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#460746 - 03/22/13 09:43 AM Today's Belize News: March 22, 2013
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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

SPTC embarks on ambitious street widening project
The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has embarked on an ambitious project in which they intend to widen and properly open the main streets and all beach access points on northern Ambergris Caye. The approximately seven-mile project will be a long-term undertaking, and according to the SPTC, it will be financed through municipal taxes collected from islanders. Even as the project is moving forward, with a few residents registering their discontent, The SPTC remains steadfast that it will benefit the tourism industry on the island since resorts will have an upgraded and proper road facility. San Pedro Town Mayor Daniel Guerrero did not disclose the value of the street project but responded to questions raised in regards to residents’ discontentment in the new projected embarked by the municipality. “This project can take between a year and perhaps even more. We will not stop work until we reach Costa Maya Reef Resort on northern Ambergris Caye. The council will also be cleaning all the easement/road access to the beach. We will clear the entire width of the road that is legally a part of government,” said Guerrero. In some areas, the width assigned to roads ranges from between 25 to 35 feet. In addressing the concerns of the residents Guerrero said, “We notified the residents of the area and we even met with some of residents of the Tres Cocos Area. We went even further north telling them that they need to pull out North Ambergris Caye Street-3anything that they have outside their fences.

Kelly McGuire performs benefit concert for Saga at Fido’s
Well known country singer Kelly McGuire is back in San Pedro Town, where he performed at a benefit concert at Fido’s Restaurant and Bar. The event, which benefited Saga Human Society in San Pedro, took place on Tuesday March 19th. At the event McGuire performed some of his most popular beats including ‘Boat in Belize.’ The event drew a large crowd including many of McGuire’s music followers living on Ambergris Caye. The three hour show, which started from 6PM, included the auctioning of several gifts that were donated to Saga. According to Saga the event was fantastic and a huge success. Saga Humane Society takes the opportunity to thank everyone for their generosity and support, including Kelly McGuire, Fido’s, the volunteers and all who attended.

Ecumenical & Delille compete to clean up Dangriga beaches
Oceana thanks the administrations of Ecumenical and Delille for participating in today’s activities, and those yet to come. Here is how Oceana VP Audrey Matura-Shepherd sums it up, “We are tremendously encouraged that Dangriga youth took part in today’s competition not just because they realize that what happens onshore impacts our precious marine patrimony, but also that they saw an opportunity to help the Dangriga Town Board and residents of the municipality even as they demonstrated civic pride. They did themselves, their families and their schools proud! That is heartening.”

SP Magistrate Court sentences 2 men to 7 years in jail for burglary
Two men from San Pedro Town will spend the next seven years behind bars after they were sentenced in two separate cases before the San Pedro Town Magistrate Court on March 20th. 27 year old Marvin Antonio Mendoza was sentenced to seven years and six months after he was found guilty of a burglary case brought before him in 2012. Similarly, 38 year old Jorge Miguel Navarette was sentenced to seven years in prison after he was found guilty of an October 3, 2012 burglary which occurred in San Pedro Town. Magistrate Sherigne Rodriguez, after listening to witnesses and reviewing the evidence submitted in court, found Mendoza guilty of a single charge of burglary. The case dates back to October 31, 2012 when Mendoza entered and trespassed the house of John Harvey and stole a number of items. In the second case, the charge against Navarette goes back to October 3, 2012 when he was found inside the San Pedro Town Council Barracks in the San PabloThe Police Prosecutor in the cases was done by Sergeant of Police Ludwig Castillo attached to the San Pedro Police Station. area attempting to steal.

Cayo Espanto – in the top 10 of Island Magazine’s “100 Best Private Island Resorts”
ISLANDS has picked the world’s 12 best private-island resorts, as well as more than 100 such private islands, all across the planet, from the surprisingly accessible to the beautifully exotic. Any of these private islands holds the promise of the dream escape, where you can have the luxury amenities of a resort while still feeling like the island is all yours. Making it in the top 10 of the list is Belize’s Cayo Espanto Resort, and why wouldn’t it be?! Below are a few reasons why Islands chose this secluded, ultra-private island as one of the top places to vacation in the world. This hideaway in the cayes of Belize could practically grant any wish, except for smoked fish. So when a Cayo Espanto guest requested that, the chef constructed a smoker. Same thing happened when another guest wanted a Christmas tree. The resort flew one in. After all, a private island with only six villas — including the new over-water Casa Ventanas at the end of a 150-foot private dock — does have some limitations. So the real magic is in striving for no limits. ISLANDS spoke to managers at Cayo Espanto to find out more.

Ambergris Today

Supplies Donated to Neighborhood Watch Groups
The U.S. Embassy and Crime Stoppers Belize recently made a donation of supplies to Mr. Gilbert Pitts who is the coordinator of the National Neighborhood Watch. These supplies included L.E.D. flash lights, whistles, radios, hand cuffs and writing supplies. The supplies were handed over from Mr. Pitts to Councilor Wally Nuñez who then distributed the supplies to the Boca del Rio Neighborhood Watch, which was accepted by the president, Mr. Freddy Gonzalez Jr. and the South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch, which was accepted by the president, Mrs. Josie Nuñez.

Belize Tourism Board Launches Belize Rural Development Project II
The BTB received a grant from the European Union in November 2012, for BZ$2.75m for a project with a total estimated cost of $4 million BZD. The project, scheduled to be implemented over 24 months, seeks to improve economic opportunities in rural communities and contribute to the reduction of poverty by enhancing the overall tourism experience through improvements to tourism infrastructure and the services offered. The tourism experience will be enhanced at the archaeological sites of Xunantunich, Barton Creek, Actun Tunichil Muknal, Caves Branch, Altun Ha, Lamanai, Nim Li Punit, Lubaantun, and Blue Creek. The main activities undertaken include the gazetting and introduction of health and safety measures, associated infrastructure improvements, and training of personnel in health and safety. In addition, the project foresees the introduction of a system to improve the quality and certify the provenance of Belizean souvenirs and other services offered to tourists.

Misc Belizean Sources

BWRC Veterinary Spring Break
The Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic has a new set of veterinary students visiting for some hard core learning and some fun too. The visited the Belize Zoo, Xunantunich, and visited Belize Bird Rescue so far. A study vacation sounds like a win/win situation. "BWRC is exited to welcome our first spring break group of veterinary students from UFL for an intensive 8 days of learning about wildlife in Belize, conservation, rescue and rehabilitation! As the pic shows we did not get out of class untill dark. So much to do in so little time :)"

The Chocolate Festival of Belize
The Chocolate Festival of Belize is delighted to announce that tickets for the WINE, CHOCOLATE & BELIKIN opening event on Friday 24th May are now on sale. The Festival’s signature evening offers visitors live music, fine food and wine, Belizean chocolate, and Belikin’s specially brewed Chocolate Stout. This year’s opening event will be held at Belcampo Lodge (just west of PG Town) in the plaza at their new purpose-built Agritourism facilities.


Belize's National Selection vs Trinidad & Tobago
The game between Belize's National Selection vs Trinidad & Tobago has been changed to the FFB's Goal Project Stadium in Belmopan City. The International Friendly will now be played at 8:00pm on Saturday 23/03/2013. Entrance fee $15.00.

MCHS Celebrates Open Day
Mount Carmel High School had their Open Day yesterday. "Visit Our Lady of Mount Carmel High School Open Day and view the work of our students and the committment to excellence of our staff. We are truly committed to beauty, truth, goodness and unity. Make OLMCHS your number one choice for the new school year. Welcome!"

International Students' Galen Experience
Galen has a great video out of some of their international students talking about and explaining their experiences while studying at Galen. They have a great Anthropology division, with Ms. Sherry Gibbs and Dr. Jaime Awe. Now is the time to register for the Fall 2013 semester. And remember, education does cost one money, but ignorance costs everyone so much more. "You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives." -Clay Bedford

Mr. and Ms. SHC Pageant
The Mr. and Ms. SHC Pageant is today at the Bedran Hall in the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. Best of luck to all contestants. "Go to the 'Mr. & Ms. SHC PAGEANT' EVENT PAGE to 'LIKE' the picture of your favorite contestant(s) so as to increase their total score as they vie for the title of Mr. & Ms. SHC. Mr & Ms. SHC Pageant, 6:00 p.m. Friday-March 22, 2013 Bedran Hall, San Ignacio Resort Hotel Tickets are availale at SHC - $10 General, $20 - VIP"

Celebrating the “9th Annual MAYA DAY”
Retrace the steps of a people whose legacy continues to transcend time and generations. Come celebrate with us, at the “9th Annual Maya Day”, during March 12 – 24, 2013, and enjoy a host of traditional activities, cultural foods, live music, Language, Maya spirituality, dances, and great people! In Belize, ancient Maya structures are easily accessible by land and boat; however events like the Annual Maya Day, under the theme “Celebrating our Identity”, provides a rare and intimate exposure to the ancient practices and beliefs of these mystical people. Daily Activities: March 12th, 2013: “Flames of our Ancestors” signals the start of these scheduled days of activities. Beginning with a Torch Run and Motorcade (starting at Nim Li Punit in Indian Creek Village to Tumul K’in Center), a spiritual ceremony, Maya games, dances and live Marimba and Harp performances. March 23rd, 2013: “Chajchaay” (Sacred Maya Ball Game) starting at 7:00 p.m., witness this Maya ball game reenactment, at Tumul K’in, and learn the history behind it! March 23rd and 24th, 2013: “Cortez Dance”is a dramatization dance, depicting the ancient Maya’s resistance to colonization. The dance last for a few hours and has 28 dancers, including: Maya females, males are colorfully dressed in masks. March 23rd and 24th, 2013: “The Traditional Greasy Pole” (Ta’kin’ Che’) is the act of climbing a tree greased with soap and grease. This is an activity to pay respects to the Maya treasured tree (Na’ba’ Che’-Tree) at Tumul Kin. March 24th, 2013: The Grand Finale “Maya Day 2013” is a fun-filled day of ALL things MAYA! Enjoy Maya: dances, art and crafts, traditional (herbal) medicine displays, exhibition booths, food, drinks and a wide variety of other activities at the Tumul K’in Center of Learning, in Blue Creek Toledo.

ICJ: Ambassador Mendez Frustrated in DC
From Washington: In remarks delivered Wednesday evening at the George Washington University’s Ambassador Series forum in Washington, DC, Belizean Ambassador to the U.S. and O.A.S., Nestor Mendez, made clear that the Belizean government is “frustrated” and “upset” with recent actions by the Guatemalan government. His comments and answers to questions from the audience indicate the whole ICJ referendum process is now in serious jeopardy. Furthermore, Belize clearly feels while it has acted in good faith, the Guatemalans have let them down and even disrespected them during this last week in particular. I’ve known Ambassador Mendez for several years now and the always unflappable diplomat showed clear signs of frustration and even said at one point, “I’m sorry if I seem upset but it’s not the first time our neighbors have bowed out. It’s not helpful.” This was a special night for the Ambassador as he returned to his alma mater to deliver an address at one of the George Washington University’s most distinguished forums. Ambassador Mendez opened with what he called a “commercial” for Belize and praised the agricultural and tourist sectors for their contributions to the Belizean economy. He noted 5.8% growth for the first three quarters of 2012 and record tourism numbers. He also mentioned new investment in the sugar industry by Domino and said that their new facilities are the most modern in Central America.

Ladyville scheduled to host New Horizons opening ceremony
The opening ceremony for New Horizons Belize is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. March 25, 2013, at Ladyville Technical High School. New Horizons gives U.S. and Belizean personnel an opportunity to train jointly in an exercise setting, in order to be prepared to meet future challenges when and where needed. It is a U.S. Southern Command exercise providing medical and dental treatment as well as constructs needed structures, such as classrooms, throughout Belize. U.S. Ambassador Vinai K. Thummalapally, Minister of Education Patrick Faber, and the commander of the Belize Defence Force, Brig. Gen. David Jones, are expected to be in attendance. “New Horizons Belize is a testament to the solid working relationship between Belize and the U.S. I am pleased that SOUTHCOM continues to visit Belize,” said U.S. Ambassador Vinai K. Thummalapally. “These teams provide quality construction and medical care free of cost to the public and receive training as they work side-by-side with Belizean military and civilian authorities”. Approximately 500 U.S. military personnel will participate in the exercise on a rotational basis. Another 150 Belizean military personnel are scheduled to participate, including 120 civil engineers and 30 medical personnel. Volunteers from non-governmental organizations, such as Project HOPE, Latter-day Saint charities, and the Belize City chapter of the Rotary Club of Belize are also participating in New Horizons. Their contributions range from volunteering medical services to donating and distributing desks and other equipment for the school additions that are built.

In his own words, Foreign Minister explains Guatemala's 2 proposals regarding the referendum. Will Cabinet bite Guatemala's bait or will the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition join in a resounding 'no' to Guatemala?

CNWA Grant Progress
The Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association Executive Board met with the US Embassy to talk about the grant, and how well it's been used so far. They have a great mission! 'To inspire, encourage, and empower the people of Cayo to unite to become one voice; Neighbors looking out for Neighbors; deeply committed to serving our community and our beloved country: Belize.' "CNWA Executive board had a wonderful meeting with our contacts from the US Embassy and their team from Washington. They came to see how the grant money was being handled and what it was used for. They were very impressed with CNWA and the work we do."

Cultural Day at UB
The University of Belize had their Cultural Day yesterday, and Belize Natural Energy was there to participate and get some pictures. The had displays from the Chinese, Maya, Mennonites, Mestizo, Creole, and Garifuna, with abundant amounts of food.

Channel 7

Foreign Minister Discloses Guatemala’s "Iffy" Plans For Referendum Date
Yesterday we interviewed Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington and he held back on revealing the proposals for the referendum that the Guatemalans had taken to the OAS. But today in the House of Representatives, it seems he got the green light from the Prime Minister and was given special permission to make an announcement on a matter of public interest. For most observers, it was more than interesting, it was quite surprising. Here's what the Guatemalans propose: Hon. Wilfred Elrington - Minister of Foreign Affairs "We were informed that the Guatemalans were making 2 proposals. 1, they wanted us to amend our referendum legislation so that our legislation will be identical to theirs in terms of the requirements for the referendum to be successful, just a simple majority vote. They said that if we did that, if we amended our legislation to confirm with theirs, they would then be prepared to agree on another date when we could hold simultaneous referenda, but they were not prepared to indicate when that date would be. And they were not even prepared to give a timeline. That was one proposal. The second proposal was that we would go ahead as planned, have our referendum on October 6, and if we had a successful 'yes' vote at that referendum, then they would prepared to hold their referendum at a date not later than the end of June 2014."

Soca Boys Will Play On FIFA Grade Pitch, After Bandfest!
When we left you last night, the Football Federation of Belize was at a difficult crossroads: Trinidad's National Football Team refused to play on the substandard pitch at the MCC, and the only other option is the field at the FFB Stadium which is booked out for the LOVE FM Bandfest. Well, something had to give, and at an emergency meeting last night the FFB Executive agreed to play the game after the Bandfest. So, the Trinidad versus Belize friendly will be played at 8:00 pm at FFB Stadium in Belmopan. The official release announcing the change of venue was sent out at 3:00 this morning from FFB Headquarters. This plays it a little close to the end of Bandfest which usually wraps up at around 6:00, but the FFB is confident it can pull it off.

Budget Debate Begins Leader Of Opp to PM: "Sharp Tongue and Loud Mouth"
And while the game will be played on Saturday - the games began in Belmopan today - and by that we mean, the political games. That's the budget debate, a two day marathon of finger pointing, name calling, chest beating and self-congratulation, which is the centerpiece of the parliamentary calendar. As per custom, the leader of the opposition got it rolling. And while the Honorable Fonseca is not known for his oratorical style, he did show a few flourishes today. Here's a few portions of his 40 minute reply to the budget: Hon. Francis Fonseca - Leader of Opposition "Again this year, Mr. Speaker, it is deeply regrettable that we must record the absolute failure of this UDP Government, to carry out any consultations in respect of this year's budget. This shameful failure is of course consistent with the UDP's total disregard and disrespect of the Government's social and economic partners in development. It is a budget disconnected divorced from the Belizean reality. This a budget, Mr. Speaker, in which 'full belly di tell empty bell, kip haat, bredda, kip haat, sista'. The budget continues a 5-year pattern of excuses, cruel empty rhetoric. Loud mouth, dirty mouth, and sharp tongue are all we've gotten from the UDP for 5 years. Let the record reflect that we on this side of the House join with our teachers and public officers in demanding that this Government delivers at a minimum, a 5% salary increase this fiscal year. Where are the 5,000 new jobs promised 5 years ago? Where is the reduced GST? It went in the other direction, Mr. Speaker. Where are the lower utility rates? I just told you that it went up 17% in January. These are things that they promised. Where is lower cost of living? Where are the shares in the national oil company you all promised the people? Where is the 6% annual growth? Next year, it's going to go back to 2.7%. Where is lower fuel cost, Mr. Speaker? 5 years of UDP nothing, 5 years of UDP waste, 5 years of UDP corruption, 5 years of growing unemployment, 5 years of increasing crime, 5 year of higher prices, 5 years of petty, arrogant leadership under the United Democratic Party."

Accused Of Helping A Human Trafficker
Last night, 7News told you about the arraignment of 43 year-old Salvadoran Irma Hilda Alaz Azmitia, the woman who was suspected of orchestrating a human trafficking operation through the PGIA. Well today, a Belizean woman was taken to court for allegedly assisting Alaz Azmitia in her operation. As we told you, Azmitia was busted with 4 minors - 3 boys and a girl, and an 18 year-old female at the Phillip Goldson International with false Guatemalan passports and counterfeit US Visas. When the authorities were called in, the minors were interviewed about Azmitia's operation, and one of the boys revealed the identity of 50 year-old Belizean Francisca Flores, a resident of Belama Phase 2. According to the boy, an adult placed him in Flores's care while he waited for other travel arrangements. According to the boy, he stayed at her house up until March 14. As a result, the Immigration Department detained Flores, and questioned her, who admitted to them that she did indeed provide lodging for the child. She was subsequently charged with harboring a person to remain in Belize illegally, and she was arraigned today before Magistrate Adolph Lucas.

18 Year Old Accused Of Shooting Minors
Tonight, 18 year-old Akeem Augustine, a resident of La Croix Boulevard, is in jail because according to police he shot at 4 young men - two of them minors. One of them is 16 and he told police that on Tuesday evening around 6:00, he was hanging out at the corner of Police Street and La Croix Boulevard with 3 other young men. He and a 15 year old decided to go to a nearby shop, but on the way there, they ran into Augustine and 2 other men who started chasing them. The 16 year old said that, Augustine pulled out a gun and fired several shots at the entire group. Fortunately, they all escaped unhurt, and Augustine and his associates escaped while they were taking cover. Police investigated and charged Augustine with 4 counts of attempted murder, 1 count of conspiracy to commit murder, and 4 counts of aggravated assault. He was arraigned today before Magistrate Adolph Lucas, and due to the nature of the offences, he was remanded to prison until April 22, 2013, his next court date. Police say that they are looking for his 2 accomplices.

Western Drugs Up In Smoke
Yesterday, the officials at the San Ignacio Police Station sent a large quantity of drugs up in smoke in the presence of a Magistrate. It is part of the Department's ongoing plan to ensure that the illegal substances, which is already accounted for, and already dealt with by the courts, do not end up back on the streets. After all, various formations have had a history of items going missing from their evidence cache held in the Exhibit Room. The officer commanding San Ignacio Police told the media about the importance of the practice: Superintendent Ralph Moody - OC, San Pedro Police "At,this present moment we're doing drugs destruction with drugs that are found property on concluded cases of cannabis and cocaine." Reporter Why is it important to do things like this, to destroy them?"

Are Belize's Waters Overfished?
Easter is coming, so all you Good Friday fish finders are probably on the lookout for that choice snapper, kingfish or barrow. But this year, it's probably going to be even more expensive than last, and, yes, that's partly because of easter-time price gouging, but also because supply is getting scarcer, which pushes prices upwards. The inconvenient truth that many fish-lovers don't want to face is that Belize's waters - though vast and bountiful - are increasingly overfished - and those red snappers you grew up eating? Well, someday, your kids may have to choose Tilapia instead! Janelle Chanona examines this mounting problem in a special report she put together for reef week. Janelle Chanona Reporting Fishing has always figured prominently in Belizean cultures. Throughout local history, several coastal communities have directly depended on fishing as the primary source of income. Traditional commercial fishing in Belize is categorized as a 'cottage' industry: single fishermen going out in their boats. Today, fishing is one of Belize's largest employers; approximately three thousand commercially licensed fishers are trolling Belizean waters. Belizean fishers have extracted thousands of tonnes of lobster, conch and fin fish from our territorial waters. And everyone agrees, the numbers have taken a toll.

Fonseca Calls Espat: Red Eye Bwai
You might say that for the last 8 years, the PUP's relationship with Mark Espat has been complicated. He was the interim party leader who walked away from the job despite having near unanimous support from the standard bearers. And the truth is that if he had stayed on as leader, there would very likely be a PUP Government in Belmopan today. For the PUP, his epic diss of his former party still burns - and perhaps understandable that it should; it happened less than two years ago. That's why - now that he's the UDP Government's Economic Ambassador and hailed as the Superbond Saviour - the PUP always reserves a special kind of venom for him. Last year in the house, the member for Cayo South Julius Espat called him a traitor, this year, he's Francis Fonseca's "Red-Eye bwai"…here's how that came out in the house today: Hon. Francis Fonseca - Leader of Opposition "Let's be very clear. The bond restructuring team, led by the Prime Minister's 'red eye boy', His Excellency,the Ambassador, was a disastrous failure. The team leader's initial high risk strategy of low-balling the bondholders turned out to be a near-fatal mistake.

Fonseca Says Special Purpose Vehicle Is a "Hustle Vehicle"
The Leader of the Opposition also had some choice words about Belize Infrastructure Limited, the so-called Special Purpose Vehicle that the Government has set up to execute a 60 million dollar sports infrastructure project- including a new Civic Center. It is to be chaired by the Minister of Works Rene Montero, with Minister of State in the Ministry of Sports Herman Longsworth as his co-chair. The Leader of the opposition called it a hustling vehicle: Hon. Francis Fonseca - Leader of the Opposition "I expect this to be a UDP hustle vehicle that will seek to avoid the rules and regulations of Government. Why, Mr. Speaker - and the social and economic partners we've met with asked these questions as well - why is this private company necessary to carry out the work of Government? Mr. Speaker, we have every reason to be very skeptical and cynical about the objectives of this company. As I said, for the UDP it's always about the show, the cutting of the ribbon, the shovel. The Member for Caribbean Shores, he likes to shovel."

Why don’t Belize's Track Athletes Do Better In Regional Games
Belize's best young athletes recently returned from the 2013 Central American Games in Costa Rica. They brought home 4 medals: 1 gold in the 400 meter hurdles, 1 silver in the heptathlon, and a bronze in triple jump and female softball. 3 of those 4 medals were in the track and field events, and those 3 athletes who were able to medal for team Belize were all Belizean Americans, who train in facilities outside of their home country. And one sports official who has a long tenure of service has chosen to address the public to put this recent performance into much needed context. Deon Sutherland, who is currently serving as representative for the National Secondary School Sports Association - the NSSSA - has sent a letter to all the media houses to point out that Athletics in Belize is on life-support. Though he has a vested interest in a leadership dispute in the Belize Amateur Athletic Association, Sutherland also has a valid perspective because he's one of the figures who is out in the field communicating directly with young athletes. Here's what he told us about the current state of Athletics in Belize: Deon Sutherland - Belizean Sports Enthusiast "You know, over the past months, we have had a serious decline in athletics in Belize, and that stems from a number of things. As you can recall, last year we had a problem with the past executive. In June, that executive was dissolved and a group of past president was task to head a new B.A, and they were given certain functions to do. Since then, basically we have not heard anything in terms of athletics. We recently sent athletes to the Central American Games; we got a few medals but nothing in comparison to what we usually do, Some of our standard athletes were not able to showcase their skills and abilities.

Jesse White Tumblers Throw It Down
And a group of Belize City high schoolers got to witness real athletic excellence today when they got a preview for a show of the Jesse White Tumblers. Monica Bodden was there to see them stunting: Monica Bodden Reporting Students, teachers and other onlookers were blown away this afternoon by a spectacular performance put off by 10 tumblers of the Jesse White Tumbling Team. The group of young men entertained the crowd with some mind blowing stunts in the air - and had everyone holding their breaths. In the end, they received nothing but some good ole Belizean love. Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council "Well this is part of the visit of the Secretary of the State, Jesse White from the state of Illinois. Of course he has stared the Jesse White foundation, and this is a foundation that has been in existence for over 50 years. He's worked with over 15,000 tumblers, who have pass through his program. And so he brought a small contingent of them, 10 of them, and what he requested of us, is that we just organize activities that engage young people so that they can see a demonstration of the tumblers."

Profile... Tyrone Chimillio
You may know Tyrone Chimillio as the host of Channel 7's Carnival for the last two years. But the dynamic young guy you see on TV, grew up tough on Sitee street in Southside Belize City. In tonight's profile he tells us how a stern mother helped lead him from the path of a boy growing up to be a delinquent to a male role model:

Channel 5

Lackluster budget debate
The 2013-2014 budget debate took place in the House this morning. The Speaker called for good behavior and by and large House members were in true form restraining from the usual mudslinging. But he would note later during the presentations that few members had actually referred to the estimates.  The Leader of the Opposition, Francis [...]

Belize contemplates whether or not to continue referendum
Before the debate on the budget started, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, gave an update on the referendum revealing a preposterous proposal by the Guatemalans which clearly shatters the referendum. Elrington reported for the first time on the essence of the visit of the Guatemalan Foreign Minister three weeks ago. Elrington confirmed [...]

Venue changed for friendly football game with Trinidad
The F.F.B. has taken a decision in respect of the weekend’s game against Trinidad’s Soca Warriors. The decision to change the venue from MCC to the F.F.B. stadium in Belmopan came after the visiting team made a number of objections on Wednesday soon after their arrival.  The Gold Cup 2013 forerunner was initially set to [...]

Barrow’s BIL; $60 Million pumped into state owned private company?
BIL is the acronym for the Belize Infrastructure Company Limited which is a recently established state owned company operating from the Ministry of Works. The company will carry out sixty million dollars of infrastructural projects; work that should be carried out by the Ministry of Works. The articles of association show that senior officials are [...]

Keep on trucking, BATSUB upgrades its fleet
A high level British official is on an official visit in respect of Britain’s defense program with Belize which has been scaled down considerably. Dr Andrew Murrisson, Parliamentary under Secretary of State for International Security Strategy, visited the BATSUB’s Headquarters but fell short of committing increased resources. News Five Isani Cayetano has the story.   [...]

Teacher and students charged for unlawful hunting
On March fifth, a black howler monkey was captured and savagely beaten allegedly at the hands of four third form students of the Belize High School of Agriculture in southern Orange Walk. But despite immediate rehabilitation, the endangered species did not survive the attack and perished exactly one week later, on March twelfth. Video circulated [...]

Teachers will get increase when it is affordable
It’s been under the radar and off the public scope lately, pushed to the backburner while issues like the super-bond restructuring, the budget presentation and the referendum dominate the spotlight. But make no mistake, the salary adjustment haggling between government and the unions is far from settled. Just for some background, on February first government [...]

3 Chinese nationals charged for immigration offences
  Three Chinese nationals were arraigned in court today for immigration offenses. The first was Zhibin Cao, who claimed to be an employee of MJ’s Bar on West Collet Canal. Cao appeared before Magistrate Adolph Lucas Jr and was charged with Failure to Comply with a Visitor’s Permit. Cao had a change of heart in [...]

50 year old woman charged with Harboring an Illegal Immigration
  Following the conviction of Salvadoran national, Irma Hilda Alas Azmitia for Assisting a Person to Remain in Belize and for the Use of a Falsified Passport, another woman is facing charges in respect of the same case. Fifty-year old Francisca Flores, a resident of Belize City, was today charged with Harboring an Illegal Immigrant; [...]

Akeem accused of firing shots at minor
The jewel has become the transit point for drugs and illegal arms as well as a landing strip for drug planes. In a recent article in “Por Esto” of Quintana Roo, a shipment of arms consisting of nine rifles, twenty-six magazines and seven hundred and eighty-seven thousand rounds of ammunition was seized from a criminal [...]

Destroying all that confiscated drugs
There are many cases of drug trafficking as well as numerous cases where drugs have been discovered in empty lots or abandoned properties, but where do all these drugs end up? Well, there are scheduled times, when all the drugs from closed cases or drugs that are labeled found property are destroyed. On Wednesday members [...]

Hiking it to Aguas Turbias
A group of the territorial volunteers visited the boundary marker at Aguas Turbias early this morning. The reconnaissance mission is in preparation for a large expedition planned for April thirtieth by the Belize Territorial Volunteers. The monument marks the boundary for Belize, Mexico and Guatemala. It is Belize’s northernmost boundary with Guatemala and where the [...]

100 years of sanctity with the Pallottine Sisters
The Pallottine Sisters on Sunday celebrated one hundred years of working in Belize since the arrival of four young nuns in 1913. The order is small, but its achievements are many, especially in the area of education. The sisters were German, but settled in Benque Viejo Del Carmen where they taught English to the mostly [...]

3rd Annual Belize Music Awards is going to be hype
Move over Grammy Awards…it’s time to celebrate music in Belize and there’s no better place to do that than the third annual Belize Music Awards. The event kicks off with a red carpet affair at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday night, and with all the hype and talent in the lineup, [...]

Healthy Living explores the HPV vaccine
In Healthy Living tonight, we look at a very common sexually transmitted infection, HPV. The virus affects both women and men but in respect of women, it has the potential to develop into a serious health condition, cervical cancer.  Cervical cancer is preventable and is still one of the most common cancers affecting Belizean women. [...]

#460747 - 03/22/13 09:44 AM Re: Today's Belize News: March 22, 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

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Women's Department Hosts Annual Summit
Women from around the country gathered for the Eighth Annual Women’s Summit hosted by the Women’s Department. According to Acting Director of the Women’s Department, Cynthia Williams, the one day event aims to engage women in discussion and information gathering...

Mayors' Association Meets In Orange Walk
Mayors from across the country met today in Orange Walk for the Mayor’s Association monthly meeting. During the morning session the nine municipal representatives had a presentation from a consultant on market management, on grant funding from Canada through government agen...

Orange Walk Town Council Faces Law Suits
The Orange Walk Town Council is facing a law suit from a prominent business in Orange Walk. Mayor Kevin Bernard told us today that two days ago he received a letter from the law firm of Hubert Elrington where it states that proprietor of Landy’s & Sons Hardware on Beliz...

Minor of Salvador Found With Fake US Visa; Belizean Woman Charged
A Belizean woman has been charged in connection with one of the Salvadoran minors who were caught attempting to board a flight to the US with a false US visa. She is fifty year old Francisca Flores, a housewife of Belama Phase Two. Flores was charged with harboring a person to remain i...

Teenager Charged With Four Counts of Attempted Murder
Eighteen year old Akeem Augustine, an unemployed of Lacroix Boulevard, was charged with four counts of attempted murder when he appeared today in Court. Augustine was also charged with conspiracy to commit murder and four counts of aggravated assault. Magistrate Adolph Lucas expl...


Woman Raped By Her EX-Common Law Husband
A woman from the Corozal District is tonight claiming that she was raped by her ex-common law husband. The 24 year old Belizean food vendor of Santa Elena Road told police that on Tuesday March 19th at about 8:30pm, she boarded a maroon taxi van at the Santa Elena Border heading to her residence. Upon entering the taxi, she noticed that her ex-common law husband, Santos Roberto Castro, was inside the van along with other passengers. The woman boarded the taxi anyway and as the vehicle reached her point of exit, she alerted the taxi driver to stop, but her ex-common law husband told him to continue driving. The taxi driver made two stops, one at Paraiso Village and the other at the bus terminal in Corozal Town where the woman attempted to exit the vehicle but was held back by Santos. The driver continued driving towards Ranchito Village and upon reaching a feeder road, Santos ordered him to stop. Santos then got out of the taxi and at that time the driver of the vehicle took out the complainant’s ice coolers and placed them on the ground. The woman claims that she asked the driver to take her home, but he refused and instead drove off leaving her with Santos. Santos then pulled the woman into some nearby bushes where he proceeded to rape her. According to the alleged victim, Santos held her hostage as they spent the entire night in the bushes. Police are now looking for Santos Roberto Castor for questioning.

Teacher And Students To Be Charged Next Week For Illegal Hunting
Since last week we have been reporting that four students including two minors and one teacher of the Belize High School of Agriculture will be charged for illegal hunting after investigations carried out be the Forest Department found them responsible of the death of a black male Howler Monkey that was found badly beaten on the grounds of the high school, on March 5th. Tonight we understand that all four students and the male teacher will be charged by the Forest Department on Wednesday March 27th and the court hearing is expected to commence the following day on Thursday March 28th at the Orange Walk Magistrates Court. This is according to Yanira Pop Forest Officer In Charge of the Northern Region. Since none of the individuals have been charged as yet we are unable to reveal their names.

Students Make Point On Importance Of Water Through Creative Posters
In Honor of World Water Day the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment and Agriculture also held a poster competition for primary schools and an essay competition for high schools countrywide. Today the name of the winners of the competition were revealed during the World Water Day expo held at the Multi Purpose Complex here in Orange Walk and tonight we are proud to note that one of Orange Walks very own was awarded second place in the poster competition. Eleven year old Adrian Bernard, student of Saint Josephs Primary School won first place in the poster competition while Jennifer Chi, of Compassion Primary School, won second place. Today we spoke to both students who told us how ecstatic they are about their latest achievement. Adrian Bernard- Saint Josephs Primary School “My poster was showing animation girl, waiting for the last droplet of water coming down to earth and that was the only droplet of water in the world.”

ITVET Students Showcase Their "Job Worthy" Skills
The Orange Walk Institute for Technical and Vocational Education and Training celebrated their 7th annual Expo and Trade Fair at the school grounds today. The event marked an opportunity for trainees to showcase some of the work done since the beginning of the new school year back in September of last year. On display was work from both the track and trade trainees and the pre-vocational trainees. Joseth Espadas- Acting Assistant Manager, ITVET “They are focused on science, English, math, IT. We also have displays from electrical, building and grounds maintenance, masonry welding, computer service and repairs, auto mechanics, AC and refrigeration so all of the trades have their displays today. This is our 7th training cycle and the purpose of the expo is for them to showcase their skills but as well as for the community to come and see what the guys have done. it is for our business people to come and see what the return is from their input in this wonderful ITVET and for employers to come and scout our possible employees, for the parents to come and see how hard their daughter and son have worked throughout the training cycle. So it is just for everybody to come and view the wonderful work that has been done and as well as a little thank you for the community to show them that with their help we have accomplished so much.” Some of the items on display were also on sale at reasonable prices.

World Water Day Observed
World Water Day is celebrated annually on 22nd March as a means of focusing on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded to the recommendation by designating 22nd March 1993 as the first World Water Day. In honor of World Water Day, the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Environment and Agriculture, held an expo at the Multi Purpose Complex building in Orange Walk today. There were a number of displays at the event including exhibitions from the Belize Audubon Society, Ministries of Agriculture and other bodies dealing with water. Carmelita Perez reporting… Every year a day is set aside to celebrate water. Today’s observance in Orange Walk included a fair at the Multi Purpose Complex organized by the Ministry of Natural Recourses and Agriculture. The event saw the participation of a number of stakeholders who came out with one aim, to save our water resources.

World Forest Day: Forest Is Much More Than Trees
Today is also being celebrated as World Forest Day with the aim of promoting awareness of the value of forests across the globe by providing information on the protection, production and recreation of forests. The idea for a world forestry day originated at the European Confederation of Agriculture in 1971, and was later endorsed by the United Nations Food and Agriculture organization. Here in Belize the illegal Rosewood extraction is only but one of the threats that the Belize’s Forest faces. Belize also joins the world in celebration of World Forest Day and here in Orange Walk the day was acknowledged with a number of activities. Yanira Pop- Forest Officer In Charge of Northern Region “Here on Orange Walk what we did is that one Monday there were a series of tree planting ceremonies in two different schools and on Tuesday we had a talk show and a radio show. Today in Belmopan they are signing some co-management agreements and they should be planting a tree for it to be very symbolic. Belize is a very small country and we have a big demographic growth therefore we have pressure in the agricultural sector and here for example up north a lot of people are going in the cane fields business. Therefore our forest is being pressured. We have a lot of deforestation or change in land use. So that is the main problem we have. As a matter of fact, one of the aims that we have, today what happened in Belmopan is that there is this project that deals with agro-forestry so we incorporated the agricultural department and handed over some equipment and some books and everything to start develop the agro-forestry sector and not only agriculture.

Guatemala's Proposals, Will Belize Accept?
And while the Budget Debate appeared to be calm, docile, and for the most part well-mannered, the issue regarding the March 6th Belize/Guatemala Referendum appears to be taking a turn for the uncertain. Information being posted on political blogospheres indicates, that the absence of Guatemala’s Foreign Minister from the OAS meeting that was held on Sunday in Washington DC, is clear indication that Guatemala has disrespected the negotiating process with Belize in regards to the Territorial Dispute. Minister of Foreign Affairs for Belize Wilfred Elrington, was left with no other recourse than to return to his room while CEO in his Ministry Alexis Rosado, met with the Vice President of the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry, which is the equivalent to a CEO. Of importance, is that Guatemala’s Foreign Minister indicated that he was unable to travel to Washington due to a family emergency. However, word is that he travelled to the Vatican City for the Inaugural Mass of Pope Francis the first. As mentioned, after the meeting in Washington, both delegations returned to their respective countries to disseminate the proceedings of the meeting with the OAS. Belize returned with two proposals made by Guatemala in reference to the change of date for the Referendum from October 6th 2013 to 2014. Today Minister Elrington outlined those proposals at the house. Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs “At the end of the meeting we were informed that the Guatemalans were making two proposals. One, they wanted us to amend our referendum legislation so that our legislation would be identical to theirs in terms of requirements for referendum to be successful—just a simple majority vote.

Belize's Super Bond Saga Finally Over
Last week the Government of Belize and the Debt Restructuring team held a press conference in which it was announced that the restructuring of the Super Bond was coming to an end- a successful end that is. Well, this morning at the Budget Debate, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that the Belize Super Bond saga is finally over. After much back and forth, the Super Bond is now the Belize Bonds 2038. Belize will see a debt relief of 494 million dollars between 2013 and 2022 and with the new bond, Belize’s debt GDP ratio is also expected to fall to 60% in 2017. Hon. Dean Barrow Prime Minister “Mr. Speaker I just want to inform you and this honorable house and the nation that the Belize debt exchange has now finally, legally, conclusively closed. It is over. This happened yesterday with the submission of all the relevant legal documentation. Tenders representing 86.2% of the aggregate principal amount of the eligible claims were received by, as you know, the expiration date of the offer and consistent with the collective action clause on the original bonds the entirety of those bonds have now been exchange for the 2038 bonds.”


PM does not like what Guatemala is proposing
This morning in Belmopan, the House of Representatives met in Belmopan for day one of the two day budget debate. But before the budget was addressed, a consequential topic of discussion raised was the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington presentation on Guatemala’s new proposals and...

Opposition Leader says budget is “Disconnected and Divorced from the Belizean reality”.
While the topic of the Guatemala issue was addressed first in the house meeting this morning, the reason for the assembly today was for the budget debate. That debate got on the way with the Leader of the Opposition who referred to the 2013/2014 budget as “Disconnected and Divorced...

Minister of National Security speaks about recent achievements
In the House today, Area representative for the City of Belmopan and Minister of National Security the Hon. John Saldivar got up to address the Leader of the Opposition. Hon. Saldivar spoke firstly about Fonseca’s comments on the Superbond and that the UDP should grant the public officers and...

Teenager on remand for alleged attempted murder of four persons
A teenager is tonight on remand after he allegedly tried to kill four persons in a chilling shooting incident. 18 Akeem Augustine has been charged with four counts of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and four counts of aggravated assault. Police say around 6 o clock on Tuesday...

COLA says Government should leave the referendum process
The organization Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) has added its voice in the ongoing debate about the viability of the October, 2013 referendum process following recent revelations about Guatemala’s inability to advance its referendum process in its country. In a press release issued on Wednesday, the organization...

World Water Day highlights water preservation
World Water Day is being observed tomorrow. The theme for this year is “International Year of Water Cooperation.” But The National Integrated Water Resource Authority (NIRA), which is one of the bowels of the Ministry of Natural Resources, has incorporated a local theme. The theme “Water and Development: Past,...

Justin Welby enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury
Bishop Justin Welby has been enthroned in London as Archbishop of Canterbury. The 57-year-old was formally sworn in as head of the Church of England and spiritual leader of the 77 million-strong Anglican global communion. In his first sermon, he said: “There is every possible reason for optimism about...

High school students from Southside Belize City tour Belize Barrier Reef
High school students from Southside Belize City today took a grand tour of the Belize Barrier Reef. OCEANA Belize, as a part of the Reef Week festivities, sent about 40 high schoolers to Caye Caulker and the Marine Reserve, where the group got the opportunity to snorkel and interact...

OCEANA organizes high school cleanup competition in Dangriga
OCEANA has organized a high school cleanup competition in Dangriga. Students from the Ecumenical High School and Delille Academy faced off in a competition to see who could remove the most refuse from the waterways of the Dangriga. After a full morning of cleaning, Ecumenical High won with 108...

Emrand Henry and Sherwin Gardner here for YC Belize
YC Belize gets on the way tomorrow night in Belize city. This year YC Belize is being held under the theme “This Is Love” and features both local and international performers and speakers. The event is returning to Belize City after four years in Belmopan.. One of the coordinators...

Multicultural festival at UB Belmopan
It was a multicultural fest at the University of Belize this afternoon. The Belmopan Campus’ gymnasium was the venue for a celebration of Belize’s cultures. Students displayed the cultures that make up Belize’s melting pot in various forms including dance, song, storytelling and booth presentations. PlusNews first stopped by...

Woman accuses her ex of rape
A 24 year old woman is accusing her ex of rape. The Corozal resident reported that on Tuesday March 19th, at about 8:30 P.M. she boarded a taxi van at the Santa Elena Border heading to her residence. When she got into the van, she noticed that her ex-common...

Rifle found under bridge in Belmopan
A rifle was found underneath a bridge in the Belmopan area. The gun, a .22 Stevens brand rifle was found wrapped inside a black plastic bag and tucked beneath a cement bridge. Beside the firearm, were two plastic bags with over 400 grams of suspected cannabis. No one was...

House fire in Paraiso Village
There was a fire in Paraiso Village, Corozal District, where two houses were burned. The front house measuring 18” x 15” was occupied by 40 year old Manuel Novelo. The building and its contents were valued at $2,000.00 BCY. The second house measuring 18”x 15” was occupied by 24...

The Guardian

A Reorganized Police Department
The Police Department has undergone significant reorganization to make it more effective in controlling crime. The man at the helm and who is ultimately responsible for the transformation is Commissioner Allen Whylie. He’s been in the post since January and has been working arduously to achieve the transformation. Three months into the task, he called a press conference to give the public an idea of what the transformation looks like. Whylie explained that for better management and accountability, the country has been zoned off into 4 major areas. Those are: the Northern, Easter, Western and the Southern Regions, each having a senior officer in command and responsible. The Northern region is being commanded by Sr. Superintendent Joseph Myvette; Assistant Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura is in charge of the Eastern Region; Superintendent Aaron Guzman has the Western Region and Sr. Superintendent Robert Mariano is in charge of the Southern Region. Within each of the regions, there are sub-divisions also with senior officers in charge to decentralize authority and hold particular individuals responsible. The region of greatest concern is the Eastern Region where Belize City lies. Here is where the concentration of efforts are taking place and a new approach is being implemented. In Belize City, the concept of precincts are being introduced where four have been formed. Precinct one is located at the corner of Kut and Euphrates Avenues and is commanded by Superintendent Alden Dawson. Precinct two is located at the lower flat of Racoon Street Police Station and is commanded by Superintendent Alford Grinage. Precinct 3 is located at the Queen Street Police Station and the commander is Superintendent Gualberto Garcia. The fourth precinct is located at the Belama Police Station and is commanded by Assistant Superintendent David Chi. According to Commissioner of Police Whylie, the move is to decentralize authority and hold particular officers responsible for particular areas.

Pitbull fight: Eamon vs Godfrey!
“An association this resourceful and well-connected could have boasted a better track record of contributing to the performance and reform of the justice system. The bar could, for example, have had a legal aid website that encourages public self-help by providing free templates for things like wills, simple contracts, leases, bills of sale, deed polls, and statutory declarations. A handful of high school scholarships could have been awarded each year to deserving marginalized youth. Reforms could have been initiated so that, as an example, persons wishing to divorce each other (without ascribing blame) could do so without requiring the services of an attorney.” - Godfrey Smith, Flashpoint. “It’s quite easy to sit in your luxurious office and make these comments, but you need to come and participate. It is unfair and wrong to criticize the Association for being inactive”.- Eamon Courtenay comments on 7 News Eamon Courtenay and Godfrey Smith have become quite a pairing of attorneys for Michael Ashcroft, whenever the latter chooses to take the people and Government of Belize to court they are the first to be called on. They have become almost like pitbulls in the Belizean courts. These days, however, it appears that the lord cannot throw enough legal bones for these two to chew on and remain occupied that they have turned on one another. The disagreements between the two has now gone public and it started off when Godfrey Smith wrote that much more can be accomplished by the Bar Association and Eamon Courtenay retorted that Smith does not attend meetings and even inferred that he is living high off the hog. It should be noted that Courtenay must have thought it disrespectful for his bum bally to be throwing stones his direction since he is the president of the Bar Association.

Charged for Human Smuggling
On Wednesday, March 20th, Irma Hilda Alas Azmitia appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court where she was charged with 5 counts of assisting another person to remain in Belize by attempting to use a falsified passport and 5 counts of unlawful possession of documents. In court, she wasted no time and pleaded guilty to all offenses before Magistrate Adolph Lucas, Jr. Magistrate Lucas informed her of the penalty for the offenses where she could have been imposed a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment not exceeding 2 years. But since it was her first offense, he fined her $1,000 for assisting a person to remain in Belize with a $5.00 cost of court to be paid forthwith or in default 1 year in prison. For the other 4 counts of assisting a person to remain in Belize, she was fined $3,000 each plus the cost of court for each. For the five counts of unlawful possession of documents, she was fined $500 plus $5.00 cost of court. All told she was fined $15,550.00 in fines all to be paid forthwith. A removal order was also granted by Magistrate Lucas for her removal as soon as she either pays the fine or serves the time. According to authorities, on March 10th, 2013, 3 Salvadorans arrived in Belize via the PGIA on a Tropic Air Flight from Flores Petén; two of the three persons were reportedly with their grandmother, Irma Hilda Alas Azmitia. According to authorities, she presented a notarized letter of authority to travel with the children and had reservations to stay at the Global Village Hotel in Ladyville and was granted stay in Belize.

130 New Officers Join the Ranks of the Belize Police Force
Graduation Ceremonies were held Tuesday, March 19th, 2013 for 130 new officers of the Belize Police Force who make up Recruit Squad #88.

Interacting With The Teams From Cayo South and Belmopan
The Omega Restaurant in Belmopan was the venue for a meeting and social interaction with our re-elected Deputy Leader, Hon. Gaspar Vega and new Chairman, Alberto August.

Forensic Ballistics Training in Belize
David Henderson, former Commissioner of Police, is enjoying his new job as Director of the National Forensic Science Services Department. He said, “At the Forensics Department, I am in a position to work on a lot of things I saw the need for as Commissioner of Police. I am happy with these new developments.” One of the developments he was referring to is the Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS). On Monday, March 18th, Henderson official opened a forensic ballistics training course for local law enforcement officers.

IDB and La Inmaculada Credit Union sign Agreement to promote Social Entrepreneurship
La Inmaculada Credit Union (LICU) signed an agreement in Belize City on March 8th, 2013 for a project designed to support social entrepreneurship and integration through microfinancing and capacity-building for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The specific purpose of the project is to contribute to economic diversification in the districts of Orange Walk, Corozal and Cayo and has the overarching goal of improving the standards of living of rural low-income communities in northern Belize. The project will be financed through a US$1 million contribution from the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the IDB Group, and by additional counterpart contributions from LICU that will bring the total project value to over US$1.38 million.

Pallotine Sisters by the Macal River
The Pallotine Sisters celebrated their 100th anniversary in Western Belize this past Sunday. The event began as a group of sisters started their walk on the historic boat landing and departure area of the Macal River in San Ignacio Town. It was a hundred years ago that the founding Pallotine Sisters had to travel using basic modes of transportation such as the Cayo River Boat to get to the old “El Cayo Landing” with intent to provide services to the Cayo area.

World Water Day
On Friday, March 22nd, the world will be observing World Water Day under the theme, “Water Cooperation:. In Belize, the observance is being marked with a World Water Fair which will be held in Orange Walk Town on Thursday, March 21st under the theme, “Water Development, Past Present and Future”. According to World Water Day Committee members Rudolph Williams and Claudio Neal, the event will see organizations that are intricately involved with the water resource put up displays at the event.

One Year for Kevin Lee
“Jesus Understands Me” is what acupuncturist and massage therapist Kun Lin Lee, known as “Kevin Lee” had to say on Friday, March 15th after he was found guilty of aggravated assault of an indecent nature and sentenced to 1 year imprisonment in Magistrate’s Court. Lee was found guilty after a 20-yer-old woman, who went to his business place to get a back massage in April 2011, testified in the Court room of Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer that instead of getting a back massage, she was assaulted by Lee. He touched her breasts, buttocks and tried to touch her private parts as well. After paying Lee $60.00, the woman said she annoyed by Lee’s inappropriate touches. She told a friend, who laughed at her allegations, but she then took the matter to the police months later. Before handing down the sentence, Lee’s attorney, Alifah Elrington-Hyde made a submission to the court asking the court to be lenient on her client since this was his first conviction. Hyde asked the court to impose a non-custodial sentence since it was his first offense and since Lee has not been able to travel to Taiwan to see his ailing wife for more than a year.

Another Daylight Murder on Caesar Ridge
The body of 26-year-old Alton Belgrave lay on Ceasar Ridge Road with multiple gunshot wounds to the body. At least one of those gunshots struck him to the head killing him instantly. Nearby, 7 police forensic markers showed the spots where at least 7 expended shells were found. In an adjacent lot, his sister and common-law wife cried uncontrollably as the police processed the crime scene. Belgrave, who is employed by the Belize City Council’s Works Department, was in the area patching streets an had just taken a break when he was approached by a gunman who opened fire killing him on the spot. Reportedly, the gunman had been chasing a young man who had on a school uniform but was unable to catch him. In frustration, he turned his gun on Belgrave and shot him to death.

Ex-cop must pay $10,000 Extortion Fine
An ex-police officer, who was convicted in 2010 for extorting $100 from a foreigner, must pay the Supreme Court a fine of $10,000 which was imposed against him upon conviction for extortion. On Friday, March 15th, Marlon Harris, got the bad news at around 10:30 a.m., when his appeal was dismissed and his conviction and sentence affirmed by the judges of the Court of Appeal. In his appeal, the ex-cop was represented by attorney, Said Musa. Musa had argued six points in the appeal process, none of which were successful. Harris was accused of extorting $100 from Ayetekin Kelat on December 1st, 2008, at a police checkpoint. He got $100 from Kelat in exchange for no charges being pressed against him after he claimed he caught Kelat in a vehicle that was not insured.

Murder on Mahogany Street
Police are investigating the shooting death of 23-year-old construction worker, Leon Humes who was shot to the head sometime around 11:25 p.m. on Friday, March 15th. According to reports Humes had gone to Fay-Way Store, located on Mahogany Street, to buy something to eat when a masked gunman approached him from the nearby Jasmine Street and shot him to the face. The bullet entered his left cheek and exited on the right side of the head. He died at around 2:20 on Saturday morning while undergoing medical attention at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Family members are at a loss as to why Humes was killed and say they have no motive for him to have been killed. They report that he was a fun-loving person, who was known to be a ladies man but did not involve himself in problems. Police have not yet made any arrests in this murder.

Convicted of Aggravated Assault upon an 18-year-old woman
On Friday, March 15th, 30-year-old John Smith, a laborer of Raccoon Street was convicted of one count of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon an 18-year- old woman. Smith appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he was found guilty of the charge stemming from an incident which occurred on October 5th, 2012. Smith was remanded until Wednesday, March 20th. In court, the young woman testified that she was at a christening when Smith took his two hands and caressed her breasts. Smith apparently was under the influence of alcohol when the incident occurred. In his defense, Smith denied the allegations and said that on that night, at about 12:30 a.m., whilst at the christening, he stepped on the woman's toe and she began to insult him. He then turned around and pointed his finger at her and they got into an argument. Under cross examination by the prosecutor, Sgt. Egbert Castillo, Smith, when it was suggested to him that it was possible that he touched the girl, said no because at the time he had food in one hand and drinks in the other. He was caught lying as earlier he had told the court that he had pointed his finger at the woman.

Accused of assaulting 15-year-old girl
On Tuesday, March 19th, 39-year-old Marlon Mangar appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he was charged with a single count of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a 15-year-old girl. Mangar, a resident of Mile 2 1/2 on the George Price Highway, pleaded not guilty and was offered bail in the sum of $1,500. He was ordered to pay $500 in cash; the balance was to be a signed surety. His case was then adjourned to May 15th, 2013. On March 10th, the 15-year-old girl alleged that Mangar touched her inappropriately on her private part which led police to charge Mangar.

Pedophile molest Two Boys in San Pedro
Police on San Pedro are investigating a case where two boys were molested by a 24-year-old man. According to police reports a 9 and 6-year-old of the San Pedrito area, along with their mother, visited the police station at around 7p.m. on Saturday, March 16th. The 9-year-old reported to police that on that same day while he was at home, a man identified as a 24-year-old Honduran national who resides at the same address, kissed him on the mouth and had sex with him. He explained to police that this is not the first time he has done this. For his part, that 6-year-old reported that also on the same date, the same man touched him on his private parts. Police have since detained the man pending the outcome of their investigations.

#460748 - 03/22/13 09:45 AM Re: Today's Belize News: March 22, 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

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A Serious Walk Around Caye Caulker, Belize: Part One
Recently, I took the short trip over to Caye Caulker (only 20 minutes by water taxi) and, about 5 minutes into the trip, was thinking “why don’t I do this more often?” That always happens. Caye Caulker is so pretty, so laid back, so different from San Pedro, such a nice change of pace…one day is like a mini-vacation. And it’s been a while since I did a serious “walk about”…here is what I saw. I stopped in to see if my favorite conch carver still had the shell breasts that I had spotted a few years ago. Who can pull off one of these pendants? What sort of outfit do you wear them with?These are definitely different ones…I would have remembered that…well…wonky pair. The shop is right on the main street.

Belizean Staff Retreats at The Lodge at Chaa Creek
Belizeans looking for an exotic location combined with rainforest activities, fine dining, an enchanting setting and luxurious accommodations need look no further. Chaa Creek offers the perfect staff retreat option for the discerning professional. One and two nights packages include luxury cottage accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner, guided tours of the Natural History Museum, Butterfly Farm and Rainforest Medicine Trail, Canoeing on the Macal River and swimming in Chaa Creek’s new swimming pool.

BELTRAIDE Introduces Entrepreneurship Development Project
Belizeans who have skills in specified areas but don’t yet have the financial support can now tap into that kind of funding through a National Entrepreneurship Development Project. Introduced today by the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service, BELTRAIDE, and the Centre for the Promotion of Micro and Small Enterprises, or CENPROMYPE for short, the program will provide a budget for six million US dollars for the region, 860 thousand dollars of which is earmarked for investment in Belize. CENPROMYPE is a regional organization that promotes small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurial programs. Belize’s Executive director of BELTRAIDE, Nick Ruiz, now holds the presidency of CENPROMYPE since Belize holds the presidency of the SICA sub-committee for the development of micro, small and medium size enterprises. He says that Belizeans stand to gain much from this particular venture.

Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites
Laura Esquivel-Frampton, Director of Tourism “The project seeks to achieve the integration of rural communities into the tourism sector through improved access; that is the infrastructure, safety and standards at the archeological sites—again we are looking at the safety standards in terms of infrastructure, but also in terms of the standards with which we would like to operate at these sites. This project will address key objectives of our national sustainable tourism master plan. It addresses business and product development as well as marketing awareness particularly for our artisans in the vicinity of the archeological sites. It addresses infrastructure and accessibility to key tourism attractions which is part of our mandate within the master plan.”

How Maddie got her first passport by Jake aka John Brandon
So, here are the gory details: John, Lori, Lisa and Madison (age 13 months) show up at Bradley International Airport February 28 at 4:00 a.m. for a 6:00 flight to Miami on American Airlines, connecting to Belize City. At the counter, Lori notices the AA representative was very nervous after asking me for the identification for our daughter. After much consultation, an AA supervisor came back and told us we could not board the flight because all we had for Maddie was a full-sized birth certificate and no passport. Naturally I felt like an idiot for not thinking about that beforehand, but there was nothing to be done about it. Ironically, AA had called me the day prior because the travel agent I used to book the trip had inadvertently inserted the name of Lisa, Maddie’s aunt, twice in the reservation, and left Maddie out completely. So AA called me, and kept me on the phone for about 45 minutes while they sorted that out. At no point did either the travel agent, with whom I had extensive conversations, nor AA mention that I needed a passport for our 13-month old child. So, back at the airport, American Airlines’ position was that this was my mistake, and if we wanted to fly tomorrow we had to pay $6,000.

Every Grain of Sand
Suffering from the effects of a ‘heavy’ evening at the Roadkill bar – well we had to celebrate our homecoming didn’t we – I got up a little late yesterday morning at 6.15 am. None the worse for wear though after one mug of coffee I was raring (well, OK not raring but at least ready) to tackle ironing the third wash of the week – the sheets and pillowcases. When I first started ironing these things – never attempted it prior to moving to Ambergris Caye (led a sheltered (or is it cosseted) life you might say) I really struggled with them. A bit like giving me Rubik’s Cube to solve! But after nine hard months of practice it’s a doddle. Not offering my services though! Rose and I spent a couple of hours looking at the plans for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize . We did so on a room by room,floor by floor basis making notes for all of the things that we want to discuss with Daniel Camal, our building contractor, during the meeting we are having with him at the build at 3 pm this afternoon. The agenda items range from recesses in the showers to floor finish for the roof terrace. With that out of the way we went to the San Pedro Town Council offices in Barrier Reef Drive to pick up an application form for the importation of a golf cart (this in readiness for a successful application for the Qualified Retirement Program) and two application forms (one for Rose and one for me) for Belize driving licenses (we must have these (well me at least) to be granted the right to import a golf cart.

Belize On The Cheap
If you’re used to traveling in Central America, when you enter the country of Belize you may notice that you can’t stretch your money as much as you did in countries such as Guatemala or Honduras. This is because similarly to Costa Rica, Belize is a bit on the expensive side. But don’t give up yet, by smartly planning your vacation you can still do Belize on the cheap while maximizing a great travel experience. Travel to Belize costs more than Central American counterparts because the country’s population is very small (approximately 330,000) and aside from a few local products, EVERYTHING is imported. For instance, the average price of gas is $6 USD while it’s $3.50 in the US. Just imagine the effect that has on the cost of materials. However, there’s a positive side to everything and for Belize it is the unspoiled beauty of the place. The charm of the country is its uninhabited rainforests, the simple and friendly people, and the “quiet” towns. Below are three destinations I recommend in order to enjoy a budget vacation to Belize.

International Sources

Loving Belize episode 2 - Caye Caulker, BlueHole, Hopkins, Xunantunich
Welcome to episode 2 of 'Loving Belize' a new documentary series about Belize and the amazing, diverse, beautiful, people that live there. I would like to thank Cory and Daniel for the amazing road trip they sponsored and for being beautiful fun people and a friends for life! Thank you so much Doris for being a fantastic guide and a wealth of knowledge! In episode 2 you'll see interviews with: - Sonia Rivera Mayor of San Benito Guatemala in Caye Caulker - Cory Scott Pierce, Daniel Szelenyi, Melvin Badillo at the Miramar Hotel, Little Kitchen with chef Elba Flowers who'll teach you how to make a traditional Garifuna dish and Joseph Ambros coconut oil maker. In Belize City - Jay owner of Crystal Car rentals, collector of 'Trash'. In Mahogany Heights - Doris Figueroa teacher at the 'Living Hope' Prep School in Belize City for children at risk. We also visit the sites on a crazy road trip Introducing 'The B team'. The inland Blue Hole Hopkins San Ignacio Xunantunich Mayan Site Ending with an introduction to episode 3 with a special interview with Belizean musician, singer, song writer 'Bastic' and the founder of BCMG music Label Dale Scott Soberanis and myself being interviewed by 'Yankee' AKA 'Zookeeper' on Wave Radio.

Google quietly pulls plug on Frommer’s print travel guidebooks
Google has ceased production and publication of printed guidebooks bearing the Frommer’s brand name, Skift has learned. The last two Frommer’s books to roll off the presses were guides in the all-color Day-by-Day series devoted to Napa and Sonoma and Banff and the Rockies, and went on sale in early February. The last book in the traditional complete guide series was Frommer’s Florida in late December. Starting with Frommer’s New York City With Kids, which can still be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and in other bookstore inventories and was supposed to publish on February 19, the entire future list of Frommer’s titles will not see the light of day. Many of the authors attached to these 29 titles told Skift that they were informed by editors now working at Google that the books would not publish. Some authors were told that the books would merely be delayed before new contracts were signed. None of the authors contacted reported that their titles would appear in print.

Mayan and Garifuna Indigenous in Belize Demand Respect for Their Ancestral Land
Roughly the size of New Jersey, Belize is one of the smallest countries in Central America. The country is also in the epicenter of the Mayan territory. More than half of Belize’s population of 300,000 are Mayan indigenous and Afro-descendants, known as Garifunas. The Mayans and Garifunas of Belize are struggling to maintain control over their ancestral land. The government of Belize has illegally granted US Capital Energy, a Texas-based company, a license to explore and drill on the land of 38 Mayan and Garifuna communities. The license awarded by the local government – without the consultation and approval of the communities – violates two decisions of Supreme Court of Belize from 2007 and 2010, which named both the communities and government as co-managers of the area. The government’s unilateral decision to disregard the court decision opened the door for the undesired presence of US Capital Energy in the local communities and the ensuing conflict. Our colleagues at Cultural Survival have organized an e-action to support local communities, which Grassroots International supports.

VIDEO: Day Two in Belize
T&T Senior Team in Belize for friendly international. Head Coach Hutson Charles talks about the trip so far. - TTFF Media TV

Student heading to Belize for service-oriented spring break
Chelsea Bowman is excited to motivate others this spring break and contribute to a healthier environment. Bowman, a junior from Randleman, N.C., is a student co-leader on the CSLEPS spring break trip to Belize. Since June, she planned to travel with a group of fellow NC State students to focus on environmental and agricultural issues in the area near Punta Gorda. Bowman and her team will be working throughout the week with the Toledo Cacao Growers Association, or TCGA. The growers association is focused on creating a better life for its farmers through competition and ecologically-friendly practices.

Have you ever experienced Cave tubing & Zip Lining in Belize?
Have you ever experienced Cave tubing? If no, welcome to the world of cave tubing. The fascinating world of adventure sports in the kingdom of Belize. Your time starts now! The tour named as Zip Line starts with a hike through the rainforest, amidst chirping of the birds to the platform from where the cave tubing adventure begins and you enter the tunnel of the underground cave system. This adventurous sojourn will take about six hours and can be very strenuous if you have a medical condition and if you are obese, else it will be the most exciting, over the edge dramatic encounter for you. When you are at the Nohoch Chen Archaeological park, your camp base, you will start your adventure named Zip Line whereby a intricate harness system of pulleys on cables horizontally inclined cables will let you glide about 200 -700 feet between platforms in the trees at a panoramic levelled canopy. Once you are safely tucked in on a safety harness, for next one hour you will be zipped through various jungle platforms which will make you feel like naughty chimpanzee. Next on your agenda will be the cave tubing. You are well equipped and provided with tubes, safety gear and headlights gear to make your journey through the wild lush green rain forests to enter the cave. Then starts your dramatic journey and you are under expert supervision to start your cave tubing adventure which will take you in to the ancient Maya underworld- Xibalba. The environment and the aura of the crystalline formations in the cave will make your heart beats fast and you may feel creepy, and suddenly you may enter sunlight and again enter in to other cave system.

Sanctuary Belize – The Only Five-star Eco-lifestyle Development in the world
The former British colony of Belize is fast becoming a hot spot for those looking for an alternative to owning resort properties in Mexico. Sanctuary Belize is in the heart of the action. Covering 5,666 hectares in the south end of Belize — 4,047 of which is environmental reserve — this project offers land-development opportunities for those wanting to build their own dream home in the sun. “We are the only five-star eco-lifestyle development in the world,” says Calgary-based director of sales Tod Hall. “In the confines of our development, we have the river, savannah, jungle and we have barrier reef.” The property also includes a marina (now under construction), as well as other amenities such as an equestrian area and planned retail and commercial space. When finished, Sanctuary Belize will have approximately 1,800 home sites, each ranging in size from 0.10 to 4.05 hectares. Owners can access approved builders via Sanctuary Belize. Hall says some 20 per cent of buyers hail from Canada. “They relate to it not only for the financial benefit, but Belize is also part of the Commonwealth; it’s the only English-speaking country in all of Central America.”

Hidden magma layer: Scientists discover 'lubricant' for Earth's tectonic plates
Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have found a layer of liquefied molten rock in Earth's mantle that may be acting as a lubricant for the sliding motions of the planet's massive tectonic plates. The discovery may carry far-reaching implications, from solving basic geological functions of the planet to a better understanding of volcanism and earthquakes. The scientists discovered the magma layer at the Middle America trench offshore Nicaragua. Using advanced seafloor electromagnetic imaging technology pioneered at Scripps, the scientists imaged a 25-kilometer- (15.5-mile-) thick layer of partially melted mantle rock below the edge of the Cocos plate where it moves underneath Central America. The new images of magma were captured during a 2010 expedition aboard the U.S. Navy-owned and Scripps-operated research vessel Melville. After deploying a vast array of seafloor instruments that recorded natural electromagnetic signals to map features of the crust and mantle, the scientists realized they found magma in a surprising place.

Voyager Solar System 'exit' debated
The latest research is published online in the journal Geophysical Research Letters (GRL). It concerns data the spacecraft has been gathering about changes in its environment which for some time now have suggested it is about to cross over the Solar System's border - the so-called heliopause. The possibility that the Voyager-1 spacecraft may have left the Solar System is being hotly debated. Launched in September 1977, the probe was sent initially to study the outer planets, but then just kept on going. Researchers studying its data say the craft appears now to be in a realm of space beyond the influence of our Sun. But the US space agency (Nasa), which manages Voyager, says that it regards the probe as still being inside the Solar System. The mission is currently moving more than 18 billion km from Earth, or 123 times the distance between our planet and the Sun.

Planck satellite: Maps detail Universe's ancient light
A map tracing the "oldest light" in the sky has been produced by Europe's Planck Surveyor satellite. Its pattern confirms the Big Bang theory for the origin of the Universe but subtle, unexpected details will require scientists to adjust some of their ideas. A spectacular new map of the "oldest light" in the sky has just been released by the European Space Agency. Scientists say its mottled pattern is an exquisite confirmation of our Big-Bang model for the origin and evolution of the Universe. But there are features in the picture, they add, that are unexpected and will require ideas to be refined. The map was assembled from 15 months' worth of data acquired by the 600m-euro (£515m) Planck space telescope. It details what is known as the cosmic microwave background, or CMB - a faint glow of microwave radiation that pervades all of space. Its precise configuration, visible in the new Planck data, is suggestive of a cosmos that is slightly older than previously thought - one that came into existence 13.82 billion years ago. This is an increase of about 50 million years on earlier calculations. The map shows tiny deviations from the average background temperature, where blue is slightly cooler and red is slightly warmer. The cold spots are where matter was more concentrated and later collapsed under gravity to form stars and galaxies. Image: ESA/Planck Collaboration

Ohio State student bitten by shark, asked to keep quiet
One Ohio State student’s visit to Belize over spring break ended with a shark bite, but she said some people are trying to get her to stay quiet. Monika Wanis, a fourth-year in anthropology and psychology, said a shark bit her on her toe during a trip to Belize with Buck-I-Serv to give out shoes with an organization called One World Running. She’s recovering from the incident, but she said she believes officials from Buck-I-Serv are more concerned with protecting their name and reputation than they are about her well-being. “In the email that they sent me, basically the first sentence said, ‘How are you feeling, I hope you got medical care,’ and then the remainder of the email said, ‘I hope you consider posting positive things on Facebook about One World Running and Buck-I-Serv because they do not want bad publicity and press.’ I didn’t put anything negative about Buck-I-Serv or One World Running on Facebook because it’s not their fault,” Wanis said. “I just want people to realize that they’re not out to make sure that I’m safe, they’re out to make sure that their name doesn’t get a bad rep.” The bite took place on a snorkeling excursion.

Belize rich in birdlife & howling monkeys
“If you want to avoid monkey poop, don’t stand under this strangler fig,” cautions Geraldine Fermin. My daughters and I are standing in a forest clearing 90 minutes north of Belize City, gazing at a troop of eight black howler monkeys that stretch lazily in the branches of the tree directly above us. The 50 square kilometres they share with some 3,500 other monkeys is loosely known as the Community Baboon Sanctuary, an area comprising seven villages in which more than 200 villagers own land. Its name can be confusing, since baboon is the creole word for monkey. But in 1985 the area was identified as containing one of the largest populations of black howler monkeys in North Central America. Somehow, a group of concerned citizens persuaded the villagers to refrain from the slash-and-burn practices that were previously destroying the monkeys’ habitat. With this loose promise the black howler monkeys’ longevity has been safeguarded - for now, at least. The vegetarian primates stare down at us, showing little interest until Fermin, our guide, heads into the forest and returns with one of their favourite foods: the leaves of a trumpeter plant. With some encouragement an adult black howler hangs low enough from her branch to retrieve the offering, munching thoughtfully on the leaves before returning to the safety of higher branches.

100 Best Private Island Resorts
ISLANDS picked the world's 12 best private-island resorts as well as more than 100 such private islands all across the planet, from the surprisingly accessible to the beautifully exotic. Any of these private islands holds the promise of the dream escape, where you can have the luxury amenities of a resort while still feeling like the island is all yours. Explore the resorts on our Best list, and zoom in on this map to find the exact locations of all 100+ islands and how to book your trip there.

Best Private Islands: Belize's Cayo Espanto
This hideaway in the cayes of Belize could practically grant any wish, except for smoked fish. So when a Cayo Espanto guest requested that, the chef constructed a smoker. Same thing happened when another guest wanted a Christmas tree. The resort flew one in. After all, a private island with only six villas -- including the new over-water Casa Ventanas at the end of a 150-foot private dock -- does have some limitations. So the real magic is in striving for no limits. See photos. Here's further info from the managers of Cayo Espanto: Overall, what do U.S. travelers enjoy most about Cayo Espanto? Guests at Cayo Espanto truly enjoy the exceptional level of service, the personalized attention to detail & the privacy the island offers. A guest preference survey is sent to each visitor before they arrive which allows the resort to tailor all aspects of the stay from the drink that is handed to guests upon arrival to the music playing in their villa and the snacks stocked in the pantry. Cayo's chef meets with guests each morning to discuss the menu for the day and it is that customized attention that our U.S. visitors appreciate.

ATM an Unexpected Adventure Trip
Actun Tunichil Muknal listed 2nd on Joshua Berman's list of 10 Unexpected Adventure Trips in Central America, which ran today in this month's issue of Men's Fitness. Belize actually has 3 spots on the list, Ragamuffin sailing trips and 5 coutry doomsday ride being the other 2. "If you’ve never been in a cave, Aktun Tunichil Muknal is a must. In addition to swimming-wading-squeezing-crawling-hiking a half mile deep into the Maya underworld, you get to experience a unique experiment in the world of archaeology and tourism. In the ATM caves, officials have left 1000-year-old bones, pots, and other artifacts in situ, instead of hauling them off to labs and museums. The crystal maiden herself is a full-body skeleton, covered in calcite crystals which sparkle in your headlamp’s light."

Fit Travel: 10 Unexpected Adventure Trips in Central America
From jungles to volcanoes to the ultimate surf spots, discover the surprising, less-traveled sides of our nearby neighbors to the south. If you’ve never been in a cave, Aktun Tunichil Muknal is a must. In addition to swimming-wading-squeezing-crawling-hiking a half mile deep into the Maya underworld, you get to experience a unique experiment in the world of archaeology and tourism. In the ATM caves, officials have left 1000-year-old bones, pots, and other artifacts in situ, instead of hauling them off to labs and museums. The crystal maiden herself is a full-body skeleton, covered in calcite crystals which sparkle in your headlamp’s light. ($110 day trip; $280 overnight; pacztours.net)


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Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
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We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
Conch Shell Inn: All rooms are right on the beach in the heart of San Pedro, so within walking distance to anything and everything!!
Lil’ Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
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