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The San Pedro Sun

Youth Leadership International Camp 2013
The Department of Youth Services under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports is currently conducting its International Youth Leaders Camp under the theme “Leadership in Action”. 150 Youth Leaders from Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, Bahamas, and St Vincent and the Grenadines are being hosted at George Town Technical High School in the Stann Creek District from July 21 – 31, 2013. The purpose of the training is to enhance the leadership capacity of the youth leaders in attendance while promoting the National Youth Development Policy of Belize 2012 – 2022 and the National Youth Council process.

Belize Assumes the Chair of the OAS Inter-American Council for Integral Development
On Friday July 19th, Ambassador Nestor Mendez, Belize’s Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), assumed the chair of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI). The CIDI is the main body of the hemispheric organizations with decision making power in matters of partnership for integral development. The announcement was made by the OAS via a press release following the short ceremony at the organization’s headquarters in Washington DC, USA. The Chair of CIDI was previously held by the Permanent Representative of Barbados, Ambassador John Beale. He concluded his term as chair of CIDI by emphasizing the role the body plays in the development of the work of the OAS. Speaking at the handing over ceremony, Ambassador Beale highlighted the area of education, stating that through better education, the people of the Hemisphere can achieve a better quality of life and distance themselves from the problems of violence, crime and drugs.

Reina de la Costa Maya candidates having a little fun at Ramon's for Noche Tropica!


First It Was Land Grab Now Its House Grab Among The UDP
Tonight trouble is brewing in the United Democratic Party and it’s among the hierarchy so you know, it means war. Last night Seven News released a bomb when they reported that Housing Director Noel Harvey and CEO, Lawrence Sylvestre were removed by force from the offices of the Ministry of Natural Resources in Belmopan. As reported by Seven News both men visited the department on Monday looking for files that could indicate who were granted the properties located at the Fresh Pond Housing Community in the Burrel Boom Area. The 50 abandoned houses, which were never completed, were built by the PUP Government. Now this is where the story gets interesting. Harvey and Sylvester began digging around after they found out that 10 of the properties, which were up for re-issue, were distributed among party supporters. But wait, there is more, these supporters included close friends and family of Government CEO’s.

Will Vendors Be Allowed To Sell At Fiesta Rama?
As we speak Fiesta Rama 2013 is underway at the Orange Walk People’s Stadium. It is an event that will surely impact the economy of the north in a positive way and we’ll get to the list of the three day activities in a few. But first, we must tell you that vendors are concerned if they will be allowed to sell at Fiesta Rama. Viewers might recall that approximately two weeks ago the Mayor Kevin Bernard was informed by the Public Health Department in Orange Walk that anyone wanting to sell food at the event must be in possession of a food handler’s permit. Now, truth of the fact is that not all persons or organizations who sell at the event have a food handler’s permit. Most vendors take advantage of the three day event to make some extra bucks or raise funds for a special project. At the same time, we must note that even if those interested in selling at Fiesta Rama had applied for a food handlers permit the document would not be out in time for the event. With over thirty vendors set to be affected, today Mayor Bernard pleaded to the Public Health Department to reconsider their decision.

Caribbean Court Of Justice Rules In Favour Of GOB
The Caribbean Court of Justice has struck down an arbitral award against the Government of Belize in the sum of about BZ$44.0 million which had been rendered by the London Court of International Arbitration. The case arose in October 2008 when BCB Holdings Limited (formerly called Carlisle Holdings Limited) and the Belize Bank Limited commenced arbitration proceedings in London on the ground that the Government of Belize had breached the terms of a Settlement Deed dated 22nd March 2005 which had given them a number of tax concessions. The Settlement Deed had been signed by the then Prime Minister, Said Musa, and the then Attorney General, Francis Fonseca. The present Government, on being elected to office in February 2008, refused to honor the Settlement Deed on the ground that it was illegal and unconstitutional and that the previous Government had no authority to grant tax concessions without a law passed by the National Assembly.

Orange Walk Records Its Second Drowning In Less Than A Week
Tonight Orange Walk Police is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a 21 year old mentally challenged male individual from the Village of Carmelita. This morning the badly decomposed body of Sheldon Vasquez was found floating in the New River near the Toll Bridge. Reports indicate that Vasquez went missing on Wednesday morning. His family reported him missing to authorities yet he was nowhere to be found. This morning Vasquez’s body was found by a tour guide and a group of tourist who were in the area viewing spider monkeys. Irvin Aragon reports on the second drowning for the Orange Walk District in less than a week. Irvin Aragon – Reporting The badly decomposed body of 21 year old Sheldon Vasquez, a mentally challenged youth of Carmelita Village, was discovered by a tour guide and a group of tourist around 7:30 this morning.

The Belize Times

The Mother of All Bukuts – 3% to GOB; 97% for VEGA & UDP
Last Friday, July 19, at the Chiquibul Symposium in Belize City Minister Lisel Alamilla, Dean Barrow’s golden girl of conservation and the environment fell into a deep political hole. She confessed to the nation that she cut a deal with the Deputy Prime Minister’s brother’s illicit logging operation for Government to receive a trivial sum of $15,000 per container of 9,000 board feet. Under very dim lighting she came across as shifty, nervous and rushed. Her words came out in jagged little flitches as the media tried to extract the truth. Said the Minister, “I think we have shipped a number of containers or at least given the permits for at least fifteen containers to be shipped or more.” Hold on, you think? Wait a minute, you are not sure if it was fifteen or twenty or possibly what insiders are saying were “more than 40?” The Minister said “or more”.

JAGUARS rewarded for rejecting bribe
At a time when the UDP Government Ministers are facing all kinds of scandals – stealing, wheeling and dealing with corrupt cronies and undermining the trust of the people ...

3rd major UDP financier detained in drug ring – US accuses Rawell Pelayo of trafficking cocaine
Well-known Orange Walk businessman Rawell Pelayo, who was detained by US Drug Enforcement Agency officials on July 7th as he attempted to enter the United States as a senior official ...

Gay Pageant held ‘in the dark’
By Alton F. Humes (Freelance Reporter) A 1st-of-its-kind Gay Belize National Pageant was held out of the closet but still ‘in the dark’ sometime ...

Mayas take Barrow to Court…again!
The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management has launched a major court action against the Barrow Administration, in a string of litigations between the two entities since the United Democratic Party took office in 2008. SATIIM, an ...

Welcome to the PUP, Patrick Andrews!
By G. Michael Reid I was pleased to hear the news that Patrick Andrews had decided to throw his hat into the political ring. I was especially pleased to learn that after considering all options available to him he decided to choose the Blue side of the ring. There are many ...

By Norris Hall The rot and decay of a six month old rosewood scandal that involves the Prime Minister’s Cabinet and which is grabbing more local and international interest, will simply not go away, as the plots of intrigues and corruption continue to thicken. Cornered late last week by the media, the ...

Fresca Lady Rebels scorch Telemedia 5-4 in softball finals
The Belize City women’s softball championship finals have heated up leading to a hot Game 5 this coming Friday, July 26. The Fresca Lady Rebels ratcheted up the drama after tying the best of 5 series 2-2 ...

Rigo Vellos, Edgar Rogers & Ann Lyn Apolonio win Muscle & Bikini Splash in Placencia
The best in muscle and beauty took to the stage when the first ever Summer Muscle and Bikini Splash was held at the ...

Kenny Gladden wins Weekend Warriors race
Team Scotiabank continues to dominate the Weekend Warriors’ races as Barney Brown won the Cotton Tree race last week and now his teammate Kenny Gladden won ...

PUP Mesopotamia Executive Committee elected
On Monday, July 22, 2013 a convention was held at the historic Independence Hall on Queen Street to elect a new and dynamic PUP Mesopotamia Executive Committee. After the voting, supporters of the division elected community leader ...

UDP & Criminal Behavior
In less than five months, four well known UDPs – including two high profile politicians – have faced criminal allegations and Police charges. While most ...

It is easy to feel overwhelmed nowadays. Especially during this back-to-school season. So many things zoom through the mind. Parents must find the finances for school fees and tuition. On top of that, books need to be purchased, uniforms sewn and school supplies collected. This is separate from the regular ...

HOME ECONOMICS – IMF Recommends Gradualism in Tax Overhaul
The following commentary is based on: IMF Executive Board Concludes 2013 Article IV Consultation with Belize IMF NOTE 1. Directors underscored the need to sustain the momentum of fiscal consolidation while protecting spending in such priority areas as infrastructure, internal security, and social programs. They stressed that raising the primary surplus ...

How Micro-Financing Can Assist Low-Income Families
By Dr. Angela Banner Joseph “When we want to help the poor, we usually offer them charity. Most often, we use charity to avoid recognizing the problem and finding the solution for it. Charity becomes a way to shrug off our responsibility. But charity is no solution to poverty. Charity only ...

The day the Bishop Marched
By Dickie Bradley What a powerful image. Bishop Dorick Wright leading his flock through the streets of big, bad Belize City. The historic religion protest was on Tuesday, July 16th, morning. His Lordship wore a black tunic type shirt. This was contrasted ...

More Than Just A Summer Camp
What started out with a field trip for a small group of children 20 years ago, has grown into the highlight of the Rehabilitation and Education Program at the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI). For two weeks out of the year, more than 30 blind children who are entering preschool or registered in school are brought to Belize City (with a family member or guardian) to be prepped for the upcoming school year. ...

Dr. Amin Hegar supports Patrick Andrews
In an expression of unity and with a common goal to rescue the City of Belmopan, Dr. Amin Hegar today expressed his full support ...

Cayo South Village Councils undergo training
Community leaders need to become aware that the Village Council Act offers opportunities for them to influence modern developments in their communities. This was the theme of the first in of a series of trainings sessions held ...

By Francis W. Fonseca There are organizations and people in Belize who quietly each day go about making a difference in the lives of others. One such organization is the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI). Founded in the year of Belize’s Independence, BCVI’s mission describes it as “a non-profit organization committed ...

Art pioneer, Michelle Perdomo, passes
The BELIZE TIMES and the People’s United Party express condolences to Mr. Carlos Perdomo and his family on the passing of Mrs. Michelle Perdomo, a great teacher, wife, mother and grandmother. Mrs. Perdomo is a pioneer of the art program at ...

Baby Lorena laid to rest – Parents still suspicious of KHMH
Baby Lorena Bol, who lived less than two days before dying under mysterious circumstances at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, was buried ...

Alberto August Land Grab
During the time of the previous PUP administration Hon. Mario Castellanos, PUP Area Representative for Cayo Central, designated a plot of land beside the Santa Elena Pre-School, formerly the Community Centre ...

Better Management of Placencia Beach Needed
Dear Editor, The Placencia Peninsula beach is 17 miles long and is one of our main tourism assets. Majority of it is filthy almost all year round and especially during this time of year. This is unacceptable, and it is slowly eroding our image as the fastest growing tourism destination, and the best ...

Let’s take Sports seriously!
Dear Sir, Madam, It’s always interesting to read commentaries and articles in the print media of how things were in the past and how it has change over the years in Belize. The discussion has become so intense that at one point the question was: have we become a failed State ...

Kenny Jacobs on why we are still poor
Dear Editor, Please allow me space in your newspaper to share my views concerning why the poor in Belize can’t get ahead! Belize is home to hundreds of thousands of people, all of diverse ethnicities. We have many natural resources unmatched to other countries. We have a culture untouched, natural, rich, and ...

Beware, Unions!
Dear Editor, Kindly allow me some space to warn the good people of the Unions about what seems to be a sinister plot. For many years, the Amandala has been heavily critical of the PUP and the Church, in particular the Roman Catholic Church, which represents almost 60% of the Nation. ...

Shame & Disgrace Sports Minister
Dear Editor, I am frustrated, no, I am angry. I’m vexed with the Minister of Sports who displayed arrogance when he wasted tax payer’s dollars for a simple photo up in Oregon, instead of doing the right thing which was to provide adequate funding to the Belize Jaguars national team. When it ...


Eco Kids Learn About Sustainability
Eco-Campers managed to turn the tables on their counselors this morning, as they were the ones to yell out the morning wake-up call about 15 minutes early. All the counselors were still sleeping, but the campers haven’t needed a wakeup call since the first day! Campers were full of energy this morning, playing a game of ‘John Wayne” as the counselors set up their arts and crafts stations. Today’s project involves turning old plastic water bottles into pencil holders. Some of the younger campers had trouble attaching the pieces together, but luckily the counselors were available to give them a hand. Campers also practiced for this evening’s song competition, where all 4 teams will face off to see who gets the honor of singing for the parents on the last day of camp. From what the counselors heard, it sounds like it’s going to be a close race! After perfecting their songs, campers headed over to the Chaa Creek conference room to listen to a presentation on Responsible Tourism by Mr. Larry Waight, which highlighted several of the ways in which Chaa Creek works to ensure that it remains environmentally responsible.

“Beautiful” San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Given that I no longer work for a living Saturdays (and Sundays for that matter) really shouldn’t be different to any other day of the week. It shouldn’t , should it? For me though it is. Don’t know why but it just is. Might be that subconsciously I hold a strong recall of it being that way. Not having to (contractually that is – because I did use to work most Saturdays (and Sundays if you talk to Rose)) work made it different. Different clothes (no suits). No deadlines (apart from those I set for myself). Plenty of sport to go to watch or see on TV. What’s the point of this interior monologue? Nothing much really. A rather long-winded way of explaining (or is it justifying?) the fact that I generally do not do much that could be described as productive or energetic on a Saturday. It’s a lazy day for me and that is exactly what I had yesterday until it was time to go visit our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize..

International Sources

Caribbean Destination: Top Things to Do on Belize’s Ambergris Caye
On the Ambergris Caye in Belize, you can enjoy a full beach and ocean scene complete with snorkeling, diving, fishing, sailing, and tanning. There are many different groups that will organize any and all of the above. The key is finding a group that will give you the best deal and the most convenience. Belize is one of the top destinations for scuba diving, therefore you can find a dive shop (or three) on pretty much any given block. There are countless local dive locations and also famous spots such as the Blue Hole that are a boat ride out. However, if you are not a diver, no fear! Because of the protection of the barrier reef, most of the best dive spots can also be experienced in full by simply snorkeling. Most Belize dive shops organize both dive and snorkel trips and many will pick you up right on the dock of your hotel or rental.

Belize – A Retirement Destination
A secure, comfortable retirement is every hard worker’s dream. But, retirement can be a very costly and nerve racking experience if not planned properly. In many countries, a person may work for 40 years or more and still not be able to retire because they could not set aside money in a retirement fund. The U.S. allows workers to contribute to a 401K or Individual Retirement Account (IRA) which ensures that there are funds set aside for the golden years. However, if there is no plan for the retirement funds after, the funds can last just a short time. Proper planning involves deciding how and where you will live after you reach retirement age. It is about choosing the right type of investment that will ensure your sustainability for the rest of your life. In most cases, it is all about living in your version of paradise. If you’ve started thinking about your perfect retirement destination, well Belize should be your number 1 choice. Belize offers many perks as the ideal retirement destination. Apart from having English as its primary language and being a key location to the rest of the world, it is a piece of paradise or as we often refer to it “mother nature’s best kept secret”. Belize provides a little something for everyone.

Snorkeling in Belize. A Photo Essay!
We intended to get our scuba certifications before going to Belize – but we didn’t. We scheduled a snorkeling tour to Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley before we left San Pedro. Enjoy!

Breathtaking Belize
There is a unique pocket in the world that buzzes with warmth, inner peace and joy. The people are peaceful, with a quiet confidence emanating from their eyes. They smile broadly, and are filled with energetic laughter, friendly gazes and cozy hugs. The land is raw, lush, and bountiful. With wildlife that is abundant, boasting jaguars, crocodiles, black howler monkeys, iguanas and over 500 species of birds, Belize is a nature lovers utopia. Rich in history grounded in the Maya culture, transcendent experiences await you – Belize is truly “unBelizable”. The spectacular turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea reflect the magnificent Maya Mountains. Whatever your flavor, Belize is sure to please your taste buds.

Retirees Head to Luxury Living in Central America
Retirees in North America head south to Central America's hottest real-estate markets, spending big bucks in Panama, Belize and Nicaragua for exotic living experiences unlike any other in the world.

Belize? Why retirees are heading way south of the border
Americans, breaking from the expat packs in Mexico and Costa Rica, are starting to head into Central American countries such as Panama, Belize and Nicaragua for retirement, lured by luxury real estate and eased requirements for residency.