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#488404 - 03/21/14 06:50 AM Today's Belize News: March 21, 2014
Marty Offline


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The San Pedro Sun

Lions donate wheelchairs to Poly Clinic
On Friday, March 14th, the San Pedro Lions Club donated five, much needed wheelchairs to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II. On hand to receive the donation was Administrator of the clinic, Owen Vellos and Doctor Javier Zuniga. According to Belize Lions Zone 59 Chairperson, Melanie Paz, this is just the first of many donations from the San Pedro Lions to the clinic. “The plan is for the Lions Club to make additional donations of crutches as well as examination tables to the clinic. We want to give the clinic items that they require and that assist patients with a full recovery,” said Paz. Each wheelchair was purchased at a cost of approximately $700 from the Belize Red Cross and are to be used exclusively by the Polyclinic.

Law enforcement agencies descend on Ambergris Caye
Broaster said that residents and tourists should not be afraid of their presence and that in fact they are targeting rogue people and criminals who are responsible for the illegal activities on the island. “Our operations will include motorcycle patrols, vehicular checkpoints and targeted raids,” said Broaster. He indicated that in just the few hours in to their operations, the team has confiscated over one kilo of suspected cocaine and various amounts of marijuana that has lead to several arrests. “I want to inform Sanpedranos to be on the lookout and to notify us of any suspicious activities they see in their areas. We know the challenges affecting the island and we want to address those issues but we need the community to help. The residents need to notify us about suspicious activities in their neighborhood,” said Broaster. The operations began on March 20th and will run indefinitely until the island can see a sense of peace and normality.

Mexican Government Special Scholarship Program for Foreigners
The Embassy of Mexico presents its compliments to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has the honor to refer to the “Mexican Government Special Scholarship Program for Foreigners” offered through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico. In this regard, the Embassy is pleased lo inform the Ministry that the Scholarship Call 2014 to carry out the Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Public Administration and Policy as well as International Relations for the academic year 2014-20’18 at El Colegio de Mexico is opened and will remain available until May 2nd, 2014 at the following link: http://amexcid.oob.mx/index.ohp/componenucontenvarticle/1991

San Pedro rallies to provide better housing for island police officers
Police officers play a vital role in maintaining law and order in a community, but when faced with mediocre living conditions and low pay it can be difficult for them to carry out the responsibilities and morals that are instilled in them while trained at the Belize Police Academy. Police officers on Ambergris Caye face an even greater financial hardship as the island is one of the most expensive areas in Belize to live. Police constables earn as little as $250 per week and only as an officer grows in ranks does their pay raise. This growth can take years, and for many officers that option does not exist. Some officers believe that higher positions are only given to those with strong political ties. No one will argue that living on a $250 weekly budget on Ambergris Caye is easy, and it is even more challenging when an officer has a family to support . Few to no officers are originally from San Pedro Town, many come from mainland Belize. These men and women leave their homes, families, friends and good living conditions in hopes of prosperity and to serve their country.

Ambergris Today

As early at 4a.m. this morning, Thursday, March 20, 2014, the GSU soldiers were already raiding homes, searching individuals on the street, posting traffic checkpoints and confiscating drugs. Residents were alarmed at first but soon realized that the island’s local authorities had responded to their cries and were quick to bring in the GSU to the island after the sudden insurgence of crime on the island. Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. commented that after he brought up the request at the last government cabinet meeting, there was a unanimous agreement to bring the GSU to Ambergris Caye. The Gang Suppression Unit is working independently from the San Pedro Police Department, conducting their own searches, raids and checkpoints. They are stopping every person on bicycles to conduct searches, inspecting every vehicle indiscriminately. The Unit has already made several arrests and drug busts.

Ambulance Service Coming Soon to San Pedro
“The ambulance we plan on getting will not be the standard or typical ambulance like they have in the city or the ones you see on television,” stated Dr. Gonzalez to Ambergris Today. “We are planning on getting an all-terrain vehicle, like a Polaris vehicle, which we know would function excellent in the type of roads which we have. It will be fully equipped and functioning as an ambulance.” Dr. Daniel and partners are currently working on a plan and hopes that the business sector of the island will be willing to help financially so as to have the ambulance service available to the entire public free of charge. The new two-storey building will include living quarters for medical staff and four rooms for medical offices and radiology. Building plans and contracts are currently being signed and hopefully this project will kick off as early as next month and should be up and running in about six months. More finalized details on this exciting project will be posted as they become available.

Mexico Offering Bachelor Degree Scholarships
The Mexican Authorities herein offer Bachelor Degree Scholarships [in the fields of (1) Public Administration and Policy and (2) International Relations] for the academic period 2014 to 2018 at the El Colegio de Mexico. The application deadline has been established at May 2, 2014. Further information is available at http://amexcid.gob.mx/index.php/component/content/article/1991 .

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize and the immigration hustle
We must look at the role of migration in helping to shape the kind of state Belize has become. This is in consideration of the fact that the country has experienced significant emigration and immigration, which have help to define Belize in the last five decades. Greater consideration is given to immigration as Belize continue to attract people to its shores. This immigration has brought up questions of national identity and regional integration. Besides the “immigration hustling” that took place, significant immigration has also highlighted the government 's lack of a coherent immigration policy, although minister Fonseca acknowledge the immigration situation in Belize. There is a political aspect of this immigration, in relation to issues of sovereignty, citizenship, and voting. The arrival of a significant number of Central Americans in Belize during the 1980s corresponded with Belizean independence, and a few years later the economic liberalization of the country. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees played a significant role in resettling thousands of these Central American economic migrants (some legitimate refugees), providing them with aid and assistance. With the acquiescence of the Belizean government (perhaps grateful of the role the UN had played in the road to independence) these immigrants experienced a most favorable context of reception. While they face some hostility from Black and other Belizeans, with the assistance of the UN and Belizean government, these immigrants were given land and provided with generous services. This contrasted with the reception most of their countrymen received in Mexico and other Central American countries. This resettlement eventually led to chain migration.

FISHING REPORT: Week of March 8 – 15th, 2014
Our fishing life intertwines us with some spectacular people and places. Yes, we are in search of a better cast to land the fish of our hearts, but the most precious part of the story is always the people. We were sold out this week with father and sons, father and daughters, mother’s and sons and families enjoying being present with one another. Fishing brought you all together to share this week with us at El Pescador. Thank you. I know it gave me goose bumps as I was wading the flats with Matson, his wife Kathy, Sam (who at 14 can cast 80 easy), Sydney and of course, Sawyer. Sawyer learned to cast 55 ft at 8. But his dad does own Angler’s West – one of the best fly shops in Montana. I heard Matson’s voice travel over the water as he guided his family into fish. It was a very familiar voice as we used to guide the same rivers. I would hear his voice instructing his anglers. And then, here he was, visiting us with his family – and his voice, teaching with joy and extreme patience. Some of the simple pleasures mean so much. Thank you everyone for a great week. Fish On!

All People Matter
The University of Belize joins with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) this March and proclaim that “All People Matter”. The NASW was formed in 1955 in the United States and is perhaps the single largest organization of professional social workers in the world. The month of March has been declared as the month of the social worker and this year’s theme is “All People Matter”. The University of Belize through the Faculty of Nursing, Allied Health, and Social Work recognizes the contribution of social workers in Belize and shares in the proclamation laid out by the NASW, further inviting all social workers to reflect in their practice and in the progressive strides of the profession in Belize.

Belize Fishermen Cooperative Association Training Workshop for Fishers
The Belize Fishermen Cooperative Association will be conducting a training workshop for fishers this Friday, 21 March at their Belize City office. The workshop is part of a project funded by the Community Management of Protected Areas Conservation Programme (COMPACT) that aims to improve the welfare of coastal fishing communities and increase the conservation, protection and sustainable harvest of marine resources. The workshop will provide fishers with an understanding of the Cooperative Movement, the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy, Climate Change Adaptation and Seafood Handling. The fishers will also learn about Safety at Sea, Basic Outboard Engine Repair and Basic First Aid to further improve their skills in coping with accidents at sea. The presenters at the workshop will include the Cooperative Department, Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism, Northern Fishermen Cooperative Society, Belize Meteorological Service, Belize Red Cross, Belize Coast Guard and the Belize Police Dept. The training workshops will also be held in four other communities including Caye Caulker, Sarteneja, Chunox and Placencia.

World Culture Band at Flayva's
The World Culture Band has been playing at Flayva's on Sundays. Burns avenue has a completely new vibe now that Flayva's and Wing Stop work together to bring music and culture to downtown Cayo. They've had a lot of beer specials too, from Heineken to Carib to Kubuli. "Flayva's has had the World Culture Band play on Sunday nights lately, and it's been a really good vibe downtown."

Orquidea Negra Road Trip
Orquidea Negra is going to perform for Maya Day at the Mayan Festival down at Blue Creek in Toledo on Sunday, March 23rd. They've gotten a bus for them and their fans, and the cost is only $35. Call 633-2726 for more information. Have fun on thier grand excursion road trip. "You wouldn't want someone else to tell you about the fun that we will all have right? Please contact us as soon as possible and pay your ticket in..."

"Career Day" at the Belmopan Comprehensive High School
Today was "Career Day" at the Belmopan Comprehensive High School. Various presenters, including representatives of the media, the medical department, business community and the Development Finance Corporation, spent time with the students discussion he various career opportunities. A few of the students expressed an interest in media and should begin writing stories on activities at their school shortly.

Crowdfunding: a valuable financing opportunity for service enterprises
Q1: How can small enterprises, from least developed, developing, and transition economies, access crowdfunding? A1: Service enterprises can use the online clearinghouse Crowdsunite[1] to find crowdfunding sites that serve a particular country, interest, and financing preference such as debt, equity, or donation. For example, Crowdsunite identified Indiegogo[2] as the number one site for Belize. Indiegogo provides services in 193 countries in 26 currencies. Musicians are using the platform to finance recordings and tours. For technologically astute enterprises, the WPMU DEV Fundraising[3] plug-in can expand the fundraising functionality of an entrepreneur’s website. With adequate bandwidth, service providers can reach financial supporters.

The Disrespecting of Manuel Esquivel
Written by: Godfrey Smith. The political insult is not that Sir Manuel Esquivel, a two-time prime minister of Belize and the United Democratic Party's only statesman - living or dead - should have dared to summon a sitting minister to a meeting about his sacked daughter, but rather that that minister crassly disrespected the summons of the elder statesman of the UDP. For those "raised" in the political culture of the People's United Party, it is impossible to comprehend this kind of contemptuous disregard for a person's place in history. If George Price, in retirement, had issued a summons to a sitting PUP leader no less, it would never have been ignored. Price commanded, until his death, saint-like reverence because of his achievements, granite integrity and messianic appeal. The penalty for abjuring his importance would come not from Price, who was powerless in retirement, but in the form of public opprobrium visited upon the offender by his colleagues and the PUP rank and file.

Children’s Festival of Arts held in San Ignacio town
St. Hilda Anglican School of Georgeville has won two gold certificates in the Children’s Festival of Arts which was held at the Santa Elena Primary School on Wednesday. The winning entrants for St. Hilda were a poem entitled “The Rights of A Child” and a dance by the Standard 5 students entitled: […]

Man built church building with illegal workers; gets fined
Jesus Contreras, 51, a nationalized Belizean originally from Honduras, was fined $4,000 by Magistrate Dale Cayetano after he pleaded guilty to four counts of employing a person not in possession of an employment permit. Contreras was ordered to pay immediately, in default a year in prison. Prior to sentencing, Contreras told the […]

James Swazo pleads guilty to business swindle
James Swazo, aka “The Chainsaw Man,” who was charged with three counts of obtaining property by deception in a case in which he collected money for a person pretending to be Housing Minister Michael Finnegan, was fined $300 today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer after he pleaded guilty to one of the […]

Venezuela embassy explains Government’s efforts to solve political crisis
The ongoing political crisis in Venezuela has moved into a new phase where the incumbent Government of President Nicolas Maduro has asked for international dialogue, particularly with the United States. This phase of the conflict was addressed today by the local Embassy of Venezuela, whose Ambassador, Yoel Perez Marcano, shared their appreciation […]

BFLA defends activities from Church
Of the four organizations blasted by Catholic Bishop Dorick Wright in his letter to school authorities declaring that they be kept away from Catholic schools, the Belize Family Life Association came in for the strongest criticism. It was accused of promoting abortion and sexual rights for very young children. Today its executive […]

PASCA program winds down
The 5 year program coordinating the Central American response to HIV/AIDS, PASCA ends next week. Today its final meeting took place in Belize City and programme specialist from Guatemala, Giovanni Melendez says the program has achieved its objectives of developing the national response to HIV/AIDS in each Central American country. In the […]

Independence village woman found murdered in Bullet Tree Falls
The worst fears of a family from Independence village were confirmed late this evening when police found the body of 24 year old Kayla Burgess. Previously we had reported her name as Kayla Pandy. The family raised the alarm of her apparent kidnapping after they say a text message was received […]

Opposition PUP appoints new Senators
The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) today announced the appointment of two new Senators. They are Attorney- at-Law Anthony Sylvestre, Junior and Belmopan Standard Bearer Patrick Jason Andrews. The new Senators replace Collet Montejo and Karen Bodden who have been serving in the Senate alongside Lisa Shoman. Andrews is an aspirant […]

Corozal schools get donation from United States group
A number of primary schools in the Corozal district have receive much needed teaching aids courtesy a visiting group from the United States. Resource Center International, a group of Rotarians, has been coming to Belize for a while now to help out with much needed assistance to schools, and on this their […]

Kerobe King!
By Abdulmajeed K Nunez He was nicknamed the Kerobe King He was attacked for being daring and aspiring During a time when the Garinagu were organizing George Cadle Price was victimizing anyone that opposed him He was a pioneer in the establishment of St John Teacher’s college He and his wife did pioneering work in, Pine Ridge and Succoth and a host of other Villages He was president of the Belize Tourism for the Central America Doing work in Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Mexico and Costa Rica He can even be called one of Belize's human fathers He pioneered the agriculture show In 1951 San Ignacio Cayo Later it spread to all boroughs

Central Park getting its much needed "face lift" after Carnaval!

Institutional Support to Strengthen the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute (SIRDI) Contribution Agreement: DCI-SUCRE-2011/275984 1. The European Union, represented by the European Commission, (the “Contracting Authority”) of the one part, and The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), (the “Organization”) of the other part, (Individually a “Party” and collectively the “Parties”), have agreed to execute the National Project, Institutional Support to Strengthen the Sugar Industry Research and Development institute (SIRDI). The Overall Objective of the project is to promote and to support sustainable livelihoods, particularly in the rural communities of the “sugar belt”, thus contributing to the reduction of poverty in Belize. The Specific Objective is to increase the capability of SIRDI to address the technological, production and quality requirements of producers, manufacturers and associations, by promoting and supporting Research and Development in sugar cane production. 2. IICA intends to hire a national firm or individual for the consultancy to design, build, implement and host a website for SIRDI.

Neon Paint Madness Refix
The Neon Rave at Meluchi's was wild, and Danny Chung was there to get some wicked pictures of the craziness going down. With plastic wrapped around parts of his camera, he got above the crowd and captured some great shots, as always.

Partner Profile: Belcampo Belize
Though still unpaved, the road to Belcampo is one of the nicer ones around Punta Gorda, Belize – which is to say, there are fewer holes. Cross the threshold into the property, and the brush turns into manicured greenery, tilting shanties give way to freshly painted huts for hens (The Eggmobile), and the overgrown wilderness evaporates into clean, green and sprawling acreage. This is Belcampo, a glossy masterpiece of hospitality that sits, serenely, in the middle of the jungle. Belcampo is an elegant agrotourism lodge turned organic farm, but that’s just the short of it. The entire property is a buzzing epicenter of agro experimentation centered chiefly on finding ways to process the premium commodities of Belize: cacao, sugarcane, coffee. 15,000 coffee plants are already growing on the property, and soon there will be more planted up the nearby mountain. The company has also taken on cultivating acres of Criollo—a rare and genetically pure varietal of cacao that is almost never grown or processed on its own. In the coming months and years, a rum distillery, coffee processing operation, and chocolate-making workshop will come into being.

Video: Placencia Small Business Development
SBDCBelize and Compete Caribbean Summary

Video: Land of Belize Tour with Intrepid Travel
Video highlights from Intrepid Travel's 8-day "Land of Belize" tour through Belize and Guatemala.

Video: La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge 2014
The Race begins....

Video: 2014 La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge Day 3
3rd day coverage. See the immediate reactions to the controversial start at Double Head Cabbage. Double Head Cabbage to Burrell Boom

Video: Deacon Airborne Observatory in Belize
The Deacon Airborne Observatory of Wake Forest University's SUAS Lab recently took a spring break trip to Lighthouse Reef Atoll off the coast of Belize. While there, it imaged the 2 major land masses on the atoll, Long Caye and Northern Caye, totaling 3 square miles. This data will be used to recreate Dr. David Stoddart's vegetation maps of the islands, initially published in 1962.

Video: Crystal Paradise Resort Hotel - San Ignacio - Belize
Surrounded by jungle, Crystal Paradise Resort is located outside of San Ignacio and boasts on-site hiking trails and tour guides. It also offers free Wi-Fi, bird watching and swimming. Each thatched-roof bungalow at this tropical property is equipped with a ceiling fan, a private bathroom and a terrace with hammocks. They are cleaned daily and have hot water. Guests can eat at the property's open-air dining room, where home-style cuisine is served for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Activities like caving, bird watching and snorkelling can be arranged at the property, and Xunantunich Archaeological Site is only 19 km away. Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, which offers waterfalls and nature outings, is located within a 1-hour drive, while Philip SW Goldson International Airport is 115 km from the property.

Video: Whalesharks Tom Owens caye
With ReefCI and Blue Reef Adventures

Video: Belize
Belize People this is your place to SPEAK UP, Belize Citizen's comments will not be deleted. Bringing all YouTube Belize Videos to you on ONE channel. AveKay- United We Stand, Divided We Fall. Respect Belize People at all times! Dis Dah Fi We Belize

Video: Gulf Hotel I - Belize City
Gulf Hotel I is located on the Philip Goldson Highway, just a 5-minute drive from central Belize City. It offers a terrace, free on-site parking and free Wi-Fi in public areas. Rooms at the Gulf Hotel I offer tiled floors, cable TV and a private bathroom with a shower. Some rooms also have air conditioning and a balcony. A supermarket and a Chinese restaurant can be found a 5-minute walk from Gulf Hotel I. Belize City's historic centre and marina are within 5 km, while Philip Goldson International Airport is 12 km away.

Video: Chaleanor Hotel - Dangriga - Belize
This quaint hotel is located only 215 yards from the ocean in Dangriga and features complimentary coffee service and an on-site gift shop. The Chaleanor Hotel has free Wi-Fi throughout. This hotel's air-conditioned family rooms feature a cable TV and a private bathroom, and the economy rooms include shared bathrooms. Guests will find a variety of restaurants serving national and international cuisine within 325 ft of the property. The area also features bars. The Cays, where guests will find excellent snorkeling and diving, are only 8.5 miles away and can be reached by boat. Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Preserve is only 12 miles from Chaleanor Hotel. Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport is a 2-hour drive from the property.

Video: D'Nest Inn Hotel - Belize City
In Belama, D' Nest Inn Bed and Breakfast is within a 10 minute drive of central Belize City and its airport. It offers charming rooms and an attractive terrace and garden. Each air-conditioned room at D'Nest Inn has traditional décor and a 4-post bed. All rooms have cable TV, free Wi-Fi and a private bathroom. Guests can enjoy breakfast in the D'Nest's dining room. Restaurants, bars and cafés can be found in central Belize City. Regular buses to the center of the city stop close to the bed and breakfast. The Caribbean Sea is less than half a mile away.

Video: Belize Trip 2014
A few videos from our trip to Belize March 2014

Video: Blue Hole Belize
Diving in the "Blue Hole" in Belize

Video: Our Favorite Cruise Excursions: Airboat Adventure & Belize City Tour
Throttle up for an awesome ride on an airboat and a tour of Belize City during this high-energy shore excursion

Video: Hunting Lionfish in Belize 720p1279

Video: Belize 2014

Video: Great Blue Hole is a large submarine sinkhole off the coast of Belize
The Great Blue Hole is a large submarine sinkhole off the coast of Belize. It lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll 70 km (43 mi) from the m.

#488405 - 03/21/14 06:51 AM Re: Today's Belize News: March 21, 2014 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here

Channel 7

DPP Will Take Up COLA Private Prosecution of Penner
A week from today, COLA is going to Belmopan Magistrate's Court with their private prosecution against Elvin Penner. And the news tonight is that DPP Cheryl Lynn Vidal will be joining them. That's what came out of a phone call today - after COLA formally wrote to the DPP asking her to share any evidence she has from the Penner investigation to help with their private prosecution. DPP Vidal has invited COLA and its new private attorney Kareem Musa to meet with her next week Tuesday to go over what they have put forward. Thereafter, she has committed to appear with them in the matter on Thursday. It's a great step towards legitimacy for COLA's private prosecution, which they filed themselves without the benefit of an attorney. And Cayo Northeast Representative Elvin Penner will also be summonsed to appear - since the charges are against him. Specifically, COLA accused him of 2 offences; one, for making a statement which he knew to be false..in a nationality certificate, and for vouching the fitness of an applicant to receive a Belizean passport contrary.

Stevedores Stage The Fried Chicken Strike of 2014
We're calling it the Fry Chicken Strike, that's what 15 stevedores did last night at the Port of Belize. A Seaboard vessel with 95 containers was waiting to unload. The gang goes on at 6:00 pm and can take as much as 24 hours to finish a shift - after which they take home a sizeable pay cheque. But last night they refused to work - and that's because they got served this: pasta salad, barb-que chicken and a dinner roll. The stevedores said they wanted New Asia Fried Chicken and nothing else. The Port Management - which is responsible for feeding the stevedores - wasn't about to provide that, so the stevedores went on a spontaneous and complete strike. They refused to work on even a single container, and when the usual turkey sandwiches were brought at midnight, they refused that as well. It's not until this morning until we are told - chicken tacos were brought that they agreed to start working. All told, they struck for 12 hours, from 6:30 pm to 6:30 am - and seriously delayed the offloading of the biggest cargo ship to Belize - which just had to wait.

Student Who Was Knocked Down Is Improving
Last night's we told you about 8 year-old Kyeisha Joseph, who was knocked down in the road in front of her school, Our Lady of the Way, in Ladyville. Well this evening, the family told us that she is doing much better. We're told that she is on an oxygen tank that the doctors say will help her nose heal, which was smashed when she was hit by the vehicle. Presently, the doctors don't have any surgeries scheduled to treat her broken collar bone, and her fractured skull. They are monitoring her to ensure that the swelling on her brain goes down. The family tells us that she was in intense pain last night, but the doctors have helped her to manage it. Everyone is hoping for a full recovery.

Alleged Child Predator David Wendel Thompson's Belizean Wife?
This is David Wendel Thompson - with and without hair. He is the 48 year old US middle school teacher accused of trying to set up sexual rendezvous with 13 and 15 year old girls in Belize via Facebook. His school in Tampa Florida is currently on Spring Break - and it seems Thompson wanted to use his break to come to Belize - where he has visited 6 times since 2011. But, information obtained by 7News shows that he may have been coming to Belize for more than just illicit pleasures - this marriage notice says that he's married to a Belize woman form Dangriga! It says that David Wendel Thompson of Seffner, Florida, married 21 year old Claudine Crusita Montes of Dangriga Town. That arrangement makes his recent attempt to entice under age girls in Belize even more troubling.

Chainsaw Swazo Pleads Guilty To Impersonating Finnegan
In December of 2012, it made the news when Mesopotamia Area Representative Michael Finnegan accused Goldburne "Easy Glen" Adolphus, and James Swazo, aka the "Chainsaw Man" of trying to hustle business persons in his name by impersonating him. Well, though Swazo denied the allegation to 7News, in Magistrate's Court today, he admitted to doing it on one occasion. Swazo, who was arraigned on December 24, 2012, for two counts of obtaining property by deception, presented himself before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer today for trial. But, before the matter could proceed, Swazo changed his plea to guilty for one of the charges. In that instance, Finnegan claims that someone called Salvador Habet Jr., pretending to be him, and asked Habet for $450 for a party for some workers who painted Albert Street.

BREAKING: Kidnapped Woman Found Dead
Tonight, 7News have confirmed with police sources that they have found a body of a female inside of a vehicle in Bullet Tree today. At this time, information is sketchy, but solid reports to us are that a woman was believed to have been abducted this afternoon, and that her family received texts from her known cellular phone number in which a ransom money was demanded from them for her safe return. Information to our newsroom is that police have been combing the Cayo District trying to find the young woman, and that search has led to discovery of a body. At this time, it is unconfirmed if the two incidents are linked, and because police have not released all the details because it is a very preliminary report they're receiving, we cannot release names or show you any who the woman is who is believed to have been kidnapped.

What Did PM Barrow Write To Sir Manuel?
"Quite generous" is how former two term Prime Minister Sir Manuel Esquivel described Prime Minister Dean Barrow's letters to him. He added that the letter had no rancor, but when asked if it suggested any reconciliation, he said, plainly, "That ship has sailed." So that should be the end of this episode, where Sir Manuel and his wife Kathy have made a clean break with the Barrow Administration. Going forward, he is expected to continue to play some role in the UDP - however diminished. But one commentator with some political experience feels Esquivel was major-ly disrespected. Former PUP Minister Godfrey Smith in his Flashpoint column today writes that Manuel Junior Herredia should have gone to meet Sir Manuel and his daughter Laura at Sir Manuel's house because he is the party's only statesman.

Bowen Says A Boycott Will Only Hurt Its 900 Employees
On Tuesday, the Unions called for a Friday boycott against Bowen and Bowen in support of the 13 employees who were fired. Well, Bowen and Bowen has responded, and it is pleading with the public not to support the union in the action on Friday because it will not only not affect their company, but their employees and business partners. A press release from the company says, Quote "It is important to remember that Bowen & Bowen Ltd. is one of the largest single employers in Belize…. a small group of former employees continue to act in a manner which affects the livelihood of over 900 of their former co-workers."

PASCO Made Progress On HIV In Belize
USAID AND PACSA today officially closed a 5 Year Project in Belize. During that time, the group worked with the National AIDS Commission and its local counterparts to strengthen the national and institutional response to HIV in Belize. PACSA's representative from Guatemala discussed the meaningful progress made:.. Giovanni Melendez, Programme specialist HIV/ADS - USAID Guate. "This program is a regional program covering 7 countries and in the last 5 years we had been implementing actions in Belize related to: 1) Strategic information, to collect, gather and to encourage data related to HIV/AIDS." Joan Burke, Vice-Chair National AIDS Commission "There were 22 persons trained in monitoring and evaluation, so we have now 22 persons who we can call upon when we want to embarked on the monitoring and evaluation of programs and projects."

BFLA Says It Will Work Past Catholic Church Blacklisting
And while they are talking about progress made with HIV Awareness, the Alliance against AIDS and other groups just got taken about 20 steps back when the Catholic School Management blacklisted them - saying the NAC, BFLA, UNIBAM and the Red Cross can't enter any of their over 200 schools talking safe sex, condom use or family planning. On that subject we also got a chance to talk to Joan Burke, she's the executive director of the BFLA which was singled out for particular censure from the Bishop. His letter to the schools says that BDLA and the Planned Parenthood movement which funds them, quote, "promote "sexual rights" for children as young as 10 years of age..and in particular their right to abortion without parental notification." Today we asked Joan Burke about how they plan to move forward with such a significant accusation against her organization:... Joan Burke, Executive Director - BFLA "We will not allow what was put out there regardless by who it was put out there by. We will not allow that to deter us from the work that needs to be done. We cannot continue or we should not allow certain individuals or certain values and positions to deny others who are in need and deserve certain services - we should not deny them that and I will be the first to accept that we collectively have failed along the way.

PUP Names New Senators, Sharp As Machetes
It's been 2 year since the last general election, and two years since senators were appointed. And now the PUP is changing their lineup. Senators Collet Montejo and Karen Bodden are being replaced by Anthony Sylvester and Jason Patrick Andrews - who are both candidates in the next general election. Today they were introduced at a press conference at the party headquarters in Belize City:.. Hon. Francis Fonseca, Opposition Leader - PUP "I am pleased to say that our senators have been we believe very effective. We are very proud of the work that they have done over the past two years, but we believe it is time for us to give others in the Party and opportunity to speak on the national stage." Senator Lisa Shoman "I feel particularly pleased today because I feel like I have been given two new sharp shiny swords with which to cut through some of the rhetoric that comes out in the senate."

Rebuilding The Referendum Effort
In April of last year, the Guatemalans made it official on their Government website, that there wouldn't be the planned Referendum on whether or not their claim to Belize would be taken to the ICJ. Since then, the Belize Foreign Ministry has been trying to rebuild a relationship with that country, in hopes that both sides can reach critical mass to get to a bi-national referendum going sometime in the not too distant future. As we told you, 2 months ago, Foreign Ministers Wilfred Elrington and Fernando Carrera signed a new diplomatic initiative in Washington DC in the presence of OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza. That initiative is called the Road Map and Plan of Action. Today, the Belize Referendum Unit and Foreign Affairs CEO Alexis Rosado held a sit-down with the media to give an update on the referendum front. It was an hour-long conversation, but here's a short excerpt where Rosado explained what the new initiative seeks to do in the short term:

Venezuelan Ambassador Pledges Petrocaribe Will Continue
And keeping the focus on diplomacy, the Venezuelan Ambassador today held a sit down with the media. As we've been reporting there's been three weeks of sustained unrest in that country, and so far there have been 30 related deaths. The protests continue, but today in an 80 minute press conference, the Ambassador made the case that it's all a US funded conspiracy to produce a coup -but it's about to be brought under control. H.E. Yoel Perez Marcano, Venezuelan Ambassador to Belize "It was a well plan strategy. The violent street actions and the result was death, resources being destroyed and the objective was to provoke public conflict that would justify the intervention of international organization as the Organization of American States - in a special way the intervention of the government of the United States of America."

Okeke Takes On Cultural Icon TV Ramos
For the last nine months Steven Okeke has been off the media - that is because he has been busy working on his latest major work. It is a monument of Thomas Vincent Ramos - cultural icon and founder of the Garifuna Settlement Day in Belize. And this time, there's no fuss no fight...well, not yet at least. Okeke says The monument has been endorsed by the Mayor of Dangriga Town Council along with the family of TV Ramos. Today the media was invited to the unveiling. Stephen Okeke - Sculptor "I choose Mr. Ramos just like I have made selection for other very important Belizean heroes. This is the center of Garifuna Settlement day, this is what is celebrated every year and yet there is no insignia, there is no monument. Don't tell me about the dummy that they had there in Dangriga - there is no monument to signify the greatness of this man, the achievement of this man. So much is made off is name; people made money off his name, people celebrate off his name, in New York is celebrated all over the United States and I thought it's an embarrassment somehow and I don't blame people for not have done it, but it's an embarrassment that this is not there."

Hon. Herman Taking Heat, Opens Computer Lab
This afternoon Wesley Lower School had the official opening of its computer lab - which was made possible with the help of Area Representative Herman Longsworth. Minister Longsworth donated 10 refurbished desktop computers to assist the student's growth in technology. Longsworth - who's currently facing a stiff challenge from Phillip Willoughby told us, he is only giving back to the people he serve. Longsworth says he will be donating computers to James Garbutt Seventh Day Adventist School and Calvary Temple Primary School in the near future.

Teryl Takes A Turn As a Painter
There is a new art exhibit that was opened today at the House of Culture. It features works from 4 local artists: Terryl Godoy, aka 'Man at Work'; Fred Trejo; Eduardo 'Papo' Alamilla; and Sam Gonzalez. Over the years, we've featured Godoy wearing various hats as a painter and a musician, but today, we attended the exhibits and caught up with him, where he expressed respect for the other 3 artists whose works are being displayed alongside his own. Here's what he told us about why you would appreciate their work: The exhibition runs until the end of March, and some of the works will be available for purchase.

Smuggled Cigarettes In Mexico
We've reported extensively on the fierce jostling for supremacy in Belize's export cigarette market. It is a huge multi-million dollar enterprise, selling - or smuggling - cigarettes form Asia, mostly China, out of the Free Zone sin the North and West and getting them into Mexico. Well tonight Mexico is reporting a major bust with contraband cigarettes from Belize. A Mexican newspaper reports that on 14 March, authorities seized more than 14 million contraband cigarettes, the largest seizure on over a year. They intercepted the cigarettes in a trailer containing 402 thousand cartons of cigarettes. The brands are Bronco, D & J, Royal, Gold Seal Supreme manufactured in Vietnam, India, Paraguay, China and Canada. The vehicle operator, 42 year old Juan Ramirez Sanchez, submitted false invoices for air conditioners - but only cigarettes were inside. News reports say they were smuggled into Mexico through the border with Belize.

Price of Sub-Standard LPG Going Up
Last night we told you that government is trying to negotiate a deal where it can import LPG, or "butane" from Mexico. The idea is to stabilize the price, the quality and the supply. But in the meantime it's business as usual for the central American importers who keep jacking up their prices even though their product is mostly propane - in a ration not approved for sales to homes and restaurants. The new piece increase puts the LPG from Central America at 128 dollars per hundred pound cylinder - same as the price for higher grade butane imported from México.

Canaan And The Mayor
Our next story is about a school career day at Canaan high. Now we don't usually cover these, but this one had a big time guest speaker. Monica Bowden found out more:..

Channel 5

Independence resident found dead in Bullet Tree
There is breaking news tonight, and it is a tragedy which is devastating a family from Independence. Less than an hour ago reports circulated that Kayla Pandy had been kidnapped [...]

Aracely Cahueque returns to court for three counts of abetment to murder
The trial of twenty-two year old Aracely Cahueque continues to grip the nation’s attention. Cahueque, a beauty queen, is accused of being the mastermind behind the murder of eighteen year [...]

Prosecution’s main witness refuses to testify
While Dyer remained missing, Cahueque presented the infant to her ex-boyfriend. But according to defense attorney, Dickie Bradley, that is because Cahueque told him that she was allowed to (Quote) [...]

Chief Forest Officer says rosewood operation was part of amnesty program
On Wednesday, we reported on a container of rosewood detected near Trio Village in southern Belize. The operation was suspect because it is widely believed that despite a moratorium placed [...]

Cooperative agreement to be established between Belize and Guatemala forestry officials
Illegal logging, as well as the prohibited trade of rosewood, across both sides of the Belize/Guatemala border has grown to become an international matter for the governments of both countries.  [...]

School girl recovering following traffic accident in front of her school
On Wednesday morning, eight year old Kyeisha Joseph got on her bus in Double Head Cabbage and headed for school in Ladyville. She got off her bus in front of [...]

The private prosecution of Elvin Penner
Just before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin ordered the Commissioner of Police to carry out a criminal investigation on the former minister of state, Elvin Penner, for his involvement in the [...]

Will new P.U.P. senator and Lisa Shoman buck heads on UNIBAM issue?
On Wednesday, News Five reported on the appointment of two new P.U.P. Senators. According to Party Leader Francis Fonseca, the official notification has been sent to Governor-General Sir Colville Young. [...]

Attorney Anthony Sylvestre and Standard Bearer Patrick Andrews are new PUP senators
With that issue on the political backburner for the time being, the P.U.P. is concentrating on forging ahead in unity, or as much unity as possible in any political party. [...]

Former Chief Magistrate Margaret Gabb McKenzie hospitalized
News Five has learned that former Chief Magistrate Margaret Gabb McKenzie is hospitalized, and has been so since last Friday. A family member told News Five that McKenzie started having [...]

Honduran woman charged for immigration offense
A pregnant Honduran woman, who back in December 2013 was charged with using a falsified document, was today before the court for trial after a bench warrant was issued for [...]

GSU descends on San Pedro to fight a crime wave
Early this morning, members of several high-intensity, elite units of the Police, B.D.F. and Coast Guard descended on the island of San Pedro. It is part of an operation to [...]

Belize’s Referendum Unit continues education campaign on territorial dispute
The matter of whether the unfounded Guatemalan claim over Belize’s sovereign territory should be adjudicated in the International Court of Justice was to have been decided during joint referenda on [...]

The official closing of USAID/PASCA Project in Belize
Stakeholders in the fight against HIV/AIDS, a cross-section of government, as well as other non-governmental organizations, including the National AIDS Commission, gathered at the Biltmore this morning to review the [...]

An update on the current state of affairs in Venezuela
The Embassy of the Republic of Venezuela held a press conference this morning to update the local media on the current state of affairs of that country, in the wake [...]

International Day of Forests celebrated with 2-day forum
March twenty-first has been proclaimed as the International Day of Forests by the United Nations General Assembly and it is celebrated by bringing awareness to the importance of the various [...]

Meet the artists at the House of Culture
A group of four Belizean artists, including well-known painter Terryl Godoy, launched a two-week art exhibit at the House of Culture today.  The formal unveiling was done before an audience [...]

Stephen Okeke creates a bust of Thomas Vincent Ramos
Thomas Vincent Ramos, founder of Garifuna Settlement Day, is widely regarded as one of our many national heroes.  While he is remembered during the month of November when Garinagu in [...]

Healthy Living looks at cervical cancer and screening
Cervical cancer continues to be the leading cancer related death among women in Belize. Over the years this has spurred several pap smear campaigns countrywide. According to Gynecologist & Oncologist, [...]


Helpage Center Opens To Entertain The Elder People
The Zenobia Meggs Helpage Center, on Stadium Street, was opened this afternoon and inside was a number of men and women enjoying some good old games. The event is part of an initiative taken up by the Help Age Center to provide senior citizens with a space to socialize and entertain their minds. Here is a look at what it was like for day one of an afternoon shared with friends. Dalila Ical – Reporting It was another warm afternoon but today at the Zenobia Meggs Helpage Center, the ambience was one of laughter and enjoyment. For these approximately twenty senior citizens, it was the first afternoon spent together playing Bingo and Dominoes. At first glance it’s just another gathering organized by the center, but President Arcelia Leiva says there is more than meets the eye.

Initial Stage For Tourist To Flow In Southern Part of Mexico Including Belize
The National Chamber of Commerce, Canaco, in Chetumal and the Consulate of Belize in Mexico, are currently working on a project to attract tourists to the south of Quintana Roo. The target population are foreign tourists such as North American, Canadians and Europeans. The lead representative of local merchants in Chetumal, Ligia Sierra told the Mexican press that through agreement they hope to sign with Belizean authorities on getting foreign tourists to spend a few days in the southern part of the state. They are therefore putting together an attractive package for tourists and this is to include trips to some of the main attractions such as Bacalar, Mahahual and archaeological zones, which will encourage overnight arrivals in the capital city. Sierra indicated that they are targeting these visitors and local tourists who travel the state to visit Belize’s islands. No agreement has been signed yet but talks have been initiated with the Belize Consulate. Sierra adds that there are already three tour operators in the city that can handle the supply of tour packages that are expected to include; transportation, lodging and recreation. Sierra says they have been trying to put this project together for many years and believe that as soon as next month they may be defining steps to finalize it and start implementation.

Gifts Of The Queen To Go On Display
This weekend, a selection over 70 colorful gifts to the Queen from Commonwealth nations is to go on display as part of the build-up to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The items to be exhibited include a tapestry from Botswana, a shell collage from the Bahamas, a coconut calabasa bowl from Dangriga, Belize, an Inuit wall hanging, a batik from St Kitts and Nevis, among many others. Many of the items were presented to the Queen in traditional ceremonies by indigenous people during more than 200 visits she has made to Commonwealth countries during her 62-year reign.

San Antonio Government School Receives Donation From Rotarians
Today approximately 11 primary Schools in the Corozal District became the proud recipients of much needed equipment donated to them by a group of Rotarians who call themselves the “Resource Centre International Mission.” Today Reporter Victor Castillo caught up with group in the Village of San Antonio as the equipment’s were installed for use. Amber Fisher - Director Rotary Club Ohio “This is the 7th mission to Belize, this is a project called Resource Centre International but this is my first time on a project in Belize, I brought my daughter along, and we really wanted to go and help and to see what we could do to help the schools throughout the country and we are very fortunate to have Carmen with us who knows about the different school districts so our hope is to get resources to schools that they can use to improve their education or facility education in particular we are hoping that the students are able to use the resources to learn to read and I can emphasis the importance enough the importance of reading, it starts at school and it is important to have it reinforced in homes so we brought a lot of books, computers, educational software and we are hoping that these resources assist you and assist the schools in Belize to achieve their goals.”

Minister Of Education On A Countrywide School Tour
A few weeks ago Minister of Education Patrick Faber took a lot of heat from teachers. The relationship between the boss “per say” and the employees is not a good one but despite that fact Faber continues with his countrywide tour meeting with teachers and students of Rural Schools. The Minister and his entourage travelled further north today as he visited the Santa Clara/ San Roman RC School in the Corozal District as part of his National school tour. Reporter Victor Castillo was on hand to capture the event and filed the following report. Victor Castillo – Reporting Shortly after ten this morning, Minister Patrick Faber arrived at the Santa Clara / San Roman RC School grounds where students stood and welcomed him with a huge applause. Faber is on a country wide school tour visiting with faculty and students from several education institutions. Among the gathered were Education officer for the Corozal District, principals, chairlady of the school’s PTA, and parents. After the short ceremony we caught up with Minister Faber who shared with us the motive and the objective of his tour here in the northern part of the country.


Immigration Offense Result in 4K Fine
Fifty-one year old Jesus Contreras, a building contractor who is a naturalized Belizean originally from Honduras, was fined a total of four thousand dollars today by Magistrate Dale Cayetano after he pled guilty to four counts of employing a person not in possession of an employment permit. Contreras was ordered to pay forthwith, in default one year imprisonment. When he was asked by Magistrate Cayetano if he had anything to say before sentence is passed, Contreras said that a pastor asked him to build a church and he asked the four men to help him and he was not making any profit. Magistrate Cayetano told him that he should build God church in the right way. Immigration officers charged Contreras when they went to construction site on Faber’s Road yesterday and found the men, all of them Honduran nationals, working without work permits.


UB Student Kidnapped and Ransom Demanded
The body of a female has been discovered in the Bullet Tree Area of the Cayo district. We have no confirmation on who it is at this time but the family of Kayla Burgess are hoping and praying that it is not her. Kayla, a UB student was reportedly...

Ex Bowen & Bowen Employees Explain Why Support Boycott
Bowen and Bowen ex employees were on Rise and Shine this morning to give their side of the story as to why and how they were fired from their posts. The unions have joined with the ex employees to ask the public to boycott Bowen and Bowen products tomorrow...

PUP Replaces Two Senators
The Opposition People’s United Party has chosen to replace two of its three allocated Senators after two years’ service. They are Karen Bodden of Belize City and Collet Montejo of Santa Elena, Cayo. Their replacements are Belmopan standard bearer and youth worker Patrick Andrews and Belize City lawyer Anthony...

COLA Requests the DPP for Files of Investigation on Mr. Penner
COLA-Citizens organized for liberty, had written a letter to the DPP, the Commissioner of Police and the Auditor general, requesting all pertinent files relating to the Elvin Penner Passport scandal as they pursue prosecution of Penner in the courts. COLA says they also invited the DPP to join the...

Minors Ensued in Fight End up Getting Stabbed and Detained
A fight between two minors yesterday in Orange Walk Town left one of them hospitalized with stab wounds to the left forearm and abdomen. According to police reports, on Thursday, March 19th, at around 1:00 p.m. 16 year old Kenny Perez, Belizean Construction Worker, was walking along with two...

Massage Therapist Mr. Kevin Lee Completes Sentence; Back to Freedom
It’s probably been a year since you heard the name Kevin Lee – the massage therapist who was convicted last year of aggravated assault of an indecent nature, after thousands of videos surfaced of his clients being secretly videoed as they undressed in his clinic. Well he is back in...

Mr. Deon Bruce Still Fighting Against Extradition
In January of this year Deon Bruce was ordered to face extradition to the United States on murder charges. But he continues to fight the case. Today he appeared before Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel with a new attorney in his corner. Audrey Matura-Shepherd takes over the case from...

Xunantunich Visitor Center Becomes a Reality
Xunantunich is an Ancient Mayan archaeological site in the West of Belize, in Socouts Village, Cayo District. It is one of Belize’s most visited Mayan ruins and so has become a very crucial site for the tourism industry. As of yesterday, the Xunantunich site has a new Visitor’s Center....

The Guardian

Dan and Luke at War
Operatives within the People's United Party have launched an attack against one of their own. Friendlies of Luke Espat this week highlighted that there are 12 lots which belong to DALT Limited which are being auctioned off by Atlantic Bank which held the properties as surety for Alfonso Salvador Silva and Daniel Silva. Immediately after the intention to auction was circulated via e-mail in came sabelotodo to rescue his nephew. What he did not know is that with him coming to the rescue it did more harm than good. Hector Silva categorically stated that "There is no such Closure, Twelve lots ? Man o Man ! What a foolish campaign strategy, The Daniel Silva I know, does not only own twelve lots but, TWELVE multiplied by TWELVE and carry this number to the TWELVTH TIMES. The Daniel Silva I know owns many businesses that are doing SO GOOD, I once more advise his detractors that this stupid kind of propaganda will not help the instigators of these OLD TRICKS. ( follow my advise )"


A Beautiful Day, A New Bar in Boca Del Rio, San Pedro…Is it BC’s?
Great photos from a stroll around town, plus.... Here’s the scoop from the owner/former BC’s Bartender himself… He originally thought of working with Charlene or buying the beloved BC’s name and palapa himself but it was way beyond his budget. So…he decided to open his own beach bar. That will be opening in the next week or two. This is NOT BC’s Beach Bar. This bar is going to be called… Sandy Toes Beach Bar. Very very cute.

International Sources

Mangrove experts urge restoration, regeneration of organic coasts
When Ulva Takke heard that a foreign-owned firm planned to set up an iron ore mine on the tiny island of Bangka in the province of North Sulawesi, she joined forces with other residents in a protest that went all the way to Indonesia’s supreme court. Takke owns a scuba-diving business on the 4,800-hectare (ha) island, which is populated by fewer than 3,000 people and supports a small tourism industry, as well as fishing, aquaculture and agriculture. Although the community won its appeal against the mining project, news reports indicate that the company is still preparing to begin work, a move that could put pristine habitats at risk, including lowland tropical rainforest, mangroves, freshwater sago swamp and coral reefs. “If so, it’s going to be a big disaster,” Takke said. “Livelihoods of traditional fishermen and coconut harvesters will be destroyed and many people will be displaced.” Takke was among more than 100 delegates debating solutions to the threats faced by Indonesia’s mangrove forests at the Restoring Coastal Livelihoods conference hosted at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) by Indonesia’s Mangrove Action Project (MAP) and the Sustainable Wetlands Adaptation and Mitigation Program (SWAMP).

Former boxer dies after street fight
A Rogers Park man has been charged with murder and hate crimes after allegedly punching and killing a man during a fight. Michael Tingling, 59, died Wednesday afternoon after he tried to protect his teenaged daughter. Police say Joseph Firek, 59, made obscene gestures towards the 15-year-old girl as she and her father, Tingling, left her school in the 72000 block of N. Clark Street. Tingling stepped in to protect his daughter and Firek allegedly shoved him and then punched him in the chest and made racial comments. Tingling and his daughter fled and walked into a nearby business, where the former boxer from Belize collapsed and was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston. Tingling died a short time later.

Chelsea Handler Has a Boytoy at Turtle Inn
CHELSEA Handler brought a “Latin or Italian” boytoy to the The Turtle Inn in Belize. The late night host went to the resort for Valentine’s Day and raised some serious hell. “The more they drank, the louder they got,” a guest reveals. “We heard them going at it all night. When I woke up the next morning, Chelse and her guy were at the bar and she was sitting on his lap, drinking and kissing him.” The source adds that the duo “looked so wasted” and even started making out with the unidentified guy in someone else’s hammock.

Rainforest Fund to Celebrate Its 25th Anniversary
The actress Trudie Styler and her husband, the pop singer Sting, will be joined by more pop stars – Paul Simon, James Taylor, Dionne Warwick, Ivy Levan – as well as a trumpeter, Chris Botti, and an opera singer, Renée Fleming, in the biennial Revlon Rainforest Fund Benefit Concert at Carnegie Hall on April 17. The Rainforest Fund, which Sting and Ms. Styler founded in 1989, began as an organization meant to both campaign for environmental preservation and to help the indigenous people who live in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. It has since expanded to include projects in 23 countries, including Belize, Cameroon, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Indonesia, , Mexico, Peru and Venezuela. A spokeswoman for the organization said that the fund has raised $35 million.

Central America Offers Something For Everyone
There are seven countries in Central America, all smashed into a thousand miles of land between Mexico and Colombia. KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley says among those seven countries, you can find just about anything you want, from adventures in the wild to full-service resorts. Why Central America? Central America is a culturally-rich place that will give you a different perspective on the world. And, Brumley says, there’s something for everyone. “It’s a perfect place for people who love bird watching, who love culture, who love snorkeling,” he said. “In places like Costa Rica, the kids can go ziplining, canyoning and snorkeling in the morning, and grandparents can go on a nice beach walk, or sit by the pool, or go bird watching.” (Not to limit anyone’s options, we suppose the kids can sit by the pool and the grandparents can go canyoning, too, if they’re so inclined.)

Navigating Through Airport Security – Twelve Tips For Trouble Free Travel
Finally! Your travel day is here. Time to load up the bags and get to the airport. But before you go, have you best prepared yourself to run the airport security gauntlet? One of the more stressful parts of air travel is navigating the sometimes daunting, sometimes overwhelming, airport security check points. However, careful planning and strategically packed carry-ons can help minimize the angst that airport security screening processes often cause. So before you fly again, arm yourself with these twelve tips for trouble free navigation of airport security check points.

Three Belize Getaways
The best places to scuba-dive in the ever-evolving and always spectacular Central American country Any experienced scuba diver will have Belize on their shortlist of the best diving destinations in the world. It's home to the largest coral reef in the Western Hemisphere, there are hundreds of islands ("cayes," as they are called locally) that dot the 240-mile coastline and give visitors an abundance of diving opportunities. While there are picturesque white-sand beaches, luxury shopping and vibrant culture on land, there is just as much happening underwater.


Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!

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