For those of you who are wondering where mysterious 3,000 acre tract is, please view these maps.
Many concerned citizens of San Pedro will be staging a peaceful protest march and business shut down on Tuesday December 18th from 9am-11am to protest the proposed 3,000 acre land sale to an investment group for the paltry amount of $12million Belize dollars. Speculation has added that a further 5,000 acre sale will also be made after this 3,000 acres sale is completed.
The date has been chosen because it is the day before the government will sit to make the final decision in regards to this land sale. Many speculate that the deal may already have been completed since the decision to sell was passed by the house of representatives back in November. If the sale has already been completed then it would be unlikely that the government could "reverse" the sale. However if the sale has not been completed the protest will be a peaceful method by which the people can make their sentiments be known.
Nobody on the island wants foreign investors to feel that they are unwelcome, but when it comes to private tourist developments in national parks areas or on land that is designated for town services and expansion the people need to have a say. The island will not be able to provide many services or basic infrastrutural necessities if it doesn't have the land to utilize.
There is plenty of privately owned land on the caye available for sale that would be suitable for private development.
The land at the center of this debate is in an area of the Pinkerton Estate that was earmarked for future town expansion/development. A total of 8,000 acres. The land quality is excellent with higher elevations than other areas of the caye. There is great ground water and plenty of wildlife and unique plant life that is not found anywhere else on the island. There are ancient Maya archaeological sites within this area including evidence of a small village complete with a small wall, cenote wells and lots of Maya artifacts. http://sanpedrosun.net/old/visit.html
//www.ambergriscaye.com/pages/mayan/ambergmaya.html ** Note #11 on this map. http://www.belizecubadigs.com/ambergris.html
The island's population has exploded over the past few years and we now have a full time population of around 18,000 residents. Imagine the number of residents that we will have in the years to come. There is at least one birth each day on the island and we are welcoming new residents from other areas of Belize and internationally each and every day too.
If the land is available for sale for $4,000 Bz per acre then the island residents would like to have the opportunity to purchase the tract for future expansion. Although the land is a fair distance from the San Pedro town core as the roads improve and extend the 3,000 acres will become easy to access. This is the area where many envision a true, planned community civic center - a fully equipped hospital, an indoor auditorium, sports center including all track, field and pool facilities, a huge park where people can hike, bike, jog, picnic, explore and camp, and who knows, maybe a university campus. We still need so many basic facilities such as a garbage dump, a recycle center, a dog pound. The Maya sites would eventually be excavated, documented and then opened as a historical attraction The ideas and dreams are endless BUT the town must have the available land before it can begin making plans.
The protesters should meet on Tuesday, December 18th at 8:30 a.m. at the area between Tropic Air cargo and the airport fence - in the area where the Airport Taxi Association parks. Organizers will be on hand to provide guidance. Please be dressed in white (with no political logos) as this is the colour for "PEACE." The protest is intended to be non-political but rather a show of unity of the community of San Pedro. If you wish to bring posters or banners please paint them in either green or purple writing (not red or blue). The theme on the posters should be limited to only the subject at hand - ie. don't sell our land/don't sell our future/ think about San Pedro's future/ where will our children live? / protect and preserve our island etc...
The group will march from the staging area through Pescador Drive and Barrier Reef Drive and conclude at the Central Park where petitions will be available for interest parties to sign.
The national press will be attendance, and hopefully international news agencies also.
It has been rumoured that the government has already begun to take steps to meet regarding the protest and some form of resolution of this matter.
For those of you that cannot be here but wish to sign the petition:
1. Go to http://www.sanpedrobusiness.com/
and read the articles.
2. Download the petition //ambergriscaye.com/petition3000.pdf , write your name legibly, just town, state, country address, and only tick the voter box if you are a registered voter of BELIZE.
3. Scan and email to: <firstname.lastname@example.org>or Fax to: +501-226-3359
The DEADLINE for petition collection is Tuesday, December 18th at 3pm because all signatures must be counted, verified, documented and delivered to the Area Representative in time for his trip to Belmopan on Wednesday morning so that he can present it for consideration to cabinet.