60s. In those early years, women who smoked were nearly three times more likely to die from lung cancer as people who had never smoked.
  • Thousands Of Venezuelans In Pro-Democracy Rallies:
    Allies of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez and the opposition have taken part in separate rallies to celebrate the end of military dictatorship. Thousands of "Chavistas" took to the streets of the capital, Caracas, while their opponents held a smaller event. The opposition used the date to criticise the government's handling of Mr Chavez's absence for illness. President Chavez has not been seen or heard since an operation six weeks ago to treat an undisclosed cancer.
  • UB Partners With EU: Masters & PhD Scholarships Opportunities:
    The opportunity for Belizeans to pursue a Masters or a PhD degree is available once again through a program offered by the nation’s tertiary institution, the University of Belize. The European Union project has provided funding for the scholarships through “The Caribbean-Pacific Islands Mobility Scheme (CARPIMS). CARPIMS II is funded by the Education, Audiovisual and Cultural Agency (EACEA) of the European Commission and is designed to facilitate the movement of Masters and PhD students and staff among a consortium of Universities from the Caribbean and Pacific regions. The program aims at building capacity and encouraging socioeconomic development in each country and each region.
  • Venezuela Vice-President Claims Assassination Plot:
    Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela’s vice-president, claims the government has uncovered a plot to assassinate him and Diosdado Cabello, head of the national assembly. Mr Maduro said groups have been followed for weeks that “have the goal of trying to kill” him and Mr Cabello. “For that reason, they’ve said that we’re fighting because their macabre and criminal move is to make attempts against our lives – something they won’t achieve – and later on try to blame one or the other,” he told supporters.
  • UB Producing Almost 500 Qualified Students This Time:
    The University of Belize (UB) continues to build national capacity and human capital for socioeconomic development of Belize. Students who have successfully completed their course of study at the University of Belize will receive their diplomas at the Associate, Bachelor, Certificate and Diploma levels on Saturday January 26, at the University’s Sixteenth Commencement Exercises, Central Campus, Belmopan.
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Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Doctor Love: My ex’s current beau is cheating on her
I was in the city last week and went to eat a restaurant that is in a really out of the way place. After I sat down, I noticed a couple that was sitting in one of the booths on the other side of the restaurant. The way they were seated I could see them but they couldn’t see me. I know the guy but I don’t know the woman he was with. The guy is the one that broke up my girlfriend and me about a year ago. We had been together for a while and had just moved in together. Within a week of meeting him, she left me and moved in with him. They are still living together.

Letter to the Editor: A Note on Incompetence
I believe that no one wants to be the victim of incompetence. Incompetence can be inconvenient; incompetence can be annoying; incompetence can be dangerous. Incompetence on the sea is reprehensible. I wish to relate an example of incompetence on the sea. On the morning of Thursday, January 17th, the Administration of San Pedro Roman Catholic Elementary School arranged for a boat to take teachers to a Belize Teachers Union meeting in Belize City. The boat was incompetently serviced. With over thirty passengers aboard, it stalled five times on the trip from San Pedro to Belize City. The teachers were to return to San Pedro at 4:30 pm. When they arrived at the dock, a crew member was asked if this was the same boat that brought them to Belize City. The answer was affirmative. The next question was: Has the crew spent the afternoon repairing the engine. The answer was “No.”

Letter to the Editor: Thoughts on Carnaval 2013
by Einer Gomez. Kindly allow me to share with your readers a letter I wrote to our San Pedro Town Council regarding the changes being made to the 2013 Carnaval in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. Dear Mayor Danny & Councilors, Thank you for inviting the community to voice our opinion on the upcoming Carnaval Festivities. I am sure that together we can come up with a meaningful decision as we move forward. First and foremost let’s not forget that the community of this beautiful island was founded under religious beliefs and traditions. This culture, and the beauty of our Island combined, created a heaven for tourism; a demanding industry.

Wolfe’s Woofers: First Date Warning
Dennis-Wolfe-Wolfes-Woofers“Let me have an American coffee,” I told the waiter at Sailaway Café. “Anything else, sir?” he asked, when he served the coffee. “Can you please turn the music down just a little bit?” When he turned the music down I turned on my electronic book and started to read. Then I realized that with the quiet I could hear the conversations around me. At the next table two attractive young Spanish women in their early twenties took a seat. “Oh, Maria!” one of them said. “I am so glad I ran into you. I have something very important to ask you about.”

Misc Belizean Sources

Sports Commentary: Belize's performance against Honduras
By Wellington C. Ramos I was anxious to watch the game between Belize and Honduras, who are competing for the Central American Cup. By the time I got to see the game, it was about ten minutes in the second half. Honduras were playing quality football, with teamwork, ball control, passing to their teammates, avoiding turnovers, shooting and creating opportunities to score goals. Belize on the other hand were playing too much of a defensive game. Their defence was stuck in the goal area, putting a lot of pressure on themselves, the goal keeper and blocking his view on several occasions from seeing the players. There was a free kick and one of the Belizean players in the wall, turned his back to the kicker and opened up the wall. Luckily, the goalkeeper was good and he saved the ball. I was not impressed with the way Belize were playing and I felt that they were going to lose the game.

Belize Jaguars Take 4th Place
The Belize Jaguars took 4th place at the Copa Centroamericana football tournament in Costa Rica. Congratulations, Jaguars!

Energizing Youths Entrepreneurship Workshop Ad
The Energizing Youths Entrepreneurship Workshop will be on Saturday, the 23rd of February, at the University of Belize's auditorium. TAS Belize made their advertisement. Contact Patrick Andrews at 601-5011 for more information. "We must empowered our youth with keys and tools on how to create employment for themselves. Small business start ups are known to be the engine of any thriving economy. So many of our young adults are sitting at home with an Associates or Bachelor degree waiting until they can get a job with the government. There is hope, there is a way forward. Mark your calendar for Energizing Youth Entrepreneurship work shop coming this February Saturday 23rd."

Big sharks today and another great day of diving on our routine Blue Hole Trip. This is dive two of three tank dive.


Another Accident On The Phillip Goldson Highway
The stretch of the Northern Highway now known as the Phillip Goldson Highway between Belize City and Ladyville has been witness to many traffic accidents and tragic deaths. This morning, the curves that follow the banks of the Belize River saw another traffic accident, between miles six and seven. Reports indicate that the accident occurred a little after eight this morning just before the Haulover Bridge and involved a white four door car and a small delivery truck. Eyewitness accounts indicate that the small delivery truck, which was being driven at the time by Benfield Borland, was traveling in a northerly direction while the white car driven at the time by Police Officer Michael Hutchinson was traveling in the southerly direction. Hutchinson was attempting to overtake an SUV which was also traveling in a southerly direction when the head on collision with the delivery truck occurred. Both Michael Hutchinson and Benfield Borland sustained minor injuries. Police continue their investigations.

Partners Of Belize Medical Mission Offer Their Services To Northenos
From time to time, Belizeans have been able to benefit from free medical services provided by not for profit missions to Belize. Throughout the years, thousands of Belizeans have received medical treatment for just about every type of illness that could be readily diagnosed. What makes these medical services even that much noteworthy is the fact that the men and women performing them do it for free. In these tough economic times, Belizeans do everything possible to stretch their hard earned money and sometimes, that means self-medicating due to the lack of funds to pay for a doctor’s visit. This morning, the Northern Regional Hospital was inundated with residents hoping to take advantage of free medical attention being offered by the eighteen medical practitioners of the Partners of Belize Medical Mission. The team comprised of dentists, hygienists, dermatologists and general doctors. Dr. Gordon Womack spoke to us and told us more.

Jose Luis Sosa Wanted By Police
Yesterday we brought to you the story of the shooting that occurred at San Lorenzo Housing Site. Officers had entered the house in which Jose Luis Sosa, his girlfriend and two week old baby were in. Officers fired a single shot that hit Sosa in his right leg as he took a swing at them with an object. Sosa quickly grabbed hold of his baby in efforts of diffusing the already tense situation. Blood was pouring from Sosa’s leg injury leaving a trail from the bedroom, throughout the house that lead outside. Once outside, Sosa handed over the baby to his girlfriend and he bolted into the nearby bush. Officers fired shots at him but missing their mark and after hours of searching for him, Orange Walk Police ended the man hunt. Soon after officers left the area, Sosa reappeared at his house for a change of clothes and to tie his leg in efforts of slowing down the bleeding from the gunshot wound. The bullet managed to enter his leg and then go out through the other side.

PUP Activist Murdered In Cayo
The murder count for 2013 has gone well in to the double digits already with the latest murder recorded last night in the Cayo District. Residents of Santa Elena Town were shocked to hear the murder of a well-known businessman and political activist. People’s United Party Cayo Central Executive Committee Chairman Steven Valencia was ruthlessly gunned down last night in his home on Loma Luz Drive. Sometime around nine last night, forty year old Valencia was at home with his two daughters when they heard some noises outside of their home followed by the loud bang of the house’s backdoor being forced open. Reports indicated that two unmasked men of dark complexion entered the house of which one was armed with a shotgun. The two men ordered Valencia to lie on the floor and demanded that he hand over money. Valencia pleaded with the two men stating that he did not have any money in the house, but the men fired shots at him causing the fatal injuries. Valencia was suffered gunshot wounds to the upper back, right foot, and right thigh. Unconfirmed reports indicate that Valencia was murdered in front of his two daughters and both assailants managed to make good their escape with only $6 which was in Valencia’s wallet. The People’s United Party has expressed concern and extended their condolences to the family.

Belize's National Team Loses Against Honduras, Belizeans Still Proud
History was made tonight when Belize took the field in Costa Rica one more time in the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana against Honduras. Playing in their first semi-finals match has opened the doors for a whole new different level of experience for the men proudly representing Belize on the football pitch. As the game just finished a few minutes ago with Honduras winning with a one to nothing score, we didn’t have enough time to do an in depth report on the match, but we do promise this story for you on Monday’s newscast. For now, we will focus on two subtitled stories of tonight’s game. There is both good news, and a bit of bad news for our national team. We’ll start with the bad. As you may have noticed a major change in the defensive lineup, Belize took the field this evening without defensive back Everall Trapp. Trapp was hospitalized immediately after Tuesday’s game against Nicaragua which catapulted Belize to the Semi-final round. Trapp was admitted to the emergency room in San Jose, Costa Rica, for a high amount of enzymes in his blood. This condition usually happens after one’s heart has been injured most commonly after a heart attack. The enzymes are found in your blood but in very low quantities, but once the heart sustains an injury, these enzymes would leak from the hearts muscle cells into the blood stream increasing the levels to the blood. Enzymes are also found in other parts of the body, and may also secret higher levels into the blood stream should those parts be damaged as well. Speculation among professionals in Belize indicate that Trapp may have suffered what is known as a threatened heart attack which is when one experiences chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, sweating, and abnormal electrocardiography results. We are pleased to report that Trapp was released from the hospital in a stable condition but has not been cleared for play.

Demonstration Set For January 29th
The Belize National Teacher’s Union has set January 29th as “The Day” the nation will see their strength. Teachers will travel to Belmopan by the bus loads to demonstrate against Government’s unwillingness to further negotiations on the Collective Bargaining Agreement, particularly that section of salary increments. Confirmation has been received by Executive members of the BNTU, that they will be joined by hundreds of members of the other unions. The Public Service Union and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers will join members of the BNTU in Belmopan as they demonstrate outside of the Cabinet meeting. Here in Orange Walk, several of the executive members of the local branch of the BNTU were panellists on a special edition of CTV-3’s morning show, Despierta Belice. Producers of the morning show along with host Santiago Baeza organized a special show last night with President Otilio Muñoz, Vice President Keith Augustine and Secretary Flor Valdez. Muñoz commented that in July of 2012, the Government of Belize entered in the partial agreement with the Unions with eight out of the twenty-three requests of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. He stated that out of those eight, only three were relevant to the teachers. But in a meeting held with Government on the tenth of January this year, Muñoz says that Government took a “no” position to everything discussed and proposed, rather than negotiate.

ESTM Celebrates 30th Anniversary
Teachers have been making headlines across the country lately, but not for the excellent effort placed in the classrooms, but now, for payment of that excellent effort. Teachers are more than educators, they have come to be considered the parents of the students in their classrooms throughout the day as they are the ones tasked with their safeguard. Well, today teachers and students of the Escuela Secudaria Tecnica Mexico are in the news for a milestone in the education services. That milestone is thirty years of service to students of the northern districts of Belize. The school commemorated their thirtieth anniversary today with all day activities and our news team stopped in this morning and filed the following report. Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico is a technical vocational high school that was built and donated in 1982 by the Mexican government as a symbol of recognition of the Independence of Belize. In January of 1983, formal classes began with an enrollment of sixty-eight students and a staff of five teachers. Since its establishment, the student population has grown considerably with the nrollment standing at over 600 students. Today the school’s staff, students, and invited guests congregated at the school’s auditorium as a special ceremony was prepared to initiate the celebration of the school’s 30th anniversary.


Chamber of Commerce calls of amicable settlement of salary impasse with unions
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry says it is of the strongest desire that both parties come to an understanding that will be beneficial and sustainable to the Belize economy and taxpayers. Chamber says any public sector salary increases awarded in the absence of growth in the private sector will ultimately result in increased cost of living through higher taxes which would run the risk of simply negating the salary increases in any event. According to the Chamber any increase in public sector wages should be done in an objective and reasonable manner based on evaluated and measureable performance and productivity focusing on positive results achieved by a public officer in their position as well as identifying areas of improvement when there is less than optimum performance. The Chamber goes on to say that in an economy where the unemployment rate is 16 point one percent, the private sector submits that the priority focus at this time should be on private sector job creation and real economic growth. The release from Chamber ends by saying it supports the tax review begun by Government this week and suggests that the unions also take the opportunity to participate and contribute towards developing methods for achieving savings in Government’s operations and growing the economy for the benefit of all Belizeans.

Cayo politician shot dead in home invasion
A prominent citizen of Santa Elena town was murdered on Thursday night. The killing has left the community in shock. Love TV’s Marion Ali reports.

Fashion designer plans weekend runway show
Acclaimed fashion designer, 19 year old Rebecca Stirm, is tying the final knots in preparation of a fashion show on Saturday night in Belize City. The event will feature some of Stirm’s latest designs but, but she says it is also an opportunity for her to raise funds to advance in the field. The modeling show starts at 6:30 on Saturday evening at the Princess Hotel and Casino in Belize City.

Youth murdered; family seeks answers
Less than a month into 2013 the number of murders is hovering right around the one dozen mark. It is not a particularly pleasant state of affairs, and today two more bodies are in the morgue as the crime wave stretches from the old capital to Cayo. In the case of the Belize City killing, police have detained one person and are continuing their investigation. Love TV’s Patrick Jones reports. Marvin Gaynair, Junior leaves to mourn his death, his parents, a son, three sisters and seven brothers.

Man shot in the foot “accidentally” as he struggled with police officer
A man was shot in the leg during an apprehension by police on Thursday evening. According to police reports, a mobile patrol on the Burrel Boom Road around four thirty yesterday evening intercepted two men riding on a single bicycle. The officers stopped and search the men, identified as twenty seven year old Adrian Myvette and twenty four year old Ernett Broaster. Authorities say that during the search they found the men to be individually carrying small quantities of marijuana. Upon being place under arrest, police say Myvette ran away but was pursued and apprehended. Myvette reportedly resisted arrest and a struggle ensured, during which the policemen’s point thirty eight revolver accidentally discharged hitting Myvette in the left leg. Myvette was taken to the KHMH where he was treated and released into police custody where he was formally arrested and charged for the crimes of drug trafficking, escaping from lawful custody, resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer and allowing one’s self to be carried on a bicycle. The second suspect, Ernett Broaster was arrested and charged for the crimes of carrying a person on a bicycle and possession of controlled drugs.

Anti-crime protest held in Belize City
A demonstration against Crime was what was on Phillip “Fada” Henry’s agenda for today. In fact the activist visited Love News a couple days ago to invite the people of Belize to join him in the demonstration at Battlefield Park in Belize City. He was expecting a crowd of at least five hundred people; but from the looks of things, Henry was woefully short of his targeted crowd. He told Love News why he suspected the turnout was low. While Henry calls on government to address the crime situation, another demonstrator, John Bracket says that the war against crime requires community participation. Love News also did not see any demonstrators from Gales Point Manatee village as ws expected by organizers of today’s demonstration.

Science fair held at St. Catherine Academy
A science fair was held today at the Saint Catherine’s Academy in Belize City. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo reports.

Escuala Mexico celebrates 30th anniversary
Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico is celebrating its 30th anniversary. An official ceremony was held at the school’s compound in San Roman Village in the Corozal District. In his address, Mexican Ambassador Mario Velazquez highlighted the outstanding contribution that graduates have made to Belize’s development. In 1982 the Mexican government built and donated the Hight School to Belize as a symbol of recognition of Belize’s independence. In January 1983 formal classes began with the enrollment of 68 students and a staff of five teachers. Today the high school has an enrollment of over 600 students. The celebrations for the 30th Anniversary included the presentation of the Traditional Dance Company of the Department of Culture of Quintana Roo.

National Sports Council says no election can be held for BCA executive
While the stellar performance of Belize’s national football team has lifted the nation’s collective spirit, tonight another big sport discipline is facing some major problems. The Belize Cycling Association is without an elected executive … at least that is the view of the National Sports Council. According to the Council, the term of office of the last constitutionally elected executive expired at the end of November last year. Controversy has enveloped the election of a new executive because of issues regarding which constitution should be used as there are apparently more than one versions of the document. Today, the National Sports Council issued a statement saying that it won’t recognize any results of a purported election scheduled for this weekend by the former executives of the Belize Cycling Association. Allan Sharp is the chairman of the National Sports Council. Sharp told Love News that a schedule meeting with the president of the regional governing body for Cycling did not materialize as scheduled this week and he is hoping that that meeting can happen soon, so that things can return to normal in the sport of cycling. Until a new executive is elected for the Belize Cycling Association, an interim committee chaired by the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association is conducting the affairs of the Association.

Renovated school building inaugurated at St. Peter Claver, Punta Gorda
A newly renovated school building at the St. Peter Claver primary school in Punta Gorda town was inaugurated earlier this week. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

FFB president says team Belize is ready for Honduras
Belize’s historic run in international football is continuing at this hour in San Jose, Costa Rica. Belize is taking on Honduras in the semi finals of the COPA CENTROAMERICANA, in a game that is undoubtedly being watched by thousands of Belizeans at home and abroad. Honduras is the reigning champions of Central America and Belize is aiming to unseat them. The Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose is the venue for the game you are watching. It is undoubtedly one of the biggest football matches ever played by Belize. The Belize National Football team advanced to this semi-finals of the COPA CENTROMERICANA tournament on Tuesday night when they defeated Nicaragua by a score of two to one on a late goal by striker Deon McCauley. The outcome of this game will determine whether Belize plays for the championship on Sunday or not. In any case, advancing to the semi-finals was historic enough for Belize which, prior to Tuesday, had not won a game in the UNCAF tournament before. President of the Football Federation of Belize Ruperto Vicente today told Love News that team is in a high state of readiness. Vicente says that while Honduras is a formidable opponent; Belize went into tonight’s match with their “A” game. The Belize National Football team is expected back home on Monday and Vicente says they will be given a hero’s welcome when they touch down at the Phillip Goldson International airport. The team is scheduled to arrive in Belize on Monday afternoon.


A Tale of Five Cities: Around San Cristobal (Part 2)
More photos from our sight-seeing walks around beautiful San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico...

Top Souvenirs to Buy in Belize
Belize is a hidden gem when it comes to tourism, especially if you’re looking to go scuba diving or simply relax on a gorgeous beach. The unique culture and flavors of Belize also offer some excellent souvenirs to take back from your trip. Whether you’re looking to buy gifts for people back home, or to remember your trip by, here are some excellent souvenir ideas for your trip to Belize: Habanero peppers grow throughout Belize, and are featured in many traditional spicy dishes. The traditional rice, beans, seafood, and stew chicken of the area is often spiced up with pepper sauce. And this is a great item to take back to the foodie on your gift list – or just so that you can continue to enjoy the flavors of Belize long after you’re gone. Marie Sharps is one of the best-known hot sauce makers in the country, and you can even get a tour of the facility. While there is a large market in tourist areas like downtown San Pedro and San Ignacio, most tourists recommend avoiding this market in favor of individual marketplaces around the outskirts of San Pedro, San Ignacio, by the Xunantunich ferry in Succotz Village, and in other areas of Belize. In these markets, you can find lots of traditional crafts, including worry dolls that feature a distinct Belizean beauty, woven purses, and wooden crafts. Like other countries, Belize features a wide variety of art styles and types, but the country is known particularly for its slate carvings. You can buy carvings in many Belizean gift shops, but it’s cheaper and more fun to buy them directly from the artists by the Xunantunich Ferry on the Mopan River bank in Succotz Village. This way, you can have some contact with the creator of your souvenir piece – and you can skip out on the marked-up shop prices. The Cotton Tree Chocolate Factory actually allows you to see how chocolate is made in Punta Gorda. Then, you can take home some delicious chocolate to commemorate your trip.

How did we get here?
How did we get to this place in Belize? This is a reflective question I keep asking myself as I watch and listen in horror as the death toll keep climbing in Belize. I know the helplessness and frustrations of those who want to make a difference; the paralysis of those who live in the carnage daily and the failing and inept judicial system that creates no justice for the average Belizean. Back in the day murder was unheard of, and the ones that did occur was normally limited to domestic violence that got bitterly out of hand. When I grew up in Belize, Belizeans were known as docile people, a description I had issue with because it seemed to describe people who did as they were told. Today I long for the days when we are back to a peaceful fun loving people; back to a community spirited people. As I reflect on the society I grew up in, I remember a peaceful, happy society where everyone got along and people were poor but were satisfied with what they had…

Chocolat no it is not a misspell read on ;0)
Mystery blogger here. Mr. John is fed up with the rain. The build stops when it rains, and it is lashing down. We have decided to review our plans for the house and are going to build a castle instead. Why, well we already have a moat so all we need now is a drawbridge.Mmmmm chocolate, mmmmmmm Johnny Depp, dream, zzzzzzzzz.

International Sources

El Salvador nips Belize, takes 3rd at Copa Centroamericana
Nelson Bonilla scored in the second half to boost El Salvador to a 1-0 victory over upstart Belize to earn third place at the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana on Sunday. The El Salvadorans, who ended a six-game winless streak in the competition, equaled their best finish at Copa. The clinched third place for a fifth time (1995, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2013). Belize easily surpassed its best Copa placement and has conceded one goal or less in five of its last six UNCAF encounters. Both sides booked spots at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which will be hosted by the United States from July 7-28. Bonilla scored the game’s lone goal in the 50th minute. He finished off series of passes with a close-range shot at Estadio Nacional. Belize’s best opportunity came two minutes prior, when Deon McCauley, Central American team’s top goal-scorer, sent a shot from barely inside the midfield stripe that almost caught goalkeeper Derby Carillo out of his net. The shot, however, sailed just high of the goal.

Saborio, Costa Rica top Honduras in Centroamericana final
Honduras may be the up and coming power in CONCACAF, but Costa Rica won back the title of kings of Central America. Geancarlo González scored in the 37th minute to give Los Ticos a 1-0 victory over Los Catrachos in a thrilling final of the Copa Centroamericana on Sunday at Estadio Nacional in San José. It marked the seventh UNCAF title for Costa Rica, who were hosting the tournament for the third time. Seven MLS players saw time in the final, including Real Salt Lake’s Álvaro Saborío (above), who nearly drew blood inside the first quarter-hour but saw his attempt saved in a sensational performance by Honduras ‘keeper Donis Escobar. Portland’s Rodney Wallace was also in the Costa Rica starting lineup, while Honduras countered with Houston’s Boniek García, New England’s Jerry Bengtson, San Jose’s Víctor Bernárdez and Seattle’s Mario Martínez. Columbus striker Jairo Arrieta — who ended up the shockingly low-scoring tournament's Golden Boot winner as the only player with two goals — came off the bench for Costa Rica in second-half stoppage time. In the third-place match, El Salvador dispatched upstarts Belize 1-0 with a 49th-minute goal from Nelson Bonilla. Starting in goal was Los Angeles-area native and former Cal FC goalkeeper Derby Carrillo, who won his first cap for El Salvador. The Copa Centroamericana doubles as Central America's qualifying tournament for the CONCACAF Gold Cup. As the top five finishers, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Belize and Panama booked spots in this summer's tournament.

US citizens in Belize gets early warning from US Embassy
Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Belmopan (Belize), University of Belize Demonstration and March Riots/Civil Unrest. U.S. Embassy Belmopan advises U.S. citizens to avoid the areas surrounding the National Assembly Building, Market Square and Government of Belize offices in Belmopan on Monday January 28, 2013 from 0800-1700. Belize authorities have confirmed that the President of the University of Belize (UB), Belmopan campus, will lead a demonstration on Monday, January 28, 2013, to protest the decrease of subsidies to the University. The demonstrators are scheduled to meet at the UB campus at 8:00am and march to the National Assembly Building. We remind U.S. citizens that demonstrations take place in Belize from time to time in response to world events or local developments. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. U.S. citizens should exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations. U.S. citizens are urged to stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times.

Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute heads to World Court
The Organization of American States (OAS) says its Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, met with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs from Belize and Guatemala on the protracted territorial dispute between both countries. “The meeting’s main objective was to exchange information on the tasks that both countries are committed to carry out in preparation for the referenda concerning recourse to the Court of the Hague Convention on the territorial issue,” said a statement from the OAS. In the tripartite meeting, which took place within the framework of the European (EU)-Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Summit here, the OAS said both officials “explained the situation in each country, with a view toward finalizing the consultation agreed and renewed the commitment of their governments to carry it out.” During the discussion, the OAS said Wilfred Elrington – the Foreign Affairs Minister from Belize and and Guatemala’s Foreign Affairs Minister Luis Fernando Carrera “thanked the efforts of the hemispheric body, particularly those of Secretary General Insulza, for accompanying the process.” Insulza, who was accompanied by Ambassador Hugo de Zela, his chief of staff, said “our organization will continue supporting all efforts made by Belize and Guatemala to comply with the agreements they have reached.” Guatemala and Belize, have signed an accord agreeing to let their territorial dispute, which is nearly two centuries old, be settled in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, otherwise known as the Court of the Hague or the World Court.

Honduras' Suarez: We're deserving finalists
After edging Belize, 1-0, in a semifinal match tighter than many might have expected, Honduras progressed to a second straight final at the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana. Despite the luxury of a roster full of international stars, the Catrachos have been made to work for everything that they have earned in the competition. A pair of 1-1 draws in the first round and a narrow semifinal win in three games reinforce that notion. Through it all, though, the Hondurans are exactly where most observers thought they would be…in the last two, contesting for the trophy. "I'll keep the second half," Honduran head coach Luis Fernando Suarez said of the showdown with Belize. "I thought Belize might be a tough opponent for us. "They did things well. But we scored the goal, and that's why we're deserving finalists."

Cave Tubing in Belize
While Belize was quite the relaxing getaway, we made sure we had a number of exciting adventures on the agenda as well. We took tubes through pitch black caves, guided by lights we had attached to our helmets. It was a really cool way to experience the environment of Belize. Click through the gallery to see pics from our cave tubing excursion.

From Textbook to Real Life: The Mayan Ruins
Sitting in a boat, 100 times smaller than the cruise ship we were on, I was sandwiched between my mom and brother, along with 50 other people in the boat, like sardines while my dad was taking photos. You could feel there was excitement of going to shore, finally, after a night of constant movement of the ship. But for me, going to shore meant my feet were going to step on a new country, the 13th to be exact. And not only that, I was about to set foot on a real Mayan ruin. Rewind to the previous school year. I’m picturing myself sitting in my desk… world history class… students falling asleep around me… The teacher at his podium… Lecturing… "Today we are going to learn about the Mayans…" Most students don’t learn anything about the Mayans until they take world history, in 10th grade. I’ll be honest, history is not my favorite subject… But somehow, the Mayans happen to be one topic I paid most attention to. That’s only because I knew and I was determined, that I would one day, visit one of the ruins of this civilization. (and we discussed a lot about blood and sacrificing) Again, to be honest, one year later, I don’t even remember what I learned about the Mayans in school. Fast forward back to the boat. We reached the port. Found our ride. Drove an hour and a half, seeing mountains… people….architecture….of Belize. We stopped, got out of the van and wow! I was at a Mayan ruin, well the sign said so.. I didn’t see anything yet…

Highlights of Belize and Guatemala
What sorts of things do you picture when you think of Central America? I’m asking because I didn’t really know what to expect before I visited both Belize and Guatemala earlier this month. Based on what the media had told/shown me about the region, I only thought of jungles and coffee and violence in association with Central America. And, to be fair, you WILL find those things there. But Central America is more than what the media leads us to believe. In fact, both countries I visited were so different that it was amazing to me that they existed side-by-side within the same region. I visited Belize and Guatemala on an 8-day trip with Intrepid Travel, and was trying to figure out how best to describe my experience to you. Should I write a review? Share photos? Just jump right into all the individual posts I wanted to write? In the end, I settled on a highlights video, along with some of my best photos from the trip. Check out the video below, and then read on to get a preview of what I did/saw on this adventure.

Xcalak: mare, sabbia, sole e tranquillità
Di tutte le località costiere lambite dal Mar dei Caraibi, Xcalak forse è la meno conosciuta, ma di tutti i posti meta del turismo messicano è di certo la più tranquilla, forse troppo desolata, ma qui si può vivere ed assaporare la vita del Messico autentico. Il principale motivo per cui Xcalak è poco conosciuta fondamentalmente è che è veramente ardua da raggiungere. Adagiata su una lunga e stretta lingua di sabbia nell'estremità più meridionale del Messico, lungo una propaggine ammantata da foreste di mangrovie e quasi al confine col Belize, Xcalak è preservata dal turismo di massa grazie alla barriera corallina che non consente alle navi da crociera di avvicinarsi alla costa. Alle spalle di questo remoto villaggio di pescatori, oltre la foresta di mangrovie che funge da naturale scudo, si estende la Baia di Chetumal e dalla terra ferma ci si può arrivare solamente percorrendo una lunga strada sterrata e coperta di sabbia, verso sud rispetto al paesino di Majahual. Abbiamo raggiunto Xcalak con una corriera, proprio partendo da Chetumal, dove avevamo passato la notte; i pulmini, piuttosto attempati, fanno diverse fermate in città, ma sono soltanto tre o quattro al giorno e così, per non sprecare tempo, abbiamo preso il primo alla mattina. In principio la strada è piuttosto facile, asfaltata e si dirige verso nord senza alcuna difficoltà, giunti all'incrocio per Majahual si svolta verso la costa e dopo parecchio tempo si raggiunge questa località lontana dai giri turistici, ma comunque vivace, piacevole ed attrezzata per i visitatori.

When Mexico lost Belize
In issue 53 of Pioneers, directed by Francisco Verdalles, appears an interesting writing signed by the chronicler of Chetumal Ignacio A. Herrera Muñoz titled “When Mexico lost Belize” (please note that between the don Ignacio and that this type of an “innocent” accent that makes a difference between the two). For reasons of space, I will not repeat several statements of the Chronicler, however we must begin by declaring: “The government of the republic who had inherited at independence be recognized that Spain had rights over Belize, was aware of this situation and therefore concluded a border treaty in 1893 that was called MARISCAL SPENCER boundary treaty. “ Indeed, with the signing of the treaties in 1893 will set the limits of the national territory in the border region.