The San Pedro Sun

Government of Belize Initiates External Public Sector Debt Review
Following the appointment of the new Cabinet last week, the Government of Belize announces the commencement of a comprehensive review of external public sector debt and contingent liabilities. To conduct the urgent review, the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, the Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow has appointed a Debt Review Team led by Mr. Mark Espat. The other members of the team include Minister of Government Hon. Godwin Hulse, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, Central Bank Governor Glenford Ysaguirre, Central Bank Deputy Governor Christine Vellos, and Advisor in the Ministry of Finance Alan Slusher.

Rosewood Moratorium
The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development hereby informs the public that a moratorium on the harvesting and exportation of rosewood (Dalbergia stevensonii) is being declared with immediate effect until further notice. Rosewood harvesting in southern Belize has increased exponentially over the past two years in direct response to a growing demand for raw rosewood timber from the Asian markets. The increased rosewood logging has led to a near depletion of the specie in national lands. Private lands and protected areas are now being targeted to meet this insatiable demand.

SPHS Male Softball Team are National Champions
The San Pedro High School (SPHS) male softball team on Saturday March 17th, were named, 2012′s National High School Softball Competition champions. It's a historic win for the SPHS, who for the first time ever, have won a national championship in any sporting discipline. The team won its qualifying game on Friday March 16th, which allotted them a spot in the championship game the following day. On Saturday afternoon, the boys managed to win and bring the coveted title to the island. The SPHS Male Softball Team represented the north of the country having won the Northern Regional competition earlier this year. According to the Coach of the team Marion Mejia, when the team arrived at the May Garden Field in Belmopan, all eyes were fixed on the trophy. "Our team went up first against the Western Regional Champions - The Belmopan Baptist High School; and that was a blow out game," said Mejia. The blow out game ended in a score of 13 to 1 runs with the star pitcher being Charles Richards from the SPHS.

Ambergris Today

FLASHBACK: The Ole Ambergris Lodge
You are looking in the forefront at the once famous Ambergris Lodge, one of the pioneer hotels in San Pedro when it was still a village. Founded in the late 1960's, The Ambergris Lodge played a vital role in the early development of tourism when Maya Island Air was operating three daily flights from Belize City with connections to the International Airport. The Ambergris Lodge offered fine accommodation right on the beach, with full time service of a restaurant and bar. It was founded by Mr. George Stefanco who had made San Pedro his new home along with other family members.

25 Years Ago: The Very First in San Pedro
First Airstrip, First Airplane, First Doctor, First Cinema or Movie Theatre.

San Pedro Sailing Club Takes All Medals at Baron Bliss Harbor Regatta
On Sunday, March 11, 2012, the San Pedro Sailing Club set off in the early morning to Belize City to take part in the Baron Bliss Harbor Regatta. The team was confident that it would bring home some medals, but with an impressive run in the regatta the Club managed to sweep all of them, making San Pedro a proud winner at the annual event. Sixteen of San Pedro's finest sailors were entered into the four Optimist heats. Each heat had a maximum of 12 boats where SPSC had four of the boats available. The top three from each heat would go through to the finals race.

Teens Belize Hosts Miss Top Celebrity Pageant 2012
Teens Belize is humbled to present the 5th Annual Miss Top Celebrity Pageant from March 13-27th, 2012. And vying for this title is no stranger to pageantry and our very own Sanpedrana, Miss Christine Syme, Miss San Pedro 2011-2012, 1st runner up. The candidates participate in four segments: Application Form, Preliminary with the Judges, FB Dialogue and Internet Voting. Percentages of each segment are tallied to select a new winner. The winner and runner-ups receives numerous prizes donated by generous sponsors from across Belize.

Misc Belizean Sources

World Water Day Fair at the Princess Hotel, March 22
Invitation to the World Water Day Fair at the Princess Hotel, Belize City on Thursday, March 22, 2012!!! World Water Day Water and Food Security

Three videos of the GHI episode Sacrificed Mayan Spirtis filmed at Cahal Pech
I was not familiar with the show and was not sure what to expect. The bloodletting scene was just a little bit funky.

Belize Government Appoints External Debt Review Team
Following the appointment of the new Cabinet last week, the Government of Belize has today announced the commencement of a review of its external public sector debt and related liabilities. To conduct the urgent review, Prime Minister Dean Barrow has appointed a Debt Review Team led by former People's United Party politician Mark Espat. The other members of the team include Minister of Government Godwin Hulse, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, Central Bank Governor Glenford Ysaguirre, Central Bank Deputy Governor Christine Vellos, and Advisor in the Ministry of Finance Alan Slusher."

VIDEO: Mexico Rocks Snorkeling
Mexico Rocks a great snorkel trip, then we head north past Tranqulity Bay to a secluded beach for BBQ. This day trip is referred to as Robles, Snorkel and Beach BBQ. Thanks to Sylvan for a great day...awesome cook and the civiche was primo!

Environmental Poster Competition
The FCCA is having an Environmental Poster Competition! Students that are 16 and younger can submit a poster. The Belize Tourism Board is helping to promote the competition. GUIDELINES: � Must promote environmental awareness depicted in at least three (3) ways � Must accompany a summary description along with a title of the poster: � Posters size should be 22" x 28" � Entries will be judged on the following criteria: Creativity, relevance to the theme, content, layout/design � Entries must be accompanied by: Country, Name of Student, Date of Birth, Address, Telephone, School, School Address, Principal, School Telephone number Categories: Junior Division- 12 and under (contestant may not have passed his/her 13th birthday by March 12th, 2012) Senior Division- 13-16 yrs (contestants may not have passed his/her 17th birthday by March 12, 2012) 1st prize US $3,000 2nd prize US $1,500 3rd prize US $ 1,000

Channel 7

There are three murders to report tonight - one in the City, on in Roaring Creek and one in Corozal. We start in the city, where there was another Sunday killing - this one about a half mile from the murder of 21 year old David Hernandez last Sunday night. This time, the victim is 26 year old Jovanni Saldano - a working man - who was preparing for Sunday Dinner with his mother at their West Street home. But, just as he was going into the family yard, a gunman pounced and he left no doubt about his mission: he shot Saldano a dozen times. We went looking for answers today and Monica Bodden has this report:.. Monica Bodden reporting 26 year old Jovanni Saldano, was killed in his family yard on West Street at a few minutes to one on Sunday.

And while that killing on a second consecutive Sunday in the City is worrying, there is a far more monstrous act of murder and mayhem to report tonight. It happened - also on Sunday - in Roaring Creek Village where a man was burnt to death inside his house after unknown culprits set it on fire. Monica Bodden was in the west looking for answers:.. Monica Bodden reporting This is what is left of the 8 by 8 wooden and zinc structure bungalow house. Its owner, 32 year old Dean Bennett was tortured inside as he was burnt to death beyond recognition. The incident happened on Sunday morning around 2am in the village of Roaring Creek.

And Sunday's third murder was in Corozal - where a man was killed in the town cemetery. 35 year old Guatemalan, Jose Manuel Caal, a construction worker of Corozal Town, was found dead yesterday at around 6:30 p.m., in the Mount Calvary Cemetery near the Finca Solana area. Caal's family became concerned when he didn't come home on Saturday night. According to Corozal police, it was a phone call at 6:30 on Sunday morning that alerted them to the body that was later identified by the family. Police says he was found face down in a ditch between two tombs, with injuries to the face and right side of head. Reportedly, Caal was last seen leaving La Reina Del Norte bar at around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, in the company of a Hispanic man, with the last name Castellanos. No arrests have been made.

Sometime last night a group of 8 tourists comprising family and friends were ambushed in the waters of Southern Belize by 4 armed pirates. Police have refused to give us any details about the incident, however they have confirmed that it did occur. According to the few facts that we've been able to put together, the group of tourists chartered a boat from the Mooring charter company and anchored in the Tobacco Caye Area - presumably in a vessel similar to this one - which we got from The Moorings website. The tourists had been anchored at sea since Saturday march 17th. But last night, the four men came up from nowhere, robbed them, and reportedly stabbed two of the men on board. Unconfirmed reports suggest that they assaulted one of the women on board. Police have not detained anyone in connection with this incident. According to sources, none of the tourists were seriously injured and they remain tonight at a resort in Southern Belize.

Our next story is about a cancer awareness effort that started in the classroom - but that doesn't mean it came out of any textbook. Well-known UB lecturer Dr. Sylvana Udz was teaching her Communication Skills class about getting their message across when she came upon a most effective form of non-verbal communication, one which said more than words ever could. It was Kim Barrow's bald head - a fearless statement about living with, and through cancer. It was a lesson not only in communication, but in humanity - and one not only to learn by, but to emulate. And so, Dr. Udz decided to enlist classmates and members of the public and get them to shave their heads - in solidarity with breast cancer victims and survivor. IT came off as a dramatic public awareness statement - and we witnessed it today at the UB Faculty of Education where the classroom was turned into a real life laboratory of human behavior.

Two men were shot in Belize City last night: one was a target, the other wrong place, wrong time. Police say the target was 19 year old Shakeem Humes who was riding on Euphrates Avenue at 7:00 pm. A man with a warm cap pulled over his face was following him and fired at him as he turned into Kut Avenue. Humes got off his bike and started to run for cover - and he dashed right into the yard of 53 year old George Slusher who was sitting on a tree stump, holding a small child on his lap. He told us he heard seven gunshots ring out - and he saw Humes bolt into his yard - with the gunman pursuing. When he got over the chock of that he realized he had been hit by one of the bullets in his foot. Fortunately, neither he nor Humes were seriously injured and both have been discharged from the hospital.

On Thursday, we told you about the armed kidnapping of Mexican Diplomat, Domingo Rodriguez, Mexico's cultural attach� to Belize. Today in Magistrate's court, 5 men were charged for it. They are 18 year-old Delton Jeffords, 25 year-old Noel Alamilla, 24 year-old Roque Middleton, 23 year-old Derrick Sanchez, and 34 year-old Ralph Middleton. Jeffords, Alamilla, and Roque Middleton, were all charged with kidnapping, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and robbery. Alamilla, Sanchez and Ralph Middleton were also charged with handling stolen goods for having items that were taken during the kidnapping. No plea was taken from any of the men, and prosecutor objected to bail on several grounds.

Ming Pei Chen, a prominent businessman, who owns a chain of businesses in Ladyville is in big trouble after he was caught with having more rounds of ammunition than his license allows for. Chen, the 28 year-old owner of Honey's Supermarket in Ladyville, was arraigned in Magistrate's Court for quote, "having a greater number of rounds of ammunition than is specified in his gun license." End quote. Chen pleaded not guilty to the charge, but because of the seriousness of the offence under the amended Firearms Act, Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith was forced to remand him into custody April 23.

On Friday, the new Minister of Forestry declared a moratorium on all Rosewood harvesting and extraction. And since then, the praise has been rolling in for Minister Lisel Alamilla. The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) says it applauds and supports her decision as, quote, "the first positive and assertive step in mitigating the environmental crisis caused by the unregulated harvesting of rosewood in Toledo." APAMO, the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations, also sent out a press release applauding the Government. The World Wildlife Fund also sent a release saying it is in full support of the decision. And the BTIA says it is also in full support of the moratorium. And while that's the cheering section, we note that there's also a booing section. We heard the PUP's new Toledo East Representative Mike Espat on LOVE FM today protesting that the moratorium would disenfranchise many communities because it is their only means of generating income.

And while that Ministry lost one title, another is looking to lose its CEO. Multiple reports from senior sources say that CEO in the Ministry of Tourism Lindsey Garbutt has decided to move on. The circumstances of his departure are not known - but sources tell us the new Government gave him an offer he could refuse - which is a six month appointment. And he did refuse it. Garbutt had been CEO since 2010. Who will replace him? Well reports suggest that former BTB Director Tracy Taegar Panton - now at the BNE Trust - may get the nod. She is out of the country and we could not reach her for comment.

And while the all-important tourism portfolio is in transition, today the City Council announced the assignment of their significantly less hefty portfolios. Notable assignments include, Mayor Darrell Bradley who is in charge of Finance, Revenue, and Human Resource, and Councilor Dion Leslie who is Deputy Mayor and in charge of Sanitation. Mayor Darrell Bradley - Finance, Revenue, Human Resource Councilor Alifa Elrington-Hyde - Public Relations, Court, Special Events and Culture Councilor Dion Leslie - Sanitation and Sister City Relations Councilor Eric Chang - Works (North side), Zoning & Planning Councilor Phillip Willoughby - Security and CEMO Councilor Dean Samuels - Works (South side) Councilor Kevin Singh - Market, Public Spaces and Beautification Councilor Bernard Pitts Jr. - MIS, Youths and Sports Councilor Alain Gonzalez - Public Health and After School Programs Councilor Roger Espejo - Economic Development, Investment, Tourism and Small Business Initiative Councilor Michael Theus - Traffic

Today folks were lined up in front of Stella Maris School with the hopes of receiving a pair of tennis shoes. This is part of the One World Running initiative which brings awareness for Special Olympics. 1000 pairs of tennis shoes were donated by runners and brought down to Belize where they were distributed. All the students in Stella Maris received a pair of shoes, and the rest are being distributed throughout the country. Michael Sandrock, an American journalist and founder of the initiative told us more about the project. Michael Sandrock "This is our annual "One World Running Special Olympics Belize Run." What we did was brought all these shoes down with students from Ohio State University and you can see them over here. They are on their spring break."

The Garifuna Collective travelled for the first time as a group to Costa Rica today. The band which once backed Andy Palacio will be performing in the International Festival of Arts in Costa Rica. This is their first time travelling for this year, and we managed to catch up with them before they left. Ivan Duran, director of Stone Tree records told us more about what the band will be doing in Costa Rica. Ivan Duran, Director of Stone Tree Records "We are doing 2 performances, 2 concerts and the second concert is part of a showcase; part of a Central American music market, which for the first time, have been created in Costa Rica. Groups from all the Central American countries come and perform. I'm part of the organizing committee and we have invited promoters and agents from Europe and North America to come in and see the bands and hopefully get them booked for festivals in their countries later on in the year."

Channel 5

Jiovanni "Sally" Saldano murdered on West Street

Turning to the weekend murders; in the old capital, a hail of bullets was unleashed on Jovanni "Sally" Saldano causing his immediate death early Sunday afternoon. Saldano attempted unsuccessfully to dodge the gunman but was executed as he entered a yard on West Street in close proximity of the Mesopotamia police substation. There are signs ...

Murdered by Arson in Roaring Creek

Earlier on Sunday in the west, a Roaring Creek man was killed and his house was set on fire. Dean Bennett was asleep in his house when someone doused a corner of the building with fuel and set it ablaze. But the family believes that he may have been injured prior to the fire. Reports ...

Beaten to Death by Corozal Tomb

The third murder victim was viciously beaten to death in Corozal Town over the weekend. Jose Caal's body was found dumped early Sunday morning in a cemetery and the injuries on his face were clear signs of a homicide. While it is not yet known why Caal met his death and in such a cruel ...

Belizean Murdered in Melchor, Guatemala

A fourth persons has also been murdered, but across the border. He is twenty-five year old Jesias Aaron Samos. A family member has confirmed that Samos was hit in the head with a blunt object and that he was shot three times; one to the foot, chest and elsewhere. The incident happened at about twelve-thirty ...

New C.E.O. Appointments for Ministries

Last Tuesday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced a list of fifteen CEOs to the different government ministries. That list is quickly changing and here is how. We begin with the change the Ministry of Tourism where Lindsay Garbutt had been retained as Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Tourism and to Minister Manuel Heredia ...

New Senators being appointed

There are other appointments today. At this hour, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Belize Business Bureau is voting on who will be the senator for the private sector. We'll have that as soon as the results are in. But it is not yet official, but the opposition People's United Party, is in ...

2 persons shot in Belize City

In addition to three murders, two persons were shot in the Old Capital. And luckily for the two men involved, their injuries weren't serious. According to the police, on Sunday night two persons were shot in their legs when a wild gunman started shooting at the corner of Kut Avenue and Euphrates Avenue. Public Relations ...

Guatemalan National raped by Sarawee Villager

Dangriga police are also investigating the sexual assault of a forty-five year old woman in the Stann Creek District. The woman, a Guatemalan national, was out socializing with a group of men at Barhona's Bar in Hope Creek Village on Sunday at midnight when she was invited to another establishment. Upon arriving at White Swan ...

Men charged for Overnight Kidnapping of Mexican Diplomat

A Mexican Diplomat was the victim of a horrific kidnapping and robbery last week. Today, five men were taken before the courts on numerous charges in connection with the abduction of fifty year old Domingo Rodriguez Semerena. Three of them; eighteen year old Delton Jeffords, twenty-five year old Noel Alamina and twenty-four year old Roque ...

Moratorium on Rosewood blocks serious loggers

Last Friday, the Ministry of Forest, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, which we note did not include Indigenous People, announced that a moratorium had been declared with immediate effect on the harvesting and exportation of rosewood. The decision to put the brakes on licenses was because a review of the Ministry's inventory reportedly showed that more ...

Debt Review Team Meets

Last week Friday, the news broke that former Albert area rep and deputy P.U.P. leader, Mark Espat had been called to lead the negotiations on the Superbond. The government announced in a release today, that Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, chaired the inaugural meeting of the Debt Review team, which ...

Belize City Councilors get Assignments

On Friday, the newly elected 2012-2015 Belize City Council was sworn in. The councilors' respective portfolios were announced today as follows: Mayor Darrell Bradley has responsibility of Finance, Revenue, and Human Resource. Councilor Dion Leslie will serve as Deputy Mayor for one year and is responsible for Sanitation and Sister City Relations. Councilor Alifa Elrington-Hyde ...

Going Bald in Support of Cancer Survivors

Baldmiration, you won't find that word in the dictionary; it has been coined by the University of Belize as the name of an initiative to go bald in support of cancer victims inspired by Kim Simpliss, the most high profile cancer victim in Belize. This morning a number of UB students and others shaved off ...

James Adderley Buzzer Beating Statistics

Good evening, I'm James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. Week 6 in the PLB brought a struggle to the People's Stadium in Orange Walk as Juventus looked to rebound off that 2-zip loss to FC Belize against the undefeated San Felipe Barcelona. Folks we're only 5 mins into the ballgame when Oscar Acevedo is ...


Cancer has affected hundreds of Belizeans and next week a group of courageous women and their supporters will make a bold statement to draw more attention to the deadly disease. A group of students and a lecturer from the Univ...

The Football Federation of Belize has a new president. In an election on Thursday night, Ruperto Vicente unseated long-standing president, Dr. Bertie Chimilio. Vicente said that officials from FIFA and UNCAF, who supervised the elections,...

21-year-old Lincoln Hemsley, a resident of Kut Avenue, who allegedly shot and killed 21-year-old David Hernandez, was charged with murder when he appeared in court today. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith did not take a plea because the offence is...

The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development has declared a moratorium on the harvesting and exportation of rosewood with immediate effect. A release from the Ministry states that Rosewood harvesting in southern Beli...


Greg Ch'oc comments on rosewood moratorium
The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM issued a press release today in which the organization welcomes the Rosewood Moratorium. Executive Director for SATIIM, Gregory Ch'oc told us more via phone this afternoon. And about what Area Representative Mike Espat mentioned when he said he believed the Moratorium should have been placed after all ...

Mike Espat comments on rosewood moratorium
Last week the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development has declared a moratorium on the harvesting and exportation of rosewood with immediate effect. The decision by Minister Lisell Alamilla is not being applauded in all circles. Love News spoke with Area Representative for Toledo East, Michael Espat. Espat emphasized that all that has to ...

Murder-Arson in Roaring Creek
Police in Belmopan are looking for answers following an apparent murder and arson in Roaring Creek Village. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the details.

Corozal man murdered in the cemetery
The body of a man was discovered in a cemetery in Corozal Town. Manuela Ayuso Cantun has the details.

Belize City man gunned down
A Belize City family is reeling after the brutal murder of their loved one on Sunday. Reporter Marion Ali has the story.

Government appoints team to review Belize's external debt
The Government of Belize has begun a comprehensive review of external public sector debt and contingent liabilities. Prime Minister Dean Barrow has appointed a debt review team led by former Government Minister and Albert area representative Mark Espat. The other members of the team include Minister Godwin Hulse, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, Central Bank Governor ...

Anglican Bishop reads to preschool children
March is Child Stimulation Month and today the little ones at the Anglican Diocesan Pre School on the Saint Mary's compound had a special guest to read to them. Anglican Bishop, Philip Wright, stopped in with the children and he told Love News that he promotes reading even among Belize's littlest readers.

Portfolio assignments announced in San Pedro town
The newly elected San Pedro Town councillors have been their respective portfolios. Our island based reporter Maria Novelo has the details.

New San Ignacio town council sworn in
Swearing in ceremonies were also held for the newly elected council in San Ignacio/Santa Elena.


Roaring Creek man murdered then house set on fire
A Roaring Creek man is dead after he perished in a house fire. Belmopan police are investigation the case as arson ...

Bald, Bold and Beautiful for cancer awareness
Some men and women have gone bald in support of cancer awareness. "Baldmiration" is a cancer awareness message from...

Plans to dissolve Belmopan's RECONDEV still in Place?
In his address at this afternoon's swearing in, Belmopan Mayor Simeon Lopez raised the concern of RECONDEV. The Rec...

Police seek suspect in fatal shooting
There is also a murder to report on in Belize City. Yesterday at about 12:45pm, Police visited #61 West Street, whe...

Man leaves suicide note before hanging himself
A suicide was reported in the City of Belmopan over the weekend. Yesterday evening around 10:40pm, Police visited a...

Mark Espat joins team to re-negotiate superbond
Mark Espat, the now declared Persona non grata for the PUP, has been appointed by the Prime Minister as Leader for ...

Plane accident claims the life of 22 year old
On Sunday March 11th a tragic plane accident claimed the life of 22 year old Christopher Reimer, a rice farmer of B...

Dangriga authorities investigating rape of 45 year old woman
Dangriga Police are investigating a report of rape. A 45 year old Guatemalan woman of Pomona reported that sometime...

Body of Corozal resident found dumped in cemetery
A man was apparently killed and his body dumped in a ditch in a cemetery. Corozal Police visited Mount Calvary Ceme...

Henry Lima charged for the death of cab driver
In February of this year Plus news reported on the murde

Two men shot by masked man in Belize City
Belize City Police are also investigating a shooting incident. In that incident, George Slusher was shot to his rig...

Three arrested on kidnapping and robbery charges
On Thursday March 15th, we reported on the kidnapping of fifty year old Domingo Rodriguez, Mexican Diplomat to Beli...

Teen charged in the stabbing death of Orange Walk man
Today 19 year old Trinidad Pineda was charged by Orange Walk Police for the murder of 24 year old Cristobal Santos


The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!! Quince, Part 5...
She was in the plastic pan, half crouched, with towels spread all around the floor to absorb the splashing water. Vilma poured lukewarm water over her daughter's head, scrubbing soap and letting the suds run down her back. While she poured, she spoke softly to her daughter. There were reminders of how to behave, now that she was fifteen, and of age to be courted.

Caracol full day trip
Here is part 2 of a 4 part series by Zac who recently traveled to Cayo area with his friend Terri who us on an extended visit from Canada.. Rio Frio Cave and Pools on Rio to follow. You can see his first post Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Cayo Belize.

High Winds this Morning and Some Random Stuff...
I took a walk to town this morning to pay my electric bill. Usually a relatively painless process, today the line was over 20 people long. And I am not good at waiting. The wind is whipping, the sea churned up and a few dark clouds menace. Most of the time, the clouds burn off and it's a beautiful day. Searious Adventures was loading a few boats up for day trips. Some newer banners are flying about town replacing the old "vote for me" ones. Self congratulations for winning the elections on March 7th. A new shop called the Sandwich Box has an interesting new painting on the outside. A chef holding a steamy pot painted with grapefruit slices? Is he holding it? Is that a hand? Very avant garde.

Photo Essay: La Ruta Maya River Challenge 2012
La Ruta Maya River Challenge is an annual four day canoe race that starts under the historic Hawskworth Bridge in San Ignacio, Cayo and finishes at the Belcan Bridge in Belize City. This event is takes local and international participants on an adventure down the 175 miles of the Belize Old River which empties out to the Caribbean Sea. Every day there is an overnight stop which allows participants and fans to enjoy the evening at each destination - the first stop is at Banana Bank, then Bermudian Landing and lastly, Burrell Boom. The competition occurs during the Baron Bliss Day ( March 9th) celebrations and promotes environmental conservation by bringing awareness to keep Belize's waterways clean and preserving the surrounding natural beauty. Here are images of La Ruta Maya River Challenge 2012

Belize 2012 - Day Five: Never Going to Leave
Have you ever found yourself somewhere so wonderful, so beautiful, so unique that you felt completely immersed in the culture with zero effort? When we took the water taxi back to Belize City from San Pedro last year, I got very emotional. I did not want to leave. There was so much more to see, to experience, to soak up with every fibre of my being that I felt almost cheated. What a tease to only have been there for a short 30 hours! This time around, we were determined to see and eat more. We arrived at Ambergris Caye (San Pedro is the town making up most of the caye) around 12:15. As I got off the water taxi, I inhaled deeply and smiled ear to ear at the scene in front of me: kids playing, little restaurants lining the beach, people moving at about half the speed of Toronto. We sauntered down the beach to our lovely B&B at which we stayed last year, Changes in Latitudes. We were a little early for check-in, but co-owner Renita said it would be no problem to leave our stuff with her and to grab some lunch. Done. Back down the beach we went to our fave beach-lunch spot in San Pedro: Wild Mango's. Right on the beach, this is a very popular spot and for good reason: the portions are huge, the food comes quickly but you never feel rushed and, of course, it's damn delicious. Each table comes with three condiments: two spicy fruit salsas and an onion and carrot mix that adds great crunch to your meal:

International Sources

Airborne lasers discover undocumented deforestation in Caracol Archaeological Reserve
A NASA funded expedition using airborne lasers to study ancient Mayan ruins has also documented widespread illegal deforestation in the Caracol Archaeological Reserve. The lasers found that forest disturbance was actually 58 percent greater than recent satellite surveys showed, according new study in's open access journal Tropical Conservation Society (TCS). Such deforestation not only imperils biodiversity, carbon storage, and migration routes for Central American species, but could also lead to plundering of the Maya site of Caracol. The NASA research employed a system known as LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) to discover unfound archeological sites in the jungle, once home to one of the Maya's greatest cities. But the expedition also provided greater insight into deforestation in the 10,340-hectare Caracol Archaeological Reserve, due to the sensitivity of the lasers even over satellite imagery. The new data shows that in all 11 percent of the reserve has been disturbed by illegal deforestation.

Rocket Plunge to Deep End of the Planet
For centuries, the daredevils known as submariners have slipped beneath the waves in vehicles made for horizontal travel. Their craft are basically underwater ships. Even submersibles, small vessels that dive unusually deep, follow the horizontal plan. Until now. In a stroke, James Cameron has upended the field - literally and figuratively. A man known for imaginative films ("Titanic," "Avatar"), he has reinvented the way that people explore the deep ocean. This month, Mr. Cameron unveiled his unique submersible and announced plans to ride it solo into the planet's deepest recess, the Challenger Deep in the western Pacific, nearly seven miles down. He calls it a vertical torpedo. The axis of his 24-foot-long craft is upright rather than horizontal, speeding the plunge. His goal is to fall and rise as quickly as possible so he can maximize his time investigating the dark seabed. He wants to prowl the bottom for six hours.

Mayan ruins in Belize: Treasures more undiscovered than in more famous sites
"Just look!" says the woman beside me, and I do. The view is simply amazing: lush, green jungle as far as the eye can see. We are standing atop the High Temple at Lamanai on the Yucatan peninsula in northern Belize, part of a stunning collection of ancient stone structures with even more ancient secrets. Like Belize as a whole, Lamanai is growing in popularity as a tourist destination. With air and hotel packages available, Belize is an attractive alternative for Canadian travellers seeking a change from the vacation experience in Mexico just to the north. Travelling here is relatively easy. English is the official language of Belize, which is part of the Commonwealth, and the terrain and climate are the same as elsewhere on the Yucatan.

Last edited by Marty; 11/17/12 10:48 AM.