B.N.T.U. and M.O.E. At Impasse After Council of Management Rejects Sending Smaller Delegation
Across the country today, teachers formed long lines in various banks and credit unions and collected a full month’s wage, despite an eleven-day strike a few weeks ago. That’s because [...]
Teachers Accuse M.O.E. of Dictating to and Intimidating Teachers
So, why can’t the union give in to Faber’s request and reduce its attendance to five executives? According to B.N.T.U. President Luke Palacio, government does not have a bearing on [...]
Were Teachers Who Went to School During Strike “Rendering Service”, Asks B.N.T.U.?
In speaking with Minister of Education Patrick Faber over the past week, he has expressed a concern for fairness to teachers who were present in their classrooms during the strike. [...]
B.N.T.U.’s Nadia Caliz Discusses Teachers’ Dilemma
Contextualizing the argument on behalf of the teachers who took part in the strike was Nadia Caliz. She’s a member of the council of management representing the Stann Creek District. [...]
B.I.S.L. Defeated in Claim for Compensation for Registry Takeover
The Government of Belize secured a significant legal victory this morning in the Supreme Court, where Justice Michelle Arana dismissed an application brought by Belize International Services Limited. The suit [...]
Contract Extension Should Have Been Put Out to Tender; Appeal Expected
The foundation on which government presented its argument and the subsequent decision taken by the court is that a binding agreement of that magnitude ought to have been put to [...]
Government Celebrates “Vindication” on Takeover
Financial Secretary Joseph Waight welcomes the Supreme Court ruling, despite being uncertain whether an appeal will be filed in the days ahead. Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary “I’ll have to [...]
Police’s Crime Stats: Most Major Crimes Up, Murder Count Past 100 Again
The Belize Police Department’s quarterly crime statistics covering the six major crimes – murder, robbery, burglary, theft, rape and unlawful sexual intercourse or carnal knowledge – were publicly announced at [...]
What’s Going Right and Wrong for Police in Belize City
The Commissioner of Police offered something of a theory for why murders went up countrywide. However, in Belize City the pace has fallen off, if only a little. Minister of [...]
Senior Police and New Minister of State Meet in Belmopan
Earlier this week, we brought you the statements of the new Minister of State for Home Affairs, Elodio Aragon Junior. He served as a police officer for seventeen years, bowing [...]
Police Continue Investigations Into Shooting Death of San Pedro Fugitive
Twenty-five-year-old Juan Carlos Martinez was killed, allegedly at the hands of Police, on the island of Ambergris Caye on Tuesday night. A fugitive from justice since December of 2015, Martinez [...]
Distraught Mother of Kaylee Alvarez Denies Neglect, Says Deadly Fire Was Deliberately Set
On Thursday night we told you about the tragic fire in Conch Shell Bay area that claimed the life of two year old Kaylee Alvarez. Around midday yesterday, Alvarez and [...]
Patrick Faber Retains Major Ministries After Losing Junior Minister
While the new Minister of State for Home Affairs is pleased to once again be involved with the Police Department, he had to leave his old portfolio of Youth, Sports [...]
New Police Minister Kept “Danny Mason” at Arms’ Length
William “Danny” Mason may be behind bars as he awaits the next phase of his trial procedure for murder and kidnapping charges, but he continues to be a thorn in [...]
Improving Access to Health Care for HIV/AIDS Patients
The National Aids Commission in collaboration with the UNAIDS hosted a public forum this morning at the Biltmore Plaza to discuss barriers to accessing health care services. The meeting addressed [...]
Checking in With Health Fair in Belize City
The Belize Association of Insurance and Financial Advisor (BELAIFA) in partnership with the Kidney Association of Belize held a health fair in the city today. They were doing free rapid [...]
Stalemate Between Faber and Luke Palacio
It’s all of us or none of us – that is the position that the Belize National Teachers Union has taken in regards to a suggestion made by Education Minister, Patrick Faber. There is a pending meeting between both parties and Faber had proposed that only five members of the BNTU’s Council of Management participate […]
Strike Fund Will Not Be Used to Pay Teachers’ Wages
Today members of the Council of Management, once again, clarified that the strike fund is not meant to pay the teachers. Thousands of teachers were on strike for 11 days and the Ministry of Education has decided to hold its salary contributions from those teachers who participated in the strike. The BNTU is insisting that […]
BNTU to Rally Over the Weekend
The BNTU has planned an event for tomorrow. That event was being called a “thank you” rally and teachers were expected to express their appreciation for all those who supported and kept on supporting them and their stance against corruption. That “thank you” rally is now being called a demonstration and teachers are now expected […]
IMF Insists on Raising Taxes to Overcome Economic Strain
On September 29 we brought you the Article IV Consultation Report produced by a team from the International Monetary Fund that was in-country earlier this year. This week, the Executive Directors of the IMF met in session and had reviewed the report in full and has insisted that measures are needed to strengthen the economy […]
Government Seeks to Address Economic Challenges
As we mentioned regarding the IMF Report for 2016, there are some recommendations that went to the Government of Belize that would prove as stepping stones in rectifying the economic challenges. In the section dubbed, ‘Rebuilding Investor Confidence with Strong Fiscal Policy Action’, the report noted that the Government of Belize had acceded to the […]
Court Rules in Favor of Government on IBC Registries and IMMARBE
The Government of Belize is rejoicing over today’s Supreme Court ruling that has declared illegal, the secret contract made by the People’s United Party (PUP), and which gave control of the IMMARBE and IBC registries to the Ashcroft Alliance for 25 years. GOB sees the court’s decision, rejecting the Ashcroft alliance’s claim for $90 million […]
Guatemala’s Congress Gives Green Light for Referendum
In yesterday’s session of the Guatemalan Congress, Decree number forty seven of 2016 was approved which seeks to take their territorial, insular and maritime claim over Belize to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) with the condition that the country’s internal mechanisms are followed before submitting the claim which translates to the referendum. Guatemala’s approval […]
NEMO’s Emergency Operation Centre Officially Opened
A ceremony to mark the inauguration of Toledo District NEMO Emergency Operation Centre and Disaster Relief Warehouse was held this morning. We hear more in this report from correspondent Paul Mahung.
BNTU to stage national demonstration Saturday
The Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) is inviting the public to a national demonstration to be held in Belize City on Saturday.
At 9:00 a.m. there will be a march through the streets of Belize City beginning in front of the Channel 5 studios on Coney Drive. The march is expected to conclude with a rally at the Memorial Park.
According to BNTU president Luke Palacio, the purpose of Saturday’s event is to firstly thank everyone who supported the BNTU in its eleven days of industrial action and furthermore, to call on the Ministry of Education to make salary contributions for the teachers who participated in the historic protest.
After the BNTU suspended its protest on Tuesday, October 18, the Ministry of Education sent a memo to school managers announcing that it would not be making salary contributions for those teachers.
The Ministry subsequently sent school managers another memo providing guidelines on how those salary deductions should be processed.
Another tragedy – 2-year-old perishes in fire
Almost three weeks ago, an 11-year-old boy was burnt to death by fire while trapped inside his bedroom on Aloe Vera Street.
Today, Thursday, another fire engulfed a wooden structure on the south side of Belize City, and another child lost her life as a result.
The blaze erupted in the Conch Shell area of Belize City shortly after midday in a house belonging to Phyllis Rhaburn.
Rhaburn’s daughter, 2-year-old Kaylee Avilez, ran into the bathroom of the home to hide from the flames of the fire that started inside her house.
She was along with her two other siblings, and according to eyewitness accounts, their parents were not too far away.
$1 million for land sold for $6,540.30!!!
Amandala has obtained shocking documents revealing that under Gaspar Vega’s watch the Government of Belize entered into an agreement to pay BZ$1 million for a parcel of land they had sold a businessman for $6,500 just three years earlier.
The Government of Belize sold the businessman a portion of mangrove supposedly measuring a little over two acres on the banks of a channel leading to the lagoon on the west side of Placencia, and then turned around three years later and re-acquired the same portion of mangrove for a whopping $1 million. The documents reveal that on February 15, 2012, Ron J Limited purchased block 36, parcel 3246, of Placencia North from the Government of Belize for $6,540.30.
However, our sources say that the proposed developments by Ron J Limited on that particular piece of land would have affected the access to the lagoon of a highly connected member of the United Democratic Party. The well-connected UDP reportedly complained and a decision was made for Government to repossess the said mangrove.
UDP spent $70 mil in 8 years on land compensation!
Hon. Gaspar Vega was the Minister of Natural Resources when his son, Andre Vega, and the highly connected attorney, Sharon Pitts, both walked away with a combined total of almost BZ $1 million, $400,000 each, to be precise.
They both acquired land titles despite the fact that the Ministry apparently knew that the land in question was already privately owned, and could not be surveyed again. Records show that on at least two occasions public officers pointed out to higher-ups in the Ministry that the said land was already privately owned, and in fact, the Lands Commissioner gave instructions to revoke Pitts’ permission to survey the land.
But still, Sharon Pitts’ survey of the said land was authenticated and made to supersede the original survey.
Murders in Belize hit high of 115: CEO Lovell
If you’ve been getting the sense that the murder rate in Belize is substantially up this year, official data now confirms that to be the case. With the launch of the Belize Crime Observatory on Tuesday, Amandala asked for a status report from the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Retired Colonel George Lovell, who indicated to us that at last report on Monday, 115 persons had been murdered in Belize. That rate is alarming, especially since 2015 reported 119 murders for the entire year.
Data published on the observatory indicates that at the end of September 2016, there had been 108 murders, up 21% since the same time last year. It is the major crime statistic which is seeing the highest increase next to the theft from motor vehicles, which is up by 32%.
Lovell said that based on the report he received on Monday, other major crimes, with the exception of property crime (robbery, theft and burglaries), seem to be lower than the same time last year. Robbery is up 8% and burglary 18%, the data indicate.
One accused homosexual says it didn’t happen; the other says it did!
It made Amandala headlines this week when two men were accused of attempting to rape another man, an officer of the Belize Coast Guard.
However, none of the accused men have been formally charged in connection with the incident.
According to information from police, statements have been recorded from both accused men. In their statements, one of the accused men flatly denied that the incident even occurred, while the other confirmed that the incident did in fact happen.
The story the accused man who confirmed the incident gave, is that the Coast Guard officer grew enraged and began beating them when he learned that he would not be paid for sex.
Belize volleyball coach attends ICECP Course
On September 17, 2016, Belizean volleyball coach, Mr. Oscar Arnold traveled to the U.S. to take part in the Ninth Edition of the International Coaches Enrichment Certificate Program. Coaches from thirty-three countries and fifteen sport disciplines from five continents took part in the courses. The program is a collaborative effort between the International Olympic Committee, United States Olympic Committee, the Belize Commonwealth Olympic Association, and the University of Delaware.
Coach Arnold spent the first two weeks on the University of Delaware campus participating in numerous seminars and workshops on coaching theory, sport sciences and sport medicine. He then underwent a one week apprenticeship at the University of North Carolina where he was imbedded and shadowed the coaching staff of the UNC female indoor volleyball team. UNC is a NCAA Div. 1 program and participates in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). This week exposed our coach to training, planning, recruiting, and injury rehabilitation of volleyball athletes within a high-performance environment.
CSSSA high school volleyball results, schedule
The Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) high school volleyball competition got under way on Tuesday of this week with two games, one female (F) and one male (M) at the Stars Volleyball Gym on Princess Margaret Drive. In the female game, it was NHS (Nazarene High) over PHS (Pallotti High), 25-5, 25-10; and in the males, BHS (Belize High) defeated ACC (Anglican Cathedral College), 25-18, 26-24.
On Wednesday, at Stars Gym, it was (F) ACC over LTH (Ladyville Tech), 25-21, 25-13; and (M) LTH over NHS, 25-19, 25-18.
Today, Thursday, also at Stars Gym, it will be (F) WES vs BHS, and (M) MWH vs WES.
The games on Friday and Saturday will be at the SJC gym. On Friday, it will be (F) SCA vs MWH; and
OWFA Amateur League Week 1 results and standings
ORANGE WALK TOWN, Wed. Oct. 26, 2016–The Orange Walk Football Association (OWFA) Amateur League 2016 held Week 1 games on Sunday, October 23, at the Chan Pine Ridge Field, starting at 9:00 a.m. In game 1, Progresso United FC won, 4-3, over Sinbads FC. Rijel Correa struck twice (2), and Dennis Charley and Wilfred Lino scored 1 apiece for Progresso United; while Sinbads got a goals each from Rubiel Mendez, Juan Chi and Ruvini Carrillo. In game 2, Trinidad FC and Progresso FC played to a 1-1 draw. Jose Acevedo hit the target for Trinidad FC; while Mauricio Estrada rocked the net for Progresso FC. In game 3, it was Desert Storm Jrs. FC over Crystal FC, 4-2, with goals from Brian Westby, Jose Temu, Marco Solis and Jason Batun; while Alberto Cassanova and Luigie Urbina scored for Crystal FC. Game 4 saw San Felipe FC edging United Ballers FC, 6-5.
Message to Minister Manuel
Hon. Tourism Minister, Manuel Heredia, United Democratic Party (UDP) area representative for San Pedro Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, last week, under pressure from your substantive constituents, you said that you had dived the Barrier Reef for thirty years in making a living as a fisherman, and that you loved the reef more than you loved your Ministry. We believe you, Minister Manuel. To know the reef, is to love the reef.
Ninety years ago, an invalid British peer by the name of Baron Bliss came to Belize (then British Honduras) in his yacht, the Sea King. He spent only a couple months here before he died. He never set foot on the mainland of The Jewel. Baron Bliss fished the Barrier Reef, and he fell in love with the Barrier Reef, so much so that, as he was dying, he sent for the British Governor, Sir John Burdon, and prepared a will which left all his estate for the colony and its people.
Baron Bliss was Belize’s greatest benefactor. Ungrateful, or confused, UDP politicians a few years ago changed the March 9 holiday named after Baron Bliss from specifically honoring the Baron to a generic title – “Heroes and Benefactors’ Day.” One supposes those confused politicians felt that the Baron’s legacy reminded too much of the colonial days, and they wished to emphasize the anti-colonial struggle. Fair enough, but you don’t bite the hand that fed you, and, more relevant today, the UDP politicians apparently didn’t properly appreciate why it was that the Baron did what he did. It was the reef, baby; it was always the reef.
From the Publisher
I have some fans who say they look forward to this column in every issue of the newspaper. Trust me, I really don’t want to disappoint on the occasions that I do. This is my profession, to write, and I feel fulfilled when I can satisfy my readers.
In Belize, I would say that the majority of black men who are gainfully employed have more than one woman. For sure I caught your attention with that categorical statement opening this paragraph. You know what I’m saying is true, but such things are not discussed in polite society. It’s possible that this column entered “polite society” years ago, because it is often these days that I think of a subject and then I say to myself, oh oh, better not fool around with that.
There was a time, roughly between 1969 and 1977, when yours truly was definitely not “polite society,” and I felt free to tell it like it was in those days. I was not making a living off my profession those days, however, and this had really negative implications for my responsibilities as a father.
You cannot fight ideas that have power!
One writer, more or less commenting about the U.S., posted this in The New York Times today:
“This country is a nation of ideas, not white men. Three hundred years after the Renaissance, when ideas, curiosity and hope ran supreme, we are back to the same point of an elite sitting on its privileges and trying to keep everybody in check.
“You cannot fight ideas that have power, and they come from everywhere. Proportionally speaking, there are no more raw intelligent men in the elites than in the confines of the Congo. Worldly education makes the difference.
“‘Everybody is Equal’, ‘Nothing in Excess’ and ‘Ethical Behavior’ are pretty good precepts. Conservatism, trickle-down economics, ‘No New Taxes’ are nothing but a bunch of inconsequential non-sense. In other words, non-ideas.”
Grand corruption destroying Belize
I watched a replay of the Senate hearing on TV a week or so ago. What was immediately striking was a groping and rambling by the Senatorial Committee to cover up for the leaders of both the House of Representatives and the Senate and to pin their Grand Corruption on others. They were trying their hardest to divert attention away from themselves so that their wrongdoings are not known by the public. They were distorting the rule of law by dragging the country into lawlessness and international disrespect. It is a total waste of time and money to continue stretching their time in office simply to collect more salaries.
The House and Senate know that they have no useful or productive solutions to the severe corruption in the proposed Senate Committee agenda. The dominant voices and actors in both Houses are the one and the same, who have accepted corruption as a normal political practice and behaviour. The Senate, as corrupt as the House, can only play “follow the leader” to the House that leads in the severe corruption, and thus cannot offer solutions to it.
PUP name Senator Eamon Courtenay to Senate Select Committee
On Monday, the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) named Senator Eamon Courtenay as its representative on the Senate Select Committee, appointed to investigate the Auditor General’s Special Report into the Passport, Visa and Nationality Departments for the period 2011-2013.
Church senator, Ashley Rocke, had tabled a motion which was passed, granting the Government two representatives, while the other parties to the Senate — the church, the unions and the Opposition — would be granted only one seat each.
The Opposition grew furious following that meeting and withdrew its participation in the committee, dubbing its composition, “bogus.”
However, at the last committee meeting, Government senator, Aldo Salazar, was elected as chairman of the committee.
FIU signs MOU with Income Tax Dept.
The Income Tax Department and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to provide for automatic exchange of information between the two government departments. The move is to enhance their abilities in preventing things like money laundering, tax evasion and […]
EU pledges over €70 million to Latin America and the Caribbean
The European Union (EU), this week, pledged over €70 million in funding to the Latin American and Caribbean regions to support sustainable development. The EU made the pledge during the its two-day ministerial meeting with the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC) held in Santo […]
No response from GOB on Seismic testing
After awaiting a formal response for over a week in relation to the status of Seismic testing; environmentalists have grown restless and have called out the Government of Belize. Unease set in after Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting when no response was given to any of the concerned […]
Scotia Bank gives $100 thousand for Hurricane Earl relief
Scotia Bank extended assistance in the form of $100,000 and two scholarships last week to aid in continued hurricane Earl relief efforts. Managing Director Michael Shaw handed over the donations last Thursday at the bank’s main branch on Albert Street. The cheques were handed over to officials […]
Prime Minister departs the country for medical appointment
Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country this week for a medical appointment related to his ailing back. In his absence Deputy Prime Minister patrick Faber is acting Prime Minister until Barrow returns. PM Barrow is scheduled to return on Sunday.
Saldivar is back!
The Minister of Defense, John Saldivar, resumed his ministerial duties this week after a one-week suspension. Saldivar resumed his duties after Prime Minister Dean Barrow, received legal advice that Saldivar sufficiently severed his business relationship with accused murderer, William Danny Mason. Barrow’s legal advisor, explained that while […]
Health and Tourism sectors collaborate for regional project
Health and Tourism sectors in six participating Caribbean countries are working together to protect the viability of the tourism sector by monitoring the health of visitors. Belize is one of the countries to benefit from the US$1.7 million project, funded by the Inter-American Development Bank. Principal Public […]
WOMEX: an important experience for Belizean artists
Some of the Belizean delegates who represented the country at the recent World Music Expo (WOMEX) returned to Belize this week, to share the experiences they had at the event. Jackie Castillo, Creative Industry Development Officer for the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), explained that […]
Coast Guard Officer claims his buddies tried to rape him
Police in ladyville are investigating a bizarre case in which a Coast Guard Officer has accused a prominent businessman and a teacher of attempting to rape him. On Monday, the 20-year-old Coast Guard Officer reported that he was drinking with two of his buddies but they […]
In one week, two killings in San Pedro
Two men were shot to death in San Pedro this week. The police are investigating one case, and are themselves responsible for the other death. On Wednesday night 30-year-old Jason Gentle was shot multiple times and died on the spot. Superintendent of Police Sandra Bodden of the San Pedro Police […]
Man shot to the head while at home
Around 5:00 Monday evening a lone gunman entered an apartment complex on Neal’s Penn Road and fired several shots into the residence leaving a Coast Guard Officer in an induced coma at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Daniel Arzu Jr., 28, a father of two had […]
Motorcycle accident claims female technician’s life
A motorcycle accident last Friday night claimed the life of a well-known Bravo Motors technician. Around 11:30 that night 26-year-old Nitaya Locke was heading home from the direction of Belize City to Ladyville when she lost control of her blue Meilun motorcycle and slammed into a […]
Now that we have a new Minister of Agriculture & Fisheries we hope he will find time for some serious thought to a new law which would end the use of gill nets in Belizean coastal waters. Ideally it would be great for Belize to take the initiative in persuading […]
Two-year-old baby killed in blaze
A two-year-old baby girl died in a fire which destroyed her home on Ebony Street in the Conch Shell Bay area of Belize City. The fire occurred around 12:30 on Thursday afternoon. On Thursday Phyllis Rhaburn was at home with her three children, aged four […]
“Cowboy” walks free
Kevin “Cowboy” Alvarez, a former policeman, has walked away from four attempted murder charges which accused him of shooting at four police officers from the swimming pool of an Orange Walk hotel. This amazing outcome from what appeared to be a clear-cut, open & shut […]
Girl 15 gang-raped in southside Belize City
Police are investigating a case in which a 15-year-old girl claims to have been gang raped by four men at a house in southside Belize City. According to police, the girl reported that she visited her boyfriend’s house on Wednesday around 1:00 p.m. and had […]
Rivers Vs. Willoughby
City Councillor Phillip Willoughby is pressing charges against waterfront activist Raymond Rivers, after Rivers allegedly threatened to kill him. Willoughby reported to police on October 4th that Rivers threatened him in September, and again earlier this month. Rivers, however, has accused Willoughby of threatening him […]
Breaking Belize News
BNTU’s rally shifts to national demonstration
The Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) had organized a thank you rally to be held tomorrow October 29th in Belize city. The rally has now shifted to a national demonstration as a result of the back and forth between the union and the Ministry […]
Multi million dollar project approved at Blackadore Caye
The eco-tourism project launched by mega star Leonardo DiCaprio and former wall street banker Paul Scialla for an extravagant eco-friendly resort at Blackadore Caye near Ambergris Caye has been approved. The proposed multi-million dollar project was heavily criticized by conservationist, tourism stakeholders and local […]
FIU to execute National Risk Assessment for Belize
The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and the income Tax department signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday. The MoU is to expedite the share of information and anti- money laundering, tax evasion and terrorist financing efforts. Kent Clare, Director of FIU, will commence on […]
Court Vindicates Government takeover of IMMARBE and IBC Registries
The Government issued a release welcoming today’s Supreme Court ruling declaring illegal the secret contract made by the People’s United Party (PUP), and which gave control of the IMMARBE and IBC registries to the Ashcroft alliance for 25 years. The release states that the […]
WELCOME TO BELIZE
After six months in Mexico, my visa was days away from expiring and I knew it was time to leave.
Next stop: Belize.
There was only one direct bus from Cancun to Belize and it left at 10:15 p.m.
And if that sounds like a recipe for not much sleep, that’s because it was. Add in a 4 a.m. border crossing on top of that and there was little chance of us arriving in Belize feeling fresh and rested.
Oh, and don’t forget to throw an intense questioning session at the Belizean immigration at 5 a.m. either!
Let’s just say my first experience of a Latin American border crossing was both tiring and memorable.
We pulled up at the border right on time and piled out of the bus. Fortunately, Dave had researched what crossing the border involves several days before and was well aware of the money-making scheme they have on the Mexican side.
Basically, there’s a man sat in a small room who tells you that you need to pay a 300 peso ($16) exit fee. What most people don’t know is that if you flew into Mexico, you’ve most likely already paid this fee — for the vast majority of people, it’s already been included in your airfare.
Sunrise birders participate in annual Urban Bird Watch
They say the early bird gets the worm, but in this case the early riser got the bird! At 6AM on Sunday, October 16th nine bleary eyed enthusiasts met birding guide extraordinaire Roni Martinez to participate in the annual Urban Birdwatch. Sponsored by the Belize Audubon Society (BAS), the small group flocked to Central Park in San Pedro to see how many species of birds they could count over a duration of three hours. The journey began along the beach heading north to Boca del Rio. Along the shore and immediate area the group spotted a bounty of birds, including Blue-winged Teals, Magnificent Frigatebirds, Double-crested Cormorants, Brown Pelicans, Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Little Blue Herons, Tricolored Herons, Reddish Egrets, Green Herons, Semipalmated Plovers, Ruddy Turnstones, Least Sandpipers, Spotted Sandpipers, Royal Terns, Rock Pigeons, Eurasian Collared-Doves, White-winged Dove, Cinnamon Hummingbird, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Great Kiskadee, Tropical Kingbirds, Barn Swallows, Tropical Mockingbirds, American Redstarts, Cape May Warbler, Northern Parula, Yellow Warblers, Mangrove Warblers, Yellow-throated Warblers, Bananaquits, Great-tailed Grackles and Hooded Orioles. A special treat was discovering a Peregrine Falcon perched on a distant Belize Electricity Tower. We don’t see that every day on La Isla!
Fun for all AGES at Caves Branch! The Senior Steppers Story
Showcasing their agility, moves and memories, a group of golden citizens known as the Senior Steppers arrived on Wednesday for another holistic exercise session at the Caves Branch Jungle Lodge. The group of energetic women, ranging from 56 to 90, hail from Belmopan and not only perform in and attend regular dance performances and talent nights but also mentor young adolescents in developing thinking skills.
Senior Stepper member, Lindy Jeffery, said, “Seniors shouldn’t feel that they are limited in the activities available to them. There are many exercises for seniors, many of which are non-traditional, low-impact exercises that limit stress on the body and risk of injury,” end quote.
The Senior Steppers program is a joint venture between the National Council on Ageing in Belize, PAHO and the Ministry of Health. Besides dancing, they also engage in recreation classes, such as singing, swimming, theatre, sign language, as well as learning important health and nutrition tips. The seniors we spoke to had raving praise about the program and the benefits it has provided for them. Chairperson/Coordinator, Beverly Swasey added, “…dancing is a fantastic way to get some cardiovascular benefit, improve your coordination and balance, and meet local seniors who enjoy similar activities,” end quote.
IMF warns of significant challenges to Belize economic growth
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says Belize continues to face significant vulnerabilities and challenges driven by high public debt, large fiscal and external deficits, and declining international reserves.
The IMF executive directors, who met to discuss the September report of an IMF mission to the Caribbean Community (Caricom) country, said that the adverse weather conditions have also posed difficulties and emphasised that decisive policies are urgently needed to ensure macroeconomic stability and improve growth performance.
In September, the IMF mission warned that the Belize economy faced multiple challenges. It noted that gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowed to one per cent in 2015 due to falling oil production and reduced output in the primary commodity sectors, and turned to negative 1.5 per cent in the first half of 2016 relative to the same period in 2015.
A Man Fell In A Cave With 10.000 Bones. The Story Behind The Maya Human Sacrifice Is Spine-Chilling!
Back in 2006, a local farmer working in the Cayo District of west Belize made one of the most grisly archaeological discoveries of the last decade.
Tipped off by the screams of a looter who fell 18 meters (60 feet) to the floor of a pitch-black cave, the farmer discovered human bones and teeth by the thousands, some so smashed up, it’s impossible to count how many bodies they once belonged to.
Welcome to the Midnight Terror Cave, where archaeologists suspect countless children were sacrificed to Chaak – the rain god of the ancient Maya civilization.
Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in Atlanta, bioarchaeologist Michael Prout from California State University discussed the results of a recent analysis of the 9,566 bones, teeth, and bone fragments found scattered on the floor of the cave, confirming that they belonged to individuals no older than 14 years.
Most of the remains were attributed to individuals aged between four and 10.
As Bruce Bower reports for Science News, radiocarbon dating of the bones indicates that one or a few bodies were dumped into the cave over a period of about 1,500 years, starting around 3,000 years ago, at the dawn of Maya civilization.
Las Vegas Latin Caribbean Carnival
Caribbean food, music and carnival this weekend in Las Vegas. Come enjoy and celebrate with us
Before the world had been fully explored, cartographers often made educated but incorrect guesses. They also just made things up. The history of map-making is full of educated guesses. As late as the 19th century Africa and Australia contained vast, unexplored interiors. Cartographers often used experience and logic to infer the lay of the land. Unsurprisingly, they were frequently wrong. Since antiquity, for example, the Nile had been known to be a river of enormous length, and because rivers often emanated from mountains it was thought there must be a large mountain range at its source. The Mountains of the Moon appeared on maps of Africa up until the 1800s, when explorers finally confirmed there was no such thing.
In his new book, “The Phantom Atlas”, Edward Brooke-Hitching gathers a rich selection of these mistakes. They range from honest errors to the mythical or mendacious. One map from 1766 shows Patagonia, and includes pictures of heavily bearded giants walking around with bows and arrows. Another of Java la Grande, a landmass in the southern hemisphere first reported by Marco Polo, depicts the locals riding on horseback and harvesting coconuts while fantastical sea creatures swim offshore.
Pirated WGN channel inspires Cubs love in Belize
Local cafes and bars are packed, and excited fans talk in the streets about how the Cubs are finally going to the World Series. Cubs fever is everywhere. But this isn’t Wrigleyville; it’s Belize, 2,800 miles away from Clark and Addison.
Belize may be home to the biggest base of Cubs fans outside of the Windy City. Why? It all started back when legendary broadcaster Jack Brickhouse was still calling the games. After Belize gained its independence from Britain, a wealthy couple started a TV station, but they forgot to buy some programming to go with it. So instead they found a way to pirate the WGN TV signal from Chicago.
“They sort of pirated the signal and broadcast it to homes in Belize,” explains freelance writer Adam Rosen. Rosen uncovered the strange story and says the team has many ties to the country.
The beginner's guide to living as an expat, according to a woman who lives in Belize on $1,000 a month
In 2014, Lisa May Cobham was working as a secretary in Washington, DC, paying $700 a month to sleep on a couch in a townhouse with seven other people.
Now, she does the same work, but from a beach house in Belize.
Cobham shares her story and her knowledge on Expat Real, in the hopes that it will help others achieve the American Dream abroad.
She posts informational videos and interviews with other expats about living on the US dollar in other countries, has a book coming out in November called "Runnin' Global Game," and is launching a three-month Expat Incubator program to guide aspiring expats through their first steps.
INSIDER asked Cobham for a beginner's guide to living as an expat, which she shared with infectious enthusiasm over Zoom - a video conferencing site every expat should know.
Miss Canada is Nagar Queen
CANADA’S Divali Queen Dannilian Motilal, did the double when she was crowned Miss Divali Nagar 2016. Motilal emerged ahead of ten other contestants at the annual competition which attracts participants from several countries. Motilal, who arrived in the country a week ago to prepare for the competition, told Newsday on Thursday evening, it was a dream come true for her to crowned Divali Queen.
Motilal said she was surprised to have taken the title as the other delegates were equally educated and also very beautiful. Motilal also won the Miss Photogenic and People’s Choice awards. She won $20,000 from Maritime Insurance.
First runner-up was Trinidad and Tobago’s Kimlyn Boodram who also won Best Hairstyle.
Second runner up was Shanique Singh of Jamaica with the third runner-up position going to Asia Gilharry of Belize.
The Caribbean Response to the Withdrawal of Correspondent Banking
Honorable Prime Minister, central bank governors, and distinguished guests, good morning! It is a pleasure to join all of you here.
I am so pleased to be able to join you on my first official overseas visit in my new capacity as IMF Deputy Managing Director. This visit provides the opportunity to see the beauty of Antigua and Barbuda—and to learn more about a region rich in history and culture.
To see a country so dependent on the linkages between financial services and tourism and other sectors provides an immediate understanding of the importance of today’s conference.
The discussions yesterday and today highlight a serious problem that relates to a lifeline for your economies—the withdrawal of correspondent banking relationships, also known as CBR.
BELIZE CRIME OBSERVATORY, 33min. on Open Your Eyes...
Belize 2016, 15min. Another great trip with great friends.. Such a blast!!
San Pedro, Belize, 3min.
FACE PAINTING FOR HALLOWEEN, 26min. on Open Your Eyes...
Adventure Life Belize Snorkeling, 2min.
Belize Vacation, 3min.
Miss Universe 2016 - Contestants (Belize and Curaçao), 6min.
Maya Island Air - Belize - XA10 - GoPro, 3min. De Corozal a San Pedro.