More News: Scroll up from here
Chief Justice says Belize's criminal justice system is in crisis
The Supreme Court has opened business for 2013. This morning there was pomp and pageantry at the Holy Redeemer Cath...
Bar President Andrew Marshalleck speaks of an "erosion of confidence" the judiciary.
At today's Supreme Court opening, there were also the traditional responses from President of the Bar Andrew Marsha...
Four persons shot by police in robbery incident in Belize City
Four persons were shot by Police in Belize City during an attempted robbery. It happened on Saturday 12th January a...
Police are on the hunt for Mark Massam
Police are on the hunt for Mark Massam. On Sunday afternoon, police received word a fight in progress at 5th Street...
Eastern Division of The Police Department Has New Leader
This morning the largest police formation bid farewell to its senior officers and welcomed new ones. Former Assista...
January 15th marks the 94th birthday of the late George Cadle Price
Tomorrow Tuesday, January the 15th, marks the 94th birthday of the late Father of the Nation and great leader of th...
Association of Protected Areas Management
Organizations concerned about the illegal harvesting of Rosewood
On Friday we showed you pictures of Hon. Lisille Alamilla the Minister of Forestry, along with other forestry offic...
Revenue fair held by tax departments
Annually, the Income Tax Department hosts a fair, raising the level of awareness on the importance of collecting an...
Robbery and carjacking in Belize city
There was a robbery and carjacking in Belize city on Saturday morning. A B.T.L. Technician of Belize City reported ...
Caye Caulker Chronicles
Ocean Academy’s Business Fair
This past weekend Ocean Academy held their first ever business fair at the Central Park and it was a success!
Ocean Academy and the Business Class would like to take this opportunity to thank the following for their support.
*Parents of the students, without their help this fair wouldn’t have been a success
*Caye Caulker Lobster Fest Committee in providing the use of their tents
*Caye Caulker Village Council for the use of the Central Park
*Barrier Reef Cable System for their sponsorship
*Last but not least, the community who came out and showed their support
Here are a few pictures from the fair
Statement by the Vision Inspired by the People on the Proposed ICJ referendum for 2013
Vision Inspired by the People, unconditionally upholds the right of our Belizean nation to self-determination along with our sovereign territory as defined in our 1981 independence constitution.
We declare that this God-given right of nationhood is not subject to negotiation. It is on the basis of this right that VIP views as gravely misleading and perhaps treasonous, the efforts of Belize’s current government to hold a referendum that could lead to the ICJ, altering Belize’s borders from those defined in our 1981 independence constitution.
VIP hereby declares that Guatemala’s claim to Belizean territory is illegitimate, outdated, mutually counterproductive and downright immoral.
This claim directly conflicts with the goals of the United Nations to finally eradicate the remaining ills of colonialism. The Guatemalan government has never occupied or exercised sovereignty over Belizean territory.
We are reminded that the Spanish government which may have had a claim to Belizean territory under the unjust establishment and growth of colonialism was a non-voting member in the United Nations vote for Belize’s independence.
This conscientious position by Spain not to participate in the vote was a fitting end to any and all claims on Belizean territory that were based on colonial principles.
Leader of the Opposition calls for independent inquiry into George Street murders
“An independent commission of inquiry is critically important if the police are to remove the cloud of suspicion hanging over their heads,” says Leader of the Opposition Hon. Francis Fonseca Thursday.
Fonseca’s comments followed Tuesday’s quadruple murder of George Street gang affiliates, a crime which many members of the community and the leaders of the said gangs have accused the police department’s Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) of committing.
Fonseca said if the police are to carry out their work effectively they must first remove all suspicion from the public’s minds about their involvement in the brutal murders, and has, therefore, called for a Commission of Inquiry into the matter.
He recommended that the government should use senior judges from the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, and other social interest bodies to form a neutral and objective group to conduct the inquiry and report back to the public within 21 days.
Fonseca has also issued a public statement on Wednesday in which he condemned the government’s Gang Truce arrangement.
He said: “The Government must not enter into any new Gang Truce arrangement which involves payment of money or other such incentives and compromises to individuals or groups of individuals who have threatened and continue to threaten retaliation, and remain committed to destabilizing our society.”
Orange Walk man, Florentino Ayalla, 48, found dead in prison cell
An Orange Walk man, Florentino Ayalla, 48, was found dead in a Special Care cell in the Tango 6 building at the Belize Central Prison on Tuesday, January 8.
The Kolbe managed prison’s Chief Executive Officer, Earl Jones, told The Reporter on Thursday, January 10, that police are treating Ayalla’s death as a homicide until the cause of his death can be determined by an autopsy examination.
Ladyville Police Sergeant McCulloch, who is attached to the Crimes Investigation Branch (CIB), is conducting the investigation into Ayalla’s death, Jones said.
According to Jones, around 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, the officer with responsibility for the Special Care area went to give Ayalla some painkillers and found him dead inside his cell.
Jones said that the Special Care area is where prisoners who are not well are kept. Ayalla shared a cell with three other inmates, who police have been questioning since his death.
ADO Bus impounded; woman fined for contraband veggies
A bus belonging to ADO Bus Company of Mexico which conducts non-stop two-way runs from Belize to Merida and beyond, and crossed into Belize on Sunday from Chetumal, was impounded by local immigration authorities after it was discovered to be carrying contraband vegetables.
The Reporter has confirmed with Immigration officials that the regular run was delayed for several hours and impounded, and the person who loaded the veggies on board, a woman, took responsibility for the freight, and a representative of the bus company, Leonides Chavarria, came up with $3,000, the penalty for transporting uncustomed goods.
The woman, a Belizean, was fined $10,000 for her doing, and was reportedly given a time frame within which to find the money. She and the bus were allowed to leave after Immigration officials processed the two offending parties.
Immigration officials had reportedly been suspicious that people had been using the buses to smuggle uncustomed goods to and from Belize for a while.
Their stiff penalty on the bus company has prompted ADO to carry out its own formal screening and inspection of luggages that are loaded on its buses for cross-border trips.
Part of the screening process includes briefing ADO terminal managers in Belize and Mexico what are allowed or disallowed items on the buses.
Cruise tourism business suffer because of George Street murders
Tuesday’s four-way murder of four George Street men and the subsequent U.S. Embassy warning to tourist to not travel in Belize City has negatively effected the Belize tourism industry, Yhonny Rosado, of Cavetubing.com, said Wednesday.
Rosado said the effects of Tuesday’s events will not only affect his business, but all who depend on cruise tourism to make a living.
“The captains on the ships are announcing that if you’re not booked with them, you should not come ashore because the city is not safe,” He said. “About 50% of our tours have been cancelled.”
Rosado explains that they emailed their guests to let them know that it is not the entire city that’s dangerous.
“We are telling them that we can safely go through our tours, and the BTB has sent out messages to us that we should not do any city tours today,” he said.
To compound the dilemma, Carnival Cruise Line, which is one of the major cruise companies, has cancelled a number of its scheduled visits to Belize because of “growing congestion on the tenders”.
UK newspaper hits back over Argentinian claim to Falklands
A British newspaper waded into the argument between Britain and Argentina over sovereignty of the Falkland Islands on Friday, publishing an open letter in a Buenos Aires newspaper saying “hands off” the disputed territory.
The Sun’s letter, printed in the Buenos Aires Herald, was a riposte to an open letter published in the British press Thursday in which Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner called on the UK to hand back the islands.
Her open letter, addressed to British Prime Minister David Cameron and copied to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, accused Britain of blatant colonialism.
She wrote: “The Argentines on the Islands were expelled by the Royal Navy and the United Kingdom subsequently began a population implantation process similar to that applied to other territories under colonial rule.
“Since then, Britain, the colonial power, has refused to return the territories to the Argentine Republic, thus preventing it from restoring its territorial integrity.”
Venezuela postpones Chavez swearing-in
Venezuela’s opposition announced on Wednesday that it plans to ask the Supreme Court to rule on whether delaying the swearing-in of cancer-stricken President Hugo Chavez violates the constitution.
Opposition leader Ramon Guillermo Aveledo said the opposition coalition will ask the court for an opinion on Congress’s decision to postpone Chavez’s inauguration which had been scheduled for Thursday.
The constitutional debate takes place against a backdrop of charges that the government isn’t giving complete information about the health of Chavez, who underwent his fourth cancer-related surgery in Cuba last month and hasn’t spoken publicly in a month.
Aveledo insisted on the opposition’s stance that the National Assembly president should take over temporarily as interim leader and that the Supreme Court should appoint a panel of doctors to determine Chavez’s condition and whether he is fit to remain in office.
Aveledo didn’t say when or how the opposition would bring its challenge.
Citco and BBB join forces to create more jobs!
There’s a big, bold plan for a new vision of the old capital, and it will be called ‘Open for Business.’
It is the brainchild of Belize City Mayor Darrel Bradley and has been brought to life through a unique partnership between the private and public sectors with an infusion from our neighbouring city of Chetumal, Quintana Roo.
On December 21st, 2012, the project saw the first concrete step in what promises to be a complex and challenging journey, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Belize City Council and the Belize Business Bureau, represented by Mayor Darrel Bradley and Arturo Lizarraga respectively.
Today, another significant step was taken with the establishment of an Economic Development Commission which will serve as the operational Secretariat of the entire ‘Open for Business’ campaign.
The undertaking is huge, and President of the Belize Business Bureau Arturo Lizarraga is not shying away from that. In an interview with The Reporter today, he summed up the campaign bluntly – “Will there be challenges? Yes. How big? Huge! Can we accomplish all this today? No. But should we get started now? Absolutely!”
In a nutshell, the program is aimed at attracting new local and regional direct investment, attention and interest to Belize City- investments which will renew and revitalize the city. To do this, the visionaries at the helm have charted a path which includes attracting 1,000,000 paying visitors from Mexico to Belize, and with a focus on Belize City, annually. A massive challenge in and of itself, this includes the building of a four-lane highway from Belize City to the Philip Goldson International Airport and a focused campaign to arouse serious interest in Belize City from hubs like Mexico City and Cancún.
Leader of opposition extends helping arm
Following Tuesday’s four-way murder that left downtown Belize City in a state of emergency, the leader of the opposition, People’s United Party (PUP), Francis Fonseca, announced he is willing to collaborate with Prime Minister Dean Barrow to solve the crime issue in Belize.
Fonseca, speaking at a 2:00 pm press conference at Independence Hall Tuesday afternoon, extended his hand and said he is willing to go along with Barrow to go into the communities in order to reassure them that the State is there to provide for their security and to protect them.
Fonseca said, “We need to engage face to face with these communities and they have to understand in fact they are not at war with the state.”
He said that it must be a civilized approach, because while the neighborhoods have criminal elements, there are also law-abiding citizens.
“When we go into these communities to tackle crime and to target the criminals … we are not saying to the entire community that we are coming after you [and] that you are a useless community,” Fonseca said.
Fonseca said that he believes that some of these communities have already begun to get the wrong message about the police and the government’s role.
GSU gets blamed for 4-way homicide
Residents in the George Street area are alleging that the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) is responsible for this week’s gruesome four-way murder.
The bodies of the victims, Albert Fuentes, 19; Leonard “Ghost” Meyers, 30; Anthony Perez, 28; and Keino Quallo, 40, were found early Tuesday morning at an apartment complex on the corner of Dean and Plues Street. Each victim had multiple stab wounds and his throat cut. There were several large pools of blood found in various sections of the apartment.
When the police arrived around 8:00 in the morning to collect the bodies and process the scene, an angry crowd of residents had gathered in the area and began to accuse the GSU, claiming that on Monday the unit had broken the lock from the back door of the apartment complex in order for them to gain easier access sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning.
The Reporter spoke with Elizabeth Welch, Meyers’ mother, who said that days prior to the incident she was approached by the police who warned her that her son would be killed.
Welch went on to explain that she knew the occupants of the apartment, and neither they nor her son were the type to open the door for strangers.
At Tuesday’s mid-afternoon press conference Prime Minister Dean Barrow refuted those allegations, saying that there is photographed evidence that there was no damage to the lock on the back door.
Scientists discover aborted baby cells living in mothers’ brains
Scientific American described the research findings another way: “Scientists discover children’s cells living in mothers’ brains.”
But I wanted to drive home a touching point: Mothers who terminate their pregnancies apparently don’t completely rid themselves of their babies. The cells of murdered children live on inside their mothers to help – or perhaps – hurt them:
Cells may migrate through the placenta between the mother and the fetus, taking up residence in many organs of the body including the lung, thyroid muscle, liver, heart, kidney and skin. These may have a broad range of impacts, from tissue repair and cancer prevention to sparking immune disorders.
It is remarkable that it is so common for cells from one individual to integrate into the tissues of another distinct person. We are accustomed to thinking of ourselves as singular autonomous individuals. These foreign cells seem to believe that notion, and suggest that most people carry remnants of other individuals.
I need to stop and note that this politically incorrect article correctly defines preborn babies as “distinct person(s),” “people,” and “individuals.” Moving on….
As remarkable as this may be, stunning results from a new study show that cells from other individuals are also found in the brain.
Alcohol calories too often ignored
People watching their weight should pay closer attention to how much alcohol they drink since it is second only to fat in terms of calorie content, experts say.
According to the World Cancer Research Fund, alcohol makes up nearly 10% of total calorie intake among drinkers.
Having a large glass of wine will cost you the same 178 calories as eating two chocolate digestive biscuits.
And it will take you more than a half hour’s brisk walk to burn off.
Eating or drinking too many calories on a regular basis can lead to weight gain.
But unlike food, alcoholic drinks have very little or no nutritional value.
The ‘empty calories’ in drinks are often forgotten or ignored by dieters, says the WCRF.
Kate Mendoza, head of health information at WCRF, said: “Recent reports have shown that people are unaware of calories in drinks and don’t include them when calculating their daily consumption.”
Containing 7kcal/g, alcohol is only slightly less calorific than fat, which contains 9kcal/g.
Protein and carbohydrates contain 4kcal/g and fibre 2kcal/g.
Men need around 2,500 calories a day, and women around 2,000.
“Cutting down on drinking can have a big effect on weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight,” said Ms Mendoza.
It can also reduce your risk of cancer, she said.
Alcohol has been linked with breast, bowel, mouth and liver cancer.
Barney Brown, Daniel Cano & Dennis McKoy win Weekend Warriors A, B & C New Year’s races
Barney Brown won the category “A” race, while Daniel Cano won the “B” category and Dennis Mckoy – the “C” category, when the Weekend Warriors Cycling Club held its New Year’s race from Orange Walk to the finish line in front of M&M Engineering in Belize City on the Philip Goldson Highway on Sunday, January 6.
Barney Brown, of Scotiabank, clocked two hours 19 minutes 43 seconds on his 51-mile ride from Orange Walk to Belize City as he out-sprinted Dean Belisle of British Caribbean Bank/ J.T. Williams to the finish line.
Warren Coye of Santino’s team led teammate Ernest “Jawmeighan” Meighan across the finish a few seconds later and jack Sutherland of Digicell 4G was fifth.
The “B” category riders entered the city as one peloton, but Daniel Cano of M&M Engineering team out-sprinted three other riders to win, clocking two hours 25 minutes 34 seconds, while Nehru Gilharry of truckers Posse was second, Jim Scott of the Santino’s team was third and Dean Boyce of BCB/FT Williams was fourth. Santino “Chief” rode into fifth place solo.
Belize national team wins 2 football friendlies
Belize’s national football team won two international friendly matches against Tigrillos of Quintana Roo, Mexico, and Real Platense of Honduras at the Football Federation of Belize Stadium in Belmopan on Friday and Sunday, January 4 – 6, when national team coach Leroy Lewis tested the readiness of his players in preparation for the CONCACAF Copa Centroamericana in Costa Rica next week January 18-22.
Belize won 7-0 over the Mexican fourth division club, Tigrillos, on Friday evening. Harrison “Kafu” Roches scored first, Dion MccCauley scored a second goal and Evan Mariano added a third to lead 3-0 at intermission.
McCauley scored a fourth goal in the second half. Jerome “Jaro” James added a fifth and Russell Casanova came off the bench to add two more goals for the 7-0 win.
Belize won just barely: 1-0, over Honduras’ first division club, Real Platense, on Sunday afternoon.
Belize’s only goal came from Belize’s top scorer from the 2011 qualifying matches for World Cup 2014 Brazil, Dion McCauley, in the 28th minute of play.
Belize’s goalkeeper Woodrow West proved the deciding factor, coming up with a number of brilliant saves as the visitors dominated the play in Belize’s half of the field for most of the game, winning free kicks and corner kicks.
Yester Alcerro’s shots forced West to tip the ball over the crossbar twice.
No leads in quadruple murders in Belize City
And while the police seem to have a cap on crime at the moment, it was just about a week ago that chaos ruled on Dean and Plues Streets as four members of the George Street Gang were discovered slain in an apartment where they were staying. Since the incident, the police escorted some of [...]
New head of Eastern Division takes over command in Belize City
It was a generally quiet weekend countrywide, with no reported murders. But on a few fronts, there were armed robberies and in one instance, three persons were shot during a foiled robbery upon police intervention. We start off the police news with the official details of an armed robbery in Belize City from Police Press [...]
Armed robbery reported in Armenia village
Police are looking for a group of men who carried out an armed robbery in Armenia village in the Cayo district on Saturday night. Correspondent Fem Cruz reports.
Residents of Hopkins take measures to curb crime in the village
Residents of Hopkins village in the Stann Creek district met over the weekend to address growing concerns over an increase in crime in the community. Reports say over eighty residents turned up to the school building in the village on Saturday afternoon for the meeting which had as guest speaker, the officer commanding, Stann Creek [...]
Destruction of rosewood draws condemnation
The destruction of and cache of illegally harvested rosewood flitch’s last week continues to generate much debate and discussion, not only in the Toledo district; but other areas of the country. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. The Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations (APAMO) issued a release today in which it says it applauds Minister Alamilla [...]
Revenue fair held around the country
The collection of and accounting for revenue are important factors in a nation’s economy. And while for most people the very thought of taxes is a turn off, the men and women who make the nation’s revenue system work are doing their utmost best to untangle the myths and dispel the mystery. Love TV’s Natalie [...]
A Tale of Five Cities: Chowing down in Campeche
Although we only had three meals in Campeche on our way through, we made the most of our time and had some really delicious food. Walking from the bus stop into the centro historico, we came upon the #1 place in Tripadvisor, Chocol Ha. We planned to come back to try some goodies later as this dessert and treat place doesn't open until 5:30 pm.
At the moment, however, we were in need of lunch. We walked by a place called Chef Color in one of the lovely colonial buildings and decided to stop in. There was a mix of locals and tourists dining, which is usually a good sign.
Ahhhh, a cervasa is always good after a long walk on a hot day!
Interesting artwork graced the walls
Barry ordered his new favorite Mexican dish, Panuchos, while I decided on some fresh seafood ceviche. Both were delicious!
Barry's panuchos...love the colors with the tablecloth too
My ceviche -- fresh and limey
Barry looking happy after being well-fed
For dinner that night, we walked around for awhile looking for a place that appealed to us. We ended up at Luz de Luna. This place was decorated with vibrant colors that beckoned us right in from the street.
On the Fly
One of the things I love about Belize is that it is so easy to get around the country. It is a common fact that Belize is the same size as Massachusetts, but did you know it is also close in size to Wales and New Hampshire? It is also slightly larger than El Salvador and a little over double the size of Jamaica.
The country of Belize is 180 miles long, up to 68 miles wide and covers an area of 8,867 square miles. This it makes it very easy to hop on a puddle jumper and go see something new. Last week I decided to take a short getaway and do an overnight trip so I hopped on Maya Air and went to the Municipal Airport, and then caught a connecting flight to Placencia.
My flight to Municipal airport took 25 minutes, and not having had time to eat breakfast before the flight, I was sure glad for the Maya airport Deli. I got 2 fresh ham and cheese Johnny cakes to tide me over till I got to my final destination. The name of the popular Belize food comes from the words journey cake, a small hard biscuit easily carried on a long trip.
From Municipal to Placencia Airport should take about 45 minutes, I think we made it in better time but was not watching the clock as I was too busy enjoying the ride. Of course I took way to many pics as always so I decided to split my trip into a couple of posts. I will leave you with the San Pedro to Placencia aerial pictures. Stay tuned to find out where I stayed and who I caught up with while there.
Four Surprising Healing Secrets of the Hibiscus You Should Know
The hibiscus is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family and is native to warm temperate, subtropical and tropical regions throughout the world. It is quite large containing numerous hundred species and is often noted for their showy flowers which are commonly known simply as hibiscus, or less widely known as rose mallow.
Hibiscus tea benefits have been known to Eastern countries for centuries but they have only recently been studied here in the West. Made from the fragrant Hibiscus flowers, the tea has many health benefits for those who drink it regularly.
Hibiscus tea is made from dried or fresh Hibiscus flowers. The tea can be drunk hot or cold, but is most refreshing when made into an iced tea. This fragrant tea truly does offer some amazing health benefits. Below are four healing secrets of the Hibiscus tea:
1.) The most popular Hibiscus tea benefits are its weight loss properties. The tea is a natural diuretic, and it helps release excess fluid stored in the body. In addition to flushing fluids, Hibiscus tea is believed to prevent carbohydrates from turning to fat by prohibiting the production of amylase in the body. Many tea drinkers use this tea to aid in weight loss naturally, the way nature probably intended us too!!
The Moment I Fell In Love with Scuba Diving
“There I was, unsure of what to expect on my first ever dive into the ocean and before resurfacing my life had been forever changed.” Everyone has moments in their life that stand far out, above and beyond all others. My first time ocean diving was one of those.
Simply getting to that moment hadn’t come easy. I was burned out from work, life had become stale and I desperately needed something new and exciting to distract myself with. One night I came across an online ad for scuba diving lessons. I hadn’t ever given diving much thought before then, but something in me sparked and said lets give it a shot! Living in Phoenix, Arizona there isn’t exactly a lot of clear water around, so our training was done in an indoor pool; before squeezing into an extra thick wetsuit (which made me extremely claustrophobic) and finishing my certification in a very cold, dirty and murky lake. Training had come with a lot of struggles for me and in the beginning I was second guessing myself about whether this was right for me or not. After completing the course I felt great satisfaction. I was certified and had overcome my own self doubts.
A jungle oasis: Rio On Pools, Belize/Guatemala border
After a full day exploring beautiful caves, climbing Mayan pyramids at Caracol, receiving armed military escorts, and riding for hours along the world’s bumpiest road, we were ready to relax.
We were ready to cool off.
We were ready to just get out of the bumpy van!
Along the road to the Maya ruins at Caracol, deep in the Mountain Pine Ridge area of the Belizian forest, lies a cool, relaxing oasis of waterfalls and swimming holes just waiting to be enjoyed and appreciated by weary travelers. Although it’s nothing spectacular (we’ve certainly seen more impressive waterfalls back home in New England), it nonetheless has its own beauty and tranquility … even if there are a few dozen kids going down the river in inner-tubes while you’re trying to drift off to sleep to the powerful, but steady sound of the flowing streams.
Although they can’t quite capture the full essence of this jungle retreat, here are some of our favorite photos from this beautiful oasis:
Concrete and Steel
First of all sincere apologies for the technical problems that prevented the inclusion of photos in yesterday’s edition. Pleased to ‘say’ that normal service resumes today. Hopefully the techie gremlins will not return.
Spent much of the morning catching up with news (especially the atrocious weather conditions) from the UK via my subscription to The Times, researching on the Internet for fittings (door handles and lights) for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and taking the golf cart for its service ( with the daily/bi-daily trips to the site I wanted to make sure that it is OK for oil and that the brakes are in good working order).Given the state of the roads north of the bridge I also asked them to take a look at the suspension. All in all a rather leisurely morning.
In between I managed to squeeze in ( prior to taking the cart in for it’s service) a breakfast at Estel’s ( should get a free one for all of the plugs I am giving).
Time flew by and in what seemed like no time at all it was time for lunch and given the earlier hearty breakfast I had just a couple of sandwiches and a cup of coffee. Fully fed it was time to head off to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Dive into your love affair with Belize
The romance never ends - and nobody gets old - in this paradisal retreat. As soon as the leaves begin to fall and the air turns from crisp to damp and dreary, I start planning my winter escape. Sunshine, pampering and relaxation are the three things that my husband and I look for in a romantic getaway.
After some research, I soon discovered that Belize, the Central American country famous for its phenomenal diving, Mayan ruins and abundance of eco-activities, is also a tranquil haven for couples and honeymooners.
We divided our time between four unique regions of the country; however, if you crave a more leisurely trip, try to limit yourself to two areas.
The country's largest island, Ambergris Caye, located south of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, is considered to be the dive and water sports capital of Central America.
Less than one kilometre offshore, running the entire length of Ambergris is the world's second-largest coral reef system, after Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
The postcard pretty town of San Pedro is a vibrant mix of restaurants, shops and bars offering freshly caught seafood, rum punch, ice-cold Belizean Belikin beer and locally made tchotchkes. The bustling 10 streets that make up the town are filled with golf carts, bicycles and the occasional taxi, all of which are the primary mode of transportation for the 4,000 locals and multitude of visiting tourists.
Surprise Birthday Bash/Roast
and All Star Concert!
Correction on dates for Mark Mulligan coming to surprise Kelly. Feb 8th-11th. Remember this is a surprise, so don't say anything to Kelly about it. If you have any questions, please contact Sandy at
Kelly McGuire's Surprise Birthday Bash/Roast and All Star Concert in Belize!
Come to Belize Feb 2013! Celebrate with us and enjoy the music!
Check out all the special things we are planning for Kelly! We hope that you can make it but even if you can't you can still be a part of the celebration.He is truly the KING OF THE ISLAND!
Remember this is a surprise,so don't let Kelly know about it.
Even if you are not going to be able to make it, you can still send a donation to help put on this great event, purchase a limited edition T shirt and limited edition CD or just send a donation. All money goes to set up this event, paying for the Artists airfare and hotel accommodations!
Belize Has Zero Tolerance for Maternal Mortality
The young woman lying in the small, cheerfully decorated recovery room was still groggy, but she was fully aware of her new role: being a mother.
She had just delivered her first child at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City, where she was encouraged and coached by a nurse to start breastfeeding her healthy, hours-old baby boy.
In Belize every woman's pregnancy and delivery is under the microscope of the Millennium Development Goals, U.N. anti-poverty pledges made by governments that are due in 2015.
"We had zero maternal deaths in 2011," said Dr. Natalia Largaespada-Beer, director of maternal and child health for Belize's Ministry of Health, in an email interview. "Every obstetric emergency is considered a national emergency."
To meet its goal of 10 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births, the country with a population of only around 400,000 people--and just 7,000 women or so who give birth each year--will have to keep that up.
Amikole Aminata Maraesa, an American doctor of anthropology who lived in southern Belize in 2006, explains the math.
In 2009, she said, the country's maternal mortality ratio was 54 deaths per 100,000 live births. Sounds high, but in raw numbers it meant four deaths out of about 7,407 births.
On the trail of ancient Maya temples in Belize
A white-hot sun bore down on the small boat as we rode upriver through the thick jungle of northern Belize.
We were headed to the ancient Maya city of Lamanai. It’s a place of dark secrets, not the least of which was the cause of its demise. The city, which once had a population of 50,000, was buried by dirt and foliage for four centuries until archaeologists started an excavation in the 1970s.
Only five buildings have been uncovered. About 732 buildings remain hidden in the firm grip of the jungle, an entire city never seen by modern eyes.
The boat cruised up the New River past crocodiles resting on the muddy banks, seemingly immobilized by the tropical heat. One of them came to life and slid into the river, his ridged tail propelling him swiftly across the surface, his eyes locked on the boat. Just when I thought he was going to come aboard, he dropped like a stone to the river bottom.
The commotion startled a roseate spoonbill, which flew across the river to a high branch, its 4-foot hot-pink wingspan and spatula-shaped bill a sight to behold. A red jacana’s long toes allowed the bird to spread its weight and run across the water on lily pads. Bats napping on the shady side of a tree trunk below stalks of banana orchids didn’t budge.
As the boat slowly rounded the next bend in the river, we were in for another surprise, a half-dozen naked Mennonite farmers cooling off in the water, their pale skin — except for sun-reddened forearms, necks and faces — clearly visible in the shallow water. Straw hats, blue work shirts and overalls were piled on a pier.
Not shy, they waved enthusiastically. I automatically waved back, but my eyes were busy scanning the water for submerged crocs. The Mayan word “Lamanai,” by the way, means “submerged crocodile.”
In photos: A lazy stroll around Caye Caulker
The Belizian island of Caye Caulker (pronounced “key”) is known for its slow-paced lifestyle and no-worries attitude with a gorgeous Caribbean backdrop.
One lazy Sunday morning, we rose early (two hours earlier than we thought, come to find out!) to go to church, and after finding the church was still closed, we decided to take a leisurely stroll around this tiny, sandy island. Although we spent five full days on the island, it was during our walk that morning that we were able to breathe in the atmosphere of the island without the sounds of other tourists and backpackers crowding out its charm (they were all still sleeping off the night before!).
Start by walking down the sand-covered “Front Street,” home to street vendors and sea-view restaurants. Stop by the Split for a quick swim and to get a look at the beautiful marine life that frequents the area. In the afternoon, be sure to grab a freshly prepared dessert from the Cake Lady and drop by Jolly Roger’s Grill for a lobster lunch (you may be able to negotiate a good price and even pick out your own lobster!). After lunch, head back down to the Split for some time in the sun and sand while enjoying a few drinks from the Lazy Lizard bar. In the evening, head to the opposite side of the island, parallel to Front Street, to soak in the sunset. After that, head into town for dinner. We recommend grabbing a pizza from Pizza Caulker and then heading to one of the docks for a picnic under the stars.