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#508527 - 10/24/15 11:40 AM Today's Belize News: October 24, 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

How to Vacation In Belize- with the Kids!
A trip to the “Best Little Zoo in the world” guarantees great fun for the whole family. See over 170 different animals including jaguars, tapirs, reptiles and birds, all native to Belize in their natural habitats. Bring the family out for a day of fun and brush up on local history at Old Belize. This popular destination located just outside of Belize City, boasts a small historical museum that displays some of the memorabilia of past colonial days. And after head to Old Belize’s Cucumber beach for some water slide fun and great food! We call this the perfect day. Your trip to the Jewel wouldn’t be complete without visiting Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley. Book this tour with your tour operator and get ready for a fun day in the water swimming with nurse sharks and rays! We guarantee this is one trip you’ll never forget.

Belize and Pakistan establish diplomatic relations
The Government of Belize and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan signed a Joint Communiqué thereby establishing Diplomatic Relations between the two countries. Ambassador Oliver del Cid signed the Joint Communiqué on behalf of the Government of Belize, while Ambassador Aitzaz Ahmed, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Mexico, signed on behalf of his country. The Communiqué affirms the countries’ common interest in promoting and strengthening ties of friendship and cooperation, and agreed that their relationship would be guided by the UN Charter and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

Volunteers provide special needs therapy to San Pedro community
In July, a set of volunteers came down from the United States of America to take part in the annual summer Camp Starfish for children with special need. These volunteers began providing speech and physical therapies during the camp, as well as assessments and advice to parents on how to meet the needs of their special children. Early last week, three volunteers from two prestigious US universities were in San Pedro providing evaluations relating to therapies for children with special needs at the Lions Den. The three professionals were Dr. Brooke Riley and Bethany Wolf (physical therapists) from Arcadia University and Kaley Marston (speech therapist) from the University of Tennessee.

San Pedro Fire Department has new Officer in Charge
The San Pedro Fire Department has a new sub-station officer. He is Newton Lennan, a native of Belize City who was raised in Benque Viejo Cayo District. Lennan took over the position that was held by previous sub-station officer who has retired. After thirteen years away from San Pedro, Lennan is excited to be back, and he looks forward to working with San Pedro residents and assist everyone however possible. Lennan holds a degree in Civil Engineering and Drafting from the University of Belize. His 17 years in the fire department has taken him to different areas around the globe. “I have attended different training programs in countries like the United States, Canada and Japan. At the moment, I am the only certified fire instructor in the department and I have been working in all the districts of the country, except in Toledo. Being back in San Pedro brings back memories, and I am bringing my expertise to benefit all the island residents,” said Lenan.

Digital Marketing Summit sparks new knowledge for Tourism Industry Partners
Digital media has grown to become the main forum for advertisement in today’s electronic age. As such several businesses invest substantially in digital marketing, and in an effort to continue this phenomenon, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) hosted the first ever Digital Marketing Summit. The summit was held at the Ramada Princess Hotel and Casino on Tuesday, October 20th, with close to a hundred participants from across the country. Tourism Industry partners took advantage of this opportunity to learn skills in search engine optimization (SEO), social media, digital content and travel trade from nine professional panelists. Opening the day’s events was Director of Marketing and Industry Relations at BTB, Karen Pike. She welcomed those in attendance, stating the importance of the event. “We hope that this summit serves to assist our industry partners to develop new digital marketing strategies. Belize still has a long way to go and for us, we aim to increase Belize’s footprints around the world. But to successfully do that, we need to develop our product and ensure that it’s of quality,” said Pike.

Ambergris Today

Students Awarded for Top Posters During Dental Health Week
Javier Gongora of San Pedro Roman Catholic School was the recipient of the first prize winnings from the poster competition that was held for primary school students in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, as part of the Ministry of Health’s observance of Dental Health Week in the country. On Friday, October 22, 2015, prizes were given out to the students who submitted the best posters with information that best represented the theme for 2015 – “Think Right – Smile Bright”. A small ceremony was held for the top students at the Dr. Otto Rodriquez San Pedro Poly Clinic where other top placing posters were displayed. Congratulations to all the participating students and the top winners: Javier Gongora - 1st Place San Pedro Roman Catholic School (Pictured Above) Samantha Ancona - 2nd Place ACES Swaynie Vellos - 3rd Place San Pedro Roman Catholic School

Inernational Achaeology Day Exhibit Brings Educational Fun
Today, October 23, 2015, the San Pedro House of Culture, in collaboration with the Institute of Archaeology and the Marco Gonzalez Archaeological Site celebrated International Archaeology Day. The event was hosted at the San Pedro House of Culture with displays of technologies used by the ancient Maya. Demonstrations were held from 10a.m. until 2p.m. The showcase was open to the public, especially to students (mandatory to all Standard 5 & 6 Student). It was a very educational and fun exhibit and we congratulate the efforts of the organizers. In honor of International Archaeology Day: Brought to you by: Marco Gonzalez Archaeological Reserve and the San Pedro House of Culture.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

The Phoenix weekly cleanup
We will be back with our weekly beach and street clean up this Saturday at 8am.Please meet us beachside in front of the resort where we will hand out bags and gloves to all volunteers and head south along the beach. Looking forward to seeing you all there

UDP Cayo South Office Burnt
Ralph Huang's office set on fire in Camalote Village on Thursday night. On 22.10.15 at 11:45 p.m., Roaring Creek Police responded to information of a house on fire in Camalote Village, Cayo District. The fire was extinguished by fire Department personnel, however, the entire interior of the building was destroyed. The owner of the building is 40-year-old Ralph Huang, the UDP standard bearer for the Cayo South constituency. The building was being used as his office. The building was 20X30 feet and valued at $24,500. The items inside the building were valued at $7,500.

BEL Distributes Care Packages to Families Afflicted by Flood in Belize City
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) is today distributing care packages to 165 Belize City families afflicted by the flood this past weekend, with the support of Unity Presbyterian School and the Community Policing Unit. These care packages contain toiletries, cleaning agents and snacks. The Community Policing Unit has assisted BEL in identifying families across Belize City, who are still in need of aid; and families, whose children attend Unity Presbyterian School on Antelope Street Extension are also receiving care packages. Many of the families being presented with care packages are residents of communities with a high rate of hazardous and improper or illegal electrical connections. Through this engagement, the Company expects to be able to guide residents, and assist where possible, on how to safely connect to BEL’s supply in these undeveloped communities.

Kids Halloween Party at Greedy's
Mr. Greedy's Pizza will be having their annual Halloween Party for kids on Friday, October 30th, starting at 5:00pm. They'll have a costume contest, a treasure hunt, and lots of fun for the kids. In related news, their annual Halloween Party, for the adults, will be on Halloween Saturday.

AQUILLA Tour Guide Training

Human Resources - Retention, Communication and Motivating Employees
Workshop Date: October 29th, 2015 9am to 12pm. Cost: $35.00 LOCATION: BTEC Building, ITVet Compound, Freetown Road, Belize City, Belize. This workshop will assist attendees in understanding and implementing strategies that will help to motivate their work force. This workshop is intended for new managers, especially those with direct reports, who are responsible for increasing employee motivation and job performance, Entrepreneurs who are starting or expanding their team, Entrepreneurs who would like basic information on how to recruit staff

Sandpiper Street getting paved
Work has commenced on the paving of Sandpiper Street. Its completion is projected to take about two weeks. We will be updating the progress as it nears completion.

FINALLY! My book...THE CENOTES OF THE RIVIERA MAYA 2016
By Steve Penn Gerrard. The book is available through Barnes & Noble and Amazon in soft cover, hard copy. The eBook is not ready yet, according to Page Publishing, but will soon. Order your copy and learn MUCH MORE about the cenotes of the Riviera Maya. After months of waiting...IT IS HERE! It is 640 pages, black and white with great information. ENJOY!

Benque Candle Making Workshop
The Benque House of Culture is having a Candle Making workshop this morning. "Skills & Knowledge Workshop starting Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m."

It's time to give some of the red loreds a shot at freedom
We chose to release these at BBR. There are 27 in total that have been with us for 18 -24 months and are fit and healthy, de-habituated, and at last ready to fly free. Due to the delicate history of these ex-captive parrots, we always do very soft soft-releases. The flight cage that the birds have called home for the last 12 months has a smaller 'catch' enclosure inside which enables us to catch the birds, carry out a final health check and then when everyone is in place, open up the door for release. The birds get to move at their own pace: some taking a cautious hour to start exploring outside, others a very painful 2 days, and now on day five, 6 birds have still not ventured out. And that's absolutely fine - it's their choice. Some are coming back to the cage to sleep at night, but most enjoy sleeping under the stars. All of them are returning to the feeders regularly, so we know they are all still alive and well (phew)

Dr. Jones and Archaeology in the Community are in Caye Caulker
Did you know that you can study archeological sites in the ocean? It's called maritime archeology.... Dr. Jones and Archaeology in the Community are in Caye Caulker - Belize today at the Ocean Academy High School doing outreach with students.

Channel 7

UDP Candidate Ralph Huang's Divisional Office Burned Down
Ralph Huang - he's the UDP candidate for Cayo South - and up until recently he had been an obscure part in the UDP's vast campaign machine. But earlier this week he burst unto national headlines when 7News confronted him about a Guatemalan nationality document bearing his name. And tonight he's back in the headlines because his headquarters in Camalote Village was burnt down early this morning. Neighbors tell us it happened after midnight - and two suspicious men were seen in the area. The wooden building was valued at $24,500 dollars and police are calling it arson. Today we spoke to Orin Smith, the station manager for the Belize National Fire Services about it:... Orin Smith, Station Mgr. Belize National Fire Service "On Thursday October 22, 2015 at approximately 11:59pm, the Belmopan branch of the national fire service receive and responded to a call of a structural fire in the village of Camalote, Cayo District. On arrival on scene the wooden structure approximately 3 feet off the ground was engulf in flames. The fire was later brought under control and extinguished. Preliminary investigations reveal that the fire originated on the verandah of the structure. Information received is that the structure was being utilized as an office for UDP area representative Mr. Huang." Daniel Ortiz "Can you describe for us the efforts you all made in trying to save the house? What was the nature of the flames? Was it already engulfed the entire structure?" Orin Smith, Station Mgr. Belize National Fire Service "Pretty much. The entire structure was pretty much engulfed. One tank of water was basically used to extinguish the fire."

Pawnshop Owner Shot Robber Four Times
The owner of Kephawn's Pawn shop at the bridgefoot shot an armed robber four times yesterday. Police say that City sanitation worker - 20-year-old Rocky Road Resident Phillip Anthony Barrera - was killed after he tried to hold up the jewelry store with a loaded nine-millimeter pistol. Security Video shows Barrera holding the gun - and the owner of the store responding with his own licensed weapon. Police filled in the blanks for us today:... Alden Dawson, OC - Police Precinct 2 "What we learn since then that Anthony Barrera and a second person entered the pawn shop where Anthony Barrera pointed a gun at the assistant to the owner of the business place while the second male person placed a bag on the counter and demanded that the owner of the business put all jewelry and cash inside the bag. Shortly after this demand was made, the owner of the business pulled out his license 9mm pistol and fired several shots, 4 of which caught Anthony Barrera who is now deceased."

Embattled, Disparaged, Denounced, Foreign Minister Still Unfazed and Unconcerned
Right now, Foreign Affairs Minister, Wilfred Elrington is a lightning rod for the opposition PUP. His name is used to invoke all that critics think is bad about the UDP. So, will all that negative advertising cause him to lose his seat in in Pickstock - where he is going for a third term? And is he a liability to the UDP? That's what we got a chance to ask him half an hour ago. We air most his extended comments unedited: We'll have more of that interview in next week Monday's newscast.

Patricia Pounds Southwestern Mexico
One week ago - it was raining all across Belize as we headed into a weekend of massive rainfall in the center and north of the country. This week, mercifully, there has been very little rain - so while you can count your blessings, you might also want to say a prayer for our neighbors in Western Mexico. One hour ago, the eye of Hurricane Patricia, the strongest hurricane ever recorded on the American continent made landfall on Mexico's southwest Pacific coast. The storm was packing winds of around 165 miles per hour when it made landfall, considerably slower from earlier speeds of 200 miles per hour. The storm has forced the closure of hotels, schools, airports and sent residents fleeing inland. The damage will be known by tomorrow, but tonight will be a rough one as the storm passes through. Patricia is considered an El Nino event which created very warm ocean waters allowing it to rise from a storm to a top of the scale category 5 hurricane in just 25 hours. The El Nino has also been blamed for Belize's drought.

Huang Opponent Espat Says Leave Him Be
At the top of the news, we showed you what Julius Espat had to say when we asked him if he had a hand in the arson and destruction of his political opponent's constituency building. So, what does he have to say about the documents we've shown you which says that Ralph Huang is a Guatemalan? Espat says it does not matter, and he wants Huang to remain his main opponent in Cayo South. Here's how he explained it: Julius Espat, Deputy Leader - PUP "I want him there. I need him there for the 4th November to show him and all his supporters what we will do and so I'm not even focusing on that. Our focus is to have him on the 4th November facing us and then we will make the difference then." As we've told you, Huang denies that he has Guatemalan nationality. The PUP's Cayo west candidate Doctora Lesbia Guerra - who was born in Guatemala - has been accused of the same thing - and she also denies.

Free Education from Pre-K to Sixth Form: Political Fantasy or Affordable Reality?
Free education from preschool to sixth form - it's one of the major planks of the PUP Power to the People Manifesto. And while it looks good on paper - is it realistic? The leader of the opposition - himself a former education minister says it is eminently so; not surprisingly, the current minister doesn't agree:.. Francis Fonseca, PUP Party Leader "For example free education from Pre-school to 6th form. When I was the minister of education I carried that analysis already of what it would cost. It would cost about 3 million dollars more at the primary school level, about 8 million dollars at high school and around 12 million dollars at the tertiary level, because tertiary level education is the most expensive. So the accurate picture is that we are looking at something like 23 million dollars in addition to the existing education budget to meet that commitment which is absolutely achievable. Not to mention all the waste that has been taking place over the last 8 years."

The Krooman Catchment And Those Living Above It
And while Faber can be an education policy wonk, right now he's principally the area representative for Collett where he's trying to win a fourth term. That campaign has been complicated by the famous flood of 2015 which inundated Collet - home of the Krooman Lagoon - which is also a natural water catchment area. But while it is a water catchment - it is also home to many residents living in the teeth of poverty, who teeter above Krooman in makeshift homes they have thrown together. They were most vulnerable and most affected by the flood, and tonight their area representative is meeting them. He told us that it is a perilous situation these people live in - and he'd like to propose an alternative:.. Patrick Faber, UDP Area Rep. Collet "This evening I will have a meeting again with the community that lives on the London bridges over the Krooman Lagoon and I will proposed certain things to them. I don't want to get into it now, because of couse I promise them that I will first discuss it with them any proposal that I have. So we will meet with them this evening and I am hoping that we can have a peaceful solution to that issue. But I will say this that in those discussions what will take the paramount spotlight for me is of course their safety. I know that there might be concerns about where they could continue to live or not live."

Belize - Chinese Give Back to Flood Affected Residents
And while Faber is meeting with Collet residents tonight - the Belize Chinese community has been collecting groceries for those affected by the storm. For the community, which usually sells groceries to the poorest communities - it is a chance to give back. The event is planned for tomorrow. We found out where and why:.. Police will be providing security for the donations - which start at 1:00 pm. BEL also did its part today by distributing care packages to 165 Belize City families at the Unity Presbyterian School. These care packages contain toiletries, cleaning agents and snacks. It's an important nexus because many of those families who got help are the same ones who are forced to make hazardous and illegal electricity connections. BEL says that through this engagement, the Company hopes to guide them on a path leading to safe connections.

UDP's Guadalupe Says She's No agronomist, But Know A Thing Or Two About Farming in OW South
Guadalupe Magana Dyck is the UDP's candidate for Orange Walk South - and while the Blue Creek resident she hasn't been much in the news - her opponent, the current PUP Area Representative Jose Mai has emerged as a national figure, the man calling out for help for grain farmers in his divisions whose corn and soybean crops were destroyed by drought. But Magana Dyck has been doing her thing in the background - and she says that they have directly addressed the drought issue:.. Lupe Magana Dyck - UDP Candidate - OW South "We had about almost over 100 farmers from Indian Creek and San Carlos and the meeting went pretty well. It was very open. They voice their concerns, they voice their issues and the government had been assisting them. If you been following we have gotten already 10 irrigation systems in for them tax exempted. So that is a big plus for them. At this point San Carlos and Indian Creek, the Ministry of Agriculture we had lobbied for them to work along with the farmers. Have a work plan schedule of what they are planting at the time and work with Belize Marketing Board so that there is no clash when those products are available. SO we have made a big step."

Can Gapi Deliver the North?
Orange Walk South is one of the five of eight seats in the north that the PUP control. By the opposition's estimation, if it is to win the November fourth election, it has to pick up six seats in the north - leaving the UDP with only two. UDP Deputy Leader Gaspar Vega is the man who has to roll back that blue tide and on Wednesday we asked him if he can:.. Jules Vasquez "You are the boss of the north for the UDP and it is perceive that you have the responsibility for delivering the north for the UDP. You failed to do that in 2012. Will you deliver on it in 2015?" Gaspar Vega, UDP Deputy Leader Gaspar "I am certain that the northern region will do better than we did in 2012." Jules Vasquez "Right now PUP has 5 of 8. After the election, how many will they have?" Gaspar Vega, UDP Deputy Leader Gaspar "They won't have as many as 5." The PUP currently control three seats in the Orange Walk District - and two seats in the Corozal district.

Learning the BTEC Way
This afternoon the Belize Training and Employment Centre held a small graduation for trainees who completed a Five Star Customer Service Training. The 13 day training started on October 5th and was designed to make the participants' more employable to work in the hospitality industry. 31 one certificates of completion was presented at today's ceremony. BTEC will be hosting a home healthcare training starting November 9th. Those interested can visit their office on the ITVET compound.

Effort Against Cancer In Kids Gets Support
The Belize Cancer Society received a cheque of over $22,000 today for kids with cancer. It was donated by an organization called "Children First and Last." The President of the Belize Cancer Society Lauren Tucker Longsworth told us how this money will provide better cancer treatment services for kids in Belize. While this donation goes a long way, there is still much to be done structurally. Longsworth further explained the challenges the country faces in terms of access to specialized doctors and cancer treatment. In terms of cancer statistics Longsworth told us that 2 children are diagnosed with cancer every month.

A Day For The UN
All around the world, today was celebrated as the 70th anniversary of the United Nations. The global agency has been instrumental in trying to foster social equality, peaceful co-existence, the ongoing eradication of poverty and suffering, healthcare access and the capacity growth of persons worldwide. And while the UN does have its critics, the Sustainable Development Goals is one of its proudest projects. We spoke with the UN Resident Coordinator about them:

BDF Commander Visits Marines For Cooperation
BDF Commander General David Jones visited the Marine Corps Base Camp in Lejeune, North Carolina from October 20th to 22nd. According to a release from the US Marines, he was there to learn about opportunities for Belizean soldiers to train alongside Marines, and, quote, "sustain enduring partnerships between the two countries in their efforts to counter transnational organized crime." End quote. The release adds that right now there is a security cooperation team of 25 Marines who currently live in Belize, and they are quote, "training a BDF company of troops in subjects such as land navigation and marksmanship skills." Jones is quoted as saying, "The strongest partnership we have in the fight against drugs and narcotics is with U.S. forces,…We want to play a larger role, and for us to do that, I need to better understand what our partners can provide and what we can bring to the table."

Channel 5

Who Torched U.D.P. Cayo South Candidate Ralph Huang’s Political Office?
Just before midnight on Thursday, the Camalote campaign office of U.D.P. Standard Bearer Ralph Huang was destroyed by fire and police are investigating the blaze as a case of arson. [...]

200 Immigrants Sworn In
In late September, two hundred plus persons became new Belizeans. The group of two hundred and thirteen persons from a diverse number of countries took the oath to become new [...]

Godwin Hulse Blah Blah Blah…
In the wake of the Penner passport scandal, the Immigration and Nationality Department has been walking on eggshells.  The ministry came under intense scrutiny amid the fiasco and since then, [...]

Anthony Phillip Barrera Killed in Attempted Robbery
Police are on the lookout for an alleged robber; the second suspect of an attempted robbery at the Commercial Center near the foot of the Swing Bridge in the City [...]

Bliss Institute Allowed To Deteriorate – Closed Due to Leaky Roof!
The Bliss Center for the Performing Arts is off limits. That’s the news tonight….it means activities at the dance studio and the auditorium have been canceled. The rains over the [...]

Belize Dance Company Put Out By Bliss Closure
As we said, one of immediate affected parties is the Belize National Dance Company. The group is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary. It was preparing for a celebration concert at the [...]

Maya Mopan Residents Say G.O.B. is Disrespecting Them and Abusing Their Communal Rights
The United Democratic Party is hosting a pre-election rally in Independence Village this weekend where keynote speaker, Prime Minister Dean Barrow is scheduled to deliver an address.  In preparation for [...]

He Sold Weed to Make Money to Pay for a Police Record
As incredible as it sounds, twenty-year old Maverick Akeem Forbes felt the need to commit a crime to get a fifteen-dollar police record. That’s what Forbes told Senior Magistrate Sharon [...]

3 Men Arrested for Drug Trafficking in Dangriga
Three men have been arrested for drug trafficking in Dangriga. On Wednesday police detained the trio while they were travelling in Toyota Fore runner. The vehicle was spotted and stopped [...]

Cancer Society Receives Donation for Paediatric Cancer
The month of October is dedicated to building awareness about cancer; at least ten percent of the population is affected by the disease.  Earlier today, the Belize Cancer Society received [...]

Arrangement Made With Merida Hospital to Treat Belizean Children
Now that the fund has grown to three hundred thousand plus dollars, the Belize Cancer Society has established a committee with key partners including pediatricians and representatives from the Karl [...]

U.D.P. OW North Candidate Gaspar Vega Says He Will Be Victorious
All the hype surrounding the campaign of Ramon Cervantes Junior does not downplay the challenge that he will be facing on November fourth. His extremely formidable foe is a three-time [...]

U.D.P. Cayo South Candidate Ralph Huang on the Campaign Trail
U.D.P. Cayo South Standard Bearer Ralph Huang continues to actively campaign in that constituency, even though his office in Camalote was destroyed by fire.  Huang is a newcomer to electoral [...]

P.U.P. Cayo South Candidate Julius Espat on the Campaign Trail
Sitting area rep Julius Espat is also leaving no stone unturned, he too is covering the expansive constituency one household at a time.  According to the People’s United Party deputy [...]

Aquila Trains Tour Guides in Belize City
The cruise industry’s top tour guide trainers are in Belize City this week. Representatives from the Aquila Center for Cruise Excellence and Tour Guide Training are here at the invitation [...]

B.T.B. Cruise Director Says Belize Needs a Cruise Port
The fact that Belize does not offer a mainland docking berth for ships remains one of the huge challenges in the industry looking forward. The time taken for tendering limits [...]

Monster Hurricane Patricia Makes Landfall in Mexico
All eyes are on Mexico tonight which is being battered by the strongest hurricane in history with wind gusts of two hundred and thirty miles an hour. Evacuation of persons [...]


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#508528 - 10/24/15 11:41 AM Re: Today's Belize News: October 24, 2015 [Re: Marty]
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LOVE FM

Police Updates Media on Robbery Gone Wrong
Belize City police are reviewing security camera footage, hoping to determine what exactly unfolded inside Kephawn’s Pawnshop at the Commercial Center in Belize City yesterday afternoon. The shooting incident drew a huge crowd that blocked traffic downtown. They too wanted to know what had happened. Inside the pawnshop was the body of 20-year-old Phillip Anthony […]

Shoman vs Faber in Collet
The Collet Division is one of thirty one electoral areas that will see voters coming out on November 4 to elect an Area Representative. Today, we met up with the two candidates for that area. The incumbent, Patrick Faber told us that he is not sure where his opponent is campaigning or what she is […]

FREE Education – Practical or Not?
A few days ago, the manifesto promises from the two main political parties were highlighted during a special ceremony held at their respective headquarters. One of the focuses of those manifestos was the issue of education and how they plan to address the needs in that area. The People’s United Party has pledged to provide […]

First Female President Appointed for SJC Junior College
Mirtha Peralta has been appointed to be the new President of Saint John’s College. Peralta is now the first female president to be appointed to the post. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Education from the University College of Belize and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of North Florida in […]

PlusTV

Banana Farm workers protest
Maya King Farms workers, about 700 of them, were protesting today because there is no more work at the banana plants. The banana workers held a two hour, peaceful protest at the Big Creek Port at the Head Quarters of Fyffes and Banana Grower’s Association. As we told you yesterday, Maya King’s only buyer, Fyffes , abruptly pulled out following a recent interview with Maya King’s Farm where John Zabaneh, the previous owner of Maya King, acted as the spokesperson for the company. Zabaneh is listed under the US Drug Kingpin list and that blacklisting was gravely affecting the company. The solution was to install a managerial company; Meridian Company ; but late last week, Fyffes informed Meridian that they will no longer be buying bananas from them. Meridian, who was already struggling to meet payroll, was left with no other choice but to inform their workers that they have no work for them. The workers are incensed and desperate. Today, we spoke with some of them who were protesting Fyffes decision.

Amandala

New passport controversy – “shades of Penner” scandal?
With general elections a mere two weeks away, another scandal involving passports began to unfold in San Ignacio Town on Tuesday after a bag containing a Belizean passport and several foreign-owned passports and other documents was discovered in a business establishment and handed over to police, who have not named the establishment. The discovery led to two days of protests in front of the San Ignacio Police Station by People’s United Party supporters who view the discovery of the passports with suspicion, because they were connected to a known United Democratic Party operative. This evening, Amandala spoke to the officer in charge of San Ignacio police, Superintendent Andrew Ramirez, who told us that the passports and documents were turned over to the Major Crimes Unit in Belmopan, and that he cannot make any comment.

5 houses crashed in storm
The owners of five houses which underwent either complete or partial collapse after not being able to withstand the onslaught of a low pressure system that passed over Belize over the weekend, are still struggling to regain some sense of normalcy in their lives and to pick up the pieces in the face of devastating loss. In the case of Kendra Smith, one of these five homeowners, her house on Jane Usher Boulevard was partially damaged. The verandah of the house was torn off, there are no stairs, and the upper portion of the house is leaning forward, and appears ready to come crashing down at any moment. At about 2:30 Tuesday afternoon, Smith was washing under the house, when the verandah and stairs collapsed and the house leaned forward.

US scares off Fyffes!
Today, a demonstration was staged in front of the offices of the Banana Growers Association, the exporter for Fyffes, in Independence Village, by hundreds of workers of Meridian Enterprise Limited, located in Mayan King Village. These workers, their families and other sympathetic supporters were protesting the recent move by Fyffes, an Irish multi-national business, to sever its business relationship with Meridian Enterprise—a decision which means that they are now out of a job, and suffering through no fault of their own. Fyffes has said that its decision follows reports that John Zabaneh, whom the United States of America had designated as a “drug kingpin” in 2012 over alleged ties to the Sinaloa Mexican drug cartel, has been connected with Meridian Enterprise. Zabaneh had formerly operated a banana business under Maya King Ltd.

Alleged pawnshop robber shot dead!
A shooting incident this afternoon in the downtown area of the city resulted in the death of a 20-year-old man, who allegedly had gone to rob a business establishment. Police have not yet issued a report on this incident, only saying that they will brief the press tomorrow, Friday. Around 1:30 p.m., traffic that was heading over the Swing Bridge had to be diverted from Bishop Street, at its junction with Regent Street, as police had sealed off the area while they processed the scene inside Kephawn’s Pawn Shop, located at the southern corner of the Belize City Commercial Center.

“Munchie” involved in murder plot, prisoner suddenly alleges
Three men who are accused of the brutal murder of Ramon Cervantes, Sr., appeared in the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court yesterday, Wednesday, for a preliminary inquiry to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence against them to commit them to stand trial in the Northern Session of the Supreme Court. As the paper committal hearing was nearing its end, however, one of the accused men, Noe Gonzalez, shocked the courtroom, causing an uproar when he told Senior Magistrate Merlene Moody that he wanted to address the court, which was an unusual request. The court prosecutor, Edwin Burallos, told the court that he hoped what was going to be said by the accused man had some bearing on the paper committal proceeding; otherwise he would object to allowing him to address the court, but the Senior Magistrate overruled him and allowed Gonzalez to speak.

54-year-old accused rapist of child, 13, remanded
Alphonso Wiltshire, 54, president of the San Pedro Taxi Association and a landlord of San Juan, was remanded to the Belize Central Prison on Friday in the San Pedro Magistrate’s Court on two counts of aggravated burglary and two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse for raping a 13-year-old girl. Police say that Wiltshire went into the girl’s home when she was alone, and raped her at gunpoint, threatening her life if she reported him to police. The girl, in the presence of her mother, told police that Wiltshire had raped her more than once, the first time occurring on Sunday, May 3. Wiltshire, she said, came into the home, showed her his gun and told her not to tell anyone, or he would kill her.

Editorial: Bullies at home and wimps abroad
In a couple days the people of Guatemala will vote in a run-off presidential election to decide between Jimmy Morales and Sandra Torres as their new President. Belizeans will have noted that whereas between February and August of this year, the temperature in Belize-Guatemala relations rose dangerously high, featuring repeated incidents at the mouth of the Sarstoon River and around the Sarstoon Island, since the resignation and arrest of Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina in September, things have quieted down substantially. We think Belizeans can expect the Guatemalan power structure, which is dominated by a continuing alliance between the Guatemalan business/industrial sector and the extraordinarily powerful Guatemalan military, to become aggressive again towards Belize once a new Guatemalan President is installed. The new President will be a civilian, but the nature of Guatemala’s very delicate democracy is such that any civilian President who defies the Guatemalan military would be behaving in a suicidal manner. This is a historical reality.

From the Publisher
I was struck by an opinion piece I read in the editorial pages of The New York Times’ issue of Saturday, October 10, 2015. The New York Times is the most prestigious newspaper in the United States of America, planet earth’s superpower. The opinion piece was written by Naomi Oreskes, a professor of the history of science at Harvard, the most prestigious university in the United States. Her opinion piece indicts Exxon Mobil, an oil company, for its perfidy where the matter of climate change is concerned. Exxon Mobil may be the largest, wealthiest, and most powerful business corporation in the United States. If it is not, it is close to being that. I will use my column this week to reproduce Professor Oreskes’ opinion piece, because the lesson is classic: corporations are so driven by their greed for profits that they are willing to sacrifice the good of humanity and the welfare of the planet itself. We saw this in the case of the tobacco industry, which spent decades and billions seeking to deny that cigarette smoking caused lung cancer and other illnesses.

On “nature and nurture …”
Dear Editor, I cannot remain silent in view of the suggestion in your editorial of 11 October entitled “Need and Greed” that the needy are inherently (at birth) unequal in gifts and talents. The editorial suggests a direct correlation between such inequalities and poverty. In reference to the late Prime Minister Mr. George Price, the editorial described him as always having a real concern for the poor; that in fact it appeared that Mr. Price had become a socialist, meaning Mr. Price believed that the state, the government, should work to ensure that the natural inequalities amongst Belizeans did not become cancerous. Please allow me the following in which I draw from many sources and from my own training and experiences in working with the poor. Your editorial came down in no uncertain terms on the side of nature in the debate on Nature vs Nurture. It stated that “in any field of endeavor, some humans will surge ahead of others and that is because of intrinsic inequalities in gifts and talents.” Yes, some people do better than others but is, it because of intrinsic inequalities in gifts and talents?

PUP launches “Power to the People” manifesto
This morning the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) launched its 2015-2019 Power to the People manifesto at its Independence Hall headquarters, where 30 of the 31 PUP standard bearers who are contesting the November 4 general elections were present. PUP Leader Francis Fonseca spoke about his party’s 10-point manifesto captioned “Urgent Matters.” In its introduction, Fonseca writes, “This manifesto is being presented at a time of great uncertainty. In our 34 years of independence, our neighbor to the west has become more belligerent in its unfounded claim to our country. “The hard work of the previous PUP administrations that consolidated our security and achieved Guatemalan recognition of our sovereignty has been jeopardized by the UDP government. Their irresponsible action of appeasement, in the face of aggression at the Sarstoon River, has created an unacceptable appearance of land cession in the south of our country.”

SCA on a roll
Game 1 in the best-of-3 games semifinal series for females (F) and males (M) of the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) 2015-2016 Volleyball Competition were played today at Bird’s Isle; and, thanks to sports director Ms. Barbara Cadle of the National Sports Council, we have the final scores for the 4 games played today. The first game started at 2:30 p.m., but, because 3 of the 4 games went beyond 3 sets, the last game of the evening was not completed until just after 9:00 p.m. tonight. And, as the scores indicate, it was an evening of excitement and tough competition, with two contests going to 4 sets, and one to all of 5 sets. Only traditional powerhouse SCA was able to cruise to an easy straight sets victory. Here are the scores: (F) SCA defeated ACC, 25-6, 25-11, 25-5; (F) Belize High def. Nazarene High, 25-17, 25-7, 24-26, 25-13; (M) SJC def. ACC, 25-23, 25-18, 23-25, 25-22; and (M) Belize High outlasted Ladyville Tech, 17-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-19, 18-16.

PLB playoff race tightens
Details are not in yet, but confirmed reports indicate that in last night’s back match played at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan to complete the first round of regular season in the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2015-2016 Opening Season, it was Belmopan Bandits with the 4-3 win over BDF. The win catapults the Bandits right into “the thick of things,” as the playoff race tightens going into the second round of regular season games. The second round begins this weekend with Week 6 games. Tonight, Verdes FC is facing San Franciso FC in Panama, to complete their CONCACAF Champions League 2015 participation. The scheduled Saturday night encounter between Verdes FC and Placencia Assassins FC is therefore still questionable.

Verdes loses 8-nil to San Francisco in Panama
Making it to the quarterfinals was already out of the question for Belize’s Verdes FC going into tonight’s final game in the CONCACAF Champions League group stage against San Francisco FC at the Estadio Maracana de Panama. But, after a 2-1 victory at home on September 22, Verdes was looking to end our first venture into this prestigious regional tournament on a good note; if not a victory, at least a respectable loss. It was neither. Unfortunately for Verdes and their praying fans back home in the Jewel, a disturbing pattern continued where, after a good showing at home, our team received a big score on foreign soil. After drawing 0-0 with Queretaro FC of Mexico at the FFB Stadium on August 18, Verdes promptly fell to Queretaro by an 8-0 margin on September 17 in Queretaro, Mexico. That was at high altitude; approximately 6,000 feet above sea level. Verdes promptly returned home, regrouped, and dealt the visiting San Francisco FC of Panama a 2-1 surprise a few days later on September 22 at our FFB Stadium. Panama would not be at high altitude like Mexico, so there were high hopes for Verdes going into tonight’s return match a month later; but those hopes were dashed early, as San Francisco came out blazing, taking a 1-0 lead at the 3rd minute, and adding 3 more by half-time, on their way to an 8-0 shelling, to match the score dealt Verdes by Queretaro.

UDP launches general elections manifesto
UDP party leader, Dean Barrow, and twenty-eight of the thirty-one standard bearers of that party, along with their supporters and the media gathered today at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City for the launch of the party’s manifesto, titled “The Best Is Yet To Come: UDP Third Term Agenda 2015-2020.” This is the party’s third manifesto in eight years and eight months, as it seeks to win an unprecedented third term. The event was chaired by Alberto August, Chairman of the party, who did the introduction of select speakers who spoke specifically about certain sections of the document. Douglas Singh, Chairman of the Public Policy and Platform Committee, was the first to present on the consultative process used by the party to come up with the largest manifesto ever to be published by the UDP. Singh said that the consultative process included the private sector forum, and focus groups from various sectors which make the document worthy of all stakeholders. Singh said that the manifesto reflects that the party “intends to continue building on our past success of the last two terms.”

The public isn’t concerned about the Guatemalan problem …” — Sedi
At Wednesday’s launch of the UDP Manifesto, no mention was made by the Party of the unfounded claim of Guatemala against Belize; one would have thought that so important an issue would have been given extra attention by the party’s spokespersons. When Amandala posed the question to those gathered on the stage, the amount of static energy created by the question was remarkable. Prime Minister Dean Barrow handed over the answering of the question to Hon. Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs, who immediately dived into a diatribe about the media in Belize. “The Belize-Guatemala issue”, he said, “at least at this time, is one of those creations of the media. It is not, in fact, an issue that the public is concerned about. It is a concern for only certain sections of the media.”

Gold panners still targeting Chiquibul’s wealth untold
Expensive gold nuggets continue to be pillaged from Belize’s Chiquibul Forest—evidently by Guatemalans who knowingly make illegal incursions across the border into Belizean territory. Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD), the conservation NGO which co-manages the Chiquibul National Park, notes that patrols from the Joint Forces Unit, which includes military and police, have seldom been successful in capturing gold panners. Recently, though, one Guatemalan, Eliseo Che Mucu, 35, of Monte Los Olivos, Dolores, Petén, was captured—while two of his accomplices escaped. Mucu—who was detained last Thursday, October 15, approximately 7 kilometers, or more than 4 miles, inside Belize in the Chiquibul National Park—was taken to court after he was found illegally panning for gold in the southern section of the park, according to FCD Executive Director, Rafael Manzanero. Mucu’s camp, which was located near the river but hidden in the forest, was searched and 3 vials containing what is believed to be gold were found. Each of the three vials is capable of holding several hundred dollars’ worth of gold.

Supreme Court denies Keyren Tzib’s bail application on medical grounds
Keyren Tzib and her attorney Darrell Bradley have been making the rounds of the Supreme Court, hoping to obtain a favorable outcome to a bail application filed seven weeks ago, but today, Justice John “Troadio” Gonzalez ruled to deny bail to Tzib based on evidence presented by a psychiatrist who examined her. Keyren Tzib, a Belize Coast Guard seaman who is on interdiction, accused of attempted murder and manslaughter in two separate incidents, has been described by psychiatrist Dr. Richard Olivera as suffering from bipolar disorder. Under cross-examination, Dr. Olivera told the court that if Tzib is provoked she would be violent to herself and others. During the lengthy bail application hearings, a number of submissions were made by Crown Counsel Sheiniza Smith, who opposed the granting of bail to Tzib on the grounds that she represents a danger to society and to herself.

The Reporter

Credit Union League holds financial literacy competition
Thirteen students from around the country gathered at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall on Friday to compete in the first ever National Fr. Marion Ganey Quiz Competition. The competition, hosted by the Belize Credit Union League in collaboration with member credit unions countrywide and the […]

Editorial
On November 4, the day Belizeans go to the polls to elect a new government 43, year old Justin Trudeau will be sworn in as Canada’s new Prime Minister. s. He has pledged that his Cabinet will be made up in equal numbers of men and women. Canadians feel the […]

Political promises released!
By Benjamin Flowers Staff Reporter The United Democratic Party (UDP) and the People’s United Party (PUP) both released party manifestos outlining each party’s plans and goals for the next five years if elected. And though some points were similar, the parties widely differed on other […]

Accused killer says Ramon the son paid to kill his Dad
In a macabre twist to an already horrific murder, one of the men accused of abducting and then killing Ramon Cervantes Sr., stood up in Court on Wednesday and told the Magistrate that the man who hired him to kill Cervantes was right there in the courtroom. He pointed to […]

Robbery turns deadly for one of three thieves
One of three robbers lost his life on Thursday, while holding up Kephawn’s Pawn Shop, on Albert Street in Belize City. The shop is owned by PUP representative, Gilroy Usher Sr., and it is reported that one of his sons was present at the […]

BTB hosts first annual Digital Marketing Summit
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB), this week hosted a Digital Marketing Summit and invited consultants from leading international brands to share expertise, mainly with tourism industry stakeholders, on the significance of developing digital-media strategies. Mynor Larrieu, BTB Digital Marketing manager said the event was […]

Sunscreen ingredient damages reef
An ingredient in sun screen is causing major damage to coral reefs, reveales a new study. A team of marine scientists from Virginia, Florida, Israel, the National Aquarium (US) and the US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration published the study on Tuesday, showing that the […]

Dialisis de Belice offers affordable care
A new kidney dialysis treatment facility, Dialisis de Belice, is introducing its services to Belize, offering dialysis at a significantly cheaper price than ordinarily is the case. Dialisis de Honduras’ Chief Executive Officer Patricia Molina and Chairman Donald Swendener joined Orange Walk Town Councilor Angel […]

Tourism on the rise, BTB says
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has reported a positive increase of tourism arrivals to the country in the third-quarter of the year. This was after the Board reported a decrease in overall arrivals through the first half of the year in comparison to 2014’s […]

ECLAC says tough decisions lie ahead
The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, ECLAC, this week called for countries to make economic adjustments in light of its prediction that the value of Latin American and Caribbean exports will decline. On Tuesday ECLAC presented its annual report “Latin America and […]

Youth sells weed in order to pay for police record
In order to pay for a police record which costs $15.00, a 20-year-old youth set out to sell 14 grams of weed. When the matter was taken to court, the presiding judge deemed the act ridiculous and remanded Maverick Akeem Forbes to prison for […]

Guatemalans running for office?
Two candidates for the upcoming General Elections have been cited by local media for having Guatemalan nationality. Ralph Huang, member of the United Democratic Party (UDP) for the Cayo South division, and Dr. Lesbia Guerra Cocom, People’s United Party (PUP) member for Cayo West, denied […]

Floods cause transport problems in the north
The Corozal-Chetumal border this past Sunday, was a chaotic scene as buses were advised to not cross over into Chetumal due to massive floods, which were caused by a low-pressure system that impacted much of Belize as well. Maria Dominguez, officer in charge of the […]

New Pediatric intensive Care unit opening at KHMH
After two years, the new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit is preparing to open at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. According to the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children (SEWC), the new facility is scheduled to open on Tuesday October 27. The specialized […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

BWS and BWSWU finalise Collective Bargaining Agreement
Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL) and the Belize Water Services Workers Union (BWSWU) has finalised a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), this according to release issued by the company today. The new CBA will be submitted to the Ministry of Labour for review before its formal signing. In […]

25 years of the Belize National Dance Company
As we told you yesterday, the Belize National Dance Company is marking its 25th or Silver anniversary of formation in 1990. Its 78 current members range from ages 3 to 16 for juniors and two groups of adults: the main company performers and affiliates who do not have […]

BEL delivers Care Packages
State-run electricity providers Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) says it is today distributing care packages to 165 families in Belize City affected this past weekend’s floods, supported by the Community Policing Unit of the Belize Police Department, Eastern Division, and Unity Presbyterian School. The police helped identify certain families around the […]

Patricia weakens slightly, still extremely dangerous
Hurricane Patricia, the strongest hurricane ever recorded, weakened slightly Friday as it barreled closer to Mexico’s Pacific coast, with sustained winds decreasing to 190 miles per hour (mph) and gusts to 235 mph. The storm began lashing the coast this evening with strong winds and rain as residents of areas near the […]

BDF visit Marine Camp
The website of the United States Marine Corps reports that leaders of the Belize Defence Force (BDF) visited the U.S. Marine Corps Forces South headquarters at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, U.S.A. earlier this week. BDF Commander Brigadier General David Jones led the group and said that for him, the visit […]

Belize and Pakistan establish diplomatic relations
Belize has a standing Indian community, but their neighbour Pakistan has never had diplomatic relations with us, that is until this week. In Mexico City on Wednesday, the governments of Belize and Pakistan, an Islamic republic, officially established diplomatic relations via a joint communiqué signed by Ambassador Oliver del Cid, based […]

Young men accused of handling stolen motorbikes
Two teenagers and two adult males are accused jointly of handling stolen goods, to wit two motorcycles, reported stolen and found in a yard. 18 year old , a construction worker of Mopan Street; 21 year old Leroy Sutherland, a mechanic of Vernon Street; and 22 year old […]

Kareem Smith accused of red-handed burglary
He was accused and acquitted along with his brother of causing murder and mayhem when a grenade was lobbed at a group of residents of Mayflower Street and surrounding areas seven years ago. But he returned to court today, this time accused of breaking into a home in […]

As elections near, the promises pour
The United Democratic Party (UDP) and People’s United Party (PUP), this week, both released their respective manifestos making many promises in an attempt to appeal to the voting public one last time before general elections, less than two weeks away. Each party’s plans and goals for the next five years, […]

Would-be robber shot dead
The body of 20-year-old Phillip Anthony Barrera was found lying on the ground with apparent gunshot wounds on Regent Street, Belize City, yesterday, October 22nd. Police arrived on the scene at around 2:05 p.m. and were told that Barrera and another male person were attempting to rob a pawn shop with a […]

Reported accident near Rumors Resort
Information reaching our newsroom is that a little after midday today, there was a traffic accident near Rumors Resort. Information is a bit sketchy at the moment. We will have more information as it is made available. Of note is that on September 22nd, 31-year-old Evelyn Kuylen, a Belizean […]

San Ignacio police warns residents to be vigilant
San Ignacio Officer in Command, Superintendent Andrew Ramirez, today issued an advisory to vehicle owners in that municipality. In his statement, Ramirez mentioned that, “while they are doing their best to stop crime they also need the public to be on high alert and report any suspicious activities. […]

Police and Fire Service investigate office burning; UDP “disappointed”
Police and Fire Service personnel are investigating a late night alleged arson at the office of 40 year old Ralph Huang, businessman and United Democratic Party standard bearer for Cayo South. Around 11:45 Thursday night, Roaring Creek police responded to information of a house on fire in neighbouring Camalote village. Fire Service personnel […]

Ralph Huang’s Cayo office burns
Reports coming out of the Cayo District suggest that the office of United Democratic Party (UDP) Standard Bearer for the Cayo South division, Ralph Huang, was destroyed by fire last night. The cause of the fire is still unknown as officials from the fire department are currently investigating, but some […]

Dilly Chris talks collab with Tanya Carter
Jamaican artist Dilly Chris recently collaborated with Belize’s Tanya Carter on a track called “Body Good”, which was produced by Vexxx Bad Records and the video was later shot in Fort Lauderdale, Florida where both Tanya and Dilly reside. The song has been getting a lot of local airplay and […]

Mexico braces for strongest hurricane in Western hemisphere
Early this morning, Hurricane Patricia became the most powerful tropical cyclone ever measured in the Western Hemisphere, with its maximum sustained winds reaching 200 miles per hour (mph). Patricia is currently heading towards Mexico’s Pacific Coast and is forecast to make landfall in the country’s Jalisco State this evening as […]

Blogs

Taking Flight in Belize
All the air vents pointed towards her blowing full blast, however she was still hot and visibly unsettled as we got about 10 minutes into the first flight. I can feel that familiar feeling of ‘Oh shit’ what can I do to try to make this better. How can I be supportive? How can I ensure that she won’t hate me for taking her on this plane? Her face is red and flushed. I get out the barf bag and show her where it is, and she tells me the Dramamine she took was expired, but her mom thought it would be ok. Her mom is a nurse who I’m now cursing in my head. We still have another flight after this, and then a long car ride; I realize it’s going to be a long day even though this is a relatively short distance to fly from Nebraska to Belize. Why do plane rides have to be so hard on these niece trips? Allie was never excited about flying. In fact one of her criteria for this Niece Project trip is that we didn’t fly far. At the time I didn’t understand, but after this incident – I was beginning to understand her fear of flying. Allie made it through the next flights in better condition and I stopped worrying a bit. Yet I did always keep a barf bag within my reach just in case. I let Allie sit in the front seat in a hope to stave off motion sickness when our guide Mike picked us up and we started on the 3 hour drive to the Belize jungle. Mike pointed out the signs for the Belize Zoo and he said that even though the zoo was closing shortly, if we wanted to go we could. I looked at Allie to see if she gave it the nod, and she didn’t really give me any indication what she wanted to do.

How To Be First In the ATM Cave Belize
We put on our helmets and tightened the strap. Allie was quiet as usual as we follow our guide Lenny down to the water’s edge and took our first look at what we were undertaking early this morning. The cave entrance is shaped like an hourglass and there is a pool of light blue water. It doesn’t look intimidating; it looks welcoming. Lenny turns and asks, “Can you swim?” We both answer yes. Yet I can’t help but think it’s a bit weird for him to ask us this question at this time in the tour. For the last hour, we’ve already trekked into the jungle, waded across waiste-deep rivers, and arrived at the cave entrance. There’s not a life jacket in sight. What was he going to do if we answered “No”? Our guide Lenny was very knowledgeable, but very dry in delivery. I was sort of hoping we’d have someone more charismatic so that it would create some excitement around this caving adventure, but you work with what you get. He was a bit like my niece Allie in a way – no nonsense, and doesn’t mince words unless you get her on the right subject. I pretty quickly learned that Lenny’s subject that he liked and would perk up a little about was history. So I kept asking him background questions about Mayan history and he entertained us for the long walk to the ATM cave. “You’ve got to love this,” I say to Allie, “you’re not the one getting asked a bunch of questions from me for once.”

Quick Trip to Unspoiled Tropical Paradise: Belize
A short flight south from the US will get you to a little-known treasure that boasts the second largest barrier reef in the world, lush tropical jungles, and abundant opportunities for adventure travel. And to make it even better, this eco-paradise is the only country in Central America where the official language is English. This shouldn’t be a surprise since nearby Belize was once a British colony. At one time, Belize was home to pirates who sought refuge from the Spanish fleet. After raiding gold-laden Spanish galleons, the pirates would dart through the sharp coral reefs and hide up the country’s many jungle rivers. Life in Belize is laid back and relaxed. In fact, everything is easy here. Everyone speaks English, and you can use your U.S dollars for all purchases. While the Belizean dollar still has the Queen of England on it, all the stores, restaurants and hotels take U.S. currency. Most things are priced in Belize dollars (except hotels), but it’s easy to figure out your bill because the exchange rate is simply two to one. So just divide all prices by two to get the price in U.S dollars. Regardless of whether you pay with Belize dollars or U.S. dollars, they’ll give you your change in Belize dollars.

SHRIMPS SPECIAL
Peel shrimp leaving the tail. Then open the back and remove the veins. Season shrimps with salt and black pepper to taste. The tomato is cooked and liquefied with garlic, oregano and seasoning. Fry the shrimp in butter and add the liquid. Roast the peppers, cut into strips and add to the stew with Chihuahua cheese until cheese is brown and crunchy. Serve with white or brown rice.

Flights to Belize Starting at $299 RT!
Belize has been a trending destination for travelers from around the world. With the introduction of flights out of Houston, TX being operated by Southwest Airlines, the industry has seen tremendous competition among the carriers that has lead to cheaper flights & easier points of access. We have been keeping an eye on airline tickets to Belize on AirfareWatchdog – airline tickets price tracker.

SWEET AND SOUR BEEF
• Heat oil in 3-4 liters pressure cooker. When hot, add the meat, season with salt and pepper. Add the onion and garlic and stir and let it cook for half a minute. Add green chili, peppers, carrots, zucchini and potatoes. Stir to mix. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, ketchup, mustard, vinegar, honey, grated ginger and stir. Season everything with salt and black pepper. Stir ti mix well.

Finn Kardashian Takes on SouthEast Asia 6.0: The Islands of Thailand (The Thai-slands)
I am currently in Vietnam and having the time of my life. Sorry for the late post but I’ve been on the road A LOT and Wi-Fi is bad at times. From Airplanes, Trains, Boats, Shuttles, the backpacker life is HARSH LOL. The last 2 weeks, we had been visiting THE ISLANDS OF THAILAND. ANd they are simply beautiful.

International Sourcesizz

Stunning, Historic, Mind-Boggling, and Catastrophic: Hurricane Patricia Hits 200 mph
Stunning, historic, mind-boggling, and catastrophic: that sums up Hurricane Patricia, which intensified to an incredible-strength Category 5 storm with 200 mph winds overnight. At 2:46 am EDT October 23, 2015 an Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft measured a central pressure of 880 mb in Patricia, making it the most intense hurricane ever observed in the Western Hemisphere. The aircraft measured surface winds of 200 mph, which are the highest reliably-measured surface winds on record for a tropical cyclone, anywhere on the Earth. The previous strongest Eastern Pacific hurricane was Hurricane Linda of 1997, with a pressure of 902 mb (estimated from satellite imagery.) The strongest Atlantic hurricane on record was Hurricane Wilma of 2005, with an 882 mb central pressure. Patricia does not beat the record-lowest pressure in the Western Pacific, though, which is held by Super Typhoon Tip of 1979: 870 mb.

Category 5 Hurricane Patricia Hitting Mexico's Pacific Coast
Incredibly strong Hurricane Patricia is barreling ashore on the Southwest coast of Mexico near La Manzanilla as a Category 5 storm. At 5 pm EDT Friday, NHC put Patricia's intensity at 190 mph winds. Early on Friday morning, Patricia reached a remarkable intensity of 200 mph sustained winds, which the storm maintained for 12 hours. These are the highest reliably-measured surface winds on record for a tropical cyclone, anywhere on the Earth. At 2:30 pm Friday afternoon, October 23, 2015, a NOAA hurricane hunter aircraft measured a central pressure of 879 mb--the lowest pressure ever measured in a hurricane in the Western Hemisphere. The previous strongest Eastern Pacific hurricane was Hurricane Linda of 1997, with a pressure of 902 mb (estimated from satellite imagery), and the strongest Atlantic hurricane on record was Hurricane Wilma of 2005, with 882 mb. Patricia does not beat the record-lowest pressure in the Western Pacific, though, which is held by Super Typhoon Tip of 1979: 870 mb.

Belize Defence Force leaders visit Camp Lejeune
Leaders from U.S. Marine Corps Forces-South, and the Belize Defence Force visited II Marine Expeditionary Force and the School of Infantry–East as part of a three-day visit to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Oct. 20-22. The purpose of the visit was to assess the capabilities of U.S. forces, discern opportunities for Belize forces to train alongside Marines, and sustain enduring partnerships between the two countries in their efforts to counter transnational organized crime. “The training we’re doing with the Belize Defence Force right now is we have a security cooperation team of 25 Marines who are currently living in Belize,” said Brig. Gen. Eric M. Smith, the commander of MARFORSOUTH. “Our Marines are training a BDF company of troops in subjects such as land navigation and marksmanship skills.” MARFORSOUTH recently deployed Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force –Southern Command, based out of Honduras, in June. SPMAGTF-SC is tasked with conducting security cooperation, providing training and support to partner nations for Countering Transnational Organized Crime and providing limited humanitarian assistance and disaster relief during the Atlantic hurricane season.

Welcome to the jungle for the Coldstream Guards and the WMN
The Western Morning News will be exploring more about the Coldstream Guards’ strong ties to the South West and how Coldstreamers prepare for combat, as they have done on foot, by vehicle and by air in recent times, when the newspaper joins the regiment on a jungle training exercise in the rainforest of Belize in Central America. David Wells, a senior news editor, will be joining Exercise Mayan Warrior, to learn how Coldstreamers train in the jungle, one of the toughest environments on the planet – with Caribbean Sea shorelines to the east and dense jungle inland. The jungle is often extremely difficult to navigate, while finding food, water and shelter is no easy task, so learning to survive and managing military operations under the canopy is an essential skill for troops going out into the field. And when it comes to army training, the jungle of Belize is undoubtedly a tough place to go on exercise – it is hot and humid, in thick forest, with venomous snakes, deadly spiders, and with rivers full of crocodiles, among other challenges – providing a range of tactical obstacles for soldiers to overcome. The modern Coldstreamer has to be equipped with these skills to maintain the flexible nature of the regiment, which has been developed over the centuries, in order to respond to its call of duty anywhere in the world, at any time.

Videos

  • Belize Video, 2min. from Living Streams, Dangriga Project

  • Kriol Proverbs of Belize, 1min. The students of Standard VI welcome Belize's Governor-General and Head of State, Sir Colville Young to St. Andrew's School by reciting some classic Kriol proverbs. See if you can pick out their meaning!

  • Hóffy & Curt in Belize, 8.5min. Our diving trip to Turneffe Island

  • Mana Kai San Ignacio Belize, 5min. My home for the next little while...

  • Belize Manatees, 3.5min.

  • The LadySong Show - Oct 22, 2015 - Belize Flood Drive, 14min. LadySong talks to Margaret Usher (President of the Belize Association) and Georgia Brown Gillette (Immigration Attorney) about the Belize Fund Relief Telethon.

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    We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
    Conch Shell Inn: All rooms are right on the beach in the heart of San Pedro, so within walking distance to anything and everything!!
    Lil’ Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
    Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
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