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The San Pedro Sun

Meet your National AIDS Commission Island Committee members
The National AIDS Commission Island Committee was established to carry out the local aspect of the National Response to HIV following the guidelines of the National AIDS Commission. The entity is commissioned by the Government of Belize to carry out this function. The committee is made up of a multi-sectoral body. The San Pedro Sun takes this opportunity to present the members of the executive body to you – the community that they serve. This week we introduce Lezel Cayetano: Serving the community in which I live is one of the greatest pleasures I derive from in my job. My name is Lezel Lori Cayetano. I am originally from the land where sweetness abounds, Punta Gorda. I spent much of my life in Belize City where I attended both primary and secondary schools. Following this, my passion for service to my fellow beings made my decision to pursue a career in nursing quite easy. I attended the Bliss School of Nursing, which later amalgamated into the University of Belize where I attained my Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health Nursing.

Editorial: Patriotic Ponderings
My first travels to Belize were before the country had gained independence from the Queen, and I wish I still had those Belikin beer glasses that commemorated that historic day on Sept 21, 1981! Little did I know then that those souvenirs would someday represent the independence of my new homeland. As a recently naturalized Belizean this year’s Independence Day holds a special place in my heart…for the land of the free by the Carib Sea is now the country I am proud to call home. And even though tyrants and despots still linger in our young country, Belizeans maintain the hope that our country can be a tranquil haven for democracy. The words of our National Anthem still ring true; nature has blessed us with wealth untold, from our mountains and valleys where prairies roll, to our coral isles over blue lagoon – we should never forget that we are fortunate to call this beautiful country our home.

Dengue outbreak numbers decline
The number of confirmed dengue fever cases have gone down in San Pedro since the outbreak was first reported a few weeks ago. On Friday, August 23rd the Ministry of Health (MoH) launched the dengue prevention campaign, “Keep San Pedro Dengue Free” due to 19 confirmed cases of dengue fever on Ambergris Caye. A team of ten public health officers were sent to Ambergris Caye to investigate and assist in tackling the dengue outbreak. The team inspected areas that were likely to be a breeding spots for the virus-transmitting mosquito Aedes Aegypti, a striped black and white mosquito. These areas included San Mateo, San Pablo, San Marcos, DFC and Boca del Rio areas. According to San Pedro Health Inspector, Lisa Tillet the numbers of infected individuals has dropped, as only two confirmed infected cases of dengue have been reported since the initial report. “We will not say that the fear of contracting dengue fever is over, but it is being controlled. Fewer people are reporting dengue fever and that is good,” said Tillet.

SACNW hosts annual September Potluck event
The South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch group (SACNW) held its annual September potluck event on Sunday the 15th at the Caribe Island Resort. The gathering is a fun way for neighbors to get together in a social atmosphere and enjoy the beach, the company and some wonderful food. This year the food was plentiful and varied – and all gone by 2pm! Bob Utsman was kind enough to hold a Chinese auction and this event raised $325 in a short 15 minutes of laughter and daring. The happy winner was our very own Jan Brown from the Marco Gonzalez Archeological Reserve. The prizes were generously donated by Wine De Vine, the Black Orchid Restaurant and the Belize Chocolate Company. Guests included a handful of police officers that are always glad to assist SACNW in its endeavors. SACNW takes this opportunity to thank the Caribe Island Resort for graciously hosting this event.

Diving into Adventure-The Great Blue Hole
It can be described as a diver’s paradise and a snorkeler’s dream. What is it I’m speaking of you may ask? The Great Blue Hole of course! The Blue Hole is worshipped by many for its splendid aura and breathtaking sights. The 410 ft deep submarine sinkhole rests peacefully in the midst of Lighthouse Atoll, its body of deep blue waters perfectly encircled by layers and layers of striking corals, stalactites and stalagmites. The site boasts diversity as it not only attracts underwater (dive) enthusiasts but also embraces those seeking an exciting adventure an equally exciting via snorkelling. Geared up and ready to take the plunge, I was once again on another adventure with the boys from Amigos del Mar, whose dock we had left at 6AM sharp. Our group consisted of about thirty of divers and snorkellers, who were ready to experience one of the greatest wonders of the world. It was a full day tour package divided into three adventures.

Misc Belizean Sources

Did you loose this dog?
If this is your dog, or if you know who the dog belongs to, kindly contact Jose Castillo, caretaker at Solaria Villas (located between Las Terazzas and Rendezvous, 3.5 miles north of San Pedro). Jose's phone number is 604-1978. The dog followed him home Friday night and is being cared for at Solaria now.

Electric Bill Craziness
Umm we just received a bill for $1100...our neighbor last month had a crazy bill too..So for one month we have used more electricity then the other 9 months? Has anyone else had this experience? Our bill is totally random right now. It's huge and makes no sense. Very annoying. There has been no rhyme or reason for us either....The media has gotten involved, BEL states they have a special customer service group for these unexplained increases....We have hired electricians and monitored our meter....still cannot figure it out....Last month $591 this month $791....If you discover something let us know.....

San Pedro Independence Day 2013 Parade Winners
BEST FLOAT: 1st Place - Wil Alamilla - "Shaping up a colorful future" 2nd Place - Wings ADULT GROUP: 1st Place - San Pedro AIDS Commission 2nd Place - Sajia's Construction 3rd Place - Just Friends SCHOOL CATEGORY: Wil Alamilla "Shaping up a colorful future" KIDS CATEGORY: Little Dynamic Stars All winners can pass by at the San Pedro Town Council to collect their prize. Thanks everyone for participating and thank you to all our judges.

Your Excellency, the Governor-General, Sir Colville Young, and Lady Young Hon Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica and our Independence Day Guest of Honour My Lord Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin, and other Justices of the Supreme Court Hon Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca, and Mrs Fonseca Hon Ministers of government and Members of the National Assembly Your Worship the Mayor of Belmopan, Mr Simeon Lopez, and Mrs Lopez My Lords the Bishops of the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches of Belize Superintendent of the Methodist Belize/Honduras District President of the Evangelical Association of Churches Other members of the Clergy Excellencies of the Diplomatic Corps Members of the Consular Corps Special guests, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, Fellow Belizeans.

PHS needs a donor for a sick puppy on the penninsula. Any healthy dog can give blood. Please call Doran, Chairman Placencia Humane Society at 670-4130. No matter where you are at, arrangements can be worked out. Thank you in advance.

VIDEO: Getting the party started with the San Pedro Dance Company
One of the highlights of my Friday night September Celebrations fun was walking out of Fido's sometime after 10:00pm with Beth and Tacoboy and getting paraded by the San Pedro Dance Company.

PHOTOS: Jouvert, Placencia 2013
Not technically my best work but I did enjoy shooting it. Feel free to drag them off and use them however you like as long as you don't remove the watermark in the lower right corner of the image. Tag them if you know them.

PHOTOS: Independence Day Parade - Placencia 2013
Okay some free photos for you to use. I didn't really do much post processing at all. So if you're in the parade and saw me pointing the lens at you, it should be in here. Feel free to use them as you wish as long as you leave the watermark. If you know someone feel free to tag them. If you want the full size image just contact me and I'll try dig them up for you.

Belize da fu We
Great song for a great Independence Day. Courtesy of Pandy. "Super Furia Band from Orange Walk Town,Belize, singing about dem no weh get wa square Centimeter a de sweet BELIZE LAND"

Succotz Independence Day Parade
Independence Day found many villages around Cayo having parades and festivities. Rain didn't stop them either. Thanks to D Russell Photography, many great pictures were captured. More photos here!

Cayo Celebrates Independence Eve
Happy Independence Day! Last night in Cayo was supreme! Live Music Fridays at Mr. Greedy's always draws a crowd, and the Cayo Welcome Center had Grupo Jade play through the night. The fireworks were amazingly well done. "Downtown Cayo was packed with happy party goers, who all came out for some great music, happy hour priced drinks(Mr. Greedy's), and fireworks. Mr. Greedy's Pizzeria had Emmanuel Mangar for their Live Music Friday, and Fuego Bar & Grill Belize brought in Grupo Jade for their Music in the Park at the Cayo Welcome Center. There's a new restaurant there called D Catch, and they have great drinks and ceviche."

D Catch Grand Opening
D Catch had their grand opening last night, and they had Emmanuel Mangar for your listening pleasure. D Catch has amazing ceviches and some nice drinks. They are conveniently located in the Cayo Welcome Center. It's already looking like they'll be Cayo's number one seafood restaurant. What a great day to have a grand opening. Happy Independence Day! "The Owner & staff at D catch are honored to have Cayo’s Best performing Live!! Emmanuel Manger is a young and talented artist. We fully support our local artist here at D Catch! GRAND OPENING : SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 21ST 11am - Midnight! Emmanuel’s performance is at 7:00pm! Don’t be late"

The Independence Day parade in Corozal town was spectacular. These pictures are courtesy my colleague Lyndon Gillett.

Despite a heavy downpour, complete with thunder and lightening, thousands of Belizeans turned out for the Independence Day parade in San Ignacio/Santa Elena.

Independence, which this year we celebrate under the theme "Belize in you, Belize in me -Land of the free", is the cardinal fact of a nation's existence. It is political and geopolitical. It is cultural and ethnic and spiritual and material. It is the very fount of a country's being, the source of things practical and philosophical, of things quotidian and things transformational. In reflecting on our Independence, then, we must of course be preoccupied with the here and now, with our current well being and state of affairs. But we must also be forward looking, concerned with the future, with where we want to go and how we get there.


Students In Corozal Take Part In Children's Rally
Our Corozal reporter Victor Castillo also was on hand for the school’s parade in Corozal Town. Here’s that story. Victor Castillo- Reporter It’s one of the staples for September—The Primary...

Annual School Rally Lights Up The Streets Of O/W
Orange Walk Town came alive this morning as the students and teachers of the various learning institutions paraded through the principle streets. The parade was filled with festive colours;...

Honorable George Cadle Price Gone But Not Forgotten
On September 19, 2011, Father of the Nation Rt. Hon. George Price passed away a little before seven in the morning, leaving Belizeans around the world to mourn his death. ...

The History Behind The Belizean Flag
September is a time for jubilation, and patriotic pride is exhibited by Belizeans all around the world with the proud waving and display of our flag. But how many...

The Belize Times

Friends With Benefits – UDP corrupts Social Investment Fund
The Social Investment Fund (SIF), which was once recognized throughout the region as a model development-funding agency, has now been permanently tarnished by corruption at the hands of operatives of the UDP Government. The agency has been turned into a sort of “Friends With Benefits” organization where friends of UDP Ministers are allowed to disregard due process and exploit its resources. In return the UDP Ministers get kickbacks for their political campaigns and UDP friends collect special monetary gifts, while the project languishes and its proposed beneficiaries are shafted. On Tuesday the Executive Director of SIF, Daniel Cano, resigned amidst a huge scandal involving allegations of extortion made by a contractor, Kenard Smart, who is a known UDP. Four other executive employees: Public Relations Officer, Mike Hernandez; Project Engineer, Lionel Jimenez; Financial officer Enrique Romero and Fausto Pineda were fired following evidence that they received payments from Smart’s company, K&G Construction.

Penner forced to resign!!
The Barrow Administration has confirmed what the BELIZE TIMES has been reporting for several months – that massive corruption exists in the Ministry of Immigration involving the unscrupulous issuance of visas and passports by high officials. The Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration Elvin Penner was forced to resign on Wednesday evening and the public informed of that resignation on Thursday morning via a vague press release from the Office of the Prime Minister. The release did not give a clear reason for the firing, aside from saying that Penner “did not discharge his responsibilities with either the due judgment and balance, or the scrupulous regard for appearances” in a “situation” that was brought to the attention of the Prime Minister.

Tribute to George Price – PUP observes 2nd Annual National Service Day
One of the everlasting memories of the Father of the Nation Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price is his selfless commitment to service to the nation. To mark the legacy of the Father of the Nation, last year the PUP committed to holding a day of national service annually. This year, the PUP is holding steadfast to its commitment with a series of activities to commemorate the important day. The day began with the PUP Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca, members of the Price family and other leaders of the Party laying a wreath at Premier Price’s grave site at Lord Ridge Cemetery. Following this various constituencies and the arms of the Party spread across the country to carry out its community service. The PUP Freetown carried out a visit to the elderly where they also handed over a food basket with basic food items. The Committee also donated paint to Trinity Methodist School.

HAPPPY BIRTHDAY We Belizeans have much to be thankful for as we celebrate 32 years of becoming an independent nation. We are still a God bearing nation. We have excellent relationship among our diverse ethnic groups. We have a reasonable working form of democracy although it is currently crippled and mocked by a handful of politicians in office. We are a poor people but need to remember the words of our national Anthem that nature has blest us with wealth untold and that with good leadership and proper government we all can and will enjoy the benefits of that blessing. Despite the shocking revelations in the recent report by the Inter American Development Bank, a large number of our young people are still able to get into school across the nation thanks to the efforts of their parents. There are still decent numbers of our people who get up each day and have some form of work to go to. Our hearts bleed for the large number who can find no work. It is unsatisfactory that workers like the Police, BDF, teacher, nurses and Public Officers have been slaving in the trenches and their wages are unable to keep up with the rising cost of living.

Requiem for September 10th holiday
By G. Michael Reid. So the UDP portion of the celebrations is over and done with and now we can move on the day when all Belizeans can join in the celebration. The Tenth of September has come and gone but from most accounts, it did not amount to much. I watched the parade (if you can call it that) on the only media house that actually covered the event in real time. No surprise, that station was Wave radio and television, the UDP party organs. All that I saw was a bunch of red shirts and a few UDP flags being waved. It was a sad requiem to an occasion that was once festive, inclusive and expressive of loyalty to country. The parade, like the holiday, seems to have now been reduced to simply a display of loyalty to a political party. On the eve of the parade was another traditional parade, this one The Fire Engine Parade. So named because it is where all the fire engines in town would join with any other vehicle that used a siren to circle the town and add to the excitement of the occasion. It is something that used to be looked forward to, in particular by young children. A part of the tradition, and this traditionally an equally exciting part, was the large number of bicycles that would follow the parade.

Thirty two years after our glorious independence, Dean Barrow as the current Prime Minister has succeeded in dragging our young nation to the ground. Barrow himself has been in party politics for thirty years and has succeeded in bringing nothing to the table. There is no legislation, no policy initiative, no plank or raft of reform to which he points to or claims credit to which he can say with some measure of pride: this is my legacy to my country. The stinking, rotten carcass of corruption which represents only the last in a long line of scandalous revelations under the Dean Barrow Administration burst out of Dangriga two weeks ago. Hundreds and thousands of dollars has been stolen and disappeared like so many other scandalous hustles under Dean Barrow. He never has any apologies, so do not expect any from the wholesale thieving that went on in Dangriga. This latest one is $700,000 of money that should have assisted the poor people of Dangriga. The Social Investment Fund (SIF) has become a sieve under Barrow. That is where all the money is being funnelled to cronies and Party hacks. They are hustling to high heavens.

Pope, Choto, Eiley & Quiros win September Criterium
Benny’s Megabytes’ Byron Pope won the elite category of the Belize Cycling Association’s annual September criterium sponsored by Bowen & Bowen Ltd on Albert and Regent Streets in downtown Belize City on Sunday, September 15. Jose Choto won the Masters category, while Kerah Eiley won the Female category and Oscar Quiros won the junior category. Pope was 1st in the 30-lap race to win 5 cases of Belikin beer and stout from Bowen & Bowen Ltd and the 1st place trophy as well as 3 lap prizes of $25 each at the 9th, 24th and 27th laps.

Easy Does It & UB Jaguars win softball games
Easy Does It of Flowers Bank and the UB Jaguars both won Game 1 of the Belize Rural women’s softball semifinals in Lord’s Bank on Sunday. Winning pitcher Amber Wade led Easy Does It to an 18-17 win over Lord’s Bank Sunrise, whose pitcher Stacey Smith was credited with the loss. Winning pitcher Herlette Clarke led the UB Jaguars to a 16-6 win by mercy rule over Double Head Cabbage Mel’s United, whose pitcher Annett Morey was credited with the loss. Easy Does It will take on Lord’s Bank Sunrise and the UB Jaguars face off with Mel’s United in Game 2 of their series in Lord’s Bank at 9 AM Sunday, September 22.

Belize’s Eric Stamp wins Gold in Central American table tennis championships
Belizean Eric Stamp won Gold in the 65 and over age category; while Hector Lopez and Davis Huang won bronze medals in the 60-64 years category; when Belize Table Tennis Association hosted the XV Central American table tennis masters singles championships at the Belize Elementary School auditorium over the weekend. 68 players signed up in the Round Robin competition followed by Knock Out finals for 2 players from each group who advances to the Knock Out Final round. Costa Rica’s Carlos Velazquez won the 30-39 category. Mexico’s Sergio Blanco won the 40-49 category. El Salvador’s Jose Ramos won the 50-59 category. Gerardo Villagra of Costa Rica won the 60-64 category in 1st place while Belize’s Hector Lopez and Davis Huang were 3rd place.

AMAZING GRACE – Has Belize come to her senses?
Belize is a country which can boast natural treasures, such as our blue hole, our barrier reef (which is the longest living barrier reef), pristine jungles, and so much more. Our land is also a treasure chest of history with our Maya sites and preservations. We are masters of diversity; the descendants of the indigenous Maya, the Garifuna, the Creole, the Mestizo, and even modern Europeans call this place home. It has been more than three decades since independence was gained on that fateful night in 1981. Now, as our thirty-second birthday approaches, I wonder: Belize, have you come to your senses? Jesus tells a story about a young man who came to his senses when he hit absolute rock bottom. This particular young man had everything: a nice home, a loving father, food on the table. Still, he was restless. He needed to get out and see the world, so he demanded his inheritance from his father. After pocketing his father’s money, he turned on his heels and went about his own way. Drunk on his new wealth, the son decided to take a walk on the wild side. He frequented the latest dance clubs and partied away. He bought rounds of booze for his friends and kept the company of prostitutes. Sounds like a lot of fun right?

Stake Bank – Striking the Right Balance
There is a lot of heated debate taking place right now over two mega-developments being proposed for the future of tourism in Belize. On the one hand, there is the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) project that seems to have gotten off on the wrong foot, with a reckless “diss” to the sacred dügu ceremony and an MOU that looks more like an IOU. It is clear that with the NCL deal, certain handpicked UDPs “di come up” with no real or long-term benefits trickling down to our southern brothers and sisters. Sure, there may be a few jobs created, 25% to be exact, but cleaning up the excrement and trash left behind by party-going revelers could hardly be described as “dignified” employment. After five long years of complete neglect, the south is hungry for investment, any investment, and the UDPs are now capitalizing on our people’s starvation. On the other hand, the Stake Bank project seems to have taken off almost turbulent-free. For starters, the project is the brainchild of the Feinstein Group headed by Mike Feinstein, a Belizean developer who is tried, tested and proven.

Stories of a Sufferah – Fallen Soldiers
It’s a common practice for everyone connected to a fallen soldier to pay their respect at the soldier’s departure from this world. I have been to several funerals where “fallen soldiers” are given the fullest respect, not by the top brass but by the foot soldiers. I went to the late Michelle Williams funeral, in attendance was a host of teachers, students, ordinary citizens and fellow soldiers from various neighborhoods. I also attended the late great Pearlene Smith’s funeral whose attendants were mostly relatives and neighborhood sympathizers. At both funerals I observed a serious sense of disrespect as none of the political bosses for any of them showed up to pay their respects. I would have to say that the highest level of disrespect towards a fallen soldier was at the late PC Dean Yearwood’s funeral, whose very own superiors challenged the events that led to his death.

Thirty two years ago, after a hard won campaign for recognition of our right to Independence, the people of Belize began charting a new course as a sovereign, independent nation, inspired by the message and vision of George Price. There is reason for us therefore to be proud and even to celebrate. As we celebrate, we recognize that serious challenges confront us as a nation. Governance continues to be characterized by chronic combativeness. We need less confrontation and more dialogue. We need less arrogance and more humility. Less personality politics and more problem solving. The UDP Government’s response to the PUP proposal for Reform of the Public Accounts Committee, supported by the NTUCB and the Chamber of Commerce, regrettably, takes us further away from these objectives. The will of the people can be delayed. It shall not be denied. The politics of change and participation is here to stay.

We need more support for Young People!
We all know that in an ever changing world, BELIZE needs to adapt quickly, or the country and its people will lose their grasp. The younger generations are fast adapting to technology, internet and cable TV, for instance. However, they need to learn to apply it properly to accommodate Education, Entrepreneurship, and Community Service. These areas must be “worked into” the mentality of the young people in BELIZE to ensure that the future is not only promising, but feasible to growth and development. Without a proper education, you can’t be adequately employed. Getting an education that encompasses both academics and technical “hands on” experience is a necessity. That is solid education. A majority of young Belizeans are accustomed to going to school because they “have to” – because their parents send them. That MUST change. Parents are sending their children to school to LEARN, and make the best of themselves.

Pay up GOB!
Dear Editor, I write expressing my displeasure and my anger at how our Government continues to shamelessly disregard the welfare of its citizens. Two years ago, I brought a suit against a customer who owed me some thousand dollars. I had won the case and I was to get this money from the Treasury and every time I visit the Treasury I am given the turn around. I am told to go and get it in Belmopan. I have been to Belmopan four times and every time I am told to pick it up from the Treasury in my town. Over this two year period, I have made every effort to get my money and I am still here, not paid one penny. How does our Government treat citizens this way? How does it expect me to give it another chance at governance? What is worse, Editor is that Government charges 12% GST on this sum of money.


Getting paraded by the San Pedro Dance Company
All across Belize people were enjoying September Celebrations parties. San Pedro Town was no exception and it was packed with people who came out to enjoy the start of the Independence Day Parade festivities We started at Wine de Vine, I had not been there in a while and it was nice to visit with the Island Wine drinkers. We followed that Pedro’s Inn for some live music, to see the The Cover-ups – great rock and roll band that plays there every Friday. After that we hit the block party in the park for a while and then decided to walk down the road to Fido’s Restaurant & Bar. One of the highlights of my Friday night September Celebrations fun was walking out of Fido’s sometime after 10:00pm with Beth and Tacoboy and getting paraded by the San Pedro Dance Company. Tip for living in Belize – The party month of September is a good time to make sure you are taking your vitamins. Same applies for June and the week long celebration of San Pedro Lobster Festival.

HAPPY Independence Day Belize! Today The Country JUMPS UP!
Okay…so none of you are actually awake yet. In fact, in Belize, September 20th is one of the biggest party nights of the year. And in San Pedro? That’s saying a lot. We’ve got some BIG party nights. Like Halloween and New Year’s Eve…and Easter weekend, the whole weekend…and August’s Costa Maya festival…the list goes on. Now first open Belize’s Ernestine Caballo’s song and PLAY: Carnival Is Here. Last night kicked off (KICKED OFF) at 10pm with the Central Park block party, the 11pm Coast Guard 21 gun salute (which immediately has me humming the Green Day song) and the midnight HUGE fireworks display. What was I doing? Sleeping. The fireworks did wake me for about 10 seconds. Lame. Yes I know. No need to say it. I did stop by earlier in the day to take some pictures of the set-up…and then again in the early evening around 8pm. Here are my pictures. After about a week of grey skies and rain, yesterday was gorgeous.

Belize At 32 - Happy Birthday
The land of my birth, Belize, celebrates its independence today. I can still feel the pride and remember the celebrations on that day, September 21, 1981 when Belize went from self-government under British rule to independence. Traditional Independence Day celebrations will be held all over the country and will include open-air concerts, dancing in the streets and family time cookouts in parks and backyards in honor of the holiday. I also wish to extend my sincere good wishes to the prime minister, Hon. Dean Barrow, on this special day. May we have continued prosperity and a peaceful future and a new tomorrow. Belizeans abroad, let's celebrate with pride!

During the period 11-13 September 2013, Caribbean Export Development Agency, assisted 20 Caribbean firms, the majority of whom were from Jamaica (14 firms), in their effort to explore trade opportunities with the Dominican Republic (DR). Other participating firms included those from St. Lucia, Grenada, Guadeloupe and Haiti. The initiative was executed within the framework of the EU funded 10th European Development Fund Regional Private Sector Development Programme and was geared towards the promotion of stronger trade and investment relations between CARICOM and the Dominican Republic.

“Independence Day” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
No lengthy narrative from me for this edition. I got up. Spent some time on the veranda. Watched a couple of Premiership games (none of them particularly scintillating). Had breakfast. And then Rose and I went to the town center to watch the Independence Day parade. And what follows is a load of photos to let you see what we saw. On the way to the start point at Boca del Rio. And another one. Rose and I then went to Angel Coral Street (Back Street) to watch the parade and catch the participants when they were at their freshest (it was also not as hot and crowds for us as it was in Barrier Reef Drive (Front Street). Some things you learn with age!

International Sources

US Increases Elite Troops in Latin American and Caribbean
The U.S. has deployed additional Special Operations Forces (SOF) in Latin America on training and intelligence gathering missions, says a study caried out by several academic centers in this capital city. These units are part of an assistance program in the region and most have been formed under the pretext of anti-narcotic operations, despite Caribbean and Latin American leaders growing calls for a change to this policy. The new assessment on security in the Western Hemisphere was developed by the Latin American Working Group Education Fund (Lawgef), the Center for International Policy (CIP) and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). These institutions point out that even though U.S. assistance has dropped to nearly the lowest level in more than a decade, there is a focus on other less transparent military activities, out of the public eye. The report titled "Time to Listen: Trends in U.S. Security Assistance to Latin American and the Caribbean," highlights that significant financial resources have not been devoted to these activities, yet everything is kept under a veil of mystery.

Guy Lamothe new Ambassador of Haiti to Belize
Wednesday, Guy Lamothe, the new Ambassador of Haiti to Belize, presented in Belmopan [Capital of Belize] his credentials to the Governor General Colville Young. Mr. Lamothe, already Ambassador of Haiti in Mexico will keep its office in that country. Guy Lamothe succeeds to Guy Alexandre, to this function officially vacant since the resignation of the latter in 2003. This is the second time since the independence of Belize, that Haiti is represented by an ambassador. Ambassador Lamothe, at the invitation of the Government of Belize, will participate today, Saturday to the festivities commemorating the 31st anniversary of the Independence of the country.

US Sends Best Wishes to Belize on 32nd Anniversary
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I send best wishes to the Belizean people as you mark the 32nd anniversary of your nation’s independence on September 21. Our relationship is strong and rooted in the shared values of democracy and cultural diversity. We work as partners to promote citizen security, expand trade and economic growth, and build opportunities for all people. The successful friendship between our two countries sets a powerful example for the entire region.

Belize’s Kanantik Reef & Jungle Resort Is a Breathtaking Eco-Hideaway
A breathtaking eco-hideaway on 300 jungle acres between Dangriga and Placencia in Belize is the Kanantik Reef & Jungle Resort in Dangriga. Founded in 2002 by an Italian businessman, Kanantik, which means “to take care” in Mayan Mopan. The resort is eco in every way, located four miles from the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, which is nothing short of a jaguar preserve and a short boat ride from the world’s second-largest barrier reef. Imagine Mayan thatched-roof cabanas with wraparound decks, canopied beds, and wood floors. Kanantik’s 25 luxurious private cabanas, salt-water pool and world-class restaurant are found on 1,300 acres of untouched jungle, home to a menagerie of wildlife and flora. With the jungle and mountains behind, Kanantik is a rare resort in that it also looks out over the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. No other resort in Belize offers this magical blend of jungle refuge and tropical beach. The stretch of beach will take you away into a world of tropical haven….a place you can lounge, swim, relax, read a book or order an exotic cocktail.