Most, if not all of us, voice opinions because we deeply care about your lovely county. I hope you see it less as criticism, and more the sincere concern that it is meant to be. We are in no position to criticize -- that would be like the pot calling the kettle black. The USA has enough of our own social problems, that is true, and many of us do what we can about our problems here at home. Government corruption, crime, drugs, poverty -- we have it all. We are the land of plenty of everything. You did remind us though, Maya, how many Belizeans could take offense at our "armchair" advice. I hadn't really thought how our opinions here could appear to the people of Belize. I do apologize for that, but please believe that it isn't because we are arrogant enough to think we know how to "fix" Belize. It is our great regard for your country, that makes it more frustrating to realize that we are really powerless to do much more than discuss it here. Those things that we are empowered to do to, I believe most of us do; small things, like sending a letter or email (to both our governments when appropriate) regarding the dam proposal, cuts in heritage funding, the reinstitution of funds to assist Belize in finding alternative fuel sources, and just the small things that are done - donations of time and money to try and do something, anything, so that we can feel like we have helped our friend. Alas, aside from that, all we can do is talk, and maybe sometimes talk too much. You have a country that is rich in so many ways, the beautiful people, beautiful places, that beautiful ocean. Those of us who are getting to know it, those of us who have been guests many times, and those who now consider it their home, just don't want to see any negative impact on what we have come to love. The major concern we share with you, whether we are discussing cruise ships, crime, or drug smugglers, is what it could do to the real Belize economy -- hotels, shops, restaurants, small businesses etc., as well as the irreparable damage to the environment. Please never take it as an insult.
Thanks Maya for making good points that made me think. Let us know how Warren does at the BBQ!