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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

Congratulations Catrachos Team
Champions of the 2016 Mayor's and Minister's Cup! It ended in major controversy with a final score of 4-3, but Catrachos won the Mayor's & Minister's Cup Football Tournament. After the referee called offside on a penalty kick, Veterans protested, and eventually walked off and forfeited the final game of the tournament. Congratulations to Team Catrachos on their win.

World ranked Laser Sailors Visit Belize Sailing School
On Sunday, April 10, 2016, two vivacious and highly decorated Laser Sailors, Hanne Weaver, 20, and her brother Ted, 23, visited the Belize Sailing Center and provided inspirational training and racing for the school’s aspiring young Laser sailors. Among Hanne Weaver’s many accomplishments is winning the 2012 USA Junior Female Single-person-Dingy Championship at age 16. She currently ranks 3rd among US senior women Laser Radial sailors and is in a very strong position to make the 2020 Women’s US Olympic Laser sailing team. Hanne is putting off full-time college to pursue her Olympic goal; she is an assistant manager at a Seattle, Washington USA branch of West Marine, the large and prestigious US water sports outfitter and retailer. West Marine fully supports Hanne’s sailing ambitions and allows her time off to pursue them.

Projects Abroad to conduct survey on alcohol and tobacco use in SP
In an effort to keep the younger island population away the unhealthy influences of alcohol and tobacco abuse, Projects Abroad in Belize has initiated an action plan. This initiative will require community cooperation, and is already underway. According to Kaitlin McWhorter from the non-governmental organization (NGO) Projects Abroad, the idea is to go door-to-door, inquiring information related to alcohol and tobacco use in the community. The project aims to find out how often they are being used, and if there is a way to reduce or eliminate its abuse. The NGO is currently working on a community census to collect data on the use of these two common drugs in Ambergris Caye. The team plans to visit the schools on the island applying the same system of data survey. McWhorter indicated that from the information gathered, an action plan can then be implemented to prevent or lower the rate of usage among the youth on the island. She looks forward to working with the community, and hopes to get everyone’s support on this new project that seeks only the best for the island youth. The surveys are scheduled to start on Thursday, April 14th, and should run through Saturday, May 14th.

BWG, The Phoenix, Canary Coves raises funds for new ECG machine
Each month, the Blue Water Grill (BWG) restaurant along with its sister business The Phoenix Resort, raises funds to support different organizations in San Pedro. Last month, donations not only came from BWG and The Phoenix, but also from Canary Cove, who joined the initiative to raise money for an Electrocardiogram (ECG) machine for the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II. During the month of March, BWG, The Phoenix and Canary Cove raised $8,920 to purchase the machine for the Polyclinic. The BWG intended to purchase the machine back in August 2015, however, other urgent clinic essentials took precedence. Spirometers, pulse oximeters and thermometers among other necessary supplies were donated instead. Now that funds have been raised for the ECG, the doctors and nurses at the clinic will be better able to take care of the community of San Pedro. The official handing over ceremony will be announced at a later date. BWG, The Phoenix, and Canary Cove would like to thank everyone for their donations and for making this possible.

Businesses organize to address Mayor’s new delivery regulations
On Monday, April 11th, the new regulation for delivery trucks began in downtown San Pedro. The project is an experiment by The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) as a means to solve traffic congestion on the island. All large-vehicle deliveries have been barred from doing so after 7AM in the town core. Despite opposition to the pilot project, the SPTC began implementing the idea. Mayor Guerrero expects the new regulations to become a by-law in the coming months. “The project has been well received by residents. They feel relieved knowing their children will be safer on the streets when they go to school. We are also accommodating our tourists, who were having issues with the congestion in downtown,” said Guerrero. According to the Mayor, some businesses are cooperating with the new initiative of deliveries between 2AM and 7AM. However, not everyone in the business community is happy with the new regulation, despite recent clarifications. On Wednesday, April 13th, over 30 business owners met at the Lions Den for an in-depth discussion. The different stakeholders ranged from barge to hardware stores to the main super market owners in town. The matter is so serious that the group has sought legal advice concerning the situation. According to one of the participants, his legal adviser mentioned that no local authority can block access to public streets. Such a regulation must come from the Ministry of Transportation prior to being gazette at the Ministry in Central Government. In view of this, everyone at the meeting agreed on taking the legal approach as well.

Kids for Belize fundraiser a success
Island children with limited resources and who struggle for an education will once again benefit from Daryl’s ‘Kids of Belize’ fundraising program. For the past year and a half, Daryl Kennedy, the programs founder, has been raising funds to assist children with scholarships and even desks. The program has grown rapidly, to the point that even tertiary level students are benefiting from scholarships. As in the past, this year’s fundraising event brought an evening of great music; from Reggae to classics, supporters were entertained for hours. It all happened on Saturday, April 9th, at the Island Time Beach Bar in Southern Ambergris Caye. From 1PM until the bar closed, Kennedy and local musicians rocked the mic. The audience also indulged in the many delicious options from the menu, including roast pork. Some attendees declared it their favorite, and were double pleased that proceeds assisted a worthy cause.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Petition asking the Obama Administration to condemn Guatemala's aggressive encroachment into Belize
Please sign the petition asking the Obama Administration to condemn Guatemala's aggressive encroachment into Belize. All you need to do is enter your first and last name and your email address. Then you need to go into your email and confirm so that your signature registers. Your name will remain anonymous on the site. If are using internet explorer as your browser, you may need to switch to Google Chrome or Firefox.

District finals of the Bowen & Bowen National Spelling Bee
The District finals of the Bowen & Bowen National Spelling Bee took place today at the CCC Auditorium. Coordinator of the Corozal House of Culture Debra Wilkes was honoured to be of service as a judge. Congratulations to all of the children who participated! First place winner is Miss Limeyrie Sosa of Our Lady of Guadalupe RC School, second place goes to Mr. Klever Lin of Calcutta Seventh Day Adventist School, and third place goes to Miss Roxannie Nah of Patchakan RC School. We wish them all of the very best at the National Spelling Bee in early June.

Amandala

Iris Myrtle Palacio vs Guardian and editor for libel
The former Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) Secretary General, Iris Myrtle Palacio, has filed a lawsuit claiming that an article and accompanying cartoon published by The Guardian newspaper, the party organ of the governing United Democratic Party (UDP), were acts of libel against her. Both Palacio and the Guardian editor, Alfonso Noble, took the witness stand when the case came up this morning in the Supreme Court of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Just prior to the January 2015 bi-election in Cayo, December, 2014, The Guardian ran a story captioned “PUP Secretary General endorses the use of witchcraft in politics,” and the cartoon at the bottom of the page on which the article was printed contained a caricature of Palacio chopping off the head of a chicken, with the caption, “PUP Election Preparation.”

Police exposes woman’s nakedness
The naked body of a grieving mother, Emily Gabourel Chavarria of Ladyville, was exposed by police who went to her house to search for drugs and/or ammunition. Chavarria told Amandala today that at about 6:00 this morning, at her house in La Milpa Estate, Ladyville, she was getting ready to go to work when she heard a loud banging on the door and a voice from outside shouted, “ Police, open the door before we break it down.” Chavarria said she shouted at them, “Give me a break so I could put on my clothes.” She said that the banging was loud, so she went to open the door before they broke it down. Police, she said, barged into the house, and one of them pulled the towel from around her, exposing her body.

Man, beaten, stabbed and left in drain to die, succumbs
The Vernon family of Racoon Street, Belize City, is mourning the death of Anwar Vernon, 31, a laborer and the stepfather of two boys, 2 and 3 years old. He died at about 2:30 yesterday afternoon at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he fought for his life for about 6 days after being attacked by unknown robbers who stabbed him and beat him in the head, then threw him into a drain on Racoon Street Extension, where he was found. On Wednesday morning, April 6, people walking on Racoon Street Extension saw him lying in the drain and called police, who went to the scene and saw Vernon battered, bleeding and unconscious. He was then rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was taken to the Intensive Care Unit, where he battled for his life until yesterday evening, when he died of the injuries.

DCP Miguel Segura’s civil lawsuit settled for $78,000
The Deputy Commissioner of Police, Miguel Segura, collided into a car and as a result caused the death of Yolanda Consuelo Valencia in the early morning hours of August 16, 2014, on the George Price Highway near Mile 71. The 55-year-old Valencia was travelling as a passenger in a taxi when a government-owned Nissan Pathfinder that was being driven by Segura slammed into the taxi, killing Valencia on the spot. The driver of the taxi, Yanie Cu, suffered severe head and bodily injuries from which he has still not yet fully recovered. Segura has been criminally charged for the accident and his case is still making its way through the criminal justice system. Segura, who is still on interdiction from the Police Department, is facing manslaughter and other accident-related charges.

2016 hurricane season forecast released
You might think that an April forecast for the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which spans June to November each year, is way too early, but that’s not the case, especially since hurricanes are not the straight-jacket type. Ask Hurricane Alex, which emerged as an extra-tropical cyclone near the Bahamas on January 7, 2016. Notably, Hurricane Alex was the first Atlantic hurricane in January since Alice in 1955. So does an early hurricane make for a busy season? Not necessarily—or at least not according to today’s season prediction issued by the Colorado State University (CSU), which calls for at least one more hurricane to form during the 2016 hurricane season. The Atlantic Basin Seasonal Hurricane Prediction issued today by Philip J. Klotzbach, Research Scientist, and William M. Gray, Professor Emeritus, at the Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, at the National Tropical Weather Conference, calls for 12 named storms, 5 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes.

Justice for Jessica
The Caceres family of Belize City are still hurting over the untimely death of 21-year-old Jessica Caceres—the last of three patients to survive after the fatal transfusion of HIV and Syphilis-tainted blood back in March/April 2001. “She was my only daughter and it hurt me big time,” George Caceres, Jessica’s father, told Amandala. He said that what the family has experienced is “a complete injustice.” Although the family settled for BZ$75,000 in October 2002, when Jessica turned 18 she sought the help of the Ombudsman’s Office for a more just compensation. Since 2013, the Ombudsman has knocked at every possible door—the hospital where Jessica was infected, the Commissioner of Police, the General Legal Council, the Medical Council and the Office of the Prime Minister—but there was no notable progress in her case.

Belize’s Devin Daly representing the Jewel
We are happy to share the article below on Belize’s Devin Daly, “playing Big” in the U.S. Devin Daly and Sarah Awe highlighted as Senior Athletes of the Year Lssulakers.com SAULT STE. MARIE, Apr 12, 2016 Devin Daly helped lead Lake Superior State men’s basketball program to the most successful four-year stretch in the program’s history, while Sarah Awe recently capped her stellar career finishing ranked fourth in combined wins for the women’s tennis program. Both seniors were honored Tuesday evening (April 12) at the annual Laker Club Athletic Awards Banquet held at the LSSU Cisler Center.

World ranked Laser sailors visit Belize Sailing School
On Sunday, April 10, two vivacious and highly decorated Laser sailors, Hanne Weaver, 20, and her brother Ted, 23, visited the Belize Sailing Center and provided inspirational training and racing for the school’s aspiring young Laser sailors. Among Hanne Weaver’s many accomplishments is winning the 2012 USA Junior Female Single-person-Dingy Championship at age 16. She currently ranks 3rd among US senior women Laser Radial sailors, and is in a very strong position to make the 2020 Women’s US Olympic Laser sailing team. Hanne is putting off full-time college to pursue her Olympic goal; she is an assistant manager at a Seattle WA branch of West Marine, the large and prestigious US water sports outfitter and retailer. West Marine fully supports Hanne’s sailing ambitions and allows her time off to pursue them.

Proto Foundation U-13 and U-15 Five-A-Side
The Proto Foundation U-13 and U-15 Five-A-Side Football Tournaments climaxed on Saturday, April 9, at the Noel Ferguson Park near Cinderella Plaza with the semifinals and finals, followed by the announcement of individual awards for outstanding U-13 and U-15 players in the tournament. In the first U-13 semifinal, Carlston FC dropped Reality Youths FC, 3-nil, with goals from Lawnie Leslie, Brandon Smith and Shane Pratt. Next was the first U-15 semifinal, and it was Matus Bomberz, 3-1, over Collet FC. Cory Parchue (2) Tyreek Muschamp shook the net for Bomberz, while Tyrique Ciego scored for Collet. In the second U-13 semifinal, Hattieville Riverside Boys clipped Sampson 1256 Automotive by a 1-nil score, courtesy of a goal by Aswald Young.

2016 1st Biannual RF&G National Ranking Tournament results
The 2016 1st Biannual RF&G National Ranking Tournament took place this past Sunday, April 10, at the BES Auditorium, ”the home of table tennis”. Some 50 table tennis players ranging from ages 10 to 65 participated across the A, B, and C divisions in this annual National Ranking event. This year, the division rating requirements have changed. “A” Division players are now players with a rating between 1000 to 1499 points; “B” Division players are now 700 to 999 points; and “C” Division players are those with a rating below 700 points. This has allowed several players to play up in a higher division for the first time. The most significant results of this change took place in the “A” Division.

Editorial: PUDP politics
There is a reason why, previous to 2003, none of Belize’s two major parties had won consecutive general elections in the post-independence era. For the record, the United Democratic Party (UDP) won in 1984, the People’s United Party (PUP) in 1989, the UDP in 1993, and the PUP in 1998. The Belizeans who made the changes were independent voters. The two major parties share the traditional allegiance of perhaps 60 to 70 percent of the voting electorate, while perhaps 30 to 35 percent of Belize’s voters are independent of the PUDP. Neither of the two parties was able to create sustainable economic development for Belize in the post-independence era. It is true that it is difficult to accomplish anything of systemic change in a single five-year term. But Belize’s independent voters had become impatient with the politicians. The 1984-89 UDP administration had impressive growth figures, but the development was not sustainable: much of it was based on the sale of passports, the sale of Belizean lands, and the introduction of tourism. (Mr. Price’s PUP had been skeptical of tourism.)

From the Publisher
When I was a young man in 1969, I became the leader of an oppressed group of people in Belize. I did not seek that leadership: rather, it was thrust upon me. But, no matter, I became the target of the white supremacist power structure here. This is just how white supremacy has operated internationally for five centuries and more: they target the leaders of oppressed groups and seek to destroy those leaders in various ways. When one is targeted, then one finds that every feature of one’s character/personality and every aspect of one’s life comes under heavy scrutiny. It is as if you live under a microscope. The power structure is probing you to find areas of weakness. Your enemies are praying for ill fate to befall you: some actually believe that God is on their side. It is very uncomfortable, trust me. This is one of the prices you pay for leadership.

Letter to Amandala: Major Lloyd disagrees with Sedi and Assad
Dear Editor, The Guatemalans, in a show of diplomatic superiority, have insisted that Belize change its referendum law by removing the 60% voter turnout threshold. The Guatemalans argue that the Barrow administration, in a slight of hand, amended the Referendum Act after both countries had agreed to go to the ICJ. It is therefore the view of the Guatemalans that the threshold is designed to lead to a failed referendum in Belize. Dr. Assad Shoman as part of his 3-step plan on the way forward, yields to the Guatemalan demand, and supports a change to the Referendum Act that would allow legitimacy of a referendum by a simple majority, irrespective of voter turnout. I disagree with this primarily on two grounds; (1) the Guatemalans must not be allowed to exercise sovereignty over our domestic statutes and (2), legitimacy by a simple majority does not adequately reflect the important nature of the issue at hand.

219 years after genocide attempt, Garinagu celebrate survival
Although the biggest celebration among Belizean Garinagu is observed annually on November 19th, marking their arrival to Dangriga in 1823, there is another historic date which is commemorated among members of the wider Garifuna community—that of 12th April 1797, the date which marks the exile by the British of over 2,000 Garinagu to Roatán, Honduras. Today, the children at Gulisi Community Primary School had a day of activities to mark the occasion. Unlike the Garinagu’s arrival to Belizean shores, their arrival to what is now known as Honduras, was not as joyous, since those who had made it to that destination had seen almost half of their brothers and sisters perish from starvation and disease on the desolate island of Balliceaux, off the mainland of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Caribbean island which is the traditional homeland of the Garinagu. Today, Garifuna elders held a press conference in Belize, to highlight the importance of what E. Roy Cayetano calls Garifuna Arrival, Survival and Prosperity Day.

Recovering our fisheries: Belize’s managed access program buttressed by global study
“There are fewer fish, smaller fish—and beyond that, they are today even harder to catch than before!” You may have heard this claim being made by fishers from time to time, but in Belize, the conversation is not just about what has been perceived to be a dwindling fish population; it is about the best strategy to recover vital fisheries resources which underpin a vibrant facet of the national economy. Apart from helping to secure Belize’s breadbasket, proper management of resources within our jurisdiction also helps to secure the nation’s territorial integrity amid an unfounded claim to Belizean territory by neighboring Guatemala. For the past decade, Belizean authorities, namely the Belize Fisheries Department, have been working along with the fishing community and NGO partners – the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which owns the Glover’s Reef Research Station – to introduce rights-based fishing in Belize, and a recent global study shows that this kind of regime could, simply put, mean more fish and more money.

Dame Minita Gordon, Belize’s first Governor General
There have not been many women in Belize as distinguished as Dame Minita Gordon. In 1981, Belize received its independence from England; however, Belize still held ties to the monarchy. The person holding the post of Governor General was thus the queen’s representative in Belize following Belize’s attainment of Independence in 1981, and that distinguished position was bestowed on Gordon. Gordon became the first Governor General of Belize. This was quite an achievement, for not only Gordon, but women in general, since at the time such high positions were usually held by males, but Gordon defied the odds when she was appointed to this post. It’s a post she assumed shortly after returning from Canada, where she obtained a doctorate in Applied Psychology from the University of Toronto.

Belize represented at Caribbean Fisheries Forum
Belize Fisheries Administrator, Beverly Wade, attended the 14th Meeting of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum, the primary technical deliberative body of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), held in Guyana on Thursday and Friday of this week. Speaking at the opening ceremony for the forum, Hon. Noel Holder, Guyana’s Minister of Agriculture, said in his formal address that, “The Fisheries sector plays an important, direct role in national food security. It is well-known that fish has a highly desirable nutrient profile and provides an excellent source of quality animal protein. Globally fish contributes some 16 percent of the total animal protein intake.”

Territorial Volunteers to commemorate 1859 Border Treaty
April 30 of this year will mark the 157th anniversary of the 1859 Boundary Treaty that defined the Belize-Guatemala borders. As a result, the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) is organizing a trek to the border at the mouth of the Sarstoon River and the Northern Territorial Volunteers (NTV) is simultaneously organizing a trek to the Garbutt Falls monument. According to a press release issued today by the BTV, this is an “effort to demonstrate support for not only maintaining, but also regaining our territory…” The release also states that, “Amid the most recent acts of aggression by Guatemala in the form of their summarily claiming not only Sarstoon Island, but also the entire Sarstoon river, coupled with the GOB’s continued, willful negligence concerning all matters involving Guatemala’s intransigence, it is clear that a heightened awareness campaign must be maintained.”

PUP pushes forward with new executive
On the night of January 31, 2016, almost 2,800 loyal supporters of the People’s United Party voted Hon. John Briceño, area representative of the Orange Walk Central constituency, leader of the Opposition PUP for a second time. Briceno, who was leader from 2008 to late 2011 when he stepped down, easily defeated former leader Francis Fonseca and four-time Lake Independence area representative Cordel Hyde. Fonseca had stepped down from his post as PUP party leader just a day after leading his party to a second consecutive general election defeat in November of 2015. But a few weeks later, just a few days shy of the nomination day set for the leadership convention, Fonseca announced that he was reversing his decision at the behest of some of his loyal standard-bearers.

Prisoner fined $10,000 for 372 grams of weed
Eric Javier Castillo, 26, who is presently serving time in prison for burglary, was found guilty of drug trafficking for 372 grams (.82 of a pound) of cannabis when his case concluded in the court room of Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. In her judgment, Chief Magistrate Smith told Castillo that even though there was some discrepancy in one of the prosecution’s witnesses’ testimony, there was sufficient evidence presented to the court to convict him of drug trafficking. The Chief Magistrate did not give Castillo more jail time, but ordered him to pay $10,000; however, if he fails to pay the fine by December 30, 2016, he will spend five years in prison. Therefore, although Castillo should be out of prison in a month’s time, if he defaults to pay the fine, he will lose his freedom and be confined once again to prison.

The Reporter

“Shiny” Tillett killed in Dangriga
George Street boss, Gerald “Shiny” Tillett is dead after he was shot about an hour ago in Dangriga. Tillett was shot in the head. He was one of four persons shot. Information is sketchy, but the Reporter has received reliable reports that one of the victims, a man from Belize City, was shot in the head and is currently being transported to the Belmopan hospital.

Three men remanded on charges related to abduction/murder
Three men, Devon Brooks, Sherman Thomas and Kimahl Dawson were remanded to the Hattieville Prison on Friday on charges related to last Sunday morning’s abduction and murder of Luis Ortiz, 39, of Belmopan. The men are charged with attempted murder of Ortiz’ friend, Jose Gonzalez, 40, who was a passenger in Ortiz’ car the morning he was killed. They are also charged with robbery upon Ortiz. The defendants, all from Roaring Creek village, are also suspects for Ortiz’ murder, but Officer Commanding the Belmopan police station, Superintendent Howell Gillett told the Reporter investigators need more evidence before they file that charge against them. Luis Ortiz, a carpenter, was about to leave La Cabana nightclub on the outskirts of Belmopan on the Hummingbird highway along with Gonzalez when another man asked for a lift and two others got in the car.

PAHO introduces database accessible worldwide on Zika virus
Countries throughout the world now have access to a new Zika Research Projects List – a database that lists and categorizes all scientific studies on the Zika virus. The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) launched the database this week. The organization has systematically identified and collected basic information on all investigations related to Zika, both those already published and those about to be published. The database includes the title, authors, and a direct link to the article. Each study has been categorized under topics such as: virus, vectors and reservoirs; epidemiology; disease pathogenesis and consequences of Zika infection; clinical management; public health interventions; health systems and services response; research and product development; and causality. Information can also be accessed through searching by publication type: published articles, protocol and publication of preliminary results.

US warns Caribbean countries about economic citizenship program
The United States (US) government has warned Caribbean countries offering citizenship by investment to be extra careful about who they give their passports to. The caution was with a view to ensure that recipients have no connection to terrorism or organized crime. The US gave the advice in a statement this week, but said that it was not advising regional countries on whether or not they should offer economic citizenship. Under the program, foreign investors are granted citizenship in exchange for a substantial investment in respective countries. “The United States does not approve or disapprove individual aspects of citizenship by investment programmes,” the US statement said. “The United States strongly believes that all countries have an inherent responsibility to their citizens and the international community to review fully all applicants who seek a nation’s citizenship,” the statement continued.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

George Street boss murdered
Notorious George Street boss Gerald “Shiney” Tillet has reportedly been shot and killed in Dangriga tonight. Details are scarce at this point but Tillet was apparently accompanied by three other men who were also shot. It is not clear if anyone else died along with Tillet. […]

Punta Gorda Basketball team defeats champions of Puerto Barrios, Guatemala
An international friendly basketball match in Punta Gorda (PG) Town last night featured the reigning champions of Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, who took on a U-20 team coached by Raymond ‘Speeno’ Sanchez. The Guatemalan side arrived late yesterday evening and settled into their hotel before […]

Fair and dry weather prevails
The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mostly sunny skies today and partly cloudy tonight with little or no rainfall. Winds will be blowing from the East-Southeast at 10-20 knots and the sea state will be choppy to moderate. High temperatures today are […]

Blogs

Rediscovering Belize With Help From My Grandkids…And A Lobster
As we boarded the boat, our grandkids anticipation was palpable. And I was just as ecstatic that we had the opportunity to introduce them to my favorite Caribbean Sea activity since we moved to the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize. My husband and I regularly join friends to spend a relaxing day on the water, with a few stops to snorkel. But this time would be even more special. We’d be sharing the adventure with our grandkids. It was their first visit to Belize…and it would also be their first time snorkeling… We wanted our grandkids to experience and appreciate, firsthand, what drew us to this quirky little Caribbean island, and has anchored us to Belize in our retirement. When the big day arrived, the temperature was warm, the breeze faint. As our boat, the El Gato, glided over the sea I could see everyone relax, hypnotized by the clear water and vibrant hues of the aquamarine sea that surrounded us. “I can’t believe I can see all the way to the bottom”, was a constant comment.

Would you say “Yes” to Forever? Island style proposal
Oliver contacted me months ago to capture one of the most important moments of his life, while he is proposing his girlfriend… Arriving early morning in Belize City with cruiseship, flyingTropic Air Belize on our island, I pick them up from the airport and played as a local tour guide… took them around to show them the beauty of the island and at one point we stopped at Ramon’s Village beach and… BAM! This beautiful proposal was followed by a beautiful lunch on the beach at fabulous Victoria House.

‘Criminal Minds’ in Belize? After screening, even worse than we imagined
On a balmy Friday night a couple dozen expats gathered beside the lagoon here on Ambergris Caye for an outdoors screening of this week’s episode of the spin-off CBS show “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.” Since its original TV airing on Wednesday, expats and Belizeans all over this tiny country have been convulsed in paroxysms of laughter. To be honest, some have been convulsed in paroxysms of rage. This week, the elite FBI team lead by a heavily botoxed Gary Sinese drops into Belize to find a young American honeymoon couple who have gone two days without posting anything on social media, thus raising suspicions of foul play. Let me say this: We all know Hollywood makes stuff up. That is what they do. That is their job and we mostly appreciate it. But, seriously? From the opening backdrop of an expansive white sand beach, dotted with colorful umbrellas, this show got Ambergris Caye all wrong. Oh, we have colorful umbrellas — mostly green with the logo for Belikin, the national beer, on them. We do not have expansive white-sand beaches. We have mostly small, narrow beaches and, more and more likely, retaining walls erected to fight the erosion.

International Sourcesizz

Where in the World is The Crescent-News? Belize
From left, Mike McDougall, Yvonne Sheets, and Cindy and Richard Shaffer took The Crescent-News to San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize, from March 6-12, where they stayed at Shaffer’s condo.

Expats Enjoy Lower Cost of Living, Provided They Shop Smartly
A study of expats primarily in Central America, "Expats: Expectations & Reality," found that 86.6% thought that they would achieve a lower cost of living by moving abroad. The study, which was conducted by Best Places in the World to Retire, also found that 84.2% did achieve a lower cost of living. A follow-up study, "Expat Reports: Is It Cheaper to Live Abroad?" reported that 34% spent less than half as much abroad as they did before. Those numbers certainly underscore one of the great advantages of living in certain foreign countries. But what is the cause in those few cases when expats experience a higher cost of living? The reports suggest that this group of expats is spending more on costlier items that are coming from the U.S. than on goods that are produced within the country. As long as they stick with local fare and services, they will pay less than they would in their own countries.

Cayo Espanto has all the luxury and pampering you expect on vacation
He wanted something special: a nice quiet place where he and his wife could celebrate their anniversary. From Bora Bora to Mexico, he had scoured the internet looking for the right place, but the perfect escape he wanted alluded him. When he called me at Monroe Travel Service, he said he was just tired of looking. He needed someone who knew about these things to help him out. “I can make this easy,” I told my friend Lonnie McCurry, Jr. after he explained his expectations for an anniversary trip, “but I certainly agree with you that it gets confusing. There are many, many beautiful places in this world, but few are as special as Cayo Espanto, which I think could be exactly what you are looking for!” During his internet search, he admitted he had considered this resort, but he felt uncomfortable spending the money on something he knew very little about. That’s when I started my sales pitch, “Rob and I discovered this tiny private island, just off Ambergris Caye, a few years ago when on vacation in Belize. With nothing but seven deluxe beachfront units and a staff totally dedicated to providing an experience you will never forget, I believe Cayo Espanto has all the luxury and pampering you expect on this vacation.”

Big hero to big cats honored
Wildlife isn’t outside of humans, it’s something inside of them. When it’s preserved, humanity’s health and well-being flourishes. “It's part of the ecological fabric of the tenuous world we live in,” said zoologist Alan Rabinowitz, otherwise known as the “Indiana Jones of Wildlife Conservation.” The CEO of Panthera, a global wild cat conservation organization, spent his life studying large cats and working to preserve their natural habitats. On Friday evening he accepted the 2016 Roy Chapman Andrews Society’s Distinguished Explorer Award at a ceremony held at Beloit College's Eaton Chapel. He went on to give a presentation titled “Ground Truthing Exploration: Why Biological Exploration Isn’t History.” Born with a debilitating stutter, Rabinowitz told the crowd he learned he could talk to animals about his hopes and dreams. He found his peace at the Bronx Zoo's great cat house. "They were locked inside their cages like I was locked inside my own head," he said. "I said 'If I ever found my voice I will try to be your voice as well.’” Rabinowitz went on to be a strong protector of wildlife. After beginning his career by studying jaguars in Belize, he traveled around the world studying jaguars as well as clouded leopards, Asiatic leopards, tigers, Sumatran rhinos, bears, leopard cats, raccoons and civets.

Videos

  • Scuba School and Family Dive Center Belize 2016, 4min.

  • Belize with Liam, 12min.

  • Cahal Pech, Belize, 5min.

  • Swimming with sharks in Belize, 10min. I would like share my 4th of 5 videos of our vacation trip on the Carnival Magic. Today was April 6th, today my wife and some friends we were swimming with the sharks in San Pedro, Belize.

  • Snorkeling Belize UT, 8min. Snorkel trips to laughing bird caye, silk caye, and lighthouse caye. Trips out of Placencia Belize.

  • Snorkeling in Silk Caye, Belize, 5.5min.

  • Ambassador Assad Shoman and the BNTU April 2016 on the Belize/Guatemala differendum, 13min. Brother Assad Shoman does his historical/political presentation at on the issue of the unjust and irritating issue of Guatemala against Belize at the launch of the BNTU's "Stand Up For Belize" Campaign.

  • 2016 DSU Service Learning Trip to Belize, 6min. This Spring Break a group of girls and I went down to San Jose, Succotz in Belize for one week. We helped build a library for a school as well as taught in some of the classrooms. This video will talk about my experience on the Study Abroad: Service-Learning trip that I took.

  • Jardine's sontava habanero XX hot sauce (Belize), 4.5min. This is an ALL NATURAL hot sauce with NO PRESERVATIVES. Now that being said does it pack the heat or leave you in defeat?