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#509603 - 12/02/15 05:47 AM Today's Belize News: December 2, 2015
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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Community Mural brightens up Town
San Ignacio Town has always been a beautiful community, but it seems the sun is shining a little bit brighter in Cayo since the installment of its newest addition “A Painted Conversation.” The gorgeous mural showcases amazing talent and definitely exudes waves of warmth, that just gives everybody that warm fuzzy feeling inside! The project was spearheaded by leading artist Natalia Pilato of Penn State University School of Visual Arts in the USA, and was made possible through a collaboration of students from Galen University, generous sponsors and the residents of all ages from San Ignacio Town. The mural was originally a part of Natalia’s dissertation research for her PhD in art education and was started in November 2014 and completed on November 27th,2015! The mural which is a collage of photos and drawings were traced and painted by over 175 people ranging in age from 7-71 from Belize and around the world! The concept of the mural was the result of a survey done by Galen University students which asked residents of the tranquil town what they considered their biggest assets.

Ambergris Today

$2,500 to the San Pedro AIDS Commission
Mayor Daniel Guerrero presented a check of $2,500 to the San Pedro AIDS Commission in support of the groups positive efforts in the island community to raise awareness and spread information about HIV/AIDS. The Annual AIDS Walk took place immediately after, through the main streets of downtown San Pedro in commemoration of WORLD AIDS DAY.

Town Council Starts Relocation of Artisans from Central Park
The San Pedro Town Council is in the process of restructuring and renovating the San Pedro Central Park, as well as relocating the artisans. It was the intention of the SPTC to have completed the process before the Christmas Season but after re-evaluation and in order to put the right measures in place, the artisans will be relocated on the first working day of the year 2016. Following a meeting with the park artisans, the SPTC has decided to place some of the artisans on the beach directly in front of the park. This was done to ensure that the artisans were not disenfranchised for the Christmas Season since it is considered one of the busiest times for them. All parties are cognizant of the need to have the park completely free for the entire month of December and available for our families to enjoy during the Christmas Season. As such, the artisans were asked to temporarily relocate to the beach for one month. In addition, the delay will give The SPTC enough time to ensure that the new artisan area is completed with the right facilities as was originally envisioned.

25 Years Ago - Remembering When WE USED TO… in San Pedro Village No. 8
NAMES OF BOATS: Thunderbolt, La Gabiota, La Pachanga, Seaduced, Still Catching Dreams- these are a few modern names given to various boats in San Pedro. The families in San Pedro of yester years would have probably made a big fuss if the men in the families opted to such fancy names as these. We USED to do things differently in San Pedro. It was very simple but meaningful. These are the names given to boats in the fishing village of San Pedro: Marisela, Luisa, Carmelita, Teresita, Patsy, Martha, Anita, La Lupita, Zeida, Kathy, Mirtha, Leni, Nitty, Bertha, Alice, Luisita, and of course, Elsa P and Ema V. You have probably guessed by now that these were the names of wives and daughters in the families.
MAKING FISHING NETS: There USED TO BE cast nets (tarralla), gill nets (red para tiburones), seines (red para lanciar), and there was also the bait and shad scoops, (jamo). Most children and teens today do not know how these fishing nets look like nor their uses. Well in days gone by we not only learned to use these fishing nets, but also to fabricate them. It was called the art of “Tejer una red” or the art of knitting fishing nets. Actually from an early age, perhaps about ten years old, children were taught by their dads how to make fishing nets.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

UB Open Day 2015
Beltraide was among over 20 exhibitors at the University of Belize’s Second Science Open Day & Expo, which was held on Friday, 27th November at the UB campus in Belmopan. Hundreds of university, visiting primary and high school students had the opportunity to learn more about the services being offered by Beltraide. Beltraide is the Government’s main agency for attracting new investors to Belize as well as assisting local businessmen to improve their products and services. Beltraide also offers a myriad of services to small and potential businessmen through its Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) and the Belize Training & Education Centre (BTEC), which are based in Belize City.

San Pedro Township Day
On Friday, November 27, 2015, San Pedro Town celebrated 31 years of achieving its township back in 1984 under the leadership of Mr. Gilberto "Chico" Gomez. This year, the San Pedro Town Council took an educational approach to its township celebrations as we had an Open House day where all residents and visitors were invited to visit the offices of the town council and witness the renovations that have and are still taking place as well as to find out the daily operations of the staff in the town council. The upper-divisions of all schools were invited to participate in the Open House where they learned interesting facts about San Pedro and its founders. Both teachers and students were very amazed at how what once was the town's water tank is now the Town Council's file room and design and print room. (P.S. like 20+ years ago, the town council had a built in water tank, made of concrete, that used to supply water for the entire town back in its days.)

Thank you from Ocean Academy
On behalf of Ocean Academy, we would like to say a big THANK YOU to all our business sponsors!!! Thank you to: Fantasy Wine & Dine, Marin's D Zine, Healing Touch Spa, Rosado's Butane, T & C Supermarket, Purple Passion Beauty Salon, M & N Hotel & Apartments, Convenience Store, Rose's Grill & Bar, REMAX Island Real Estate, Auntie's Take out Food, Barrier Reef Cable System, Esley Usher Fishing Tours, Caribbean Colors Art Cafe, Panchos Villas, Yuma's House, Caye Caulker Village Council, Caye Caulker Plaza Hotel, J & Sons Xtreme Carts, Caye Caulker Bakery, Buddy's Golfcart Rental, De Real Macaw, Land of the Lazy Lizard, E-Z Boy Tours, La Cubana, St. Francis Xavier Credit Union, Pasta Per Caso, Sip n Dip Beach Bar, Dirty Mc Nasty's Hotel, The Little Blue Giftshop, Costs Maya Beach, Caye Reef Condos, Bahia Convenient Store, Rapidito Construction Depot, Blue Sea Dive Service, Island Magic, Amanda's Place, Anchorage Resort, Bondi, Sea Side Cabanas, The Dreaded Grape Fine Wine & Cheese, Habaneros, Hicacenos Store, Caye Caulker Fuels, Amigos Store, Friendship Store, !

Power interruptions 5:00am to 5:15am & 4:45pm to 5:00pm, Sunday, December 6 Belize City
Inclusive of all areas up to Mile 1 on Philip Goldson Highway and Mile 1 on George Price Highway. BEL to conduct climbing inspections of the transmission system & facilitate pile driving for the Ministry of Works.

Cayo Art Festival 2015
The SISE House of Culture celebrated their 5th anniversary with the Cayo Art Festival last Saturday at the Cayo Welcome Center. Everyone had a great time, especially the kids: lots of clown fun was had. There was great food, and lots of art for everyone to enjoy. Happy anniversary, SISE HoC! Crystal Paradise got some great shots of the art.

Congratulations to Ocean Academy
Ocean Academy has been an Adobe Youth Voices partner school for three years. Alumni Yvon Noralez won a prestigious Adobe Creativity Scholarship, and Mathew was a youth Ambassador who participated in international youth webinars.

ITZ’ANA Ground Breaking
Beltraide continues to enhance Belize’s prosperity by fostering investor confidence and creating an enabling business environment. As part of this effort, members of Beltraide attended a ground breaking ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 18th at Itz’ana Resort and Residences in Placencia. The event was attended by key players in the tourism industry as well as representatives of various government departments. Mrs Kim Simplis-Barrow, wife of Prime Minister Barrow, was among the special invited guests. Itz’ana proposes to develop a high-end resort occupying 20 acres of land which lies approximately 1 mile south of Seine Bight Village; The resort will be equipped with 115 rooms and villas planned over 2 phases of development; Official opening will be in December 2016 with 65 rooms available; the remaining 50 villas will be constructed by July 2017; Projected employment in excess of 300 full time employees at full operation

Sub-regional Workshop on Development of Competencies for Nursing Educators to be held in Belize
The Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in cooperation with the Ministry of Health will be hosting a sub-regional workshop on the development of competencies for nursing educators from December 2nd to 4th at the Princess Ramada Hotel in Belize City. The overall objective of the workshop is to review, update and develop a plan of action for nursing and midwifery competencies. The process is geared towards the strengthening of these competencies within a specific timeline in the Caribbean region. Participants in the workshop will include chief nursing officers and nursing educators from throughout the region. Facilitators will include technical personnel from PAHO-Washington, D.C. and WHO-Geneva.

Government of Belize Bans Offshore Exploration in and around all Seven World Heritage Sites
Cabinet at its meeting today, Tuesday, December 1, 2015, approved a policy that will legally apply a ban on offshore exploration in areas along the Belize Barrier Reef System, and within the seven (7) World Heritage Sites in Belize. Cabinet has agreed to specifically ban offshore exploration in all 7 World Heritage Sites: 1. Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve and National Park 2. Caye Caulker Marine Reserve and National Park 3. Lighthouse Reef Natural Monument 4. South Water Caye Marine Reserve 5. Laughing Bird Caye National Park 6. Glovers Reef Marine Reserve 7. Sapodilla Caye Marine Reserve This effectively results in a total of 448 square miles being banned. In addition, Cabinet agreed to a ban offshore exploration within one kilometer on either side of the Belizean Barrier Reef System, resulting in an additional 868 square miles falling under the offshore exploration ban. The total area covered by the ban is 842,714 acres or 1,316 square miles.

Poets Corner: Gross negligence!
By Abdulamajeed K Nunez. Playful screams turn into horror A plan to get attention has turned sour This is typical of jail culture Doing things to get the attention of their jailers Where the hell was the supervising officer? The police say they have a task force investigating the matter This is manslaughter Can you imagine the horror under which these three juveniles died While the media tries To propagandize To play it off as group suicide Dont believe their lies They were charred beyond the point their parents can recognize So horrified, the press of the fire popped out one’s eyes Another was holding her intestines

Trivia Night! on Caye Caulker
Come join the fun every Sunday and Wednesday! Test your knowledge of useless facts, have a laugh, and win money towards your bar bill! Always a great time - Fun,…Location : Barrier Reef Sports Bar & GrillStart Date: December 2, 2015End Date: December 2, 2015Time: 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge 2016
The 2016 Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge is only 80 days away. The MMAC is not only a fun adventure. One of the goals is to raise over $500,000 for the Friends for Conservation and Development so they can better protect the Chiquibul. Cahal Pech Village Resort is one of the hosts, and many of the teams will be staying there. "Your donation will help to put more park rangers on the ground for FCD. Currently there are 7 park rangers. The telethon’s target was to raise BZ$500,000 to provide 24 park rangers in the area and kick-start the Adopt A Ranger Program for Chiquibul National Park. By the end of the telethon, we met 65% of our target, and we continue to accept contributions toward this effort."

Will Belizean sports ever come back to what it use to be before? Inquiring minds would like to know. As the new year approaches, and 2015 is about to call it a wrap, Belize and Belizeans are hoping for a new sun to shine again on the glorious days of Belizeean sports, and the rise and resurrection of the Belizean spectacular athlete who once made Belize the great nation it once use to be. Let's keep hope alive, but with cautious optimism. Let there be Belize's sports resurrection!

Channel 7

Mystery Plane Crashed and Burned, What's The Story?
Tonight police are trying to unravel the mystery behind a plane that was found burned west of Spanish Lookout. Information suggests that the plane was heard circling over Spanish Lookout without lights at 1:30 this morning. And then, this morning it was found like this on a farm road in the Green Hills area near Aguacate Creek. But it's not a crash landing, and no one died, police believe it was a drug plane, abandoned deliberately torched. Police and Civil Aviation were called to the scene and they have determined that it was a single engine Cessna 210. But they haven't been able to tell much else because the plane is burnt beyond recognition. Police are almost certain it was used for the transport of drugs - most likely across the Guatemala which is not very far from Aguacate Creek. After the drug cargo was transferred - police believe the occupants deliberately burned the plane to destroy the evidence. This also confirms to police that the cargo was more valuable than the plane. Police believe that a local landing crew was likely involved and are treating it as an open investigation.

Youth Hostel Investigation Begins, There's A Lot To Look At
The independent investigation led by former Magistrate Margaret Nicholas into the events of Saturday November 28 at the Youth Hostel is officially underway. We have confirmed that she has already requested and been provided with key documents. And while her investigation is expected to center on the multiple breakdowns that led to three girls being burned, one of the things she may also want to look into is the chaos that erupted in the hostel compound in the immediate aftermath of the fire. As we showed you last night - a young girl came within a few feet of jumping from the roof of another building - when other youths saved her from what looked to be a suicide attempt. Through all this - one wonders - who was in charge - where were the adults? We asked the CEO that same question yesterday:... Jules Vasquez "One more life was almost lost right after, one of the girls climbed on the roof and she was starting to slide down when a young boy grabbed her and pulled her back after the chaos ensued. Was there a complete loss of control? We heard glass breaking. We know the police had been brought in to put all the girls in one room. What happened after that?"

CEO Alpuche: You Can Help Hostel
That was yesterday - and today CEO Alpuche seems to have had a brainstorm. She wants to harness all that public outcry that's been ventilated on Facebook and other social media to try and make things better at the hostel. True enough, it's a place most of us would rather forget - until a tragedy like this occurs - and then everyone turns instant expert on what was wrong all along... Well, Alpuche says the hostel needs that expertise and that energy - so she today made a call to action. Here's her pitch:... Judith Alpuche, CEO - Min. Of Human Development "And I was looking at some of the comments from social media and it struck me that I am seeing the outrage and the empathy and the sympathy and the sadness and it struck me that this is energy. And what we need is more energy, positively harnessed and directed constructed and on behalf of our children. We need more energy and I saw people commenting about the skill sets that they had - like they were psychologist with experience in dealing with this population.

PUP Pulls Petrocaribe: Was It All A Misbegotten Misadventure
About 4 months ago, we told you about how the PUP's Petrocaribe Lawsuit appeared to be losing steam. As viewers may remember, this is the case where Julius Espat, the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, was suing Prime Minister Barrow and the Government over the legality of the Petrocaribe Spending. At the end of July, coming off the bruising and divisive bye-election defeat in Dangriga, the attorneys on record pulled out - leaving the case on life support. Well, today, after a decisive general election victory for the UDP, we found out that the case had been withdrawn. We caught up with the main claimant, Julius Espat, and he told us that he chose to simply pull the plug because the voters have spoken on November 4: Hon. Julius Espat, Claimant: "It's a complex explanation. But it's a combination of listening to the advice of the attorney and also listening to the people of Belize. The first one is that the attorney has advised us that basically because the law was changed two times to accommodate what was done, it was not worth the while continuing. In reality the only thing pending is the retrospective supplementary appropriation and that continues to happen as we move along. We believe that that portion and that part of it is also important and we shouldn't have it mixed up with the whole scenario of just Petrocaribe. Because the retrospective supplementary appropriation is not only just about Petrocaribe.

Julius Doesn't Want Leadership
While we had the opportunity, we asked Espat if he will offer himself as leader of the PUP at the upcoming PUP National Convention. Espat, along with John Briceno, Cordel Hyde, Kareeem Musa, and Lisa Shoman are the names that have been mentioned as possible replacements for Francis Fonseca. Today, he told us that he has no aspirations for leadership right now because he has to place all his focus on his Cayo South Constituency. Here's how he explained it: Hon. Julius Espat: "From the beginning I never decide to pursue it. So I don't know where that story comes from. People were asking me and they assumed that I would pursue it. In life you have to listen to people and as politician more than anybody you have to listen to advice. I have done my own calculations, I have done my own analysis, I have spoken to my leaders in Cayo South, I have spoken with my national advisors if you want to call it that way and we believe at this time it is best for me to spend more time in Cayo South. There are so many issues that are there that needs attention and we have to fight for people.

A Fiery Starter Caused Burning Bus
A burning bus at mile 60 on the Western Highway caught a lot of attention this morning. The eastbound Westline Bus was seen being consumed by torrid flames near Orange Gallery. It made for some dramatic picture, and here's what happened. First off, none of the 45 passengers was hurt. Manager of Westline, Usbaldo Castillo told 7News that the bus is a 5:00 am charter which runs from Benque to Santander in Valley of Peace. But at 5:45, nearing mile 60, the driver detected the scent of something burning. He pulled over and saw heavy smoke billowing form under the engine. He got all the passengers off the bus - and saw that a wire from the starter to the engine was on fire. From there most of the fire had spread to the engine and engine cover. He tried to contain the fire but wasn't able to - and it consumed the bus. The workers, 40 men and 5 women were transported on another bus. Castillo tells us that the bus had just come out of the garage the night before where a new transmission was installed. It was taken for a test drive last night and deemed to be road worthy.

World AIDS Day: Let's Talk About Sex
Usually for young people, discussions about sex and sexually transmitted diseases are confined to Health Science class. In most cases, it's not freely addressed by parents at home and when it is, the "touchy subject" is usually approached more delicately. But today the coordinators of the National HIV/AIDS Youth Symposium said sexuality and sexual practices must be thoroughly explored. The symposium was held at the UB Jaguar Auditorium in Belmopan and Courtney Weatherburne was there. She found out just how complex and "multilayered" talking about sex can be. Based on statistics, there were 221 new HIV cases in 2014 and for this year so far from January to June, there has been 98 new cases of HIV. Young people between the age of 15 and 24 are considered at highest risk.

Cubans Caught In Legal Limbo Held In Bze Prison
Back in August, we told you about 20+ Cubans who were caught illegally in Belize. They were suspected of being part of a human trafficking movement through this country with their final destination being America. Well, right now, they remain on lockdown where is probably the only place they can be because they're caught in a legal limbo where they can't go back home, and they can't be set free. We understand from sources that the number has increased to 30, and they're all waiting on lockdown for the Government to decide what to do with them. So, why can't they go home? Well, informed observers tell us that Cuba has specific laws prohibiting illegal exits from the country without proper documentation, and once they do that… they are considered by their Government as "persona non-grata", and they can't go back to their country for another 8 years. So, while the Immigration Department would simply want to ship them home, it can't do that. We understand also that these Cubans do not want to go back home. So, because there is nowhere to keep them, the Prison has them held, but that cannot be a long-term fix.

The Nina Situation Normalized
Two weeks ago, we told you about baby Nina and the international custody battle between her Guatemalan father and her Belizean mother. The child was caught in the middle and put in foster care while the case worked its way through the courts. Well, the good news is that the court process is being accelerated and the icy relations between the department of human development and Nina's mom is thawing out. The CEO told us more yesterday:... Judith Alpuche, CEO - Min. Of Human Development "With baby Nina, the matter is that we are hoping to get a court date this week, because we are moving up the case. It was initially that we got interim custody for two months. We never want to have custody of children any longer than we need to and so quite in keeping with what we do we are moving up the date. As I said our lawyer is working very hard to get a court date for this week and so the court will hear the matter and make a determination." Reporter "The baby is with whom at this time?" Judith Alpuche, CEO - Min. Of Human Development "The child has been placed in foster care with a relative. The mother is allowed visitation. There is structured visitation agreement. She has visitation daily."

Being Caught With Contraband Costs A Man
A man has to pay the court over $13,000 dollars after being caught with contraband. 28 year old Sergio Chi was caught in late July of this year with 21 sacks of onion, 10 cases of tomatoes, 2 sacks of sweet pepper, 10 cases of corn flour and 4 sacks of cabbage. He had agreed to settle the matter out of court but he failed to do so and eluded the police for months. Well they caught up with him and he was taken to court today. He appeared before Magistrate Deborah Rogers in Court 3 where he wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the offense of uncustomed goods. He now has to pay $13,245.00 plus a $5.00 cost of court by December 2016, or in default, 6 months imprisonment. Chi asked the court for leniency since he recently got a job a week ago and claims he has a child to maintain but can pay his fine if given more time. Magistrate Rogers informed him that if he is unable to pay the fine in full within a year, he can ask the court for an extension if he has been making significant payments towards his fine.

Government Implements Ban On Offshore Drilling
5 years, that's how long the conservationists have been pressing the Barrow Government to institute a permanent Ban on Offshore Oil Drilling. But, it was not so simple because oil exploration contracts were already signed with different private companies, and so if the Government simply instituted a moratorium, they would be effectively be terminating these contracts - and thereby opening up the country to lawsuits for breech of contract. So, late this year when all the oil exploration contracts expired, the Government chose not to renew any of them, especially in the environmentally sensitive areas, such as the marine reserves. Since then, the Oceana Belize and other conservationists have been lobbying in the halls of power for the Barrow Government to issue a permanent ban.

An Inspiring Calendar
Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Barrow today launched the 2016 Inspiration Calendar and Agenda. The launch was held today at the Inspiration Center, where Barrow explained that it's a fundraiser, and also an awareness raiser: The Taiwanese Ambassador also handed over a 68 thousand dollar check for the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Isolation room. The calendar is available at the Inspiration Center and the agendas at McNab design.

Phillip Brackett Passes
Tonight we note the passing of well-known former politician and transport commissioner Phillip Brackett. The 53 year old - who was stricken with diabetes - died in Los Angeles over the weekend. But, it wasn't diabetes that killed him; it was an accidental fall. Brackett's two legs had been amputated because of the diabetes and he was confined to a wheel chair. After returning from church on Sunday, He fell from the wheelchair and hit his head - which led to his death. Brackett has two children and will be cremated in California for his ashes to be brought to Belize.

Channel 5

Drug Plane Lands in Spanish Lookout
Police are tight-lipped today after an alleged drug plane landed at a remote location behind the Spanish Lookout Community sometime after midnight. Official details are practically nonexistent, perhaps because Police [...]

The Hostel Fire Tragedy Revisited
The families of three fire victims who perished inside a padlocked room at the Princess Youth Hostel are still reeling over their horrific deaths. Today, the families of the minors [...]

Police Launch Thorough Investigation into Youth Hostel Fire
There are lingering questions on the death of Shadisha Arnold, Ana Carlos and Elizabeth McKoy. As far as we know, the independent investigation led by a former magistrate, Margaret Nicholas, [...]

Post-mortem Examination on Three victims Performed Today
Today at one p.m., a postmortem was performed on the charred bodies of Shadisha Arnold, Ana Carlos and Elizabeth McKoy. According to the families, only Arnold’s mother was informed of [...]

Do you believe there’s negligence which led to the death of three girls in a fire at the Princess Royal Youth Hostel?
And tonight’s question is: Do you believe there’s negligence which led to the death of three girls in a fire at the Princess Royal Youth Hostel? Send your comments and [...]

Attorney Offers Service to Families of Victims
Legal redress in the wake of Saturday’s deadly fire at the female section of the Princess Royal Youth Hostel is an option that most likely will be explored by the [...]

Families Will Seek Legal Redress
Collectively, attorneys offering counsel to the fire victims’ families have come up with a figure for compensation in the absence of a formula such as the one used to calculate [...]

Saldivar Says Ministry Should Not Be Investigating Itself
Whereas an independent investigation into the tragic incident is being led by former magistrate and Director of the Family Court Margaret Nicholas, attorney Saldivar maintains that the ministry should not [...]

GOB Bans Offshore Drilling Near Reef System and World Heritage Sites
There is good news for anti-offshore drilling activists and organizations tonight. A release from Cabinet late this afternoon revealed that a policy has been approved which bans exploration in areas [...]

Bus Goes Up in Flames Near Georgeville
Employees of Santander, heading to work from Benque Viejo this morning, escaped serious injuries when the bus they were traveling suddenly caught fire.  The incident occurred sometime before six o’clock [...]

Belizean Shoppers in Chetumal Targeted by Thieves
Belizeans travelling across the border to shop during this Christmas season are asked to be on alert. A Mexican newspaper reports that Belizean shoppers are being targeted by thieves who [...]

Contrabista Asks OW Court for Leniency
I n July of this year, the Customs Department caught an Orange Walk businessman with an assortment of uncustomed vegetables and flour. Sergio Chi pleaded guilty and was fined three [...]

Pook brothers Murder Trial Nears Conclusion
In the Supreme Court, the trial of three Belize City brothers, Michael, Ryan and Adrian Pook is coming to an end. This morning, the trio was called to answer to [...]

Roads Constructed Weeks Ago Already Breaking Up
There is unprecedented infrastructural works ongoing across the country, projects funded through the Petrocaribe bounty and others through monies from various lending agencies. It was a major platform of the [...]

OW Mayor Seeks Municipal Bond for Infrastructure Works
Mayor Bernard has his own infrastructural problems in Orange Walk Town, similar to municipalities countrywide. There is little money for the upgrading and maintenance of all streets in town, and [...]

Inspiration Calendar 2016 Launched
The Inspiration Calendar is now in its fifth edition. The latest publication was launched today by the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children along with McNab Design. [...]


Cabinet announces Policy Against Offshore Oil Exploration
The Cabinet met in regular session today in Belmopan and coming out of that meeting was a policy that will legally place a ban on offshore exploration in areas along the Belize Barrier Reef System as well as within the seven World Heritage Sites in Belize. It is indeed good news for the organizations and […]

Standard and Poor Revises Ratings on Belize’s Outlook
Standard and Poor’s Rating Services has published a revision of its outlook on the long term ratings on Belize. According to this revision, dated November 25, 2015, Belize’s outlook has gone from being positive to being stable with an affirmation of the B-Minus/B Rating on the country’s foreign and local currency sovereign credit. According to […]

Arson on the Cane Fields?
Two cane fields belonging to ASR/BSI was set on fire earlier today. We understand that sometime after three o’clock this afternoon, authorities were informed that two fields, about twelve acres, located in the Guinea Grass area of Orange Walk District belonging to the company was ablaze. It is believed to be a case of arson. […]

Chamber Concerned Over Belize’s Economic Ratings
Standard and Poor’s latest report in which it has readjusted Belize’s ratings has brought about concerns by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In a release from the BCCI, there were six main points made including the statement in the report that spoke of Belize’s increase in fiscal deficit due to the pre-election spending […]

Bus Catches Fire on the GP Highway
A passenger bus transporting workers of Green Tropics caught fire this morning just before six o’clock on the George Price Highway in the Cayo District. Aboard the bus were about forty men and women when the driver noticed something amiss. Owner of the Westline Bus, Sergio Chuc spoke to Love News on the incident. SERGIO […]

Belize Has Representation at Cultural Luncheon in the US
Belize is having representation at a fundraising mission in Pennsylvania, New York, USA. The mission, dubbed, A Cultural Luncheon, is featuring the cultures of both Belize and El Salvador, with special emphasis on food. Gaspari Cordova, who is in the United States on the Humphrey Fellowship Program via the US Embassy in Belize, is at […]

Belize Holds Symposium in Celebration of World AIDS Day 2015
World Aids Day is being recognized around the world, today, December 1. It is a day set aside with the objective to have people from all walks of life come together and unite in the fight against HIV whilst showing their support for the persons living with HIV and at the same time commemorating the […]

Future of BCG Is Bright, Says National Security Minister
Last Friday saw the graduation of over forty men and women of the Belize Coast Guard and the celebration of the organization’s tenth anniversary. Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, who was one of the main speakers, spoke on the country’s national security and how the ministry intends to boost the efforts and resources of […]

Cordova Speaks on the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship
Earlier in our newscast we told you of 33-year-old, Gaspari Cordova, a Belizean teacher who is in the United States on the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship program. While he is getting ready to represent Belize at a cultural luncheon on Wednesday, December 02, there are other events and activities that he has been a part […]

Belize to Join in the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy
At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta, Queen Elizabeth the Second expressed gratitude for the donations of the rainforest and other environmental projects serving the CHOGM for the past sixty years. Commonwealth countries such as Belize, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, and Zambia, have committed to protecting environmental areas […]

#509604 - 12/02/15 05:47 AM Re: Today's Belize News: December 2, 2015 [Re: Marty]
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Construction begins on new Belize City Center
Belizeans who have been going to the BelCan Bridge park and basketball court to rest, recreate and play basketball can no longer do so. The park and the court have been fenced in and taken over by contractors for the construction of the new Belize City Center. The park was located on the right side of the south approach to BelCan Bridge near the bank of the Haulover Creek. The new City Center will be built by the Medina Construction Company Ltd/International Environments, Ltd. at a cost of $32,940,261.25. The contract was signed on October, 8, 2015, between the Government of Belize and the company. Amandala had tried for four days to get information about the construction from the Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL), the arm of the Government responsible for construction of Government projects, but we were given the run-around by its officials. The story, however, appeared today in the Guardian newspaper, an official organ of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP).

Two arraigned for Ruben Perez’s murder
The two young men who were escorted into the court building this morning walked into the courtroom without the slightest look of apprehension on their faces, as they stood before the Magistrate who arraigned them on a capital offense for which they were not required to enter a plea. Keon Dennison, 18, a construction worker who gave his address as River Estate, Dangriga; and Tyrone Reid, 19, a construction worker of a Belmopan address, are accused of the Thursday, November 26 murder of Ruben Perez, a businessman of Vernon Street, Belize City. They were remanded to the Belize Central Prison until their next scheduled court appearance on January 29, 2015. The video footage captured by a camera in Perez Hardware store shows that on Thursday, November 26, at 3:17 p.m., Perez had gotten up from behind his desk where he was sitting with his phone in his hand. He walked towards the entrance of his business and two men were seen entering the building. Their stay inside was brief. The video shows a brief struggle with the deceased, Perez, and the two men who had entered his hardware store.

Murder suspects captured hours after murder of businessman
Two men, an 18-year-old and a 19-year-old, one from Dangriga and the other from Maskall, who police strongly believe were the killers who shot and killed Belize City businessman Ruben Perez, of Vernon Street, at about 3:30 yesterday afternoon in his office on his business compound, have been jointly charged with murder. Police say that the men are unknown to them. The second man later was captured by police with the assistance of the public after the footage of the surveillance cameras was shown on 7News. The first alleged murderer was captured within minutes after the shooting occurred. The incident was caught on more than one security camera in the compound, which showed the murder of Perez, owner of Perez Construction Supplies. Reports to Amandala are that at about 3:30 Thursday afternoon, two men who were not wearing masks bar

3 teens perish in Youth Hostel fire
Shadisha Arnold, 16; Anna Carlos, 16; and Elizabeth McKoy, 14, perished in a tragic fire on Saturday, November 28, at the Youth Hostel, located at Gracie Rock Village, Mile 21 ½ on the George Price Highway – a fire that the hostel says was caused by the girls themselves, who were on lockdown after escaping earlier from the institution. Today, the police and the Ministry of Human Development held a joint press conference to discuss what transpired on Saturday afternoon. There, it was revealed that protocol for the hostel had not been followed. Starla Bradley, director of the Community Rehabilitation Department, said that the girls, who had run away on the previous day, Friday, but were captured by police and returned to the facility, and who had planned to run away again, should have been thoroughly searched by a female officer and if this was done, they could not have had something with which to start a fire. Also, it was against protocol to have the doors locked with a padlock, Bradley said. Bradley said that at the time of the incident there were two female officers on duty. One of the female officers was with one group of girls watching a movie, and the other was supervising another group of girls on the basketball court.

Barrow’s “big guns” mash protest against Guat president’s visit!
On Saturday, the president-elect of the Republic of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales, who was visiting SICA member states, paid a courtesy call on Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow at his Belize City Coney Drive office. Although the Belize Government knew well in advance, from November 6, that Morales would be visiting Belize, this was kept as a kind of state secret – even the location of the meeting was not disclosed to the local media. A small group of nationalistic Belizeans, however, got wind of the location and decided to stage a protest against Morales’ visit due to menacing remarks that he had made about his country’s claim to Belize during his campaign for the Guatemalan presidency. Morales was quoted as saying that the loss of Belize was “the most deplorable event in Guatemala’s history.” “…we are about to lose Belize. We have not lost it yet. We still have the possibility of going to the International Court of Justice, where we can fight [for] that territory or part of that territory,” Morales reportedly told a Guatemalan reporter in September before he won the second round of voting in Guatemala’s presidential elections on October 25.

Severe drought in Belize during rainy season due to strong El Niño
Although Belize was spared many major storm events during this year’s Atlantic Hurricane Season, which concludes today, November 30, the El Niño phenomenon which suppressed storm activity in the Caribbean led to very dry conditions which caused “severe drought” in northern and western Belize, as well as hotter than normal temperatures during the summer months—oftentimes feeling like in excess of 100 degrees. This was confirmed by Chief Meteorological Officer Dennis Gonguez, who informed today that: “The strong El Niño event prevented even the tropical waves from supporting significant amounts of rainfall as they crossed the Caribbean Sea.” The unusual heat which made many uncomfortable during the summer months was also a consequence of El Niño, Gonguez confirmed to Amandala. Information published by the National Meteorological Service indicates that drought conditions should continue into the dry season. A drought warning is in effect for northern, inland, and central coastal areas of Belize, while a drought watch is in effect for southwest Belize. Drought concerns will continue to year-end.

Philip Brackett, 53, passes amid valiant battle with diabetes
Former Transport Commissioner and politician, Philip Brackett, passed away over the weekend in Los Angeles, CA, USA, at the age of 53. Although Brackett had been valiantly battling diabetes—one of the leading killers in Belize, he died after an accidental fall over the weekend, according to a family member who received the sad news on Sunday. Geovanni Brackett told us that his uncle, who had had both legs amputated due to the complications of diabetes, had returned from church and fell from his wheelchair and hit his head. It was not the diabetes that killed him, Brackett indicated. Amandala understands that Brackett had been in the US to receive medical treatment for his condition. One of his last Facebook posts reflected on the triumphs he had had in the struggle to stay alive. “I am thankful that this month makes five years since I have been living on dialysis and I am no longer thinking of dying,” Brackett wrote.

Buzzer Beater strikes again
Breaking a long string of Yabra Over 40 victories, Plaza Over 40 stunned the Yabra veterans, 1-nil, at the MCC yesterday evening on a first half goal by Michael (Baptist) Flowers, aka Wataplat or “the Buzzer Beater,” the name tagged on him by Gilroy “Press” Cadogan in recognition of his penchant for scoring last minute, often game winning, goals during his Second Division playing career. ‘Plat, who is the perennial coach of Ladyville Jaguars youth teams, says he is getting back in playing form, following a two year break after a badly injured leg in a road accident. Each Sunday afternoon, following the U-15 tournament games at the MCC, the veterans take the field for a friendly encounter. Yesterday, ‘Plat got the only goal, the game winner, for Plaza. Big-up yoself, the Buzzer Beater!

FFB bombshell
This must be the most topsy-turvy semipro football season ever, thanks to the unresolved relationship between the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) and its affiliate member, the Premier League of Belize (PLB). The PLB, according to the original semipro league constitution, should be an autonomous body, an affiliate member of the parent body, FFB. But that has not been the case for some time now, ever since the league was, in a very controversial move, “handed over to the FFB” by its former Commissioner, Omario “Myito” Perdomo a couple years ago. Nevertheless, the PLB continued to function, first under an FFB appointed Interim Committee, then an appointed manager under a board of directors. It has been very confusing, but there has been a competition, and fans are still interested in the outcome. Football is still alive in the Jewel, although it sometimes seems like there is unhealthy confusion where the competition is concerned. With the completion of the regular season over the past weekend, fans thought they all knew which teams would clash in the playoff semifinals. But late this evening, a PLB email release stated simply that “The FFB Appeals Board had made a final decision to overturn the decision made by the Premier League of Belize Protest Board.” That protest concerned the Week 3 game where Verdes FC, primed for their CONCACAF Champions League entry, had crushed the Belmopan Bandits FC by a whopping 6-1 score. The Bandits protested the game on the grounds that Verdes had utilized more than 5 “foreign players,” which had supposedly been in violation of a rule from the previous tournament. Verdes reportedly countered that all this had been agreed with the FFB in a congress meeting before the new season, considering that they were preparing for CONCACAF competition.

Western Queens are BECOL female basketball champs
The BECOL basketball tournament hosted two deciding semifinal game 3’s on Thursday night, to determine which U19 and U23 teams will advance to the championship series. In game 1, SHC (#2) narrowly edged Alpha Warriors (#3) in the U19 division, 54-50. SHC was led by Raheem Crawford, who had the game high with 23 points, while Jovanne “Pov” Zetina scored 15 pts, and Orel Neal sank 7 pts. In a losing effort, Alpha Warriors top scorers were Joel Montejo with 14 pts, Gian Bethran with 11 pts, and Shevan Harris with 8 pts. With the win, SHC will go up against the #1 seed, Christian Ambassadors. These two teams split their 2 regular season games. In game 2, Spartans (#3) needed overtime to clinch a berth to the finals, as they narrowly defeated Santiago Juan Warriors (#2), 45-43. Spartans’ top scorers were Kevin Brown and Khalil Bennett with 18 pts each. Santiago Juan Warriors were led by Elvert Arriola, who had 18 pts, while Jeffrey “Turtle” Carillo finished with 15 pts. On Friday night, the BECOL basketball final games tipped off with Western Queens (#1) defeating Belmopan Shock (#2) in the female division, 44-30. Western Queens’ top scorers were Yesica Prom and Amanda Sarceno, who tallied 20 and 8 pts, respectively. Belmopan Shock was led by Enid Dakers, who scored 9 pts, while Anna Gonzalez finished with 5 pts.

Editorial: Strange vibes
There are two distinct occasions when we older folk who live in Belize City know that something really strange is going on here. One of these occasions is on weeknights in the old capital, when Albert Street and Queen Street go dead after the sun sets. The other distinct occasion is Sunday afternoons in the population center of the nation, when there are no games being played at the highest level in football, basketball, boxing, softball, and so on. Before proceeding, we must emphasize that we are talking about older folk here. When it comes to the younger generations, the pull of their hormones is such that they will find somewhere to go and someone to be with. Where there is no excitement, the young people will create same. We older folk don’t know what’s happening and we don’t know where it’s happening, but the young people have things going on. That’s for sure. December month and Christmas should jump start some lights and commercial activity on Albert and Queen Streets, but that activity used to be all year round, primarily because of Palace Theater across from Bata’s on the Alberts and Majestic Theater down Queen Street past the Police Station. Television began to kill Palace and Majestic after its entry into Belize in 1982, and then gang violence slowly killed all night life in the city. After dark, the streets belong to the turf warriors.

From the Publisher
In the summer of 1966, on weekends we used to take the subway trains and travel all over New York City looking for parties, primarily Belizean ones. I was 19, a college student, and mostly broke. I was “ketching and killing” in the richest city in the world. This is almost fifty years ago, so I can’t swear for the accuracy of every single one of the following details. You understand. During that summer I got a better sense of the British Hondurans/Belizeans who had reached New York City and were about making a new life. The Sainsburys, for instance, lived just a few blocks from where my grandaunt, Gladys Lindo Ysaguirre, owned her own home on Rutland Road in Brooklyn. She had been one of the first to reach New York, perhaps after World War I. I think the Sainsburys used to live on George Street (or West) in Belize City before the family migrated. The oldest son, Ronald, was around my age or a little older. He was a tall, upright brother, and I believe he ended up going to Vietnam, where he was shot, but survived. Ronald had at least two younger brothers, one of whom visited Belize and looked me up maybe ten years ago or so. He was working in a lithographic section of The New York Times. I guess I would have met Ronald and the Sainsburys through my double cousins, the brothers Bill and Michael Lindo, who lived on Midwood Street, around the lane from Rutland Road in the opposite direction from the Sainsburys. By the summer of 1966, Mike had already moved out of his mom’s home and rented a room from the late Eric Card on Snediker Avenue. Michael was in a serious love relationship with the lady Penny Griffith, whom he went to England to marry a few months later.

After all the campaign spending, what about Calla Creek?
Dear Editor: One of the most critical ways that individuals can influence a governmental decision is through voting. Voting is a democratic right because of universal adult suffrage in Belize from 1954. (Universal adult suffrage was introduced in Belize in 1954.) In the 1954 Belizean elections, George Price, Philip Goldson, Leigh Richardson, Herman Jex, Enrique Depaz, Jose Chin, George Flowers and Nathaniel Cacho from the PUP all won seats in the Legislative Assembly, which had replaced the appointed Legislative Council. This was the birth of general elections for Belize. Today, Belize has held eight general elections since independence. The general election of this year has led to the appointment and re-shuffling of Ministerial portfolios, as well as seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Honorable Dean Barrow has been voted in and is now serving his third term as Prime Minister of Belize under the umbrella of the United Democratic Party. This process may seem clear cut and uneventful, yet, to many Belizeans voting in general elections has become a harrowing experience. Voting has now become a deplorable scam that reeks of entitlement, an unclear definition of roles and a lack of respect for the voting process.

Belize to host CXC governance meetings this week
The Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) announced this week that Belize, the only country in Central America to sit the exam, will be hosting the 2015 annual governance meetings of CXC. An official press release announced that, “The meeting of the School Examinations Committee (SEC) will be held on Thursday, 3 December 2015 and the 47th Meeting of the Council will be held on Friday, 4th December at the Radisson Hotel.” The SEC deals with examinations and technical issues, while the Council deals with administrative, staff and financial matters. The Council meeting will be officially opened with a formal ceremony on Thursday next week at the Best Western Hotel, Belize City, where Belize’s Education Minister, Hon. Patrick Faber, is slated to deliver the feature address. Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, CXC chairman, and Glenroy Cumberbatch, CXC Registrar, are also slated to speak at the event. During the opening ceremony, nine CAPE awardees and eight CSEC awardees from Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago will be presented with the regional top awards.

Emerson Burke dies in traffic accident on Southern Highway
Emerson Lloyd Burke, 44, of Belmopan, a former DFC chief appraiser, who subsequently became a real estate appraiser and businessman, died in a road traffic accident on the Southern Highway at about 6:00 this morning between Miles 33 and 34, in the Machaca Creek area. Reports are that Burke was travelling from Belmopan to Punta Gorda Town in his pickup and upon arriving in the Machaca Creek area, he lost control of the pickup and slammed into the road guard rails, causing a rail to dislodge. The forward movement of the vehicle then pushed the dislodged rail into the front portion of the vehicle, causing Burke to be hurled out of the vehicle. He suffered massive head and body injuries when he landed on the road, and died on the scene.

Accused killer on remand gets 7-year jail sentence on other charges
Ibrahim Smith, 19, of Mopan Street, Belize City, who is presently on remand at the Belize Central Prison for the murder of William Felix Francis, 22, of Administration Drive, Belize City, has been sentenced to 7 years in prison for using a stolen gun used to cause the death of high school student Shenelle Reyes, 17, in her home in the Back-a-town area of the city on the night of November 10, 2010. With regard to the death of Reyes, Smith was charged in the Belize City Magistrate’s court on Thursday with possession of a prohibited firearm and handling stolen goods. He was given a 5-year sentence for the charge of keeping a prohibited firearm, and a two-year sentence for the charge of handling stolen goods. Smith was returned to prison, where he awaits trial for the murder of William Felix Francis, and the manslaughter death of Shenelle Reyes. Reyes, a student of Sadie Vernon High School, was shot in the chest with a shotgun while in Smith’s company. The death was ruled accidental, and he was charged with manslaughter and was given bail.

Guatemalan man and two minors arrested for illegal farming inside Belize
Illegal farming inside the Chiquibul Forest and particularly along border areas of Western Belize has been a recurring problem and this week, Belizean authorities apprehended an adult and two minors, all of Guatemala, who were allegedly farming inside Belizean territory. Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) reported that on Monday, November 25, 2015, a joint forces patrol comprised of Belize Defence Force, Police and FCD rangers led to the detention of Jorge Felipe Gudiel Garcia, 27, as well as two minors: 9 and 7 years old, from the village of San Jose Las Flores. The trio, said the FCD, were found planting black beans inside the Chiquibul Forest at a distance of 1.4 kilometers away from the Belize/Guatemalan border. The man had a mule and a horse. “Garcia informed authorities that he had planted pumpkin earlier in the cleared area that was approximately 2.5 acres in size, and that he knew of other farmers further north from his location also doing farming,” the FCD said.

John Saldivar bigger than the law!
In the euphoria following the announcement on election night, November 4, that the incumbent, John Saldivar, the United Democratic Party (UDP) Belmopan candidate, was victorious over the People’s United Party (PUP) challenger Patrick Andrews, one of Saldivar’s supporters fired his licensed .9mm handgun into the air—committing the offense of “discharging a firearm in public,” under the Firearms Amendment Act, which mandates prison time for convicted offenders. As the incident unfolded, someone videoed it and it went viral on social media. What the video captured was police officers making an arrest that was subsequently aborted. In the video, Sadivar, Minister of National Security in the last administration, was heard ordering the police to “Back off! Back off now!” The incident was treated to a prime ministerial spin when PM Dean Barrow held his press briefing and reappointed Saldivar as his man for the National Security Ministry. When he was asked about the incident, the PM said that” Saldivar was a civilian” when he told the police to back off. Barrow also said that he accepted Saldivar’s explanation of the incident, that he obstructed justice “because something could have happened due to the crowd of his supporters.” If his supporter had been arrested, he would have mandatorily been sent to prison, according to our firearm laws.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Letter to the Editor
THE GOVERNMENT GETS WHAT IT PAYS FOR You must understand that what your government pays for it gets. If you are paid to do something for the government, they will extract from you exactly what they have paid for. They have ordered […]

Contrabandista fined in court
A businessman from August Pine Ridge in the Orange Walk District must pay over $13,000 in fines by next December to avoid jail time on charges of possession of uncustomed goods. Sergio Chi pleaded guilty in Belize City before Magistrate Deborah Rogers to possession of goods worth $4,450 […]

Offshore exploration ban
A late evening press release from the Government of Belize announces that at today’s Cabinet meeting, an approved policy will legally ban offshore exploration for petroleum in areas along the Belize Barrier Reef system and specifically within the seven World Heritage Sites that make up the Barrier Reef […]

Prime Minister speaks on Schnitzer case
After international fugitive David Nanes Schnitzer, accused of scamming over US $42,000,000 from Mexican investors, was captured in Belize with the help of US Marshalls, found with fraudulent Belizean documents, taken to court, given bail and fled the country, Prime Minister Barrow in an interview yesterday said that an investigation […]

Accused attempted murderer granted bail
Today, Justice Denis S. Hanomansingh heard bail applications for 5 persons on remand for different offenses. Of those five bail applications, one person of interest who was granted Supreme Court bail today is 18 year old Jaron Baptist, who last week Tuesday, was arraigned on three criminal offenses for […]

Fire officials address criticism of Youth Hostel response
In the wake of the second fire for this year at the Princess Royal Youth Hostel, the fire department has been under heavy scrutiny after what is said to be slow response time and unpreparedness upon arriving at the scene in Rockville, but could they have done better? […]

Christmas cheer program not as big this year
Every year, many Belizeans benefit from the Christmas Cheer program, through which they receive financial assistance from area representatives to make the holiday more joyous. In previous years, there was almost unlimited money to share with people across the country, given to area representatives and care takers for distribution, […]

Queen honored with “Commonwealth Canopy”
The members of the Commonwealth of Nations have honored its head, Queen Elizabeth II, for 60 years of service to the grouping with a dedication of rain forests and other environmental projects. Singapore, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Australia, Zambia and Belize are among the countries offering to dedicate and protect […]

Somewhat drier conditions will set in and prevail over the next day or so
The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting cloudy skies with sunny breaks this afternoon along with a few light showers mainly over central and southern areas. Skies will be partly cloudy tonight and tomorrow morning with only isolated showers. Winds will be blowing from the North-Northeast at 5-15 knots and the sea […]

Barrow relatives to continue in politics
Prime Minister Dean Barrow won a historic consecutive third term at the polls on November 4th but he shared – the day after – that he will retire as leader of the United Democratic Party even before the end of his 5 year term. While the Prime Minister […]

Bus ‘engulfed in flames’ near Unitedville Village
BMG has received reports that a bus traveling from San Ignacio Town to Belmopan this morning was engulfed in flames. According to our sources, the bus caught fire near Unitedville Village and there were no passengers inside. This is a developing story and we will be updating it […]


Belize’s Black Hole Drop: Leave The Chicken at The Top
Belize’s Maya Mountains (that cover much of the lower left quadrant of the country) sit atop caves and hidden rivers…places discovered and undiscovered. Yesterday, starting in Ambergris Caye (and returning there in the same day), I hiked deep into the jungle, dropped 300 feet into a limestone sink hole and lived to tell the tale. I wasn’t even thinking about a hike…I was only focused on the drop. We were given back-packs – 3 liters of water to carry – THREE! and told it was two miles in with 3 “significant” hills. At least an hour later, we got to our spot. The Black Hole. A limestone sinkhole formed so long ago that there is a jungle growing at the bottom.

Man vs Horse
My journey of traveling around the country took me to San Ignacio, Cayo; a district surrounded by green vegetation with some of the most picturesque landscapes located on the western back country of Belize. Chaa Creek Resort invited the iTravel Belize team once again to experience some of their cool tours, one of them being Horseback Riding. As you may already know, being a travel blogger, I get to travel my own country, experience and showcase some of the best tours that the every day traveler would enjoy during their vacation in Belize. I have been on many unforgettable tours such as cave tubing, zip lining, just to name a few. Horseback riding has been one of the tours that I have been avoiding since I have a fear of horses. Why? Well I guess I am just scared of the bad things I have heard and researched on which lead to my fear. My TOP 3 Fears 1. Falling off the horse 2. Getting kicked by the horse 3. I’m just REALLY scared OKAYY probably they are pretty lame fears but at least I have you laughing so far.

Important Expat Passport Info and low cost Electricity
Unfortunately for U.S. Expats the news is not so good. This is the last month you will be able to get extra pages in your passport. Once you run out of pages you will have to apply for a new passport. As of January 2016 the Embassy in Belmopan will only process brand new applications; no renewals or extra pages. If you are still getting monthly Belize immigration stamping, it would be a wise idea to move fast and get those pages. The Embassy only does 3 appointments per day so hurry and get your extra pages now. Now for the good news. Canadians now have 5 and 10 year passport options. Canadians still have renewable option for passports and do not need a guarantor from Canada. When getting a new Canadian passport you go through the Canadian Consulate in Belize City and then it gets sent to the High Commission in Guatemala. The cost for a 5 year Passport is $281.00 and for a 10-year Passport is $ 384.00 – pricing in Belize Dollars.

International Sourcesizz

Two Ingredient Banana Pancakes (Gluten & Dairy Free)
Ingredients: 2 large, ripe bananas, 4 eggs, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder (optional). Method: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix very well, or pulse with immersion blender or in food processor. Spray griddle with non-stick cooking spray, and heat over medium-high heat.

Top Ten 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season Events
The 2015 Atlantic hurricane season is officially over, and it will go into the books as the most memorable hurricane season to occur during a strong El Niño event. Strong El Niño events typically reduce Atlantic hurricane activity by increasing wind shear over the tropical Atlantic, and this year's El Niño conditions did indeed create unusually high levels of wind shear over the Caribbean, making it difficult for tropical systems to organize and strengthen in those waters. According to Colorado State's Dr. Phil Klotzbach, the 200-850-mb vertical wind shear in the Caribbean (10-20°N, 90-60°W) averaged from June through October was the highest since at least 1979 (28.5 knots.) However, this high wind shear did not extend as far east as usual, allowing several tropical storms to form near the coast of Africa over waters that were near-record warm.

Crowdfunder: Saving Belize’s Marine Treasures
Port Honduras Marine Reserve contains some of the most pristine habitat in the entire Mesoamerican Reef Complex. Its coral reefs, mangrove islands and expansive seagrass beds support a healthy population of endangered West Indian manatees, and 18 other globally threatened species, including hawksbill turtles, hammerhead sharks, and American crocodiles. With so much healthy seagrass and mangroves, Port Honduras is in an ideal nursery ground for lobster, conch and many species of fish important for local livelihoods. The marine reserve supports approximately 300 fishing families in the most poverty-stricken district of Belize. At a time when over half of the world’s fisheries are fully exploited and one quarter have collapsed, it is important that a place like this be protected.

What Next for Fortis Inc Stock After Today’s Huge Increase?
The stock of Fortis Inc (TSE:FTS) is a huge mover today! The stock is up 1.87% or $0.69 after the news, hitting $37.57 per share. About 380,576 shares traded hands. Fortis Inc (TSE:FTS) has declined 7.27% since April 28, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed by 5.64% the S&P500. The move comes after 8 months positive chart setup for the $10.52B company. It was reported on Dec, 1 by Barchart.com. We have $46.96 PT which if reached, will make TSE:FTS worth $2.63 billion more. Out of 9 analysts covering Fortis Incorporated (TSE:FTS), 7 rate it “Buy”, 0 “Sell”, while 3 “Hold”. This means 70% are positive. $35.15 is the highest target while $29.17 is the lowest. The $32.78 average target is 17.11% above today’s ($37.57) stock price. Fortis Incorporated was the topic in 8 analyst reports since August 4, 2015 according to StockzIntelligence Inc.


  • The Children of Toledo: Growing Healthy Growing Good_English, 22min. from PGTV News Network

  • A Week in Belize, 2min. A week of diving from Ambergris Caye (San Pedro) in Belize. Dives were on the barrier reef just offshore from Ambergris Caye. Sites included Mata Cut, Charlie's Canyons, Catalan Rocks, Hol Chan, and more. Saw a huge variety of marine life, including moray eels, nurse sharks, spotted eagle rays, arrow crabs, lobster, and dense schools of fish throughout the reef.


  • Habinaham Wanaragua, 1min. No Christmas is complete without Dance Wanaragua, 6th Annual Wanaragua competition, Dangriga, Dec 13th, $5 for adults, $2 for children, reserved $7. Team Wanaragua is Dec 27th, $10 for adults, $5 for children, reserved $15

  • Chopping Block, 1/2min. Neighborhood boys chopping coconuts in Silver Creek, Belize with a machete. June 2015.

  • Drenched is an Understatement, 1/2min. A bunch of high school kids packed it down to Belize for a week. Then it rained. Alot. And things got weird. June 2015.

  • Tikal, 5min. Trip to Tikal, Guatemala part of a month long trip through Mexico, Belize and Guatemala on two Royal Enfield motorbikes.

  • Life's A Trip Belize 1, 7min.

  • ambergris caye, belize - octopus @ hol chan marine reserve [night dive on 11.25.2015], 1.5min.

  • Fishing Giant Dorado, Barracuda. Belize. San Pedro, 11min. Dorado (Mahi-mahi) can live up to 5 years, although they seldom exceed four. Catches average 7 to 13 kilograms (15 to 29 lb). They seldom exceed 15 kilograms (33 lb), and mahi-mahi over 18 kilograms (40 lb) are exceptional. Mahi-mahi have compressed bodies and a single long-based dorsal fin extending from the head almost to the tail.[7] Their caudal fins and anal fins are sharply concave. They are distinguished by dazzling colors: golden on the sides, and bright blues and greens on the sides and back. Mature males have prominent foreheads protruding well above the body proper. Females have a rounded head. Females are also usually smaller than males.

  • U.S. Embassy Belize - 16 Days Against Violence Against Women Campaign - Day 7, 2min. In this video U.S. Embassy Employee discusses her experiences with domestic abuse. This is the second part of a two part video.

  • Zipline in Belize, 3min. A series of short ziplining clips in Belize. Nov 2015.

  • $10 Lobsters in Caye Caulker Belize (Day 1), 4.5min. Here's our first day spent in Caye Caulker, Belize.

  • Flying Over the GREAT BLUE HOLE in BELIZE (Day 2), 3.5min.

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