Just back from Belize, spent most of my time in San Pedro, also visited Chan
Chich, which is surely one of the most beautiful places in the entire world.
Our family walked all over the trails all hours of day and night hoping to
see a jaguar but did not see one, though staff members and other guests did
during our visit. We did see just about everything else other than big
cats, including a jaguarundi!

Saw John Lankford but nobody else came by to visit....John, you never showed
up New Year's Eve, you missed some great food from San Pedro's best Barrier
Reef Drive sidewalk cuisine vendor! I never heard from Jorge. I would have
called around but found our phone line cut and they didn't reinstall it
until just before we left....

San Pedro looks great on the beach side and middle streets, lots of
construction. The back side is still pretty bad. Saw a lot of new houses
being built, I hope they are going to the people who lost their homes.

Everybody we talked with has a positive attitude. Young people we know have
started or expanded their own businesses since our last visit, even with
hurricane related disasters to recover from. Everybody seems hard at work.

For any visitors on this list: We discovered a great new restaurant in a
residential area of San Juan, Papi's Diner, which I heartily recommend to
all visitors and tourists, just go down Middle Street about three blocks.
Great food at low prices, wonderful service. Number 1 restaurant on our
list is now Jambel's Jerk Pit. REAL Jamaican jerk as well as Belizean
cuisine. Best fried chicken is at Ambergris Delight on Middle Street. The
sidewalk cuisine is better than ever. With few exceptions, the best eating
in San Pedro is in smaller places not on the beach. The travel agents are
steering tourists to the wrong places, I think!

Valentino Shal has an article in Belize Times. I finally saw your picture,
Val and now there is a face to match the name! Are you doing a column now
or is this a one time thing?

I hated to come home....as usual. One of these days, I just won't.

There are two adorable kittens and a beautiful momma cat at Paradise Villas,
all need homes/spaying/neutering, etc.. John might take them when they get
bigger. I will bug him unmercifully if he doesn't, hear that, John?

I read about the Guatemalan meetings in the paper. My only comment is this:
I agree with the skepticism of Guatamelan govt, which has been fascist since
1954 and not to be trusted. However, I would hate to see the "get tough on
Guatemala" program carried out on the backs of the poor refugees who flee
Guatemalan govt. terror and starvation. They are not the villains, they are
the victims. Deporting a couple of hundred poor Maya farmers does not
bring security to Belize. Perhaps the peace agreement should include a
provision for Guatemalan government to pay reparations to Belize for the
social costs of the refugees rather than sending home those who are already
here. The Guatemalans don't care if these poor people are sent back, they
will probably be shot on arrival.

Susan Guberman-Garcia