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#504813 - 06/02/15 12:10 PM Today's Belize News: June 2, 2015
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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

Lobster Fest is Upon Us!
As an ode to our crustacean friend, Belize hosts not one, but THREE festivals to celebrate the yummy lobster! Lobster Festivals take place in San Pedro Town, Caye Caulker and the Placencia Peninsula. With each destination receiving its fair influx of eager lobster lovers, it’s clear to see why Lobster Fest is one of the country’s largest celebrations. With countless lobster dishes such as lobster ceviche, fritters, dip, curry lobster, tacos and much,much, more, there’s always enough, and you can even come back for seconds! Don’t forget the live music, paint and glow parties and pageants that are all a part of the grand festivities! This year’s highly anticipated festivals include San Pedro’s very own week-long series of events! From June 14th-20th, there will be lobster-themed activities to whet your appetite for the super-fun block party taking place on the 20th. Placencia’s Lobster Fest commences on June 19th-21st while the Caye Caulker Lobster Festival will take place from June 20th-28th. If you are in the area and have the opportunity to attend any of these festivals you surely won’t regret it! With so much happening, we’re looking forward to them, you should be too!

Congratulations, students of Caye Caulker’s Ocean Academy for an amazing year of awards!
Ocean Academy was founded in 2008, offers innovative programming designed to develop the unique attributes and goals of each student through Personal Education Plans. OA has evolved into OA’s SEaTIDe: Center for Social Enterprise, Technology, Innovation, and Development, and focuses on developing innovators and change makers. First Place, PwC Innovation Challenge, for Hire Belize Mobile App Solution to Youth Unemployment. Heidi Curry, Valbona Bushi, Buddy Magana, Adaly Cartagena, Kevin Tzac, Ismael Florian, Sam Liu, Ashtasia Ovado, Shola Babb. Sagicor Visionaries Most Creative and Innovative Project Award for Mangrove Action Plan with Mobile App. Patrick Lorenzo, Adrienne Rogers, Daya Ramos, Kenisha Veliz, Buddy Magana, Sarah Requena. November 2014. International School Enterprise Challenge’s Award for Best Business Plan in North America and the Caribbean for Fish with Purpose. 1250 schools from 83 countries participated. April 2015.

Conch Season is Closed
In accordance with the Fisheries(Amendment) Regulations under Statutory Instrument number 54 of 2012 (Regulation 24.A), the Fisheries Administrator hereby informs fishermen and the general public that the Conch Fishing Season will be officially declared closed from June 01st, 2015 to September 30th, 2015.

Five Story Buildings to be allowed in certain areas of Ambergris Caye
For years, developers on Ambergris Caye were not allowed to construct buildings with more than four stories. But due to the increase in property value, Area Representative Manual Heredia Jr. has indicated that after serious discussions, the Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, are allowing buildings to have as much as five floors. This is to allow developers to utilize their property to its maximum potential while allowing for landscaping. A couple of existing developments across the island have already been approved to build five floors. In order to get approved, Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) must be made to confirm that the area of the development can sustain the extra weight and to ensure that a solid foundation can be achieved. “A couple of months ago, it was decided that in view of the rising property costs, developers were building in the full square footage of their property. They were not leaving any place for greenery, and we don’t want this to happen because we want to continue promoting a natural ambiance. The change that has been made is not that significant. While we are allowing buildings to go up an extra floor, they still have to adhere to a set height that the building cannot exceed. The new regulation is only allowing for four feet more than the originally set height of 38 feet. Any building that goes up to five floors will have to have a flat roof,” said Heredia.

Garbage Transfer Station soon to be operational
The SPTC has detailed a number of ways in how they were handling the garbage issues on the island. Deputy Mayor, Gary Greif highlighted the progress in the main areas of concern, along with a system to minimize garbage all over. Greif also spoke of the long – awaited garbage transfer station. Once it becomes operational, the island’s garbage will be taken to the mainland for proper disposal instead of burning at the dumpsite. Presently the SPTC counts with two trash compactors, four dump trucks, and two regular trucks. There will be the addition of two new pickups to clean the new road up north where the pavement reaches Blue Reef Resort. The SPTC intends on beautifying the sides of the road both north and south. The new vehicles will take care of all the garbage during the day from all the parks and all of the drums on the street. “We just purchased five hundred drums and we will place them maybe fifty feet from each other, so there will be enough garbage drums on the island,” Guerrero stated. “We are also adding around eight new people to the sanitation staff. Then we are also visiting the pre-schools, the primary schools, high school and the junior college to try and educate students on the garbage situation. We want to create video clips for the younger students, from Primary and High Schools that will be shown at the Paradise Theatre from time to time,” said Guerrero. These educational clips will also be featured on the local TV station, radio, and major media houses of the island, and of course through respective social media channels. In the upcoming weeks, Mayor Guerrero is meeting with the business community to share and discuss ideas how to best address issues that affect La Isla Bonita.

Ambergris Today

Pic of the Week - Would You Marry A Mermaid?
Photographer Jose Luis Zapata, in his blog post, asks if anyone would marry a mermaid. In his latest photo shoot he explains how Michael Harris takes a deep breath and meets the love of his life underwater to ask her to spend the rest of their lives together. It was a fairytale engagement photo shoot in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Congratulations to Laura and Michael on their special engagement in Belize.

Hurricane Outlook 2015 – El Nino Could Make for Below Average Season
Today, Monday, June 1, 2015, marks the start of the 2015 hurricane season. Projections from the more reputable organizations that produce hurricane seasonal outlooks indicate that a below average to near average activity is likely this season. In terms of named systems the range runs from as low as 6 to a high of 11 named systems. The average number of named systems for the 1981 to 2010 period is 12. The range for hurricane activity predicted for 2015 lies between 3 and 6. These reflect values at and below the average of 6 hurricanes. Outlooks on intense hurricane activity (category 3, 4 and 5) indicate between 1 and 2 major hurricanes. The average number of major hurricanes is 2. The predictions for an average season can be attributed to two factors. Firstly the El Niño phenomenon which is the abnormal warming of the Pacific Ocean, usually has a suppressing effect on tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic Basin. That phenomenon has a high probability of developing and reaching moderate intensities during this season. Secondly, the source of energy for tropical cyclones is the warm ocean temperatures. Sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean Sea are also forecast to be just about average.

Island Spelling Bee Champ Prepares for National Competition
He has been a staple at the local island Spelling Bee competitions and proven to be one heck of a speller. This year he is one of only 12 finalists from around the country to be competing in the 2015 Coca-Cola National Spelling Bee Finals taking place on June 5, in Corozal. Elias Zetina will be proudly representing San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Elias lives in the DFC area with his parents and one brother and attends New Horizon SDA School. After winning the Zone 5, 21st National Coca Cola Spelling Bee elimination held in Ambergris Caye, he went on to place in the Belize District meet (regionals competition) where he advanced to the National Finals! Ambergris Today discovered that this hardworking young man is very dedicated to his craft and a star student at this school. Elias attends a daily coaching session for no less than one hour (which often runs into extra time) and then reviews at home with his parents before going to bed. Both of his parents work with Elias on the weekends, looking up word origins, difficult to spell words and review the required spelling list. The Spelling Bee study time is on top of his regular class schedule, his PSA test preparation and final exam preparation. He is one hard working young man.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

CJC Eagles Environmental Club and Oceana Belize cleaning up the Miami Beach area in celebration of World Oceans Day
JOIN US!!!! On Saturday, June 6, 2015 the CJC Eagles Environmental Club and Oceana Belize will be cleaning up the Miami Beach area in celebration of World Oceans Day which is June 8th. This year's theme, "Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet" is a reminder that we must keep our waters clean if we want to live in a healthy planet, especially since about 71% of the Earth's surface is covered with water. We will meet at the Roundhouse to begin at 8:00 a.m. and will clean up until 10:00 am. Bring trash bags and rakes to assist in this initiative. If we can get enough help, we will also clean the Mangrove Park. We can all make a difference by doing our part! Who's with us? Keep Corozal Safe and Clean!

CLOSURE OF THE CONCH FISHING SEASON
In accordance with the Fisheries (Amendment) Regulations under Statutory numbers 54 of 2012 (Regulation 24. A), the Fisheries Administrator hereby informs fishermen and the general public that the Conch Fishing Season is officially declare CLOSED from today June 01st, 2015 to September 30th, 2015. The public is reminded that NO person or establishment shall have in possession any conch during the closed season in accordance with Regulation 6 of Principal Regulations (Chapter 210’s of the Laws of Belize – Revised Edition 2000-2003. The Department hereby makes a special appeal to fishers and the public, to uphold the Fisheries Regulations in regards to conch and other marine products, and urges all responsible citizens to call the Department at 224-4552 / 2033-2623 to report any infractions. The Department can also be reached by email at fisheries_department@fisheries.gov.bz . The public is assured that all information communicated to the Fisheries Department will be treated with the strictest of confidence.

A New Joint Utility Office opens Monday, June 1 in Placencia at Belize Water Services Office
o provide a full range of services to customers of Belize Electricity Limited. In addition to accessing BWS services, BEL customers will be able to pay electricity bills and make requests for BEL services. Opening Hours: 8:00am – 12:00pm and 1:00pm – 5:00pm, Monday to Friday. Phone: 523-4036 or toll free: 0-800-235-2273.

PRESS RELEASE NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE: 2015 HURRICANE SEASON
Start of the 2015 Hurricane Season: Today, Monday 1st June marks the start of the 2015 hurricane season. Projections from the more reputable organizations that produce hurricane seasonal outlooks indicate that a below average to near average activity is likely this season. In terms of named systems the range runs from as low as 6 to a high of 11 named systems. The average number of named systems for the 1981 to 2010 period is 12. The range for hurricane activity predicted for 2015 lies between 3 and 6. These reflect values at and below the average of 6 hurricanes. Outlooks on intense hurricane activity, i.e category 3,4 and 5, indicate between 1 and 2 major hurricanes. The average number of major hurricanes is 2. The predictions for an average season can be attributed to two factors. Firstly the el Niño phenomenon which is the abnormal warming of the Pacific Ocean, usually has a suppressing effect on tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic Basin. That phenomenon has a high probability of developing and reaching moderate intensities during this season. Secondly, the source of energy for tropical cyclones is the warm ocean temperatures. Sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean Sea are also forecast to be just about average.

Coconut Stakeholder Workshop
Formation of Belize Coconut Stakeholder Platform: On 27 and 28 May 2015 Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and International Trade Centre (ITC) hosted a two day consultation workshop with more than 50 coconut industry stakeholders at the George Price Centre for Peace and Development, Belmopan. Mr. Ian Sayers, Head Product Sector Development, of the ITC traveled from Geneva, Switzerland to oversee and facilitate discussions on the targeted revival and expansion of Belize’s coconut industry, assisted by Mr. Maurice Wilson, Head Resource Mobilisation Unit from CARDI’s head office and Dr. Compton Paul, Coordinator of the CARDI/ITC Coconut Program. Mr. Anil Sinha, CARDI’s Country Representative in Belize, gave the opening address and chaired the opening ceremony. Mr. Roberto Harrison, Chief Agriculture Officer, Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture (MNRA) gave the feature address. Participating were members of MNRA, Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA), Belize Bureau of Standards, Beltraide, Foreign Trade Directorate, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), International Regional Organization for Health in Agriculture (OIRSA), Development Finance Corporation (DFC) as well as many coconut stakeholders representing local coconut producers and processors, small and large, and the media.

Why Eco-Development is the Answer for a Sustainable Ambergris Caye, Belize Real Estate
The public got surprised on the eco-plans of Hollywood actor and environmental activist, Leonardo DiCaprio in turning his $1.75 million-worth Blackadore Caye Island into a resort. The plants and animal life, as well as the biodiversity of the island, will be restored, preserved and protected. Half of the 104 acres wild and unpopulated land will feature 68 villas, 48 estate homes, a private clubhouse and other luxurious amenities while the rest will remain as protected wildlife. With these eco-friendly plans of DiCaprio in healing the island where mangroves will be replanted, invasive species will be replaced with native species, the soil and habitat will be enhanced and additional armature for the reef and fish breeding will be created; time will surely come that other nations will convert their islands towards the principles of eco-tourism. In fact, this eco-development program should be done now because the great climate change is threatening the sustainability of islands and coastal areas around the world with ocean acidification, rise in sea levels and habitat pressures. And among the many islands and coastal areas that should be given much attention, the Ambergris Caye in Belize should never be left out. Belize is a country known for its richness in plant and animal wildlife. And though there are plans for expanding the real estate market in Belize with Blackadore Caye current restoration process ongoing, it is best to have eco-development in the real estate market of Belize for some reasons.

Enforcing Belize rights to its territorial waters
According to international law many countries claim their 12 miles of territorial waters and enforce their jurisdiction over it. There is also a 20-mile and the Exclusive Economic Zone for drilling and other rights that Belize can control in their southern border with Guatemala and Honduras. Then come international waters. Belize would like to do the same but the Guatemalan claim is standing in the way. Guatemala is claiming the whole or part of our country for years now and there is no end in sight. If Guatemala was to drop their claim, then they will be land locked and have no access to the Atlantic Ocean for their commercial and military vessels. Guatemalan vessels have always and continue to traffic through Belizean waters without any action taken by the Belizean government. Is there a secret agreement between Great Britain, Belize and Guatemala to allow their vessels to traffic through our territorial waters? If there is then it should be made public to we the Belizean citizens. The failure of the Belize government to stop these vessels to continue travelling through Belize waters gives me the impression that there is an agreement. Or, Belize may be allowing Guatemala to use their waters as a Good Neighbor Policy to avoid increasing tensions over the Guatemalan claim. These are the type of discussions that our leaders from the political parties should be discussing to educate us about the Belize-Guatemala dispute.

Belize tops Regional Sugar Production for April 2015
The Sugar Association of the Caribbean (SAC) has announced that the top sugar producer in the region for the month of April 2015 was Belize, with 28,289 tonnes. Guyana produced 26,826 tonnes, followed by Jamaica with 25,862 tonnes and Barbados with 3,173 tonnes, for a total regional production of 84,150 tonnes for the period. Jamaica had topped the regional production in February and March 2015 respectively, while Barbados has just started production. The April figures pushed the year to date production for the current regional sugar crop to 393,357 tonnes. The SAC says it continues to focus on overseas markets with year-to-date exports to Europe totaling 220,309 tonnes, followed by 30,259 tonnes to the United States and 17,484 tonnes to CARICOM. SAC Chairman Karl James says while there are challenges affecting sugar production in Jamaica, the production is going well in Belize and Guyana. The SAC Chairman also noted that the Association is well advanced in achieving its goal to boost supply to the CARICOM market.

Contracts Signed for the Rehabilitation and Upgrading of Sporting Facilities in Southern Belize
Two contracts for the rehabilitation and upgrading of sporting facilities in Southern Belize were signed today at the office of the Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL).

Clarification on Uses of PetroCaribe Financing
The Ministry of Finance wishes to clarify the misunderstanding that arose in a certain section of the media this morning in consequence of a Central Bank Statement document relating to GOB’s PetroCaribe account. That Statement discloses two transfers, in March 2014 and March 2015, of 20 million dollars each from GOB’s PetroCaribe account to GOB’s operating account. The Financial Secretary’s instruction to the Central Bank made clear that the money moving from the PetroCaribe account to the operating account would be used from that operating account to meet GOB’s continuing salary and debt service commitments. The Media House in question interpreted that to mean that GOB was borrowing from PetroCaribe to meet a crisis shortfall in its accounts that left it unable to pay salaries. Furthermore, it was alleged, GOB was acting so as to conceal from the public both its payroll crisis and its improper use of PetroCaribe funds.

Mr. Wilfrido "Fido" Badillo passes away
Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to extend its deepest condolences to the Badillo family on the passing of Mr. Wilfrido "Fido" Badillo. May his soul rest in peace.

Launching of the “MEN AT WORK ART EXHIBIT”
The National Institute of Culture and History through the Corozal House of Culture requests your kind presence at the launch of the 4th annual Men at Work Art Exhibit. The exhibit will showcase a wide variety of disciplines by twelve Corozal artists, offering the community an inside look into their lives and passions. Please join us for a night of creativity as we honour our talented men this Saturday June 6th beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Intelligent Art Exhibit
Festival of Arts 2015...

San Pedro Red Cross, Sperro, SP Food Bank and Saga FOOD DRIVE
San Pedro Belize Red Cross (SPBRC), their 26 person Toronto Volunteer Vacation group called “Sperro” and the San Pedro Food Bank are joining together to hold an island wide food drive this coming Saturday, June 6th. Watch for volunteers outside participating stores and businesses listed below, who will be accepting donations of food and/or cash. Next time you are hungry, think about how it would feel to live life being hungry much of the time. Join together and help us feed those who need it. All food will go directly to the food bank, cash donations will be split between San Pedro Red Cross and San Pedro Food Bank. Saga will receive a donation of all Pedigree pet food collected.

Taste of Toledo Street Fair – ICYMI
The 9th Annual Chocolate Festival of Belize was held this past weekend (May 22nd – 24th), in the charming town of Punta Gorda, Toledo. This 3 day event was designed to raise awareness of the Toledo District as a responsible tourism destination, and to extend the tourist season. Over the years, the festival has helped improve the lives of many families, whether through direct employment in the tourism industry, or through the 'ripple effect,' spreading money throughout the District. While we could not make it to the Wine and Chocolate night held on Friday, May 22nd which typically features live music, fine wine, Belizean chocolate, and Belikin's specially brewed Chocolate Stout or the Grand Finale on Sunday, May 24th which highlights cultural, musical performances and dances, cacao drinks and dishes and crafts by local artisans, we did make it to the Taste of Toledo Street Fair held on Saturday, May 23rd. The pedestrian-only street fair was an all-day event held on the Front Street in Punta Gorda town, which featured cultural displays and areas showcasing Toledo's five main ethnic groups: Kriol, Maya, Garifuna, Mestizo and East Indian. Each area displayed art, food and music from their respective cultures.

CORAL COVER ON AMBERGRIS CAYE
Coral reefs are among the most biologically diverse and complex ecosystems on Earth. Belize is home to the largest portion of the Meso-American Barrier Reef System. The need to preserve this valuable national heritage is becoming more and more evident. The World Resource Institute (2009) estimated that coral reefs in Belize contribute approximately $395-$559US in goods and services each year. The financial dependence on a healthy reef system is particularly evident in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, where tourism development is rapidly increasing. The Hol Chan Marine Reserve has been consistently collecting data on coral reef health since 2005. Coral cover has seen changes over time within the Marine Reserve. The 1998 coral bleaching event, and hurricane Mitch have dramatically reduced coral. In more than 18 years coral cover has not managed to recover to same level it was prior to 1998.

Channel 7

Petrocaribe $$$ For GOB Payroll?
The Petrocaribe funds are set aside for development and infrastructure programs - by now that has been drummed into the collective conscious. But what happens when the government starts using Petrocaribe funds to meet payroll? That's what this document shows it did in March 2014 and 2015 - twenty million dollars each time. The document was exposed on KREM's Wake Up Belize morning show today - and it is a transaction report for government's general operating account. Indeed it shows that in March 2014, twenty million dollars was transferred from the Petrocaribe funds to meet mid-month salary commitments. That same thing happened in March 2015. Now, government has strictly stated that it will not, cannot use Petrocaribe funds to meet recurrent expenses such as salaries. So how then did this happen? That's what we asked the Financial Secretary today. Via telephone from Belmopan, Joe Waight told us that it's all a misunderstanding of how government finances work - specifically the consolidated operating account, which is used to cover all government payouts:

PUP Deputy Disses Hon. Ivan For Making Petrocaribe Pitch
But, if it is an addiction, then the PUP's own Dangriga Representative Ivan Ramos probably has it too. That's because last week Wednesday he broke party ranks asked Government in writing for Petrocaribe funds for his division. In a letter to the Prime Minister, Ramos gave a glowing endorsement of the programme saying he supports it and the benefits to the nation from Petrocaribe. He then went on to ask for twenty five thousand dollars for a joint fathers and mother's day programme. Today, Deputy Leader Julius Espat - who has been leading the charge against Petrocaribe - said Ramos made a wrong move and should be sanctioned for it:.. Hon. Julius Espat - PUP Cayo South "As a party we had a policy put forward that we would not accept Petrocaribe funds. That's quite clear. What the Hon. Ivan Ramos did, is his decision. I believe it was a wrong decision. I believe he should be discipline because we have rules and regulations and if we form part of an organization - that is the least that should be done. But that's my personal opinion. I am not thinking as Ivan Ramos. I do not know the pressures that he comes under. I know the ones that I do and I can only speak for myself."

Belize For Blatter; But Why?
Last week in Zuriuch Switzerland, the biggest sporting organization on the planet was shaken to its core when 14 high level officials of FIFA were arrested by Swiss Police at the 65th Congress in Zurich, Switzerland. The men are detained under indictment for racketeering,wire fraud, and money laundering - which investigators say, all sprang from corrupt practices which were employed to get different nations to win the bid to host the World Cup. Executive members of the Football Federation of Belize were in Zurich for the meetings. So did we support Sepp Blatter? President Ruperto Vicente only just returned yesterday evening told us he did. He was heading back out of the country this morning on another football related matter, and we managed to catch up with him to ask him what influenced the vote, and what he thought when he saw the Swiss Police officers pouring into the hotel: Daniel Ortiz "Were you at all concerned for your safety seeing the Swiss police arresting persons? Did that cross your mind when you saw them coming up?"

Ruperto VS. Rawell, Who's Truth -Telling About Cheque Stubs
Vicente himself is coming under fire in the home front from former Senior Vice President Rawel Pelayo, who resigned following his conviction in the US for narcotics charges. Vicente told the press in March of last year that the Federation was unable to audit the expenditure of publicly donated funds for the 2013 Gold Cup appearance. That's because according to Vicente, the cheque stubs for all that money was in Pelayo's suitcase when he was detained in Houston by US authorities. When last week's FIFA story broke, Pelayo took to Facebook and posted, quote, "The President (Vicente) knows for a fact that I have no check stubs. Someone thought I wasn't coming back so soon, and now probably wish(es) I was still there." End Quote. We took the opportunity to ask about that post and its implications, and here's what Vicente had to say: Daniel Ortiz "Mr. Rawel Pelayo has posted an update on his Facebook page saying that he doesn't have any cheque stubs for the gold cup expenditure and we remember you suggesting that he did. Somebody has been untruthful and that's his position. So who is it? Is it you or is it him that he's telling this particular lie?"

Castro Dominates Convention With Record Victory
In the weeks leading up to yesterday's UDP convention in Belize Rural North, the two time representative, Incumbent Standard Bearer, Edmond Castro had been under continued fire, dogged by scandal and suggestions of wrongdoing and law breaking. That's not the type of press any candidate wants in the last few days running up to a convention. So, yesterday, Castro went into the convention with those allegations of wrongdoing in the periphery, and came out with his biggest win ever. Our News Team was there, and Daniel Ortiz found out how he did it.: Daniel Ortiz reporting Guadalupe RC School in Sand Hill Village was swarming with political activity yesterday as Incumbent Edmond Castro went up against his former political ally, Dwight Tillett, in an open convention for Belize Rural North.

Police Charge Felix For Shooting Up Ms. Pam's House
Last week, we told you about the Caesar Ridge road shooting which resulted in the hospitalization of 27 year-old Mark Gentle, and 34 year-old Calvin Cumberbatch, who are, respectively, the son and husband of Pamela Bennett-Cumberbatch. Well, police have made an arrest in that shooting, and that man is at prison tonight. He's Maurice Felix, a resident of Gill Street, and today he was arraigned before Magistrate La Donna John. He was read 2 counts of attempted murder, 2 counts of dangerous harm, and 1 count of use of deadly means of harm this morning. Due to the nature of the offences, he couldn't be granted bail, and he was remanded to the Belize Central Prison.

City Ready For Hurricane Season
The hurricane season began today and the city council and City Emergency Management Organization held a press conference at City Hall to re-emphasise the importance of hurricane preparedness. Now, we see the hurricane preparedness commercials on the television, hear the announcements regularly over the radio and not to mention the daily weather report. While all that plays a crucial role in keeping the public updated during the hurricane season - having a detailed and efficient city emergency plan is equally important. Today the Mayor of Belize City outlined the major areas of focus: Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor "The shelter management scheme is something that we treat very carefully so that when somebody comes into a shelter again there under the concern and control of CEMO, so that we look very very closely at safety, security issues, and comfort even. We look at our ability to ensure that the persons bring the necessary resources to the shelter so that that is something that always do at an incremental basis. There will never be any situation where you will see all shelters open just like that. So that we are trying to keep the public very up to date and informed in relation to how we also treat with the emergency from a management and organizational stand point including the management of resources. One of the things that we like to emphasize in relation to the shelter is that our emphasis again is on safety, the prevention of loss of life and the prevention of loss of any property that is brought within the shelter, so that our primary concern is safety and not comfort."

Trade Licensing, The Toll Taken
As we told you in our last newscast, Belize City's most popular and posh gym, Body 2000 was forcibly shut down on Friday afternoon by police - by order of the city council. Several gym members couldn't finish their afternoon workout session and expressed their dissatisfaction because of the abrupt shut down. But don't blame city hall; apparently, the owner of the gym didn't pay his 2015 trade license. Today we spoke to the mayor about it and although he doesn't delve into the case with Body 2000, he says this is a representation of a broader issue concerning the trade license law. Darrell Bradley, Mayor - Belize City "Well I can't explain in relation to that business, but I can say that at a certain period through the year usually it is at this period when you're going to a second quarter that there's a lot of emphasis at the city council on collection of outstanding both property and trade license. So that we have done a tremendous job in trying to ensure that we are able to have reasonably respectable rates of collection of both property and trade. Our trade collection rate is about 97% which is very high for the country and even very high internationally in terms of region that we have a very high collection rate.

Illegal Trade In Wildlife Knocking on Belize's Door
Most of us probably don't think very often about the illegal trade in wildlife and forestry, but every day in the Chqiuibul, poachers are after scarlet macaws, baby tapirs, exotic timber, and Xate. But the truth is -= it's not that bad in Belize, not yet at least. And that's why the Wildlife conservation society held a half day seminar today: to make Belize aware:... There have been 7 cases of illegal trafficking in Bolivia, 6 of them linked to China. The experts say that Rosewood trafficking is one of the fastest growing areas of illegal trade and is fuelled by international organized crime rings.

Shawnee Suspect Caught
7News has been informed that US Marshals caught an American fugitive in the western village of Unitedville. He's David Long aka "Lung", and he's is wanted in the Shawnee County, Kansas on the charges related to the Violation of the Offender Registration Act - which is reserved for sex offenders. We've been trying to get in contact with Belmopan police for additional information, but we've been unable so far.

Crushed By Cane Truck
The cane harvest has claimed a life. A can truck ran over Julio Macal early on Saturday morning. It happened at around 1:15 when Xaibe residents, Ismael Camal and Julio Macal, were towing a cane trailer. Macal was checking something underneath the rear wheel of the trailer when Camal drove the truck forward, crushing Macal and causing him to be dragged by the rear tires of the trailer causing his death. CTV-3 in Orange Walk reports that cane deliveries start at 6:00am and cane farmers know that they should be there one hour early for delivery to the mill. So, no one knows for sure why the men were at the delivery line at that time, or if they were under the influence of alcohol as has been rumoured. Police have issued a notice of intended prosecution to Ismael Camal for causing manslaughter by negligence.

Que Viva Verdes! In Champions League
Last year, it was a major letdown for football fans and an embarrassment for the FFB when the Belmopan Bandits were yanked out of the CONCACAF Champion's League at the very last minute. That was because the FFB stadium's football pitch was not ready by the deadline that FIFA gave. It was finally finished late last November, and so Belize finally got to send a football club to participate in the Champion's League this year. Several Members of the team flew out to for Miami where the League's draft will take place. Before they boarded their flight, we got a chance to speak with one of Verdes FC's senior staffer and President Ruperto Vicente about Belize finally participating in the Champion's League. Viewers will remember however that Marvin Ottley was the contractor who failed to get the FFB football pitch ready in time for the last Champion's League Tournament. And now his team is going after winning the 2015 Premier League of Belize Tournament, which is the deciding factor in who represents Belize. Since this issue broke in the news, Ottley has not made any comment, and so today we asked about it. He told us that it wasn't the right time to disclose what the circumstances, which led to the field not being ready:

Former NBA Player in Bze. Not Here for Free Throws or Fast Breaks, But Fatherhood
Etan Thomas played nine seasons in the NBA - and tonight he's in Belize. But he's not here to talk about free throws and fast breaks; the retired power forward wants to talk to men about fatherhood. He arrived this morning at the invitation of Restore Belize and NICH. He told us why Fatherhood is more important than basketball:.. You can see Thomas speak tomorrow night at 7:30 at the Bliss Center. Call Restore Belize 223-1269 for tickets or you can see it live here on Channel 7.

Sports Upgrades For The South
Belize Infrastructure Limited has signed contracts for two major sporting facilities to be upgraded in the South. Today two contracts were signed for the rehabilitation and upgrading of the Carl Ramos Football Field and Facilities in Dangriga and the Toledo Union Field and Facilities in Punta Gorda. Both projects should be completed in 20 months. The Carl Ramos Football field project was awarded to Hubert L Usher and Sons while the Toledo Union Field project was awarded to Coleman Construction Ltd of Hattieville. They should both finish in ten months. The contracts were signed by representatives of both companies, as well as Minister of Works Rene Montero, and Christy Mastry, General Manager of BIL.

A Big Fall For Alcalde of Big Falls
Our news room learnt this evening that the Alcalde of Bill Falls Village in the Toledo District was forcibly removed by his people yesterday, and the villagers have decided that the also want the elected chairman to vacate the post as well. Our colleagues from PGTV report that a large gathering of the village, about 450 or more called a meeting and decided that the Alcalde has overstepped the authorities of his office. We are told that within the Mayan Community, an Alcalde administers justice against alleged offenders, but he must allow for villagers to act as police within the community. We understand that the grievance that the villagers had with this former alcalde was that he was conducting his own arrests instead of using the authorized people. He was removed yesterday, and another village meeting must be done to install a new alcalde. In relation to the Chairman, there is an allegation that he received money on behalf of the village and there is no accounting for it at this time. To remove the chairman is a bit more difficult since he was elected under the local government statutes.

Coro Cops Caught This
On Friday at the end of the news, we told you about a group of high powered weapons that Corozal police got in a one day sweep of Carolina Village, Cahn Chen village and Corozal Town. But because the police report was late in arriving we never got to show it to you. Since it's not everyday that we see weapons of this caliber taken off the street, we'll look at them tonight. They include: a 9 millimeter pistol with five Live rounds of ammunition, a .45 Pistol, a stash of live rounds, and in Chan Chen Village, a MAK 90 AK-47 Rifle with Magazine.


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#504814 - 06/02/15 12:10 PM Re: Today's Belize News: June 2, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Channel 5

GOB Clarifies PetroCaribe Salary Scandal
Were Petrocaribe monies used to fund salaries for government employees, and in secret? Well that’s the assertion which rang out on the airwaves this morning. According to documents leaked from [...]

Use of PetroCaribe Funds Without Accountability Is Unlawful, Says Julius Espat
On the opposition side, P.U.P. Deputy Leader and Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Julius Espat, is suing the government over the Petrocaribe Loans Act; this afternoon he chimed in [...]

PetroCaribe Funds Are Being Used Contrary to Finance and Audit Reform Act
E arlier this evening, Espat consulted with his legal advisors after reading the release issued by government clarifying the uses of Petrocaribe financing.  This is in light of a lawsuit [...]

Elrington Says PM diffused Sarstoon StandOff
n another pressing issue; on Thursday there was a confrontation between Coast Guard personnel and a Guatemalan naval patrol on an island in the Sarstoon. The Coast Guard was there [...]

Why Was There A Stand Off? Blame it on the Territorial Dispute!
Even though we were told by National Security that the Coastguard did not retreat and held its own, the Foreign Minister says that the situation was defused when Coast Guard [...]

What happened after Belizean Coastguard were ordered out of waters?
So our Belizean military personnel were ordered out of Belizean waters, but what happens next? What does it mean for future Coast Guard operations in our waters? Will our Coast [...]

Father’s Day Cheer Gets Ramos in Hot Water!
P .U.P. Dangriga Area Representative Ivan Ramos recently requested monies from government as part of the Father’s Day Cheer.  The request for twenty-five thousand dollars to be distributed among his [...]

Mayor Says CITCO Is Accommodating Body 2000
On Friday afternoon, a team of city council personnel, accompanied by police officers, descended on the popular Body 2000 Fitness Center on Coney Drive and proceeded to shut down the [...]

Belize City Man Charged With Indecent Assault
This morning, thirty five year old Kenrick August, a construction worker and disc jockey was arraigned in the courtroom of Magistrate Ladonna John on a single charge of Indecent Assault.  [...]

Disgraced Former VP of Guatemala Owns Assets in Belize?
There is an interesting story coming out of Guatemala where President Otto Perez Molina is under pressure to resign following major scandals of corruption that are rocking his government. But could [...]

Thousands Walked the Walk for Cancer!
Cancer has touched the lives of almost every Belizean in some way – and on Saturday thousands united to raise awareness of the deadly disease. It was a massive show [...]

Etan Thomas Here To Motivate!
etired NBA Player Etan Thomas is in Belize to motivate Belize City youths. The former Washington Wizards player is on a motivational fatherhood tour which will have him address youths [...]

Castro Cleared Dwight Tillett Out of the Way; Three Votes To One
All eyes were on the United Democratic Party constituency convention in Belize Rural North this weekend, where incumbent Edmond Castro was challenged by Dwight Tillett. In the weeks preceding D-Day [...]

Hurricane Season Will be Average to Below Average
Today is the start of the hurricane season in the Atlantic which runs through to November thirtieth and is predicted to be below average to average. Chief Meteorologist Dennis Gonguez [...]

CEMO Presents Plan of Action for June 1st-Nov 30th
With the start of the 2015 Hurricane Season, the City Emergency Management Organization, CEMO, has once again kicked into high gear, readying itself in the event of natural disaster.  This [...]

Hurricane Shelters for Hurricane Season!
Councilor Phillip Willoughby who has been instrumental in hurricane preparedness also spoke on the utilization of designated hurricane shelters.    Phillip Willoughby, City Councilor “I would like to take this [...]

Illegal WildLife Trade; Belize & Guat to Put An End To It!
Wildlife crime is a big business and it is operated by multinational, risky networks.  Wildlife, that is animals and plants, are trafficked much like illegal drugs and arms, and very [...]

Weekend Sports With James Adderly!
Good evening, welcome to Sports Monday, I am James Adderley.   We take you out immediately to the UB Gymnasium where the Belmopan red Taigaz hosted the defending champion San [...]

CTV3

Corozal Police Retrieve High Caliber Fire Arm
In other crime news coming out of Corozal, on Friday, police made a discovery of several firearms and ammunition. Authorities say they have been conducting several sweeps in the Corozal District that have yielded positive results… in this case, even a high powered rifle was removed from the streets. “On Friday 29th May, Corozal police followed up on information which lead to the discovery of three firearm including an assault rifle and 70 9mm rounds, the firearms found are: one 9mm pistol, one .45 pistol, and one aka 47 assault rifle no one was there when the firearm was discovered and it was label as unknown property.”

Traffic Mishap Leaves Two With Minor Injuries
The second road mishap occurred around 4:00 on Sunday evening on the Philip Goldson Highway between miles 78 and 79 of the Corozal District. Unlike Macal’s unfortunate demise, the occupants walked away from the mishap with little injuries. Deputy Commander at the Corozal Police, Sergeant Peter Serano told us more via telephone today. “As a result of information, police lately responded, on arrival on the scene a grey and black Mitsubishi Outlander with license plate BZ- C-50777 was seen in a ditch on the right side of the highway travelling towards Corozal town with extensive damages to the front a rear of the vehicle, police investigation so far reveals that around 3:55pm two persons were travelling in the vehicle when the driver lost control and ended in the ditch, both persons received minor injuries and complained about pain on chest and back and they were transported to the Corozal hospital and the vehicle was licensed and insured and the scene was processed and at present the investigation continues to that matter.”

Witnesses Take The Stand For Noh Mul Case
After waiting for trial for close to two years today the case against Denny Grijalva, his wife Maria, his foreman Javier Nunez and excavator operator Emir Cruz for the destruction of the Noh Mul Archeological Site began at the Corozal Magistrates Court. The case is being heard before Magistrate Hurl Hamilton and today three witnesses called by the Crown Counsel represented by …Banner took the stand and were also cross examined by the attorney of the defendant’s Bryan Neal. After hearing the testimony of the three witnesses Magistrate Hamilton ….adjourned the case to Wednesday June 3rd when members of the media are expected to take the stand.

Espat Demands Accountability And Transparency With The Petro Caribe Funds
While some are satisfied with Waight’s explanation, the Chairman of the Public’s Account Committee Julius Espat is not buying it. Espat has always been a vocal piece for the People’s United Party when it comes to the manner in which the Petrocribe monies have been allocated by the Government. And today, after the statement had made its rounds, he was asked for his views on the issue. Espat says the Central Bank statement justifies what he has always been preaching in the House of Representatives when asking for accountability, transparency and honesty. “The only way that you can trust a government that they come clear and that they show the outcome and they have not an this is just one clear example of what is happening we are getting information after the fact, maybe that is why they passed the law saying that they will do thing and then come to the house afterwards for us to ratify because they don’t want us to be able to have dialogue and debates on the issues before they make a decision and that is where I feel that we are failing...

GOB Uses Petro Caribe Money To Pay Public Servants
The elusive and grandiose PetroCaribe program remains in the spotlight tonight. That is because a summarized Central Bank statement of transactions from the Ministry of Finance has been circulating in the media ring and tonight comes with many raised eyebrows and a Government release to satiate the critics. Viewers may recall that in countless press conferences of the Prime Minister, he has categorically stated that the Petrocaribe money will be used solely for infrastructure and social programs. But the statement from Central Bank shows otherwise. It shows that the Ministry has been servicing debts and paying mid monthly salary commitments of several millions of dollars between February and March of 2014. Doesn’t seem right, right? But there is a rationale behind what the transactions are showing on the bank statement says Financial Secretary Joseph Waight. The statement discloses two transfers, in March 2014 and March 2015, of 20 million dollars each from GOB’s PetroCaribe account to GOB’s operating account. And to that Waight says the Government is simply reimbursing themselves for money already spent…in the media this process is known as “juggling funds”.

LOVE FM

Former NBA Star In Belize to Speak on Fatherhood and Its Importance
Former NBA star, Etan Thomas who was once attached to the NBA Grizzlies arrived in Belize this morning along with his wife. His presence in Belize comes after motivational sessions were organized by various organizations that are aimed at promoting and pushing the importance of fatherhood. Our reporter, Janine Ayuso was at the Philip Goldson […]

Cancer Walk 2015 Reflects Increased Awareness
The month of May was set aside as cancer awareness month. A number of activities took place including talk shows and a symposium. One of the most anticipated event is the annual cancer walk which took place on Saturday. Reporter Hipolito Novelo takes a look back at the event. Amidst Pressure and Allegations Clear The Land Remains In BRN
Belize Rural North Area Representative, Edmund Castro has been the subject to a series of allegations of wrongdoings in the past …. but even amidst the allegations he remained the Standard Bearer for the UDP in the Belize Rural North division. The convention was held this past weekend. With a look at the predictions and […]

Hurricane Season Opens: National Emergency Unit Says Belize Is Prepared
Today the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season began and the Belize City Council along with the City Emergency Management Organization unveiled the city’s preparedness and evacuation plans. According to forecasters at the National Meteorological Service, outlooks indicate that a below average to near average activity is likely this season. Indicators are that there might be between […]

Credit Rating Agency Says Belize’s Debt Ratios Are Stabilising
Moody’s Credit Rating agency has issued a report predicting acceleration in regional economic growth for this year as well as 2016. According to the report, the tourism industry in the Caribbean is recovering and with the sustained low oil prices, there is an improved outlook. However, the report did state that concerns over high debt […]

FinSec Says PetroCaribe Monies Are Not Used to Fund GOB’s Operational Expenses
The topic of PetroCaribe Funds seems to be one that has taken on a life of its own. It has become a household name and an issue that has come under heavy criticism over the last few months. Those criticisms continued today on a local talk show where the withdrawal of PetroCaribe monies were said […]

Sporting Facilities in Southern Belize to Get Facelift
Southern Belize will be benefiting from rehabilitated sporting facilitates as two contracts were signed today in Belmopan, Cayo District. The contracts seek to have the Carl Ramos Football Field and its Facilities in Dangriga upgraded. Works on that project have been contracted to Hubert L Usher and Sons Construction of Dangriga, Stann Creek District. Further […]

Red Cross Builds Its Team of Instructors
The Belize Red Cross hosted a three day training on First Aid Trainers at the Belize Institute of Management for some 22 volunteers from all district branches and HQ. It concluded yesterday and Volunteer, David Sobers told us more DAVID SOBERS “Well some of the methods are new to them because we are using the […]

PlusTV

Belizean Coast Guard and Guatemalans have standoff in Belizean waters
The Belize Coast Guard, Belize’s naval military force, had a standoff yesterday and today with the Guatemalan military personnel in Belizean waters. As incredulous as that sounds, Plus News was able to confirm those reports with the CEO in the Ministry of National Security today, Colonel George Lovell. According to the CEO, the timeline of […]

Police share initiatives to address Roaring Creek Crime Issues
The Belmopan murder statistics for the year 2015 have tripled since last year when there were only five recorded murders in the Belmopan Jurisdiction. In the villages of Roaring Creek and Camalote alone, the murder count is already up to 8 and we are just in the middle of the year. It also can be […]

More delays for sporting grounds in Belize City
Belize City’s residents continue to chafe at being denied access to several of the popular sporting facilities which have been closed for renovation. The news tonightis that the MCC Grounds and Marion Jones Sporting Complex are partially open and in use however there are still major developments to be done to both facilities. Sports Minister Herman

Youth leadership forum promises solutions
The dynamic youths leading Guidelight Productions came onto the local scene with a bang in February when they broke up a car overlaid with hurtful messages in Battlefield Park. Their next project is no less ambitious: more than 120 youths meeting today at the newly christened Gateway Youth Center. This youth talk shop, according

Munchie Cervantes Still Motivated
Ramon Munchie Cervantes Jr. the People’s United Party Candidate for Orange Walk North goes against the United Democratic Party Candidate Gaspar Vega whenever the General elections are called. He was on Plus TV’s Rise and shine Show earlier this week where he spoke about his motivation to continue in the political arena even after his

Ramon Cervantes on Burning ASR Cane Fields
During that discussion on Rise and Shine, Cervantes was asked to comment on the ongoing case of Efrain Alpuche, personal body guard for the Cervantes family, and his alleged involvement in the burning of BSI’s sugar cane fields. Ramon Cervantes Jr. – PUP Candidate Orange Walk North “The reports I got, was that, who

Tobacco trade and effects on youth targeted on World No Tobacco Day
While certain segments of the population are pushing for the decriminalization of certin amounts of marijuana, Belize’s health authorities are turning their attention today to the problem of an already legal drug, tobacco. According to the most recent international survey on drug use, some 12.3% of Belizean youth aged 12-15 have taken up tobacco smoking,

Police seeking suspect in Roaring Creek Murder
Belmopan Police are actively seeking 24 year Timroy Neal, of Roaring Creek Village, for questioning in connection with murder. Police could not disclose which murder specifically as it would jeopardize the ongoing investigation. At 16, Neal was accused of stabbing and killing Elriquez Orellano another 16 year old of Roaring Creek village, but after a

FIFA allegations, arrests, and re-elections
Sepp Blatter has been re-elected as the president of FIFA in a vote that was overshadowed by corruption allegations and numerous arrests. Blatter was running against Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein who forced a second round of voting but decided to fall out of the race. Due to this falling out, Blatter was named President of […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Ex-NBA player to speak to Belizean youths
Former NBA basketball star and born-again Christian Etan Thomas is on a visit to Belize to speak to youths. Thomas played 11 seasons for the Washington Wizards, Oklahoma City Thunder and Atlanta Hawks before embarking on a career of public speaking and poetry writing. Thomas says he is […]

Verdes headed to CONCACAF Champions League
Verdes Football Club, national champions of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) are participating in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League later this year. Team officials headed out to Miami, Florida for the official draw to take place later today. Verdes, also known as the “Green Machine,” posted a […]

FFB supports Blatter, says it does not support corruption
Like many football leaders, today president of the Football Federation of Belize (FFB), Ruperto Vicente, returned from Friday’s general congress of the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) in Zurich, Switzerland, to face a blitz of questions concerning why nearly two-thirds of voters re-elected incumbent Joseph ‘Sepp’ Blatter […]

2015 Cancer Walk draws huge crowd
Organizers of the annual Cancer Walk from Ladyville to Belize City claim that each successive event is the biggest ever and it usually is. But this year’s journey was especially significant; it saw over 5,000 participants run, ride and walk the nine miles from Celina’s to the Belize […]

Primary School Students in PG benefit from volunteer classes
Belize has a literacy rate of 84.1% which is relatively good compared to parts of Asia and Africa that have more illiterate people than literate ones but compared to other Caribbean countries like Barbados that has 99% and Cayman Islands with 99.7% of their populations being able to […]

Maurice Felix charged for attempted murder
Police have arrested a familiar name in connection with the attempted murders of Calvin Cumberbatch and Mark Gentle, father and son resident at Caesar Ridge Road. Maurice Felix from Gill Street, accused but never successfully convicted along with brother Emory of the murder of Mitchum Heredia in 2004, […]

GOB responds to Petrocaribe concerns
This morning KREM Wake Up Belize Morning Vibes hosts Mose Hyde and India Camiel discussed documents reported to be leaked from the Central Bank which suggested that the Government of Belize had spent $20 million of Petrocaribe funds on continuing salary and debt service commitments. That’s not true […]

Doppler Radar still not Functional with Hurricane season upon us
It has been almost seven years now since the multi-million dollar, monstrous Doppler radar was handed over to Belize through a European Union project to track the weather in a more efficient manner. To much surprise, the Radar has not been functional since arriving in the country due to […]

Belize City “Ready” For Hurricane Season 2015
Belize City Mayor and chairperson of the Central Emergency Management Organization (CEMO) Darrell Bradley declared Belize City ready for the hurricane season after months of preparation and collaboration with national and non-governmental emergency Management organizations. According to Bradley, the City’s contingency plans are in place for use of shelters and […]

Wildlife Conservation Society partners with FCD to offer seminar on illegal wildlife trade
Chrisbert Garcia Reporting: With Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) quickly growing as a global issue, more countries have started to become affected including Belize. In 2013, the Forestry Department confiscated multiple Jaguar hides in San Pedro Town with each having a black market value of over $3000, confirming that IWT is already […]

Showers across Belize marks the beginning of the Hurricane Season
The dangerous non-frontal, low pressure, large scale storms called hurricanes are spawned over the eastern Atlantic from the warm tropical waters and develop a highly organized circulation. Hurricanes are classified as tropical depressions when wind speeds are less than 64 knots, and full blown hurricanes once they reach sustained winds […]

Blogs

Snorkeling at Silk Cayes – Placencia, Belize
The water is so clear that there are at least 5 shades of blue at the different depths. Then the island is completely surrounded by coral reef, and variety pack of colorful fish. The reef is a good depth to enjoy with just snorkel gear. Everything around the island is either just below eye level, or free dive-able.

San Pedro to Xcalak! Yeehaw!!
“Wanna go to Mexico? We’re heading to Xcalak tomorrow.” “Xcalak? Ok? How do you spell that? I’ll need to Google it.” Xcalak, or Xcalac (pronounced ish-kalak) is in Quintana Roo and part of the Costa Maya. Here is a map of the area. Do you see that little piece of land below Xcalak? That is Ambergris Caye, Belize. It is said that Xcalak and San Pedro have always been similar fishing villages, however, San Pedro has blossomed while Xcalak has remained “old school”. The locals will tell you that there is a story behind its lack of progression. Apparently, a group of men/people got really drunk one night, grabbed the local priest in town, rid him of all of his clothing and threw him into the Caribbean. Afterward, the priest toweled off, contemplated his next move and decided to curse the town and then he left. Anyway………It’s about an hour and 15 minutes boat ride from San Pedro Town and we headed out at around 10:00am. Action Divers and Adventures provided their time and boat for this journey. They are so GREAT! Staying within the reef, we headed out on the back side of the island. It’s only about 10 miles from Belize to Xcalak. When you actually get to Mexico, you get to travel through this absolutely gorgeous split between the two countries. On the left is Mexico…..On the right is Belize.

Hopkins 2015 Mango Festival: Infectious Fun and Amazing Food in A Magical Village
The small village of Hopkins is known for a few things…the amazing location and long stretch of beach, the Garifuna culture and…the abundance of mango trees. Walk down the main road of the village and some of the older trees are bursting with hundreds and hundreds of one of the world’s most delicious fruits. The mango. So when I saw that the local chapter of the BTIA was reviving the Mango Festival and making it bigger and better…I wanted to be there. MANGOES! And with games, food, crafts, music and the world renowned Garifuna Collective performing (many in their home village), I knew it was going to be a special event.

International Sourcesizz

Luxury girls' getaway offers guests free flights from Austin to Belize
Ladies, it’s time to pamper yourselves. If you’ve found yourself in a rut and are looking to awaken the mind, body and soul, consider partaking in Reset Retreat, a unique women’s wellness retreat that takes a holistic approach to its comprehensive program. The Austin-based company, started by three adventurous women, is offering a luxurious getaway for women to reset in Ambergris Caye, Belize. The exclusive island excursion includes staying in a beachfront cabana, nutritious breakfast, lunch and dinner, daily yoga, life coaching, massage and spa treatments, town exploration, and local charitable activities. “Amergris Caye is stunning, has unique adventure activities, ranks high on the safety scale from the U.S. State Department and is extremely close to the United States,” explains Reset Retreat co-founder and Austinite Cierra Savatgy-King. “We saw Amergris Caye was frequently listed as one of the best luxury vacation spots and knew that it would provide an excellent setting for our guests to decompress.” Savatgy-King met Reset Retreat co-founders Natalie Jenkins and Crystal Veness on a week-long sailing trip in Croatia. “We started to discuss our struggles with personal expectations, not feeling ‘good enough,’ feeling stuck in life and the difficulty of changing negative patterns. Things so many women feel, but rarely discuss openly,” says Savatgy-King.

Videos

  • Blue Dolphin, Ambergris Caye, Belize, 3.5min. Vacation Rental north Ambergris Caye

  • I met Fuego the Tapir at the Zoo in Belize, 2min. We got to go visit the zoo and Fuego the Tapir was quite popular!

  • CANE FARMER SQUASHED TO DEATH WHILE SLEEPING UNDER CANE TRUCK, 2min. A cane farmer from the Village of Xaibe in the Corozal District suffered a horrific and painful death over the weekend as he was dragged by a loaded cane truck while at the queue. It was an unfortunate incident that many believe could have been avoided. Today as the family of Julio Macal mourn his death more questions than answers remain in the case.

  • Saint Francis Xavier Credit Union annual general meeting 2015, 2min. The Saint Francis Xavier Credit Union held its annual general meeting over the weekend where officials shared successes achieved over the last year. Our News team stopped in and here is a look at what the institution has achieved since it first begun serving the Corozal community.

  • Mary Hill Primary School May Pole Fair 2015, 3min. Mary Hill Primary School held its annual May Pole Fair on Sunday. The event is one where community members and school children can enjoy a day of culture, sports, and food.

  • Belize - May 2015, 41min. Here is a video edit I put together about a trip down to Belize for 10 days with some awesome friends for my 30th birthday. Enjoy!

  • Permit Hopkins Belize Near Blue Grounds, 1min. Jack Trout With A Permit On Caught In Southern Belize On A Bauer Crab, Unfortunately The Camera Was Turned Off Before Permit Was Landed So This Is Part One, Check out Part Two At - vimeo.com/128549109

  • Belize Mission Trip Promo, 5min.

  • French Family Belize May 2015, 3min.

  • Belize Caves, 3min.

  • Belize Trip 2015, 3.5min. Over the summer, we were invited to crash our buddy's Honeymoon in Belize. Here is a quick video of our trip. Enjoy!

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