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Today's Belize News: February 1, 2013 #457026
02/01/13 09:32 AM
02/01/13 09:32 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,356
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Marty Offline OP

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The San Pedro Sun

My Beautiful Belize Visitor Guide
We are delighted beyond words to share with you, dear friends and fans our NEW travel website and monthly publication...My Beautiful Belize! So much more to are invited to take the journey with us and discover beautiful Belize!

Saga Says: It’s Hip to Snip!
05 Hip to SnipStray dogs have been a hot topic for the Saga Humane Society (Saga) and The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) for quite a few years. Visitors and residents alike often complain about the problem of roaming strays who defecate in public areas, spread garbage on the streets and are sickly and/or aggressive. In some areas, even driving or riding a bike becomes treacherous as drivers are attacked by these unkempt animals. The constant danger of disease from dog bites or their waste is at the forefront of the minds of many who encounter them on a daily bases. In early 2012, the SPTC went with the standard, yet controversial method of eliminating stray dogs via strychnine poisoning. Many pet owners and animal lovers joined Saga in decrying the method of stray elimination, labeling the method as inhumane. With the controversy that arose, Saga began working with SPTC to do the more humane “Dog Roundup Program”. The program was designed to pickup stray dogs from the streets and take them to the Saga shelter. The animals could either be re-claimed by their owner (after paying a fine) or adopted to good homes, or if no claims or adoption came through, they would be humanely euthanized. The enforcers of the program knew that it would not completely eradicate the problem, but it provided a more humane way to treat the issue of strays without having the animal suffer a painful death due to poisoning. A total of 180 dogs were taken off the street during the 2012 dog round up program. However, the Dog Round Up program is not a solution to the stray population; it was only to alleviate the problem at the time. That is why Saga has come up with a new project this year to tackle the problem at the source.

“San Mateo is a very difficult area to provide suitable water to… there are significant risks that remain,” claims EWB
Earlier in January, a group of volunteers from the Engineers Without Borders (EWB) were at the San Mateo Subdivision in San Pedro Town conducting a series of tests. The two main tests conducted were soil tests and a community health assessment of the area. The information gathered from the soil test will look at the feasibility of installing passive sewage treatment systems. On the other hand, the information gathered in the community health assessment provides a picture of the community’s health, as well as an indication of current and potential problems. Engineers Without Borders-6 The gathering of information says John Fripp of Engineers Without Borders, “provides a guide to possible solutions.” Fripp explained that health assessments take into consideration a series of factors that are divided into three categories: 1-water quality measurements 2-measures of basic human health and 3- assessment of community infrastructure. “We are unable to sample every household so we tried to look at a distribution of houses. The people of San Mateo were very gracious in answering questions and welcoming us into their homes,” he explained. According to Fripp, as part of the health assessment the team measured body mass index, blood pressure and interviewed household members about their past medical history, noting whether or not anyone had visited the clinic in the past year due to water related incidents. “No one reported going to the hospital due to water contamination. The team did however note rashes on some residents, mostly on children. Chances are the rashes are related to direct contact with contaminated water. A few households reported having diarrhea that they believe to be water related,” Fripp pointed out.

Ambergris Today

Miss Costa Maya 2011 Music Debut

Teen Talk: Teasing
If someone is teasing you because of jealousy then you shouldn’t make that bring you down; it should make you happy because you have something he wants. If this person wants to bring you down because he/she hates you for some particular reason, then there are 2 options for you. You can simply ignore that person or face him. If you have done something wrong, then you apologize. If there is no malice on your part, then you need to confront the person seriously. Now if this person does not really have a reason why he/she teases you then don’t let that bother you because chances are that if he is trying to find the faults in you, he probably has faults ten times bigger than yours.

Misc Belizean Sources

The Devil: Video

VIDEO: Blue Hole Sharks
Diving the Blue Hole with sharks

Cheese Making in Belize
They had their first cheese making workshop at Ian Anderson's Caves Branch. The pictures tell a funny story. "So much fun had by all in our first ever, International Cheese Making Workshop at Caves Branch. Attendees from Bolivia, Belize, US and Canada were on hand for our first class."

Fashion Show Red Carpet
Capture Photography has released pictures from the entry to Rebecca Stirm's Runway Release Autumn/Winter 2013 fashion show. "The fashionable who came out to see Rebecca Marie's fashion show January 26th."

SHC Starts New Auditorium
Sacred Heart College has started on their new auditorium. It should be done in time to have the graduations for the college and junior college. Can't wait to see the finished project.

UB's Commencement Exercises
The University of Belize had 480 happy graduates Saturday at its 16th commencement exercises. Congratulations to all the new graduates! "The University of Belize held its Sixteenth Commencement Exercises on Saturday January 26, for students, who successfully completed their course of study at the University’s Central Campus, Belmopan. The graduates received their diplomas at the Associate, Bachelor, Certificate and Diploma levels. Of the total number of 480 graduates 330 were females and 150 males representing 68.75 and 31.25 per cent of the total graduates respectively."

Channel 7

Castellanos, Key Union Negotiator Reportedly Bails On Negotiations
Tomorrow morning the Unions' negotiating team will meet with the Prime Minister in the Cabinet Room in Belmopan. The buildup to the meeting has framed it as a pivotal event, which could determine whether the next few weeks will see strike action or an orderly resolution. And while the stakes are very high, reports say that the union is going into the meeting without an important member of their team: numbers guru Jose Castellanos, President of the APSSM. Immediate Past President, George Myvette told us this evening that Castellanos has submitted his resignation from the collective bargaining negotiating team and he will not be a part of the team when they meet tomorrow. But te odd part is that Myvett told us he hasn't been able to reach Casteallnos and has not seen any letter formalizing the resignation. Myvette told us Castellanos sent it to the Prime Minister's Office, but we could not confirm that - and senior sources in that office deny it. So, what's behind the resignation? And is it really a resignation? Well, we'll have to take Myvett's word - he is, after all, the past president. But as to what's behind it, Myvette would only hazard a guess that it may be because of intimidation. He had not gotten that from Castellanos though - as he has gone incommunicado with his union brothers. Castellanos works in the policy section of the Ministry of Agriculture. We don't need to underscore it, but his absence is considered critical since tomorrow's meeting will center on the state of the government's finances - and whether it can or can't afford a raise - and as the economist Castellanos would have been central to that discussion. We'll see how it goes and have that report tomorrow night. But Minister of National security John Saldivar is making news about unions tonight. Last week he was accused of an attempt at union busting - and this morning on WAVE Radio - where - out-spoken-ness is encouraged - he said plainly, he won't stop:..

Man Killed As He Crashes Into Unlit Trailer
A man died in a fatal traffic accident last night on the northern highway between miles 76 and 77. At 9:00 pm, 56 year old Marcelo Riverol was driving a Ford Escape when he crashed into a towhead's trailer that was being reversed into a feeder road. The mini-SUV ran under the trailer and was crushed beneath. Riverol - a resident of Corozal town - received massive injuries and died on the spot. The driver of the tow head has been served with a notice of intended prosecution. The trailer was fully across the road and did not have any reflectors - so it's safe to assume Riverol did not see it. The head did have lights, but that was off the road. No one was killed in another accident - this one happened early this morning in Camalote village where this SUV ran into a building - and half of it is a church. Well, the SUV took out the church section, knocking out some of the posts for the church and a few tables -= and then proceeding to roll over a few times. Reports are that the driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel.

High Times At High School
Tonight six students from Orange Walk Technical High School are in police custody after they were caught selling weed on the school compound. Reports are sketchy but they say that police visited the compound today and found the students - all minors in possession of marijuana. Some of the weed - 9.8 was bagged off to sell, and some of it was loose, and that is reported to be a much larger quantity. One of the accused is a female who ran from police - and had to be chased down before she was caught. She was reportedly purchasing when the police arrived. Only three are in custody tonight - as three of the young men have been released. It's has similarities to a story police are reporting in Toledo where an 18 year old student, Mario Baki of Big Falls Village was searched and police found a 24 grammes of cannabis was found in his tennis shoe. Baki was charged for Drug Trafficking.

Bogus Hospital Pretends to Be In Belmopan
The Belize Healthcare Center - looking at the spectacular images on its website, you'll probably be asking where is it? And indeed it looks out of this world because it is! The Healthcare Center says it is on Floral Park Road in Belmopan but when we checked the map on the hospital website - that address is for the US Embassy - and there's no hospital there! But it is an elaborate scam - the website has all kinds of confidence inspiring pictures - and we would wish they are real, but it's all bogus! And so what's behind all those pretty pictures? Well, it's an employment scam. The hospital recruits workers, promises them a salary of four thousand US dollars a month - but advises them that they have to pay for processing the form - which is where the scam comes in. Anyone who gets such a mail is advised to ignore it completely.

Two Men Jailed For Sex With 13 Year Old
22 year-old Ryan Alvarez, and 23 year Enfield Fitzgibbon are is prison after a 13 year-old female minor accused them of committing sexual offences against her. Police say that they were acting on information, where they went to a house at #676 South Creek Road on Tuesday at around 8:30 a.m., and they found both Alvarez and Fitzgibbon inside a room with the minor. The minor was taken to a doctor who examined her and certified that she was carnally known. As a result, Alvarez was charged with carnal knowledge, and Fitzgibbon was charged with aggravated assault of an incident nature. They were arraigned before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, who remanded them to prison until March 20, their next court date.

Confession Thrown Out, But Rhys Trial Proceeds
All this week, 7News has been following the murder trial of Nicholi Rhys, who is standing trial without jury for the murder of Andre Trapp in June of 2010. Today, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, called 3 witnesses to testify against Rhys, which included the officer who caught Rhys on the scene, and who claimed to have gotten an alleged confession statement. As we told you yesterday, that confession statement was thrown out by the Chief Justice. That officer was allowed to finish up his testimony today, along with the arresting officer, and Dr. Mario Estradabran, who certified the death to be as a consequence of gunshot wounds. The DDP's has now called 10 witnesses so far, and tomorrow, the court will move to the scene of the crime, and where Trapp's body was discovered. It will not be a very far move, because as we told you, it happened right in front of the Magistrate's Court.

Bradley To San Benito, Guatemala
Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley and a contingent form the council have returned from a 5 day, three city tour of Guatemala. He went to Melchor de Mencos, San Benito and Almolunga. He told us today that their business was in San Benito where they hope to forge important ties:.. Mayor Darrell Bradley "What we mean to do is exchange formal relations by way if a sister city agreement with the city of San Benito. If you are familiar with that area; its San Benito, Peten and Santa Elena. This is a hour and a half from our border right near to Belie closer than Chetumal. What we want to do is we want to establish trade relations with them and we would want to see how we could cooperate in the areas of culture and sports and economic development, so that we promote Belize and San Benito." "One of the things that were enlightening to me is how much similarities we have with the people of San Benito. When we were there it was the 140th Anniversary of the city and they actually read a declaration to say that San Benito was founded by Belizeans and our Deputy Mayor Dion Leslie - his grandmother is from San Benito and if you would recall the Mayor of San Benito has shared how she spent 15 `years of her life in Belize and she have two sisters that still resides in Belize."

Will Mayor Charge Jaywalkers?
And while we had the mayor we asked him whether pedestrians who jump the new barrier on the first one hundred yards of the northern highway will be charged for jaywalking. That's what we heard form the City's public relations officer last ngith when he said a Statutory instrument was being drafted to make jumping the barrier illegal. They mayor says it is a problem - but they are not going so far - not yet at least. Mayor Darrell Bradley "Of course we have to put in measures if we realize that - that's a serious problem - persons jumping over the barricade or being unruly, then legislation will be there to ensure that we can ticket them - we can arrest them. That is not our primary focus at this point, the primary focus is just on a ease traffic management and we feel that the barricade is sufficient at this point." Marion Ali, reporter "When you deal with the ticketing process, won't it create a bottleneck in terms of getting all these people dealt with and on a timely manner?" Mayor Darrell Bradley "At this present moment there is no plan to ticket pedestrians. There is no plan on the ground where we are looking at a draft SI or where we are looking at anything like that."

Call Center Sector Targetted For Growth
And while the mayor is focusing on the city streets, BELTRAIDE is zoning in on the Business Process Outsourcing Sector - or what you and I know as call centers. That was featured on the cover of their invest in Belize magazine, and it is the focus of a consultant who's coming up with a BPO Strategy for Belize. A workshop discussing that was held today at the House of Culture in Belize City. Nick Ruiz of BELTRAIDE says the idea is to come up with a road map for BPO sector growth:.. Nicholas Ruiz - Executive Director - BELTRAIDE "The consultant is telling us that approximately the BPO sector contributes about 2% of GDP. It has over 17% million US dollars in revenue just in 2011. We are forecasting that in 2015 it will grow from the current 1,800 employees to 3,000 employees. It has seen a 10% growth from last year, so we knew it was growing - it's a vibrant sector. We need to make sure that everybody knows what's going on and how they can participate." "The consultancy lays out some of the current situations, some of the weaknesses that we have and where we need to improve - it's far ranging. It talks about revamping our labor laws to tailor them to this sector. The investments that need to occur in education, more training that needs to happen at the technical school levels; University levels; specifically tailored to the BPO sector."

Profile Of A Fashionista With Humble Beginnings
On Monday, we showed you Rebecca Stirm's breakout fashion show which happened on Saturday at the Princess. Seeing her stylish designs, you might think that she's been to the fashion capitals of New York and Paris. But actually Rebecca grew up without cable or internet - and more than that, she was home schooled. And that's where her talent came from: finding things to do other than watching TV all day - and from having to sew her own cool clothes. It's a quite incredible story - and she shares it in tonight's I am Belize profile

Briheda's Bold Leap Forward
And while Rebecca Stirm has made international waves with her talent for fashion, that's the same thing another talented young woman, Briheda Haylock is trying to do with art. Haylock was featured in the sensational and irreverent show Society Killed The Teenager - which was held recently at the Image Factory. And while we are still recovering from that, she has reloaded with another fearless leap into the unknown. She told us about her bold new show: Megalomania:.. Briheda Haylock - artist "I was just decompressing from a "Society killed the Teenager" I was starting to read again and the books, they were like philosophy books - they were talking a lot of about Sigmund Freud's theories; the id, the ego and the superego and the unconscious mind and it really sparked my interest. I didn't know it at the time when I started painted again that that was my inspiration. When I actually sat back and look at what I did. The thing is I don't plan anything, I do it, it just happens and when I realize I've created a theme I will stay on that theme but I won't limit myself just to that one style."

Berne Snags Another Movie Role
And while those young women are making their name, the next not-so-young man we're going to tell you about, has already made his - and now he's building on his brand. Who else could we be talking about? The multi-talented Berne: he raps, he acts, he shamelessly self-promotes, and he'll take off his shirt at the drop of a hat. He's acting in a new movie being filmed in Belize called Poseidon Wrecks. It's the 4th movie in which he plays a major role - and we spoke with him today, as he was finishing up one of his scenes on a private pier on the northern highway. As usual, he was full of his trademark energy - and he even got one of his American co-star's to do some promotion for him:.. Berne Velasquez, Actor "It was a lot of excitement with Berne. We just got through shooting a big scene and now we are now getting ready to I guess to the next scene. I can see the whole case back there gearing up; cameras getting ready to go on a boat and we probably will be doing another scene in a few."

Channel 5

Minister intends to union bust the country
The ministerial committee comprising Patrick Faber, Godwin Hulse, and Charles Gibson will join Prime Minister Dean Barrow with the leaders of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize this Friday morning following Tuesday’s massive protest. On the table is the collective bargaining agreement and specifically salary adjustments that the teachers have been clamoring for since [...]

Union Rep. Castellanos out of negotiation
  Back to Friday’s meeting between the Prime Minister and the unions and on the heels of Minister Saldivar’s comments on his proposed meeting with teachers countrywide. There is word tonight that the outspoken and highly respected economist, Jose Castellanos, who is the President of the APSSM, has removed himself from the scheduled meeting with [...]

Driver’s fatal crash into trailer across highway
A horrific accident occurred on the Philip Goldson Highway after nine o’clock on Wednesday night. A Corozal resident was killed instantly when his SUV crashed into a fifty-three foot trailer that was reversing from the highway into a feeder road in the village of Conception. Marcelo “Chelo” Riverol, was driving back to his house alone [...]

Student’s serious injury in highway accident
There was a second accident…it happened hours later, but on the George Price Highway. At about four this morning, an SUV vehicle driven by Leo Delvalle crashed into a church in the village of Teakettle. Travelling along with Delvalle were Janine Wade, Jamie Stanley and Danielle Quan. The group was heading from San Ignacio to [...]

Government removes N.T.U.C.B. leaders from Social Security Board
  There is significant news emerging of union representation on the boards of Social Security and B.E.L. News Five has been able to confirm that President, Dylan Reneau, and General Secretary, Elena Smith, have been removed from their positions on the board of Social Security, where they represented the social sector for years. The unions [...]

Body found in shallow grave
A body was found in a shallow grave this afternoon between miles eleven and twelve on the George Price Highway. Police processed the scene and the remains are yet to be identified. But from what we know, the identifying marks on the body are the letters J.A. and a tattoo in the shape of a [...]

DNA now tested in Belize
If you’re a fan of popular television shows like CSI, Criminal Minds or Law and Order, then you probably know all about DNA—or at least, you know that Police can use DNA to solve all manner of serious crimes. If you’ve never watched those shows, but you like the daytime drama of Maury or Jerry [...]

Busted identity fraud while Immigration upgrades policies
A week ago a woman with two aliases was busted in Independence Village in the south. Reports are that Jessica Olivencia obtained a fraudulent birth certificate in the name of Jessica Molina. She allegedly used the certificate to also obtain a Social Security card in the name of Jessica Molina. The police department has not [...]

City Hall and Ministry clash on regulations
Politics in Belize – anyone can tell you it’s not an undertaking for the faint of heart or the weak of mind. In fact it’s always complicated and very often confusing, and our next report illustrates that perfectly. The issue of drivers’ licenses being withheld by the Belize City Council for tax arrears! Government says [...]

Trapp Murder case slipping; statement inadmissible
  On January twenty-ninth, the first murder trial without jury got underway on Tuesday; twenty-two year old Nicholi Rhys is being accused of the murder of reputed gangster Andre Trapp, which took place on June tenth, 2010. When the trial resumed, Special Constable Charles Usher took the stand in what was to be critical evidence [...]

Did Eaton take Carr’s camera?
  A Maskall resident is facing a charge of theft after his friend’s camera went missing. Eaton Carr appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith this morning and was read a single charge of theft. On January ninth, someone stole a nine hundred dollar camera from Herman Miranda. Miranda alleges that he was watching television [...]

Pedestrians don’t walk into vehicular traffic
With the traffic congestion and inconvenience caused by the Belize City Council’s ongoing street rehabilitation project, any street or section of road completed and opened is cause for rejoicing. At the height of the Christmas season, the stretch of the Phillip Goldson Highway in front of the popular toy store A&R was closed to traffic [...]

Sister City relationships with Guate who?
In October Belizeans will go to a referendum to decide if the nation will go to the ICJ to answer a claim by Guatemala. That claim is for roughly half of Belize. If you’re visualizing a map of the country right now, draw a line though Belmopan from one side to the next. Everything below [...]

Harmonyville to Minister: show me land titles
Harmonyville, the grassroots community that initially began by Belmopan residents who wanted to cut out their piece of the Belizean dream, has been going at a steady pace. But one of the developers of the land at mile forty-one on the George Price Highway says that the process for many of the future residents of [...]

Megalomania dripped on canvas at the Image Factory
The Image Factory opens with its first exhibit this Friday night.  Briheda Haylock is returning to the art scene with her second show called Megalomania, which portrays her own emotions as well those from other teenagers.   Briheda Haylock, Artist “The meaning of megalomania is a psychotic disorder—the delusion of power; meaning you are a [...]

Another manatee fatality caused by mariner
The Sea to Shore alliance and the Coastal Zone Institute of Management and Authority have recorded its second manatee death for 2013. The adult mammal was initially rescued in Vista Del Mar in August 2012. With the help of BATSUB and the Belize Coastguard, two manatees were transported to a rehabilitation facility in Sarteneja, Corozal. [...]

Healthy Living prevents the flu
It starts with a sniffle, then possibly a sneeze, by the time the runny nose, sore throat, cough and aches set in; you don’t need a doctor to tell you that you’ve become the victim of the most common viral infections worldwide: the Flu.  Belize’s Flu season is said to start in October and run [...]


Catholic Church Promotes Peace Walk To Start Tomorrow
With so many ailments the country of Belize is facing, a three hundred mile peace walk will kick off tomorrow as an initiative of the Roman Catholic Church to promote Culture of Peace in the country. Auxilliary Bishop to the Roman Catholic Church,Christopher Glancy explained why ...

Two More Cases of Carnal Knowledge Reported
Two other cases of carnal knowledge have been reported, this time in the Corozal district. On Tuesday evening, a fourteen year old girl accompanied by her mother, went to the police station to report that earlier this month, she had been having sexual intercourse with a man since...

High School Student Removed From School For Marijuana Possession
A high school student from the Toledo district was taken out of classes on Wednesday afternoon and handed over to the police. Eighteen year old Mario Baki, who attends the Toledo Community College was found in possession of a small quantity of marijuana inside of his tennis shoes...

Belize Participates In Genetic Data Study
Belize is participating in a population genetic data study. The exercise is being carried out by the Center for Human Identification at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. The ground work for the study started today with the collection of samples from random peop...

Belizean Artist Stars In Sci Fi Movie
He is one of Belize’s most prolific artists. And today Berne Velasquez continues to blaze a path to stardom that few other local talents have approached with as much energy and excitement. Velasquez is starring in the latest motion picture being filmed on location in Belize...

Traffic Accident Leaves Several Injured
Acting upon information received of a traffic accident on Thursday January 31 at 4:05 a.m. Belmopan Police visited between miles 50 and 51 on the George Price highway. Upon arrival a grey Chevy Equinox four door 2005 SUV was seen off the highway extensively damaged. Initial...

Beltraide Holds Consultancy Workshop on BPO Industry
Belize Trade and Investment Development Service, BELTRAIDE today held a consultancy workshop. According to Executive Director, Nicholas Ruiz, the concentration is on the Business Process Outsourcing or BPO industry. Mario Umaña from the Integration Trade Sector of the ...

Duo Charged With Carnal Knowledge On A Thirteen Year Old
Two men have been charged with committing sexual offences on a 13 year old girl. They are 22 year old Ryan Alvarez and 23 year old Enfield Fitzgibbon. Alvarez was charged with carnal knowledge while Fitzgibbon was charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature. They were arraign...


Belize Is Placed On The International Map As One of the Top Notch Tourist Destinations
Belize has been featured in many magazines in the past recent months and it’s slated to be featured in the February 2013 issue of the United Airlines in-flight magazine titled Hemispheres. Belize was chosen for the “Three Perfect Days” article in which it captures the full authentic Belizean experience. The twelve page spread features a myriad of adventures and gives readers a peak at just what sets Belize apart as an ideal tourist destination. Day One in the article begins at the Blancaneaux Lodge in the Cayo District, and later takes readers into Rio Frio Cave and then on to discover the mysteries of Caracol. “Day Two” journeys along the scenic George Price and Hummingbird Highways to Placencia and is complemented with a stop at the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. The perfect drive is capped off with dinner at a popular local diner, Wendy’s Restaurant. To retire for the night, the writers Joe Keohane and Al Argueta, receive some much needed ‘R and R’ at The Inn at Robert’s Grove. For the final day, day three, the writers take the readers to an underwater snorkeling adventure in the pristine and unspoiled Belizean waters. The final night winds down with dinner at renowned RumFish Y Vino, topped off with drinks, music, and a game at Yoli’s.

Canada To Assist Belize In Combating Drug Related Activities
A press release issued out by the Canadian Government today says that the spillover from Mexico’s violent drug war is prompting the Canadian Government and military to become more involved in helping defend Belize. According to the press release, Canada is assisting Belize in the form of non-lethal equipment for security services and with strategic planning and training of soldiers. The release notes that internal documents from the Canadian Government report that from March of last year the situation in Belize is deteriorating in the face of ultra-violent drug cartels that are battling not only Mexican and U.S. law enforcements but each other as well. Both the internal Defense Department and U.S. experts on drug wars report that Belize has become an important thoroughfare for South American drug cartels. To some extent, the shift in drug routes has almost as much to do with cartels battling each other and smugglers looking for easier laneways with the least amount of law enforcement. The release notes that Belizean security forces are over matched when it comes to the kind of fire power and capacity that the drug cartels are in possession of. It further states that modernization should be a priority for the coast guard in Belize.

P.U.P Applauds Teachers For Their Brave Move
Last night we showed you the thousadns of teachers that gathered on Independece Hill to vetn their furstration at the ruling United Democratic Government. The Belize National Teachers Union along with Public Officers and the Association of Public Senior Service Managers are asking for a salary adjustment but the Prime minister, Dean Barrow and Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, have both said that there is no money to meet the unions’ demands. But in yesterday’s peaceful protest people power spoke and it was very loud and clear: the teachers and other unions are bent on getting their salary adjusted. Today the People’s United Party issued a press release congratulating the teachers on their successful demonstration. In the release, the PUP, and we quote, “stands in solidarity will all teachers, public officers and students and other hard working Belizeans who have had to grapple with unprecedented inflation and a sharp increase in the cost of living, while at the same time seeing no reciprocal adjustments to their salaries”, end quote. This afternoon we spoke to Communications Director for the Party Kareem Musa, who told us that the government needs to cease from wasting tax payers money.

Minister Of Eduction Calls U.B's Hope Amadi A liar
While the teachers wait for Friday for their negotiating team to sit with the Government of Belize in efforts to coming to an agreement, UB students don’t really have that luxury at this moment. Yesterday’s demonstration by the teachers has completely overshadowed the previous protest by the students of the University of Belize. The students were out in moderate numbers on Monday demonstrating against government’s subsistence withdrawal to the National University. During yesterday’s demonstration, Minister of Education Patrick Faber came out of Cabinet Meeting for a quick appearance and Photo-Op. After a salute of hand and smile to the massive crowd of teachers at Independence Hill, Faber was quickly surrounded by members of the media. He was quick to give an interview and in one of the questions posed to him, Faber attempted to clarify the present situation facing the students of the University of Belize. President of the Student Government Association, Hope Amadi, took upon himself the initiative to be vocal as he lead more than one hundred and fifty plus students in a campaign to restore the financial support program for new students which was terminated by the Ministry of Education after advising that it can no longer sustain the financial assistance. However, Faber discharges the comments made by Hope Amadi and his organization titled Nation Builders on the several attempts to meet with him.

Drug Operation Leads Placencia Police To Cannabis
The Special Branch and Placencia Police along with members of the Mobile Interdiction Unit and K-9 Unit conducted an anti-drug operation within the Siene Bight and Placencia Village area. During the operation the units conducted a search on a lot in Siene Bight which led them to the discovery of 24.6 grams of Hydro weed. No one was in the area at the moment and as such the drug was labelled as “found property”. Another lot was searched in Placencia Village which also led the unit to the discovery of 25.6 grams of hydro weed. In the same lot, the units found fifty eight small bags containing a total of 25.6 grams of cocaine. Again no one was around the area and the items were deposited as “found property”.

Louisiana School Receives New Musical Instruments
Many scientific researches throughout the years have proven time after time that Music in School programs have aided students improve their grades drastically. The improved IQ is attributed to the comprehension level reached by the student in order to be able to read musical notes and analysing quickly the various musical symbols. Here in Orange Walk, two schools offer Music Programs, Louisiana Government School and Trial Farm Government School. This morning, a volunteer group from the US attended a special ceremony at the Louisiana Government School in which new musical instruments were handed over to the Music Department. Reporter Elmer Cornejo and Cameraman Kenric Simpson were on hand and filed the following report. The Louisiana Government School is located on Flamboyant Street here in Orange Walk. This morning a special assembly was done at the school grounds as they received a special gift from the Asbury Church Missionaries from the US. The missionaries first travelled to Belize to host Bible School at the church just down the street. After making inquiries, the volunteers learnt of Louisiana Government School’s Music program in which a pledge was made to assist with musical instruments for the children. Pastor Harold Zimmick told us more.

Students Of Louisiana School Receive Free Dental Care
And while the Music Department was receiving those much needed musical instruments, children from all standards at the school received free dental care. As part of the group’s mission to Belize, they brought along with them Dental Hygienists in order to offer free dental care to all of the students. Elmer Cornejo and Kenric Simpson also documented this event and filed the following report. Often times it is commonly thought that getting old or major trauma are the main reasons for losing your teeth. Truth is that poor oral hygiene can cause you to lose permanent teeth at any age. If proper care of the mouth is not practiced losing your teeth may be the end result. Dr. Emily Muller- Dental Hygienist “We are trying to help children basically we really, really want to save their permanent teeth, their molars especially what we are looking at, often time the cavity starts on the biting surface of the tooth and if it gets really, really deep then the teeth has to get pulled so what we are doing is to try to identify the children that has their brand new first adult molar and see if we can put a protective coating over it called a sealant and preserve the tooth so it doesn’t get cavity, if we see that one already has a cavity we try to filled it while it is small so that the tooth can be saved. In addition to brushing really well a lot of people don’t understand that it is extremely important to floss because you can use the best brusher in the world but it doesn’t matter if it is not getting in between the teeth and getting the bacteria deposits out from in between that we see as well.”


Churches calls for community approach to crime fighting
The Belize Association of Evangelical Churches has issued a statement on the crime situation in Belize. The statement came after the Association’s quarterly meeting on Monday and started by denouncing what the churches called, quote, “the hideous quadruple murders that occurred earlier this month,” end of quote. President of the Association Pastor Eugene Crawford told Love News that the church has been praying persistently and will now be reaching out to the community. The statement from the Belize Association of Evangelical Churches says with eighty five percent of Belizeans professing to be Christians, it is time for everyone to join in the effort to take back the community. Pastor Crawford says that the family unit is at the heart of any effort that will succeed in turning things around. And he says the church is ready to help. The Association statement ends by inviting the community to join in public worshipping every second Friday of the month at the Battlefield Park in Belize City, under the theme: “Together Worship.”

Canadian in police custody dies; police officer accused of extortion
A Canadian national who was taken into police custody has died. Thirty five year old Jeffrey Furgala was reportedly found near the Visitor Centre in San Ignacio town on Saturday night under the influence of alcohol. Reports from Cayo say Furgala was escorted to the San Ignacio police station where he was processed and placed inside of a holding cell. On Sunday morning, officers found Furgala on the floor of the cell block in an unconscious state. The Canadian national was taken to the San Ignacio police station and later transported to the KHMH in Belize City where he died on Tuesday night. Officer in Charge of San Ignacio police Superintendent Ralph Moody says an investigation into the incident is revealing that Furgala fell and hit his head while in the cell block. Twenty-nine year old Clarence Grant, a fisherman of Ontario Village charged with the robbery of $300.00 from BDF Lieutenant Zane Duhaney, was sentenced to seven years today after he was found guilty of the charge. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, who imposed the sentence, stipulated that it should run concurrently to a sentence of 3 years and a fine of $10,000.00 Grant is serving for drug trafficking. Thirty-six year Jenny Tanner, a police officer attached to Caye Caulker Police Station, was charged with extortion when she appeared in court today. Tanner pleaded not guilty to the charge. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith offered her a bail of $2,000.00 She stipulated that $500.00 of it must be cash. The bail was offered on the condition that Tanner must not go near the complainant and she must report to Caye Caulker Police station every Monday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Her next court date is February 28. The incident occurred on December 11, 2012 at Caye Caulker. Canadian dive master Christopher John Graham reported to the police that he was driving a golf cart that was overcrowded when Tanner stopped him and asked him for his driver’s license. Graham said that he could not produce any license and Tanner suggested that he give her $100.00 and two Margaritas and she will not charge him. Graham said he gave Tanner two $50.00 notes and took her to a restaurant nearby and bought the Margaritas for her. Tanner was with a school warden when the incident occurred.

Teachers demonstration recap
On Tuesday morning, thousands of teachers and public officers gathered in Belmopan for a massive demonstration. Love TV’s Marion Ali revisited the event today and here is here report.

Accusations of sexual harassment made against BDF soldiers
In late December Love News broke the news of a number of reports of alleged sexually-related offences made by female soldiers within the Belize Defense Force against male soldiers dating back over the past couple years. One of the alleged incidents happened only two months ago and is so serious, that entailed a female soldier that was raped, reportedly by her superior, who is said to be HIV positive. Since the incident, the female has not reported back on duty. If it is true, it’s a grave situation and when we asked him at that time, the man in charge of those complaints, Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Ortega, told us that he was only aware of one case that was two years old under police investigation. With respect to the alleged rape case, he was not aware of the incident but said that the Force was trying to find out why the female soldier has not reported back to duty. Love News spoke anonymously with two female soldiers who say they were subjected to sexual harassment dating back at least a couple years. The concern they brought up is that they were not pleased with the way their cases were handled internally by the Force. One of them said she knows about the incident involving the female soldier who was allegedly raped by her superior and told us about what she knows of that case, as well as her experience. But Lieutenant Colonel Ortega told us that prior to us sharing the information with him of the alleged rape incident, he had no knowledge of it, but he did add that there is an inquiry ongoing now into that rape allegation. Another female soldier who said that she too came under sexual harassment two years ago told us that she too is not happy with how her case was also dealt with by the BDF. BDF Force Adjutant, Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Ortega.

Mexican exhibition prepares for opening night
The Mexican Institute at Newton Barracks in Belize City delighted audiences with a variety of art exhibits featuring local, regional and international artists last year. Tomorrow their first exhibit for 2013 will be launched, and the latest work of Mexican artist Enrique Hernandez will be showcased. Public Relations Officer for the Mexican Embassy, Marcelino Miranda says that through the art Hernandez is in one way showing his talent and in the other, his love of Music. The exhibit will be showcased at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City for two weeks, that is until February 15th and will then move to the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan on February 21st, where it will remain open until March 8th. Entrance is free of cost.

Reality Youth plans weekend concert
The Bliss Center for the Performing Arts will come to Life on Saturday with a gospel concert. The concert entitled Our God is a Consuming Fire and the organizer is well known gospel artist, Reality Youth. Reality Youth says there will be many prizes and giveaways at the concert. The entire family is invited to attend.

BDF prepares for change of command
The Belize Defence Force is preparing to celebrate two very important milestones. This weekend, the Force will hold its annual BDF Day and that follows the change of command on Friday. Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Ortega will move up in rank to Colonel, second only to the incoming Brigadier General, David Jones, who takes over from outgoing General Dario Tapia. When we visited Price Barracks this week, Love News observed soldiers rehearsing for the two big events and Lieutenant Colonel Ortega explained that process. Meanwhile, Saturday’s event open day will feature military tattoos, raffles, and family-oriented activities.

Re: Today's Belize News: February 1, 2013 [Re: Marty] #457027
02/01/13 09:33 AM
02/01/13 09:33 AM
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More News: Scroll up from here


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The Guardian

One Step Forward
I fully recognize that any issue concerning teachers is very sensitive given that they enjoy ample public support in whatever venture they undertake. Many of us know that teaching is referred to as the “noble” profession, and most certainly all of us have been under the influence of teachers at some point in our lives. This time around, however, many opinions hold that teachers are not coming across as balanced as they have in the past, mainly as a result of the extensive demands being made on the Government. In truth, I have heard comments from many persons who have no interest in unions or in politics that the 30% to 36% salary increase is truly unreasonable for any union to put forward in a proposal, or worse even, to threaten industrial action for. Thing is, the Unions are saying that they have not received any “adjustment” in wages since 2005. When asked about the $50 yearly increment, which has aggregated to $350 monthly since 2005, they say that GST eats all of that up. Well, it does that for us out here too, you know; rich and poor, employed and unemployed, we all must face the GST.

Beltraide launches New Magazine
BELTRAIDE, the investment promotion arm of the Government, launched a new magazine called Invest Belize. Ceremonies marking the milestone were held at the Biltmore hotel on Wednesday, January 30th. With a sleek, stylish and glossy finish, the magazine is the latest investment promotion tool being put forward by BELTRAIDE.

No Hope in Amadi - UB Students Serious about Education
Hope Amadi, President of the University of Belize’s Student Government, led a protest in Belmopan City on Monday, January 28th, based on the Ministry of Education’s decision to discontinue the subsidization of fees for new enrollees of the institution. Amadi received little support since the students had been aware of the adjusted fees for over six years.

Belize to Gold Cup 2013
The National Football Team got a welcome back 'celebrity style'. The National Football Team of Belize made history in San Jose, Costa Rica when Deon McCauley sealed a victory over Nicaragua with a second half injury time tiebreaking goal. It was Belize’s first win in the UNCAF Copa Centro Americana Tournament and it secured Belize’s first ticket to the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament. Belizeans looked on with extreme pride as our guys displayed raw athletic ability and natural talent in competitive play against seasoned professionals. Though they only finished in fourth place, the Belize Jaguars were the highlight of the tournament.

Charged for Murder on San Pedro
Edward Barahona, 33, a laborer of the San Isidro area of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, appeared in Magistrate's Court on Tuesday January 29th where he was formally arraigned on charges of murder. He appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he was read a single charge for the killing of 25-year-old Byron Estrada a resident of San Pedro. Since murder is an indictable offense, no plea was taken and Barahona was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until March 21st, 2013. He was told that his next court appearance will be in the San Pedro Magistrate’s Court. He had to be brought into Belize City because of the unavailability of a magistrate on the island on Tuesday. Byron Estrada, was attacked whilst inside the bathroom of Daddy Rock Night club, on San Pedro Ambergris Caye on Saturday, January 26th, 2013. According to police, they received information of a stabbing incident at the night club. When they responded they found Estrada, bleeding from his neck, chest and back. He received as many as 22 stab wounds. Police report that after he was attacked, Estrada managed to make it outside of the club's bathroom while the partying was still taking place in the establishment. He collapsed from his injuries when he reached the bar area of the club. He was later assisted by persons inside the bar who took him outside for assistance. Estrada was rushed to the San Pedro Polyclinic where he succumbed to his injures at about 4:32 a.m. Of note is that in February 2007, Barahona was convicted of the murder of 25-year-old David Vasquez, who had been killed in June of 2005. He appealed the conviction and his sentence was set aside by the Court of Appeals in June of 2007. Also of note is that Byron Estrada's younger brother, 18- year-old Charlie Espat and his cousin 17-year-old Daniel Alamilla were found dead in Santa Martha Village in June 2012. At the time they were believed to have been the victims of murder as a result of drug dealings. No one has been arrested for those murders.

Second Trial by Judge gets underway
The murder trial against 22-year -old Nicholi Rhys, got underway in the courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth A. Benjamin on Tuesday, January 29th. The case is one which is being pursued without a jury, the second such case in Belize's history.

Accused of sodomizing 14-year-old Boy
A dispatcher at the Phillip Goldson International Airport, 20-year-old Clinton Roca appeared in Magistrate's court on Friday, January 25th after being accused of sodomizing a 14-year-old boy on three separate occasions. Roca appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where he was charged with three counts of committing an unnatural crime. No plea could be taken from Roca since the matters are indictable. In court, prosecutor Corporal Noel Muschamp argued against bail citing the serious nature of the offences and asked that the interest of the young boy be taken into consideration since Roca could interfere with him. Countering the arguments was Roca's attorney Lionel Welch, who stated that there is no indication that his client has tried to interfere with the victim and that if the court thinks that that is possible that conditions be set for his bail. After reviewing the submissions, Magistrate Cayetano offered Roca bail in the sum of $5,000 under the condition that he must stay away from the virtual complainant. Roca’s next court date is set for March 26th, 2013.

Man accused of exposing himself
On Monday, January 28th, 42-year-old Mark Anthony Sewell appeared in Magistrate's Court where he was charged with exposing his person in public. He appeared before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart where he was additionally charged with one count of threatening words for allegedly threatening his sister-in-law Margaret Sewell. He pleaded not guilty to the offence and told the Magistrate that incident occurred at a yard where his family house is located and that it was his brother’s yard he was in. He said that he had just come to his family yard after coming from sea and that he went to urinate. He also told the magistrate that he never threatened Margaret Sewell. Magistrate Stuart told him that he need not explain himself at this time as he had pleaded not guilty and that the matter will go to trial. Magistrate Hettie Mae-Stuart offered him bail in the sum of $500 plus one surety of the same amount with conditions that he not interfere with the Seawell and that he must stay 100 yards away from her and if he does not comply with the conditions of his bail, she will revoke his bail and he will be remanded to the Belize Central Prison. Sewell’s next court date is set for March 7.

Canadian Man dies while detained
An investigation has been ordered into the death of 35-year-old Canadian National Jeffrey Donald Furgala, who died while he was detained by police in San Ignacio. A police report states that Furgala had been detained on Saturday, January 26th at around 10:12p.m. He was detained after he was found in the Savannah Area of San Ignacio Town apparently under the influence of alcohol. The report continues to state that he was detained for his personal safety after he was unable to give an address where he resides. He was then placed in cell no. 3 at the San Ignacio Police Station. The police report continues to say that on Sunday, January 27th at around 1:00 a.m. they heard a loud noise, which sounded like someone falling and thereafter, a loud snoring coming from the cell.

Two Teenagers Arraigned for Murder of Maskall Villager
On Thursday, January 24th, 19-year-old Clive Geban and a 15-year-old, both of Maskall Village, were arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court for the Saturday, January 19th, 2013 murder of 61-year-old Ervin Morales, who was stabbed and chopped to death. The teenagers were escorted in cuffs to Court #1 where they appeared before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. There, they were read two criminal charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the death of Morales. Due to the nature of the offenses, no plea was taken from the teens. They were then both denied bail and remanded; the 15-year-old was sent to the Belize Youth Hostel, while Jones was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until March 7th, 2013. On Saturday, January 19th, 2013, Morales was stabbed then chopped several times to the head and body. His attackers, believed to be a group of three, then wrapped his body in a sheet and then placed him on his bed and left him there to die. The motive of the murder is said to be robbery as Morales’ wallet, which contained money, was stolen during the murder.

Mexico presents in Belize the art exhibition “Jazz and more”
The Embassy of Mexico invites the public to the opening of the art exhibition “Jazz and more” by the Mexican artist, Enrique Hernandez on January 31st, 2013 at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City.

Dara and Another Food Drive
Dara Robinson is making the rounds once again and he stopped by our offices on Wednesday, January 30th to ask the public to assist him in his ongoing feeding program which he runs at #6 Dunn Street in the King’s Park area of Belize City. Dara’s feeding program asssits 40 children from primary schools in the area and in order for him to maintain the daily program, he does fund raisers. This year, on the occasion of Bob Marley’s birthday, Robinson will once again hold a food drive. He will be at the Princess Margaret tennis court from 1 to 10 p.m. where he will place a barrel for anyone to contribute non-perishable food items. These items will be used for his feeding program and whatever he is unable to use there, he distributes in the community to needy families. Dara says that in the past he held the food drive along with the Tribute to Bob Marley but the tribute overshadows the food drive so this year he has opted to separate the events and hold the tribute on a different days and locations. He added that this year’s tribute is the 11th running and will be held on February 9th at the Banquitas House of Culture in Orange Walk starting at 8p.m. A second one will take place on February 10th at the Princess Margaret drive tennis court starting at 4 p.m. Both these events are also fund raisers for his feeding program and they will be observed under the theme “Belize Unite.”

Drought and Precipitation Statement
Rainfall collected from weather stations across Belize showed that north and inland areas of the country got well below normal rainfall, whiles central coastal and most of the south got normal to well above normal rainfall. Rainfall forecast for the month of December was for normal rainfall for the entire country. These well below normal rainfall totals continue to cause the Inland areas of the country to plunge into severe meteorological drought. Assessment of the drought conditions over inland areas of the country, showed that that part of the country have been experiencing severe meteorological drought conditions since June-July-August and which have progress right through to the October-November-December season. Drought condition in the northern parts of the country started in August-September-October season, as slight meteorological drought and reached severe drought in September-October-November season, but have lessen to slight meteorological drought in the October-November-December season.

Seasonal Drought Likely for Belize
Earlier this month, the Climate Section of the National Meteorological Service Drought and Precipitation Statement forecasts “… Northern and Inland areas (can) expect Moderate drought to persist during the January-February-March season.” and “No drought is expected for the entire south and central coastal areas”. It also forecasts Normal rainfall country wide during January to March 2013. The Climate Section also reported that most of Belize experienced varying degrees of meteorological drought throughout most of the 2012 dry and the rainy seasons. The statement provided the following details on drought during 2012: 1. Inland areas experienced Severe Drought conditions June to December; 2. In Northern areas Drought commenced in August and became severe September to November; 3. Coastal areas were under moderate drought conditions September to November; 4. The southern areas (near South Stann Creek) experienced serious to severe drought conditions during June to August; and 5. Extreme southern areas did not experience drought conditions. The Climate Section defines Meteorological Drought as “…a deficiency of precipitation over an extended period of time, usually a season or more.” Other types of drought are Hydrological, Agricultural, and Socioeconomic Droughts. Like the small craft warnings, no one pays heed to the Meteorological Office cautions and statements, and we are surprised when there is a tragedy at sea, flood events, or there is insufficient rainfall for the dams and crops. Maybe that Office needs to trumpet its analyses results a little louder.

Escuela Mexico in Belize celebrates its 30th Anniversary
The “Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico”(ESTM), in San Roman Village, Corozal District, celebrated its 30th Anniversary on Friday, January 25th. The Official Ceremony was headed by its Principal, Carlos Castillo, and the Mexican Ambassador Mario Velazquez. More than 800 people attended, including school officials, teachers, students and their families. The Escuela México is a technical/vocational high school that was built and donated in 1982 by the Mexican Government as a symbol of recognition of the Independence of Belize. In January 1983, formal classes began with an enrollment of sixty-eight (68) students and a staff of five teachers. Since its establishment, the student population has grown considerably. The enrollment now stands over 600 students. In 2006, Mexico donated US$ 700 thousand dollars for the expansion of the school premises, in order to establish the Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College, which opened its doors in September 2007. Today, this institution is managed by a Belizean Board of Directors. Throughout the years, Escuela Mexico has improved its academic standards and has achieved high marks at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC). The school premises are also an important center in the Corozal District for cultural and educational events. In his address, Mexican Ambassador Mario Velazquez highlighted the outstanding contribution that in the last three decades its graduates have made to Belize’s development.

Monthly Rainfall & Temperature Forecast For Belize (January 2013)
Prepared by The National Meteorological Service (Climate Section) Several agro-meteorological stations across the country were used to make the rainfall and temperature forecast for the month of January. This was done by using the data set for the period 1981-2010, along with global models, observations and subjective input. The forecast is issued in the form of terciles probabilities of above normal, normal and below normal. The probabilities add up to 100%. Above Normal - (33% of highest values in the dataset) Near Normal - (33% of middle values in the dataset) Below Normal - (33% of lowest values in the dataset) Thus, based on the dataset 1981 to 2010, along with the other inputs, the rainfall forecast is for Normal Rainfall and Slightly above Normal Temperature for January 2013 for the entire country. Rainfall Probabilistically, there is a 25% chance ...

UN International Year for Water Cooperation
Every year on March 22nd, Belize and the Global Water Community celebrate World Water Day, but this year, The United Nations dedicated the entire 2013 as the International Year for Water Cooperation. Annually, many activities are conducted in the celebrations for World Water Day, and when the celebrations are over, we move on to another event. One of the objectives of the International Year for Water Cooperation is to encourage everyone to be proactive through the incorporation of water and water cooperation issues into their 2013 agenda. This year, Belize will undoubtedly celebrate World Water Day again; however, Belizeans need to become more knowledgeable of the impact of our activities on our water resources and how we can contribute to the sustainable management of this resource. Teachers throughout the spectrum of our educational system can conduct classroom activities, projects, research, literary reviews, guest speakers, etc. to keep water in the limelight this year. The media can play a crucial role in keeping water issues in the forefront through guest appearances on the talk shows, technical discussions, video presentations, trivia, etc. where possible on radio or television programs.

National Sports Council will not recognise any Cycling Elections until UCI comes to Belize
The National Sports Council informs the public that after the November 24th, 2012, Belize Cycling Association (BCA) Annual General Meeting at which no elections of officers were held, the National Sports Council and the Ministry of Sports had determined that the mandate for the former Executive of the BCA had expired. Acting in good faith, the National Sports Council and the Ministry of Sports instituted an interim committee to be chaired by the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association to conduct the affairs of the BCA until proper elections for an Executive of the association are held under a mutually agreed (UCI/NSC) conditions. COPACI indicated that they would arrive in Belize on January 20th, 2013 to work with the National Sports Council to chart the way forward for cycling in Belize. The indicated deadline was reached and COPACI did not arrive with no prior communications received to indicate reasons for their failing to show up in Belize. On January 24th, 2013, a correspondence from COPACI’s President dated January 22nd, 2013 was forwarded to the Chairman of the National Sports Council by the former President of the BCA, which indicated that COPACI’s President cannot arrive in Belize until after February 10th, 2013 but appearing to sanction elections for an Executive to be held on Saturday, January 26th, 2013. The National Sports Council and the Ministry of Sports hereby declares that they shall not sanction any elections for an Executive of the Belize Cycling Association prior to the UCI and the National Sports Council arriving at a mutually agreed position on the way forward for cycling in Belize, and therefore, shall not accept the results of any elections held prior to such a position been formed.

FFB calls Female Players to camp for Central American Games
The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) informs the public that for this weekend there will be no training for females and U-20 males. Females are to report to camp on Monday, February 4th and should be at the FFB Headquarters for 9:00am. Camp for the females will be from Monday to Wednesday. Players are asked to bring their own equipment. The following are the players who are to report to camp: 1. Idiana Ramirez 2. Ermin Ferguson 3. Rashida Guerra 4. Zulma Ortega 5. Miriam Villamil 6. Sheran Tracey 7. Jennisha Scott 8. Leonella Chuc 9. Iris Centeno 10.Noemi Magana 11.Samantha Carlos 12.Kaya Cattouse 13.Shirley Codd 14.Shannel Gentle 15.Cynthia Salazar 16.Melanie Bryant 17.Sarah Arzu 18.Rhonda Hernandez Reserves: 1. Ashanti Velasquez 2. Heidi Cob 3. Jaslyn Cadle 4. Iris Galdamez 5. Cindy Bush 6. Beatrice Alfaro

Wesley Girls and Excelsior Boys leads in High School Football
The Central Region Secondary Schools Football Competition continued at the MCC Grounds with a number of games over the last few days. On Monday, January 25th, in the female game played, the tournament’s leading team Wesley College blanked Ladyville Technical High School by the score of 3-0 to finish as the number one team in the girls competition. The goals for Wesley College were scored by Shanice Neal (2) and Elisha Bernardez. In the male competition, Wesley College won over Sadie Vernon Technical via the default route. On Saturday, January 26th, in the female game, Wesley College shut out Excelsior High School by the score of 3-0. The goals for Wesley College were scored by Shanice Neal (2) and an auto goal by Esmeralda Coe (Excelsior). In the first of two male games that were on the schedule, Excelsior High School won over Sadie Vernon Technical via the default route. In the second male game, Anglican Cathedral College edged St. John’s College by the score of 3-1. The goal scorers for Anglican Cathedral College were Devaun Zuniga, Calvin Reneau and Sergio Luna, while the lone goal for SJC was scored by Tarique James.

Central Region Secondary Schools Softball Competition begins
The 2012-2013 Central Region Secondary Schools Softball Competition commenced on Wednesday, January 30th, 2013 at Rogers Stadium with one game in the female competition. This year’s female competition will see the participation of Anglican Cathedral College, Edward P. Yorke High School, Ladyville Technical High School, Maud Williams High School, Nazarene High School, Pallotti High School and Wesley College. The teams in the male competition are Anglican Cathedral College, Maud Williams High School, Nazarene High School, St. John’s College and Wesley College. | The games from Monday-Friday will commence at 4:30 pm at Rogers Stadium while the games on Saturday will commence at 9:30 am out in Ladyville. The competition will continue on Thursday, January 31st, 2013 with one game in the male competition between Anglican Cathedral College and Maud Williams High School. On Friday, February 1st, there will be two games in the female competition. In game one it will be Edward P. Yorke High School against Maud Williams and in the second game it will be Ladyville Technical against St. Catherine Academy.

Telemedia to defend Interoffice Softball Title
The Belize City Interoffice Softball Competition will commence on Saturday, February 2nd, 2013 with the Traditional Showcase Marathon at Rogers Stadium that will conclude on Sunday, February 3rd, 2013. The Marathon Competition will feature 8 teams including the defending Interoffice Champions Belize Telemedia. The other teams that will participate in the Marathon include Guardian/National Sports Council, Baby Ruth Baaba Shap, Kit Kat Baaba Shap, KHMH, Police, Belize Bank, Tuff “E”Nuff, and BWSL. The marathon competition will utilise the Double Elimination Format, and the abbreviated 5 innings or 1 hour whichever comes first rule. The regular season is expected to commence on Friday, February 8th, at 7:00 pm at Rogers Stadium. The playing days for the regular season are Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Saturdays, the games will commence at 3:00 pm while on Sundays it will commence at 1:00 pm.

Passenger’s Account of fatal Road Traffic Accident
The driver of Tillett's bus being pull out of the wreck On Saturday, January 26th, at about 7:00 a.m., a red Toyota Forerunner SUV collided into a Tillett’s Bus, which was travelling from Belize City to Chetumal between Mile 31 and 32 on the Phillip Goldson Highway.

Populists never have to wrestle with their conscience since they never take a principled stand. They merely take a reading of popular opinion and make it their own. It’s easier to be a populist when in opposition because you never have to face the real consequences of popular options. A statesman, on the other hand, sometimes has to take an unpopular position because in his or her considered opinion it is correct. An family analogy would be to compare thoughtful parents who guide their children by example and of necessity take some decisions that are not popular with their children with parents who seek to please their children by allowing them to have their own way at all times. Both the current governing and opposition parties supported a bipartisan approach to the Guatemalan claim. They both supported the process that took us to the agreement or compromis for making a decision to submit the claim to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Both Belizean parties to the talks agreed that taking the issue to the ICJ was the best option but they also agreed that only the Belizean people could take that decision. The agreement therefore involves holding simultaneous referenda in both Guatemala and Belize on the question of whether to submit the claim to the ICJ. Naturally, this is an issue that is very emotive and many Belizeans feel fearful of possible negative consequences. A vociferous few do not even want to allow Belizeans the opportunity to hear the arguments and make up their own minds. Most of these people have very few strongly held principles except to gain publicity by opposing the government on any and all issues. It is therefore not surprising that they oppose any process that seeks to educate the general public so that Belizeans can take their own informed decision.

Barbed Wire Noose - $1.2 Billion around Tax Payers’ Necks by 2029
Jose Castellanos, President of the Association of Public Service Senior Managers, said they have estimated that their salary adjustment would cost the government an additional $22,500,000 in 2013, $45,000,000 in 2014 and $75,000,000 in 2015. Based on the unions’ estimates by 2029, the final year of the pre-restructured Superbond, the salary adjustments being requested will cost tax payers an additional $1.2 billion. Government has been firm in saying to the unions that tax payers cannot afford to take on the increase at this time but the unions “shall not be moved”. On Tuesday, January 29th, the Belize National Teachers Union held a demonstration in the capital city, Belmopan. Over 2,000 teachers attended and marched around the city’s Ring Road chanting “Solidarity Forever” and “Salary Adjustment”. It was an impressive display of unity as the teachers marched towards the steps of the National Assembly building. They were energetic yet peaceful and effective. The massive crowd stood strong even at the peak of the sun’s wrath as they listened to poems and sang motivational songs. Though many of them were out from as early as 9 a.m., they remained responsive throughout numerous speeches lasting until 2:20 p.m. In their addresses, the union leaders pledged to stand strong in their meeting scheduled with Prime Minister Barrow for 10 a.m. on Friday, February 1st.

Prime Minister to Meet with Union Leaders
The Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow, is scheduled to meet with leaders of the Public Service Union (PSU), Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU), the Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM) and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) at 10 a.m. on Friday, February 1st, to discuss their request of a 30% salary adjustment. The union leaders have justified their demand by pointing to a bigger than expected GDP growth and “savings on the Superbond”. President of the APSSM, Jose Castellanos, is the union’s key economic advisor. His presentations have caused his credibility as an economist to come into question. He speaks of GDP as if it is a calculation of Government revenue. Castellanos said that Government has money because they were expecting a 3.5% growth and the actual figure is closer to 7 %. Therefore, it is 3.5% more than expected which is equal to $35 million. While he may be correct that GDP grew more than Government expected, there is no direct relationship between GDP growth and the public purse. At the introductory level in economic studies, one learns that GDP is calculated by adding consumer spending plus investment plus Government spending and net export to import. In a perfect scenario, that $35 million would come from taxable enterprise from which Government revenue would only amount to a few million dollars.

National Football Coach will stay in Belize
The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) held a press conference on Wednesday, January 30th to announce that Le Roy Sherrier Lewis, the coach for the Belize National team, will continue being the coach. President of the Football Federation, Ruperto Vicente said as much when he went through the entire sequence of events that led the coach to resign and then now, return to his former position. According to Vicente, on Saturday, January 26th, after the Honduras match up which took place on Friday, January 25th, Sherrier accepted full responsibility for the loss as he believed that team Belize could have won that match. Sherrier attributed the loss to tactical changes which did not work out for Team Belize. While in communication with the Federation, Sherrier also gave them the opportunity to review, and reevaluate everything that happened in Costa Rica and left it for the Federation to decide what to do with the coach. He also set up some tasks for the Federation to carry out. Up to that point, the coach had indicated that he would not resign.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Wedding Announcement
Dawn Joseph and Ron Velez


Four of five men who took sexual advantage of little girls have been charged with carnal knowledge and have been remanded to the Belize Central Prison. Two of the men are from Corozal: they are Lazaro Amaya, 60, a jeweler of a College Road address, and Aldo Alan Moreno, 34, of Paraiso Village. Police said that Moreno impregnated a 14-year-old girl. The girl and her mother went to the Corozal Police Station and reported that Moreno took advantage of her many times over a four-month period, starting September of last year and continuing until as recent as last Thursday, January 24. Police took her to a doctor at the Corozal Hospital, where, after she was examined, it was declared that she had been carnally known, and also, that she was three months pregnant. Police immediately went to Moreno’s home and arrested and charged him with carnal knowledge of a child. He was taken to court, yesterday, Wednesday. Also on Wednesday, Lazaro Amaya was taken to the Corozal Magistrate’s Court and remanded on similar charges, although his victims were even younger. Police said that Amaya took advantage of two little girls, ages 10 and 11, who are related. The mother of the 11-year-old, who is also the grandmother of the 10-year-old, took the girls to the Corozal Police Station to report that sometime between January and July, 2011, Amaya took sexual advantage of the two children.


According to Maya wisdom, 2012 completed a significant calendar cycle. Also, in 2012 Belize held General and Municipal Elections and the majority chose to keep most of the same people/party in government. The Minister of Education, his entire ministry, the Chief Education Officer, and Heads of various Churches continue to head/steer our Belizean Education Systems and Programs. However, how many of these leaders work directly with our young people on a day-to-day basis? How do they keep abreast of 21st Century challenges that keep “adding up” in Primary and Secondary schools throughout Belize today? The biggest challenge in this new era continues to be trying to move school boards, administrators, and teachers away from the antiquated, Colonial Era “one-size-fits-all” education philosophy that schools adamantly cling to in Belize. There are many other 21st Century challenges that confront educators and teachers every single school day in our rapidly changing world and new cycle of time. The largest challenge being faced right now is convincing those in charge to pay teachers a decent salary that they can “live on”. Many developed countries are not fully satisfied or totally happy with their Education Systems. Belize is a fairly young (Independence 1981) and developing country, and current Education Systems remain quite under-developed. We have quite a ways to go to catch up with and be able to meet the needs of Youth in 21st Century Belize. Our greatest needs right now (to even approach being considered adequate) include:

A Tale of Five Cities: San Cristobal Dining (Part 1)
I had planned on a blog post on the birds of the Orquideas Moxviquil botanical garden for today, but when I looked at our "birds" photo folder, I realized that it included photos from many different sites on our trip, so I am going to wait and do a bird photos post after the other trip posts, as I have done in the past. So today, instead of birds, you get food! Our favorite restaurant in San Cristobal, Chiapas, Mexico quickly became the TierrAdentro Cultural Center and Cafe. As I was working on this blog post, I came upon an excellent article providing much information about the restaurant and the center's goals. I didn't know until I read the article that the cafe had been recommended as one of the top five places to eat in San Cristobal by the New York Times. Not bad! In addition to the cafe, there are Zapatista co-operatives selling art pieces and crafts in the same building. As an aside, I knew almost nothing about the Zapatistas until we got home from this trip and I read a little. I didn't much care for history when I was in high school or college, but I'm finding it more interesting now that I'm older. Turns out that we missed a parade of Zapatista rebels in San Cristobal just a few days right after we left. That would have been a unique travel experience.

Making the move to Paradise
Over the years I have met many people in person or via email that have their own version of ‘Living the dream’ and moving to paradise. They all seem to share one thing in common, a thirst for knowledge and finding out how others have gone about doing what they want to do. Today’s guest post comes from Ron who I met while he and his wife Kathy were visiting back in Feb 2012 almost a year ago. Their version of living the dream ended up in Akumal Mexico not far from Belize. As I went back over Ron’s emails to check the month we met, I found a very fitting email signature that he had at the time - 3/4 of the Earth is covered by water and 1/4 by land. Clearly God intended us to spend 3 times as much time fishing and diving than mowing the lawn – I am sure many of you feel same. I would like to dedicate this to John Lori and their one year old Madison who have bought land in south Ambergris Caye and plan to build. He and I have been emailing back and forth all morning about their dream and what it is like here. I put him in touch with John East who writes Belize Building a New Life blog which details their house build in North Ambergris Caye and what it has been like for John and his wife Rose in regards to making their move to Belize.

Let’s talk about the Weather!
All year round we talk about the weather and, when you live on an island that’s lifestyle is so linked to the elements, it becomes the focus of your lives and livelihood!! Dry season or wet season, lets be real, we can receive rainfall at any point in the year – we live in the tropics and for holiday makers expecting perfect weather it becomes hugely disappointing when the weather is less than perfect – we understand!! We live our lives glued to various weather sites, trying to accurately predict the weather for the benefit for both our customers on our sailboats and less so for ourselves. The science of meteorology is not an exact science – that which defines the weather is constantly changing and yet we are considered responsible for the weather changing!!! – Go figure. I can understand it – you save all year for your annual vacation, you strategically plan for your suntan, your idilic photos on the beach and your cocktails at sunset – and when you arrive to when you depart all you see is rain, grey skies and chilly breeze!! It can happen (luckily very rarely), but it can happen!!

February’s Photo of the Month
Somehow this month we have been inundated with some beautiful photography, far more than normal!! It is for that reason that we find it hard to select one photo – but we have! We were very proud to hit the front cover of Budget Travel Magazine last month and for that reason alone, we want our next FB profile to be our front cover – we want never to forget our moment of fame as we very much deserve it!! For those who have not been lucky enough to read the article click here and go to pages 40 – 47!!

Castles made of Sand
Woke up (later than normal) this morning with what can only be described as a sore head. The after effects of drinking a few too many Belikins last night when Rose and I started off the night by going to Legends Burger House to catch the inaugural Blues Wednesday. The place was heaving and the sounds were great. After a few beers there (who was counting) we headed off to the Roadkill Bar to find the place equally as busy. It was packed with the Jerry Jeff Walker Pickin’ Parties who all appeared to want to take part in the karaoke. It was a fun evening but I paid the price in the morning and it took me much, much longer to ‘get in to gear’. I did come around eventually and Rose and I set off to see what was going on at our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. As we’re driving down the road we could see a tipper truck parked up. When we got to the site we could see why. Wooden poles needed to be moved to allow the truck access to tip its load of sand for our castle.

International Sources

"CHASING ICE" captures largest glacier calving ever filmed
Largest Glacier-Calving Ever makes the glacier calving we're seen in Alaska look miniscule. On May 28, 2008, Adam LeWinter and Director Jeff Orlowski filmed a historic breakup at the Ilulissat Glacier in Western Greenland. The calving event lasted for 75 minutes and the glacier retreated a full mile across a calving face three miles wide. The height of the ice is about 3,000 feet, 300-400 feet above water and the rest below water. See the through to the end. Some interesting info there. Forget charts, computer animations, etc. Just watch nature at work, as I keep advising which is studiously ignored.

Top Guatemala prosecutor pulls no punches
Claudia Paz y Paz, Guatemala's first female Attorney General, has locked up drug barons and prosecuted war criminals. For as long as she could remember, Claudia Paz y Paz was certain she would become a lawyer. Her grandfather, also an attorney, had inculcated in her that the rule of law was the only way to guarantee people’s rights. Today, she is the first female Attorney General of Guatemala. Inside her office, Paz paces back and forth from her mahogany desk glaring at the computer screen. On a window open to UStream TV, history was unfolding before her very eyes. For the first time in Latin American history, a national court was minutes away from ordering former dictator Jose Efrain Rios-Montt to stand trial for genocide. When Rios-Montt seized control of the country in a March 1982 coup, it gave way to the bloodiest period of Guatemala’s 1960 - 1996 civil war. Paz was 16 years old at the time. “I was in school when he took power. I can’t believe this is actually happening,” Paz told Al Jazeera as she opened her personal purple copy of Guatemalan Criminal Procedure Code. Her name may mean “Peace and Peace,” and her bookish demeanour and curly brown hair could make her pass for a university professor. But Guatemala’s top cop is as tough as they come, even if she is soft-spoken. Since taking the helm of the public ministry in 2010, she’s beaten impossible odds, successfully prosecuting war criminals and putting several of Central America’s biggest drug capos behind bars.

New World plunges on Belize abandonment
New World Oil and Gas (NEW) has plugged and abandoned a well in the Petén Basin in north-west Belize after finding insufficient hydrocarbons to merit running casing and well-testing operations. Shares in the firm lost 44% on Monday morning to make it the heaviest faller on AIM. Interactive Investor users were trading the stock heavily, with twice as many choosing to sell as buy. The Blue Creek #2A ST well was drilled to a measured depth of 11,650 feet on 27 January and logs and core samples were independently analysed, as well as mud logs and all other available data. It was determined that an active hydrocarbon system existed, and live oil shows were measured in the Y3 and Hillbank formations. But after analysis and in consultation with New World's partners, Blue Creek Exploration and the government of Belize, it was determined that insufficient commercial quantities of moveable hydrocarbons were present. The company believes the targeted trap was likely breached as a result of tectonic activity, and extensive residual oil was present along with high saturations of formation water. New World said the significant amount of technical data produced by the Blue Creek #2 and #2A ST wells demonstrates that the company's acreage has received a petroleum charge and contains productive reservoirs. This data will also play a role during the drilling of the explorer's next well, Rio Bravo Well #1, in West Gallon Jug, for which New World is fully funded. The location is drill ready, with a drilling pad, access road, base camp, water well and other infrastructure all in place. It is anticipated that the drilling of the well will commence in the first quarter of 2013.

New World abandons well
Belize-focused New World Oil and Gas (LON:NEW) has decided its Blue Creek well will not be commercially viable. The Blue Creek #2A well was located in the Petén Basin in northwest Belize and was drilled to a depth of 11,650 feet by 27 January. However, after what the company has called 'careful analysis' the decision has been made to plug and abandon the well after it was deemed to hold 'insufficient commercial quantities' of oil. The Blue Creek #2A well had been a sidetrack well drilled following the vertical well had reached its target depth. The news will come as a disappointment after previous updates had determined that an active hydrocarbon system did exist and live oil shows had been measured. The company argued that a potential trap could have been affected by 'tectonic activity'. New World tried to remain positive on the issue by confirming its next well to be drilled in Belize will be the Rio Bravo well #1 in West Gallon Jug for which it insists funding is already in place. Infrastructure is already in the place and drilling is expected to commence this quarter. The planned drilling depth is 8,400 feet. Chief executive Bill Kelleher defended the 'tremendous job' done at Blue Creek, arguing all was not lost as the data 'will now be applied to our next well.' He also insisted that other drill ready prospects at Blue Creek would mark the 'next significant milestones' for the company. Shares plummeted during early trading today by 40.6 per cent to 4.8p, valuing the company at £28.7 million.

Calgary man dies in police custody in Belize
An investigation is underway in the Central American country of Belize to determine how a 35-year-old Canadian man died in police custody over the weekend. A statement from San Ignacio Police says Jeffrey Furgala, who is reported to be from Calgary, was detained in the Savannah area of the town Saturday night for public intoxication. Police say he was unable to give an address of where he was staying, so was taken into custody “for his own safety.” The statement says officers found Mr. Furgala unconscious in his cell next morning with blood in his nose. Mr. Furgala was transported to a community hospital, then to another hospital for surgery, but was pronounced dead on Tuesday. The commissioner of police has since launched an investigation into the events surrounding his death. But the website quotes a police official as saying Mr. Furgala caused his own death when he slipped and fell due to drunkenness. “We have recordings to show that this person was under the influence of alcohol, and he was assisted by two police officers out of the vehicle, into the station, and into the cell block,” Supt. Ralph Moody told the website. “There was no police officer, or no one who caused injuries to that individual, ” added Supt. Moody, who is the officer in charge of San Ignacio

Belize Navidad: A reunion, a wedding, and the world didn't end
Just southeast of Mexico and due east of Guatemala, is the small, but beautiful country of Belize, formally known as British Honduras. From the air, scattered cayes (pronounced keys), some just a few feet above sea level, intermingle with the world's second largest reef, a reef that stretches some 900 miles from Cancun to Honduras. The largest of these islands, Ambergris Caye, is home to the raucous and friendly city of San Pedro. Belize and San Pedro have been highlighted in recent news due to John McAfee, the founder of McAfee, Inc. Although, this is the story that has brought Belize to attention of late, this is not what I focused on while I traveled there this past December. The seats on the plane were large, albeit relatively old, and the leg room spacious. There was plenty of overhead room for carryon baggage. Champagne was poured; a cheese plate was given. First class was the way to travel. A dreadlocked black man wearing charcoal trousers and a suede jacket sat down next to me. His name was Lennox Lamb, and he was soft-spoken and we talked an hour in Spanish and an hour in English. English is the primary language in Belize, but most all Belizeans speak at least a bit of Spanish as well. Over Cognac and after our delicious dinner of halibut, he wrote down all his contact information and said to call him for anything while in Belize. A nice welcoming.

Belize Grows in Popularity as Spring Break Destination
Belize is becoming increasingly popular as a new Spring break destination with more and more students wishing to mix exotic adventure with the annual ritual of sun, fun and partying, according to The Lodge at Chaa Creeks Bryony Fleming. Ms Fleming, the Belizean eco-resorts food and beverage manager, said that she has noticed a trend towards more adventure and activity-focussed Spring break vacations. There has been a definite increase in enquiries about Spring Break options here in Belize and Im sure word of mouth and social media are driving much of the interest were seeing in recent years, Ms Fleming said. In the past, the most popular Spring break destinations were the beaches of Florida, especially Daytona Beach, and Fort Lauderdale, as well as South Padre Island in Texas. However, since the 1990s Mexico has become increasingly popular, with Cancun hosting huge and often raucous groups of revellers.

Surfer Breaks World Record By Riding Enormous 100-Foot Wave
Garrett McNamara Breaks World Record By Riding Enormous 100-Foot Wave @BISportsPage #Garrett McNamara #World Record #surf #wave #Nazare #Portugal..."Whoa!!"

Google+ surpasses Twitter to take number 2 social network after Facebook
Google+ is the rising star when it comes to global social networking. Twitter, YouTube and Facebook all grew... You really should try Google+, it is so different that Facebook, and I find much more informative. It does take a little getting use to, but well worth the effort. If you join, circle me at:

Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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Maruba Beach Klub and Spa is the premiere Secret Beach spa and restaurant located on the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea at the center of Secret Beach, Belize
First Class Accommodations for the Budget Traveler
First Class Accommodations for the Budget Traveler

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