CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report

The San Pedro Sun

Belize Lionfish Project holds Achievements Presentation
The Belize Lionfish Project held an Achievements Presentation on March 22nd at the San Pedro Lion’s Den. The ceremony was held to showcase the Belize Lionfish Project’s achievements, as well as to recognize the great job that San Pedro’s guides, fishermen and establishments have been doing in conquering the problem of the invasive lionfish. The event also launched the Belize Lionfish Project documentary on DVD. In attendance were Robbie Gonzalez of the San Pedro Tourist Guide Association, Miguel Alamilla of the Fisheries Department, Nadia Chacon and Linda Searle of ECOMAR, Leonel Requena of the Community Management of Protected Areas for Conservation Program, Nayari Diaz of Protected Area Conservation Trust and other guests.

Be Kind Belize Launches ‘Kindest Kid in San Pedro’ Award
Be Kind Belize was established in 2007 to provide humane education, promoting the belief that through respect, reverence and responsibility (the humane education three r’s) our community can become kinder and more caring towards each other, other living creatures and our planet. It is with this in mind that Be Kind Belize is delighted to announce the Kindest Kid in San Pedro Award 2012. All primary schools in San Pedro have been invited to nominate two Kindness Ambassadors to represent their school. San Pedro High School students have formed teams that will be working with primary schools to encourage, support and assist them with these nominations, which must be submitted by the 12th of April 2012.

Misc Belizean Sources

San Jose Succotz Retains Best Marching Band In Belize Title
The San Jose Succotz Festival Drum Corps from Belize’s western Cayo district has successfully defended its title as the Best Marching Band in Belize at the annual Belize Bandfest held yesterday in Corozal Town. The Succotz Festival Drum Corps scored high points for choreography and music and barely beat out the Corozal Community College that had won the competition in 2010, but lost it in 2011 to Succotz. The usually serene town of Corozal at Belize’s northern border came alive with one of the biggest events in the country as thousands of Belizeans and tourists flooded the streets for the early-morning parade of bands preceding the competition. The 11 participating bands gathered in front of the bus terminal and then under the precision drumming, music and choreography that is now a signature of the event, marched through the principal streets of the town. Judging was conducted at the Santiago Ricalde stadium. The Corozal Community College Marching Band was voted the most popular marching band. Succotz Festival Drum Cops won the title of best uniformed marching band. The Holy Redeemer Marching Band won the drum line competition. In the drum corps category, Delille Academy Marching Band from Dangriga won first place and took home $4,000. as prize. They also took home a trophy and individual medals. First runner up was the Sarteneja United Drum Corps while the second runner up was the Holy Redeemer Marching Band.

PHOTOS: BNYCF East Cayo Qualification tournament
The Belize National Youth Chess Foundation held their East Cayo Qualification tournament this weekend. "Winning means you are willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else."

Mary Open Doors newsletter
Mary Open Doors has released another Newsletter.


Government Employee Rams GovernmentVehicle Into Elderly Couple's Home
Imagine being sound asleep and suddenly you are awakened by a loud bang. To make matters worse upon making checks you find out that your home has been partially destroyed by a Government vehicle. That’s exactly what happened to an elderly couple living in the Village of Chunox. They were fast asleep when around 1:30 Tuesday morning, 48 year old Eduardo Cuz, a Rural Community Development Officer crashed the Ministry of Health’s vehicle into the couples home. As mentioned last night Cuz has been charged by Corozal Police for driving without due care and attention. But that’s little consolation for the family who told us today that they are in dire need of assistance. Hipolito Novelo-Reporting Seventy year old Margarito Mendez and his 67 year old wife Emeteria Mendez say they are lucky to be alive tonight after a vehicle belonging to the Ministry of Health smashed into their home. According to the couple who live alone around 1:30 Tuesday morning they were sound asleep when they were awaken by a loud bang. When they went to investigate what was the matter this is what they were met with.

Yolanda Shakron's Petition Rejected By CJ
Today the case regarding the leave to file an election petition at the Supreme Court, presented by former P.U.P candidate for the Lake I Division Yolanda Schakron was rejected by Chief Magistrate Kenneth Benjamin. But when Schakron walked out of the court room she told the media that she is in no way discouraged and will keep on fighting a good fight. Yolando Schakron- Filed election petition "I will tell you that I will continue working with the Belizean people; I will continue working in this country; I will continue working against the injustices. Yolanda Schakron will go nowhere." Marion Ali, reporter "So you are not discouraged from running again come next election?" Yolanda Schakron-Filed election petition "Not at all. I am here, and I see the suffering of our people, and I am here to work for the Belizean people and to serve the people of this country - make a better life for them."

CJC Holds 2012 Business and Science Expo
Today Corozal Junior College held their 2012 Business and Science Expo. It’s an annual event in which students display their business, science and English language projects. But besides the student’s, the business community also set up their booths, advertised their products and offered visitors reasonable discounts. Hipolito Novelo-Reporting Through out the day the Corozal Junior College alumni displayed their business ideas, scientific thoughts and acting skills as they took part in the 2012 Expo. The compound was over crowded with inviting booths, including those from the business community. During our tour “Bachelor’s Wine” caught our attention. As we savored some of the product we found out that the students made over 35 bottles of wine that were on sale today. Sarita Bejerano, Bachelor’s Wine “We are offering a unique product at the CJC Expo because we are offering wine something that no other group has offered before and we are also promoting our culture because Belize offers wine and we are using nice fruits like apple, pine apple, grape and rice like traditional fruits over here and we are giving it with a good packaging as well.”

Students of Muffles High School Re-enact a Midsummer Nights Dream
William Shakespeare is recognized as one of literature’s greatest influences, his works have composed questions and mysteries which have fascinated people for centuries. The author is well known for plays like Hamlet, Macbeth and Othello. But tonight Shakespeare is being recognized for his play Midsummer Nights Dream. As we speak students of Muffles College High School are acting out the play. This afternoon as the young actors prepared for the big night, we spoke to coordinator of the event Stephanie Acosta. “The drama festival has been held for many years at Muffles College so it is a tradition we promote art, we promote culture, we expose students to these things, get them to express themselves in different ways so that they can appreciate art, appreciate drama, and so that we also promotes these things to the community as well, and it is also a form of fundraiser for our school and then this dram festival what it does for us is that every year we allocated towards different things mainly it would be for the promotion of art, drama things that are of this nature for example this year what it has been done with the funds from last year’s drama festival we have purchased some new PA equipment, some cordless mics and different things of the sort where we are upgrading the school, uplifting and we are really now at this point trying to promote more technology within the classrooms so if we got access more projectors get as many of those to the students so that teacher can creatively deliver their lessons.”


Our Sojourn in San Ignacio - Day 2: Uphill to Cahal Pech and Lost in Benque
Today the plan was to walk to a nearby Maya site, Cahal Pech. It is one of the sites here in Belize that doesn't require a guide, which we appreciated. Belizean guides are incredibly knowledgeable and very reasonably priced for the service they offer, but being from the US, we are used to doing things on our own and taking as much time as we like to linger over things that especially interest us but aren't necessarily the focus of a guided tour, especially birds. We are more amateur naturalists than history buffs, as regular readers of this blog probably know. We are also fairly frugal, so anywhere we are not required to take a guide, we probably won't. We also liked the fact we could walk to the site, rather than take a taxi. With all the restaurant meals we'd be eating, we knew we could use the exercise, and we just plain enjoy walking. But first, breakfast! We once again ate at Ko-Ox Han-Nah across Burns Avenue from where we were staying, Casa Blanca, because we'd read their breakfast menu the night before, and it sounded good. We were not disappointed. Barry had a massive breakfast burrito, and I had banana pancakes with a side of vegetarian "sausage". I didn't care much for the "sausage", but I ate most of it because I wanted some protein for the long day ahead. Breakfast came with a steaming mug of coffee, and we also ordered freshly squeezed orange juice -- delicious.

Mission Catwalk Season Two
Mission Catwalk is an exciting reality TV series aimed at discovering and developing talented fashion designers. Season One showcased 15 designers in fierce competition for top prizes. This year, the series shortlisted 20 designers from across the Caribbean; including Barbados, Belize, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Jamaica. These 20 designers will meet a swift and ferocious first round of challenge in which 5 designers are eliminated in the first episode. This TV series testes and nurtures the talents of the contestants through numerous challenges and exercises geared at identifying and honing a range of creative skills and abilities. Mission Catwalk is set in Kingston, Jamaica and each hour-long episode comprises of four segments: the challenge, the design production, the runway show, and the elimination of a designer. The series lasts thirteen weeks and culminates with three designers at a live showdown in Kingston. One designer will win the ultimate prize- to show their collection at London Fashion Week 2012.

Mystery Fruit of San Pedro, Belize: Custard Apple or Cherimoya
The fruit season in Belize is starting up. Mamey is here. Green mangos are just arriving, ripe ones should be here in a month or two and yesterday I found a strange fruit that I've never tried. The custard apple. Also called cherimoya or even the ice cream fruit. Hmmmm...those names sound promising. Hey, Mark Twain even called the custard apple "the most delicious fruit known to men". His books weren't half bad, maybe he knows something about fruit. Let's give it a try. (I also love the name of this fruit. I would love to hear more husbands calling their wives "my little custard apple" much better than pumpkin or honey.) According to Wikipedia, this fruit grows on an evergreen-like shrub and is in the sour sop family (a popular ice cream fruit flavor in Belize). It is best when eaten green (I wish I had known that when chosing but red seemed so much more appealing to me). It is also best when eaten chilled. Enough not so attractive looking custard apple went straight into the refrigerator.

Plantain Chips & Cassava Chips...Better than Potato Chips!
let's start off today with Plantain Chips locally known as "ghetto pringles". First off Plantain is the best thing ever grown...yes the Best. It's family to the banana but a bit more firm & starchy. In Belize we eat it with Rice & Beans (our national dish), Split Peas & rice, Boil Up, and much much more. It can be cut thick and fried just so it's brown, it can be cut in quarters and baked, and it can be boiled. All means of cooking usually end up with a sweet caramelly slice of foodie heaven. As with our Breadfruit friend it is said that Plantains originated from South-east Asia (phillipines, malaysia,...etc). It is also used widely in those areas as well as Africa, Central America and South America. That's a good chunk of the world if you ask me...that many countries can't be wrong, meaning it must be good! And it's also very healthy for you and best part even when fried in Coconut oil Plantains somehow maintain it's low fat level and keeps it's carbs level so don't feel guilty about having that 4th slice of plantain...hehehe. Now on to the recipe...

In Hopkins there is a chef…
I like seeing a chef this way- swimming in the water drinking a beer with his dog. He is in his element, at ease and enjoying life. All too often, I meet chefs, buttoned up in their whites, speaking formally about food and service. The relationship is then built on marketing alone, rehashing the niceties of the cuisine they make and why you should dine at their place. Every time I interview a chef, I want to to have the heart-to-heart conversation that reveals, ” I love food, I hope you do too. Let’s get the marketing thing out of the way and have a REAL conversation about the food you make and why you love it.” Sometimes this happens, sometimes it doesn’t. Chefs have been set apart – we put them on a pedestal because they feed us so well. The speak to us in a vocabulary of flavor and through our own speechlessness, we swoon. In reality, it can be just as lovely to see them as real people with passions that succeed and fail. I meet a chef, Anthony “Tony” Marsico and his wife, pastry chef and manager Angela Marsico during our stay in Hopkins. They run the Beaches and Dreams resort, a five-room hotel that houses the now famous, Barracuda Bar and Grill. Both Tony and Angela are so down-to-earth that we knew right away that this was the kind of place that we would enjoy. They talked with us like they had known us for years – no pretenses, no ego – just comfort and relaxation.

Bread and Butter Caye- Photo Gallery
Bread and Butter Caye, Belize Can a small island change your life? Bread and Butter Caye did.

International Sources

US MILITARY Off-Grid Hybrid System in Calabash Caye
The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, has issued a pre-solicitation notice (W912CL12R0019) for the construction of a complete and usable off-grid hybrid system. This award will be valued between $100,000 and $250,000. It was posted on March 30 with a response date of April 5. Place of performance will be in Calabash Caye, Belize.

Building And Retiring In Belize: Technology Is Still A Problem
We are in the process of building a home in Belize, first as both a vacation home and hedge against an economic collapse here and second as a place to retire to. We are now a year into the project and working on house plans but there are a number of things we’ve learned and some resources we’ve found that have helped along the way. I figured I’d capture some of that learning with this post. Picking Belize While we wanted to live overseas in a place where living costs were lower, we didn’t want to completely relearn a language or a legal system and, if we were concerned with the U.S. Government, we didn’t want a place that was either too close or too opposed to our home. In addition we didn’t want a place where the political structure appeared fragile and close to break down or one that had high levels of crime or violence. We looked at Costa Rica and Panama first, but both countries speak Spanish as their national language and, as with most South American countries, the legal system was based on Napoleonic law. This is kind of a guilty until proven innocent system designed to expedite legal process and if you are really good at contracts and making the right kind of friends it can work for you. Not knowing the language very well, however, makes both of this initially risky and once you learn how a legal system works unlearning it can be a serious problem.

CARIFORUM, EU Sign 82m Agreement
The Caribbean Forum of African Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM) and the European Commission on Wednesday signed three financial agreements designed to boost the Caribbeans ability to deliver tangible results of integration to its populace. Under the agreements, 82.6 million (US$110 million) will be used to provide support for, among other things, the economic integration and trade of the nine-member Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS); the further development of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), with special allocations for Belize and Haiti, and CARIFORUMs implementation commitments under the Economic Partnership Agreement ((EPA). Of the amount, 8.6 million will be used by the OECS to advancing its economic union, particularly in the areas of harmonized policies in tourism and agriculture, strengthening its capacity to integrate into the wider CARICOM arrangements and boosting competitiveness and export capacity of the private sector.

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