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Weather
7 minutes ago
Present Condition: Clear skies. Warm and mainly fair weather prevails.
24hr Forecast: Sunny with a few cloudy spells during the daytime and partly cloudy tonight. Showers and thunderstorms will be isolated, developing mainly over northern and inland areas this afternoon; and then a few more will develop over coastal and offshore areas tonight and tomorrow morning.

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Live Beach Cam at Blue Water Grill

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Trip Reports
57 minutes ago

Moho Caye
Over the weekend we went out to check out some of the Cayes of Belize and had the pleasure of spending the day at Moho Caye! This island is absolutely stunning and worth a visit.
Will Mitchell
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Caye Caulker
1 hour ago
It’s time for a change. A few weeks from now will mark 6 months since the start of the Soup Kitchen. These last 6 months have been a wonderous rollercoaster, riding on the continuous waves of change due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We’ve seen the strength, beauty and generosity of our community, and it’s been a joint effort of amazing kitchen volunteers, including those working tirelessly behind the scenes, and those that have donated, baked, cleaned, carried boxes or given us that bit of moral support. Together we have taken one worry away from the minds of our islanders.

Now it’s time to move into a new phase of our operations. Starting October 3rd, the Soup Kitchen will transition into a new program: Caye Caulker Strong Food Pantry. The daily meal service will come to an end, and in its place we will be providing a weekly grocery bag for families and individuals. This new program will primarily be funded through a generous private donation by the Denver Foundation, a truly amazing and unexpected gift to our island! Any Soup Kitchen funds that are left over will go to the purchasing of food items for the grocery bags and anyone who is currently receiving meals from the Soup Kitchen can automatically receive a weekly grocery bag.

WHAT MOTIVATES THE CHANGE FROM A HOT MEAL TO A GROCERY BAG?

A combination of factors: The opening of the international airport on October 1st, the news that restaurants will try to re-open and as a result be limited in their time to cook for the Soup Kitchen, the feedback we’ve gathered from our community (both from meal recipients and other members of the community) and the organizational challenge associated with the high number of people we’re currently cooking meals for.

Though there is still a need, we also see some work opportunities and we trust in the ability of the islanders to reinvent and find new ways to provide. This new program is a simple step towards more self-reliance. The aforementioned reasons combined with the availability of a new fund, makes the timing perfect to transition to this new program.

WHAT ABOUT YOUR FINANCES AND YOUR GOFUNDME?

A week and a half from now, on the last day of our daily meal program, we will have provided over 46,000 hot meals and over 37,000 second meal items (fruit, bread, meat pies, etc.) We’ve managed to keep our actual cost per meal at 2.37 BZD (versus the 2.50 BZD maximum set in April) and keep our actual cost for the daily second meal items at 0.89 BZD (versus the 1.00 BZD set maximum.)

All remaining funds after the last day of meal service, will be turned into food product for the ‘Caye Caulker Strong’ grocery bags. Because of the availability of this new private fund, we have readjusted our GoFundMe goal and have closed incoming donations. If you still wish to donate to Caye Caulker, then you can donate to one of the many beautiful projects on the island. Below is a small list. If you know of any other projects on the island, feel free to send us a message.

Support our Tour Guides without a job: https://www.gofundme.com/f/covid19-support-for-caye-caulker-tour-guides

Support our young mothers and babies: https://www.gofundme.com/f/caye-caulker-baby-pantry

Support one of our local restaurants struggling during the pandemic: https://www.gofundme.com/f/zqyr8u-di-1-and-only-belizean-flava

Support the Caye Caulker Humane Society: https://www.cayecaulkerhumanesociety.com/securedonationspage.htm

Support our High School, Ocean Academy: https://www.globalgiving.org/donate/5950/caye-caulker-ocean-academy/

Support one of our Caye Caulker residents who needs urgent heart surgery: https://www.gofundme.com/f/stephan-bernard-heart-surgery-fund

Support one of our local islanders with her medical expenses: https://www.gofundme.com/f/debra-sooknanans-medical-expenses-fund AND https://www.gofundme.com/f/mirna039s-medical-expense

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR CAYE CAULKER?

Unfortunately, we don’t have a crystal ball. In this ever-changing world it’s difficult to say what the future holds. One thing we do know is that the people of Caye Caulker are innovative and resilient, and we are certain that they will emerge on the other side stronger than ever. The Caye Caulker Strong program is not there to make Caye Caulker strong, it’s there to emphasize the strength that’s already here.

To everyone who has donated in the past 6 months, thank you, we could not have run this program without your generosity.

To everyone who has been involved in the last 6 months in any way, thank you! Each and every one of you contributed in your own way, and have helped make this program what it turned out to be. You can give yourself a big pat on the back, we’ve served 46,000 hot meals and 37,000 ‘second meal’ items!
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Ambergris Caye
1 hour ago
HERE ARE THE WINNERS OF THE POSTER COMPETITION!

1ST PLACE: GILLIAN GONZALEZ (658 LIKES)
2ND PLACE: KYLE GONZALEZ (552 LIKES)
3RD PLACE: ANIKI LAWRENCE (280 LIKES)

Thank you for participating! We enjoyed all your creations as they are true representations of our country.
Winners can collect at the office of the San Pedro Town Council.

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Travel
1 hour ago
Today's Open Your Eyes at 8am where we discuss BTIA’s official letter with recommendations presented to PM and NOC to review the current protocols in place to attract tourists and to recover the tourism industry. With Melanie Paz and John Burgos.

Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA)

Begins at 1hr33min45seconds

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News
7 hours ago
National Oversight Committee Clarifies Reports on Resignation of the DHS

The National Oversight Committee (NOC) hereby clarifies that Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services, has not tendered his resignation. The information currently being circulated by various news outlets is false.

The NOC did have a discussion with Dr. Manzanero regarding the most recent statutory instrument. It was agreed to recommend to Cabinet an alternative way of dealing with the issue of COVID-19 positive persons who break quarantine and the law.

==============

News spread at the speed of lightening today about the purported resignation of Doctor Marvin Manzanero, the Director of Health Services, who has been the face in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. It came on the heels of a very controversial amendment to the quarantine regulations penalizing the DHS if he fails to provide confidential information on COVID-19 patients to the Minister of National Security. So in essence, while the S.I. seeks to deal with those persons who are positive, in isolation and quarantine and who break the law, it punishes the DHS. The amended regulations were issued late on Tuesday and sounded alarm bells instantly. This morning, Doctor Manzanero could not be reached for comment, but there was talk from inside the N.O.C. meeting that he had raised strong concerns about the new S.I. since divulging patient information goes against the grain of his profession. In the afternoon, the government issued a press release saying that the Director of Health Services had not resigned. The government release went on to confirm that the N.O.C. did have a discussion with Doctor Manzanero on the S.I. Did he threaten to resign? Well, the release admittedly states that “it was agreed to recommend to Cabinet an alternative way of dealing with the issue of COVID-19 positive patients who break quarantine and the law.” It means that for some compelling reason, government will be revising the new S.I.

Channel 5
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Living in Belize
7 hours ago
Since everyone is doing a Tiktok, share your tiktok talent with us and let us spread awareness of Mental Health. You can even win a prize.

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Nature
7 hours ago

It’s been two years since we’ve reported on turtle conservation in Gales Point and today, we travelled to the village to bring you the latest turtle tagging event with the Gales Point Wildlife Sanctuary.  As we’ve covered over the years, the Hawksbill Sea Turtle is critically endangered, but it is protected in Belize and there are a number of initiatives to help safeguard this species.  One area of Belize where there is a healthy population of this sea turtle is Gales Point Manatee. The Wildlife Sanctuary in the village has been leading the conservation of these marine animals.  For several years now, they have been tracking the migration patterns of these turtles to learn more about them in order to strengthen the management and research.  Today, reporter Andrea Polanco went to meet the latest turtle to be tagged and because she is the first of the season during the pandemic, she was given the name Corona. Here’s the story.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

A hundred plus pound Hawksbill Turtle – estimated to be older than seventy years – Corona the Hawksbill Turtle is on her shell, flapping on a beach in Gales Point Manatee. She is impatient to get on with her journey – but a small team of turtle conservationists can’t allow her to leave just yet. Corona must be fitted with a small tracking device that will gather important information about her journey that will help to monitor her species that is critically endangered across the world.

Kevin Andrewin, Chairman, Gales Point Wildlife Sanctuary

“These turtles keep on showing us the migration pattern; they keep on showing us that they come back and nest and that that is a good nesting site for them and so that is why we keep on tagging these turtles because we get a lot of information from them.”

Andrea Polanco

“How far you seen these turtles go?”

Kevin Andrewin

“One is still in Honduras. It hasn’t returned yet. And then we tagged one that went all the way past Cuba. So, we know that they go from different country to country. Some of them go all the way down to Puerto Rico, Jamaica and different parts of the world.”

And so today, the team, led by Kevin Andrewin of the Gales Point Wildlife Sanctuary and his interns – the children of Gales Point, is using this GPS tracking device to provide that information about Corona the Hawksbill. Before it is attached, Corona is tagged in the folds of her skin and her shell is prepared for the device which is sealed with a marine based epoxy to secure the device in place for a couple years.

Kevin Andrewin

“We take the process after the measuring and we gotta roll up the epoxy so that it is mixed up good and when it gets a little hard we get another set of epoxy that we call the paste on it that is the one that seals so that it gets harder before it goes into the water. That is the last step that we do before we release the turtle into the water and then it gets tougher, That lasts only for an amount of years – it could last maybe five or six years. After that the tag goes off and eventually the barnacles grow and that will still come off the turtle.”

Corona was sent off on her journey once she was equipped with her device. She moved on down the beach headed straight for the sea where she swam away. Now that she is in the water – every time she comes up for air the tag dries off and sends data up to the satellite which pinpoints her location and she can be tracked online through her tag number. Once she goes back under water the satellite tag goes off. And because these turtles nest every two to three years, on average they spend a year or so away from their nesting sites – so by tagging them conservationists get information about their movements; their nesting sites; and other data that helps better decision making and research into the species. While the population of the Hawksbill Turtles is dwindling across the world – the beaches here in Gales Point are said to have the highest concentration of bests and the biggest population in the region. But it wasn’t always like this – the work to get here started thirty years ago. Before that, they were being eaten, their shells used for jewelry, their habitats destroyed and at times they were victims of poachers and gillnets.  But once the Hawksbill was protected by law – and the villagers were educated about these turtles – the community supported the efforts. Today, children as young as seven years old are leading turtle conservation in Gales Point Manatee:

Kadia Andrewin, Gales Point Wildlife Sanctuary

“From since I was eight years old I have been working with my father and the Hawksbill Hope. It has been a wonderful experience; tagging them; releasing them. It has been wonderful because I have learnt so much about the turtles during the years. I have learnt about how to track their crawling; clutch size; the length; how long they live; how much they weigh; and how to differentiate them.”

Angel Andrewin, Gales Point Wildlife Sanctuary

“They are lovely and we want to protect them and stuff.”

Andrea Polanco

“Do you think that when you get older you will continue to do this work?”

Angel Andrewin

“Yes, ma’am.”

Andrea Polanco

“Why is that?”

Angel Andrewin

“Because I love animals and I want to protect them.”

Kelvin Andrewin, Gales Point Wildlife Sanctuary

“When I grow up big I want be like my dad; tagging turtles; walking beach; finding turtle nest. I want to do all of that like my dad.”

Andrewin has been leading turtle conservation in his home village of Gales Point. And for the past several years he has worked with research students from the USA. But teaching the children from his community about turtle conservation is one of his biggest accomplishments.

Kevin Andrewin

“One of the most important things is that this is the largest nesting beach for Belize and that is very important . These students, if when we get old and we retire they can continue the work. They can continue to protect these turtles. Protect the wildlife sanctuary and all the endangered species in it. So, it is important for them to start at an early age because I started out from I was fifteen and then I end up you know. So, the same thing I want to pass on from generation to generation.”

Channel 5

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News
7 hours ago

To close the newscast tonight we tell you about several locations across the country, including roads, bridges and public buildings, that are being named after prominent Belizeans whose contribution to the nation’s history are noteworthy.  Those persons are John Smith, a founding member of the People’s Committee which later became the People’s United Party, Clifford Betson, Sir Manuel Esquivel and Eleanor Hall.  During the Independence Day ceremony, Minister of Culture and Chair of the September Celebrations Committee, Patrick Faber, shared the designations.

Patrick Faber, Minister of Culture

“In addition to the recognition of our maximum leaders, I would wish the nation to join me in saluting a few other Belizeans whose contributions have been stellar to Belize’s formation.  Our recognition to them on this day will go beyond words and will hopefully be etched more permanently in history for their contributions.  I begin with Belizean patriot John “Johnny” Smith who helped to form the People’s Committee back in 1950 and became the first leader of the People’s United Party and later broke ranks with them.  For his contribution to Belize we today declare that the new airport link road which will be declared open later this week will be officially named the John Smith Airport Link Road.  Also for his contribution to the nationalist movement, it is now proposed that the Chetumal Street Bridge that connects the north side and south side of Belize City be called the Clifford Betson Bridge.  The new home of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, here in the city of Belmopan, shall hereafter be known as Leigh Richardson Building in honor of his stellar contributions in our struggle to nationhood.  As work now progresses on the Coastal Road that connects the Belize and Stann Creek districts, it is more than fitting that the name of our former prime minister Sir Manuel Esquivel be attached hereafter in recognition for his contribution to Belize.  And last but not least, ‘lest we’re accused of not seeking equality Mrs. Kim, to honour our women, the new government administration building that is being constructed at the southern foot of the newly named Clifford Betson Bridge will be named in honour of devout retired public servant, Mrs. Eleanor Hall for her many years of stellar service to Belize.”

Channel 5

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News
7 hours ago

SI Lays Out The New Modestly Adjusted COVID Regs

We turn now to the changes that SI 134 actually brings. It does 3 things.

First, it allows restaurants to open up and accommodate 10 patrons to dine-in by reservations only. Restaurant owners cannot have more than 10 customers, and they must have a restaurant license.

Secondly, it allows churches to open up, but they can't have more than 10 worshippers participating in the service.

And finally, it obliges the Director of Health Services to release the names of all COVID-19 positive patients to the Minister of National Security.

This morning, we caught up with the Attorney General on the Belize Coast Guard compound, and we asked him to explain the allowances for restaurants and churches:

Hon. Michael Peyrefitte - Attorney General
"As you know, churches are not allowed to operate [and] neither are restaurants, whether in-door or out-door restaurants. So, we decided - the Committee along with the Cabinet decided that the time has come for us to do a soft opening of those 2 places, with churches, no more than 10 people in the congregation. Of course, you'll have the pastor and his or her assistants. Restaurants, it's no more than 10 people in the whole restaurant, no matter what the size [is]. Now, if you have a huge restaurant, you still can only have 10 people. If you have a small restaurant that cannot hold 10 people being 6 feet apart or not at the same table, then clearly you can't have 10. But, if you have space, you're allowed up to 10, with the proper social distancing and masks when you're not eating. You must have a restaurant license to operate, and it must be by reservations. We feel like we have reached the point where we can start to open up again and ask people to be responsible and cooperate with us."

We also asked him to explain the rationale behind the new obligation for the Director of Health Services, who now has to release the names of COVID-positive patients to the police:

Hon. Michael Peyrefitte - Attorney General
"The next amendment that seems to be getting some attention is that we find that as the cases increase, the Ministry of Health would, from time to time, put more people in detention, or allow more people to self-isolate at home, or self-quarantine. So, when these people violate the self-isolation orders or their self-quarantine requirements, the police need to be sprung into action almost immediately. So, it's very, very critical that we have that information. So, we've put in the law the need for the DHS to provide to the Minister of National Security all those people who have tested positive or all those people who are self-isolation, or in quarantine, so that we can know and have a ready list available for people that we have to look out for, to make sure that they are not violating the orders given to them by the quarantine authority."

Reporter
"Are there any concerns, or have there been any concerns raised about doctor/patient confidentiality matters?"

Hon. Michael Peyrefitte - Attorney General
"The Oversight Committee and the Cabinet have both said that this is in the interest of dealing with the pandemic. I don't foresee an issue at all. We are in a pandemic. I personally see no shame in somebody having COVID-19. I don't see personally what's the issue. There will be no breach of confidentiality that is not necessary. As it is, if we find out that Daniel Ortiz is COVID-19 [positive], and we have to do contact tracing, we have to then inform other people we're investigating them because you're positive. So, there is no confidentiality in the strictest sense now, as we speak. And I think, on a national issue, on a pandemic issue, it's not personal like some other diseases. This is a pandemic, and I would hope that if I were to be COVID-19 [positive], I would proudly say that I have it, so that my friends and family know that I have it, so that they can take care of themselves, or get themselves checked. So, I personally don't see an issue with it."

Reporter
"There seems to be a stipulation nonetheless that should the DHS not provide that list, then he would, in effect, be committing a crime or an offense."

Hon. Michael Peyrefitte
"Yes."

Reporter
"Can you explain that rationale?"

Hon. Michael Peyrefitte
"We just want to make sure that it is not left to his discretion to provide it. He must provide it."

Later on in the news, we'll have a little bit more from our conversation with Peyrefitte about UDP's readiness for the upcoming general elections.

Channel 7


Why Only Ten for Churches and Restaurants but More for Buses?

Notwithstanding the mortality rate associated with COVID-19, we asked the Attorney General this morning about the rationale behind limiting restaurants and churches to ten persons while allowing buses and other forms of public transportation to carry more than ten passengers within proximity of each other.  Here’s how he responded to that comparison.

Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General

“We don’t expect people to keep their masks on when they are eating.  I have yet to see them create a mask that would allow you to have it on, protect yourself, protect others and then drink and eat at the same time.  In the restaurant you would have to actually take off the mask to eat and drink, so you’re exposing yourself right in that moment there.  So then we believe that you need less persons to have it functioning rather than a bus, where everybody on that bus must sanitize before they go on the bus, must wear their mask and there must only be seating capacity.  We think that with the requirement that you must keep on the mask on the public transportation then that is a safer place for you to have more people.  And then when it comes to public transportation, like we said before, we have to learn as well to manage the risks and we believe that there are certain cases where it’s difficult to limit it to ten people.”

Channel 5

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Elections
7 hours ago

We've been showing you the sales pitch from Opposition, PUP, and the Belize Progressive Party about why voters should choose them over the ruling United Democratic Party. But, the UDP has not yet unveiled any sort of major leadership or governance plans, if they were to win a 4th term in office.

So, while we had the opportunity today, we asked the UDP Chairman to discuss a little about his party's campaign strategy for these elections. Here's what he had to say about what their approach has been behind the scenes:

Hon. Michael Peyrefitte - Chairman, UDP
"We know that all we can do is to campaign, work hard, demonstrate to the people why we are clearly a better option than the PUP, and we do our best to convince the people of that. We know that elections will be some time in November. The Prime Minister has indicated that. So, we have to be prepared for that. We put in all that we need to put in. We are confident that the people can see the clear difference between the UDP and the PUP, and that people, we are confident, will give back the UDP the job to manage the economy properly as we have been doing. But, elections are for the people, so on that day, the people will decide who wants to govern them for the next 5 years from a central government standpoint.

Reporter
"Sir, what has the campaign for the area reps and standard-bearers of the UDP looked like? We've been living in this pandemic for a number of months, and you can't necessarily go house to house, and visit people like you would normally."

Hon. Michael Peyrefitte
"Well, it's been different. We've had to find creative ways to reach people, and people understand completely that we're living in a different time, and people understand completely that we have to do it in a different style and fashion. So, the reception has nonetheless been excellent. People understand that we can't be out there as usual. Our people do love the have those rallies: Pound Yard Bridge, in front of the Headquarters. That's what we all love. But, our safety is more important than anything else."

Reporter
"Is there any consideration from yourself that maybe voters my be lolling your party into a false sense of security, and that they surprise you on election day?"

Hon. Michael Peyrefitte
"Well, you never know what will happen on election day. If I could tell you what would happen on election day, I would go and buy all the numbers for Boledo. You can't tell. On election day, that's for the people to decide. They will decide, and we all have to live with what the people decide."

Reports suggest that a house meeting could be happening this Friday - and there are rumours - without confirmation - that the PM could announce an election date at that meeting. Again, not confirmed - but we'll wait and see.

Channel 7

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News
7 hours ago
COVID-19 UPDATE

This is our data for today. A total of 168 samples were processed today with 37 new cases identified today.

The cases are distributed as follows:

- Belize District - 5 (4 City, 1 Western Pines)
- Corozal District - 11 (7 in Town, 1 San Victor, 1 from San Marcos in Toledo District, 1 from Georgeville in Cayo, 1 repatriated person)
- Orange Walk District - 21 (9 San Jose Palmar, 3 San Estevan, 2 OW Town, 2 San Jose, 1 August Pine Ridge, 1 Trial Farm, 1 San Antonio, 1 Shipyard, 1 from San Pedro but swabbed in OW)

We have 15 recoveries so that 38.98% of our cases remain active.

The infographic today records the death reported yesterday.

Note that the numbers are for the 2 northern districts are being followed closely so that we have to continue to exercise all the prevention measures at all times.

The health teams continue their tireless work at all fronts and we thank you for all the support.

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Environment
16 hours ago
Hello!

We are a group a NYU grad students doing research climate change impacts and gender in Belize. We would love to hear how you all feel about climate change and if you have thoughts on gender differences in climate resilience. We are primarily focused on Belize City but would love to hear from anyone! Please feel free to reach out directly or post your comments in this thread.
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News
Yesterday at 07:00 PM
Great & Exciting News for Scuba Diving in Belize as we are Getting Ready to Open our Country to International Tourism under the Gold Standard Certification for Tour Operator’s and the Safe Corridor for the Accommodation Sector we would also love to Add on to the Health & Safety Guidelines, Procedures for our Valued Divers, which is an Integral Part of our Tourism Product.

We are Hereby Inviting all Diver, Dive Master’s, Dive Instructor’s to Join our Diving Safety/Health Webinar.

Dr. David Charash - DO - Diving Officer,CWS,FACEP – Fellowship Of The American College Of Emergency Physicians ,FUHM – Fellowship Undersea Hyperbaric Medicine

Dr. Charash is a Dive Medicine Physician that is Board certified in Emergency Medicine and Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine, he Lectures Internationally on topics of Dive Medicine, Dive Safety and Dive Technology, He is a DAN Referral Physician, DAN Instructor and a PADI Recreational Diver.

He has been involved with hyperbaric medicine and the care of the injured diver since 1992, he is the principal owner of Dive Medicine and Hyperbaric Consultants.

Topics to be Covered:

1. Medical Fitness Update for the Recreational Diver
2. What Every Diver Needs to Know
3. Newest World Recreational Scuba Training Council Medical Fitness Guidelines.
4. Diving in era of Covid-19

Time: Sep 29, 2020 06:00 PM Belize Time

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2581838963...
Meeting ID: 258 183 8963
Passcode: 331402

One tap mobile
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Dial by your location
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Meeting ID: 258 183 8963
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Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kpyTeT5gN

San Pedro Tourist Guide Association
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Travel
Yesterday at 06:41 PM

  • All travelers to Belize will need to download and register on the Belize health app, “Belize Travel Health” once the country reopens on October 1.
  • The Belize Health App is now available for download from the Apple App Store and Android Store
  • Don’t have a smart phone? Access the Self Reporting Form via Belize’s Ministry of Health
  • Free of cost, the Belize Health App is available for pre-registration within 72 hours of travel to Belize

Regardless of nationality and purpose, every traveler must download the Belize Health App; information is not required to be filled out until 72 hours prior to your trip. When Belize welcomes commercial flights again in October, all passengers will be required to either come with a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of their departure — with which they can use the “fast lane” at the airport — or undergo testing on arrival, according to the Belize Tourism Board.  Once completed, each traveler will receive a unique code as confirmation for successfully meeting all app requirements. While in Belize, the app will be used for daily health monitoring.







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Stann Creek
Yesterday at 06:32 PM
How seaweed farming is uplifting women and communities in Belize

The Nature Conservancy has been partnering with the Government of Belize, non-profits, the private sector and local fishers – including women – to develop an innovative sustainable seaweed mariculture industry that provides ecosystem benefits in addition to alternative income.

Sitting at the table one evening in Placencia, I met the women who would soon form the Belize Women’s Seaweed Farmers Association (BWSFA). I was inspired by their stories and their vision for wanting to uplift their community. Each of these women came with their own ideas but they all shared a passion for the ocean, their country and seaweed farming.

The Nature Conservancy in Belize has been working with local partners over the last five years to help develop a sustainable seaweed industry that can provide social, economic and even ecological benefits to coastal communities and marine ecosystems. While, globally, seaweed is a commodity often farmed and sold for processing into carrageenan or agar, in Belize it is highly valued for local uses in cooking and as a nutritious ingredient in fresh smoothies. Farmers can even obtain up to US $15/lb of dried seaweed.

In addition to providing farmer training sessions for this sustainable coastal livelihood, our collaborative programme has been focused on testing and developing a seaweed farming system that protects and provides habitat for other commercially and ecologically important species, such as spiny lobster, parrotfish, snapper and a host of other species.

Click here to read the rest of the article in The Fish Site website
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Specials & Events
Yesterday at 06:28 PM
Next week, the Ministry of Health will celebrate Caribbean Wellness Week. The Caribbean region's overall theme this year is "Power Through Collective Action".

Our highlight activity will be a Virtual Wellness Symposium and we want you to join. It will be streamed live on the Government of Belize Press office and Ministry of Health Belize Facebook pages this Monday.

We continue to create awareness to prevent and control non communicable disease.

For more information contact, Robyn Daly, Technical Advisor for Nutrition, [email protected], 828-4463.

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News
Yesterday at 06:27 PM
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On Tuesday, September 22, 2020, the British High Commissioner H.E. Claire Evans and the Chief Executive Officer of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Ms. Lou-Anne Burns signed a Grant Agreement in support of Belize’s “National Media Campaign on SARS-CoV-2” to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Belize. The grant is valued at $80,490 Belize dollars.

The Government of Belize continues work to minimise morbidity through a robust multilingual informational campaign tailored to the Belizean public. In line with the Belize Interim National COVID-19 Plan, the grant will be used to support the dissemination of accurate and up-to-date information through social media, printed media, and infomercial campaigns to ensure that the Belizean public is aware of the health and safety efforts being taken, and to help ensure that myths and rumours which abound are minimised.

It is vital for the Belizean public to be well informed on all issues of this pandemic not only for physical well-being but also for mental health. This campaign will help reduce stress and anxiety within the society.

The Government of the United Kingdom remains a committed and consistent partner in its support for Belize’s National response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Weather
Yesterday at 06:23 PM
Present Condition: Sunny and hot. Mainly fair and warm weather prevails over the area.
24hr Forecast: Sunny skies with a few cloudy spells during the daytime and partly cloudy skies tonight. Isolated thunderstorms and showers will affect northern and inland areas this afternoon with generally fair conditions elsewhere.

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Live Beach Cam at Blue Water Grill



Another hot still morning... Photo by San Pedro Scoop

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So HOT and beautiful today. The sea practically looked like a mirror, being so calm. Photos by Marlena Gomez

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News
Yesterday at 11:11 AM
A look at last week's Virtual Scholarship Award Ceremony!


Belize Hotel Association Awards Five Scholarships
The Belize Hotel Association conducted a virtual scholarship ceremony amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the private sector tourism organization issued five scholarships—two tertiary level and three secondary level—to students from Belize, Cayo and Stann Creek districts. The educational assistance covers the duration of the course studies and is awarded to students that have maintained a minimum average of eighty or a three point zero G.P.A.; they must also be under the age of twenty-four and are children of membership employees.
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Ambergris Caye
Yesterday at 11:05 AM

A tour through San Pedro La Isla Bonita
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Ambergris Caye
Yesterday at 11:03 AM

Happy Independence Day Belize 2020 (San Pedro)
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Travel
Yesterday at 10:55 AM
Kindly note that for those persons leaving Belize, there is no requirement in terms of PCR or any other test for SARS-CoV2.

Also note that for those who are leaving for essential reasons (i.e. students or medical reasons) and who are required to present a PCR test to the country they are traveling to, they must submit a request to Mrs. Quewell at [email protected]

We only run such a PCR test once approved and this is done only once a week so please factor that into your request or travel. We are currently not able to offer routine PCR testing for those leaving for non-essential reasons.
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News
Yesterday at 10:53 AM

Another Drug Plane In the North

You could call it an Independence Day special - a drug jet that landed in northern Belize before dawn on the 21st September. Tonight, police are scouring an area off the Old Northern Highway where they believe a massive drug cargo could still be hidden somewhere. And that's because they got to the landing site, shortly after the jet touched down.

The Commissioner of Police briefed the press today at his office in Belmopan:

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police
"Sunday night, we received information of a tracking that had left South America and was heading in this region."

Police and BDF teams were deployed to various possible landing sites in the north.

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police
"We monitored the track throughout the night and sometime around two a.m. Monday, we were told that the plane had landed somewhere in the north, but we could not have ascertained the exact location, because when the plane dropped off the radar we were not able to continue monitoring."

And that's where the Mexican air support came in, spotting ground activity in the northern Orange Walk District, off the old northern highway - near the area known as "London":

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police
"The Mexican provided air assets that flew over and subsequently saw the plane in the area of Corozalito and that Neuland area."

Police rushed there and found a Gulfstream Jet, that was empty inside pushed into the bush. a recently cleared illegal runway, some light refreshments and a lot of heavy equipment - including a bulldozer that had been hauled there on this trailer:

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police
"Subsequent investigation into the landing of the plane led to the detention of 5 individuals. Those persons are in police custody as the investigation continues. One of the persons detained is the owner of the farm on which the plane landed. Another person is a Mennonite who owns a bulldozer that was also found on the scene and we believe that the bulldozer was used to cart the plane off the road and pushed into some bushes. We also found a tractor with a bush-hog that we believe was use to clear the area. A number of lights were found that we believe were used to illuminate the airstrip or the makeshift airstrip for the landing of the plane. We also found power saw that was used to cut down some posts along the road and we found some motorcycles that we believe were used by some of the persons who assisted in the landing of the plane."

Police are ready to charge two of those 5 men

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police
"We should be able to charge at least two individuals, that is the owner of the farm and the Mennonite who owns the bulldozer - both of whom we have received reliable information and evidence to suggest that they were on site when the plane landed. If a matter of fact the Mennonite and the owner had also left, but they were met by the police not too far from the farm after the plane had landed. So we could have tied them to the scene and then when we subsequently check we found out that the farm belong to one of them and not only does the farm belong to him, but he also controls the gate, he had the key for the gate - everything. There is practically good evidence against those 2 individuals - the bulldozer guy and the farm owner."

Police continued scouring the area today looking for the drug cargo.

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"Sir, where are the drugs?"

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police
"Like I said we believe it's still somewhere in the country. We are trying to see if we can track it down. We don't think that it has left the country. We are hoping that it is still here and we will be able to find it."

Reporter
"Any suspicions as to how the drugs were removed from the area?"

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police
"It was removed into 2 vehicles. I'm not going to go into specifics. We do have information that there may be some Mexicans involved in the transporting and facilitating the landing."

And, we must ask, was law enforcement involved?

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"Empirical evidence or history has shown that the volume of drugs is tons. Last time when you all had intercepted that jet, it was on to 2 tons of cocaine. I'm saying that I would think even with manual labor it takes quite a while to clear it out. Is there any chance that there was collusion by any element of law enforcement in facilitating this movement of what may be over a ton of cocaine?"

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police
"If there was, I could assure you that those elements would have been in custody. At this time we have nothing to suggest that."

In fact police say their work over the past many months has deterred these flights:

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police
"Through our efforts we have been able to deter many from landing. As a matter of fact I think this is our first landing in almost 4 months and it is not for the lack of trying, because every night including last night we had tracking coming our way, but our efforts have been exceptional in deterring them from landing, but we cannot stop all of them from landing."

The plane - which could not be flown due to deliberate damage done to it by the smugglers - was taken out of the area on a trailer yesterday.

Again, police are certain the drugs are going or have gone north, and because of the landing area - believe it has or will be moved by sea.

Channel 7


Independence Day Drug Plane; 5 Men are Detained, including a Minor

On Independence Day, a drug plane landing just outside of Santa Martha Village in the Orange Walk District. Five persons, including the owner of the farm, a Mennonite, a farmhand and a minor, are detained and charges are expected to be placed on them. Police did not find the drugs, but found a number of items near the clandestine airfield including motorcycles, lights and a power saw. This afternoon, Marcel Cardona, the attorney for the detained persons claimed that the farmhand and the minor were held hostage by a group of armed masked men.

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News
Yesterday at 10:42 AM

Rt. Hon. Said’s Slo-Mo Sayonara

And, also saying farewell over the Independence Day weekend was former two term Prime Minister, Said Musa.

It was officially announced 2 weeks ago that the 76-year-old politician, and 8 term fort George Area Representative was stepping down after suffering a stroke in May. So, to honor his departure - which was enforced by his medical condition, the PUP held a virtual ceremony on September 20th.

That's when he gave his first public comments since May. Here's a small excerpt:

Rt. Hon. Said Musa - Retiring from Politics
"I am honored to receive this award from the party. I thank the executive of the party. But I especially want to thank the Belizean people, especially the people of the Fort George division, with whom I've had a ren·dez·vous of history for the past 46 years, ever since I ran in the first general election in 1974, which incidentally, I lost. But, I came back roaring in 5 years-time in 1979 to a decisive victory in the Fort George, and we never looked back after that."

"In our case, we have journeyed, in my case, I have had this very challenging, very challenging and fulfilling political journey, inextricably bound with the people of the Fort George for the past 40+ years. I remember - well with COVID-19 and my present health condition, this has given me time for reflection. And I recall, vividly now, those heady days in the late '70s, when I was a privilege to work alongside the architect, the Father of Independence, George Price, as we struggled for Independence."

As we have reported, both Right Honourables Musa and Dean Barrow have both served 36 years in parliament - while Barrow has the longest term of continuous service, from 1984 to present.

Channel 7


Thank You Tribute to Right Honorable Said Musa

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