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#497631 - 11/06/14 04:35 AM Today's Belize News: November 6, 2014
Marty Offline


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Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

BTB recognize private aviation as a growing market
BTB says that they are also liaising with industry partners to coordinate and financially support a familiarization trip for Mr. Parker. They also took the opportunity to encourage any other private flyers with an interest in Belize to approach them. According to the BTB, they are always looking for ways to expand Belize’s tourism capabilities and open their doors to additional travelers. In addition to extending private aviation to Belize, BTB says that they are doing everything in their power to invest time and money into the best mix of tourist-related options for Belize. BTB did not indicate by when they intend to unveil their plans, or at what level of planning they currently are to encourage and enable private planes to come to Belize en masse.

CONCACAF hosts seminar in San Pedro
Representatives from the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) held a four day training seminar about beach soccer for island coaches and players. The seminar commenced on Thursday, October 30th and ended on Sunday, November 2nd with a beach soccer marathon. The seminar was aimed at preparing Belize to participate for the first time in upcoming Central American Football Union (UNCAF) Beach Soccer Tournament to be held in El Salvador from Wednesday, November 12th to Monday, November 17th. The seminar entailed both theory and practical training and saw the participation of several football players, coaches and sports coordinators. According to member of the San Pedro Sports Committee (SPSC) Hector “Tito” Alamilla, the seminar is very beneficial to the growth of football in the island.

Ambergris Today

Flashbacks: Saying Good Bye To Our Childhood Home in San Pedro
In our circle of affairs we normally focus on ‘Welcomes’ rather than Good-byes. However, this one is very close with personal attachments. We are seeing the demolition of The Perez family home and La Popular tortilla factory in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. This was the first Nuńez Nest Home for 23 years, the property of Angel Nuńez, former Principal of San Pedro High School. Editor of Ambergris Today, Dorian Nuńez, moved into this home when he was only one year old. Perlita was born in Belize City and entered the same home when she was two days old. With the need for expansion the third level attic was built for a dormitory of the bosses. Fifteen years later the ground floor was enclosed to accommodate two apartments for rent. This house survived Hurricane Keith in the year 2000 and just after that The Nunez’s negotiated a sale to the Perez Family. By then the Nunez’s had relocated to the San Pablo Subdivision where today they sit back and see their first family home being demolished to make way for a new adventure. No tears, but it does hold special memories for Angel and Ligia Nuńez as well as for their children Dorian and Perlita. We believe that with the rapid rate of development on the island, many residents of Ambergris Caye have experienced the same situation.

Belize Minister Visits Traffic Accident Victim After Hit in Highway
A press release form the Government of Belize Press Office stated that the Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Wilfred Elrington, regrets the unfortunate traffic incident which occurred early yesterday, Tuesday, November 4 2014, near Mile 8 on the George Price Highway, resulting in Ms. Elicia Hunter sustaining severe injuries. Ms. Hunter has been hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City where Minister Elrington visited her yesterday. The Minister is being kept updated on her situation and has promised to ensure that all appropriate assistance is given to Ms. Hunter during this difficult time.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

A house for a well deserving family.
Every year the Rotary Club of Belize‬ builds a house for a needy family.The Rotary will hand over a new house to Katherine Thomas and her 3 sons at 10 a.m. on Wednesday Nov 5th. at the end of Jane Usher Blvd. This is another reason to support the Rotary. It helps to fortify families.

Minister Elrington Visits Traffic Accident Victim
Government of Belize Press Office

Press Release from Office of Deputy Prime Minister
Hon Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister, learned of a Ramon Cervantes family press conference broadcast today by a certain media house. At that press conference a voice recording was played containing the most outrageously false and defamatory allegation against the DPM. Hon. Vega condemns those that caused the recording and allegations to be played, and those that carried the broadcast. The DPM warns that no other media house should carry or in any way further circulate the reprehensible libel against him. He has already consulted his lawyer who will take action against anyone that ignores this warning.


Channel 7

Cervantes Family Accuses A Politician of Patriarch's Murder
This afternoon a wave of political sensation rippled across the country – when LOVE FM’s live broadcast of a press conference aired a sensational claim: that a prominent politician had orchestrated the murder of Orange Walkeno Ramon Cervantez Sr.Now, to be clear up front: we will not disclose the name of the politician who was implicated because we have no compelling proof against him. All that we have is the recording of a phone call made on October 8, 2014 in which the allegation is made. We know what is claimed – and who they say is claiming it; but we don’t know for sure who is on the phone call. And so while we will not delve into the sensational claim, it is a matter of significant public interest because – even without proof – it would seem to notch up the country’s political temperature, and, for those who believe it, it also changes the tone of our political discourse. Still, there are more questions than answers and we put those to Cervantez this afternoon:

Marco Tulio Mendez Stepping Down Too?
And while that entire event is a political riddle – there has also been some riddling over the PUP Area Representative for Orange Walk East, Marco Tulio Mendez. He is a first time representative who won in 2012, but credible reports including those broadcast on PUP friendly media in Orange Walk says he is stepping down as standard bearer, and will not offer himself as in the next general election. Yes, it’s similar to what is happening with PUP Cayo North Representative Joseph Mahmud – but in this case, it’s for health reasons. Today Party Leader Francis Fonseca told the media that the decision will be made pending medical advice from Mendez's doctors:…Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "Dr. Marco Tulio has been getting medical treatment, he just returned from Guatemala a week ago. His doctors has given him some advice. A final decision on whether or not he would be fit or able to continue to server as the standard bearer for the PUP. You know he is the area representative for Orange Walk East and he will serve out his term. But whether or not he will be fit or able to run again is a matter that will be determined by his doctors. He has brought that to my attention, we had a discussion about it but no final decision has been made.”

Parents Demonstrate In St. Matthews Village
And turning now from politics, we go to St. Matthews Village, where parents staged a protest this morning. They say their kids at the village’s government school are being cheated out of a decent education because government hasn’t paid the teachers. Today Monica Bodden joined them on the front line: Laura Santos - Parent "My concern is my daughter is in infant I. According to the teacher, she hasn't gotten paid since September. My concern is that my daughter is not learning anything. I took her home 3 days consequently, Thursday, Friday and Monday. On Tuesday I brought her and I left her in the other classroom. They are 60 students in one class room, what will they learn? They're not learning anything. The teacher cannot give them individual attention. Yes she can give them sitting work but she cannot give them individual attention. There is too much children in the class room, we need out teachers here at school.” Santos is a parent whose 5 year old child attends St Matthews’s primary school. Her daughter is an infant 1 student.

Accused Murderers Get Off In Bmp Supreme Court
38 year old Salvadoran Carlos Rene Granillo and 28 year old Guatemalan Rene Lopez Morentes were acquitted of murder yesterday when they appeared before Supreme Court Judge Antoinette Moore in Belmopan.In July 2004 they were accused of the murder of 73-year-old American Mary Jane Blondell. The allegation was that the men entered Blondell's home on the Hummingbird Highway on July 25th, 2004, robbed her and then raped and stabbed her in the throat. But after a 7 day trial within a trial to deal with the admissibility of their confession statements, the judge directed the jury to acquit them of the charge. She found that the caution statements they gave were not voluntarily given; evidence shows that they were beaten and forced by police to give these statements so both were ruled as inadmissible.

The Battle Over Channel 5 Continues, This Time At Appeals Court
For the past two days, attorneys for the Ashcroft Alliance and BTL have been battling it out in the Court of Appeal. This time they are fighting over ownership and control of Channel 5. The tv station was owned by BTL up until August 23, 2009, the day before Telemedia was nationalised. That’s when the board of directors – in a Sunday meeting – decided to divest BTL of Channel 5 – and then spun its ownership into three international companies: Channel Overseas Investments Limited; Thames Ventures Limited; and Katalyst Developments Limited. That represents a 10 million dollar loss to BTL, and the company – now under national ownership – says the Ashcroft Alliance directors are personally liable for the loss.Michael Young - Attorney for BTL "What happened is that just before the government took over btl, the board did certain things. What had happened is that when the company was controlled by the Ashcroft group they had been financing great Belize productions which is channel 5 and they had financed it up to 5 million dollars.

Pickwoad Vs Maud Williams/Marvin Castillo
One year ago – we started reporting on the controversey surrounding the case of the Pickwoad family on one side, and Maud Williams and Marvin Castillo on the other. They are the relatives of former Ministry of Natural Resources CEO Beverly Castillo – and the allegation was that they ended up with the Pickwoad’s land in Belama phase one through the use of insider influence at the Ministry.The Supreme Court granted an injunction stopping development on the property pending the trial pitting the Pickwoad’s against the ministry. That trial has started but today it seemed that both sides were talking compromise. Bernard Pickwoad – who represents the family – hinted at it:.. Bernard Pickwoad, Family Representative "It was adjourned until tomorrow, so we will reserve comment until after that." Reporter "You want to see a settlement reached?" Bernard Pickwoad "We want what is properly and rightfully ours."

Rotary Gifts A Needy Family With A New House
Today in Belize City, a family of 5 was granted a gift that will change their lives forever: a new home. An official ceremony was held today at Katherine Thomas' brand new 2 bedroom house near Jane Usher Boulevard. For this family, it was a blessing to be able to hold the keys to their new home. 7news captured this special moment today.36 year old Katherine Thomas and her 4 children have been living in this small wooden shack on Victoria Street for over a year now. Although she doesn't have much, she still calls it home. Katherine Thomas, Recipient "Well this is my home, where I am located right now." But today marks the beginning of a new life. This will be their new home. It is quite an emotional and overwhelming experience for this family as they are taken on a tour through their house. Equipped with new beds for the boys; And kitchen appliances and utensils.

Hon. Elrington Visited Accident Victim
Last night we told you all about the terrible accident involving Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington’s driver and Elisa Hunter, the 31 year old who was crossing the Western Highway at mile eight to get to her work place at Belize Recycling Company.She was flung to the pavement and suffered multiple serious injuries. Today, a government press release announced that Elrington is being kept updated on her situation and has promised to ensure that, quote, “all appropriate assistance is given to Ms. Hunter during this difficult time.” We take that to mean, her medical bills will be covered. His driver ahs been served with a notice of intended prosecution.

PUC: It's Too Early To Discuss RFP Proposals
Last week, we showed you how the discussion on the initial review of the request for power, made by the Public Utilities Commission heated up between the Prime Minister and COLA President Geovannie Brackett, who also wears the hat of journalist. He specifically addressed the concerns of SUBSIDIARY OF the Guatemalan Company Green Tropics submitting a proposal. Brackett also questioned the PM on his son, Anwar Barrow, his reported connection to Southern Renewable Energy, and the negative inferences that might be drawn about the transparency of the evaluation process. PUC Chairman John Avery has been following how that discussion has been going, and yesterday after making an appearance on the WUB Morning Show, we asked him for a reaction. He said that any discussion about these proposals is pre-emptive and counterproductive at this stage:

Chetumal Chamber Of Commerce Visits
Belizeans know all about buying from Chetumal, from the subsidized prices of ISSTE to the high end at Liverpool. Estimates are that Belizeans spend over 300 million dollars across the border annually. Well today, the Chetumal Chamber of Commerce came looking for even more opportunities. A Trade Mission came to look for import export opportunities. President of the Chamber of Commerce in Chetumal, Victoria Siera explained:…Javier Aguilar - Head of Investment, Institute of Mexico "What we have here is around 20 different companies from Chetumal. Either searching for products and services or to offer products and services they have in Chetumal. These companies are within the Chetumal Chambers and Commerce. They are very interested to get to know their counterparts her in Belize as well as business opportunities in this amazing country." Victoria Siera - President, Chamber of Commerce, Chetumal "I believe there is an imbalance in the situation but we have been working in Chetumal as well as working in the field of tourism to foster that exchange that we should have, we are one region. On that note, we have spoken to the representatives from Tropic about Chetumal and the tourism operations and there has always been special tourist packages offered to Belize but Belize has never done it, so that it one part of it. And as you mentioned with the Belizean businesses, this event can help with that process of balancing the market. We are open to Belizean businesses, they have many products and services to offers and import to Quintana Roo."

Surviving Life-Threatening Gunshot Injuries
In March of this year, 19 year old De’Zhaun Humes was shot five times on Jane Usher Boulevard. Since then, he has been in an epic fight for his life, but the teenager found the will to live – surely due in no small part to the fact that his little sister, eight year old E’yannie Nunez was murdered as she slept in her house in September of 2011. Today, Monica Bodden found him still in the fight, and getting closer to recovery, 7 months after he was shot:..The family of De’Zhaun Humes is currently in the process of raising funds for his surgery in Belize and travel expenses abroad. On November 27 they will be having a turkey dinner sale at the family residence. If you would like to assist Humes in any way, he can be contacted at telephone numbers 6-3-6-0-8-7-1 or 6-0-0-8-8-7-2. You can also make donations to Atlantic Bank account number 2-1-1-5-1-7-5-9-9.

Channel 5

Cervantes Family Releases Shocking Recording
Tonight’s headline is one of the most incredible, disturbing and frightening we’ve carried. It contains an allegation that very senior persons put out a hit on an Orange Walk resident. [...]

Ramon Cervantes Jr. Was Allegedly the Target
Today, it was a very sombre gathering which listened to that explosive recording released by the Cervantes family. The call came in on the night of October eighth. Vilma Cervantes [...]

P.U.P. Leader Shocked At Allegations
P.U.P. Party Leader Francis Fonseca was present at the memorial today to give support to the family. The release of the recording came as a surprise to him as well, [...]

Elisa Hunter Remains Critical At the K.H.M.H.
Traffic accident victim, Elisia Hunter remains in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. This morning, she underwent surgery and is recuperating. Hunter was flung into the air on [...]

Parents Protest in St. Matthews
Things came to a head this morning in the village of Saint Matthews located on the George Price Highway. For days, the government school has been without some of its [...]

P.U.P. May Lose Another Area Representative
There are two stories coming out of Orange Walk tonight. The first is a serious allegation about who put a hit on Ramon Cervantes Senior. A recording has been broadcast [...]

Court of Appeal Reserves Judgment in Telemedia Case
The Court of Appeal has reserved judgment in the case against Great Belize Productions, formerly a subsidiary of Belize Telemedia Limited.  On August twenty-third, 2009, the day before B.T.L. was [...]

Pickwoad family land dispute under mediation
The case against the Ministry of Natural Resources, filed by Bernadette Pickwoad, resumed this morning in the chamber of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin.  The suit follows a claim of wrongful [...]

2 foreign nationals acquitted of 2005 murder
A Salvadoran national and a Guatemalan teenager, who were both accused of the murder of U.S. national, Mary Jane Blondell in Indian Creek, Cayo in July 2005, are home free [...]

Rotary Club of Belize donates house to Belize City family
A Belize City family today received keys to a new home on Jane Usher Boulevard thanks to a donation from the Rotary Club of Belize.  The Thompson family has for [...]

Mexican Embassy holds trade mission to Belize
The Chetumal Chamber of Commerce, Service and Tourism in partnership with the Embassy of Mexico held a trade mission to Belize today where they aimed to identify potential buyers and [...]

Shooting victim, De’Zhaun Humes, recovers
Back on March fourteenth 2014, nineteen year old Jane Usher Boulevard resident, De’Zhaun Humes was gravely injured after he was shot five times to the body by an unknown gunman [...]

De’Zhaun Humes needs traveling expenses for surgery
A bullet lodged on Humes’ cervical spine has paralyzed him, but doctors from the U.S. are offering to remove the bullet for free. The estimated cost of the surgery is [...]

#497632 - 11/06/14 04:35 AM Re: Today's Belize News: November 6, 2014 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here


Man Accused Of Raping Step Daughter
There is a disturbing report to make tonight coming out from the Guinea Grass Village. While police say they are investigating and remain tight lipped, we have been reliably informed that a child has been treated and recovering from her injuries sustained while her step-father allegedly raped her. This is not the first time that the accused has seen the police station due to complaints, but this time after hurting the girl so badly, he absconded. Since then, a man hunt and a reward to locate him was organized by community members and concerned residents. This morning the alleged rapist, whose name we cannot disclose so as to protect the identity of the child, was caught and handed over to police.

P.U..P Questions Governments Spending Of Petro Caribe Funds
Last week we told you about a claim that was filed by the People’s United Party on a motion for an Order of Mandamus to force the Government of Belize to reveal how exactly it is spending of the Petro Caribe funds. Well today the PUP held a press briefing to explain the legal recourse they have taken against the Government. Party Leader Francis Fonseca says that while they value and appreciate the benefits to the nation and economy, they are obligated to ask questions and get answers. "The loan motion seeks to ratify and confirm what in our view is illegal borrowing and spending by this UDP government since September 2012. The manner in which the borrowing and spending has been conducted is contrary to the intent of the act and has defeated and frustrated the intent of the act which is to provide for better provisions regulating public revenue and expenditure. When the line between the Petrocaribe fund and the UDP coffers is blurred, we in the PUP have a responsibility to question and challenge the use of those funds."

Belizean Detained In Mexico For Indecent Exposure
A forty one year old Belizean male is reportedly in police custody in Cancun, Mexico for indecent exposure. According to the Mexican press, on Monday about two in the afternoon, forty-one year old Jean Coseve entered into a residence in Region 90 in Cancun City without permission.

Man Investigated For Burglary After His Finger Prints Are Found At The Scene
One person is tonight under police detention at the Corozal Police Station pending investigation into a burglary report in Consejo village. According to Officer in Command of the Corozal Police formation Andrew Ramirez, Adan Cantun finger prints have matched those collected at the scene. Cantun has since been detained pending investigation.


Cervantes family releases recording with alleged mastermind of father’s murder
71 year old businessman Ramon Cervantes Sr., who was also a former Pup senator and Mayor, was kidnapped and murdered in July of this year. His body was found buried in ashallow graveon an abandoned farm on the road to Honey Camp Lagoon, six miles due east of Orange Walk Town, some five days after his disappearance. It was a high profile case, complete with suspicion about possible police involvement, since the body was found with police issued handcuffs on Cervantes’ hands. Cervantes’ family, especially his son, Ramon Cervantes Jr. had told the media that even though 22 year-old Guatemalan Noe Daniel Avila, 19 year-old Belizean Angel Antonio Cardenas, and 28 year-old Belizean Mateo Pott Jr. were jointly charged with the kidnapping and the murder, they still had a lot of unanswered questions and were not all together pleased with the way the investigation was conducted. The alleged mastermind of the kidnapping was identified as one Manuel ‘El Pelon’ Castillo, but he had fled the country and is still at large.

Press Office issues warning on Cervantes allegations
Late Wednesday evening, a press release from the Government press office was issued. We read it verbatim. “Hon Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister, learned of a Ramon Cervantes family press conference broadcast today by a certain media house. At that press conference, a voice recording was played containing the most outrageously false and defamatory allegation against the DPM. Hon. Vega condemns those that caused the recording and allegations to be played, and those that carried the broadcast. The DPM warns that no other media house should carry or in any way further circulate the reprehensible libel against him. He has already consulted his lawyer who will take action against anyone that ignores this warning.”

Minister Elrington regrets traffic incident
On Tuesday we reported on the traffic accident which involved Minister Wilfred Elrington. The minister was being driven by his driver Tuesday morning, when at mile 8 on the George Price Highway around 9 am, the vehicle hit 31-year-old Elisa Hunter who was attempting to cross the highway. On Wednesday, via press release, The Minister says he regrets the unfortunate traffic incident which resulted in Ms. Hunter sustaining severe injuries. The release says, “Ms. Hunter has been hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City, where Minister Elrington visited her yesterday. The Minister is being kept updated on her situation and has promised to ensure that all appropriate assistance is given to Ms. Hunter during this difficult time.”

Patrick JonesPJ

BTL wants back Channel 5
The civil appeal of Channel Overseas Investments Limited, Katalyst Developments Limited, Thames Ventures Limited, Great Belize Productions Limited and several former directors of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) continued before the Court of Appeal this afternoon. The two sides traded arguments over whether the defendants can be sued for […]

Opposition says PM Barrow may face criminal sanction over Petrocaribe
The People’s United Party alleges violations of the Finance and Audit Reform Act by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow, in relation to a belated loan motion before the House of Representatives. That Loan Motion comes up for debate when the House of Representatives meets on […]

Bernadette Pickwoad and Castillo family seek settlement in land dispute
The case of Belizean-American Bernadette Pickwoad and the Ministry of Natural Resources was slated for trial this morning in the courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. But it has been put off to Thursday as the two sides seek a last-minute negotiation to settle the matter. Back in […]

Yolanda Schakron is the PUP’s Belize City mayoral candidate
Her last – and first – campaign for a seat in the House of Representatives in 2012 ended in tears and heartbreak as she was denied the opportunity to run for elected office over concerns about her nationality. But businesswoman and community activist Yolanda Schakron, is the People’s United Party’s […]

Cervantes patriarch memorial spawns threat of libel suits
A memorial service for the late Ramon Cervantes Sr, businessman of Orange Walk Town who was murdered on July 1st 2014 was held today at a field next to where he was last seen alive. The memorial drew a large crowd that included hundreds of supporters, mourners […]

Fatal hit-and-run incident in the Toledo district
Police in the Toledo district are looking for a hit-and-run driver who killed a man on the Southern Highway.43 year old Juan Caal, a Guatemalan national, was found dead on the side of the Southern Highway between miles 23 and 24 around 9:15 pm on Tuesday.He had been knocked down and sustained fatal head and body injuries.The area where the body was found is between Indian Creek and Big Falls villages. According to the deputy commander of PG police Inspector Ernel Dominguez, preliminary investigations reveal that Caal was riding a green Nankon bicycle towards Big Falls village when he was knocked down and killed by a vehicle that did not stop to render aid.


‘Workin’ for a Livin'” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
I think when I wrote the last edition I must still have been in a state of euphoria (for euphoria read “too much alcohol in the system”) because I failed to mention a couple of fantastic (I’m so easily pleased these days!) things that happened to me around my birthday.The first thing came as a complete surprise to me – a birthday present. Something I didn’t expect and a gift that I didn’t know existed.A gift voucher for Estel’s Dine By the Sea. Still trying to work out why they thought this would be a good present for me!Now the other thing has been in the offing for some considerable time. In fact I first considered it around a year ago but thought better of it. A year on and my perspective has changed. So what is it, you’re thinking.Well, I’ve bought in to a local business and have entered the world of estate agents (realtors for non UK readers).Under the Qualified Retirement Program I can’t actually work in Belize but nothing precludes me from owning or part owning a business and after being retired for around two and a half years I was starting to miss being involved in a business. Sad isn’t it.

Record Breaking Weekend and Belize Weather in November
There you have it – my record of 10 party places in 3 days. Thankfully during all that time we were not rained out much. The fast downpour Friday night could not keep Sara and I from ducking away from Lola’s and heading for the taco stands. My Homer Simpson burger was worth getting a little wet – we were smart enough to pack raincoats. So far the Belize weather for the month of November has brought northeast winds and a few cool windy days with a mix of clouds and sunshine. As the day has gone on, it has warmed up a bit. November is a transitional period and I consider this fall-like weather with some cooler temperatures and some chances of rain. Click to learn more about Belize in November. Our past few cool days are still warm to travelers and for those of us who are acclimatized, they make perfect napping weather. There is nothing like being able to siesta with a warm fuzzy blanket.

6 Cool (and Mostly Free!) Things to Do in San Pedro Belize
Many visitors go to Ambergris Caye to marvel at the sea life in its natural habitat, but San Pedro Belize also offers numerous other opportunities to experience local flora and fauna without venturing into the deep blue seas. Below are 6 things to do that happen daily or on an ad hoc basis, so you can catch them anytime during your San Pedro vacation. They are also mostly free, and are an affordable supplement to expensive diving or snorkeling excursions. 1. Tarpon Feedings 2. Crabs Crossing the Road at Night 3. Feeding the Eels 4. Catching Hermit Crabs 5. Watching the Crocodiles 6. The Chicken Drop

International Sourcesizz

Say Goodbye To Stress…This Is Ambergris Caye, Belize
It’s another languid, relaxing Sunday on Belize’s Caribbean coast. Settling in a at Estel’s Diner on the beach, we order our favorite breakfast—huevos rancheros with homemade salsa. Then it’s back to a blissful reverie, gazing out over the mesmerizing Caribbean Sea. Sitting here, I wiggle my toes into the diner’s soft, warm, sand floor—no shoes needed…The scene outside is idyllic. Rays of sunlight skitter off the sparkling surface of the calm sea… Local children giggle, frolicking in the clear, tepid waters… Several friends, out for a Sunday morning beach walk, stop by to share the latest island gossip…This is a typical Sunday in Belize. Here—especially on the small island of Ambergris Caye—Sundays are dedicated to R&R. Sometimes my husband and I head north to lounge on a beach, or join a catamaran trip to snorkel at Mexico Rocks, or Hol Chan Marine Park. But most Sundays we join friends at a popular beach bar BBQ. After indulging we settle in to enjoy the rocking tunes of a local band. It’s our chance to brush up on our West Coast Swing moves while cooled by the ocean breeze… There’s always free live music playing somewhere in Belize. We seldom need to pay for live entertainment.

Athletes, coaches from Belize share stories of sports, homeland
Kenroy Usher remembers the time he and his mother encountered an unusually forthcoming stranger on the streets in Belize.Usher was only 10 then – and a good boy – but the unfamiliar woman apparently felt compelled to issue a dire warning. Within a few years, she said, the boy will join a gang. By the age of 15, he will have fathered a child.By the age of 25, his life of violence and crime will leave him incarcerated or, most likely, dead.“In Belize,” said Jeremy McCulloch, a police detective in that small and poor country, “young males are an endangered species.”Fortunately, the woman’s bleak prediction proved wrong.Determined not to become a statistic, Usher began watching the Chicago Bulls and superstar Michael Jordan. Wanting to “Be Like Mike,” he hit the cracked cement basketball courts of his country and became a two-time hoops MVP before “retiring” to lead sports programs for youth, offering other young men the same path to a good life that he himself traveled.“Sports have changed my life,” Usher said Wednesday morning to a packed Capitol Room of the Holmes Student Center.

CARICOM representatives join emergency communications workshops on Ebola
Caribbean Community health representatives participated Wednesday in a communications workshop in Barbados about the threat of possible Ebola cases in the region, which has remained free of the disease so far.Health-care and communications professional from CARICOM member-states gathered to learn skills and strategies to better communicate regarding Ebola, influenza, dengue fever and Chikungunya.The workshop, which ends Thursday, was organized by the Pan-American Health Organization and the World Health Organization.The workshop follows this week's conference of CARICOM leaders in in Trinidad and Tobago to draw up a 10-point plan against Ebola.Heads of state and government agreed to strengthen health systems, including training, equipment, laboratories and containment, and enlist the participation of airlines in the region in transporting response teams and blood samples for testing.

EU Gives Caribbean $25 Million to Improve Disaster Management
Several Caribbean islands will share a 20-million-euro ($25-million) grant from the European Union to strengthen their national disaster-management programs.The funding will be disbursed over the next five years, the Antigua and Barbuda Government said Wednesday in a statement.It is expected the EU aid will be used to strengthen critical infrastructure to make it more resilient in the face of natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and floods.“The flash-flooding which occurred in St. Vincent and the Grenadines as well as St. Lucia last December should be a wake-up call for the Caribbean. It should send the signal that the region should be prepared, not only for the hurricane season, but for any disaster-related eventuality,” said the head of the EU delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Mikael Barfod.The grant will be divided among: Antigua and Barbuda; the Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Dominica; the Dominican Republic; Grenada; Guyana; Haiti; Jamaica; Suriname; St. Lucia; St. Kitts and Nevis; St. Vincent and the Grenadines; Suriname; and Trinidad and Tobago.

A fraction of the global military spending could save the planet's biodiversity
A fundamental step-change involving an increase in funding and political commitment is urgently needed to ensure that protected areas deliver their full conservation, social and economic potential, according to an article published today in Nature by experts from Wildlife Conservation Society, the University of Queensland, and the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA).The paper, The performance and potential of protected areas, comes ahead of the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 – a once-in-a-decade global forum on protected areas opening next week in Sydney, Australia.According to the authors, allocating US$45 - $76 billion to protected areas annually – just 2.5% of the global annual military expenditure – could help adequately manage those areas, ensuring their potential contribution to the well-being of the planet is fully met."Protected areas offer us solutions to some of today's most pressing challenges" says Dr James Watson of the Wildlife Conservation Society and The University of Queensland and lead author of the study. "But by continuing with 'business as usual', we are setting them up for failure. A step-change in the way we value, fund, govern and manage those areas is neither impossible nor unrealistic and would only represent a fraction of what the world spends annually on defense."


Video: The Birds of Belize DVD Version 10 - Main Body - 301 Species, 50min.
This is the main portion of the newest version of The Birds of Belize DVD. It now represents 301 species, filmed entirely in Belize, and includes improved footage of many species already included in previous versions. Most of the species included also have songs or calls with the video footage. The DVD itself can be selected by Plate as illustrated in the field guide "Birds of Belize" by H. Lee Jones. ALL proceeds from the sale and distribution of this DVD go to Belize NGOs and for education in Belize. The new DVD will be available from select lodges and organizations in Belize in 2015 and is available on eBay now for shipment to US addresses only. Enter the eBay website and search for "The Birds of Belize DVD"

Video: PetroCaribe projects, min.
Since the resurgence of the PetroCaribe program in 2012, the Government of Belize under the stewardship of Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow has embarked on a massive undertaking to transform Belize. The projects are numerous and the progress is visible countrywide. Transforming Belize....A Government for All!

Video: Belize MASTERVimeo, 21min.
UNCW Communication Studies

Video: Belize Sailfish, 7min.
Sailfish caught aboard the Boca del Toro Belize Game Fish Association Blue Water Classic Tournament November 1, 2014

Video: Octopus at Holchan Marine Park Belize November 5,, 1min.

Video: Belize, 13min.


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