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The San Pedro Sun

Wolfe’s Woofers: Father’s Advice
A father's advice is often considered quite sage - a sharing of experiences and life lessons learned. This father, though?...

Editorial: We are part of the bigger picture
As the community newspaper we often fill the shoes of ‘island ambassador’. Called upon by all types of people and professions from around the globe, we are asked for specific information about Ambergris Caye that a local paper is sure to know. We are always happy to help, and we can get pretty involved and creative in assisting these entities and individuals in fulfilling their quest. It’s a two-way benefit, we provide them with the info and direction they need and we get to know some very interesting (and inspiring) people along the way. Often what their mission is evolves into news for the community of San Pedro and we eagerly share their story with our readers. We make friends with many of them and watch as they prosper in whatever project they pursue. Time and time again we are lauded with appreciation by those we help, often gushing, “We couldn’t have done it without the help of The San Pedro Sun”… and although we are flattered by the gratitude we also feel a great sense of appreciation in return. How fortunate we have been to be a part of something bigger, a cog in the wheel of progress for someone who tackled a mission that depended on the contribution of others (and us) to make it a reality. Isn’t that what it is all about, being there to help others to be successful?

Doctor Love: Cheap? Penny Pinching? Smart?
A friend always conveniently cannot pay bills when out socially. But she's rich. Does that make her cheap or smart?

Misc Belizean Sources

Is Belize Becoming the New Celebrity Vacation Destination?
Bradley Cooper’s visit to Belize is just one of many recent celebrity sojourns that underscore the little Caribbean country’s coming of age as a tourism destination of choice, according to the Lodge at Chaa Creek’s guest relations coordinator. Elsie Pacheco, one of the popular eco resort’s front desk managers, said that she and her staff have been seeing a rise in the number of celebrities and VIPs visiting Belize this year. Noting that Chaa Creek’s policy is to protect their guest’s privacy and as a rule does not publicise individual visits, Ms Pacheco said that it is no secret that Belize has hosted a variety of VIPs in recent weeks, including Mr Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, the Bachelorette’s Jef Holm, and others. Leonardo DiCaprio, who owns a small island near the Belize Great Barrier Reef on which he is rumoured to have plans to build an upscale eco resort, was also said to be seen in Belize last month.

Belize Aquaculture First to be Approved as Three-Star Shrimp
Belize Aquaculture Ltd has become the first shrimp company in Belize and the second in Central America to be approved to offer Best Aquaculture Practices certified three-star shrimp. Belize Aquaculture’s shrimp hatchery, farm and processing plant located in Stann Creek District, in southeastern Belize, all earned BAP certification on July 26. Founded in 1996, Belize Aquaculture produced 4.5 million pounds of Pacific white shrimp in 2012 and is on target to produce 10 millions pounds in 2014 across 68 four-acre ponds. The company also operates a British Retail Consortium (BRC)- and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP)-certified processing plant. Belize Aquaculture sells a variety of fresh, frozen and cooked shrimp products to retail and foodservice customers in Asia, Europe, the United States and Central America. “The three-star certification is a recognition of our company’s consistent efforts to innovate and improve the quality of our products and the sustainability of our practices,” said David Fleming, director of Belize Aquaculture. “As a company, we are confident that our buyers and customers will acknowledge the value of this certificate and our commitment toward quality, environment and social development.”

A questionable future for the Garifuna people in the south of Belize
By Wellington C. Ramos In studying Belize’s history, when most Belizeans hear of the south the first thing that comes to their minds are the Garifuna people. Why? Because when the British granted permission to the Garifuna people to reside in Dangriga Town in 1801, they were told not to go anywhere else but to remain in the south. At that time the Creoles were still slaves to the British and the Maya Indians were trying to survive the colonial policies of the British and the Spanish, who were taking away their lands from them. The Maya Indians who lived in Belize, Guatemala and Mexico fought viciously against the Spanish and the British but did not have the military tools to overcome these two great giants that were competing for territories in the region. The British did not want the Garifuna and the Creole people to intermingle with each other because it would not be to their interest to have free black people with enslaved black people. This would have caused an alliance between the two groups to have slave resistance in the south and other parts of Belize.

Sharon Matola Receives Paul Harris Fellow Award
Another well deserved honour for TBZ's fearless leader, Sharon Matola. Sharon was recognized as Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club of Belize, being awarded for "providing a zoo which has brought the magic of Belizean wildlife to the people of our nation." As the invitation clearly stated that she was welcome to bring along a guest, Sharon took them up on the offer, and made her "plus one" none other than Rose the baby crocodile! In the spirit of the very efforts she was being honoured for, Sharon made it possible for guests to have a brief "meet and greet" session with this wonderful reptilian ambassador. A big Paws Up to Sharon and Rose, and to the Rotary Club of Belize! Thanks to Jim Scott for such a wonderful photo.

Special Open Mic at Soul Project
The Soul Project had a fantastic Friday Open Mic Night this last Friday. The talent seen was amazing, and there was even a future contestant on Be the Next Superstar. They had some regulars show up to play and sing, but there were many visitors that took the stage to play, sing, and read poetry too. Truly an amazing night at the Soul Project. In related news, Dania Arana, who lives in Cayo, will be performing on Be the Next Superstar this Tuesday. If she sings like she did at the Soul Project, she'll be winning. Great voice, Dania!

Benque Summer Art Murals
The Summer Art program did some fantastic murals in Benque. Well done! "Beautiful Work of Art and an inspiration that will empower the community of Benque Viejo Del Carmen, Artistic and joint efforts spearheaded by Artists José V. Guerra Awe, along with other Artists of our Community. Transforming society through Art..Daniel Young Thank you and kudos Guy's! Miriam Antoinette, thank you for documenting this wonderful moments in our History. Summer Art 2013 in Benque!"

PCB Logo Competition
The Pesticides Control Board is having a logo competition. They will be celebrating 25 years this November, and are calling all artists to come up with a great logo to commemorate the event. The winner will be awarded $500 along with some products. For more information email them at or call them at 824-2640. Good luck!


Canine Distemper Virus outbreak in San Mateo
Saga Humane Society would like to alert the community of a Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) outbreak in San Mateo. 22 cases of distemper have already been seen at the Saga HS clinic. To prevent the spread of this highly contagious disease Saga HS will be doing a Mobile Clinic Tuesday August 6 to the affected neighborhood and will be vaccinating the area dogs. Vaccines will be at no charge to low income residents or $10 for those who can afford to pay. Saga HS seeks to raise $1000 to buy the vaccinations. This will buy enough vaccinations for 100 animals.

Getting to San Ignacio, Cayo from San Pedro & Some New Restaurants in Town
My friend is here in Belize for 3 weeks and I’ve been DYING to get out to the Cayo District, to the San Ignacio area of the country and mostly to Chaa Creek…the well-known, amazing jungle lodge in this area. What a perfect time to do it. Since I am firmly in the budget traveller bracket, best to head out west as cheaply as possible. I’m not great at it but I think that is how budgeting works. And the most economical way to do the 155 mile trip, aside from hitch hiking or the becoming a stowaway, is: 1. Take the water taxi from San Pedro to Belize City (via Caye Caulker). In total, the trip is about 1 hour and 15 minutes and cost $44bzd round-trip. This ride is pretty easy. Here are some pictures as you cruise into Belize City…the cruise ship village actually. 2. Take the taxi from Belize City (the guys will approach you at the water taxi stop) to the bus station – $7bzd

My first days in Belize as a Danish Intern!
I have been told to write something about my first experience with Belize, so here we go a short story about my trip from the cold northern Europe to the warm and sunny Caribbean. I left my home in Denmark at four am and after a very long and exhausting trip, including an overnight stay in Atlanta and a suitcase stranded in Amsterdam, I was finally reaching my destination and what would become my home for the next four months – the beautiful country Belize. As I was waiting in line at the airport security, I was thinking that this was going to be wonderful and exciting to experience a country and culture so different from what I am used to, but when I ten minutes later was standing outside the airport, I had my first encounter with the locals and it was far from pleasant, but I soon found out that this was not a true representation of the Belizean people.

It Means We’re Sailing
I woke up because a sound was missing. Our 30-foot sailboat, The Ragged Gal, tossed powerless on waves half as tall as she was wide. The sound of the engine was gone. Our Belizean guides, First-mate Kevin and Captain Jake leaned over the motor like kids surrounding a turtle. The Captain pulled the engine’s cord, but the sound was wrong and without the smallest hint of sputtering alive. Finally, he let Kevin give it a go. With a mechanics frown frozen on his face, he began violently urging the lifeless engine. I was sleeping below, underneath a bench, a tarp for a blanket and my waterproof pack for a pillow. My brother shifted uncomfortably above me, less accustomed and less accepting of sleeping in cramped quarters. Kayla, a high school friend, whimpered awake at the sound of my brother asking if everything was okay. Both had joined me for weeklong sailing trip to Belize. The last three days the ship had been crammed with a dozen other passengers. Nights were spent in tents on tiny islands surrounding a fire that cooked our catches of the day. Now it was just us five, stranded somewhere between Palencia and Belize City.

“So You Win Again” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Slowly getting back to normal but have started writing this edition Sunday lunchtime. The reason for the early start on it is that I have an appointment on Monday at the Dental Center in Belize City at 08.00 hours. The appointment , which is with Doctor Hernandez who visits the Dental Center once a month,will result (hopefully) in a solution being diagnosed for the implant that didn’t ‘take’ (I’ll let you know in a future edition if one was found or not). Having made a start on this edition I took time out to watch Arsenal play against Galatasaray in the Emirates Cup (before my ‘friends’ in the UK rush to post a comment, yes I do know that we (Arsenal) have to run our own cup competition to try and win something). We didn’t play particularly well and it was no great surprise that we lost to two Didier Drogba goals (he always scores against Arsenal). Whenever he plays it is a case of shouting ‘so you win again’. If only he had played for Arsenal! Time now to step back a day and let you know what Rose and I saw when we went to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize at around 15.15 hours on Saturday.

International Sources

Survey could confirm 80% coral reef decline in Caribbean
A dedicated survey of marine ecosystems is set to show the extent of coral reef loss in the Caribbean – fuelled by pollution, human activity and climate variations. According to scientists from the Caitlin Seaview survey, who are investigating the extent of reefs loss in the Caribbean and Bermuda, “Coral reefs can be thought of as ‘the canary in the coal mine’; we know that a coral reef that is showing signs of stress can be an indicator of a much larger problem in our seas.” The team has completed the survey in Belize and will now move to analyse waters in Bermuda, Anguilla, St Vincent, Guadeloupe, Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas. The World Resources Institute reported that up to 80% of coral coverage in the Caribbean had been lost over the past 50 years, due to overfishing, pollution and extreme weather like hurricanes, which have damaged the fragile ecosystems. However, the first exploration in Belize showed signs of recovery compared to 2009, when 75% of corals had declined. Marine biologist Manuel Gonzales Rivero, who dived in Glover’s Reef in Belize, said, “I expected to see the reef in a further state of decline. However, the health of the reef appears to have plateaued and the coral, which was almost lost in this area, has made a surprising re-emergence.”

Garifuna Collective keeps Belizean music alive
Seven years after the death of its leader, the Garifuna Collective from Belize remains on track, with new recordings and a concert tour that brings the group to San Francisco this week. Singer-songwriter Andy Palacio, Belize's cultural ambassador to the world, worked tirelessly to teach others about his people, the Garifuna. Collaborating with producer Ivan Duran and recruiting Garifuna musicians from throughout Central America, in 2006 they released "Watina," a powerful album of Afro-Caribbean folk and rock that topped world music charts and had the Garifuna Collective poised for international recognition. Two years later, Palacio, at 47, died suddenly from a series of strokes, and Belize was stunned. His band didn't have the luxury to pause. "We were obviously shocked, but we had an entire tour that had already been booked," says Duran, who runs Belize's only recording studio. "When he died, we knew that we had to honor those commitments. So we made it a tribute tour."

The Mysterious Belize Great Blue Hole is a large underwater hole off the coast of Belize. It lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll 100 kilometres (62 mi) from the mainland and Belize City. The hole is perfectly circular in shape, over 300 metres (1000 ft) across, 3140 feet circumference and 125 metres (410 ft) deep. It was formed as a limestone cave system during the last glacial period when the sea level was 400 to 500 feet below present time and was dryland. Last glacial period began about 120,000 years ago and end about 15,000 years ago. Reaching the maximum extension 26,500 years ago. At the end the ocean began to rise, the caves flooded, and the roof collapsed. Believed to be the world’s largest feature of its kind, the Great Blue Hole is part of the larger Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, a World Heritage site of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).