Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.
The November 11th, 2012 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE
This Week's Stories:
- Two Burglaries- Cruz Castillo Jailed:
Good investigative work on the part
of officers attached to the Crimes
Investigations Branch at the San
Ignacio police station has resulted in
the recovery of several stolen items
and the arrest and incarceration of a
man who pled guilty as charged.
Police investigation this week
resulted in the recovery of several
reported stolen items in two recent
separate burglary cases.
As reports of arrest on burglary
charges continue, San Ignacio police
reports the arrest of a reputed burglar
from Ontario Village who stands
accused of burglarizing the home of a
Santa Elena woman.
Acting upon information received,
on Thursday, October 25, 2012, San
Ignacio police visited the Hillview
Area, Santa Elena Town, home of
Shasha Aguilar who reported to the
police that her house was burglarized
by two male persons.
- Cristo Rey Boys Jailed:
Two boys from Cristo Rey Village,
Cayo, could very well spend
Christmas and New Years in jail on
remand on an aggravated burglary
Gary Tullock, 66, retired US
National, residing at Hill Bank Farm
in Cristo Rey Village reported to San
Ignacio police that at about 7:30 pm
on Friday, October 26, 2012, two
armed, masked male persons entered
his house, through a back door, held
him up and demanded money.
- Awaiting Instructions from the DPP for Fifty Cents:
San Ignacio police is tonight
holding onto the notorious Mark
Anthony “Fifty Cents” Conorque,
the third individual wanted in
connection with the October 12
attempt murder of Assistant
Superintendent of Police, Amin
“Sheriff” August, which occurred in
the policeman home village,
The police reports that Fifty Cents
was arrested earlier this week by
Orange Walk police on a robbery and
firearm charge. He was allegedly
taken to court in that northern
municipality and was remanded to
- Belize Host Twelfth PANCAP AGM:
Belize hosted the Twelfth
Annual General Meeting of the Pan
Caribbean Partnership Against HIV
and AIDS (PANCAP) from the
24-26 October 2012 at the
Biltmore Plaza in Belize City
under the theme, “PANCAP
Forging New Paths.”
An Official Opening was held
to welcome the visiting delegates
on the evening of Wednesday,
October 24th, 2012 at the Old
Minister of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin presented brief remarks
where he highlighted the present
situation of HIV and AIDS in Belize
and the progress that has been made
by the Government of Belize and its
various partners. Minister Marin also
underscored the importance of
sustainability of the partnership and
commitment to ‘Forge new paths’
among its members.
- NDACC Highlights Drug Week In Dangriga:
The National Drug Abuse and
Control Council (NDACC) in
partnership with the Dangriga Town
Council planned a week of events
to observe Drug Week from
22-25 October, 2012.
NDACC visited with various
primary and secondary schools
in Dangriga town where they
conducted educational sessions
on the harmful effects of drug
The highlight of the week was
a poster competition and a
walkathon. Delille Academy came
out victorious in the poster
competition taking away all top
three prizes with their depiction of
a Drug Free Community through
- World Mental Health Day 2012:
The Ministry of Health celebrated
World Mental Health Day under the
theme, “Depression: A Global
Crisis” on October 10th with an
official ceremony at the BTL Park in
During the short ceremony,
opening remarks were done by Dr.
Claudina Cayetano, Psychiatrist of
the Mental Health Program and
contributing remarks by Dr. Gerardo
De Cosio of PAHO Belize.
- Support The Kontiki Neighborhood Association
Attend The Family Fun Day This Sunday:
Like other parts of the community,
the Kontiki Area of San Ignacio Town
has had its share of crime the most
prevelant of which is burglary.
The community has been organizing itself to tackle the crime situation in
their neighborhood. For this purpose
the community has formed the
“Kontiki Neighbourhood Watch
- Crime Control Council Concurs with New Crime Measure:
The Crime Control Council met
today in Belize City and, after intense
discussion, has given its concurrence
with the Minister of National
Security’s decision to declare
‘special areas’ in accordance with
Section 12(1) of the Crime Control
and Criminal Justice Act.
The meeting was attended by
all members of the Crime Control
Council as listed or appointed under
Section 25(1) of the Act, except for
a Justice of the Supreme Court and a Representative from the Ministry of
Human Development. Members
present included the Chairman of
the Crime Control Council, a
representative of the Opposition, the
CEO from the Ministry of National
Security, the Commissioner of Police,
The Director of Public Prosecution
(DPP), The Chief Magistrate,
representatives from the Solicitor
General’s Office, The Council of
Churches, the Bar Association, the
Belize Chamber of Commerce and
Industry (BCCI), the Belize Tourism
Industry Association (BTIA) and the Women’s Issues Network of Belize
- Haiti Appeals For International Help After Storm:
The Haitian government has
renewed calls for international
emergency aid to help the country deal
with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
There are fears of food shortages
after the hurricane, which hit on 24
October, damaged many crops in
Aid workers and officials are also
on alert for an increase in cholera
cases in the wake of widespread
More than 50 people were killed in
Haiti, which is still struggling to
recover from the 2010 earthquake.
- 7.4 Earthquake Rocks Guatemala:
A 7.4-magnitude earthquake has
struck off Guatemala's Pacific coast,
reportedly killing at least eight.
Guatemalan President Otto Perez
Molina declared a national alert
and advised people in affected
areas to evacuate tall buildings as a
Officials said roads had been
buried in landslides, and it would take
24 hours to fully restore links to the
Frightened people fled from
offices and homes around the
region, as buildings shook from
Mexico City to San Salvador.
- Barack Obama Re-elected:
President Barack Obama has
been re-elected to a second term,
defeating Republican challenger Mitt
America's first black president
secured more than the 270 votes in
the electoral college needed to win.
In his victory speech before
supporters in Chicago, Mr. Obama
said he would talk to Mr. Romney
about "where we can work together
to move this country forward".
Mr Obama prevailed despite
lingering dissatisfaction with the
economy and a hard-fought challenge
by Mr. Romney.
- Puerto Rico Wants To Become The 51st State Of The US:
Voters in Puerto Rico have
supported a non-binding referendum
to become a full US state.
The measure will require approval
from the US Congress, but President
Barack Obama has said he will
respect the vote.
The island is currently a US
territory, which uses the dollar and
whose citizens travel on US
But it does not return senators to
the US Congress and is represented
in Washington by a non-voting
- Velasquez Accused of Betraying Trust:
A tour guide from the village of
Bullet Tree Falls, Cayo was today
remanded to the central prison in
Hattieville as he stands accused of
burglarizing a house, under his care,
in his home village.
San Ignacio police reports that on
Tuesday, October 30, 2012, Skip
Billings, 60, retired US police officer
presently residing on Bishop Desmond
Street in San Ignacio town reported material day, when he visited the home
of Connie Stafford, left in the care
of Martin Velasquez, situated in
Bullet Tree Falls he found that the
house was burglarized.
Billings reported to police that the
stolen items included a gold necklace
and gold nugget both valued at $3,000
along with a Dewalt brand vacuum
cleaner valued at $250.
- John alexander Watler has Dont It Again!:
The great Belizean writer and story
teller, John Alexander Watler has
done it again with his latest novel, The
In this, his latest masterpiece,
Watler weaves an intriguing plot and
in so doing he holds the reader’s
attention as he connects the pieces
of the puzzle spanning the jungle of
central Belize to the metropolitan
streets and high life in America
returning to offshore destinations
in Belize where it all comes to a
His accounts of the events seem real
as Watler merges the characters and
their activities with the illegal trading
in drugs and Mayan artifacts spanning
locations known to the Belizean
reader. The writer’s skill makes this
reader frequently stop and wonder:
“Is this a real life experience of
- Hundreds Of Rescuers Search Wreck In
Guatemala For Earthquake Survivors:
Hundreds of rescuers are sifting
debris of wrecked towns for
survivors of Wednesday's earthquake
The 7.4-magnitude tremor, the most
powerful to hit Guatemala since 1976,
left at least 52 people dead, many
more injured and thousands without
President Otto Perez Molina told
the BBC that 22 people were still
missing and as many as 10,000
houses may have been rendered
Most of the damage was in San
Marcos region, near the border with
- Coming Soon - Santiago Castillo Store:
A new “superstore”, in the true
sense of the word, is coming soon to
the west. The building, being the home of the
latest addition to the Santiago Castillo
chain, is rapidly nearing completion on
Eve Street in Santa Elena Town.
While we are yet to interview the mastermind behind this latest
accomplishment, Hon. Santino
Castillo, Minister of State in the
Ministry of Finance and Economic
Development, we venture to predict, by its well known reputation, that
the store is bringing new hope to
the people of San Ignacio,
Santa Elena and surrounding
- PM Dean Barrow In Honduras:
Prime Minister of Belize, Hon.
Dean Barrow arrived today
inTegucigalpa accompanied by his
wife, Kim Simpliss Barrow and an
accompanying delegation in order to
hold talks about various bilateral
topics and sign three agreements in
the areas of tourism, health and
Prime Minister Barrow was
received at the Hernán Acosta
Mejia Air Base, by the Presidential
Designate Victor Hugo Barnica and
the Vice Chancellor Mireya Aguero
de Corrales, where he addressed
the press to express a few words of
thanks for the reception; “Its a great
pleasure to be in Honduras in
order to forge and further
strenghten our friendship, ties
that have traditionally existed
between our two countries. In
Belize we have Honduran
residents and we gladly welcome
them to our country.”
- Health Tips For Cold And Flu Season:
10 natural ways to ease the common cold: Unfortunately, there is very little you
can do to fight the common cold. We
have no way to attack the virus itself.
When we get a cold, all we can really
do is make ourselves a little more
comfortable. These tips won’t cure the
common cold. But they might make
you or a loved one feel just a little
better while you recover.
- Belize Water Services Advisory:
Belize Water Services Limited
(BWS) has been made aware of the
company’s name having been used to
commit fraud at a business in Spanish
Lookout over the weekend. This business was given a fake cheque as
payment for materials supposedly
ordered by BWS, with the
preliminary communication having
been done by e-mail using a
made-up g-mail account. Businesses
are advised to be on the lookout for such scams.
- Upgrading Land Management System:
The Government of Belize signed
a loan agreement with the
Inter-American Development Bank
(IDB) on November 16, 2009, in the
amount of US$2,500,000 to finance
the execution of the Land Management
Program Phase III (LMP III).
The Project is for a period of three
(3) years and is in its final stage of
The objective of this Program is
to consolidate and expand land
management services country-wide,
to improve quality, efficiency and
access to all Belizeans.
The LMP III consists of three
(1) Expansion of the Parcel-Based
Land Information System;
(2) Improvement of Urban Land
(3) Support for the Provision of
Modem Land Management Services.
- Another Baptist Pastor Child Sex Scandal:
The “local Baptist Church in
your area” as it is referred to by
Dr. Bob Roberts, has not yet
recovered from the mid August,
Pastor Norman Willacey, underage
sex scandal, when up comes another
allegation of sexual impropriety
against another pastor from another
local Baptist Church.
The report coming out of Belmopan
police informs that shortly before
noon on Monday, November 5, an
11 year girl, accompanied by her
mother, visited the police station and
reported that Julio Cesar Garcia,
pastor of the Frank’s Eddy Baptist
Church is alleged to have had sexual
contact with the child, not once but
- Future Entrepreneurs To Display Marketing Skills At Marketing Expo:
Students of the Faculty of
Management and Social Sciences
Marketing Class of the University of
Belize will display their marketing and
creativity skills at the University
of Belize Annual “Marketing
Exposition” from 9am-3pm on
Tuesday November 13, 2012 at the
Princess Hotel and Casino, Belize City.
This year’s exposition is envisioned
to be more challenging and exciting
with the University’s emerging
entrepreneurs competing with
established entrepreneurs for the best booth presentation, building brand
awareness, promotional strategy
techniques and building customer
- STAR Humor
- Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
- Letters to the Editor
- Public Notices
Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials
The San Pedro Sun
Doctor Love – Too Much togetherness?
She is newly in love, and scared to lose the best thing that has happened to her. How much togetherness is too much before love becomes smothering?
Paraplegic cyclist Jerome Flores is excited to finish Reef Ride 2012
Woofer: Amazing Legs
Wet Willy's is usually a visual feast on ladies' night & Dennis' friend drags him along one night, where they appreciate a pair of amazing legs indeed
Man found shot on Northern Ambergris Caye
Police have confirmed that a male US National has been found shot to death. It appears he was shot last night and was found this morning at his residence in northern Ambergris Caye. The Sun is on the scene and will report as soon as info becomes available.
Misc Belizean Sources
Garifuna Week in Belmopan
Every day this week, there will be festivities in Belmopan in honour of Garifuna Settlement Day. Monday morning, from 9:00am until 3:00pm, Paul Nabor will be performing live at Builders Hardware. Most other nights will have drumming or similar festivities.
"Paul Nabor will be at Builders Hardware Ltd performing LIVE on Monday 12th November from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. ..... everyone is invited to come out and meet this great Belizean Legend and King of Paranda in person!!!!"
Cayo's Cahal Pech and Parrot Nest
Cayo got some good press in this article. The Parrot Nest Lodge gets a good review, and Cahal Pech is shown in pictures. Benny's Kitchen, which is a great stop for lunch during a long canoe ride, also gets a good review. Pacz Tours gets rave reviews for their canoeing and ATM tours.
"Next on our agenda, was a trip to ATM Cave. I had told the other guests at Parrot Nest how much fun the ATM Cave was, that they decided to go with us. PACZ Tours picked us up at 8 am, and we headed for the cave. After about an hours drive, we reached the entrance to the park. There we gathered our helmet, lunch and water provided. And then we start the 45 minute hike to the cave, crossing the river three times. Oh, did I mention that this cave has a river running through it? YEAH, how awesome is that?!"
Cayo's Gaia Riverlodge Opening
Five Sisters has been upgraded, and now has a new name, Gaia Riverlodge. Gaia Riverlodge is located in the Mountain Pine Ridge area, near the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, and right next to Big Rock Falls. It's considered to be the new sister property of the Matachica Resort and Spa.
"The eco-resort property has seen upgrades to its 16 cabanas, which now have hardwood floors, bathrooms with hand-painted Mexican tiles and panoramic windows or private verandas."
Minister weighs in on bus operator’s plight
Janene Hamilton has been fighting to get the Transport Department to address her proposal for a shuttle run in the Ladyville area. So far her pleas have fallen on deaf ears and as a result Hamilton has taken to the airwaves to highlight what she feels is the Ministry’s total disregard and disrespect. When Love News caught up with Minister of Transport Edmund Castro yesterday in San Pedro, we asked him to comment on the situation and his response was simply that Hamilton is in the wrong business.
The recently formed Belize Coalition for Justice issued a release in support of Hamilton in her fight with the Department of Transport. The Coalition says it has reviewed Hamilton’s case and found that the removal of her bus runs was done without just cause and procedures. It goes on to say that in light of Ms. Hamilton’s application to service areas in Ladyville that are not being serviced by other operators and the fact that her route will not collide with other buses travelling that highway, they stand in full support of Ms. Hamilton’s proposal and call upon the Minister and The Board of Transport to be fair and allow her to immediately commence servicing that area with this well needed service and niche market that she has carved out to serve her community. The release goes on to echo the sentiments that Hamilton has expressed to Love news and that is that the Transport Board is proposing that she charge an amount that will not allow her to succeed and the fact she is being set up to fail.
Man accused of sex with 15 year old girl
Twenty-three year old Adam Choco, a salesman of mile 1 and a half on the Northern Highway, who allegedly had sex with a 15 year old girl was charged with carnal knowledge when he appeared in court today. He was remanded into custody until December 13. The incident occurred on Monday, November 5. The girl reported to the police that she went to Choco’s residence and he had sex with her with her consent.
Baptist Association distances itself from man accused of sex with underage girl
Earlier this week, forty six year old Franks Eddy resident Julio Cesar Garcia, widely reported to be a Baptist pastor was arrested and charged for carnal knowledge after an eleven year old girl accused him of having sexual intercourse with her on two separate occasions. Since the news exploded unto the headlines, the Baptist Association has been silent on the issue. Today, they broke that silence with a seventy four word press release. Because of the brevity of the communiqué, we’ll read it verbatim. It says, quote: “the Baptist Association of Belize wishes to let the public know that contrary to what was on the news, Mr. Julio Cesar Garcia is not the pastor of Franks Eddy Baptist Church and not even a Pastor within the Baptist Association of Belize but only a member of the Baptist Church in Belize City. The Pastor of Franks Eddy Baptist Church is Pastor Oscar Aguilar. The Association strongly condemns the action of Mr. Garcia.” End of quote. As we have reported previously, Garcia was formally arraigned on two counts of carnal knowledge when he appeared in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court. He was remanded to the Hattiveille prison until his next court appearance in January. The eleven year old girl from the same village who attends the Frank’s Eddy Government School told police that Garcia had sexual intercourse with her on two separate occasions last week. The girl told authorities that the first sexual encounter happened on the afternoon on Sunday, October twenty eight, inside the church building in the village. Four days later, Garcia is reported to have repeated the sexual crime, this time inside of his house.
Trio of teenagers detained in murder investigation
Police have detained three teenagers in connection with yesterday’s murder of fifty four year old Dennis Williams. According to the police press officer Raphael Martinez, the three detainees are all eighteen years old. Police have also recovered what they believe to be the murder weapon, a Taurus brand nine millimeter pistol with five rounds of ammunition. Just before noon yesterday, two men entered the Tree Star Quality Chicken outlet at number forty six Vernon Street, allegedly with the intent to rob the establishment. During a struggle with Williams, two shots were fired, fatally wounding him to the upper part of his body. Police investigations continue.
Five Blues Lake dries up
The Five Blues Lake national park in the Cayo district is a ten-acre natural wonder neatly situated in the tropical rainforest of southern Belize. But tonight a phenomenon which was first observed about six years ago is back. Virtually all the water from the lake has disappeared. According to the president of Friends of 5 Blues Lake, Mario Perez, the collapse of the lake is a cause for concern.
According to Perez, the last time that the lake dried up, it took three hundred and forty four days for the water to return. Unlike the incident in 2006, Perez says that this time around, much more water has been left on the bed of the lake than the last incident. Love News will have more on this phenomenon next week.
Salvation Army launches Christmas Kettle Appeal
If you’ve been feeling the chilly weather and listening to Christmas music already blasting on the radio, you know it’s a sign Christmas is almost here. But it’s also a sign that a specific organization will start to raise funds for the needy, so if you think you hear those sleigh bells ringing don’t get it wrong, it’s actually the bell calling you to sponsor a cent or two or even more for the Salvation Army’s Kettle. This morning the kettle appeal was launched in front of the First Caribbean International Bank on Albert Street with greetings by the Mayor of Belize City Darrel Bradley. Regional Commander of the Salvation Army in Belize Major Joliker Leandre told Love News about the kettle appeal initiative.
Country Manager of CIBC First Caribbean Bank, Glen Smith told us about the partnership of the bank with the Salvation Army which today yielded fifteen thousand dollars to the organization.
The kettle will be place outside major business places like Brodies on Albert Street and Phillip Goldson Highway, Hofius, Augusto Quan, Angelus Press, Save U and K-Park. According to Major Leandre, there will also be barrels placed in different locations for the donation of toys. Christmas Kettle will also be placed throughout Belmopan.
The Battlefield Park in Belize City was this morning overrun by students of All Saints Primary School. The students were taken there by their teachers to clean up the area as part of a school-sponsored activity to teach the value of stewardship. Shannon Martinez is a Standard Five teacher at All Saints Primary School and she told Love News about the overall objective of the activity.
And the children, all Standard Five students enjoyed the break from the classroom. They told Love News that they were happy to be involved in the exercise. According to teacher Martinez, other activities are scheduled for the rest of the month, which has been declared as stewardship month by the Anglican Diocese in Belize.
World Pediatric Project working in Belize
The mission for visiting Pediatric Surgeons from the U.S under the World Pediatric Project ended yesterday at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. Representative for World Pediatric Project in Belize, Milagro Garel informed Love News that this is the third year that Belize has general pediatric surgeons coming into Belize to offer their services.
Patty Lang, one of the pediatric surgeons from West Virginia told us that her colleagues who are involved with the World Pediatric Project encouraged her to join in and make the visit to Belize. She told us of the cases she encountered here.
According to Garel most of the funds come from World Pediatric Project with the exception of accommodations here in the country.
Additional charges in stolen goods case
A man from the Cayo District was sentenced after he was found guilty of handling stolen goods. Correspondent Elaine Berry reports.
San Ignacio man jailed for illegal firearm possession
A twenty one year old man from San Ignacio town has been sent to jail after he pleaded guilty to firearms charges. Danny Sagastume who lives in the Santiago Juan Layout area was arrested after a search of his house on Thursday afternoon resulted in the discovery of a sixteen gauge shotgun and sex matching cartridges. Police say the fun was found tucked under the zinc ceiling of an outdoor latrine in the yard. The cartridges were found inside a plastic bag. Police say that at the time of the arrest, two women were also arrested and charged for the offence of keeping an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. Sagastume, however has plead guilty to both charges, and he was sentenced to ten years in prison on both charges with the stipulation that they are to run concurrently.
New and upgraded airport for San Pedro town
The upgraded San Pedro municipal airport was inaugurated on Thursday. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo reports.
Miss Garifuna PG this Saturday night
Miss Euremei Peini Garifuna contest will be held tomorrow night in Punta Gorda town. Correspondent Paul Mahung has a preview.
Remembering those who sacrificed for peace
Each year on November eleventh, the world takes time to remember the armistice ending World War Two. It marked a victory for the Allies and a complete for Germany. And each year along with the remembrance comes a tribute to the men and women from Belize who made the ultimate sacrifice all for the sake of world peace. Love Tv’s Marion Ali reports.
History records that although the Empire of Japan was already at war with the Republic of China in 1937, the world war is generally said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany, and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and most of the countries of the British Empire and Commonwealth.
Keep your eyes peeled
If you keep your eyes pealed in San Pedro, you can always find cheap street food. In my case yesterday, it was a roadside barbecue stand near Ambergris Lake Villas on my walk yesterday. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had found dinner and walked across the road to get some. I got 2 barbecue chicken dinners with slaw and beans for $8 bzd each, which is a great price considering most street stands are at $10 on that meal.
A Rib BBQ Cook-Off at Estel's Dine By the Sea: First Annual?
Yesterday, my friend Kevin invited me to an impromptu BBQ rib cook-off being held at Estel's. The prize? $800! He was competing with three other participants (one from the island, one from Kansas City and one from Oregon) to name the best ribs on the island. An idea the four of them cooked up over many beers earlier in the week. Sounds like fun to me...I headed out.
But before I get started let me paint a picture for you, possibly a frame-work for the 2013 Ambergris Caye BBQ Cook-Off/Beach Party/Live Music Week-End bash that this small event (and one of the competitors) got me thinking about. BBQs lining the front street, the air thick with the smell of smoke and good sauce, people out sampling, drinking beers, buying cute t-shirts and enjoying a fierce competition with locals and enthusiasts from around the world in ribs, chicken, best sauce, whatever else can be BBQed...maybe side dishes. Crown the BBQ King or Queen of San Pedro. This could be as big as LobsterFest!
Maybe...2013 Smokin' San Pedro International BBQ Competition or 2013 Belize Grill & Chill International BBQ Competition or let's keep it simple - the 2013 San Pedro Scoop International BBQ Competition...
I think it could be huge. What do you think? We can always work on the name later though I do lean towards the last choice.
Let's get back to yesterday's contest and some pictures of Estel's, one of the most beloved restaurants on the island and everyone's favorite breakfast joint.
Caye Caulker - The Island of Flashing Smiles
How didn’t I know about Caye Caulker? I guess it’s one of those places that people don’t talk about because they want it to stay exactly the same. I get it. People don’t want this Belizian island to get over run with visitors or the hostel rates may go up. Or, God forbid, the rum punch shots might not be free anymore
I apologize to those folks for writing a blog post but here it is. I want people to know about it because it’s the place in the world where the most people have ever smiled at me. People here are seriously happy!
Caye Caulker is a short water taxi ride from Ambergris Caye (or about a 45 min water taxi from Belize City.)
There is a great debate online arguing which island reigns supreme between Caulker and Ambergris. That debate is moot in my opinion because when one has cars and the other doesn’t (Caulker) the dynamics are not equally comparable. Ambergris is pretty big and has fabulous sandy beaches. It gets points for the sand in your toes, drink in your hand resort feel. But, IMHO, it loses points for feeling big cityish with golf cart traffic jams. The only traffic on Caulker are the boats coming in with their daily catch.
A Chocolate Tour of the Caribbean
ONE morning on St. Lucia, as I was waking from beatific dreams, I discovered that I had turned into a luscious, ripe cocoa pod.
Or so I imagined, borrowing freely from Kafka’s opening line in “Metamorphosis.” For three decadent days, I had been eating chocolate-stuffed liver pâté, cocoa-encrusted kingfish and, for breakfast, cocoa-and-cashew granola. At night I drank cocoa Bellinis. I indulged in a cocoa oil massage, hiked through cocoa fields and created my own chocolate bar. Dawn consistently carried the pungent aroma of cocoa trees, because I was staying on a verdant cocoa estate — and sleeping in a cocoa pod.
Well, sort of: Hotel Chocolat, a boutique property in St. Lucia, features not rooms but “luxe pods,” where even the magnificently minimalist décor (rich mahogany floors, ivory-colored bathroom with open-air shower) evokes the essence of chocolate.
Hotel Chocolat’s union of tourism and agricultural development, specifically its devotion to all things cocoa, is part of a budding movement across the Caribbean. You might call it choco-tourism.
From Tobago to Dominica, Grenada to St. Vincent, the Caribbean cocoa industry, which has roots in colonial times, is being revitalized. This is excellent news economically: With free trade having all but destroyed the islands’ banana and sugar industries, fair-trade farming initiatives are a welcome boon.
Photos: A Tropical Trail of Chocolate Treats
WU Alumni have scheduled trip to Belize
The Washburn University Alumni Association has organized another group trip that is sure to impress. This time they will be indulging on a five night Western Caribbean cruise abroad Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas, to Belize City and Cozumel. The trip will be 5 nights long, extending from November 24-29, 2012. The group will be meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. There will be a welcome reception on the evening of departure as well as a cocktail party on the second evening of the trip, giving everyone a chance to mingle.
Prices for inside cabins begin at $369 per person for double occupancy and you will have other cabin options available to you at a higher rate, if you desire. Air fare is not included in this price. You simply have to make your own reservations to Fort Lauderdale and meet everyone onboard the ship!
What does this trip have to offer? Belize City is located between Mexico and Guatemala, and is often called “The Jewel,” because it has the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere and has a very modern Caribbean charm. There are also many miles of tropical rain forest to take in and explore. Cozumel is an island off of the eastern coast of Mexico that is always being explored by its visitors, looking for gold and silver jewelry in the shops of San Miguel. This island is one of the best snorkeling areas in the whole world; the waters around the coral reefs are breathtaking and are definitely a sight to be seen.
Why the Maya Fell: Climate Change, Conflict—And a Trip to the Beach?
Maya Empire, seemingly swallowed by the jungle after centuries of urban, cultural, intellectual, and agricultural evolution.
What went wrong? The latest discoveries point not to a cataclysmic eruption, quake, or plague but rather to climate change. And faced with the fallout, one expert says, the Maya may have packed up and gone to the beach.
But first came the boom years, roughly A.D. 300 to 660. At the beginning of the so-called Classic Maya period, some 60 Maya cities—each home to between 60,000 and 70,000 people—sprang up across much of modern-day Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. (Explore an interactive map of key Maya sites.)
Surrounded by pyramids, plazas, ball courts, and government buildings, the urban Maya discussed philosophy, developed an accurate solar-year calendar, and relished a thick, bitter beverage made from cacao beans: the world's first hot chocolate.
Farmers, too, were riding high, turning hillsides into terraced fields to feed the burgeoning population.