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#511136 - 01/28/16 06:17 AM Today's Belize News: January 28, 2016
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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

Record breaking overnight tourist arrivals for 2015
The 2015 tourism numbers are in and they show an increase of 6.2% in comparison to 2014. According to the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), the overnight tourism industry experienced record breaking numbers in 2015, leading to exponential growth in the industry. This substantial growth is being accounted to the addition of international flight routes to the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA). Here on Ambergris Caye, tourism stakeholders have also marked 2015 as a productive year, with a year-round influx of visitors boosting the island’s economy. BTB indicated that despite an unsteady first and second quarter, Belize had seven straight months of arrival increases, with the highest increase figures occurring in the last four months of the year. “September to December of 2015 showed record improvements, with overnight arrivals increasing every month in comparison to last year’s figures. September had an increase of 19.3%, October 22.1%, November 33% and December 22.5% increase. November’s 33% increase is the largest ever recorded for this month, which rarely goes above a 10% increase,” explained BTB in a press release.

Isla Bonita students educate community on social issues
Education is a pillar in the proper development of a child. Topics such as Rights of a Child, Child Abuse, Alcohol Abuse, Drug Abuse, Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) are key in ensuring children are equipped for the future. As such, Isla Bonita Elementary School (IBES) organizes an annual open house where upper division students display their knowledge on these pressing social issues. This year’s open house was held on Friday, January 22nd from 1PM to 3:30PM. Community members and students from other island schools were invited to attend the event and learn about social issues that exist in our society. Overseeing the open house was Teacher Sharon Hazel, home room teacher for the standard six division, and subject teacher for Language Arts, Social Studies and Health and Family Life. “The open house is a form to judge the students on topics they have learned in class,” said Hazel. The students have three weeks to prepare for the open house, but learn about the topics from the commencement of the school year...

Ambergris Today

Pic of the Week - Bird's Eye View Central Park
With the street vendors and the large palapa out of Central Park, everything looks more spacious and brighter. There is more open space, beach area and available park benches for everybody to enjoy. We love how Central Park looks now; we bring you a bird's eye view of the park in downtown San Pedro for you to enjoy.

25 Years Ago - Good Old Days…Children Growing Up in Fishing Village
Back in the GOOD OLD DAYS you did not see children walking about the streets during school hours; you found all the children in school doing school work. Back in the GOOD OLD DAYS when we asked for five cents from our parents it was enough money for a gala time. I love the good old days because they made me who I am. Monday to Fridays from 8a.m. to 3:30p.m. you see young children walking about aimlessly down the streets or you see them performing adult chores like chopping and cleaning yards or selling souvenirs. Not so back in the GOOD OLD DAYS and for more than one good reason. First of all our parents did not allow us to miss classes for no good reason. A child got a whipping if he insisted in staying home.

National Program Launched to Highlight Local Establishments Sourcing Seafood Responsibly
Fishers, NGO’s, Government Officials and Private Sector representatives gathered on Tuesday, Januray 26, 2016, to launch the program brand and certification mark of “Fish Right, Eat Right”, a market-based program backed by an education campaign that will provide incentives for fishers, retailers, restaurants, and consumers to promote and support the harvest, trade and consumption of sustainably and legally caught seafood. The goal of this certification program is to curb illegal fishing and promote best practices in fisheries by providing marketing incentives throughout the supply chain via the promotion of responsible seafood consumption. Those establishments that demonstrate knowledge of and compliance with the Fisheries Regulations will receive special recognition, and responsible fishers who comply with the Regulations will have preferential access to these reliable markets.

Chef Jennie Staines Tops Estel’s BBQ Ribs Cook-off in First Try
In her first appearance the Estel’s BBQ Ribs Cook-off, Executive Chef of Elvi’s Kitchen Jennie Staines, pulled a double ‘whammy’ by taking both first place medals from the judges pick and the people’s choice. The grilling and finger-licking took place on Tuesday, January 26, 2016, beachside at Estel’s Dine by the Sea. The grilling competition now in its 5th year is proving to be a huge tourist attraction as the diner is overfilled with customers enjoying cold beer, cocktails and the delicious food of Estel’s. The main attraction of the event is of course the tender ribs that are grilled by local chefs and repeat grill masters who have a passion for barbequing.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

December 2015 External Trade & Consumer Price Index
Belize’s total imports for the month of December 2015 were valued at $179.7 million. This was a decrease of 2.5 percent or $4.6 million over imports for December 2014, which totaled $184.2 million. During the month, imports destined for the ‘Commercial Free Zones’ and ‘Export Processing Zones’ both declined by $6 million, as fewer cigarettes, clothing, shrimp feed and steel structures were purchased, when compared to the same month in 2014. Additionally, lower world fuel prices resulted in $3 million less being spent on ‘Mineral Fuel and Lubricants’, although the quantities of premium, regular and diesel fuels imported were higher than in December 2014.
The Statistical Institute of Belize’s latest statistics on consumer prices showed that for December 2015, the All-Items Consumer Price Index stood at 102.7, a decline of 0.7 percent from 103.5 recorded in December 2014. For the year 2015, the average national inflation rate was negative 0.9 percent.

Call for Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development Papers
The Mona School of Business & Management, UWI will be hosting its second Business and Management Conference themed “Connecting the Dots: Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development.” The conference will be held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica November 9-11, 2016 and will also feature a vibrant social programme. Publication opportunities and awards include the A-Ranked (ABDC) journal Entrepreneurship and Regional Development and for the best paper. A Doctoral Consortium will also feature in the programme.

San Pedro Carnaval Photographic Exhibition
Join us for the opening of the Carnaval Photographic Exhibition on Friday, February 5th at 7:00 pm

Francis Ford Coppola’s Turtle Inn launches a brand new wine room
Turtle Inn, Francis Ford Coppola’s stunning 25-room seafront resort in Belize, has added a 1,200 bottle wine room designed by Laurent Deroo to delight guests with wines from around the world and in particular wines from Coppola’s own vineyards in California. The wine cellar, one of the largest and most sophisticated in Belize, is designed to store the wines at the optimal 13 degrees Celsius, similar to the temperature of the original caves wine would have been stored in, to prevent them from ageing prematurely and spoiling the complex flavours. This is a particularly important issue in the tropics where the temperatures can fluctuate significantly and ruin the wines. The in-house sommeliers will guide guests through the wine room, offering tastings of the award winning Coppola wines from both the Francis Coppola Winery in Sonoma and the Inglenook Estate in Napa along with many other vintages from Chile, Argentina, Italy, France and the USA. Now guests in Belize can enjoy the finest wines whilst relaxing in paradise.

Validation Workshop of the National Report Under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Government of Belize Press Office

Carnaval is almost here!
Check out the schedule of events!

Construction of the municipal public parking in San Pedro
Works for the construction of the municipal public parking opposite the Hon Louis “Cuz” Slyvestre Sports Complex has commenced. The project is undertaken by Councilor Severo Guerrero who is responsible for Transport, Civic & Infrastructural Development, Public Events and Community Beautification & upkeep. The project is part of the San Pedro Town Council’s revitalization initiative as part of the Local Economic Development plans for the downtown area of the community. Upon completion, the municipal parking will provide parking space for 80 vehicles/carts as well as a section for motorcycles. It will complement the recently completed San Pedro Artisan Market in which 29 artisans were recently relocated. It is the hope of the San Pedro Town Council to complete the municipal parking lot within two weeks. Once open, the community that uses Barrier Reef and Pescador Drives for long-hours parking during the day time, will be encouraged to use the municipal parking lot to reduce traffic congestion in the downtown area.

Poets Corner: Bromance!
By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. Men are socialized wrongly To only associate sex as intimacy I encourage every male to join the army A football team or a dance company Homophobia is stifling our masculinity Men are afraid of showing intimacy Thinking it’s not manly To show their vulnerability This society confused with it identity Liken male intimacy with homosexuality Causing problems with their identity Can a man be emotionally intense? Without committing the sexual offence Can’t men have friendships that are unusual? Without the stigma of being called a homosexual Can’t men experience this high level of intimacy? There is a new terminology That has emerged since the 21st century Called Bromance mi bally We’ve had this culture in our societies for centuries But the culture is transforming with globalized ideologies and nuances

Caye Caulker Healthy Dog Sheet
There have been a number of alarming and upsetting dog illnesses and deaths around the caye lately and, while we have not figured out the cause of all of them we do know there has been a recent increase in sickness and death from preventable diseases. Right now we are seeing a lot of Hook Worms in dogs on the island. Hook Worms suck a dog’s blood and if untreated can cause them to become weak and die. Symptoms are the dog being extra tired, not wanting to eat, pale gums and tongue, diarrhea and sometimes coughing. If your dog shows any of these signs please bring them right in to the clinic here on the caye or to a vet in San Pedro or Belize City. We have prepared an easy to follow HEALTH SHEET for you to print off, refer back to and keep safe for your pets.

CHIQUIBUL GRISONS - Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge
The Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) is proud to present its team "Chiquibul Grisons". The objective of the race is to create awareness of the Chiquibul Forest and its importance. Our FCD team needs your moral and financial support!!! February 20 - February 24. Show Map Chiquibul National Park

Channel 7

A Dr. Stabbed, His House Guest Killed In Home Invasion/Burglary
2 friends were stabbed during a home invasion in the city. It happened around 1:45 this morning on Simon Lamb Street. 44 year old Dr. Marcos Rugama was at his home with his friend 32 year old Ian Blair. Rugama went outside to pick in clothes and when he returned, he saw 2 men attacking Blair - one of them had a knife. Rugama intervened and there was a struggle where Rugama was stabbed once to the chest and Blair was stabbed 3 times – twice to the shoulder and once to the rib cage. Blair didn’t make it. Today we spoke to Ian Blair’s mother and older brother and they told us they were in complete shock when they heard the news. Maria Heredia - Mother of Ian Blair: "Last night da the last time and after when I see Ian and he tell me; ma I going. He gives me a cup of ice cream and he hugs my mom and he hugs me up and he gone, say bye." Courtney Weatherburne: "Around what time was this ma'am?" Maria Heredia - Mother of Ian Blair: "That happen 8 o'clock he left we last night, from that I no see Ian. When they come tell me about 2 o'clock they call me, they stab Ian, he is in bad condition."

Morning Murder In Corozal
Also this morning, 28 year-old Corozal resident, Paul Massam, who has had a number of run-ins with police, was shot and killed execution style in Corozal Town. It’s the first murder in that town for the year, and today, we spoke with the Deputy Commander from the Corozal Police about the incident: Inspector Peter Serrano – Deputy OC, Corozal Town: "Sometime after 8:30 AM on today's date, information was received of shots fired in the skeleton area, Corozal town. As a result police visited the area and on arrival at the area, we were told that a male person was shot and was transported to the Corozal hospital. A team immediately proceeded to the hospital. On arrival at the hospital, the lifeless body of said male person was seen with what appears to be 3 gunshot wounds; one to the right side of the head, and the other one just about the lower cheek and one on his palm. That person was later identified as Paul Massam, 28 years old. Initial investigation reveals that Paul Massam was at this house when he was approached by a lone gunman who fired 3 shots at him, fatally wounding him. He was pronounced dead on arrival. The scene was processed by the scenes of crime technician. At this point in time, we are looking for 3 persons who we know could assist us in this investigation. This investigation continues."

Alleged Shooting In A Bus With 60 Passengers
So, while police in Corozal and Belize City are busy trying to solve those two murders, Cayo Police are investigating what looks to be a shooting which happened on a Westline Bus which was carrying 60 passengers. It happened sometime before 3:00 this afternoon, when the bus was on the George Price Highway heading toward Belize City. Initial reports went out that one passenger shot another in the head, but San Ignacio Investigators aren’t so sure about that. They think that if he was indeed shot, he was only grazed in the right side of the head, but it could have been that he was clubbed in the head with the gun. This evening, the Deputy Commander of San Ignacio Police spoke with us via phone, and he told us what they know at this time: ASP. Reymundo Reyes - Deputy OC, San Ignacio Police: "Information was received something around 2:30 PM that a passenger inside a West line bus that was travelling towards Belize City has been shot in his head. As a result immediate police response was sent to the area on arrival where one Conward Thomas was seeing bleeding from the upper right side of his head. He was immediately transported to the San Ignacio Town Hospital where he was been treated for the said injury..."

Customs Catches Consejo Weed - Coming From Mex. Side
Two weeks ago on the news – you heard the BDF Commander talking about the area of Consejo on the Belize side of the Rio Hondo. He said it’s a hotspot for the transshipment of drugs – and today that proved accurate when a joint Customs, BDF and Coast Guard patrol came across 4 parcels of marijuana. The weed was found in the “Estero” area along the river, which is across from “Ramonal” on the Mexico side. It had been concealed in the bushes and law enforcement found two men in the area – but they were too far away from the drugs to establish a connection – so they were not arrested. The river operation on the Customs vessel named “Fearless” started at 6:00 am and the bust was made at around 11:30 am.

Bus Knocks Down Cyclist
There was an accident on the George Price Highway near mile 6 and a half this morning where a bus knocked down a cyclist. Police have not released the details, but we understand that the bus was heading from Belize City to Benque Viejo Town, and just after a curve, the driver was unable to steer the bus away from the cyclists who were heading in the same direction. That’s because there were vehicles coming in the opposite direction at the same time, and the cyclist was hit. We understand that he was flung in the direction of his companion, and they had an ugly spill. We’ve been unable to confirm the extent of their injuries, but the Ambulance had to rush them to the KHMH.

61 Year Old Beaten In PG
A family from the village of Jacinto Ville PG are today holding on to hope after their 61 year old uncle was badly beaten. The incident occurred on Saturday and the beating left 61 year old Orle Savala in the intensive care unit at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital. Yesterday the story was that the old man was clinically dead and was going to be taken off of life support. But today Savala made a miraculous turn around. We spoke to the family today who explained situation starting with the beating of the old man. Elida Savala - Wife: "This young boy gone to my house, we know it's somebody that always make trouble in the village. So we don't want him in our yard. I said Jimmy, come out of my yard, please come out of my yard; I said I don't want you in here. I said I don't want to argue with you just come out of my yard please. He said "Alright, alright" and he walk off a good lee ways from the yard and he still stand up. I told him Jimmy come out because if my husband come and find you in here, he won't want you in here. He say, "Where he deh?" I said I no business to tell you where he deh. And right away he gone, he gone. And later on I the wait because my husband gone before gone buy this fried chicken and now I the wait for my husband to come back with this fried chicken. But I the wait and wait, I don't see him come back; no have no thinking that if something happen because I know no wa happen because he no have no enemy, I no the think about that none at all, absolutely I the wait for this fried chicken. Later on when I hear they call me and tell me your husband is at the hospital, Jimmy beat him up. I say oh my god, why he do that for."

18 Million, 35 New Classrooms, 5300 Students
Phase 2 of The Belize Education Sector Reform Project was launched today. While phase one focused on sharpening the policy direction in the ministry – phase 2 is all about building new schools – 35 of them for 5300 students to get more equitable access to education. That includes 22 new pre-schools, five primary schools, and eight secondary schools. It’s a huge 18.3 million dollar education sector reform project funded by the Caribbean Development Bank. At the launching today at the Biltmore in Belize City, education Minister Patrick Faber explained how they decided where to put the new schools: Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education: "The location of these schools have been determined scientifically, it is based on a school mapping model that considers the current supply of school spaces as against current and projected demand as determined by population projections. People look at it and say how you determine that you will build that school there; breaking it down for some people. Why is it that you are putting a school there, why can't I get a school here? That has been the problem in this country as it relates to the school; everybody wants their own school in their own village to do their own thing. My friends we cannot continue in that way."

Ministry Responds To Benque Suicide Situation
But before they build those schools, the ministry has to respond to what’s been happening in high schools in the west. Last night we told you about the suicide of a 15 year old early on Monday morning in San Ignacio – and there was another teen suicide in Benque shortly before that. Faber says his ministry is responding:… Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education: "I sympathize with the families; I believe that they're two such deaths, one in Benque and one in San Ignacio. So I do sympathize. The ministry continues to do all it can do at the secondary level, all of those high schools have counselling systems, the ministry and the association of secondary school counsellors; they work tirelessly to try to ensure that there is that kind of support for our students at the secondary level. I emphasize that it is not a job for the counsellor alone or the ministry to push alone. These things that happen to our children are reflections of what is happening in the larger society. So it is everybody's business as we say to be there to support our children." Jules Vasquez: "But 2 suicides and attempted suicide as well at Mopan Tech, one in the history of that area Benque Viejo in particular; one has the sense that there might be, I don't want to say epidemic but a situation that requires urgent crisis style intervention. Is that something your ministry is looking at?"

EP Yorke Burglarized
Keeping it on education, Edward P. York High School’s cafeteria was burglarized yesterday. Someone broke into the Belize City High School between 3:00 yesterday afternoon and 6:00 this morning. They stole money and assorted food items. But, police were able to catch the thief. Today Assistant Commissioner of Police Desiree Phillips explained: Desiree Phillips - Assistant Commissioner of Police: "What I can tell you so far is that a burglary was reported at the cafeteria at EP York sometime between 3 P.M yesterday evening and 6 o'clock this morning a number of items were stolen, mostly cash and chocolates, small little items; snacks. Again we are happy to say that we have been able to detain one person and at least 90% of the stolen items have been recovered." Courtney Weatherburne: "And you believe only one person was responsible for this?" Desiree Phillips - Assistant Commissioner of Police: "Yes, that's what we can say with certainty so far."

Diplomat Says His Household Is Recovering
We have reported extensively on the Sarkis Abou – Nehra home invasion and burglary in Burrell Boom. A group of armed thieves cleaned out his house, viciously assaulted the caretaker and raped the caretaker’s wife. It happened on December 4 th while Abou-Nehra was out of the country. Well, we caught up with the Lebanese Diplomat at another event today and we asked him how he and his caretakers are managing after the vicious attack. Sarkis Bou-Nahra - Lebanese Diplomat: "I wish I was here to welcome those guests I have had in my absence at my house. However this is an act of cowardice which I ask the lord to forgive them for, providing they return my stolen items and guns." As we told you 19 people have been charged in connection with this incident. Those charges range from rape, to conspiracy to commit rape and aggravated burglary to abetment to rape and handling stolen goods.

Police Allow Prisoner To Give Them The Slip
An illegal immigrant detainee escaped from the custody of Benque Viejo Police, and tonight the department is reporting that negligence by an on-duty allowed him to give police the slip. At around 11 yesterday morning, officers went to the cell block area to take food for prisoner, 36 year-old Denis Alberto Nunez Gamez, a resident of Sonaguera Colon, Honduras. That’s when they discovered that he had escaped from cell #3. They don’t know exactly how he managed it, but they discovered that the padlock on the door was unlocked. The most likely explanation was the officer on duty left it unlocked, and so, that officer will be facing an internal investigation. Police are prepared to take disciplinary action against this officer for neglect of duty.

BTB And Bradley, A Special Arrangement?
Today the Belize Tourism Board invited the media to a long overdue press briefing. Over the past two weeks we have been reporting about the situation with major tour operator Bradley Paumen who has been hauled before the courts for allegedly plotting a murder hit on his neighbour in Frank’s Eddy. His situation was further compromised when it became known that Paumen’s tour company, Dark Night had been operating for almost three weeks in early January without a valid tour operator’s license. As had been previously reported, in December, Paumen was issued two notices informing him that his tour license was about to expire. Then in January he was served with two other notices telling him to cease and desist. But he just kept on going. On the 19 th he fulfilled his requirements and his license was renewed. No harm no foul right? Well the local tour guides we had spoken to didn’t think so. So today we asked BTB's Director of Business Development- what’s with all the special treatment when dealing with Dark Night? Here is what he told us. Javier Paredes - Director of Business Development, BTB: "Belize is a country based on the rule of law. There is due process, it's a police matter at this point in time, and it will come before the courts. We will be guided by that; that still remains to be settled and I assume that is a very lengthy process that will transpire there. For us when he comes before the committee all that will be heard at that point in time will be his illegal operation or his breaking of the law and any disciplinary actions, penalties, fines will be imposed as per the decision of the committee."

Are Tourism Regs Being Applied Across The Board
While on the Topic of the Bradley Paumen situation we asked BTB about another matter, which the local tourism sector has been riled up about for quite some time. That has to do with the strict regulations that are being enforced on them but allegedly not on Dark Night and other foreign private tour operators. Director of Business Development Paredes, told us that he believes in applying regulations across the board. So why do all reports say they are not? Javier Paredes - Director of Business Development, BTB: "We always believe that whatever standards are implemented should be across the board. There should be a level playing field in terms of standards and that's what we strive towards." Emanuel Pech: "Are you there?" Javier Paredes - Director of Business Development, BTB: "No we are moving in that direction. Actually we are still in the process of developing standards for the past 3 years we have been looking closely at hotel standards, that's been the past 3 years. I think in 2016 we're going to be able to pass some legislation in terms of hotel standards. This year 2016 we have earmarked to look at tour operators in terms of tour operators standards..."

The Sports Cycle
Two nights ago we told you about the new Director of the National Sports Council who’s trying to bring new life to the government body, which is in charge of all primary and high schools sport tournaments, plus the management of all public sporting facilities. Today, the new minister of state handed over a fleet of small motorbikes for all the district sports directors. He says they have to get out there, and get kids motivated:… Hon. Elodio Aragon - Minister of State, Youth and Sports: "In each district we have sports coordinators who have responsibility for the facilities, sporting facilities. Also they have responsibility to run certain programmes for us when it comes to sports such as dealing with the primary schools sports tournament that is ongoing now, also there to coordinate and being to plan sporting programmes for the district. A cycle is important for them because it will give them a bit of mobility to move about."

Hon. Aragon Needs 2.5 M USD To Complete the Mother Of All White Elephants
And while we had Aragon we asked him about the Marion Jones sporting complex – which is one of those facilities managed by the Sports Council. Before the break we called it the mother of all white elephants – not so much because so much money has been wasted on it – fat is, no one knows for sure how many millions have been spent…but it’s the mother of all because it was first launched in 2005 with 5 million US dollars from the Taiwanese, and 11 years, and many PUDP millions later, Marion Jones is still not usable! It is a public monument to incompetence, and who knows what else. But new minister Elodio Aragon says he can fix it – he just needs 5 million US more:… Hon. Elodio Aragon - Minister of State, Youth and Sports: "And I will tell you Marion Jones stadium needs to be finished and we are working on that to get it finished. I am hoping as soon as possible we will get that going. Now in terms of Marion Jones, one of the things I had a meeting with the supervising element of the Marion Jones Stadium and I'll tell you that I've learned a lot in terms of how Marion Jones Stadium came about, what was the plan and how monies were being allocated to it. Understanding that and where we are in terms of the work has given me a great insight in knowing how we will now move forward in terms of getting it done. The priority for me is getting Marion Jones Stadium up and finished."

Hon. Faber Wants To Lead
And while Aragon is trying to deliver those sports complexes, the benefits will surely accrue to his ministerial senior, Patrick Faber who is the substantive Minister of Sports. Faber told us today why he wants to be leader of the UDP and what he’s going to do to get there:.. Jules Vasquez: "Are you actively positioning yourself to be the next leader of the UDP?" Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education: "You know that I have, I have never hidden that. I have indicated a long time ago that I have intentions of seeking the leadership of the United Democratic Party. This is really my life's work, I have said to people time and time again that I work hard in my ministry; I work hard in executing things and making sure that things are successful because one of these days I do intend to ask the people of the nation. Right now it might be the people of my party to support my ambitions because if you're not successful at the smaller things that are given to you, how then can you expect them to give you that opportunity to serve? This is as my colleague Mr. Saldivar said, the will and the desire of the people and of course we leave it all up to them entirely. Yes, I will at that time not in this convention that is coming up on March 20th, I will not aspire for any of the offices there. I believe in saving the gun powder for when the big dance comes to town which is going to be in early 2020."

Police Public Relations Means Community Policing
Teaching police officers to be more community friendly: that was the focus of police training today. 30 officers from the north side were trained in public relations and community policing among other areas. Public relations Officer Fitzroy Yearwood told us why it’s important to engage officers in these training sessions. Officers from precinct 3 and 4 including San Pedro and Caye Caulker will also participate in this Police PR training.

Police Make The Community Rounds
Community policing is a major part of these training sessions and a group of officers put it to practice this afternoon during another meet and greet session. Officers from the North side met with residents from the Coral Grove area to find out what their concerns are. Well Assistant Commissioner Phillips told us this area is a relatively safe and peaceful community. About 20 officers were spread out in the Coral Grove Area.

Getting Behind the BTB Numbers
2016 began a little rough for the tourism sector, what with the slaying of Canadian Matthiew Clinck and American tourist Anne Swaney – followed by the arrest and charge of the American owner of one of the biggest tour operators in Belize for allegedly plotting a murder hit. But in terms of tourist arrivals, 2015 was a record year. At today’s press briefing the Belize Tourism Board revisited their those figures which showed several increases towards the last quarter of the year. There biggest success was in December which displayed close to 40 thousand overnight visitors. The only downturn was in the cruise line sector which showed a very small decrease of 1 percent when compared to 2014. Javier Paredes, the Director of Business Development of BTB, gave us a more in depth look at what these figures mean. For this year BTB says it is monitoring the numbers very closely as there is a legitimate concern about how much the negative press they have received during this month will affect their numbers.

Meeting Needs For Needy Programs
5 city schools and 1 steel band were each given over $6,000 dollars to enhance their music and feeding programs. A handing over ceremony was held this morning at the office of the Special Envoy for Women and children on Coney drive. The music instructors from the schools told us how impactful this donation will be. Wesley College, Grace Primary and St. Luke Methodist all received $6,000 each while St. John’s Anglican School got $10,628 for its feeding program. St. Agnes Anglican School got $7,971 for their feeding program and the Pandemonium Steel Band got $6,000. The donations were given by the Lifeline Foundation in collaboration with Lebanese Diplomat Sarkis Ahbou-Nehra.

Channel 5

2 Men Stabbed, 1 Fatally in Brutal Home Invasion
There was a deadly home invasion at about one-thirty this morning in Belize City. Ian Robert Blair of a Lizarraga Street address was visiting with Doctor Marcos Christopher Rugama Miranda [...]

Paul Massam Gunned Down in Corozal
Murder victim number twelve is from Corozal Town where the second murder for today took place in broad daylight. Around eight-thirty this morning several shots rang out in the Skeleton [...]

Cayo Resident Attacked on a Bus
There was chaos on a Westline Bus this afternoon as a passenger was attacked. Early reports to News Five indicate that San Ignacio resident Conrad Thomas boarded the two-thirty-bus at [...]

Police Investigate Bus Incident
As we’ve told you, there is some confusion coming out of the crowded bus, and Police are being kept busy finding out exactly what happened. Several persons have allegedly claimed [...]

Royal Caribbean Pulls Plug on Bradley Paumen’s Dark Night
There is a major development today in respect of the allegation against investor Bradley Paumen, the owner of Dark Night, who is accused of ordering hits against four people. And [...]

Bradley Paumen Issued License, Despite Accusations of Abetment to Murder
After his arraignment, Paumen was successful in renewing his tour operator’s license despite being served notice by B.T.B. that they were aware that Dark Night was operating without a valid [...]

B.T.B. Explains Considerations in Granting Licenses
And did B.T.B. have a role in the acquisition by Paumen of the controversial piece of land or the co-management agreement presently in place with the National Institute of Culture [...]

Bad Press Following Anne Swaney’s Murder Affecting Belize’s Image
The unsolved murder of ABC producer Anne Swaney, an American tourist who was killed while vacationing in Belize on January fifteenth, is another black eye for the country.  Not only [...]

2015 Was a Stellar Year in Tourism
While crime has been tainting Belize as a tourist destination, 2015 was a stellar year for tourism in Belize, as the number of visitors in both the cruise and overnight [...]

Patrick Faber Still Interested in Leadership…But Will Wait for 2020
The United Democratic Party will be holding a national convention this March. Some executive positions such as Chairman, Deputy Chairman, Deputy Leader and Leader will be up for election. And [...]

Faber Says P.U.P.’s Woes Are Hilarious
The leadership convention for the People’s United Party is this Sunday in Belmopan. And while campaigns are often negative, many onlookers conclude that the tone and tenor of this particular [...]

Reynolds Fined for Handling Stolen Goods
In March of 2015, the Belize Traffic Department was burglarized and twenty decal license stickers were stolen. A surveillance camera picked up a security guard entering the building on Youth [...]

Cousins Charged for Burglary Are Freed
In a similar case, a pair of cousins, who were accused of burglarizing Quality Used Tires which is owned by businessman Rene Gordon, walked free. Thirty-five year old Kenrick Pitts, [...]

Ministry of Education Rolls Out Phase 2 of the BESRP
After two years of consultations the Ministry of Education is ready to roll out Phase two of the Belize Education Sector Reform Project. The construction of thirty-five schools is planned [...]

35 New Schools Will Be Created
Over the years, the Ministry of Education has amalgamated several schools across the country, but now it is moving toward the construction of thirty-five new schools. And with that, also [...]

Will the Marion Jones Sporting Complex Finally Be Completed?
The Marion Jones Sporting Complex…for years now we’re been carrying the story of this monstrous ugly duckling which never seems to change into a swan. Nobody’s been able to say [...]

New Sports Minister Says He Must Source $5 Million for Marion Jones Complex
According to Aragon, to complete the Marion Jones Sporting Complex his ministry will need to source an additional five million dollars. That’s what we were told many times before by [...]

NSC Donates 7 Motorcycles
The National Sports Council in past years has been an organization which we know is there, but we’d be hard pressed to say what it’s done for sporting in the [...]

City Schools Receive Musical Instruments
The Lifeline Foundation, along with Honorary Consul to Lebanon, Sarkis Abou Nehra, made several significant donations today to a number of music and feeding programs across the country.  This morning, [...]

#511137 - 01/28/16 06:18 AM Re: Today's Belize News: January 28, 2016 [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy


Fire In The Free Zone Still Being Assessed
Yesterday we told you about a massive fire in the Corozal Commercial Free Zone which destroyed a 3 storey concrete structure used as a warehouse. The structure, which measured 75 x 75 square feet was extensively damaged and belonged to P & P enterprises and is owned by 35 year old Orange Walk Businessman Amid Moriani. As we mentioned yesterday, Corozal Police and fire brigade were dispatched at the scene at about 3:00 p.m just as the fire had started. Despite the fact that the fire was brought under control just before midnight by members of the Corozal Fire Department along with and the Mexican Fire Brigade we understand that up until news time tonight they are still trying to fully extinguish the blaze. An investigation to access the damage and to determine the origin of the fire is currently ongoing. Reports are that the building was insured.

Import/Exports Down In December 2015
When it comes to Imports and Exports, the report from SIB shows that both were down for 2015. We start off with the Imports. Belize’s total imports for the month of December 2015 were valued at $179.7 million. This was a decrease of 2.5 percent or $4.6 million over imports for December 2014, which totaled $184.2 million. During the month, imports destined for the ‘Commercial Free Zones’ and ‘Export Processing Zones’ both declined by $6 million, as fewer cigarettes, clothing, shrimp feed and steel structures were purchased, when compared to the same month in 2014. Imports of ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ rose by $2.6 million, owing to increased purchases of telecommunication parts during the month. And due to the Christmas Season, a spike in turkey imports led to a $2 million growth in the category of ‘Food and Live Animals.

Mexico Looks In Ways To Attract More Tourist From Belize
On Tuesday January 26th, Mexican newspaper Novedades, Quintana Roo, reported that the tourism sector representatives in Chetumal issued a proposal to the Chamber of Delegates and the Servicio de Atención Tributaria (SAT) to remove the fee charged to Belizeans travelling by boat from San Pedro to Chetumal. According to the report, the president of the Commission of Tourism and Environment of Chetumal, Jose Hadad Estefano, confirmed that a few days ago the members of the Committee of Tourism in Belize reached an agreement to make the request in order to lower or eliminate the tax. On the route from San Pedro to Chetumal the SAT charges the boat 700 thousand pesos per day, previously it was only 25 thousand pesos per boat. Boats are also charged 360 pesos per passenger, while other cruises that have mass numbers of tourists on board are charged equally hence the Committee of Tourism believes that it is unfair that a small country like Belize whose boats carrying 60 people would be charged this amount.

Cubans Incarcerated At Hattieville Prison Demand Date Be Set For Their Release
Last week the Minister of Immigration, Godwin Hulse, mentioned in an interview with the media that on Friday January 15th, a document was to be signed in order to free the thirty two Cubans who were incarcerated at the Belize Central Prison in Hattieville since august of last year. Today we can tell you that this news has gone international and according to El Nuevo Herald, the prisoners are unaware of the plan and the decision made with regards to their liberation as they remain locked away in prison. According to the report, one of the inmate who goes by the name Yorday Leon Perdomo, told the newspaper that absolutely no authorities from Belize have contacted the Cubans to speak to them about their freedom. Perdomo further stated that when he called the Immigration Office concerning the issue, he was told that officials are presently working in getting the process done; however, there is still a delay.

Joint Operation Results In Interception Of Drug Trafficking From Mexico Into Belize
In a joint operation between the customs, coast guard and the BDF four parcels of suspected cannabis were intercepted this morning. The drugs were allegedly coming into Belize from Mexico. At around 6:00 am while on patrol in a contraband hotspot between the areas of Ramonal on the Mexican side and Estereo on the Belizean side of the Rio Hondo, authorities intercepted the parcels of what they suspect to be marijuana. While they believe that the drugs belong to two individuals that were in the immediate vicinity of where the drugs were found, they could not detained the men since the parcels were not found in their possession but rather in some bushes. The exact amount of the drugs is not yet known as it needs to be handed over to police for official weighing.

Consumer Price Index Declines For The Month Of December 2015
The Statistical Institute of Belize today published its latest statistics on prices and external trade for the country of Belize. When it comes to the Consumer Price Index, the report shows that during the month of December 2015, consumer prices declined, on average, by 0.7% from 103.5 recorded in December 2014. For the year 2015, the average national inflation rate was negative 0.9 percent. During the month of December 2015, the average price per gallon of all three types of fuels remained lower than they were in December 2014. The price of premium gasoline was down by about 10 percent, while that of regular gasoline was 16 percent lower. Diesel fuel was more than 24 percent lower than it was in the same month of 2014. These decreases, combined with a drop of more than one third in international airfares, resulted in an overall decline of more than 8 percent in the “Transport” category when compared to December 2014. As for food prices, statistics show that when compared to December 2014 there was no change. Although price increases were seen across all types of meats, says SIB, these were offset by lower prices for Red Kidney Beans and various fresh vegetables, including carrots and onions.


Doctor Escapes Death While Friend Succumbs in Home Invasion
The family of 37-year-old Ian Robert Blair is in mourning over his death which came in the wee hours of this morning at a friend’s home on Simon Lamb Street in Belize City. It is a story that started out as an apparent home invasion but turned into a homicide with Blair dead and a […]

Corozal’s First Murder for 2016
The first murder in the Corozal District for the New Year was recorded this morning. Love News got the details from second in command, Corozal Police, Inspector Peter Serrano. PETER SERRANO “Sometime about 8:30 am today information was received of gunshots fired from the Skeleton area of Corozal Town. As a result police visited the […]

How Badly Was Tourism Affected by News of Swaney’s Murder
Anne Swaney, the Executive Producer of online operations at ABC7 was murdered in Belize about two weeks ago. Swaney was found dead floating in the Macal River partially nude. She was staying at the Nabitunich Farm Resort when she went missing and her body was recovered the next day. Love News spoke to Javier Paredez […]

BTB’s Comments on the Paumen Saga
Owner of Dark Knight Cave Tubing, Bradley Paumen was recently charged with abetment to murder. Officials believe that Paumen paid to have four persons including his neighbor killed. Two other men were recently charged, who Paumen allegedly paid to get the job done. Dark Knight Cave tubing is still running today, and Love News spoke […]

Was Attempted Murder Over Land?
Investigators suspect that a land dispute is the reason Bradley Paumen allegedly plotted the murders of Michael Modiri, two of his workers and his attorney. Paumen wants control of a piece of land that Modiri owns in order for him to get easy access to caves which are essential to his Dark Knight Cave Adventures […]

Immigration Minister Speaks on Muzikant (Czech National)
The mystery of Martin Muzikant keeps unraveling and tonight we air the comments of the Substantive Minister in the Ministry of Immigration. As we told you last night, Muzikant was arrested in Orange Walk Town and yesterday Magistrate Merlene Moody remanded him to prison. He will spend six months behind bars and it is expected […]

Hulse Disputes Espat’s Comments on Farmers’ Lands
As Minister of Natural Resources, Godwin Hulse, also has to deal with the situation involving farmers of Valley of Peace Village. As you may recall the farmers took Santander Sugar to court after their crops were affected by aerial spraying. The matter was resolved and the farmers received land and financial compensation. What they did […]

Lands Minister Says Harmonyville Papers are Processing
Squatters are still occupying areas of the Harmonyville Agricultural Subdivision along the George Price Highway. As you may recall those who first squatted in the area got together to form BGYEA and the matter was taken to court. After mediation, it was agreed that Government would assist in solving the issue once and for all. […]

Senators Debate Ombudsman’s Contract Renewal
The Senate met today in Belmopan. One of the matters debated was the reappointment of Lionel Arzu as the Ombudsman. Arzu is being reappointed for a period of one year beginning January 1, 2016. The Government is satisfied with Arzu’s performance however the opposition is not. Today PUP Senator, Lisa Shoman share her views. LISA […]

Teachers’ Union and Civil Society Get Representation in the Senate
At the Senate meeting today, Elena Smith, was sworn in as the Senator representing the National Trade Union Congress of Belize and Civil Society. It has been months that both the NTUCB and Civil Society were at odds over who to appoint as senator. However this is just a temporary solution as Smith will be […]


Woman kills son- in -law, claims self defense
A sixty-two-year-old resident of Biscayne mortally injured her son- in- law allegedly in self defense. On Friday the 22th of January, 62 year old Moszetta Reyes was at home with her mentally disabled daughter, Alva Reyes who is a mother of four. While at home, Alva’s boyfriend, Arthur Wade, ca...

Belizean student shot in Guyana recovering
Belizean student studying in Guyana, Garfield Dennison, is said to be recovering. from gunshot wounds he received last week in Guyana. Dennison was shot twice as he was standing outside of his premises in Cummingslodge. 30 year old Dennison had just dropped off his new girlfriend and was about to r...

Yohnny Rosado and son forced to close business
This evening Yohnny Rosado and his son Yohnny Jr. are out of work. While the elder Rosado is a well-known tour operator, about eight months ago the father and son started a tire selling business called Econo Tires on the Philip Goldson Highway. Today, however, representatives of the Belize City Coun...

Conservation organizations to promote sustainable fishing
Seafood is a major source of income for Belizeans, from those who catch it to those who cook and sell it. But worried about the level of illegal masking of fisheries products under different guises and wishing to reward individual fishermen and businesses who do the right thing, a coalition of touri...

Benque Resident charged with drug trafficking
Benque Viejo Resident Javier Itza was arrested and charged for Drug Trafficking. On Sunday 24th January , Benque Viejo Police were conducting mobile patrol in the San Jose Succotz Village, Cayo District. While doing their patrol, their attention was drawn to Javier Itza who was acting suspiciously....

PUP debate called off
The PUP debate between those three men seeking leadership of the blue party has been called off. The debate was to be held on January 28, a few days before the national convention to chose the PUP leader. Organizer of the debate, Glenn Tillett, issued a press release today saying quote “After due co...

Ombudsman and Commissioner of Police sign MOU
The recently reappointed Ombudsman of Belize, Lionel Arzu and the Commissioner of Police. Allen Whylie, today Tuesday 26 January 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the Racoon Street Police Station in Belize City. The purpose of the MOU is to strengthen cooperation between the offices...

The Reporter

Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Belize to hold 2nd Annual Convention
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Belize will be gathering on Saturday January 30th for the annual convention, in which they plan to address current issues such as integration and terrorist risks. According to Organizer of the Convention, Naveed Mangla, the convention will bring together new members to meet the Muslims already in Belize. Non-muslims are invited to attend the convention and interact with the Muslim people in Belize to get to know what Islam is about. The community that was established in November 2013 has existed for almost three years and has over a hundred members, mostly from Belize City and surrounding villages. The mosque is located in Buttonwood Bay. Mangla said the social climate of Belize is welcoming to Muslim people, unlike other western countries in which followers of the Islamic faith face much discrimination and xenophobia. Belizeans are very open minded, Mangla said, and have a high level of acceptance of different communities.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Toledo Community College holds Career Day Expo
As part of career week at the Toledo Community College (TCC) in Punta Gorda Town, a Career Day Expo was held to showcase prominent job choices that would appeal to students after completion of their studies, featuring presentations from various government departments, military branches […]

Cubans released after over seven months in prison
Twenty eight Cubans who were imprisoned for entering the country illegally are being released. The group will be released into the community, according to Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington after their release order was signed yesterday January 26th. The Minister said the group […]

Minister of Natural Resources and Immigration addresses controversies
Today, Minister of Natural Resources and Immigration Senator Godwin Hulse addressed a number of recent controversies erupting in those two ministries. Ministry of Natural Resources addressing Harmonyvile and Valley of Peace On either side of Belmopan on the George Price Highway are two festering land […]

No evidence sets cousins free from burglary
A pair of cousins, were accused of burglarizing Quality Used Tires on Central American Boulevard, owned by Rene Gordon; but in court today the police could not prove the charge and the two men walked. 35 year old Kenrick Pitts, aka “Snake”, along with his […]

Traffic officer pleads guilty to handling stolen goods
The Belize City Traffic Department was robbed of decal license stickers valued $325 in March of 2015. The finger of blame was pointed at a now-former security guard, Glenroy Reynolds, who was charged with burglary and handling stolen goods after he brought back seven of […]

Senate meets in Belmopan
At its first session for 2016 and second in the third term of Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s administration, the Senate considered, debated, and approved four bills brought from Friday’s session of the House of Representatives, as well as three motions. The motions concerned a line of credit […]

Statistical Institute of Belize releases 2015 fourth quarter stats
A release from the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) earlier today, showed that in the month of December 2015, prices fell for all three types of fuel compared to December of 2014, with Premium gas down by 10 percent, Regular gas down by 16 […]

Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina awarded prestigious “3 Green Key” award
The Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina, this week, was honored with an environmental certification from Green Key Global, a certification body geared specifically toward the lodging industry. The Radisson was awarded the prestigious “3 Green Key” award. The Green Key Eco rating program is […]

Bus passenger shoots another on bus in Esperanza Village
Reports reaching our newsroom indicate that a passenger inside a bus was shot in the head while travelling to Belize in the village of Esperanza, Cayo District. Information is still sketchy but BMG was made to understand that the trigger man was also a […]

Police say burglary was motive for attack on Simon Lamb Street
Police say they recovered a flat screen television stolen from the residence of Dr. Marcos Christopher Rugama Miranda on Simon Lamb Street and have detained three persons as part of their investigations. However, Dr. Rugama is in stable condition after being stabbed in the chest […]

Fire officials investigating Free Zone fire
Fire Officials and police in Corozal are still investigating the cause of a mid-afternoon fire in the Corozal Commercial Free Zone on Tuesday. The alert was set off shortly after three in the afternoon as the Corozal Free Zone fire unit was dispatched to the […]

Elena Smith joins Senate
Educator and long-standing union activist Elena Smith was this morning sworn in as the twelfth member of the Senate, representing the trade unions and civil society. Smith’s appointment ends a several-months’ long stand-off between the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) and the Civil […]

First murder in Corozal for 2016
According to reports from Corozal, that municipality has registered its first murder of the year. Information reaching our newsroom is that a little after 8:30 this morning a man was shot and killed in the vicinity of Skeleton town. The shooting incident claimed the […]

Officer accountable for prisoner’s escape
An internal investigation has been launched at the Benque Viejo Police station to hold an officer accountable for neglect of duty after it was discovered that a prisoner escaped from his holding cell yesterday morning. At around 11:00 a.m., checks were made at holding cell number […]

Minor charged for carrying weed
During a routine patrol on Arenal Road in Benque Viejo town, Cayo district yesterday evening around 5:00, police intercepted two male persons on a motorcycle who were acting suspiciously and found one of them, a 17-year-old male minor, with 82 grams of cannabis. Upon sight of […]


How to Make Your New House Sustainable
The concept of sustainability (meeting the needs of today without compromising the needs of future generations) has been around for a number of years now. However, its application to housing has been slow. Those projects that have been undertaken tend to focus largely on producing ultra-green housing that is extremely hard to reproduce as mass development projects. People might falsely believe that when they are building a house incorporating any sustainable solutions will require additional costs and effort. It is actually the opposite. Sustainable housing has the potential to produce good quality housing at a price that is affordable both in the short and long term. Some of the sustainable solutions require very little if any additional financing with comparison to the costs that need to be incurred anyways in a newly constructed building. Moreover, while an initial cost might be a bit higher as for purchasing, for example a sustainable heating system, there is a fast return on investment as utility bills are much lower with sustainable heating than a standard one. It is possible to save around 30% on the use of energy and water in a sustainable house. A truly sustainable housing project should incorporate economic, social and environmental issues in the planning and design stages with the aim of providing a building that is affordable, accessible and environmentally sound. It goes without saying that compromises will have to be made, but the result is a project that can be applied to the mass housing market, where the greatest environmental impact lies.

Estel’s 5th Annual Ribs Cook-Off
Texas singer/songerwriter Jerry Jeff Walker in town and his huge crew for sold-out Camp Belize (his yearly two week concert set in San Pedro.) And 6 grills going filled with delicious pork ribs. 6 grillmasters. 3 from San Pedro, 3 from the states. At least 10 musicians. This year there were two female chefs. Jennie Staines from Elvi’s Kitchen and Amy Knox from Wild Mango’s. Two FAVORITE restaurants in town. Part of the ticket price – and the raffles – were all for the Sunshine Foundation. Which raises money for scholarships for kids on Ambergris Caye.

Island BBQ Grilling Competition Becomes Major Attraction
Close to 1,000 ribs are prepared to feed the masses that gathers every year to sample finger licking good BBQ ribs at Estel's annual Cook-off and that is nearly not enough to supply the demand of the hundreds that attend the event. The cookoff is gaining momentum and people are looking forward to the lively event that takes place at the popular island eatery that has established itself as one of the best on Ambergris Caye. Charles Worthington and family host the event at Estel's Dine by the Sea with live music, plenty of beer and cocktails and delectable food. With its growing popularity, the BBQ ribs don't seem to be enough as tickets run out with latecomers wanting to sample the ribs that are no more. Grill masters start setting up as early as 9a.m. prepping their grills, smokers and seasoning their racks of ribs. Anybody wishing to see them in action can become spectators outside the restaurant in the ally where the tents are set up for the chefs.

We Went on Vacation…And Now Live Full-Time in Paradise
Many people say that you cannot possibly come to Belize and not have some kind of a big adventure. I have to agree. My first visit to Belize was in 1995. I vacationed for a week of scuba diving off Glover’s Reef. I met my Belizean husband, Marcos, during that trip, and he moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico with me in 1996. I was a practicing psychotherapist and my husband launched a small business. We enjoyed living in Santa Fe, but were intensely busy virtually all of the time. We traveled to Belize every year and explored the country in depth over the next 17 years. We knew our hearts belonged to this small nation, with its laidback lifestyle and friendly people. The breakneck speed at which life had to be lived in the U.S., raising two kids and running two businesses while maintaining a house eventually took its toll. In 2013, we made a permanent move to San Pedro, on Ambergris Caye. The beauty of the crystalline turquoise water, gorgeous weather, and active and thriving English-speaking community is something I still appreciate.

Belizean Rice Pudding
Put water into a saucepan and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Add rice. Turn on medium heat and cook till the water boils. Reduce the heat of the stove to low flame. Cover the saucepan with its lid and let it simmer until the water evaporates. Remove from heat. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Mix well 2 1/2 cups of the cooked rice, sugar, milk, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, and raisins. Pour the mixture into a 9 x 9 baking dish. Bake the mixture in the preheated oven until the top is golden. This could take 30 - 60 minutes. Cool on stovetop. Serve hot or cold.

Season chicken with salt and pepper and brown in a hot pot with little oil. Once browned add enough water to cover the chicken and then add onions and garlic. Simmer for 30 minutes. Dissolve recado and tomato paste and add to the chicken. Add the diced tomatoes and apazote leaves. Add more water if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Served hot with boiled eggs and corn tortillas

International Sourcesizz

Two U.S. airlines offer refunds to travelers to destinations with Zika virus outbreaks
Two major U.S. airlines are offering refunds to passengers worried about the Zika virus outbreak in many tropical countries. United Airlines says customers booked to fly to areas affected by the virus can reschedule or get refunds. American Airlines says it will give refunds to pregnant women who were planning to travel to parts of Central America. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned pregnant women to take precautions against mosquito bites when traveling to areas in Latin America and the Caribbean where there have been Zika outbreaks. The CDC says the mosquito-borne illness could be linked to a birth defect of the brain. The United Airlines offer began Tuesday and includes any country covered by a CDC travel notice, an airline spokesman said. American Airlines began refunds Monday for pregnant passengers holding tickets to El Salvador, Honduras, Panama or Guatemala, according to a spokesman. A spokesman for Delta Air Lines said the carrier was monitoring the situation but not yet offering waivers. JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines were not immediately able to say whether they were offering refunds. Southwest Airlines said it was sticking to its normal policy, which lets customers who cancel ahead of time reuse the value of their tickets. All of those airlines fly to at least some affected locations.

Passport Expiring Soon? Renew It Now, State Dept. Says
If you have a United States passport expiring any time in 2016, the State Department has a message for you: Renew it now. The department anticipates a surge in passport demand throughout this year, and officials hope to avoid a crush that could leave some Americans fuming in frustration with no passport in hand on the day they planned to travel outside the country. Officials are expecting a flood of renewals of 10-year passports issued in 2006 and 2007. The latter was the year when the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative went into effect, for the first time requiring passports for Americans returning by air from Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean and Bermuda. As millions of citizens scrambled to apply for their first passports, backlogs swelled and many were stranded. “We were overwhelmed then, and we are not going to be overwhelmed again,” said Michele Bond, the assistant secretary of state for consular affairs, who oversees passports. She has been on a campaign to cajole Americans into renewing early.

Think Manatees are Recovered? Look Farther South
Manatees in Belize face increasing threats from development—and potentially from the U.S. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made headlines around the world earlier this month when it proposed that the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) and its relative the Antillean manatee (T. m. manatus) no longer be listed as “endangered.” Instead, the agency said, the famed sea cows should be considered merely “threatened,” a designation that means they’re no longer immediately threatened with extinction. That may be true in Florida, but manatees face much greater threats elsewhere. In fact, some conservationists fear that this announcement could be the thing that pushes some populations of Antillean manatee—the subspecies that ranges through the Caribbean and down through about half of the east coast of South American—into extinction. “The FWS is painting it as if things are good,” says Jamal Galvez, a research biologist with the Sea to Shore Alliance who has been working on manatee conservation in his native Belize for more than 15 years. “Their assessment doesn’t take into account what is happening down here in Belize.”

Aurelio is the standard-bearer for Honduran Garifuna roots music
As Aurelio Martinez knows well, music is much more than another commodity to be bought and sold. The Honduras-based troubadour with the stage name Aurelio understands its role in helping bring together and bind whole communities, and has dedicated his life to his people, the Garifuna of Central America’s Caribbean coast. Through his liltingly melodic and highly rhythmic songs, he bolsters their identity, while spreading awareness of their little-known black culture. The Garifuna descend from African slaves shipwrecked off St. Vincent and the indigenous Caribs of that island. They survived deportation, starvation, and disease to spread out along the shoreline of four nations—Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Honduras, where Aurelio grew up in the village of Plaplaya. “My mother is a Garifuna singer-songwriter, but she never left the community,” he says, reached on the road in Honduras. “She often arranges songs for me. My father played guitar. When I was three, he left and went to the U.S. He did homemade recordings and sent them to us. I learned to play that way, without any teachers.” Aurelio first made his mark on other instruments, however. “I was the percussionist for the entire community during celebrations. That way, I learned many of the traditional dances and ancestral songs. After I left home at 14 for the city, I studied and worked at the same time, playing with various cultural groups and commercial bands. In time I became a member of Los Gatos Bravos, one of the leading Honduran bands, and toured Japan, where we recorded Sonidos Garífunas Del Mundo.”

U.S. Expects to Collect $1.36 Billion From Swiss Banks
The Justice Department said it expects to collect more than $1.36 billion from 80 Swiss banks and other financial firms that acknowledged encouraging U.S. taxpayers to hide money abroad. Currently the Justice Department is investigating whether banks and financial advisers in Israel and the Caribbean, especially Belize and the Cayman Islands, also encouraged U.S. tax evasion, according to Jeffrey Neiman, a former Justice Department attorney who is now with Marcus Neiman Rashbaum in Miami. A Justice Department spokeswoman said offshore tax evasion remains a priority but declined to comment further. The U.S. campaign against secret offshore accounts intensified in 2009 after Swiss banking giant UBS Group AG admitted that it helped U.S. taxpayers hide money abroad. Since then, the U.S. has collected more than $13 billion from individuals and financial firms in connection with secret offshore accounts.

Caribbean tourism sector to be enhanced by better health systems
Trinidad and Tobago is one of six Caribbean countries to benefit from a US$800,000 Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) grant to develop and implement a regional tourism health information, monitoring and response system. The other Caribbean nations that are beneficiaries of the IDB grant, as disclosed at Wednesday morning’s grant signing ceremony, are The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Guyana and Jamaica. The Caribbean region is the most tourism dependent region in the world and the recent pandemics – SARS in 2000, HINI in 2009, chikungunya in 2013 and now the zika virus – have accelerated the need to monitor and respond to travel related illnesses and support the tourism sector to adopt comprehensive and effective health and environmental sanitation practices. In welcoming this three-year regional tourism health initiative, Shamfa Cudjoe pledged the support of the ministry of tourism as “strengthening the public health system will strengthen our tourism product”.

One Fish Two Fish, No Fish: Rebuilding of Fish Stocks Urgently Needed
A major new study has revealed that the global seafood catch is much larger and declining much faster than previously known. The study, by the University of British Columbia near Vancouver, reconstructed the global catch between 1950 and 2010 and found that it was 30 per cent higher than what countries have been reporting to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome since 1950. In the Caribbean islands, the catch was more than twice as large as previously reported and declining at a rate 60 per cent faster than the official rate, the Canadian study found. “This trend needs to be reversed urgently, or else a lot of people who depend on the sea for affordable protein are going to suffer,” said Daniel Pauly, a fisheries scientist who led the study. “And climate change is just going to make things worse.” Called the “Sea Around Us” and funded by the Pew Environment Group, the study involved more than 400 collaborators over more than a decade.


  • Guatemala & Belize in 211 seconds, 3.5min.

  • An Interview with Marcus Perigo, Founder of Sisimito Records, 3.5min. "Sisimito Records was founded in 2015 by Marcus Perigo and is the first techno, tech house record label of its kind in Central America. Here, Marcus talks about how and why he started it and his vision."

  • Cahal Pech Village Resort - Your Affordable Belize Resort to Stay in San Ignacio Town, 3min. Experience our Belize resort’s ultimate privacy and award winning service – Cahal Pech Village Resort is your special place to stay in San Ignacio, Cayo.

  • Representatives from FECTAB on Belize Tourism, 37min.

  • Belize 2016, 7min. Taylor University Exercise Science Belize trip 2016

  • Belize Tourism, 14min.

  • Belize Dive w/Alex, 39min. First of two dives in Belize approx. 75' @ 45 minutes.

  • Guatemala Belize, 14min. Deze video gaat over Guatemala Belize.

  • Weekend Warriors Barber Shop Race 24Jan16 Downtown Belize City, 64min.

  • Xuantunish Maya Ruins in Belize, 9.5min. Only a small portion of the buildings were excavated. There are countless mounds that are additional ruins.

  • Short Film on Belizean School Kids - Chaa Creek, 2min. A short film shot at Belize's Progresso Government School in Progresso village, Cayo District, Belize, Central America.

  • Belize Adventure, 4min. Channel 23 Belize

  • Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Caye Caulker, Belize, 7min. I did two dives. In between dives the captain brought the boat to a shallow area that is popular for snorkeling with Stingrays.

  • Great Belize Cooking - Episode 1: Orange Walk Tacos, 33min. Hosted by Sean Kuylen, the first episode of Great Belize Cooking travels to the Orange Walk district for a taste of its famous and unique tacos, which may considered to be works of art by some.

  • ANTELOPE FALLS Bocawina, Belize, 30min. Hike to the top of Antelope Falls in Belize.

  • 2016 Belize Random Adventuring on Caye Caulker, 6min.

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    Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
    White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
    Caribbean Inspired All Natural Condiments & Spice Blends, Over 100 are Gluten Free!
    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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