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#506403 - 08/04/15 11:46 AM Today's Belize News: August 4, 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

Searious Thing: Beauty Queens Enjoy La Isla Bonita!
The beauties of Costa Maya Festival 2015 have been busy getting to know all about Ambergris Caye since they arrived on the island on Wednesday, July 29th. From dinners to photo calls and even attending awards shows, they have been quite busy. But on Sunday, August 2nd, it was time to get SEArious! Okay, not really! But they were ready for some real fun and relaxation at sea. And providing the perfect getaway was SEArious Adventures! All eight beauties from Central America and Mexico jumped on board the Searious Escape Catamaran for a wonderful day tour to Caye Caulker.

Caribbean Flavors
Capture the flavors the Caribbean with fresh local produce. Whether local ground food, fruits or veggies there’s no better way to experience the best of Belize than through taste :-)

Miss San Pedro delegates sashed at official ceremony
Six beautiful island ladies were officially sashed as delegates of the 2015-2016 Miss San Pedro Pageant on Thursday, July 31st. The ceremony was held at Belizean Shores Resort on Northern Ambergris Caye, where each contestant was presented to their sponsors. The event kicked off at 7:30PM with Mayor Daniel Guerrero giving his remarks on the pageant. Guerrero congratulated the pageant committee’s dedication to making the event so successful year after year, bringing local and international recognition. Following the opening address each delegate was presented with their sash by outgoing Miss San Pedro 2014-2015 Michelle Nuñez and pageant choreographer and former Miss San Pedro, Yakarelis Hernandez. After the sashing, the delegates mingled with the guests, stopping at each table for a few minutes to converse.

Reina de La Costa Maya contestants officially presented to the public
The highly anticipated Reina de La Costa Maya Pageant is nearing, and the eight lovely ladies vying for the crown are preparing for a spectacular show. As per tradition, Fido’s Restaurant and Bar hosted the ladies on their second night on the island, officially sashing them as Cost Maya delegates. The glamourous event took place on Thursday, July 30th shortly after 9PM under the biggest palapa in San Pedro. After receiving their sashes, the beauties enjoyed a spectacular night of dining, dancing and mingling with the Belizean community. Presenting the delegates with their official sashes that will be used throughout the rest of their stay, was Fido’s general manager, Brian Cook accompanied by the reigning 2014/2015 Queen Elisa Espinoza Gómez. Dressed in stunning outfits, each participant proudly received their sash and shared a couple words with those in attendance. In the running for the title and crown are Miss Belize Samalia Vernon, Mexico Samantha Gutíerrez Gónzalez-Rubio, Miss Costa Rica Corlin On Porras, Miss El Salvador Genesis Margarita Fuentes Bolaños, Miss Honduras Gabriela Vanessa Salazar Valle, Miss Nicaragua Yuliset Laguna, Miss Panama Maria Saavendra and Miss Guatemala Lisa Hayet Francis.

Renowned Biologist Shawn Heflick studies American Crocodiles in Ambergris Caye
Another issue identified by Heflick is the declining health of the animals. Through testing and previous studies by Tellez, who is the Central American Co-Chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and sits at the International Species Survival Commission of the Crocodile Specialist Group, it has become evident that many crocodiles are sickly. “We are seeing several issues with crocodiles’ health. Those suffering the most are hatchlings. They are very sick and dying at unprecedented rates. These are the next generation for the species, and if they don’t survive, the population will crash. The growth in human population is altering the ecosystem where these animals live and they are suffering the adverse effects,” said Heflick. Crocodilians have been one of the longest surviving creatures on the planet and are known to have one of the most resistant immune systems that can live and survive healthily in the worst environmental conditions. Heflick stated that these signs of illness in crocodiles in San Pedro indicate major concerns in the ecosystem that need to be rectified immediately.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Bids Farwell to Mr. Efrain Guerrero
San Pedro is in mourning as we report with sadness the loss of a son, a bedrock, a beloved dad, grandfather, uncle, brother, and great grandfather, Mr. Efrain Lorenzo Guerrero. Frain or Frainy, as his close friends and family called him, was one of San Pedro’s grand activists and contributed much to the development of the coconut community, the fishing village and the vibrant Town of San Pedro. In the 1950’s it was Don Efrain who acted as agent of the lobster buyers Colony Club, that operated from Belize City. Fisher folks delivered whole lobsters right at the beach and received payment immediately from don Efrain, who transported the produce to Belize City by sailing boat. Don Efrain introduced to San Pedro the very first outboard engine opening the doors for others to enjoy this privilege.

Costa Maya Pageant Delegates Paint the Town Red
One of the perks of being a beauty ambassador at the Costa Maya Festival is that local businesses pamper the candidates, including restaurants, resorts, tour operators and gift shops. During the days leading to pageant night, August 6, 2015, the eight contestants, along with the reigning Miss Costa Maya, enjoy San Pedro’s hospitality as they are wined and dined at some of the island’s best eateries, explore the underwater marvels of our coral reef and set sail to our national marine park and visit neighboring islands. Here are some of the highlights: Sailing and Dining on the Yolo Catamaran, Island Dream Tours, Sashing Ceremony at the Fido's Restaurant & Bar, Sea Trek adventure with Discovery Expeditions...

BTB Honors Celi McCorkle as Belize Tourism Pioneer
“I wish I had 50 more years,” is all Mrs. Celi McCorkle had to say to the gathering at the BTB Tourism Awards ceremony that took place on Saturday, August 1, 2015. The award’s show, now in its 13th year, celebrated a special 50 Years of Tourism on Ambergris Caye. The highlight of the evening was a celebration of a pioneer in the tourism industry for the entire country of Belize. Mrs. Celi Nunez McCorkle, whose hotel, Holiday Hotel, is celebrating 50 years of service to San Pedro, also marks the commencement of tourism in Ambergris Caye and in a way, the entire country.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Men charged for Bank Robbery
First Caribbean Bank Branch, located at the corner of Phillip Goldson Highway and Central American Boulevard in Belize City was robbed on July 31st at 8:40 a.m. Three men escaped with $50,000. Police had reviewed cameras from the bank and detained 5 persons for questioning. Officers have since arrested and charged 22-year-old Patrick Jones of Gabourel Lane, 33-year-old Jermaine Belgrave of Courtenay Crescent, 30-year-old Jareth Crawford of Gabourel Lane and 24-year-old Emmerson Skyers of Cemetery Road, jointly for the crime of “Robbery.”

Costa Maya Delegates with Rene, owner of Caramba Restaurant
They are ready for a savoring lunch.

Pueblo Nuevo Ferry closed Thursday
The Pueblo Nuevo Ferry on Ferry Road will be closed this Wednesday August 5th, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Ministry of Works apologizes for any inconveniences caused.

Belize does not have to consult anybody to build a coast guard base
By Wellington C. Ramos. Under international law, nations have the right to govern their countries and citizens in accordance with their constitutions, without the interference of other nations in their domestic affairs. For Guatemala to tell Belize that they do not have the right to establish a coast guard base on Sarstoon Island is in gross violation of international law. Unless, Belize signed an agreement with Guatemala stating that before they construct any type of military base in that area Guatemala must be consulted first. If Belize signed such an agreement with them, the people of Belize should know, because that is conceding some of our territorial rights to a foreign nation, which is in violation of the government's constitutional obligations.

Cristo Rey Women’s Group Arts and Craft Center Inaugurated
he Minister of Works and Transport and Area Representative for Cayo Central, Hon. Rene Montero today inaugurated an Arts and Craft Center for the Cristo Rey Women’s Group. The women’s group was formed in June 2012 with the ambitious goal of producing arts and craft and bakery products. Their members total 30 gracious ladies. The ladies have been using the Community Center for their arts and craft and baking activities. However, since the Community Center is used for various village purposes there was need for the construction of a building that would be specific for commercial use by the ladies group. Three years after its formation the group can proudly say that it has its own Arts and Craft Center. The construction of the Center was completed at the end of June this year. The Center has a kitchen section for hygienic food preparation and an area for arts and craft production, exhibition and sales. This project is a timely investment in the Group’s quest to become an effective and sustainable economic entity in Cristo Rey Village. With their new building and the use of proper business management practices, the ladies are now poised to contribute to an increase in employment and earnings for themselves and their families.

BOLEDO DRAWING for Monday, August 3, 2015: 94. PICK 3: 8 8 6

Plastic trash in the environment
As you may have noticed we have a group of visiting scientists / artists visiting Caye Caulker and raising awareness about plastic trash in the environment by collecting trash and turning it in to art. These visitors and local residents will be joining forces tomorrow morning, Tuesday to pick trash up along the shoreline from the Mini Reserve to as far south as we get, including the cemetery if we have enough help. Meet at the Mini Reserve at 7 AM. Gloves are recommended, buckets are helpful, trash bags are always appreciated.

Reina de la Costa Maya Delegates enjoying a delightful evening at Mambo Restaurant.

Noches San Pedrano - Traditional Dress — at Ramon's Village Resort.

Big Up our Corozal talent heading to the Nationals!!!
Our home grown talent is headed to the National Song Competition in Belize City, Friday August 14th. Both Mr. Egbert Gill (Senior Division) and Miss Brianna Castro (Junior Division) won in the Regional Elimination Rounds held last month and will represent the Corozal District in the Belize Song Category. You can listen to the songs at www.mynationalsong.bz. Congratulations on your achievements, and we wish you all the best at the Finals!!

PAT BENNETT & BELIZE'S SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME!
Belizean softball giant, Pat Bennett, of the 1974 Gold Medal Team became one of the assets against the Caribbean and Central American softball teams to win the historical gold medal for Belize. She later on became Belize's first female president of Belize Softball Federation doing an incredible job for the continuation of Belizean softball. A true Belizean hero beyond the game!

MICHAEL HYDE: BELIZEAN GRAMMY AWARD WINNER!
Belizean Legends look forward soon to bring you the incredible success story of Belize's most accomplished musician and artist of all times, Michael Hyde. The prolific piano and keyboard player carries a pack schedule every summer, juggling his work with the legendary Jamaican artists, Ziggy Marley with the worldwide performance of some of the biggest acts in reggae music like Big Mountain, Wailing Souls, and other big reggae and world beat acts.

BELIZEAN SOFTBALL PAN AM GAMES STAR, BERNADINE MCDOUGALL, ON THE SET OF WHEN WE WERE QUEENS!
Called here at Belizean Legends, the Quiet Storm of Belizean softball stardom, Bernadine Mcdougall became of those outstanding Belizean softball champions of the 1979 Belize Softball Hall of Fame that won over the United States in the 1979 Pan American Games. The gold and Bronze medalist appears here on set with your truly, Bilal Morris in the shooting of the documentary When We Were Queens. Outstanding!

THE ONE & ONLY LORD RHABURN IN RARE FORM!
Belize's most celebrated Calypsonian, musician, artist extraordinaire, and musical legend, the Mighty Lord Rhaburn strikes one of his most popular poses during a performance with his legendary band, The Lord Rhaburn Combo. The Lord will be Primetime act at the 2015 Belize Independence Day Celebrations at Hollywood Park & Casino in Inglewood in September of this year. Belizean Legends will post event soon. The Mighty Lord Rahburn, coming down to Los Angeles, California like dogs of war!

IN STUDIO WITH SOFTBAL LEGEND DEBORAH THEUS SANCHEZ!
Deborah Theus Sanchez held her own as one of the 1974 Gold Medalist that played at the 1974 Central American & Caribbean Games in Santa Domingo where Belize won the gold medal. They are called the Gold Medal Team, and Theus Sanchez has been no stranger to glory and victory in Belizean softball of old.

FROM THE GLORY DAYS OF MCC GROUNDS TO THE MARION JONES SPORTING COMPLEX: LET THERE BE TRACK!
The building of the new synthetic track at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex appears to have reach completion but without any fanfare and publicity in terms of its readiness for competitions. We Belizeans celebrate the glory days of Track & Field in Belize in the 1960's, 70's and 80's, and mourn for the days of track and field glory to come back again. Let the races begin!

SHOOTING WHEN WE WERE QUEENS WITH THE INCREDIBLE BELIZEAN SOFTBALL STRIKER, GLENDA ELLIS!
Even the golden ladies of Belize's softball hall of fame before her like Linda Lewis mentioned Glenda Ellis's incredible softball athleticism as one of the upcoming players that were talked about in the Belizean softball circles. It was an honor to hear this softball great story!

ON THE SET WITH BELIZEAN SOFTBALL GREAT, ELAINE SMITH!
Memorable and lasting shots with Belizean softball great, Elaine Smith, that will produce one of the most outstanding softball stories of all times called When We Were Queens. This Belizean gold medalist was one of the champions of the 1974 Central American & Caribbean Games when Belize whipped every nation in sight in the Caribbean and Central America to win the highest award, The Gold Medal!

YOURS TRULY & BELIZEAN SOFTBALL ACE PITCHER, MARGARET USHER!
Margaret Usher pitched gold in the 1979 Juvenille Softball tournament in Mexico, and then went on that same year to beat the greatest softball team in the world at that time, the United States Orlando Rebels, wining the bronze medal at the 1979 Pan American Games. Golden lady!

TWO CLASSIC BELIZEAN BROADCASTERS REVISITED!
True memories of two of the most talented Belizean broadcasters who were masters in their own leagues. The captivating voices of the late Edison 'Seferino' Coleman and David Buddan still lingers on in the minds of many a Belizeans. Stay gold gentlemen!

Channel 7

Bank Robbers Busted
On Friday, five armed men robbed the First Caribbean Bank's northside City Branch - and tonight police charged the 5 men who they believe are the culprits. They are 22-year-old Patrick Jones, 33-year-old Jermaine Belgrave, 30-year-old Jareth Crawford, 32 year-old Erwin Castillo and 24-year-old Emerson Skyers, and they have been charged with conspiracy to commit robbery. Everyone except Erwin Castillo was additionally charged with the crime of robbery. All five have been remanded to prison. As we told you, the robbery happened just before 9:00 a.m. on Friday at the san Cas Plaza - in the thick of the payday rush, and the robbers first right in - they dressed like ordinary civilians to get inside without raising any suspicion. Their faces were caught on the bank's surveillance cameras, and that will be a key piece of evidence when they actually face trial.

Heritage Bank Buys Over First Caribbean Assets, 60 Workers Sacked
But collecting the insurance on that money won't be First Caribbean's problem - and that's because they are selling out their Belize operations to Heritage Bank. A release this evening confirmed what has been rumoured for weeks: FirstCaribbean and has finalized an agreement to transfer their assets to Heritage Bank in what is called a "first-of -its-kind consolidation." The deal will still take some weeks to finalize as it has to meet with regulatory approval in both Belize and Barbados where First Caribbean is headquartered. Managing Director of Heritage Bank, Stephen Duncan, is quoted as saying that the acquisition will cement his bank's place in the Belize market. The CEO of FirstCaribbean's Regional Operations, Mr. Rik Parkhill is quoted as saying, "these decisions are never easy, however it was necessary to sharpen our focus on the growth opportunities we have in other markets where we operate….given the growth path we have identified we have made the difficult decision to sell our Belize operations."

PUP Kumbaya, Kinda...
Recently, we've been telling you about the PUP's rebel 12, a dozen candidates who feel that the party is on the road to electoral ruin. They were calling for a national convention - one where they could challenge leader Francis Fonseca. That proposal was squashed by the national executive - and the PUP moved ahead with business as usual, launching their "Power to the People Tour" - the first one going right into the heart of Cayo - where one of the lead rebels, Dan Silva has his political stronghold. Well, right on cue, Silva showed up, while 10 of the other 12 dissidents stayed home. We asked him pointedly if the rebellion has been put down. Here's what he told us: Daniel Ortiz "You're seen here, we know that you were a part of the original 10-12 individuals from the party politicians who voiced that issue that they want that national convention held and we want to see if the support is still for Francis Fonseca as leader. What should we make of attendance here today? Are you separated from that 10 now or what do we make of it?"

While the PUP Fights, UDP Observes
And while the PUP is trying to stir the spirit of '96 with its power to the people tour, the UDP is just looking on….no doubt happy for the PUP's internal strife and political misfortunes. Today, we got an opportunity to discuss it with Education Minister Patrick Faber, the area representative in the Collet Division. As a veteran politician, he commented on the rift in the opposition, and the influence it has on the voting public: Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education "We've gone on record to say that we love Francis Fonseca as Leader of the Opposition. Can't seem to win an election and that of course keeps us happy that he is the leader of the party. But I think if I am allowed to meddle a bit - that they really do some soul searching in that party and to own up to some realities. I've heard the leader of the opposition say that he has placed his leadership on the table for anybody to call him out if you will. But nobody should have to do that. If you are in the position where you have lost so many elections, it should be unconditional that you say to your party 'you know what, I cannot, I have not done it, I have failed you and so I should depart.' That would certainly be a position that I would take. You've heard Mr. Barrow take similar position over the time that he has been leadership in the UDP. Of course he has not been in any position near what Francis Fonseca has been in. Since he has been leader, we continue to make gains and we have small victories that eventually translate` into much larger victories for the UDP."

With PUP Problems, Is The UDP Heading For An Early(ier) Election?
So, since these problems continue to plague the PUP, will the UDP Government call a snap general election? That's what everyone wants to know, and when we asked Faber about that, he said that the Prime Minister is playing it close to his chest: Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education "We have to be weighing these events happening with the opposition quite continuously, because you never can tell what is going to happen next. A lot of things have happened so far, but whether it translates into an early election for us is something that requires more thought. We are always very careful. I mean there are examples in the past where people have jumped at such opportunities and of course that has not turned out well. So, we want to be careful. We are optimistic that we can call an early elections and in fact the Prime Minister has given indications that is something that is quite possible. He is the ultimate decision maker when it comes to that. But as far as we see it, yes, an early election is quite possible. When it is, when it is the right time to strike is what is still to be decided and of course as I've said, the ultimate decision will be made by the Prime Minister. But of course we weigh in all of these factors that are happening with the opposition." "I myself are never too overly cautious, because I know that the UDP for instance was once in a very bad position back in 1998 and of course it did not signaled the death of the UDP. The UDP came back, rose and is now the winningest part since the independence of this country. So, the PUP is down, but I am not counting them out and we are not taking anything for granted."

Former OW Mayor Guilty OF Causing Death By Careless Conduct
He's a Crown Counsel in the Attorney General's Ministry, and a former mayor of Orange Walk Town, but tonight Ravell Gonzalez guilty of knocking down 2 persons and causing their deaths by careless conduct. That's the verdict that a jury of 9 handed down this evening after 3 hours of deliberation. The incident happened on at around 7:30 p.m. on June 15, 2008, between miles 35 and 36 on the Phillip Goldson Highway. The jury heard evidence that Gonzalez was driving his Dodge Caravan, heading towards Orange Walk. That's when he knocked down and killed Manuel Coto and his 2 year-old toddler Martita Lopez. Coto was walking the bike, while the toddler was sitting on it. In his defense, Gonzalez told the court that he was temporarily blinded by a light of a vehicle coming in the opposite direction. After deliberating the evidence presented on both sides, the jury found Gonzalez guilty of both counts of causing death by careless conduct.

10 Year Old In PG Missing In Water Mishap, Presumed Drowned
A police search team has been looking for a 10 year old boy who went missing in Punta Gorda on Friday. That's when a few American summer camp organizers took a group of Belizeans including kids on a tour of the Blue Creek Cave. But after the tour ended at 3:30, they realized that 10 year old Jason Pau was missing. The group searched the area and then called police when no one could find him. When we spoke to Punta Gorda police today, they told us that there are varying reports. Some witnesses say the boy jumped into the water others say he was pushed in and drowned - police are still trying to piece the facts together. They told us that another search was done today in the cave because there was a foul odor coming from inside but there was no sign of the boy. For now police are treating this case as a missing persons case until they actually find a body to confirm that it was a drowning. Police say they will continue to search tomorrow. Pau is from Cuxlin Ha Village.

BTB's Gives Private Sector Broad Strokes Of Tourism Re-Tooling
On Saturday in San Pedro, the Belize Tourism Board held its Industry Conference. It's an annual event where the BTB sits down with private sector stakeholders to discuss common concerns - and try their best to convince the private interests that their investments are safe, and things are looking up. That's proven true in the past few years when arrival figures have been on an upward trend - but this year, the figures are on a down tick - so we wondered what the message would be. Director of Tourism Karen Bevans gave that to us right off the bat:.. Karen Bevans, Director of Tourism "The main message Jules, is that the industry is strong, it's stable, tourism is growing and there are many opportunities in new and emerging markets that the BTB is looking at and is going after for the stake holders." Jules Vasquez reporting On Saturday at the Fido's courtyard in San Pedro - that's the message that tourism stakeholders - mostly from the overnight sector gathered to hear at the annual industry presentation.

Learning Computers Engineering From Bottom To Top
Last week, we told you about how the Public Utilities Commission wants your high schooler to become tech savvy. They want to give kids the tools to learn how to take apart a computer and build it from scratch, using the most basic components. The science will come from the computer teachers in their high school. So, the PUC opened their train the trainers workshop today where the teachers are going to be learning how to make use of the Raspberry Pi computing system as the teaching tool. 7News stopped by to see the start of the program. Daniel Ortiz reports: Daniel Ortiz reporting The first 3 units of the Raspberry Pi were on display at the official opening of the Train the Teachers workshop.

Cops Commence Crackdown On Public Drinking/Loitering
Public drinking and loitering - these two practices are the bane of the city's southside - and commander Chester Williams is determined to put an end to it. Now others have tried and failed, but Williams - who is an attorney - is putting his lawyerly knowledge to use by issuing warning letters - which spell out very clearly the offence, and the penalty for offenders who ignore the warning. Last week, he told us what's behind the crackdown:.. Sr. Supt Chester Williams, OC - E.D. Southside "Most of the crimes occurring on the streets of Belize City emanates from either loitering or public drinking. So what we will be doing one month from today, we will be enforcing public drinking and loitering. So I am drafting some generic letters, which I will be giving to the patrolling officers. So if they see you to meet you public drinking, they will serve you a written notice informing you, 'you know what, what you are doing here is public drinking, it is contrary to this section of the law and the consequence of public drinking is X,Y,Z and if you are caught public drinking again, this will be the result.' The same thing with loitering." Williams says they have started issuing the warning letters today.

Cops Shot Man Twice
Police shot a man twice for advancing towards them with a machete. On Saturday night around 7:00, 47 year old Jennifer Ramos was at her home in Punta Gorda with her 19 year old boyfriend Byron Paiz when he began threatening to burn down the house. Ramos called the police and when they arrived Paiz advanced on the two officers with a machete. One of them shot Paiz in his right hand to subdue him. The officers took the machete away and threw it on the ground but Paiz scrambled to reclaim it - and that's when the police officer fired the second shot to his right leg. He was taken to the Punta Gorda Hospital where he was later transported to the K.H.M.H in a stable condition. When Paiz is released he will be charged with 2 counts of aggravated assault.

Man Stabs Teenager, Throws Acid in His face For Having Sex With Underaged Daughter
A man stabbed a 16-year-old boy for allegedly having sex with his 13 year old daughter. The incident happened in Sandhill this afternoon at around 1:00. The father reportedly walked in on both having sex at their house. The enraged father grabbed a knife and stabbed the 16 year old boy twice and then threw acid on the boy's face. The boy is at the KHMH with a stab wound to the stomach and the father has been detained by police.

Wide Sargussum In Seas Off San Pedro
The entire Caribbean, including the islands and Coast of Belize as well as Mexico's eastern seaboard are under attack by Sargussum - which you might call seaweed. But sargussum is different from the traditional seaweed - the brown mass it moves in vast drifts and is a living organism. But, it's a blemish on the beaches and shoreline- and a major headache to clean because it rots and generates a foul odour. In San Pedro on Saturday - with a sargassum spread right in front of her - The Director of Tourism told us it is on their radar. Karen Bevans, Director of Tourism "The seaweed, the sargussum, is something by nature which we are working with stakeholders in some way or the other to get the necessary equipment or resources to clean up the beach. most of them have employed additional workers to clean up the beach daily, which yes it's unfortunate that we have that situation, it do creates some employment for some of the persons out here. We are now just trying to deal with it how we can to minimize the effect on tourism." Jules Vasquez "Is it resulting a lot of negative reviews on Trip Advisor?"

The Changing Airline Picture
And while that is in the sea, in the air the Belize Tourism Board has other worries. Yes, as we've been reporting the number of airlines coming to Belize are more than ever - but that also means that traditional hubs such as Miami are seeing their dominance erode. In fact reports say that American may soon be sending smaller planes to Belize less frequently do to unsold seats. On Saturday we asked the Director about the changes in the dynamics of air transport into Belize:.. Karen Bevans, Director of Tourism "We recognize that maybe certain areas, the seats are not filled, but if you look at it now, south west is moving into the Houston area. Because we have to look at the travelling patterns and recognize the hubs which the travelers are using. So yes one are may not work out, for example, Miami may be going down but we're opening up in Houston and LA. Again we have been asked to look at Canada which we are in serious discussion trying to get a direct flight from Canada."

Local Tourism A Hit
And while the international tourists can jostle for space on all those carriers - local tourists can jump in a bus, or a water taxi for their vacation. That's what the BTB is encouraging with a local tourism drive which they launched earlier this month. Director Bevans says it's been going swimmingly:.. Karen Bevans, Director of Tourism "That is impressive, we did not expect the results we have been seeing so far. Stakeholders have been contributing promo codes, we've been given special rates to Belizeans and already we are hearing feedback that the stakeholders are seeing the promo codes being used. In fact just today, they told me that a wedding is happening because of the promo codes as well."

The PUP Taking It To The People
At the top of the news, we showed you interviews with PUP big shots talking about the ongoing internal rift in their party. They were speaking at the first stop of the PUP's Power to the People Tour. And while the controversy eclipsed the tour, the idea behind the meetings is to make the leaders of the party more available to their followers for public consultation. As we said at the top of the news, we counted about 700 persons in attendance, but the politicians at the event told us that they're satisfied with yesterday's turn out in San Ignacio.: Hon. Julius Espat - Deputy Leader PUP "This is not a rally. This is a the start of our consultation and I think it's a reasonable crowd, we have I believe a little over 1,000 people which is a fair amount of people for what it is. It is the start of what we are going to do throughout the whole country which is consultation. Anybody can go up there, ask their questions, make a statement and hopefully we can respond a way that they see fit."

How To Pick Your Favourite September Song
The National Song Competition: it's the event that marks the beginning of the September celebrations and gets everybody in the mood for Carnival and the calendar of events throughout the month. Well, the competition is set for the 14th of this month and the 18 finalists are preparing to take the stage. Today we spoke with the Communications Officer for NICH, Shari Willaims and she told us why it's important to have this competition every year and what you can expect on the 14th. There are two main categories in the competition: The Belize Song and Carnival Song. To vote for your favorite song you can go to the website mynationalsong.bz. All the songs have been uploaded so you can listen and click to vote.

Yolanda Gomez Speaks, Just A Little
Last week we told you how the General Manager of La Inmaculada Credit Union, Yolanda Gomez got her walking papers. They also said she had failed to comply with proper banking procedures and that she was afforded the opportunity make herself available to assist in the investigations but she did not do so. So, you might think she is lying low - but today she gave CTV -3 an interview in which she noted the petition in her favour: Yolanda Gomez was very limited in what she could say on the instructions of her lawyer.


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#506404 - 08/04/15 11:47 AM Re: Today's Belize News: August 4, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Channel 5

Breaking News: Stabbing in Sand Hill
There is a report of a violent incident in Sand Hill Village on the Phillip Goldson Highway. The father of a young girl reportedly stabbed and threw acid on a [...]

CIBC First Caribbean is Sold to Heritage Bank
There is big financial news tonight. CIBC First Caribbean Bank which was hit by robbers last week today informed it’s management and staff that it was selling out it assets [...]

Did Residents of Culture Capital enact Vigilante Justice on Anwar Garbutt?
How far is too far for citizens to take matters in their own hands? Well, it is believed that they went too far in Dangriga this morning when a man [...]

P.U.P. Launches National Tour Amid Dissention Within the Grand Old Party
The deep internal rift in the People’s United Party has been dominating the headlines for weeks. But on Sunday, at least for a few hours, the chasm was not as [...]

Dan Silva Says G12 is Only Fighting to Make P.U.P. Better…
Cayo Central Standard Bearer Dan Silva was the chief organizer of the first leg of the P.U.P. national tour in San Ignacio which was planned some time ago, even before [...]

…But How If They are Boycotting National Executive Meetings?
While Silva’s position is that they have a righteous cause for going against the status quo, Deputy Leader Julius Espat maintains that boycotting national executive meetings does nothing to bring [...]

Minor Drowns in Blue Creek Cave, Recovery Effort Underway
A recovery operation to retrieve the body of ten-year-old Jason Pau from the Ho’keb’ Ha Cave in Blue Creek Village remains open, following the disappearance of the minor on Friday [...]

Band of Thieves Arrested for Robbing First Caribbean Bank
As the CIBC First Caribbean Bank changes hands, five men have been charged in connection with the daring bank robbery this past Friday at the First Caribbean International Bank at [...]

Former Sugar City Mayor Guilty of Causing Death by Careless Conduct
A jury of five men and four women found former U.D.P. Orange Walk mayor, Ravell Gonzalez guilty of two counts of causing death by careless conduct. The thirty-seven year old [...]

Thirsty Thursday’s DJ Chris Charged for Beating Up Ex Brother-in-law
Also this morning, businessman Chris Rosado, the owner of the popular Thirsty Thursday Restaurant and Bar located on Newtown Barracks, was found guilty of wounding his ex- brother-in-law, Sergio Quan. [...]

Anthony Obando Arraigned for Unlawful Sexual Intercourse with Underage Girlfriend
Tonight, there is another report of sexual abuse against a minor. A fifteen year old student in the Cayo area has confirmed to police of an ongoing illegal relationship with [...]

Former La Inmaculada General Manager Breaks Silence on Credit Union Debacle
Since her termination as general manager of the beleaguered La Inmaculada Credit Union on July twenty-seventh, erstwhile head of operations Yolanda Gomez has broken her silence on the issues that [...]

What’s the Status of Belize’s Tourism Industry?
To coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of tourism in San Pedro, the 2015 Tourism Industry Conference was held in the prime tourism destination. On Saturday, the Fido’s Courtyard was the [...]

Is B.T.B. on Sound Financial Footing?
Karen Bevans has been with the B.T.B. for the past sixteen months, following her departure from Belize Telemedia Limited as Chief Operations Officer. She was brought in after the resignation [...]

B.T.B. Awards Outstanding Tourism Stakeholders Big and Small
The National Tourism Awards was the highlight of the weekend out in San Pedro. Following the tourism industry conference at Fido’s courtyard, stakeholders in the industry were recognized at the [...]

Sports Monday with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The national senior male football team continued its preparatory work for the 3rd round World Cup Qualifying series with [...]

CTV3

Summer Art Wave Program Takes Place In Corozal
In July of this year, the Corozal House of Culture kicked off its summer art wave program and so far it has been a raging success for the most northern community. Coordinator, Deborah Wilkes told us today that with the support of the business community, the program seeks to maintain Corozal’s culture alive. “We are nearing the end of our Summer Art Wave 2015 program here at the house of culture so we are so thrilled it really takes a community to pull these activities off and we’ve reached out to our community and we had some wonderful sponsors this year including Atlantic Bank and we also have Bowen and Bowen and we also have CCC and we have JICA and they were the ones who initiated the summer program and we are part of the environmental art program, they are an organization that have volunteers throughout the country and so this summer they all came together to Corozal to do their Summer Camp they call it.”

Sugar City Invaded For Fiesta Rama 2015
Fiestarama 2015 has wrapped up and while the turnout has not been fully reviewed, Orange Walk Mayor Kevin Bernard says he is pleased with the results so far. The event started on Friday and concluded on Sunday seeing the participation of local music bands and singers, businesses, food vendors and even entertainment for children. It is, after all, an event catering for the entire family. The event saw many visitors once more this year says Mayor Bernard. “I’m very much pleased but we haven’t compiled all the data as yet we are still putting together the reports and I believe that yes this year Fiesta Rama is another successful Fiesta Rama and I want to thank all those people that were involved, I want to thank my operations manager and his team for preparing the grounds, these guys work very hard, I want to thank our Traffic Officers for ensuring that Traffic Control was there and of course the stall that assisted at the booths and so forth and again thank the businesses that participated and the businesses that sponsored us; Fiesta Rama is always about a community that come together and working for the betterment of our people and as you every year we try to target some of the funds to go back to our summer work program and in fact this morning I understand that huge crowd of students were here already but we are going to wait until after the report is out and then we will decide how much students we can assist because we have also decided that part of it needs to go to fix Guadalupe Street so we are trying to make sure to invest some of the Fiesta Rama monies back on the street and so I think we will do handsomely well again this year so I am very much pleased.”

BTB Says Tourism Industry Is Stable
At the top of the newscast we told you about the 2015 Tourism Industry Conference held by BTB in San Pedro Town. A number of issues pertaining to the tourism industry were discussed during the event including the influx of tourists flying in. During an interview with Director of Tourism at the BTB, Karen Bevans, she expanded on the current situation facing the industry in that sector. “We have to study the market and we recognize that maybe certain areas, the seats are not filling that area but if you look at it Southwest is moving into the Houston area because we have to look at the travelling patterns and recognize the hubs which the travelers are using so yes one area might not work out for example Miami maybe going down but we opening out in Houston opening in LA and again we have been asked to look at in Canada which we are in serious discussions trying to get a direct flight from Canada further to that we recognize barrier with US visas and hence the reason COPA is a big announcement for us because travelers coming from the Caribbean who may not have a US visa coming out from Europe and South America with no US visa but they want to come to Belize so opening the Panama route via COPA will now give that opportunity which was not there before.”

Nine year Old Boy Missing In Toledo
Tonight, a 9 year old boy from Blue Creek Village in the Toledo District remains missing and according to reports authorities believe that he may have drowned. Around 6:00 on Friday evening police received a report that Jason Pau who was swimming and to touring the cave in Blue Creek Village along with a group of missionaries, had gone missing. Initial information revealed that sometime around 3:30p.m volunteers realized that Pau was unaccounted for. They immediately began making checks for him in the water and on land but to no avail. And while that was preliminary information, police say they were later made aware that Jason had jumped in the water, went under and did not resurface. Police, along with BDF Soldiers and community members are presently engaged in an intense search and rescue mission in an attempt to locate Jason but their efforts so far have been fruitless. It is uncertain if any of the volunteers, tour guide or tour operator will be charged for negligence of the missing boy.

Four Men Detained For Heist Ar First Caribbean Bank
On Friday we told you about a major heist at the First Caribbean Bank located at the San Cas Plaza by the Belcan Bridge in Belize City that resulted in the robbers escaping with some one hundred thousand dollars from the institution. Police today have reported that the surveillance footage from within the bank was vital in identifying the perpetrators and leading to them being charged. They are 22 year old Patrick Jones of Gabourel Lane, 33 year old Jermaine Belgrave of Courtenay Crescent, 30 year old Jareth Crawford of Gabourel Lane and 24 year old Emmerson Skyers of Cemetery Road. All four men are from Belize City and were jointly charged for the crime of robbery.

BYM Demands Answers For Increase Of Fees At UB
The youth arm of the People’s United Party, the Belize Youth Movement today issued a release expressing its discontent with a recent publicized announcement from the University of Belize. The release says it is calling on the Board of the University of Belize to recall the newly-imposed mandatory insurance scheme for students registering for the new school year. BYM feels the new fee will act as yet another prohibitive factor for young people who are already struggling to access tertiary-level education. Statistics show that a staggering 93% of our youth-adult-aged population does not access tertiary-level learning. We recall that the cost of UB fees increased for students following the cancellation of the Government’s student-subsidy in 2012 and other increases in fees every other year. The release further states that and we quote, “ We are not against the idea of offering insurance to students as an option and with proper notification, but all indications are that the stiff decision was arrived at without any form of consultation with the student body and imposed without notice” end quote. It ended calling on students to speak out and reject the mandatory insurance and on the University to withdraw the decision forthwith.

Fashion Show Conducted To Boost Economic Activity
Over the weekend, the Corozal Commercial Free Zone saw the conclusion of fashion week 2015. The event was possible with the support of many business outlets and one such company is Turqueza Group limited. Representative Elmer Cornejo elaborated more on the event. “What we are having today is a one of its kind event, is the first ever event actually of fashion show Verano 2015, that is the name of the event and all together we have twenty two models in our show for these two days, we have four males and the rest are girls.”

LOVE FM

Yolanda Gomez Speaks on Her Recent Termination from Credit Union
After being placed on administrative leave since April, Yolanda Gomez was officially dismissed two weeks ago from La Inmaculada Credit Union in Orange Walk after serving almost twenty five years as an employee. Gomez broke her silence today and spoke with Orange Walk Correspondent, Arturo Cantun.

Search Officially Called Off For Missing 9-Year-Old
Yesterday evening at around six o’clock the search was called off for 9-year-old, Jason Pau of Cuxlin Ha Village in the Toledo District who had gone missing inside the Blue Creek Cave in the Toledo District. Pau had left home on the morning of Friday, July 31 to go a summer event at the Blue

CIBC First Caribbean Bank Leaves Belize; 60 Workers Will Be Terminated
This evening the Christian Workers Union sent out a release in which it reveals that CIBC First Caribbean International Bank will, basically, not be operating in Belize anymore. According to President of the CWU, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, top management of the bank had a meeting with the union in which it was shared that the bank

Five Men Arraigned and Remanded For Recent Bank Robbery
Three days after a group of thieves made a brief escape from the San Cas Plaza in Belize City where they robbed the CIBC First Caribbean International Bank of fifty thousand dollars, they were brought into the courtroom of Magistrate Debbie Rogers where four of the five men detained for the incident were arraigned on

Club Owner Fined for Defending Sister From Abusive Boyfriend
Twenty-three year old Chris Rosado, the owner of Thirsty Thursday, a restaurant and bar located on Newtown Barracks, was spared a custodial sentence today when he was found guilty of wounding by the Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith. Rosado was fined $2,000 and he was ordered to pay $1,000 in compensation to the victim, his

Former Mayor Found Guilty Following 2008 Fatal Traffic Incident
Ravell Gonzalez, a Crown Counsel in the Ministry of the Attorney General and a former Mayor of Orange Walk Town, who was charged with 2 counts of causing death by careless conduct, was found guilty of both charges today by a jury of 5 men and 4 women. The jury deliberated for almost 3 hours

Police Subdues Teenager with Shots to Hand and Leg
A teenager is hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital following a shooting incident on Saturday night in the Toledo District. Punta Gorda Police say they responded to a domestic dispute in Forest Home Village and upon their arrival 19-year-old Byron Paiz advanced towards them with a machete. The officer reportedly fired a single shot

Boyfriend Charged for Unlawful Sexual Intercourse
A mother in western Belize took her daughter into the police station in San Ignacio to file a complaint against her daughter’s boyfriend. The mother told police that the 23-year-old man had engaged in sexual intercourse with her fifteen year old daughter on several occasions. As a result Anthony Phillip Obando was arrested and charged

BTB’s Director Announces Strategies to Boost Tourism in Belize
The Belize Tourism Board is implementing new strategies geared at tapping into new and emerging markets. The recent strategy is the introduction of COPA and Southwest Airlines in Belize. Karen Bevans, Director of BTB spoke to Love News on those strategies. KAREN BEVANS “Lately we announced the COPA flight coming to Belize that is a […]

PlusTV

Armed Robbery at First Caribbean
On this last day of July, thousands of Belizeans line up at the banks to collect their pay and pay their bills. Add that’s it’s a Friday and the situation becomes even more hectic. But a group of individuals in Belize City decided to try to make some money the easy way, by robbing a bank...

Traffic Accident on Hummingbird Highway
There was a near fatal traffic accident about one and half miles on the Humming bird Highway sometime after 2 pm this afternoon. The incident has put five people in the hospital. Two are being treated for minor injuries and three we understand are in a serious condition at the Western Regional Hospi...

Minister says Insurance at UB is a good deal
The Minister of Education in an interview with our colleagues at Channel 5 said that he does have a concern with the way the mandatory insurance policy payment was announced to the students that they must pay or risk non completion of registration. But overall, he says the cost of the insurance and...

Belize Sagicore Visionaries Place Third in Regional Challenge
They’ve graduated from High school already but 5 students from the Bishop Martin High school in Orange Walk left their mark for being the second team to win the national Sagicore Challenge and go on to represent the country at the Regional level. The ambassadors for each group in the region tr...

Is Canadian Mom Hiding Child in Spanish lookout?
Police from the city of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, believe they have narrowed their search for the missing 31 year old Robin Trockstad nee Greenway and her 2 1/2 year old son Treyson to Spanish Lookout, Cayo District in western Belize. There is an Interpol arrest warrant out for Robin Trockstad in...

Tried to make off with police vehicle
For no apparent reason, 42 year old former taxi driver Lincoln Moguel had the urge to take a police pickup from their headquarters and attempt to drive it away. He didn’t get very far, and today he was lucky to avoid jail time because he reportedly suffers from mental health issues. Moguel wa...

UB Exec says Da Dem Ask fi it
Today plus news sat down with University of Belize President Alan Slusher to speak on a matter that seems to have sparked student outcry. That is the mandatory insurance policy that the university will be implementing this year. The implementation of the insurance payments appears to have caught sev...

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Women of Cristo Rey have arts and craft center
30 women of the village of Cristo Rey, Cayo District, have been built a new home for their arts and craft and baking facilities. The Cristo Rey Women’s Group’s Arts and Craft Center was inaugurated today by Representative Rene Montero and offers a separate space from the village’s community center. Completed […]

Coast Guard’s home burned down
A Coast guard officer is picking up the pieces after his house burned down early on Monday morning and arson may be the cause. Hattieville Police visited house No. C-190 in Mahogany Heights Village around 2:30 this morning, and found a cream in color 2 bed room plycem bungalow structure […]

Five charged for robbery of First Caribbean
Police over the weekend cracked the robbery of First Caribbean International Bank at the San Cas Plaza. They arrested and charged 22-year-old Patrick Jones of Gabourel Lane, 33-year-old Jermaine Belgrave of Courtenay Crescent, 30-year-old Jareth Crawford of Gabourel Lane and 24-year-old Emmerson Skyers of Cemetery Road, jointly for […]

CWU confirms sale of CIBC First Caribbean to Heritage Bank
Late this evening the Christian Workers’ Union (CWU) confirmed plans by CIBC First Caribbean International Bank to sell its Belize operation to Heritage Bank of Belize. The local management, after meeting with the Union who represents the bank’s employees, is meeting at present with the employees themselves. According […]

Ex-Orange Walk mayor guilty in traffic accident
Seven years after he knocked down and killed a 2 year old girl and one of her relatives, a jury of nine found former Mayor of Orange Walk Town Ravell Gonzalez guilty of two counts of causing death by careless conduct. The jury of five men and four […]

P.G. Mayor defends alleged “illegal” garbage dumping
Punta Gorda Mayor, Her Worship Fern Gutierrez, has suggested that residents of the town present strategies for addressing the dumping of garbage along the roadside at the Town dumpsite four miles out of P.G. Last week conservationist Wil Maheia photographed and published a Punta Gorda Town Council truck “illegally” […]

John Briceno Court Case adjourned
This morning, Orange Walk Central Area Representative, John Briceno was again back in court. For context, Briceno is accused of running over the foot of Gaspar Vega’s Driver, Christopher Hendricks on January 22nd of last year at an event in Trinidad Village. And while Briceno maintains that the allegations […]

Bar owner guilty of wounding ex-relative
An argument between a Belize City couple almost turned deadly last November and the alleged aggressor was later beaten up by the girl’s brother. However, Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith found 23 year old owner of Thirsty Thursday Restaurant and Bar on Newtown Barracks Chris Rosado guilty of […]

Strong odor is coming from inside the cave where Jason Pau went missing
Reports coming from Blue Creek Village, Toledo, where 10 year old Jason Pau went missing in a cave on Friday, July 31, are that a strong odor is coming from inside the cave as the search and rescue team continues in their effort to locate the child. Pau, a resident of […]

Audrey cited in BGYEA confidentiality case
On Friday Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel issued his decision in writing on the claim made by Government attorney Rodwell Williams that his opponent, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, violated the terms of the mediation agreement between the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) and Government by speaking prematurely to the […]

Police discovers large amount of gun ammunition
Belize City police has made yet another discovery of a large amount of gun ammunition which was found in an early morning operation on August 1st. While searching an abandoned lot in Trench Alley, Belize City, around 8:30 a.m, officers found a bag inside a bottle, which contained 40 live […]

Police have identified the robbers that hit First Caribbean Int. Bank
The names of the men arrested and charged by police, in connection with the robbery of First Caribbean Bank in Belize City, have been released. Those men are: 22 year old Patrick Jones of Gabourel Lane, 30-year-old Jareth Crawford of Gabourel Lane, 33-year-old Jermaine Belgrave of Courtenay Crescent, and 24-year-old […]

Weather continues to be excellent
Mainly fair and warm weather conditions are expected during the next couple of days. The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mostly sunny skies with cloudy spells and isolated showers or thunderstorms today. Skies will be partly cloudy tonight with little or no rainfall. Winds will be blowing to […]

Will the food riots in Venezuela affect Petrocaribe Program in Belize?
Food riots in sections of Bolivar State, Venezuela have resulted in at least one person dead and 30 arrested earlier this weekend. The Bolivar state is home to the largest number of Guyanese living in that country and according to El Universal news, a supermarket was looted in San Felix […]

Belize Cane Farmers are Certified by Fairtraide
The official results of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association’s Fairtrade Audit have been released and the Association has been found with 9 non-compliances. Chair of the Committee of Management, Ezekiel Cansino says that while they see the non-compliances as minor, they have sent a resolution for corrective measures. Some […]

Blogs

The Shell Goret
There were many interesting presentations at the BAAS 2015 and, for me, the most captivating was the one delivered by Dr. Jason Yeger and their discovery of a shell goret at Buena Vista del Cayo. Made from marine shell, the species is still undetermined because of it was so heavily modified. It was likely worn and suspended from the neck, as indicated by two drilled holes. It also has a concave shape and is 13cm by 9cm, likely dating to AD 450. The disk has hieroglyphic text across the top half and an ancestral head profile looking downwards. The glyphs name the bearer of the goret as being Naah Uti’ K’ab and it was likely found within his grave.

International Sourcesizz

The Journey of the Sargassum
There is a sea on the Planet Earth which has no shores. It is over two million square miles in size, and it is completely distinct from its surrounding waters both oceanographically and ecologically. It supports roughly a million tons of plant life, which provides habitat for over 100 species of fish and 140 species of invertebrates, and many of them occur nowhere else. All this teeming abundance is in waters that are so nutrient poor that visibility can be a couple hundred feet on a good day. If not for this astonishing ecosystem, in this astonishing sea without shores, this place would be an aquatic desert. It’s called the Sargasso Sea. It is contained by a clockwise gyre of four different ocean currents that circle between North America, Europe and North Africa, and it is about 1,000 miles across at its widest point. Its sea level is three feet higher than the surrounding waters, and the waters are warmer and saltier. The foundation of the ecosystem is a remarkable seaweed called sargassum (Sargassum natans and Sargassum fluitans), a highly unusual marine algae that is completely pelagic (free drifting). It reproduces asexually through simple fragmentation, and it can do so easily, and anywhere it goes. Because it is pelagic, it does not have to compete for precious real estate on the ocean bottom, and it also is not limited to shallow coastal waters like the benthic (attached) seaweeds, which not only have to find some substrate to attach to, but then have to be able to grow up into some light so they can photosynthesize. Sargassum has none of those constraints, and it grows in great mats and windrows in a sprawling, mid-ocean world where the coastlines are hundreds of miles away and the bottom is sixteen thousand feet down. It consumes carbon and produces oxygen in huge quantities. It has been called the golden floating rainforest of the ocean.

Summer events in Central America
There’s always plenty going on in Central America – but if you needed an extra excuse to throw the backpack on and spend your rainy day savings on a flight, here are some tempting happenings… Every August, Ambergis Caye, Belize’s biggest island in the north east of the country, celebrates the reunification of the Mayan empire with a weekend-long multicultural spectacle comprising dance, music, pageants, food and drink from the Mayan World countries. On the opening night of the festival, beauty queens from neighbouring Central American countries including Miss Guatemala, Miss Costa Rica, Miss El Salvador, Miss Belize and Miss Honduras, compete for the coveted title of La Reina de la Costa Maya International. Traditionally, the final night, known as ‘Noche Internacional’, includes an appearance from a surprise international film star or recording artist followed by an all-night celebratory dance. The full line-up for the festival is yet to be announced. www.internationalcostamayafestival.com

Peering into a Maya pyramid
Roy Schwitters is bringing together the worlds of archeology and physics. “Roy is kind of the Indiana Jones of high-energy physics,” said Michael Riordan, a long-time friend and chair of the Orcas Currents Steering Committee. Schwitters is coming to Orcas Island to present an Orcas Currents lecture on “Peering into a Maya Pyramid Using Cosmic Rays.” His multimedia presentation is on Thursday, Aug. 6 and will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Emmanuel Parish Hall in Eastsound. Admission is free. His Texas research team is currently applying the technique to the study of a Mayan pyramid in the Belize jungle, trying to discern chambers and passages within it. To do so, they have had to build a large photovoltaic array to convert the abundant solar energy into electricity, as no convenient power source is available nearby. “I got interested in applying the technology I used in my particle physics career to more general issues, including national security and archeology,” Schwitters said. “That led to my collaboration with UT colleagues in archeology, Belize and Maya pyramids ... I will talk a little about the history and culture of the Maya and the technology we are developing to ‘see through’ jungle and rock looking for hidden chambers in a large, un-looted pyramid.”

Understanding the threats to big cats worldwide
By now, most of the country has heard of Cecil and his early demise. He was a black-maned lion who lived in Zimbabwe, until he was shot last month by a Minnesota trophy hunter. For those truly interested in understanding the threats to big cats worldwide, I can think of no better read than "Life in the Valley of Death" by Dr. Alan Rabinowitz. Rabinowitz is a renowned zoologist and the founder of a jaguar sanctuary in Belize. The New York Times dubbed him the Indiana Jones of wildlife science. When you read about how he discovered a remote and shrinking tiger habitat in Myanmar, you'll know why. To save the habitat, he had to persuade the country's military dictators of the tigers' importance. Don't miss the story of how he did it.

The Flying Ants Save the “Good People”
At the end of May in 1848, essentially all the surviving non-Maya citizens of Yucatán — the buena gente — had crowded into Mérida or within the high walls of Campeche. The Maya rebels, led by Cecilio Chi in the north and Jacinto Pat in the south, had swept their oppressors westward across the Peninsula. Terrified masses of refugees had flooded into the cities along with the collapsing army. The military, politicians, and priests had all failed to halt the fighting, which had become a series of massacres. As resistance became suicidal, morale and discipline gave way, exhaustion and cowardice ruled, and the troops fled. Mutineers and deserters were too numerous to arrest or execute. The population of Mérida swelled to more than 100,000. Refugees — the destitute, sick, wounded, and dying, the old and very young — crowded into the churches, convents, and public buildings. They huddled in desolation under the arcades of the plaza. They broke into abandoned houses seeking shelter and sustenance. Prices, which had been frozen against profiteering, collapsed. Merchants offered entire inventories at a fraction of their value and found no bidders.

Videos

  • cave tubing belize 7 15, 8min.

  • The 2015 Tourism Industry Conference held at San Pedro Town, 5min. The 2015 Tourism Industry Conference was held at San Pedro Town over the weekend and saw a shift in the way the event is normally carried. The all-day event featured two panel discussions including Service Excellence and Tourism Digital Marketing.

  • Congratulations to Ms. Celi McCorkle and the San Pedro Holiday Hotel on 50 years of business, 6min. The Town Council would like to congratulate Ms. Celi McCorkle and the San Pedro Holiday Hotel on 50 years of business. Ms. Celi was recognized this past weekend by the BTB as the pioneer of tourism in San Pedro.

  • Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Belize), 2min. The Belize Barrier Reef is a series of coral reefs straddling the coast of Belize, roughly 300 meters offshore in the north and 40 kilometers in the south within the country limits.

  • Belize!, 6min. Girls Going Global (GGG) is an organization that exposes young girls to travel. In this video, we show highlight clips from the 2015 GGG trip to Belize.

  • Vlog 65: Belize Day 1, 10min.

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