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The San Pedro Sun

Volunteer pediatricians tend to island children at the San Pedro PolyClinic II
The Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II has hosted various medical students and doctors who donate their services and time to the residents of San Pedro Town at no cost. On Thursday March 21st, a group of Pediatricians were on hand to provide checkups and specialized care for island babies and toddlers. The group consisted of four pediatric students from Eastern Virginia Medical School University (EVMS), USA, seven pediatric residents and two pediatricians. In Belize, the group has traveled to various villages in the country providing medical treatment for underprivileged children in the rural areas. In charge of organizing the group’s visit was Doctor Cecilio Eck, pediatrician at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.

Ghost net removed from off the reef at Hol Chan Marine Reserve
On the morning of Thursday March 28th, the staff at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve removed a piece of a net found in an area of the marine reserve located off Ambergris Caye. The ghost net (a term used to describe drifting nets) was found some 65 feet below water near the main channel in the Pillar Coral Dive Site at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. The net was spotted by a local guide attached to one of the dive shops on the island while on an expedition with some tourists the day before. The guide informed the reserve’s managing authorities of his findings. According to Kira Foreman, Marine Biologist at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, the net was easily removed from the reef, since it was not as tangled as was believed. What was unfortunate said Foreman is that a small dead reef shark, about four feet long, was found tangled in the ghost net. “It appears that the reef shark was trapped for some days and the head of the shark was missing,” explained Foreman.

Good Friday swim = turning into mermaids (?!)
Good Friday has been observed as a Holy Day of Sacrament for as far back as most Belizeans can remember. With strong roots in the Catholic faith, Good Friday is considered the day that Jesus Christ died, and that means that many consider it a day of reverence. Thus, Good Friday brings its own beliefs and rituals. One MBB staffer’s mother once explained why Good Friday was a day to do nothing. “It is the day that Jesus died. That means that on Good Friday, our savior is not available to protect us, and the Devil has free reign to cause havoc.” Naturally, said skeptical staffer decided the devil couldn’t fault her for taking a ride on her bike. Well, cue one massive tumble down unpaved, rocky hill, with an oncoming vehicle at high speed. Coincidence? Perhaps; but you can believe us when we say, she won’t be doing anything for Good Friday again! Doing nothing truly means doing nothing. For instance, there is no cooking, hence many family cooks ensured that the traditional hot cross buns were prepared in advance for eating the next day. No housework, no work, no alcohol, no partying, dancing or any of those naughty things. Traveling on Good Friday is especially considered bad luck. Many old-timers and even today’s generation believes that travel invites bad omens, and the risk of having an accident on that day is too much to chance. But the best belief – and this Lizard Tale is a doozy: did you know swimming on Good Friday could cause you to turn into a Mermaid?!

Dates for the 9th annual Eco Challenge set
Preparations for the ninth annual Lagoon-Reef Eco-Challenge are underway, and the 2013 dates have been set for May 25th and 26th. This challenge will once again take kayakers through the delicate eco system of Ambergris Caye. Organizers of the event Elito Arceo and Kira Foreman revealed that the only major change is the starting route. Due to the project taking place at the original starting location at the old football field, the race will now commence at 6AM at Central Park heading north to the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge where they will travel under the bridge and into the lagoon area of San Pedro.

Misc Belizean Sources

Re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross (pictures by Diego Grajales)


Guatemala Wants To Use Map Including Belize On Their Passports
Guatemala has launched an international tender to find a company that is willing to provide the service spreads and issuance of passports for the next 10 years. But that’s not what’s making news tonight, what is, is the fact that the front cover of the new passports will carry the map of Central America with Belize included as part of Guatemala bearing in mind the long standing territorial dispute between both countries. It has not been reveled if the Belizean territory within the map of Guatemala will be highlighted with a dotted line accompanied by the “Territorial referendum, insular and maritime pending resolution.” quotation, as is the case with the map circulated at schools in Guatemala. This will be the sixth time that the map of Guatemala is used with Belize included as another part of its territory. The first infringement occurred when Guatemala’s Ambassador to the OAS, Jose Rodrigo Vielmann de Leon, showed member states of the OAS, a video with a map of his country that included Belize as another part of its territory. That marked the second incident that occurred within the OAS; the first was in Bolivia which also came under protest. The third was when a book called “Guatemala Corazon del Mundo Maya 2012” was released by the Tourism Institute of Guatemala (INGUAT) which also included a map of Guatemala’s Mayan world placing Belize as part of it. The fourth was when Belize’s National Basketball selection travelled to Guatemala to take part in an international basketball tournament and Guatemala’s National Basketball Federation included Belize as part of Guatemala’s territory in their logo. And the fifth intrusion occurred when Guatemala’s Vice-Minister of Education, Evelyn Amado de Segura instructed directors in the Ministry of Education, that a map of Guatemala, which includes Belize as part of its territory, be circulated at all schools.

61 Year Old Busted With Weed
Another Corozal resident that also appeared today at the Orange Walk’s Magistrate Court is 61 year old Felix May, a taxi driver of Venezuela Street in Corozal Town. On March 28th 2013, May was driving his taxi car when he was stopped by police and found to be in the possession of 950.5 grams of marijuana. Police believe May was a supplier and as such was charged with drug trafficking. The taxi driver pleaded not guilty to the charge and was offered bail to the sum of $3,500 plus one surety of the same amount under two conditions, one that he submit all his travel documents to the court and two that he presents himself every Friday at the Corozal Police Station until his next court date set for May 30th 2013.

Man Charged For Allegedly Kidnapping Ivy Yang
Last night we reported on how the Belize Police Department was successful in retrieving one year old Ivy Yang from her kidnappers. The toddler was snatched from the arms of her mother, Mei Tang Chen at gunpoint on Sunday night while they were heading back home in the Santa Rita heights Area in Corozal Town. The kidnappers demanded a ransom of US$450,000 for the return of Ivy. With the assistance of a number of individuals and strategic planning, the police department managed to foil the abductors plan and baby Yang was returned safely home. While it is a high profile case that must have involved a number of individuals to carry out the kidnapping, only one man was charged today. He is 34 year old Thomas Villanueva; the man believed to have brought baby Ivy to the Village of Fire Burn here in Orange Walk and left her there with family members who had no knowledge of the abduction. Villanueva appeared before the Orange Walk Magistrates Court today where he was charged for kidnapping. CTV3 News has exclusive footage of when the police vehicle arrived at the Orange Walk Police Station and Villanueva was pulled into the courtroom. Hipolito Novelo reports. Under heavy police guard the blue police van pulled up in front of the Orange Walk’s Magistrate Court just minutes after midday today. Inside the vehicle were several persons who have or will be charged for criminal offences. At the forefront and of most interest is the alleged kidnapper of one year old Ivy Yang, identified as 34 year old Thomas Elmer Villanueva, a resident of 11 South End Street, Corozal Town.

Terrible Motorcycle Accident Reported
Details are still sketchy but CTV3 News understands that there was terrible accident on the Philip Goldson Highway sometime this afternoon involving a motorcycle and a van. Reports are that the driver of the motorcycle, allegedly an American citizen, was traveling towards Corozal Town when upon reaching the Tumbaito Area near four miles lagoon he collided into the van. The extent of injuries is unknown. We’ll have more on this story in Tuesday’s newscast.

Accused Murderers Remanded To Prison
Two other accused criminals that were remanded to the Kolbe Correctional Facility today were 35 year old Venanacio Williams and 33 year old Arturo Keme accused of the murder of 37 year old Israel Matu, a resident of Patchakan Village in the Corozal District who was found dead in a cane field located near the village of Chan Chen on Sunday afternoon. Both men from the village of Chan Chen appeared before the Corozal Magistrates Court where they were charged for the crime of murder. As you can see jail does not sit too well with Keme as the footage shows that he began feeling sick while waiting inside the police vehicle for Thomas Villanueva, who was charged for the kidnapping of baby Ivy Yang, to come out of court. After the session was over, all three prisoners were transferred to the Hattieville Prison where they will spend time until the court decides their fate.

The True Meaning Of Easter
Many people all across the world focus on Easter as being a time to celebrate the Easter bunny and to hunt eggs, but the Bible teaches us that there is more to Easter than just Easter Bunnies and egg hunts. Although these events are fun, the true meaning of Easter is Jesus Christ's death and resurrection. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten Season which begins 40 days prior to Easter. It is a time when Christians prepare for the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. Lent is also a time for reflection, a time to prepare ones body to die spiritually with Christ on Good Friday, the day of his Crucifixion, so that we can rise again with him in new life on Easter Sunday. In this day and era it is easy to stray away from the true meaning of Easter. Just in case you find yourself on that cross road here is a story we aired last year that reminds us about death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter. The feast commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem the week before his death and resurrection. The Last supper was held on the evening of preparation for the Jewish Passover. Jesus shared his final meal with his disciples and gave them final instructions and predictions of his betrayal. As his disciples laid to rest that night, Jesus prayed at Gethsemane. His arrest came next as Judas lead a detachment of Jewish soldiers to his place of prayer. After his arrest Jesus was taken to be beaten by Jewish guards in Sanhedrin where he was set to be trialed and found guilty. He was then taken to the Roman governor for additional trial who left Jesus’ faith to the Jews. After he was found guilty Jesus was taken to Golgotha where he was crucified. After Christ was crucified his body was placed in a tomb from which he rose on the third day of his death.

Fish: Easter's Staple
The Easter Weekend is upon us and the staple food for this long holiday is fish hence why the demand has skyrocketed. There is no doubt that for the Lenten Season the demand for fish increases and so do the prices especially for Good Friday. Today we hit the streets of town to find out how the fish market is doing this year. Fish is on demand right about now and all indications are that the product is selling fast. Kathleen Urbina, Neto’s Sea Food Market “Like hot bread and butter but it’s natural for this time of year. I prepare for this time like this. I have 6 freezers full of fish. We started from January before lent begin; we started to take in, take in and try to keep two or three freezers full. Because when the time comes like this then we are prepared but I hoped that could have prepared more but I just can’t meet everybody’s demand.” According to the proprietor of Neto’s See Food Market, Kathleen Urbina, when it comes to the various types of fish, the demand varies. Kathleen Urbina, Neto’s Sea Food Market “We have the river fish which consist of the “basnuk” and “crana” and we have the snapper, barracuda, makrill, and a lot more; fish fillet and shrimps.” Albert Tillet, Fish Vendor “I usually sell river fish. That is what we call fresh water products which consist of “basnuk” or big mouth river bass and we have tuba, tilapia and catfish.

Fire Department On Alert For Easter Vacation
Keeping your house secure from burglars and unwanted visitors is not the only precautionary measures that you need to take for this long Easter Holiday. In a matter of seconds an Easter Vacation can turn into tragedy if the right measures are not taken to prevent a fire while you and your family are away from home. With this in mind this morning we spoke to Orange Walk’s Fire Department Senior Officer Kenneth Mortis who advised on how to keep your home safe and prevent fires. Kenneth Mortis- Senior Officer, O/W Fire Department “We would appreciate if the vegetation around your neighborhood be kept to a minimum. The fire department- we are really busy. This is the time of the year that we are busy. We might have 3, 4 calls at a time that we cannot really respond to all of them as the call may come in. So what we like is that you exercise caution in terms of if your neighbor’s yard is a bit high then try to encourage your neighbors to cut it down a little bit. A message to the general public is that it is illegal to be burning within city limits and even town limits. If you are in a position whereby we don’t have electricity and we are using candles per say. Again we emphasize that the candle should not be left near an open without and out of reach children.” Before leaving your home you should also inform a neighbor that you will be out for the long holiday.

OWPD Step Up Patrols For Easter Break
There is no doubt that across the jewel crime has been on a rampage. The most recent ruthless acts of criminal activity here in the north saw the kidnapping of one year old Ivy Yang who was reunited with her family on Tuesday and the death of Israel Matu who was brutally beaten and left to die in a cane field located in the Village of Chan Chen. Both incidents played out in the District of Corozal and tonight there is no doubt that northenos, similar to Belizeans across the country, live in fear. So, if you are feeling worried about leaving your home unattended for this long Easter Vacation here are some safety tips from the Orange Walk Police Department. Joseph Myvette- O.C Orange Walk “Firstly we are going to step up all patrols meaning mobile, foot and bicycle patrol throughout the Easter holiday. We are aware that a number of people will be leaving their homes and we would want to encourage informing their neighbours or even informing the police that no one will be home. It will allow us an opportunity to extend our patrols in some of these areas. We will also be having a number of vehicle checkpoints where we will be targeting drunk drivers and at the same we will be discouraging speeding in our highways. We will also be having a check up at the honey camp road where it is expected that we will be able to give the general public pamphlets in relations to water safety. We want to encourage people to be very careful when swimming in the water and to ensure that children are supervise properly and are not allowed going into the water alone to swim. The police are certainly going to be out here 24/7 and like I mentioned we are going to step up our patrols. Apart from informing your immediate neighbor about your departure for your Easter vacation. Myvette also advices home owners to leave their lights on as a preventative measure against robbers.


Why You Should Consider Retiring To Belize
Belize is the quirkiest country I know. Geographically, Belize is in Central America, yet its strongest ties are to the English-speaking Caribbean. Belize is Caribbean, Central American… and, thanks to its history as a former colony, British. Belize City’s roadways are built around a system of roundabouts, but shops alongside them sell rice, beans and tortillas still ground by hand. Everyone you meet speaks English (it’s the country’s official language), but this belies the stories of their origins. The 350,000 people populating Belize today are descendants of migrants from Britain, yes, but also, more so, the surrounding Central American countries. You’ve got Mexicans, Guatemalans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans mixed with current-day generations of the Maya who originally inhabited this land, the pirates who came later, the Mennonite farmers who began arriving on the scene in the 16th century, the British who ruled until 1981, and each other. It’s a country of freedom-seekers. The pirates came to ply their pirate trading out of view. The Mennonites came from Germany and the Netherlands so they could be Mennonites without anyone bothering them. The British came to do their banking in private. And the folks from the surrounding countries have made their way across Belize’s borders over the decades in search of safety. Today a new population of freedom-seekers is finding its way to these shores — foreign retirees and others in search of a place to start over.

Hot Cross Buns or Creole Buns the Condensed Version
In this video, I show in less than 4 minutest how to make Creole Buns or Hot Cross Buns.

International Sources

Survivors recall 17 divers lost in '01 Belize disaster
A small vial of water from the James River went with Mary Lou Hayden to Belize this year. As she emptied it into the Caribbean Sea, she read the names of 17 friends who died there 10 years ago in the deadliest accident in the history of recreational scuba diving. Hayden was almost one of them. She escaped with two other Richmonders who happened to be below deck when Hurricane Iris slammed into Belize and flipped their live-aboard dive boat upside down on Oct. 8, 2001. The rest of the group from the Richmond Dive Club was up in the main deck salon after dinner. When the Wave Dancer broke away from its dock and capsized in 12 feet of water, they were immediately immersed without life jackets. None of them escaped alive. On Saturday, the dive club will remember the lost divers at Lake Rawlings, a former quarry that's a favorite training site in Brunswick County.

Can Income Inequality Destabilize the U.S. Economy?
The U.S. economy has been engaged in a long, slow recovery since the Great Recession. But this recovery has been incredibly unequal — with the incomes of the richest 1% growing robustly, while the bottom 99% are stagnant. Uri Dadush, Kemal Dervis and their co-authors in "Inequality in America" argue that this is a recipe for macroeconomic disaster. High and rising levels of inequality may be a cause of increased macroeconomic instability. They contribute to a fraying of the political consensus, are associated with boom-bust credit cycles and may ultimately lead to a chronic weakness of economic demand. For a long time, few economists — even those concerned about inequality — thought about this topic in the context of macroeconomic policy. It wasn't always so. There was a time early in the 20th century when some believed that capitalism would be vulnerable because increases in income concentration at the top would lead to a chronic lack of sufficient aggregate demand. These concerns vanished as income distribution improved after the 1930s. Macroeconomic policy also became a more powerful tool for stabilizing economic conditions. However, as income inequality has made a spectacular and quite unexpected comeback, and the recovery from the Great Recession has been exceptionally sluggish, now these concerns are reemerging. Moreover, economists such as Raghuram Rajan have suggested a connection between high income inequality and events that triggered the Great Recession in the first place.

Wild Side: Trip to the tropics causes self-induced thermal shock
Carol and I have enjoyed winter escapes to the tropics of Central America for more than 20 years. This year we had another great time in Belize. We left early one February morning when the temperature was 10 degrees below zero. A couple two-and-a-half hour jet flights and a half-hour single-engine plane flight later, we were in humid 80 degree air under the coconut palms in southern Belize. We met our tanned friends Bill and Susan Smith of River Falls, who had been there since January. After changing into shorts and sandals, we enjoyed some cold Belikin beers on the veranda of their cabana on the beach. I could feel my freeze-dried skin soaking up the warmth and humidity. We spent the next day walking down the long beach and catching up with Belizian friends in the village. We had to be careful of the intense sun there just north of the equator to avoid burning our fair skin that had been bundled up all winter.

How do you a lure a monkey out of the Belize rain forest?
"Remember, they can touch you, but you can’t touch them” warns our guide as we duck under a barbed-wire fence in pursuit of a troop of black howler monkeys leaping from branch to branch. Truth is, I’ve been burned so many times by unfulfilled promises of wildlife sightings that the thought of touching one hadn’t even crossed my mind. But now, as Robert brandishes a bunch of leaves picked from a garden we’d crossed, I realize that I could be in for one fun afternoon. When planning my trip to Belize seeing monkeys in the jungle was high on the to-do list. So when I read about the Community Baboon Sanctuary, based in Bermudian Landing, just 45 minutes from the international airport, I knew it fit the bill.

Room Service: coastal Belize
Turtle Inn, Placencia. Martin Krediet wears sunglasses, a battered white trilby, shorts and a loose shirt that hints at a highly toned physique. His hair is long and artfully rumpled in a "just finished paddle-boarding, dude" sort of way. He is super-tanned. Beyond laid back. He is also, it's fair to say, not a typical hotel general manager. Then again, after a long, bumpy ride from the jungle-lush interior of Belize to the country's sun-blanched coast, the last person you want to meet is a chap in a stiff suit with a name badge pinned to his lapel. ("Welcome, sir, welcome. Have you received your delegate's lanyard? Jeremy will show you our subterranean conference facilities.") Frigatebirds are soaring overhead, for goodness sake. There's the scent of the ocean in your nostrils and palm trees galore. Just at this point in your life what you need more than anything else is for Martin Krediet to wander over, shake you warmly by one hand, thrust a pink drink into the other one, and then lead you to your blue-and-white striped hammock, with its view of the Caribbean Sea. Take the rest of the day off, Martin. Your work here is done.

The World’s Top 10 Islands
The largest island off the north shore of Belize, Ambergris Caye, which boasts bragging rights to being home to the second largest barrier reef after Australia, has been named the most beautiful island in the world by readers of the largest crowd-sourced travel site TripAdvisor. With a coastline protected by 306 km (190 miles) of coral reef – the largest in the Western hemisphere – Ambergris Caye has become a favorite destination for divers. The island’s star attraction? The Great Blue Hole, a perfectly circular, underwater sinkhole of limestone that measures 300 feet across (91m) and 400 feet deep (124 m) deep. The seemingly bottomless pit is home to underwater species like blacktip tiger and hammerhead sharks. Other sightings include angelfish, neon gobies, butterfly fish, and small groupers. The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, meanwhile, is a UN-designated World Heritage Site. If you’re not a diver, visitors can also visit the ancient Mayan ruins in a day trip, and jungle trek through the island’s lush tropical forests. Another claim to fame? The island got a starring role in the first season of US reality show “Temptation Island” in 2001. Here are the top 10 islands in TripAdvisor’s Traveller’s Choice Award 2013:

Award-winning conservationist Lisel Alamilla appointed to Belize government
With 17 years of experience promoting conservation, sustainable development and indigenous rights, Lisel Alamilla is ideally placed to usher in a new, brighter era for Belize’s natural environment. Fauna & Flora International (FFI) welcomes the decision of Belize’s Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, to appoint Lisel Alamilla as Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development. “We’d like to congratulate Lisel on her appointment to the Belize government,” said Mark Rose, CEO of Fauna & Flora International. “Having worked closely with Lisel over the past decade, we have seen her demonstrate time and time again an extraordinary level of ability, passion and determination. I feel sure that she will bring this to her new role, much to the benefit of Belize’s natural world and its people.” “We look forward to exciting times ahead,” he added. As a result of her appointment, Lisel is stepping down from her role as Executive Director of Ya’axché Conservation Trust (FFI’s partner in Belize).