FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

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

La Ruta Maya River Challenge
BTL is the first team to cross the finish line at the 18th La Ruta Maya River Challenge. Close behind was Oceana and almost 5 minutes behind was NICH. BTL is the overall winners.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Launching the Rotaract Week 2015!!
It's Rotaract Week, and the Rotaract Club of San Ignacio put together a little video in honor of it. They've been really busy with their community service projects lately. Support them if you can. Thanks, Rotaractors! "Launching the Rotaract Week 2015!! Rotaractors, Rotary, Past Rotaractor and Future Ractors!! Bonfire, Sharing of Stories and Experiences in the Rotaract life, Service Above Self. Everyone enjoying the snacks and drinks creating lifetime bonds. Light UP Rotary"

La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge Preparation
The La Ruta Maya is finishing up today, and here's a video from Chaa Creek finishing up a canoe for the Guava Limb Cafe team for the race. Cool video. "Once again, one of the coolest events in all of Central America, and definitely one of the most interesting canoe races in the world is about to take place in Belize. Yes folks, it’s time for the annual La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge. Since its humble beginnings in 1998, the La Ruta Maya has grown to become one of the most exciting and popular events in Belize. Worldwide, it’s ranked 40th on “Peak Races’ 100 Toughest Races in the World."

Much trash at finish line of La Ruta Maya
I have to admit I went to see the finish of the La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge and as a Belizean I was seriously ashamed of the amount of trash floating in the Belize River and equally if not more on the river banks. For the squeamish people I won't tell you all that I saw floating but it was really nasty. They claim to have people from all over the world coming to Belize to participate in this race. What are we trying to show them that we can paddle through toxic waste water in Belize? I admit I would not want to touch, be in or even get wet with that water after what I saw today.

CJC EAGLE's Environmental Club
The CJC EAGLE's Environmental Club is honoured to be hosting this year's Earth Hour. We extend a cordial invitation to everyone in Corozal to come out to the Central Park at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 28 to show support for this event. Come learn about how you can use your power to make a difference in positively contributing to the environment. Come participate in the candlelight walk or switch off your lights at home from 8:30-9:30 p.m. We have the power to make a difference!!! USE YOUR POWER!!! Please Share!

Raise a Flag for the Commonwealth program
For the first time in the history of the Commonwealth, 37 Commonwealth Countries and 10 UK Overseas Territories Joined the United Kingdom in raising over 650 Commonwealth Flags together at 10:00 a.m. this morning March 9, 2015. In Belize the Raise a Flag for the Commonwealth program was organized by The Scout Association of Belize. The ceremony took place at the Flag Monument at the entrance of Belize City on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Master of Ceremonies was Rev. Dr. Rudolph Anthony. A messages from Her Majesty the Queen was read by Queen's Scout kesilyn Lizama and the Commonwealth Affirmation was read by Venture Scout Ashton Nicholas. Despite the rain, the program went as planned and the flag was raised on schedule. Special invited guests included HE Sir Colville Young, Governor-General of Belize, HE Mr. Peter Hughes, British High Commissioner, Brigadier General David Jones from the Belize Defence Force, Major John Cain, Commanding Officer BATSUB and many other officials from the Scout Association.

Bullet Tree Animal Clinic
The Institute for Sustainable International Studies will be sponsoring an Animal Health Care Clinic in Bullet Tree Falls, this Wednesday, March 11th, at the community center. It's from 9:00am to noon. A big thanks to the Institute for Sustainable International Studies for having another clinic.

Congrats to the winners, especially our members, of the 18th Annual Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge:
Bravery and Heroic Action Awards - Belize Bank Bulldogs and Westrac Stingers. Another award was also presented to both teams by Oceana for the heroic actions that saved a person's life. Perseverance Award by National Celebrations Commission: Wateva Boyz FAMILY: 2nd - Gentle Bubble and Grind 1st - Slim and Trim like Guava Limp PLEASURE: 3rd - Police Crime Fighters 2rd - BDF Weh Dem Deh 1st - Print Belize/Wrobel & Co INTRAMURAL: 3rd - Turds 2nd - Wateva Boyz 1st - Western Home Supplies/BTL/Natius MIXED: 3rd - U Can 2nd - Green and Blue Canoe Oars 1st - BDF Wave Runner MASTERS: 2nd - Grumpy Old Men 1st - Watt A Ting FEMALE: 3rd - Belize Coast Guardian 2nd - Belize Bank Bulldogs Female Team 1st - Koop Sheet Metal MALE: 3rd - Oceana/Creative Marketing/Black Orchid Resort (OCB) Wavemakers 2nd - NICH 1st - BTL Cobb's Arm

Corozal Municipal Elections 4 March 2015
Municipal Elections were held countrywide on Wednesday, 4 March 2015. Here are the preliminary results from the Elections and Boundaries Commission The United Democratic Party's candidates were all elected. Their votes are included below: Hilberto Campos 2776 (current mayor) Guillermo Arana 2787 (present councillor) — local businessman Rafael Castillo 2866 (present councillor) — teacher at Centro Escolar México Junior College Stacy Chi 2764 (present councillor) — teacher at Corozal Methodist School Estevan Cruz 2794 — teacher at Guadalupe Primary School Raul Gomez 2803 — Nurse at Corozal Community Hospital Elva Oralia Perez 2804 (present councillor) — teacher at Corozal Junior College

BIG MAMA's Costa Maya Restaurant!
Had a blast with family and friends at BIG MAMA's Costa Maya Restaurant in Mahahual! Expensive but worth it! The before and after of the red snapper

Relaxation
Cubana Michelada Mix with a Pastorazo and Surtidito....enoying with the family!

The Reporter

Belize’s ambassador to Guatemala bids for high office in OAS
Belize’s ambassador to Guatemala, Nestor Mendez, was acknowledged during a ceremony this past week at the Organisation of American States (OAS) for his bid in seeking high office at that international office. Mendez offered himself in 2014 for the office of Assistant Secretary General and said in a speech during the ceremony that he was convinced that the organisation has everything it needs to transform itself into the OAS that people need. Also offering himself for the post is Guyana’s Ambassador Bayney Karran. Of note is that former Guatemalan Presidemt, Eduardo Stein, has offered himself for the post of Secretary of the OAS. The elections take place two weeks from now.

NTUCB awaits government response to SSB board proposal
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) has made an alternate suggestion in relation to the appointment of Christian Workers Union (CWU) Secretary General Floyd Neal to the Social Security’s Board of Directors and await the government’s response. According to NTUCB President Marvin Mora, the union made the decision at their last general council meeting at the suggestion of Neal himself. Neal agreed to step back and have the union select an alternate representative in his place but only until after the finalizing of the collective bargaining agreement. Mora said the union has selected union member, Phillip Tate to represent the NTUCB on the SSB board of directors as a substantive member for a temporary period of time, until the end of CBA negotiations between the SSB and the CWU. At that point Neal would then assume his place on the SSB board of directors and Tate would revert to his original post.

How has the CSME benefitted Belize
To raise awareness about the Caribbean community (CARICOM) the Ministry of Trade, Investment, Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection held a workshop catering to the media. The government press office and various media houses participated in the workshop, held at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel, which highlighted each of the freedoms available under the CSME and quantified how Belize has accessed these freedoms. Presenter, Beginsford Codd, trade economist for the Ministry of Trade, explained that the workshop was geared towards assisting the media in marketing the CSME to Belizeans by explaining its benefit. “We noticed that the media coverage of CSME usually gravitates to high level meetings,” Codd said, “the workshop explained to the media how the common man has benefitted and can benefit from the CSME”

BTL Cubs’ Arms wins La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge
The BTL Cubs’ Arms has captured the 2015 La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge, which ended on Monday at the Belcan Bridge in Belize City. The four-leg journey started in Friday near the wooden bridge jn San Ignacio Town, Cayo with 57 teams of paddlers. From there it went to Banana Bank, then to Double Head Cabbage, then to Henderson’s Bank near Burrell Boom and finally to Belize City. We’ll have the full details of this canoe race in Thursday’s printed edition of The Reporter. The La Ruta Maya river race started in 1997.

Blogs

Weekend Drama at the Palapa Bar Brings in a HUGE Crowd Sunday Afternoon
Let me preface this post by saying that no one knows EXACTLY what happened in a situation but the people directly involved. That’s my disclaimer :) Palapa Bar on Ambergris Caye may be the island’s most well known and popular bar. Almost everyone who visits the island takes a ride up (or down) there – whether by boat, golf cart or bicycle. It’s stunning at day… And wait…what? The Palapa Bar dock & building has been sold and they are looking for new renters? Scott and Jodie have worked hard to make this perfectly situated spot busier than ever…why would they want new managers? ResortPalapa.com is not up and running. Personal dispute…money issues…I do not know why Mr. Kyle Boyd is looking to make the switch. But as the new owner of the property, it is his prerogative to make changes…I guess. He is looking for new management and I am hearing a much higher rent for this uber-popular, let’s call it iconic, island locale.

March winds and learning the art of Kiteboarding Belize
Not many people would be willingly to put themselves in a difficult situation where they may end up struggling and looking less than graceful. That is what I decided to do when I booked at kiteboarding lesson with Kitexplorer at the Belize Sailing School located on the beach at Caribbean Villas Hotel. Thankfully I did not have to look to far to find someone willing to do the same. Kendall agreed to give it a try with me. After booking our lesson, Andy, (the owner) assured me they provide beginners with a safe and relaxed atmosphere to learn. Wind dependent, the plan was to take us around back of the island to a nice shallow spot where there was nothing for us to crash into. On the big day, the universe wanted to heighten the experience with a touch more apprehension and a little excitement. When we arrived there was talk of keeping us on the front side of the island and possible cancellation due to very strong March winds. Just what we needed while waiting – visions of flying towards docks faster than the speed of light :)

Shrimp Tacos
Lent Recipe: Shrimp Tacos are pretty simple to make. This quick recipe is sure to please. Within 30 minutes you can have a healthy meal on the table.

The Ancient Mayan Ruins of Xunantunich, Belize
There is a private ritual I have, sacred and (until now) unspoken, that helps me connect with ancient archaeological sites such as Xunantunich, Belize. First, I consider the nature of time and human evolution. Last week a story was published in Science about the discovery of a fossilized mandible of an early human that lived around 2.8 million years ago in the Afar region of Ethiopia. Think about that: 2.8 MILLION YEARS! In that context, the 1300 years that have passed since the Mayans constructed the city of Xunantunich is merely the blink of an eye. Secondly, if we’re with a guide or tour group, I use photography as an excuse to distance myself, tuning out everything around me. I envision the city as it was 1200 years ago, bustling with activity as the Belize Valley region’s top Maya civic ceremonial center. Lastly, I imagine the reverence residents must have felt as they gazed up at “El Castillo” (the second tallest structure in Belize, at 130 feet). I ignore the world of computers, cars and cell phones, and explore Xunantunich through the eyes of someone from the Late and Terminal Classic eras. I try to see the city, not just as ancient archaeological relics from some distant past, but as a tangible tie to our current concept of “civilization.”

CTV3

Cordel Hyde Delivers Lake I For The P.U.P
Municipal Elections have come and gone and now what’s left to see is if those elected into office will deliver on their three year manifesto. And while Belizeans will surely be taking note and grading the town councils, the hierarchy of the People’s United Party is tonight analyzing the results of the Wednesday’s election. It was surely not a good for the P.U.P since they only managed to obtain one Mayoral seat and four councillor seats countrywide. In Belize City the Leader of the Opposition was unable to deliver a win for Mayoral Candidate Yolanda Schakron. On the other hand though the party’s standard bearer for Lake I Cordel Hyde did deliver the win for Schakron. What political pundits are looking at is the fact that Hyde managed to secure a win for the P.U.P in that constituency which is currently under the leadership of UDP’s Mark King. King won in the area back in 2012 after Hyde announced that after 3 consecutive terms as Area Representative, he was resigning because of his son's battle with cancer. The announcement was made in February of 2012 just before the Municipal Elections and the P.U.P replaced Hyde with Martin Galvez.

ASR Plants SDP For The Sugar Industry
When BSI and the three associations signed the commercial agreement back in January, all parties, along with the government, agreed to engage in the development of a Strategic Development Plan to move the sugar industry forward. The discussions toward this have already begun and today BSI/ASR launched its contribution to the plan. The company’s contribution was packaged into a booklet titled “Transforming Sugar Production in Belize into a Modern, Sustainable, Green Model, Contributing to Jobs, Growth and Energy Security”. The goal of the overall plan is to ensure the sugar industry’s sustainability in the global market that is becoming more challenging. Public Relations Representative for ASR, Mac McLachlan and ASR President Celestino Ruiz spoke more about the suggested activities and recommendations that have been incorporated in the booklet.

ASR Invests In The Mill
In what the company is calling quote, “a further demonstration of ASR/BSI’s commitment to improving the industry”, the company announced the purchase and installation of a forty ton dumping table at the factory. According to officials, the equipment will allow for eighty percent of the cane being discharged by tilting instead of lifting. ASR President elaborated on the impact of the new equipment on production. “Over this week we were able to approve an investment to the mill on a new dumping table, truck dumper, to alleviate some of the concerns during our outreach that we came across from the cane growers. It will provide higher unloading capacity that will benefit us from the standpoint of the testing that is done from a quality perspective because we were limited. We were limited by truck configurations, by the different offloading systems that we had, and this was a way to ease and provide flexibility to the cane-grower from a truck configuration standpoint and offloading standpoint. So it’s a good faith gesture from our part to show that our aspirations for Belize of growth for the future continue, and that we hope at the end of the STP we’re all engaged together moving this industry forward.”

Special Envoy for Women and Children Congratulates Women In Politics
And sticking the topic of politics today the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow, saluted all the 19 women who participated in the Municipal Elections held yesterday. She salutes them for her courage and willingness to put their names on the ballots and to offer themselves to serve the people of our country. Congratulations especially went out to Ms. Fern Gutierrez who is now the only female mayor in the country and Punta Gorda Town’s first female mayor.

Forty Nine Year Old Murdered In the Old Capital
A forty nine year old is murdered in a hotel room in Belize City. On Thursday authorities report that they found the body of forty-nine year old Oscar Amilcar Grijalva, a caretaker of Ontario Village in the Cayo District in room number one of Isabel Guest House on number three Albert Street. The discovery was made by a cleaner after two thirty in the afternoon and police arrived about 3:30 that same afternoon. Girjalva was found lying face up inside the bathroom of the hotel room with apparent stab wounds. Police report that he sustained stab wounds to the chest, a cut wound to his throat and stab wounds to both arms. What police have gathered so far is that Grijalva arrived at the guest house around 11:30 on Thursday morning along with a female companion. That woman reportedly left the building about 2:30 in the afternoon. Police are investigating the homicide.

Patrick JonesPJ

Town Council Neglects San Pedrito Park
After three years of neglect, the San Pedrito Park has deteriorated to the point where residents can no longer enjoy the facility. Concerned residents have voiced out that since the parks inauguration back in January 2012, the local authorities have done nothing to maintain the parks condition. The once beautifully, well lit playground complete with palapa, picnic tables, plants, playground and seating area now lies in ruins without functional light, vandalized furniture and a broken playground. Faye Mounteer, who initially spearheaded the project and also invested in the park, has stated that several efforts have been made to get the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) to assist in the upkeep of the park, but to no avail. “When I saw the park deteriorating I started asking the current Mayor Daniel Guerrero to help us restore it. He did not give us any help to maintain it. I know for a fact that several residents have complained. The lights are not working and it has become a place for people to go do illegal stuff. If this continues the park will just deteriorate to the point where we will no longer be able to call it a park,” said Mounteer.

Crime does not pay, Crime Stoppers does
With the increase in criminal activity across the country, residents are being encouraged to use Crime Stoppers as means of reporting crime anonymously. Crime Stoppers is a community-based service, which enables members of the general public to anonymously provide information about unsolved crimes, and to receive rewards of up to $1,000US when an arrest is made. Crime Stoppers has been working in Belize for several years now and has helped in the apprehension of many criminals. The concept of Crime Stoppers is based on protecting witness’s identities. The names of person who share information with Crime Stoppers is not released to local authorities. If the information given leads to an arrest or the solution of a case, a compensation is given to the person. Any resident, whether in Belize or abroad, can utilize Crime Stoppers to give tips/information about any crime while remaining anonymous.

Orange Walk police investigate Sunday morning murder
Police in Orange Walk are investigating the murder a man whose body was found early on Sunday morning. The victim has been identified as 26 year old Luis Ricardo Campos. According to information received, police went to the Waldy Cuello Stables off the San Antonio Road around 5 am on Sunday where they found Campos’ body with multiple stab wounds to the throat, shoulder and side of the face. Reports are that Campos, a recent deportee from the United States of America, was last seen walking on Asuncion Street in Orange Walk town.

International Sourcesizz

Chattanooga Man Killed In Belize Scuba Diving Trip
A Chattanooga man has died after a scuba diving accident in Belize February 19th. Gary McNabb was the owner of Leisure Time Dive & Ski Center in Chattanooga for several years before the shop closed in 2013. Prior to that, he was an instructor. He mentored and certified thousands of aspiring divers. "I think Gary was an icon in this area. You won't find many divers in this area who haven't heard the name 'Gary McNabb,'" says one of those divers, Tommy Duvall. His is just one of the lives McNabb touched while in Chattanooga. Duvall says he is the reason he became an instructor. "Gary was an inspiration to me because I'm not sure I could have taken the last step to be an instructor, because that's a huge step. Lots of responsibility." When the shop closed, McNabb and his wife, Frances Beasley, moved to Florida. He was on a diving trip to Ambergris Caye in Belize when tragedy struck. It's not clear how he was hurt, but he suffered a severe head injury while he getting in the water.

Cleaning supports Belize mission
A group of Dodge County residents will be traveling to Belize during the month of June for a mission trip. Mission groups will be distributing shoes to the people of Belize as well as assisting on other projects. To make the mission a success, the groups are asking residents of Dodge County to transform their spring cleaning into a mission by donating new or gently used pairs of shoes (rubber banded or with the laces tied together) and new socks for Belize. According to Julie Boelter, one of the mission’s participants, Belize is a small, developing country in Central America where shoes are hard to come by. Tennis shoes, hiking boots, dress shoes, sandals and flip-flops for males and females of all ages are needed. Any footwear that would be worn in a tropical climate would be appreciated. Boelter asked those interested in donating to consider that it costs approximately $2 per pair of shoes to ship. Items should be in good enough condition to make that investment worthwhile. Monetary donations for this effort are also welcome to help cover shipping expenses.

Women’s History Month: Storyteller Kristin Pedemonti
Women’s History Month celebrates storyteller Kristin Pedemonti. Her life mission is “telling tales, connecting cultures, building bridges; one child, one story at a time,” and her countenance glows when she performs. Her assorted voices, high-spirited animation and passion for the craft make it clear why she was the 2011 National Storytelling Network International Story Bridge Oracle Award recipient. Traveling to Belize, approximately 13 times or more, Ms. Kristin enjoys teaching ways to use indigenous stories in the classroom. She is also, to her surprise, considered a rebel. A Belizean acquaintance mentioned that her work to revitalize pride in indigenous stories made some people uncomfortable. Sharing the stories went against historic British policies that tried to eliminate native culture. Nevertheless, Ms. Kristen will continue to share what her storytelling experiences have taught her about the power of the heart, the value of community and the benefit of making good choices.

Dinosaur-Like Dessert Delicacy
They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and the same should go for fruits. Take the cherimoya. This prehistoric-looking tropical fruit has thick, scaly green skin and looks more like a Jurassic Park prop than a yummy dessert choice. And yet it’s a symphony of sweetness. It’s no wonder why the Incas reserved it as a treat for royalty and Mark Twain called it “the most delicious fruit known to men.” Native to the inter-Andean valleys of Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia, cherimoyas grow in big, bushy trees and are very popular in Latin American cuisine. They’re easily found in street markets around the region — and under myriad names. In Brazil, people call them grabiolas; in Mexico, poox; in Belize, tukibs; in Haiti, cachimans la Chine; and in Venezuela, chirimorrinons — quite a tongue twister. They come in hundreds of different varieties, with names like Deliciosa, McPherson and Chavez, and while they do well in tropical climates, they are also grown in places like the south of Spain and California.

CDB provides policy tools and financial support to unlock sustainability and inclusive growth
“Outturns in relation to foreign exchange reserves were mostly positive, proving adequate import cover, in line with balance of payments (BOP) outturns,” and “most BMCs continued to hold reserves in excess of the international 3-month/12-week benchmark.” ~ CDB’s Caribbean Economic Review & Outlook, 2014 In the face of average inflation for the region, estimated at 2.3% in 2014, and a change in Debt/ GDP ratio 2014 of 91 percent, according to the CDB, “The CDB is positioning itself to champion the cause of fast tracking the integration process, in order to support private sector led growth, focusing on the need to: • Enhance regional financial integration, including the development of harmonised supervisory and regulatory frameworks, to facilitate the movement of capital around the Region while preserving financial sector stability; and • Improve intra-regional transport and logistics to increase efficiency of movement of people, goods and services around the region and tap into the growth potential of global value chains. However, many of the required policy actions will require an appropriate institutional framework and supporting action at the regional level and governments also need to undertake structural reforms and the resulting framework.”

Videos

  • OYE Exclusive Interview with Lord Michael Ashcroft (Part1), 18min.

  • OYE Exclusive Interview with Lord Michael Ashcroft (Part2), 20min.

  • Belize 2014, 48min. A dive trip to Belize aboard the Sun Dancer II in October of 2014. Sun Dancer II, Site Y, Long Caye Ridge, Half Moon Caye Wall, Sandbox, East Cut, Long Caye Wall, Blue Hole, Uno Coco. Chain Wall, Silver Cave, Sandy Slope, Credits

  • La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge 2015 (Airport to Belize City), 6min. Team Oceana Wavemakers

  • Belize 2008, 5min. Trip Project Belize Service Learning 2015

  • Damian Jr Gong Marley in Belize March 8, 2015, 31min. Highlights of Damian Marley (Jr Gong) performing LIVE in Belize on March 8, 2015. This show was presented by M3 Promotions and smart! Belize.

  • Belize 3 HD, 15min. A family with five children explore Belize. The kids had fun visiting Grandma and Grandpa's house, swimming in a river, climbing Xunantunich Mayan Ruins, snorkeling with rays and sharks at Caye Caulker, paddle boarding at Placencia, visiting the Belize Zoo, cave river tubing, hiking to a water fall and swimming in a blue hole. It was a great family adventure in a beautiful country.

  • Chattanooga Man Killed in Belize Scuba Diving, 2.5min. A Chattanooga man has died after a scuba diving accident in Belize February 19th. Gary McNabb was the owner of Leisure Time Dive

  • THE BLUE MARBLE PROJECT, min. Tierney Thys Marine Biologist, National Geographic Explorer tell us about The Blue Marble Project- Sharing Random Acts of Blue Gratitude Around The World

  • Blue Hole Adventure Day - Dive Three The Aquarium Aug 5 2014, 4min. Blackbird Caye Dive Resort

  • Belize Dive Trip 2015, 4.5min. An experiment in slow motion - filmed at 60 frames per second and slowed down by 50% to 30 frames per second, some of the underwater footage shot in Belize, February 2015. Dying to try 120 frames per second in nice bright, shallow water in La Paz, October 2015.

  • Whale Shark off Glovers Reef near Belize, 1/2min. Was being transported to Long Cay Island {Glovers Reef} when to captain of our boat abruply came to a stop and yelled Whale Shark !! A few of us couldn't miss this opportunity to swim with one of gentle creatures and over the side we went. A friend on the boat tossed me a GoPro3 and here you go !! was a great start to a great vacation.

  • Belize snorkeling, 6min. Belize snorkeling at Glovers Reef and Lighthouse Reef Atolls. Isla Marisol Resort, Glovers Reef, at the beginning. The patch reefs of Belize are excellent for snorkeling. Filmed and photographed in the month of February, with perfect water conditions.