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Misc Belizean Sources

Win a 2013 Belize Mesoamerican Reef Full Color Calendar
Tony Rath Photography has a few limited edition 2013 Belize Mesoamerican Reef calendars left in stock and we have decided to give them away. These stunning calendars include 18 full color images from the archives of award winning photographer Tony Rath. The 11x16 calendars are printed on heavy stock and of the highest quality. The images depict the incredible biodiversity of the Belize Barrier Reef. ENTER YOUR EMAIL AT RIGHT FOR A CHANCE TO WIN!

VIDEO: The Belize Museum, Formerly, Her Majestys Prison
Day Trip from San Pedro, can be combined with Cave Tubing, Mayan Ruins, Jungle Zip Line

Xunantunich and Cahal Pech Wedding
More feelgood news. Leonardo Melendez did a photoshoot for a wedding at Cahal Pech and Xunantunich. Amazing work. Congratulations to the new bride and groom! "Tying the knot at Cahal Pech + Xunantunich."

Bullet Tree Falls Neighborhood Watch Gets Motorcycle
Feelgood news of the day. The Bullet Tree Falls Neighborhood Watch got a new motorcycle donated to them, along with phone service, from the Cariddi family. There are around 20 neighborhood watches around Cayo, and donations like this are what keep them going. A big thanks to the Cariddi family. "PEOPLE POWER: The Cariddi family of San Ignacio, Cayo is putting their money where their mouth is. On Thursday, the head of the family, Mary Cariddi, handed over her family's contribution the efforts of the neighborhood watch program in Bullet Tree Falls village, Cayo. A brand new motorcycle was handed over to the committee. In addition to the motorcycle, the Cariddi family also facilitated the installation of a phone service for use by the committee in keeping the village safe. All total, the donation from the Cariddi family amounts to over $5,000."

Messi's 91 Goals in 2012 [INFOGRAPHIC]
Hate or like this guy, you have to give it to Lionel Messi. He scored 91 goals in 2012, a historic record in football that will probably remain there for a good while. That is the most goals a football player has scored in one year at a professional level. Messi is great! This infographic show Messi's 91 goals and where they came from on the football pitch. Excellent infographic.


A Tale of Five Cities: Merida -- the food (Part 1)
One of our favorite things about visiting a new city is trying out new-to-us restaurants. Merida has a reputation for having great food, and we weren't disappointed. Our first night in the city, we were too tired from our travel day and lots of walking for most of the day to do much for dinner. We decided to walk around the corner from La Casa Lorenzo to a pizza place Larry recommended and bring home a pie to eat in his bar area, which we'd have all to ourselves, since we were the only guests at the bed and breakfast. This vegetarian pizza did not disappoint. Of course Barry got my olives, and I got his mushrooms. Yum! The next morning, Larry said that he would either serve us breakfast (included in our room rate) or take us to a very authentic Mexican place to eat, Wayane. Always up for something novel, of course we chose the latter, and it didn't disappoint. Filled with locals, it's gotta be good! $10 MX (10 pesos) is approximately 80 cents US. Cheap! Larry and me Our juices -- Barry had chaya/pineapple (the green one), and Larry and I ended up with tamarindo, though we thought we ordered mandarin orange -- must have been our Spanish! No matter, it was delicious. As with our juice orders, there were some misunderstandings with my food order. I though I'd ordered three different egg tacos (with various add-ins), but ended up with only one egg and two meat (chicken and pork). They were delicious but way more food than I really needed. Larry successfully got three egg tacos.

A Letter to our Valued Travel Partners
Despite all the warnings and dire predictions, the 2012 apocalypse did not eventuate, the US economy did not fall off a fiscal cliff and here we are once again wishing you, our valued travel partners, a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013. Indeed, where others saw endings, we saw fresh opportunities and new beginnings as 2012 wound down and the sun rose on a beautiful January 1, 2013. Celebrating the Maya Winter Solstice of 2012 in a respectful and exuberant way made for the perfect farewell to 2012 and a hearty welcome to the new year. As most of you know, here at Chaa Creek we were eagerly looking forward to December 21 2012 and sure enough, our anticipation was well founded as we hosted one of the best celebrations Belize has ever seen. As a combination of education, cultural exposition, feasting and partying, we’re happy to report that a great time was had by all as staff, guests and neighbours joined together for a truly special week.

Around 10 last night I received an email from Daniel Camal, our building contractor, which was accompanied by the detailed costing we had requested for the building of an additional en-suite bedroom and a repositioning of the store room on the Ground Floor of our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. We decided that it was too late in the day to review the breakdown of costs and would,instead, tackle this the next morning. When I got up this morning I opened the attachment and carried out a cursory check to make sure that the individual material type costs are the same as those that we received for the initial proposal for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. They were. That done I went for breakfast at Estel’s ( for me the BEST way to start the day). When I got back home Rose and I went through the cost proposal checking the component costs against the architect’s plans and the changes we wanted to make . We identified that Daniel had included one more window (three) for the store room than we want. Whilst reviewing the architect’s plans we also agreed where we want the windows and doors to be for the additional en-suite bedroom and store room to be . That done I ‘phoned Daniel and told him that we want to incorporate the changes to the plan and asked to meet with him.

International Sources

Japan bluefin tuna fetches record $1.7m
A single bluefin tuna has sold in Japan for 155m yen ($1.7m; £1.05m), almost triple the record price set last year. High bids traditionally mark the year's first auction at Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market. Even the buyer, sushi chain owner Kiyoshi Kimura, who also paid out the record price last year, said the cost was "a bit high". The sale came amid continued warnings from environmentalists that tuna stocks are dwindling and overfished. This year's record-breaking fish was caught off north-eastern Japan and weighed in at 222kg (489lbs), some 47kg lighter than last year's prize-winner, which fetched 56m yen. The prices do not necessarily reflect quality or size and are more linked to publicity and setting the tone for the business year. The auction at the market - which trades millions of dollars of products daily and is a popular tourist destination - began at 05:00 local time. Mr Kimura immediately carted his purchase off to a nearby branch of his Sushi Zanmai chain. He said he wanted to "encourage Japan" with his bid. The price works out at about $7,600 per kg ($3,500/lb). Japan consumes more than half of the world's bluefin catch. New figures to be released on Monday are expected to show a continued decline in Pacific bluefin stocks. Amanda Nickson, of the Pew Environmental Group's global tuna conservation campaign, told Associated Press news agency: "Everything we're hearing is that there's no good news for the Pacific bluefin. We're seeing a very high value fish continue to be overfished."

Benefits for Belize: Vacation time spent helping less-fortunate
A vacation can mean rest and relaxation for some, but for Andi and Bill Grantham, the opportunity to help others is vacation enough. The Granthams recently returned to Green Valley after spending nearly 10 days in November in Belize, a country on the northeastern coast of Central America. There they volunteered with the Belize Mission Project — a group dedicated to providing free dental and medical care to the poor of the country. The out-of-pocket cost to the couple, with airfare, amounted to about $2,000 each. The cost included accommodations provided by a dentist from Kansas who settled many years ago in Ambergris Caye, the largest island in Belize. “We were prepared to spend this amount to be part of this project,” Andi said. “We knew that we were going to be helping less-fortunate people with medical and dental needs that do not have access to health care.” Although the mission is not affiliated with any particular denomination or church, the project is Christian-based, according to its website, and participants may join in the daily morning devotion. The group, which travels to Belize at least one week a year, typically consists of approximately 40 dentists, physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, dental hygienists and assistants, nurses, dental technicians, general helpers and everyone in between. Many bring their own medical supplies, often amounting to thousands of dollars in value.

Peace Corps Volunteer Helps Reopen Restaurant in Belize
Peace Corps volunteer Meghan VanDeventer of Barrington, Rhode Island, is helping to empower and employ more than 20 members of a local women’s cooperative in Belize by working to reopen a restaurant in the community after it was destroyed by fires in 2003 and 2005. The Sandy Beach Women’s Cooperative owns and operates the Sandy Beach Restaurant, which reopened in November. The cooperative was formed in 1986 with the help of a Peace Corps volunteer and became the first women’s cooperative registered in Belize. Through a small grant, the cooperative established and ran a successful lodge and restaurant until the entire property was destroyed. For seven years, cooperative members have been trying to restore the property. With help from VanDeventer and several local organizations, they built a new structure for the restaurant. “The women involved directly benefit because they are now able to employ themselves once again,” said VanDeventer, a graduate of the University of Delaware who has been living and working in Belize since 2011. “The financial benefit is obvious and necessary, as many of the women are responsible for housing and feeding themselves and their children. But I believe the self-confidence that comes with being a business owner is perhaps an even greater benefit.”

Island Basecamp Adventures Now Include Stand Up Paddleboarding
We now have stand up paddleboards at our Glover’s Reef and Lighthouse Reef Basecamps. Try out this fun new watersport which combines elements of surfing with canoeing and kayaking. Stand up paddleboarding is an excellent full body workout, and a great way to develop core strength and toning. We have boards that are wide and stable, ideal for beginners and more advanced C4 boards with sharp lines and built for performance. Our guides are happy to provide instruction for those trying the sport for the first time, if you are an experienced SUP paddler doing your thing on the water don’t be surprised if your fellow guests are watching and asking for pointers! When the conditions are calm and the winds are light our boards are fast and responsive and a joy to paddle. Inside the protected lagoon of the atolls, paddling amongst the tropical fish and coral reefs is a dream come true for SUP paddling. One of the things we like best about SUPs is how much crazy and colourful marine life we see when paddling from the stand up position. If the wind is blowing the SUP’s can be a real challenge to control in chop and waves. For those with a little more paddling experience, ask your guides about a downwind paddling option. We’ll carry you upwind by motorboat so that you can enjoy the challenge and thrill of a downwind paddle over the shallow reef flats back to our basecamp