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The San Pedro Sun

Cayo By Election
The UDP wins the by-election making Omar Figueroa the new elected Area Representative for Cayo North. He captured 2669 votes cast over Richard Harrison's 1340. 51 were rejected.

It’s been a great year in Belize! (Part 2)
About 365 days ago I had no idea of all the amazing things that I would get to experience thanks to work. Yes, WORK! Writing for My Beautiful Belize has allowed me the privilege to enjoy, taste, and view my country in different eyes. This unique opportunity has broaden my love for Belize and has left me wanting more… more fun, adventure, history, culture and of course more challenges! This past year I got to see Belize’s Blue Hole from a bird-eye perspective, a truly awe-inspiring experience. But honestly my most favorite memory of the year had to be cave tubing through the Crystal Caves down in Cayo. It might be because I love sparkly objects but after my trip to Crystal Cave I’m debating on making it my wedding venue (No, im not engaged yet…).

Over 6500 Cayo North voters to go the polls in by-elections today
Residents in Cayo North will have a new elected area representative at the end of a by-election that is being held today January 5th. A total of 6598 registered voters will be able to cast their votes between the hours of 7AM and 6PM at two polling stations. The two candidates contesting the election are the People’s United Party’s (PUP) Richard Harrison and the United Democratic Party’s (UDP) Omar Figueroa. The two candidates and their political machinery had exactly one month to prepare for the by-election which was triggered by the resignation of the PUP’s Joseph Mahmud from parliament. Since Sunday January 4th, the two mass parties had placed banners, flyers and flags around the two polling stations and throughout the Cayo North constituency. At polling station number 73, located at Sacred Heart Primary RC School located in San Ignacio Town, 5056 registered voters will be legible to cast their votes. At the smaller polling station number 75, located at the Immaculate Conception RC School in Bullet Tree Falls Village, a total of 1542 registered voters will be legible to go to the polls.

Ambergris Today

Miss San Pedro Rocks into 2015 New Year Celebrations
San Pedro ended 2014 with a bang! As 2014 was hours away of culminating, visitors and residents gathered around Central Park to bring in the New Year 2015 and watch a spectacular show of fireworks. The San Pedro Town Council held its annual countdown at Central Park. Before the clock hit midnight, there were performances on stage by San Pedro’s very own Rompe Raja Band and the San Pedro Dance Academy. Following their performances was Blackhenoh featuring Dale Wallace and music from Skynet Soundz. Father David Mumba, from the San Pedro R.C. Church offered everyone a blessing for a bright upcoming year and Mayor Daniel Guerrero welcomed everyone to the event. He shared with everyone a few accomplishments that the Council reached in 2014, such as the paving of the northern road. Hon. Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism, Culture & Civil Aviation, also wished every one the best for the upcoming year.

Island Wedding - Bladon/Lima Nuptials
Ambergris Today congratulates Casey Bladon and Roxsany Lima on their wedding celebration that took place on Saturday, January 3, 2015, in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. The nuptials took place at the Shalom Temple and the reception thereafter at the San Pedro Lions Den where family and friends got together to celebrate the happy occasion. Best wishes to the newly weds.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

To Boldly Go Where No One Wants To
by Tony Rath. Bringing Light to the Heart of Darkness. MOVING SLOWLY FORWARD, YOU PART THE BRANCHES AND LEAVES TILL THE BOW OF THE BOAT TOUCHES THE RIVER BANK, THEN YOU TIE THE BOW LINE SECURELY TO A BRANCH. Looking over the side of the skiff, you raise your leg over the gunnel and search carefully for a place to put your foot. That first step is a choice: leaf covered muck, thin arched root, or an unknown puddle inches or feet deep. The root it is. The second step? The same options. You chose another root. Head down, concentrating, your eyes search for that third root. As you step, your back foot slips, both boots sink into mud and water. Resigned to wet feet, lifting your gaze you see a tangled, confused wall of impenetrable roots rising from festering, thick, decomposing blackwater. The stench of decay the air; oil sheening on stagnant pools; rotting, swollen logs covered by fungus and moss; the buzz of mosquitoes, the silent fleeting blur of biting flies, spiderwebs peppering the path ahead; sweat pulled from your forehead by the still, humid air drips and blurs your left eye. Everywhere is shadowy and cramped, claustrophobic and forboding. The sulfurous, dense forest lining the northern banks of the Sarstoon River, Belize‘s southern common border with Guatemala, overwhelms all five senses at once; as if you‘re stepping directly into Joseph Conrad‘s Heart of Darkness. This expedition explored the forests along Belize‘s two southern rivers, the Sarstoon and Temash. The area between the rivers is part of the Sarstoon-Temash National Park (STNP). The STNP protects the entire watersheds of these two wild and remote rivers, including a vast wetland complex and the most highly developed riverine mangrove in the country. Both rivers then empty into the rich fishing grounds of the Caribbean Sea.

FUND RAISING BBQ: Support the Corozal Bay Sailing Club
TICKETS ARE NOW AVAILABLE FOR THE COROZAL BAY SAILING CLUB'S CHICKEN AND PORK BBQ. Chicken Dinners are just $7 and include extra BBQ sauce, beans and tortillas The yummy Pork dinners have the same sides and are $8 or $10. Location: Franks' Meats 10 4th Ave Corozal Date: January 16 Time: 10AM-1PM You must present your pre-purchased ticket for your meal. Tickets available at Frank's Meats or through members of the club. Frank's Meat's 634-7374 Loreta 666-3447 Gerard 665-5121

US Embassy Artisan Fair 2014
Damari Perez, Chairlady, and Jennifer Krottinger, Peace Corps Volunteer, attended the US Embassy's Artisan Fair in mid-November as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2014. The women launched new products, hand-made crocheted purses and bags at the event. This was the first-time for the women to attend the event, and have a presence. This year's fair highlighted women owned businesses. Thank you US U.S. Embassy Belize!

Mortgage Payment Program Extension
GOB Extended the Closing Date for Submission of Applications for the December 2014 Residential Mortgage Payment Program

By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez. All Belize social movements essentially suffer from the same aliment They died when they stopped paying attention to recruitment Then some began to believe we needed money to build a movement So did the PUP political movement UBAD which was supposed to be a Belize version of the Black Panther Movement Our resiliency they try to hide The fire burnt from inside Our social movement dies When the protective factors, the ancestors are cast aside The spirit of Garveyism had the imperialist petrified But due to infiltration and men’s false pride The movement was split into two sides Essentially, this is why UBAD died Many flocked the Bliss to hear Evan X speak

Belizean Herbology Course
Harness the power of our beautiful plants! The Medicine Wheel in San Ignacio is hosting a 20-month long course with 8 weeks of Belizean Herbology, 4 weeks of nutrition, and so much more! Learn the power of the plants you recognize, utilize their potential, expand and share your knowledge of the plants in your area in this intense natural medicine course-learn, grow, and see the healer within each of us.

PUP concedes Bi-election in Cayo North
UDP Omar Figueroa elected as the new area representative building momentum for the UDP for the upcoming March 2015 municipal elections. UDP Omar Figueroa received 2669 votes and PUP Richard Harrison received 1340 votes representing close to a 2-1 margin.

Channel 7

Cayo North's By-Election, The Timeline
Right now in Cayo North, 13 ballot boxes from two polling stations are being carted over to the Center for Employment Training compound. That's the counting station for only the third divisional by-election in Belize's history. That means that in about two, or two and a half hours, we should know who the new representative for that area is. Voting today started slow but when polls closed at 35 minutes ago at 6:00 pm, figures say the final turnout was 4023 voters or about 61% of the registered voters - that's in line with the divisional by-election in Freetown in 1993 where 60% came out. And while the voters were slow to come out early on - the mass parties muscled in on the division and flooded the area with supporters from all over the country.

The Political Muscle of the Mass Parties In Cayo North
Indeed, there were many political personalities just standing around - doing, it seemed, something close to nothing. We spoke to many of them, and the two men who remained on the move: candidates Omar Figueroa for the UDP and Richard Harrison for the PUP. Here's what they had to say:... Omar Figueroa, UDP Hopeful - Cayo North "We got slowed down a little bit because of the rain, but it looks like it will hold up. We feel very positive." Jules Vasquez "Now, a lot of people would say it should be the easiest election to win because every division is helping you. While I see you working, you have all 30 constituencies assisting."

62 Percent Came Out to Vote In Cayo North By-Election
But, before that we go back to the numbers. To repeat, a total of 4063 voters came out - that's 62% of the 6598 registered voters. That is considered a respectable turnout for a by election, but significantly less than the 2012 general election where 74% came out. Polling Area #75 in Bullett Tree had 74% turnout with 1,137 persons voting. Polling area #73 in San Ignacio had only 58%, or 2926 of the 5056 voters coming out.

Robbery Murdered In Jane Usher Turf
We've been hearing the name Kareem "Robbery" Lopez regularly for the past 8 years, since 2006, for different incidents on the streets. But tonight, Lopez who is said to be high up in the hierarchy of the George Street Gang, remains at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Morgue after being gunned down and killed on Saturday night at about 10:15 pm. Police say that he went to buy food on Central American Boulevard and while he was opening the door of his car, a group of young men ambushed him and one of them opened fire riddling his body with bullets. He died on the spot, the gunmen rode off. Shortly after, a crowd of people, including his family and friends, arrived on the scene around the time that our news team did. Daniel Ortiz has that report:

Benua Was Shot 3 Hours Later
Three hours after that murder, police responded to another shooting - this one wasn't fatal. 25 year-old Benua Andrews was shot to the right side of his face at the corner of Fern Lane and Flamboyant Street around 12:45 am. He was rushed to the KHMH, and police say that he remains in a critical condition and on life support at this time.

The Brazen Day Light Murder of Mervin Underwood
And then, Homicides #3 and 4 happened on Sunday night and early this morning, one in Belmopan and one in Belize City. Belmopan Cops aren't sure that 17 year-old Kevin Vasquez was murdered yesterday, but this morning's early street slaying of 32 year-old Mervin Underwood leaves no uncertainty. It happened at around 7 this morning right at the foot of the Pound Yard Bridge on the corner of West Canal and Cemetery Road. That area is very busy in the mornings with commuters going to and for the Novelos Bus Terminal. That didn't stop a brazen gunman who executed Underwood and ran off before police first responders arrived. Daniel Ortiz reports: Daniel Ortiz reporting The friends and co-workers of 32-year-old Mervin Underwood were unable to process what they were seeing. He was killed in broad daylight, in a crowded area. Still, it happened, and eyewitnesses tell us that the gunman moved stealthily. He was dressed in a long sleeve shirt, long pants, and a shirt used to cover his face.

Teenager Shot And Killed; Shooter Claims Defence
A 19-year-old was shot and killed in Belmopan last night but the circumstances surrounding the shooting are questionable. After 7:00 last night 19 year old Kevin Vasquez approached 31 year old Belize City Native Mark Conorquie in his yard. Conorquie noticed that Vasquez was pulling out a gun from his waist and tried to defend himself by fighting Vasquez off. That was when the 3 shots were fired hitting Vasquez in the head, chest and upper leg. Police are still trying to unravel the shooting and are not calling it murder just yet. The officer commanding shared the information they have so far.

Cane Farmers Reject Compromise Deal The Second Time Around
No deal but let's continue to negotiate. That's what the cane farmers told BSI and the Government at yesterday's special general meeting. As we told you, the farmers had first accepted the Government-facilitated compromise on December thirteenth. But after three weeks of going back and forth on the language of the final agreement, and 5 hours of passionate agitation yesterday, the farmers took the resolution that they will not be forced into signing the agreement just so that the crop can begin. That means that the sugar crop, just like last year around this time, is now delayed with no foreseeable date for its start.and the gap between the cane farmers and the factory owners is widening once again.

Cane Country New Year's Cheer?
Shortly after agreeing that the cane farmers will not sign the compromise agreement, one of the farmers tabled a motion that the executive of their association must make available 4 million dollars of Fair Trade money to distribute evenly among the 5,300 farmers in the north. Now, the farmers still haven't gotten a conclusive response if they ran afoul of Fair Trade regulations when they made a resolution to share out 2.5 million dollars of those funds during Christmas. They claimed that it was to assist with the hardships of the delay in the start of the grinding season, a sort of cane country Christmas Cheer. But Christmas is done, and now the farmers want to make an even deeper dip into the Fair Trade Funds. At yesterday's meeting, the directors tried their very hardest to kill that motion and convince the farmers that it's against Fair Trade rules to share up that money. The funds have already been allotted to different upgrading projects within the sugar cane industry, all designed to modernize the industry and make it ready for 2017 when the preferential markets disappear. But, the majority demanded that their executive discard those programs and allow the farmers to divvy up the 4 million dollars.

Chairman Cansino Has Opponents After Compromise Deal
At yesterday's general meeting, Ezequiel Cansino, the Chairman of the Cane Farmers Association's Committee of Management came under fire from various farmers. He's credited as one of the individuals who pushed forward for the farmers to sign the compromise agreement so that the crop season could begin without any further delay. While he was well-intentioned, he is being blamed by some as the man who helped to negotiate unfair terms for farmers. Yesterday, a vote of no-confidence came out of a heated back and forth between the farmers. It did not gain any sort of traction with the rest of the assembly, but we wondered if Cansino would be able to survive such a move. Here's what he said when we asked him about it:

Benque Family Lost Everything In A Fire
The Can family in Benque lost everything in a New Year's Day fire. The family of 5 was in their home on 493 Elizabeth Street when they noticed smoke coming from one of the bedrooms after 1 in the afternoon. With no time to collect their belongings, they raced outside barefooted. In a couple of minutes the fire spread to the entire house, destroying the wooden sections. The firemen as well as many residents were frantically trying to put out the fire before it spread to the neighbor's house. We spoke with 37 year old Ingrid Can over the phone on Friday and she says she does not know what caused the fire and that she is still waiting for an official report from the Fire department and the police. Ingrid says the cost of damage is about $75,000. Family members are assisting them at this time but if you would also like to assist you can call 660-8477.

GSU Makes Holiday Seizures
Over the Holiday, the Gang Suppression Unit has been out on the patrol, and they've managed to make several ammunition and drug seizures. On Saturday, January 3, 2015, the GSU conducted searches in the Conch-shell Bay Area, which is known base for the concealment and sale of large quantities of marijuana. The team ended up finding 10 live rounds of .223 ammunition used in high powered military weapons, such as for an AR-15 rifle or a M-16 rifle. No one was in the area, and so, it was deposited as found property. And on Last week Sunday, December 28, GSU search teams made 3 separate drug seizures. It started at around 1 p.m. when officers were on Tigris Street. They searched an empty lot, and found 10 transparent bags and a black plastic bag, each containing cannabis, which were hidden under a coconut tree. The total weight was determined to be 1.214 kilograms, or 2.68 pounds, which were all deposited as found property.

Officer Charged With Extortion In Bella Vista
Tonight, Police Constable #22 Bernard Villanueva, the officer in charge of the Bella Vista Village Police Station, is facing an extortion charge after a couple says that he shook them down for money in exchange for his release from the holding cell. It happened at about 7:30 p.m. on last week Friday, when Independence Police received reports that Constable had demanded money from 28 year-old Jeydi Romero, for the release of her husband, Nahun Romero. Independence Police Officers were dispatched, and they conducted surveillance on Villanueva, with a sting operation to catch him in the act. They saw a man visiting the station, and he handed PC Villanueva an item.

The Rest of the Political Machinery Involved In the Cayo North By-Election
And so...on this day full of so much news - the biggest news story is still unfolding in Cayo North. That's where right now counting is taking place for the Cayo North by election. There are 13 ballot boxes with about 300 votes each so counting should be finished between 8:30 and 9:00 pm. And while we await that outcome - to keep the political energy going we go back to Cayo North form some more of the interviews we conducted today. We asked the UDP Ministers about the possibility of their presence actually alienating voters:.. Jules Vasquez "Isn't there however a risk that when you go and campaign because maybe as Minister of Education, you didn't give my son a scholarship or I had ask for assistance and I didn't get any. These are the things happen in government. You can't please everyone - that when you go or the Deputy Prime Minister goes, some land issue with my family - that you all are actually a disincentive to vote UDP."

Channel 5

Live Coverage: 2015 Cayo North Bye-election
The polls have just closed in the Cayo North by-election where Omar Figueroa of the U.D.P. and Richard Harrison of the P.U.P. contested the elections. The voter’s turnout at five [...]

P.M. Barrow on Cayo North Battleground
The overwhelming presence of elected officials, including the Prime Minister and the Leader of the P.U.P., as well as political aspirants from both major parties in Cayo North today is [...]

Francis Fonseca: “We Have To Be Sober and Realistic…”
The results of the bye-election, as Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca also attests, will indicate, in some measure, what will take place at the polls in the March municipals.  In the [...]

Omar Figueroa’s Election Day Prediction
There is an update to today’s by-election in Cayo North. Sixty-two percent of six thousand, five hundred and ninety-eight registered turned up to cast their ballots during today’s election.  That [...]

Richard Harrison Optimistic of P.U.P. Victory
According to Harrison, notwithstanding the less than remarkable numbers, he is confident that his brief campaign efforts will secure a victory for the People’s United Party.   Mike Rudon “Richard [...]

Regression in Sugar Negotiations, B.S.C.F.A. Rejects B.S.I.’s Proposal
Turning to another major issue…The sugar cane crop season and the sugar industry are in serious jeopardy; in fact, the situation has regressed. At an emergency meeting of cane-farmers on [...]

Attorney Chris Coye Says Proposed B.S.I. Agreement was an Improvement
But before a vote was taken, there was a surprise announcement. B.S.C.F.A. attorney, Chris Coye, would tell cane farmers that the latest proposed agreement was an improvement.   Chris Coye, [...]

B.S.C.F.A. Attorney Comes Under Fire From Membership
But Coye’s position came under swift attack from Javier Keme, the Chairman of the Finance Committee of the B.S.C.F.A.  Keme rejected Coye’s view that the new agreement provided farmers with [...]

‘Robbery’ Assassinated On Boulevard
It’s only five days into the New Year, and there are already three murder victims as the bloodbath extended from Belize City to Belmopan. The manager of Dream Valley, Yaima [...]

Is Mervin Underwood’s Early Morning Murder Related?
Kareem Lopez was in the headlines dating back to 2006 for a slew of charges which included murder and attempted murder. He was out on bail for a November drug [...]

Belmopan Resident Shot and Killed During Violent Weekend
There were a total of four shootings over the weekend – three which ended fatal. The third killing occurred on Sunday night in Belmopan and police are saying that evidence [...]

Another Cop Busted for Extortion
Police Officer Bernard Villanueva who is attached to the Bella Vista Police Station has been arrested and charged for extortion. Villanueva was busted in a sting operation following a report [...]

Aaron Kerr Stabbed While Attempting to Part Fight
A Good Samaritan of Police Street in Belize City is fortunate to be alive after he was stabbed while trying to intervene in a fight. Thirty-two year old Aaron Kerr [...]

Intruder Nabbed by Security at Westar Gas Station
Aside from the murders and attempted murders, there was other criminal activity elsewhere in the country. In Roaring Creek, Nelson Gallardo reported to the Belmopan Police that at about two-thirty [...]

GSU Raid Conch Shell Bay, Weed and Ammo Found
Several operations were undertaken by the Gang Suppression Unit over the weekend. On Saturday, the GSU were on the ground in the Conch Shell Bay Area. In an open lot, [...]

PLB Playoffs Wind Down…in Sports Monday
Good evening I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   We kick off the action with Saturday night’s crunch time affair between Police United and the Belize Defence Force. [...]


Kareem “Robbery” Lopez killed in Belize City
28 year old Kareem Frederick Lopez, aka “Robbery”, of Jane Usher Boulevard in Belize City, met a violent end around 10:15 Saturday night on Central American Boulevard, when he was shot multiple times while purchasing fast food at a restaurant. It was while he was opening the door of his car that a group of men approached him and fired several shots in his direction fatally injuring him. We hear from press officer for the Belize Police Department, Raphael Martinez. “At approximately 10:20 p.m. police visited an area near to a fast-food establishment on Central American Boulevard, where they saw the body of twenty-eight-year-old Kareem Frederick Lopez, also known as Robbery, lying on the Boulevard with multiple gunshot wounds to the body.

Marvin Underwood shot and killed
Kareem Lopez’s murder was the first of two in Belize City within 56 hours . There was another on Monday morning in a highly trafficked area near the Pound Yard Bridge . Police responded to reports of gunshots being fired in the vicinity of Rogers’ Stadium, and came upon 32 year old Mervin Underwood with a fatal wound to the head. With a formal report here is Police Press Officer Raphael Martinez. “Police were informed of gunshots being fired in the vicinity of Roger’s Stadium. When police went to the scene they saw a male of dark complexion, who was identified later as 32 year old Mervin Anthony Underwood, laying in the vicinity of the Pound Yard Bridge apparently dead, with an apparent gunshot wound to the head.

Shot to the face; clinging to life
More shots were fired in Belize City on Saturday January 3. Sometime before 1 o’clock that afternoon, 25-year-old Benua Andrews of Belize City was shot once to the right side of his face, at the corner of Fern Lane and Flamboyant Street. Police were called to the scene of the shooting where they found Mr Andrews unconscious, lying in a pool of blood, and so they took him the KHMH for medical treatment. Benua Andrews remains on life support and in a critical condition.

Another prison marijuana smuggling scheme defeated
Just before Christmas we told you of the court sparing an individual who claims he did not know he was smuggling marijuana into the Central Prison at Hattieville at the bottom of a Gillette deodorant. There was no such mercy on Monday for 18 year old Raheem Myles, whose scheme to smuggle cannabis into the prison was defeated. On Friday, January 2, Raheem Myles visited the prison with three apples. They were cut open and a total of 46 grams of cannabis was found inside the core. One of the apples carried 10 parcels amounting to 16 grams; the second had eight parcels amounting to 12 grams and the last had 13 parcels for a total of 18 grams. The sticker on each apple was removed and a hole was made into which the cannabis was slipped, after which the sticker was placed back to cover the hole.

Patrick JonesPJ

Police recover firearm, charge two
A dangerous firearm was taken off the streets and the persons alleged to be in possession of it are likewise in remand. 25 year old Curlan Philips and 18 year old Tevin Palmer pleaded not guilty to charges of keeping a prohibited firearm being a .357 revolver and […]

Police reassure public after series of shooting incidents
Police in Belize City have detained at least three persons in relation to the spate of shootings and a stabbing reported in the Old Capital since Saturday. Kareem Lopez and Marvin Underwood were shot dead on Saturday night and this Monday morning respectively, while Aaron Kerr was stabbed […]

High speed chase; vehicle abandoned
A group of men accused of “shooting up” the Kraal Road area on Sunday morning managed to get away from police following a high-speed chase through several Southside neighborhoods. Police spotted a Hyundai Santa Fe SUV with Belize City license plates BC-C-47582 and set chase after it all […]

Traffic accident on the Hummingbird Highway
There are reports of a traffic mishap near the Agriculture Show Grounds in Belmopan. It happened early this afternoon on the Hummingbird Highway and involved an SUV and a Mahindra-type vehicle which collided. At least two persons travelling an SUV were hurt, but the injuries do not […]

Cayo North bye-election underway
Residents of the Cayo North electoral division are today voting in a bye-election to choose a new area representative. The poll is being taken due to the abrupt resignation of Joseph Mahmud was who elected on a People’s United Party (PUP) ticket in 2012. At 11 am […]

Teenager shot and killed in Belmopan
A shooting incident last night in Belmopan claimed the life of a teenager. 19 year old Kevin Vasquez, a Honduran national, was shot multiple times to the head, chest and upper part of the left leg. The shooting happened around 6:30 pm on Sunday on Costa Rica […]

Early morning murder in Belize City
A man was murdered early this morning in Belize City. The victim has been identified as 32 year old Marvin Anthony Underwood. Preliminary police reports say Underwood was gunned down around 6:55 am near Rogers Stadium in the Pound Yard area. He was shot to the head. […]


I’m In On It! SURPRISE Proposal On Ambergris Caye Makes Everyone Cry
A young couple from small town of Cameron, Missouri SO in love. Kelly and Sarah. Visiting Belize – 5 days over their Christmas break- for the very first time with his family. They were staying at the lovely Grand Caribe Resort. The family had planned a trip to many of the big sites in Belize – to the amazing Lamanai Maya site, cave tubing & zip lining on the mainland – but in the bigger picture? Those were minor plans. On the very last full day of their visit, Kelly – with the help of my friends and fabulous photographers at Conch Creative – popped the question to his SUPER SURPRISED bride-to-be. And it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever been a part of.

2015 - Bring it On!
What a year! Was it a good year, or a bad year? Or was it just a year? Hmmm - there is certainly no simple answer to that; because it was all of those. I mean heck, a year is 365 days so you're bound have a few wave crests and valleys right (no more roller coaster references...I'm sure most folks here haven't ever seen a roller coaster - I mean we barely have cars!). To the few of you that will not realize I'm a whimsical SOB and just got thoroughly offended by my comment...sorry, not sorry (stolen phrase from Matt Hoy that has been thoroughly absorbed into my lexicon)! Having a birthday only a few days away from the New Year is a great thing. Not only do I get to start a new calendar year, but also my personal year begins anew.

Great new things to try in Placencia! And...good news, dolphin sightings everywhere....bad news....Sargassum is back :(
The good news is, Placencia has a few new offerings for guests (and those of us living here :) ). I have been shocked that even after 9 months here, there are things we haven't done! We also have a couple months of guest feedback that has been really helpful, and I'd like to pass it on. The bad news is.....the Sargassum is back!!! I can't believe it. It just showed up in San Pedro a couple weeks ago and it appears it didn't last long. It just showed up on our shores yesterday. I heard that it normally takes a week or two to flush itself back out....we will be raking our hands off until then for our guests :). I can't bear to post a picture yet of it here. If it continues I will be forced to! Just a couple weeks ago, we found this guy swimming right on our shore! The difference in the water when the sargassum comes in is night and day.

How To Get To Mexico From Belize Overland
After nearly dying in a traumatising scuba dive fail in Caye Caulker; I decided to take the bus to Mexico (Cancun), from Belize City. Here’s what you need to know if you are wanting to do the same. The organisation of the whole affair is a bit of a confusing mess, so I’ve broken it down for you. Where To Go For Your Ticket The bus departs from Novelo’s Bus Terminal in downtown Belize City at 7:30 PM. So it makes sense to get there really early and get your tickets, right? Wrong. This is the Caribbean where time and logic barely exists! Tickets (from a company named ADO) go on sale around 5:30pm – no matter what the taxi drivers tell you! But in all honesty, there’s not a great deal to see whilst chilling for a few hours in Belize City. Personally, I went back to the ferry terminal (as I made the mistake of going early for tickets) for an Indian and a coffee until 5pm. If you want to kill an hour or so until your night bus comes; there is a Chinese restaurant over the road from the bus station.

International Sourcesizz

What Factors Leads To The Development Of Tropical Storms & Hurricanes?
I thought I would give everyone some background on what we look for in terms of environmental conditions and other factors that can lead to the development of tropical storms and hurricanes. There are generally six items (and sometimes more) that we look for in the tropical Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico that are necessary for tropical cyclone development (called tropical cyclogenesis). They are: 1. Ocean water temperatures that are at least 26 degrees Celsius or 79 degrees Fahrenheit to a depth of at least 50 meters or 150 feet. 2. Moist air at about 10,000 feet. 3. A generally unstable atmosphere. 4. An area of enhanced vorticity (spin) which can be caused by low pressure developing or from a tropical wave or tropical disturbance. 5. Weak vertical wind shear. 6. The area of interest has to be at least 5 degrees of latitude away from the equator. So, let’s look at each item a little more in depth:

Caribbean Export Identifies Market Opportunities
Caribbean Export Development Agency says exports from the Cariforum region are still concentrated in a few products and markets. Executive Director Pamela Coke-Hamilton also notes that linkages to global value chains are weak. Coke-Hamilton, who visited Jamaica in December, has authored a paper, "Making the Grade: An Examination of the Region's Export Performance" - which proposes that exporters move urgently to look at opportunities for diversification. Among the prime areas of opportunity, she names the wood furniture sector, which is currently the largest low-tech sector globally and estimated to have reached US$117 billion in 2012. EU annual consumption is estimated at more than €40 billion.

Where Clients Are Headed in 2015
As we get into the swing of 2015, industry organizations are releasing new data on what destinations will be hot this year. Here are the top spots to keep on your radar, based on recent surveys by and Priceline. According to's New Year Travel Resolutions Survey, Australia has moved ahead of Italy to become North America's most desired destination for 2015. Broken down regionally some trends emerge. Canadian travelers were split between European and island destinations – and were the only group that listed French Polynesia and the Maldives in the top 10. In the U.S. Midwest, residents favor warm-weather destinations closer to home like Aruba and Belize.

New Panama Canal Port Seals Approval
In an effort to boost traffic after the completion of the expanded Panama Canal, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has agreed to build a new transhipment port in Corozal, Belize. According to the Journal of Commerce, the Panamanian government and ACP’s board of directors approved the project formally on December 30, 2014. However, in order for bids to be opened, and for design and construction work to commence, the National Assembly must pass their agreement. The approved Corozal terminal project is anticipated to have an estimated depth of 18.2m and an access channel of 16.4m.


Belize Interview with Fuego's Ian Lizarraga Part I, 16min. Belize Talk Radio Host Macarena Rose takes us to San Ignacio premiere dining establishment, Fuego.
New Year's Eve Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge, Belize, 2min. We know how to bring in the new year right at Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge in Belize! Happy New Year 2015 to all ...
Cacao Festival Belize 2014, 5.5min. This annual event is coordinated by the Toledo Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) and the Toledo Cacao Growers Association (TCGA). It is aimed primarily at celebrating Belize's hardworking Cacao farmers. — at Punta Gorda Belize.
Belize Honeymoon Adventure 2014, 4min. This is a wrap-up video of our Belize Honeymoon! We stayed at the Beaches and Dreams Seafront Inn on the beach in Hopkins, Belize and went on several adventures!
Gallon Jug, Belize, 5min. I'm driving through Gallon Jug, Orange Walk District, Belize. Just a little look at the place as I'm leaving.
New Years Eve countdown 2015, with Mellowvision, 10min. Short version -- Mellowvision --- New Years Count down 2015 @ Dockweiler Rv'ers gathering...
Big Hammerhead shark off San Pedro, 2min. This is what we saw at Tuffy Rocks! AKA Tuffy Canyons.... The spot right in front of the yacht club... We snorkel out there all the time. Would love to see that bad boy! They are on the endangered species list and rarely bother humans , as in divers of snorkelers but suffer from Shark Fin Soup. Good sighting kinda rare but we see them every month or so.
Man vs Wild S05E06 Belize, 44min.
Central America 2014, 5min. Nicaragua - Honduras - Belize - Guatemala
What ARE you?, 2min. Here is some Belize lagoon kayaking for y'all.
Family Adventure Vacations at Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge, Belize, 5min. Follow one family on their adventures while staying with us at Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge in Belize. Join them poolside, on a horseback riding tour, cave tubing into the ancient caves, enjoying our unique rain showers in the Tree House accommodations... Hiking in the jungle, diving and enjoying the river next to Lodge.
Belize Cave Tubing, 1min.
Belize Diving, 2min.
Video from "Aquarium" Dive site in Belize, 2min.
Jah Cure Live In Belize - 17th May 2014 (Full Concert), 68min.
Birds and Other Things: Caye Caulker Belize, 6min.
"Staff Adventures" - Under The Sea - Diving In Belize With Tony, 12min. In This Episode of Staff Adventures, we join the boss diving in the stunning tropical waters of Ambergris Caye a little Island Off the mainland. As you can see in the video there is a massive population of Fish, Beautiful Corals, Crustaceans and Sharks in this undamaged ecosystem. Its not all bikes, bikes, bikes down at All Terrain cycles you know!
Hasta Alaska Jungle Life Belize S03E07, 15min. Ultimate Travel Adventure Series