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A BBC story on the restoration of the southern Belize reef after Hurricane Iris.

When Hurricane Iris hit southern Belize in 2001, the country's magnificent corals were destroyed. But within 10 years, a radical restoration project brought the reef back to life.

With the caye split into two and corals smashed into rubble, the underwater world at Laughing Bird Caye National Park off the coast of Belize looked nothing like the vibrant and colourful place that had thrived with life before Hurricane Iris swept across it in 2001. The storm left the water murky and muddy, while rotting dead creatures washed ashore.

When Lisa Carne first visited the island in 1994, there were so many large, bright reddish-orange interlocking elkhorn corals that she could hardly swim through or around them. The reef was abundant in fish, corals, lobsters, crabs, sponges and sea turtles. But after the hurricane all of this was destroyed. With only a few surviving corals, the scene looked more like a graveyard.

It was not the first time Carne had seen a dead reef. In 1995, she moved full time to Belize from California, and volunteered as a research assistant at Carrie Bow Cay, a Smithsonian field station. She witnessed the effects of the first coral bleaching event in Belize, home to the second longest barrier reef in the world. Bleaching events leave the structure of corals intact, but strip it of the algae that live in an endosymbiotic relationship with the coral polyps. Some coral recover from such events as the algae returns, although many die.

Hurricane Iris was catastrophic in a different way. It not only killed corals but uprooted their structure too, making recovery even harder.

Carne immediately wanted to start replenishing the reefs by planting corals, but it took many years to convince any funders that her idea was viable. People argued, and still do, that without solving the problems that cause corals to die, putting them back on the reef made no sense.

CLICK HERE to read the story...
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Yesterday at 08:49 PM
A big swellup over Toledo right now and others in Mexico perhaps causing some rain near Blue Creek. There may be more in other western areas over the few hours.
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Yesterday at 06:24 PM
Journal Entry 14

September 23, 1976 / Belize City, Belize:

I got two letters from home Tuesday, and another one today. All the letters were interesting and had a lot of family news. Mom seemed worried that I was not eating enough fruit and vegetables. True, Belizeans tend to eat far too much starch and not enough green vegetables, but I am getting a well-balanced diet.

Dad said that he had forwarded a copy of National Geographic to me. I appreciate that. There is a lack of things to do here in my spare time, so I do a lot of reading. I should write Mom that I could use my hiking boots and socks and, if it’s not asking too much, to send aftershave, deodorant, toothpaste, etc., every 2-3 months. Some of those items are just too expensive here.

Mom asked if she could do some of my Christmas shopping for me. I asked her to use my credit union account to purchase a good Crock-Pot for the family here. They don’t have them here in Belize City. If they did, the price would be prohibitive. I also asked if she could send a little something for the girls. The older girl has plenty of dolls and books. Maybe Mom could send a dress or something typically American, maybe something in denim. She already has a denim shoulder bag. The younger girl has access to all the hand-me-downs. I really don’t know what she might like. Whatever Mom gets, it must be a good quality to last down here. I hate to ask her to do this. I know how much running around she already does. But this family has been wonderful, and I would like to get them something. I don’t know how I’ll do any Christmas shopping here for back home. I have not yet found any local souvenirs or arts here to speak of. Maybe I can find something.

I’ve begun work on my reef fish survey. I’ve recorded the statistics on some fish I’ve sampled: Nassau grouper, black grouper, hogfish, jewfish and various snappers. One day at sea leaves me with a full day of lab work. Fisheries’ 40-foot boat is about ready to sail. We may make a 3-day trip next week. I would imagine, knowing the staff at Fisheries, the trip would be fun as well as productive.

[Photo: Sampling of reef fish to be examined prior to distribution to Fisheries staff. 1976]

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Ambergris Caye
Yesterday at 06:10 PM
As we begin out tour in San Pedro, Hon. Kevin Bernard, Minister of Youth, Sports and E-Governance stopped in for a cordial Visit with the minister of Blue Economy, Hon Andre Perez. Attended by Directors of Youth and Sports, Kevin Cadle and Ian Cal, respectively, they discussed opportunities of putting together a sports committee for the National Sports Council in San Pedro. This placement will contribute to ensuring sports activities are served in the island town.

Minister Andre Perez has committed to supporting our developments through youth in San Pedro and we look forward to our continued partnerships for development in Belize.

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Yesterday at 05:49 PM
The Story of Miss Universe Belize Iris Salguero

On Tuesday, Miss Universe Belize Iris Salguero got a hometown send off in San Pedro. A day before leaving the island on her journey to Miss Universe, Salguero was honoured with a farewell motorcade through the streets of the island town. Following the small parade, final preparations were made and today, the beauty ambassador arrived at the municipal airport in Belize City as the final stop before she departs the Jewel for Florida where the sixty-seventh Miss Universe pageant is set to take place. While she carries the weight of the crown to the international stage, Salguero is also taking her story – one of empowerment to women and children. News Five spoke with an emotional Salguero about her message.

Salguero began rising in pageantry in 2015, when she was crowned Miss San Pedro, and then went on to represent Belize in the 2016 Miss World Pageant. She also represented the country as Miss Earth in 2017 and Miss America Latina del Mundo in 2018.

Channel 5
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Yesterday at 05:48 PM
A Message from our President- BTIA Newsletter #3

Dear BTIA Members:

In communicating with our membership on a roughly monthly basis, I usually begin with a general introduction, update the latest happenings in the industry, and finish with what I judge to be an important core message. Today, however, I would like to cut to the chase with the core message upfront.


If you want to see the tourism industry—and, by extension, Belize’s entire economy— recover as fast as possible, the most critical thing we can do is assure that every Belizean receives their two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

WHY is this so important?

Let us look at the big picture based on what we see at home and abroad concerning the pandemic.

There are things that we can control and things we cannot.
For example, we cannot control the pace of vaccinations in our largest market, the USA. We cannot prevent the rise and fall of Covid-19 infections in America or anywhere else in the world. We cannot control the USA requirement that all people entering the country have a negative test result.

What we CAN control is what happens here in Belize. Based on what we see in India, Brazil, Costa Rica and Europe, nations that think they have the pandemic under control often find out that within weeks the pandemic is raging with their health systems on the verge of collapse. If you believe that such a catastrophe cannot happen here, you live in a dangerous bubble.

So, what do we do to prevent Belize from becoming the next India?

First, we must be smart, flexible, and stay on top of the evolving situation.

Not only do we not impose tighter restrictions for entry into Belize, but we can continue to gradually and safely EXPAND the ease of entry as has been done over the last four months. Why? Visitors to Belize are either fully vaccinated or tested negative at entry. They will not be the cause of an explosion of the virus in Belize.

As experience has painfully taught us, WE are our own biggest enemy.

Every time we evade protocols by not social distancing, washing hands, or wearing a mask, we increase the likelihood of mass infection. Yes, you have heard this mantra too many times and like most Belizeans are just tired of curfews, masks and hand sanitizer. Realistically, fighting the tendency toward Covid-19 fatigue with education campaigns and/or cracking down on violators will only take us so far. What will take us much further is to get as many people vaccinated in as short a time as possible. That effort is well within our power.

The Minister of Health has told us that there will be enough doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to do the job. We trust he is right. We applaud the Tourism Minister for pushing to prioritize the 8,000 vaccine doses for our frontline tourism workers. As I write this letter, all indications are that more and more Americans are ready, willing, and able to travel internationally in the coming months. They will be flocking to Belize in greater numbers, provided that Covid-19 cases and deaths in Belize continue to stay low.

The best way to ensure that outcome is to get vaccinated! NOW!

Yours in Sustainable Tourism,

Stewart Krohn
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Daily news prior to today
Yesterday at 05:46 PM
Get your travel visa: China visa, Russian visa, Russian invitation letter and Chinese embassy authentication. Chinese visa and Russian visa
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Specials & Events
Yesterday at 05:40 PM
SuperMoms work it out! Day one of our free outdoor cardio dance fitness class hosted by the dynamic Gerry Badillo Cardiodancefitness was a success!

Deputy Mayor Dianeli Aranda would like to thank all the moms for coming out and Mr Badillo for such a great workout.

See you tomorrow for the next round at Boca Del Rio!

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Yesterday at 05:38 PM
Congratulations Ian Gordon

On April 26th Ian Gordon embarked on his most ambitious project to date, a run around country! he was joined country ride by fellow running enthusiasts and ended his final 13 miles run here in San Pedro on May 3rd. Today Council Jose Castellanos presented Gordon with an award recognizing his outstanding achievement!

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Yesterday at 11:14 AM
From Oceana Belize:

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We're sharing our latest article from guest blogger and local journalist, Andrea Polanco. This feature looks at the economic value of marine protected areas from the perspective of the Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association as Andrea interviews Executive Director, Valdemar Andrade.

To read the full article, click here:
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Specials & Events
Yesterday at 11:11 AM
Next Week's Events - Sunday May 9 - Saturday May 15

*All activities we share are ones where COVID safety protocols are expected. Please PM us or comment below if you have one to add or see one that has changed. Pools open to the public listed at the bottom.

***Double check events/times on the business's Facebook pages, as many businesses are getting back on their feet and may have last minute changes (also weather/changing curfew etc., can change timing) Curfew is currently 10pm Mon-Thurs and 12am Thurs-Sun.

Sunday - Happy Mothers Day!

North of Bridge:

---BIG Secret Beach Day!
---Brunch at Marbucks Coffee House; evening outdoor movie, games, music, food trucks at Truck Stop
---PUR Boutique Cabanas & Taco Bar - Mothers Day Specials

In Town:

---Palapa Bar and Grill - Sports on TV/Music/Swim/BBQ/Tubes in the sea
---Lagoona Bar & Grill - Sunday Fun Day
---Brunch at Nauti Crab
---Estel's - Live Music 12pm
****also check out Sandy Toes right in the area for beachfront music, along with Wayo's, Losers & Sand Bar for heart of action fun

South of Town:

---Someplace South CafeBar - Live Music Sundays, 4:30-7:30pm
---TOAST - (Daily Happy Hour 2-5) Live Music 5-8pm, now open by Royal Caribbean
---Amber Beach Bar - Live Music 6-9pm (check FB page for details)


North of Bridge:

---Coco Loco's Beach Bar - 2pm Cribbage (moved from 1pm)
---PUR Boutique Cabanas - Daily 3-5pm Happy Hour - 1/2 off Sauza Margaritas & Local Rum - 18+ only - Swim-Up Pool Bar

In Town:

---Nauti Crab - Guitar Jam 12pm, Island Vibez 5-8pm
---Gypsy - Martini Monday $8 craft martinis
---Palapa Bar - Coconut Trio 5-8pm

South of Town:

---Playa de Sala - Wine Flight Mondays
---Amber Beach Bar - Pool Music and Karaoke - 2pm (check FB page for details)


North of Bridge:

---Crocs - Jam Night 5pm
---Dog House Sports Lounge - Euchre Tournament 1pm
---Mambo -- Taco Tuesday
---Stellas Sunset - Tuesday Tunes 4pm

In Town:

---Nauti Crab - Crab Races 6pm
---Gypsy - Live Music and Taco Tuesday $10bzd chicken taco plates


North of Bridge:

---Truck Stop - Games, Music, Food Trucks
---PUR Boutique Cabanas - 3-5pm Happy Hour - 1/2 off Sauza Margaritas & Local Rum - 18+ only - Swim-Up Pool Bar
---Crocs - Live Music at 5pm - Dennis Wolf

In Town:

---Gypsy - Ladies Night - old school $5 sangrias, $8 special martinis and 1/2 off tapas
---Nauti Crab - 5pm Bingo
---Lagoona - Ladies Night 6pm


North of Bridge:

---The Truck Stop - Trivia Night
---Marbucks Coffee House - Wine Down Event

In Town:

---World-Famous Chicken Drop at Wahoos 4-9pm
---Palapa Bar - Swim/Sports/Music/Tube in the sea afternoon
---Nauti Crab - Paint N Splash 2pm
---Lagoona Bar & Grill - Live Music 6pm - Thirsty Thursday

South of Town:

---Playa De Sala - Melody Man/Live Music afternoons
---Someplace South CafeBar - Live Music/Coconut Trio 5pm-8pm
---Black & White Garifuna Restaurant - 6:30 live Garifuna dance and drumming (see FB page to confirm day of week/reservations)


North of Bridge:

---The Truck Stop - Movie Night 7pm
---Dog House Sports Lounge - Cribbage 1pm
---PUR Boutique Cabanas - 3-5pm Happy Hour - 1/2 off Sauza Margaritas & Local Rum - 18+ only - Swim-Up Pool Bar

In Town:

---Palapa Bar - Swim/Sports/Music/Tube in the sea - Live Music 5pm
--Gypsy - DJ and $5 sangria
---Nauti Crab - Trivia 6pm
---Lagoona Bar & Grill - Karaoke 4pm

South of Town:

---Playa De Sala - $5 Fridays with $5 Lobster Sliders, some $5 drinks and a $5 raffle ticket
---Someplace South CafeBar - Steak Night Fridays 5-8pm
---Amber Beach Bar - Live Music/Coconut Trio 6-9pm
---TOAST - Live Music 5-8pm, now open by Royal Caribbean (Daily Happy Hour 2-5)


North of Bridge:

---Truck Stop - Games (Family Feud), Music, Food Trucks
---2nd Biggest Secret Beach Day (Sunday is busiest)
---PUR Boutique Cabanas - 3-5 18+ Happy hour, swim up pool bar
---Crocs - Live Music Coconut Trio 5pm

In Town:

***check out Sandy Toes, Nauti Crab, Wayo's, Losers, Sand Bar, Gill-E's, and Palapa Bar for heart of the action fun on the sea
---Gypsy - tapas and DJ Saturday
---Wahoos - Karaoke 4-9pm
---Lagoona Bar and Grill - DJ 5-9:45pm

South of Town:

---AMBER Beach Bar - Live Music(check FB page to verify) 6-9pm
---TOAST now open Royal Caribbean - 5-8 Live Music (Daily Happy Hour 2-5)

Pools open to public...

North of Bridge:

---PUR Boutique Cabanas & Taco Bar - Daily Happy Hour, 3-5pm, 18+ Only
---The Truck Stop - Open Th-Su - Family Friendly
---White Sands Cove - Family Friendly, Sunday Volleyball

In Town:

---Sandbar Beachfront Hostel and Restaurant
---Nauti Crab - 18+ Only

South of Town:

---Playa De Sala - 18+ Only
---Amber Beach Bar - at Caribbean Villas
---Mangata Villas - Moon Bar - Brand new, 6.5 miles north, 16+ only
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Specials & Events
Yesterday at 11:08 AM
Mayor Wally Nunez and the San Pedro Town Council proudly introduce the women led businesses participating in the Women in Business Expo: Mother's Day Edition!

Support the hard working moms and visit their booths on Saturday, May 8th 2021 between 4PM-11PM.

While you shop for gift items and delicious meals, enjoy performances by local artists, giveaways, games and special prizes for the moms in attendance.

Sign in for temperature checks and hand sanitizing at the gate!

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Ambergris Caye
Yesterday at 11:05 AM
On Wednesday, May 5th 2021, Mayor Wally Nunez met with Hon. Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations and Hon. Andre Perez, Minister of The Blue Economy and Civil Aviation.

Many issues were addressed during the meeting, including the need for San Pedro to continue to grow as a top tourist destination in Belize.

The San Pedro Town Council looks forward to collaborating with both ministries to improve San Pedro's tourism infrastructure and tourism product.

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Hon. Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism & Diaspora Relations, today met with Hon. Andre Perez, Minister of The Blue Economy & Civil Aviation and San Pedro Mayor, Mr Wally Nuñez. Many issues were addressed during the meeting, including the tourism needs of the island and effective ways to deal with the issue of Sargassum. Also present at the meeting were Mrs. Nicole Solano, Chief Executive Officer, in the Ministry of Tourism & Diaspora Relations, Mr. Evan Tillett, Chairman of the BTB Board of Directors, Mr. Dufy Nuñez, Chairman of the Border Management Authority and Ms. Kennedy Carillo, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of the Blue Economy & Civil Aviation. The Minister will tour several points of interest in San Pedro to gain deeper insight into how the respective parties can collaborate to improve the tourism infrastructure and product.

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Yesterday at 11:01 AM
Belize Prepares for the Restart of Cruise Operations

The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) today released a new set of health and safety protocols that will guide the restart of cruise operations in Belize. The protocols outline the necessary adjustments and adaptations to be undertaken at each step of the cruise cycle - from home port, to destination and return.

These protocols are the result of many hours of hard work by the Belize Cruise Taskforce, working in collaboration with the Americas Cruise Taskforce and the Central American Cruise Subcommittee, to develop special health and safety protocols in line with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) conditional sail order. These protocols also incorporate recommendations from the Healthy Sail Panel, Belize’s Ministry of Health and Wellness and local stakeholders via consultations.

"There appears to be light at the end of the tunnel for reopening of the cruise industry. The outlook appears much more positive than it has for the past year", stated Hon. Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism & Diaspora Relations. "It is vital that we are adequately prepared for the return of our guests, and the key to our success lies in developing a strategic framework to ensure a safe and secure experience for passengers, crew and the destination."

For four consecutive years, Belize welcomed over 1 million cruise passengers annually to its shores. In 2019, prior to the pandemic, Belize received almost 1.2 million passengers with 68% of travelers arriving at Fort Street Tourism Village in Belize City and 32% arriving at Harvest Caye in southern Belize. The BTB and the Ministry of Tourism & Diaspora Relations are committed to the full recovery of the cruise industry to Pre-COVID numbers, and to enhance the Belize tourism product to make it more competitive within the region.

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) will resume with the first test sail on August 4th, 2021. This will be followed by the official first guests to call on Harvest Caye on August 9th, 2021, signaling the reopening of the cruise tourism sector in Belize. It has been over a year since the cruise industry in our region has been suspended, and thousands of Belizeans that work in this sector are now ready to welcome cruise guests to our shores once again, guided by the new health and safety protocols.

To see a copy of the protocols please click Here.
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Trip Reports
Yesterday at 10:58 AM

Check out our experience adventuring St. Georges Caye Belize island. This magical island has so many water activities to offer. It will keep you occupied for days with exciting adventures! St. Georges Caye Belize is close to the second largest barrier reefs in the world. Still dreaming of all the healthy coral and the abundance of sea creatures we encounter during our dive. ALSO! Mala is now a certified Scuba Diver!
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Belize District
Yesterday at 10:55 AM

Belize City Aerial View 4K
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Trip Reports
Yesterday at 10:52 AM
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Yesterday at 10:47 AM

Cohabitating with Crocodiles

Wildlife Program Manager Shanelly Carrillo Balan of the Forest Department tells you what to do if there is a sighting of a crocodile in your area. 

Shanelly Carrillo Balan, Wildlife Program Manager, Forest Department

“What we have seen in the past years is that Belize City and Ladyville areas is that it is becoming frequent to have reports coming from those areas when it comes to crocodiles – not just sighting of crocodiles, but also for crocodile conflicts for example them trying to attack your pets. So the forest department does respond to those reports. Apart from responding and sometimes we remove the crocodiles, we also educate the people around. So things that we mention is for example, take care of your pets. If you live close to the water edges, it is sometimes good to invest in a proper fence just make sure that your pets are safe. Also they hunt dusk and dawn so if it is around these times, take extra precaution. Don’t be close to these areas with your pets, don’t be swimming in these areas around these times. But what we see as well is that crocodile conflicts can sometimes start because of directly or indirectly feeding these animals. A lot of times when we respond to these conflict cases and we ask the necessary questions, people have been feeding them without knowing it. So if you are cleaning your fish near the water edge, you are indirectly feeding these animals. But also garbage is something that we have to consider. Just having garbage in these areas where they can possibly start feeding off of our scraps. So that is attracting them to our homes, closer to these communities.”


Channel 5

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Orange Walk
Yesterday at 10:41 AM

New River, Same Old Stench

New River, same old problems - the April heat is on, and Orange Walk residents have been complaining that the stench emitted from the river is as bad as it's always been around this time. For years, the Orange Walk residents have had to deal with this annual issue with no solution in sight. And every year, the Department of Environment says they are monitoring the situation, which is exactly what they told our colleagues at CTV3. The Deputy Chief Environmental Officer, Edgar Eck, stated that they have been testing the river and admit that it is in a deteriorated stated. But while the stench is bad, he reassured the public that the Hydrogen Sulfide levels are not concerning.

Edgar Eck, Deputy Chief Environmental Officer, DOE
"We continue to conduct monitoring of the river. Last week we were out on the river and measuring the different parameters and we still see very low levels of oxygen in the river which is not supportive of aquatic life at this point in time. There is also parameters that we monitor as well which are not good as well. So the river basically is in that state, experiencing deterioration. We also managed to bring in our sensors to measure Hydrogen Sulfide because there were some complaints about the stench the odor that was coming out. So we managed to get some readings on that. Basically the readings that we managed to get are in acceptable ranges."

"You mentioned in the report as well that the 4ppm was recorded near BSI, are you able to say why that is the case?"

Edgar Eck, Deputy Chief Environmental Officer, DOE
"Probably because there is the composition of different nutrients and things that's within the river. And so it varies on where that is happening."

"Is there any concern that this number will continue to rise?"

Edgar Eck, Deputy Chief Environmental Officer, DOE
"We're not expecting it to rise, nevertheless we will continue to monitor as every week we're out in the field monitoring so that is one of the things we were going to monitor and inform people about."

"Is that the highest over the years that this has been happening?"

Edgar Eck, Deputy Chief Environmental Officer, DOE
"2019 We recorded higher numbers. I think the highest we recorded was around 15 or something to that effect."

BSI Says: New River too Warm

And while the Hydrogen Sulfide levels in the area near ASR/BSI are higher than the rest of the river, the company is still adamant that they are doing their best to be environmentally friendly. The regional Environmental Health and Safety manager explained this morning on CTV3's Despierta Belize that their main issue has to do with the temperature of the water. And they have been working on a project to remedy this.

Seidy Lienez, Regional EHS Manager
"Our biggest challenge is the temperature and we have recently, our board approved ten million dollars investment in cooling towers so we are not gonna install on cooling tower nor two, we are gonna install three cooling towers to ensure that we comply with the 35 degrees temperature limit that we have as part of our ECP compliance parameter. So William went a little bit into the explaining how a cooling tower functions but essentially what is does is that we have water at a high temperature coming into the system, we have n ingress of air which allows for heat dissipation through nuzzling effect, like a spraying effect, and increasing in surface area. So you have an exchange of temperature within the system. Once it has undergone the full series then the cool water would come out of the system and basically there are several options or several engineering options that you can see for temperature dissipation. We were considering two, one was spray ponds, really it's the same thing but it's open in a pond setting with a nuzzle spraying in the area. After careful consideration and with consultation with the DOE, the cooling towers was the preferred engineering design to go. We have been working with engineers from Brazil. As you know Brazil is much recognized with not only their cane industry but also their waste water treatment systems. And so we are working with Walsh Engineering, it's an international company widely known, globally recognized, when it comes to the execution of these types of projects so during COVID last year, we were working with them virtually, they have visited the site, we continue to have meetings with them to fine tune the details of the engineering project so it's been a lot of work over a year. 2:"

Channel 7

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Yesterday at 10:39 AM

Testing Tourists Too

Today we asked the Health Minister about the public concern that those same daily COVID numbers are being distorted by the inclusion of test results for tourists. Those test results, when factored in, cause daily positivity rates of less than 1%.

Michel Chebat told us that the Ministry has to account for all testing done in the country:

Hon. Michel Chebat - Minister of Health and Wellness
"I don't believe that numbers are skewed. We have to include the composite of all the tests that are being done in the country. So, whether you're testing a tourist, or whether you're testing a national, the results must be included in the computation of where we are at any given time. And so, I don't agree that the numbers are skewed. And again, I keep on saying, if you don't have faith in the numbers, look at the secondary evidence, which comes from our hospitals. The number of hospitalizations we've had, and those will show - if you look at the comparison, you will see that the numbers of hospitalizations have fallen dramatically. So, those bear out the numbers that the Ministry of Health and Wellness is producing."

Channel 7

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Yesterday at 10:38 AM

We asked the Health Minister for an update on the current stores of the COVID vaccines in the country, the looming expiration date on those doses, and how those variables could affect availability for the public in the weeks to come.

He said that Belize should be getting a second batch of vaccines under the COVAX facility in less than 2 weeks' time:

Hon. Michel Chebat - Minister of Health and Wellness
"The second batch of vaccines through the COVAX facility is estimated to arrive in the country around the 17th of May, so that we're well on our way with the planned arrivals, with the expected arrivals."

"The AstraZeneca vials, which the vaccine we're currently using, each vial brings 10 doses, and so, we're vaccinating 10 persons per vial."

"We are monitoring vaccines to ensure that we have no expired vaccines. I can tell you that we are about to embark on a month's vaccination campaign. So, we are guaranteeing as a Ministry of Health and Wellness that we will not allow any of our vaccines to expire. We are going to make sure that they get into arms before that time comes."

"Second doses have actually, this week, persons who had already gotten the first dose are now eligible to get their second dose."

Channel 7

When Will the Second Dose Be Administered?

Twelve weeks after getting your first jab, you are to return to a vaccination center to receive your second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. For those who were among the first to be inoculated, within the next two weeks, that second jab is due. Doctor Beer says that for those frontline healthcare workers, it is recommended that their second dose is taken now.

Dr. Natalia Largaespada Beer, Maternal & Child Health Technical Advisor, M.O.H.W.

“The second dose can be administered between eight weeks and twelve after given the first dose. For healthcare workers, we are stressing that they get their second dose now; eight weeks have passed since the first dose and we want to make sure that they are well protected, they are the persons who will be in contact if we should have an increase in cases of COVID-19. The rest of the population can wait until twelve weeks to get their second dose. But of course, if persons sixty years because some of them we did give them appoint for eight weeks and if they show up, they will get their second dose. But the recommendation is eight to twelve weeks. So we are asking those that are not sixty years and older if they can wait and little and then we prioritise healthcare workers and persons sixty years and older.”

Channel 5

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Yesterday at 10:37 AM

Is G.O.B. Sparking Rage?

Tonight the joint unions and the government remain at a standoff - with both he teachers and public service union membership on strike. But, it has not crippled government services and it has not closed schools or totally stopped online learning.

Still, many teachers and public officers are sitting it out - and today the agitation may have entered another stage with minor tyre fires on the George Price Highway. Now, we surely cannot link these activities to the unions - but we know that tyre fires on the highways have - in the past - been a standard part of civil and labour agitation in Belize.

Early this morning between 5:30 and 6:30 there was a single tyre on fire on the Colonel English bridge near mile 31, and earlier on - there had been three tyres near Harmonyville at mile 41.

These had no great effect on traffic and were quickly put out.

Union Negotiations Continue

But the joint unions did have an effect yesterday in Belize City when a total of around 900 teachers and public officers marched through the city streets.

They converged on the House of Culture where talks between government and the joint unions leadership resumed at 1:30 pm.

And they didn't come out until after 7:00 last night - a little more than 5 hours of negotiations. And just like the first set of consultations, there isn't much information about the details of that meeting. When it ended last night, our 7News team was waiting outside and caught up with the BNTU president, Elena Smith, as she left the House of Culture.

While she was tightlipped, she did say another meeting was planned for Thursday.

Elena Smith, President, BNTU
"We are not finished yet, you know, we only did a portion of the discussions today and we'll come back on Thursday for the second portion of the discussion."

Courtney Menzies:
"What was it like in there meeting with the government, what was the energy like?"

Elena Smith, President, BNTU
"I think as usual we had some cordial and some frank discussion and from now we'll go to membership and we come back and finalize matters."

Courtney Menzies:
"Do they seem willing to yield to some of the priority list that you mentioned this morning?"

Elena Smith, President, BNTU
"Well I don't want to get into that ye because we still have the list to complete so I prefer to do that when we've gone through the entire list."

Courtney Menzies:
"But they did put forward proposals?"

Elena Smith, President, BNTU

The Government side was led by Deputy Prime Minister Cordel Hyde. He was acting Prime Minister until today when the Prime Minister returned to the country after leave.

Channel 7

Finally, G.O.B. and Joint Unions Enter Negotiations

The Joint Unions Negotiating Team and representatives of the Briceño administration resumed discussion on Tuesday afternoon.  That meeting was held at the House of Culture here in Belize City and lasted for almost six and a half hours. Both parties later exited the compound at around seven p.m.  Today, when we spoke with the President of the Public Service Union, Gerald Henry, he was unable to provide specific details of the meeting because discussions with government are still ongoing.  He did, however, mentioned that the discussions were cordial and that the joint unions finally feel that they have entered negotiations.

Gerald Henry, President, P.S.U.

“As it relates to the atmosphere of the meeting, usually our meetings tend to be very cordial, and you know it always appears as if though we are there to achieve something, and that remains the case.   It seems to me that it tended more towards being now a negotiation as opposed to prior to that, which would have been simply the government consulting with us to satisfy the law, as we kept saying. We are hoping that we could have some meaningful discussion going forward. So, we are hoping that we could have some meaningful discussion going forward with the hope that it will continue to be a negotiation or that it will be a full-fledged negotiation. Because we want to try to end this impasse as well, as quickly as possible.  We have to communicate with our membership what has taken place, what is expected to take place, tomorrow especially and perhaps a few days into next week. We see what they say about it and then we take back their position to the government. When we speak we don’t speak for ourselves. We speak the voice of our membership. So that is what we communicate to the government. The government will then in turn will do like what we are doing, and communicate what their leadership, which is of course the reverse of how we work, because of course we are a true democracy.”

The joint unions are set to meet with G.O.B. representatives at ten a.m. tomorrow morning.  We were not able to get any response from the government’s side on yesterday’s meeting. But the Minster responsible for Public Service, Henry Charles Usher, did inform News Five by text today that Deputy Prime Minister Cordel Hyde may speak tomorrow at the conclusion of that meeting.

Channel 5

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