2) Tom Vidrine was contacted by the Belize Cycling Association about up coming events. More information will be included in next weeks minutes.

3) Tom Vidrine followed up on contacting BTL about the internet service problems that most of the Chamber Meeting attendees have been experiencing over the past month or more. Ms. Vellos in the local BTL office said they were not aware of any problem and that they had not received any complaints. If you would like to complain, Ms. Vellos’ number is 119. Also, if you would like BTL to service your internet, please email your name phone number to [email protected] Tom will add it to the letter he is sending to BTL. The main office in Belize City also was not aware of any problem.

7) Tom read the letter below from the San Pedro Library at the meeting. He commented on how much less our Chamber has been receiving in Membership fees, and that until we at least reach our operating budget of approximately $8,000bz, that we are unable to help with this project.

The mural in the front of the Library has been a long-standing icon in our community. Tom went on to say he would include the letter in the Minutes, and felt sure that among our supporters we could hopefully get direct donations for the mural.

South End of Barrier Reef Dr.
San Pedro Town Ambergris Caye
Belize Central America
Phone: 501-206-2028
E-mail: [email protected] or yahoo.com

March 2, 2009

Tom Vidrine, President
San Pedro Town Chamber of Commerce
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
Belize, Central America

Dear Tom,

We are writing at the behest of the San Pedro Public Library Advisory committee, a small group of seven who have been acting as local stewards of the growth and expansion of the San Pedro Public Library service.

You and other member of the chamber may have noticed a major change in the neighborhood recently with the complete renovation of the building that originally housed the San Pedro Public Library. The new Belize Tourism Board took the lead in remodeling the building, designing and relocating their new office on the second floor, and becoming welcomed tenants, a win-win agreement to everyone’s advantage.

We could not, however, ask BTB to fund a signature feature of the old library building which is sorely missed. i.e. the mural that faced the sea on the lower outside of the now fresh new building. This was an underwater scene evoking a child’s view of our lovely reef and its living inhabitants.

It occurred to us that restoring the mural was a project that would appeal to the chamber as a gift to the town and to the library’s fans. It will be done by a talented professional with an accompanying sign needed to identify the new quarters.

Our discretionary funds are severely limited and the Belize National Library Service and Information System budget precludes spending for this missing, well-loved feature.

Therefore we are making this request of the local chamber of Commerce for $2000bz.

We would much appreciate your including us on your agenda at next Thursday’s meeting. We will be there to present our budget for this project, and to answer questions.

We look forward to hearing from you

Iracela Acosta, Head Librarian
Marilyn Marx, Member, Library Advisory Committee. Member, Chamber of Commerce Board

9) Steve Schulte of Tropic Air reported on the progress being made with many of the Central American and International Airlines to get more direct and cheaper flights to Belize. Among those mentioned with promising dealings are COPA, who reports that 50% of their business is tourism between Brazil and Panama, and West Jet that is considering adding a direct flight between Calgary, Alberta, Canada and Belize.

He also encourages all businesses to have Spanish versions of their web site available to take advantage of the marketing of the South and Central American markets.

10) The U.S. Embassy has been keeping Tom Vidrine notified of many warnings about the danger of travel to Mexico. Other attendees who have a place in Mexico have reported that it has become very dangerous with the drug cartels fighting for control and the government cracking down on them. As unfortunate as this is, it may benefit Belize as a much safer alternative.

11) Jan Brown reported that four members of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) will attend next week’s meeting. They include:

Tracy Panton, Director of Tourism
Laura Esquivel, Director of Product Development
Lloyd Enriquez, Registrar of Hotels
Shakira Tsai, Director of Marketing and P.R.
Their presentation will require a projector and screen.