More News: Scroll up from here
Negotiating Team meets with Prime Minister
Leaders of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize along with a ministerial committee comprising of Charles Gib...
Resignation of APSSM President, Jose Castellanos came as a surprise to the media and unions as well
Yesterday we told you that APSSM President, Jose Castellanos officially wrote to the Prime Minister Dean Barrow - r...
BDF soldier walks away from sex crime charge
A BDF Soldier, Leon Lopez, saw a sexual offense case withdrawn today when the female victim could not be located. B...
Nicli Rhys on trial for the murder of Andre Trapp
On June 10, 2010, there was the brazen murder of Southside Leader Andre Trapp. The trial for the accused Nicli Rhys...
Our Lady of Guadalupe High School holds a Business and Science Fair
Our Lady of Guadalupe High School held a Business and Science fair today. Students from Forms 1-4 were required to ...
Burglaries in Belize City and Belmopan
A burglary results in the intruder being apprehended by the home owners. 30yr old Roni Valladarez of Belize City re...
Cannabis found on Toledo Community College student
A high-school student was handed over to police for drug trafficking on campus. On Wednesday afternoon, Punta Gorda...
New commander of the Belize Defence Force is installed
The BDF is celebrating 35 years of service to Belize. Today, a new commander of the Belize Defence Force was been i...
Cola continues its no ICJ campaign
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) is a non-governmental organization that was birthed five years...
SALDIVAR TO MAKE COUNTRY TOUR TO “SET TEACHERS STRAIGHT”
Minister of National Security John Saldivar announced today, Thursday, on Wave Radio’s talk show “Fus ting da mawnin,” that if after the meeting on Friday, February 1, with the Prime Minister and the negotiating teams in Belmopan, the teachers and public officers insist on saying that the government can afford to give a salary increase at this time, he will take matters into his own hands and make a countrywide tour to personally reiterate the government’s position.
“If they are not able to reach a satisfactory conclusion tomorrow Fonso, I will travel this country with government’s position. I am telling you from now. So Mr. Palacio if you want call it union busting you can call it weh you want. But I am going to travel the entirety of this country, meeting with teachers. And if they no want come da meeting, I gwine to their house. I will find a way to meet them. So they know the facts of my government’s position is, what we are offering, because these leaders have a political agenda. I like it when they have a political agenda because it brings them in my arena. Because my arena is politics. And so if they think they can play politics better than me then we will get in there and rumble. We wah rumble. They want to shape people’s minds against my government in a certain way. Well I gwine out deh go counter that. And as soon as I hear the outcome of the meeting tomorrow.”
To recap Saldivar’s position in this matter, last week the Minister was given permission by the Ministry of Education to cancel afternoon classes and call a meeting with the teachers in Belmopan to address the salary adjustment matter.
3,000 DEMONSTRATORS “SEND MESSAGE” TO BARROW AND FABER
Teachers and public officers protest denial of raise-a-pay.
For those who held their breath wondering about the outcome, the teachers and public service workers successfully pulled off their peaceful demonstration and rally on the steps of the National Assembly Building on Tuesday, January 29, 2013. The crowd of about 3,000 teachers and their supporters demonstrated through the streets of Belmopan and around the National Assembly building singing songs, carrying placards, and chanting, all in their determination to convince the government to grant them a salary adjustment.
The crowd shouted statements such as “Mr. Prime Minister, with no apologies, just adjust the salaries,” “Minister Faber, remember when you were a teacher,” “Cost of living is killing us” and “Who is emptying the pie pan? Not I. My salary is not that high.”
After the crowd marched around the National Assembly once, they proceeded to the steps of the building where they began a ceremony in which several members and affiliates of the unions spoke on behalf of their colleagues on the matters at hand. Though the word choices, tones and speaking styles of the speakers were different, all the speeches had one message in common — the teachers and public service workers want their salary adjustment, and they “want it now!”
Teachers and public service workers from all over the country were present at the demonstration. They were passionate as they marched, sang and chanted in solidarity. Belize National Teachers’ Union President Stann Creek Branch Nadia Caliz said she believes that the turnout was great. Caliz said that from Dangriga alone, there were 512 teachers who shared eight buses.
GUN CONTROL: STRICT LAWS OR BOTH HANDS?
Every civilized country in the world has laws regarding firearm possession, and Belize is no exception. It is quite easy and reasonable to think that clamping down tightly on firearms will reduce crime. Since the mid-December massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, the US Government is strongly looking at very strict gun control laws. The Government passes laws banning various types of firearms and “bullet-proof” vests. People celebrate.
Then something interesting happens: crime rates go up instead of down! Then the Government is pressed to do something else, to pass more laws. Things still don’t improve. What is going on?
Criminals use firearms to commit armed robberies, rape, and murder innocent civilians. Criminals are already breaking various laws. They are not afraid to possess and use an illegal firearm. Hanging. A life sentence. Fifty years. Ten years. It doesn’t matter to the criminals. If the deterrents on the law books don’t stop the criminals from robbing, raping, and murdering, they won’t stop them from possessing guns illegally either.
Who do the laws stop from owning guns? Law-abiding citizens. International studies have shown this. Smaller studies in the USA have shown this also. States in the US which are big “Second Amendment” (i.e.: the right to bear arms, as stated in the second amendment to the US Constitution) states, typically have lower crime rates than other states which prefer more legislation.
BERNE STARS IN NEW MOVIE
Belizean musician and actor Berne Velasquez is no stranger to the media. The Belizean artist has produced his own songs and has been featured in several films. Berne is to star in his fourth international movie called Poseidon Rex.
Berne said that the movie is based on some tourists who came to Belize on vacation. The group decides to go on a diving trip to the Blue Hole with their tour guide, Berne’s character. While on their trip they come across a person who they will rescue and take back to safety, but not before enduring some riveting adventures.
Amandala spoke to Berne today, Thursday, and he said that he was thrilled about his role in another movie. He said that he couldn’t give too many details of the plot, but can assure that the movie will be filled with excitement.
“Crazy things will be happening down on the bottom of the Blue Hole,” he said. “A lot of excitement and craziness happens to the crew as they dive the Blue Hole and rescue the body they found.”
Berne said that movie was being filmed over the past two weeks at locations all over the country. He said that the movie will be rated G and that it features other Belizean actors as well as Hollywood actor Brian Krause who starred in the popular television series Charmed. Berne said that he feels blessed to be able to have all the opportunities given to him thus far.
Letters: IT WASN’T THE GSU
by Kenneth Gale
When the bodies of four George Street gang members were found with their heads nearly cut off, without any supporting evidence the hue and cry went up that the near decapitations were the work of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU).
If one looks at the manner of the killings, such near decapitation has never been a method of killing used by the GSU.
However, decapitation is clearly the method of killing (MO) used by the enforcers for the Mexican drug cartels. In Mexican towns that border the US, bodies with their heads cut off are frequently found. There have been as many as a dozen bodies found at the same time at the same location, with all with their heads cut off.
Decapitation is the MO of the Mexican drug cartels, not the GSU.
The cartel’s enforcers are primarily former special service soldiers of the Mexican army, trained to kill. One will recall that, about two years ago, three armed Mexican nationals were arrested in Belize. They produced evidence that they had been, or were, members of the Mexican Army. The then Minister of National Security, citing an absurd reason, ordered their release.
Presently, there is a Mexican national in Belize custody that was caught coming into Belize with cocaine and a large numbers of guns. He had obviously brought the guns into Belize for distribution to those involved in drug trafficking, together with the cocaine to pay for a prior trans-shipment of cocaine to the cartels.
Cocaine is the manner in which the cartels pay for such trans-shipments that come through Belize.
Letters: LARRY VERNON CORRECTS
by Larry Vernon
Very frequently we hear words being mispronounced during professional speaking engagements, by announcers, and by interviewees.
Although professional people try their best to pronounce words and idioms correctly some still become accustomed to pronouncing a word incorrectly, and until someone corrects them the error is perpetuated.
One such word is ‘sovereignty’. This word does not have an extra ‘i’ and should not be pronounced ‘sovereignity’.
Letters: WHITE COLLAR CRIME – NOT A PROBLEM IN BELIZE?
by Russell Czarnecki
I don’t know why, but while having lunch today, it occurred to me that in the years I’ve been reading the Amandala (and the Reporter as well), I couldn’t really recall more than one or two instances of anyone being prosecuted for white collar crime.
Does my memory fail me? Is this not a problem in Belize? Am I losing my mind?
Letters: THE CASE OF THE MISSING MATTRESS
by Cynthia Pitts
Last week I read in your newspaper that Dr. Atanacio Cob’s home was burglarized and household articles to the value of $5,520.00 stolen. I have also been a victim of burglary. My house in Belmopan was burglarized in the latter part of last year and household articles stolen. My loss was much more. It was approximately $15,000.00.
I have always wondered how this type of news gets into the papers. Is it the person who has been burglarized who sends a report to the newspaper? Is it the police who inform the paper? Is a report made on the basis of the magnitude of the value of the loss? If on the basis of the value of the loss, then I thought mine should have certainly hit the papers as it was much more than the burglaries of which I have been reading in recent weeks. I have decided to publicize my burglary because even if nothing is gained by the publicity, it should let us reflect on where we are in law enforcement.
The house was fully furnished but was unoccupied following the departure of its tenant. I do not live in Belmopan so was unaware of the burglary until sometime after it had happened. The neighbors saw the articles being taken away in “broad daylight,” but assumed that I knew what was happening.
Letters: FOOD FOR THOUGHT – LOOPHOLE TO AVOID PAYING SALES RECEIPT TAXES
by Lawrence Denig
When is the journalism community going to investigate the issue of the millions of dollars of unaccountable (and taxable) sales receipts that never get recorded on a cash register, and instead are just placed in the infamous “Belize wooden drawer system of accountability” through hand-to-hand cash transactions?
If the drawers were eliminated and these million-dollar merchants were forced to use a cash register w/receipts on ALL sales transactions, GOB could tap into a sizeable taxable revenue stream to DOUBLE teacher’s salaries, fix an existing school infrastructure in serious disrepair and also pay police officers a liveable wage.
Assign an aggressive investigative bulldog to dig into this matter. Trust me, savvy merchants nationwide have figured out this loophole. They abuse this system on a daily basis, laughing all the way to the bank with a sack-full of unaccountable profits.
Who needs an accountant when government provides a gift that just keeps on giving? Food for thought.
Letters: STOP BLAMING THE BRITISH: DAVID NUNEZ
by David Nunez
The British left us 32 years ago. That’s the age of a grown man and more. How in goodness name can we continue blaming the British? I think you do this because of the black/white mentality.
Sir, the Guatemalan issue could have been solved had we not chosen our own destiny. History does not support what you say. The claim is an ancient claim being made by a country warped in its understanding. That is not the British problem. It is the Guatemalan problem. We are independent and we must settle the matter.
If it was a British problem, why did we take independence? Why did we not make it a condition before? Sir, respectfully what you continue to postulate does not make sense and you owe the readers a right to clarify.
(Ed. NOTE: As we understand it, the PUP leaders moved on to independence because the British wanted Belize to cede land to Guatemala in order to settle the claim. Belizeans were overwhelmingly rejecting land cession. Belizeans worked for centuries to enrich Great Britain, and our ancestors fought in Britain’s twentieth century wars. It was because of the white/black mentality that our ancestors were kidnapped and enslaved. Perfidious Albion!)
FROM THE PUBLISHER
A caller on KREM’s WUB morning show on Tuesday morning made the point that the new national heroes of the Belize football selection now had the responsibility of behaving like role models for the young boys and children who are now looking up to them for example.
It was a good point the caller made, but life is often more complicated than it appears. For example, I happen to know that one of our new national heroes went through an extended period where he, just a teenager, was being threatened by violent gang forces because of one of his close relatives. The close relative was involved with the neighborhood gang reality, and the hero, as a consequence, received death threats which were absolutely frightening.
Stress like this can affect your behavior, and you really can’t go public to complain or explain. I want to tell you about an episode of betrayal which took place when I was just 17 years old. I’m not going to use that episode to excuse any “misbehavior” for which I have been responsible through the years, but the time has come for me to tell it like it was.
The important thing today is that I have reached the point of being able to forgive, and it took a long time getting here. It took 47 years, more or less.
Before 1964, Sixth Form studies at St. John’s College were always a two- year process, and the Advanced Level studies took place in the same campus buildings where the high school was located. 1964 was the year when the Government of Belize arbitrarily changed the school summer holiday months from April and May to July and August, and so our Sixth Form class was the one, I think the only one, which did the “A” Levels in a year and a half instead of two.
Editorial: BIG UP, MR. WELCH
The newspaper wishes to recognize the effort of the attorney Lionel Welch in financing semi-pro football teams and working with our youth. This is by contrast with the other attorneys of substance, who ignore the community where they made/make the millions and live the lives of the rich and famous.
One of the reasons Mr. Welch has sustained his program is because of direct management involvement. There has been a failure in Belizean sports where middle management is concerned. By “middle management,” we are referring to the individuals who are given the responsibility of handling the financing offered by big business. Middle managers have too often given in to the temptation to siphon off resources for their own personal benefit, instead of forwarding the resources to the players.
Belize football took a step forward this week in the Copa Centroamericana, and there is presently an atmosphere of optimism in football circles. For us to continue forward, football has to continue weeding out people who are corrupt and entitled. We just came out of fifteen years of that.
Belize is a small society, and everybody knows everybody else’s business. Nobody’s perfect, but in sports, as in politics, there are people who are almost incorrigibly selfish and insincere. When such individuals attain positions of power, resentment and ill-feeling begin to grow amongst the people at the base.
Editorial: TEACHERS MARCH IN NUMBERS
The teachers of Belize came from all over the nation on Tuesday morning to march in Belmopan and show their strength. As we pointed out in an editorial on Tuesday (reproduced in this issue), we have a constitutional crisis in Belize. Theoretically, the Government of Belize (specifically the Prime Minister) has de facto absolute power, but the disciplined power of the teachers is real, and it is too easy for things to get out of hand if a situation like the present one reaches as far as a strike.
In March of last year the ruling UDP were returned to office by a narrow margin in seats, 17-14. The Opposition PUP were very frustrated, because of the closeness of the defeat and other circumstances we will not discuss at length here. The teachers did a remarkable job on Tuesday, because there was no evidence of significant PUP infiltration of their demonstration.
It is not a comfortable situation the Barrow administration is in, because the teachers can go back to Belmopan after soliciting more support from their fellow unions, and after creating space for the Opposition to be involved. If the teachers decide they have to go back to Belmopan, the constitution of Belize allows the Prime Minister to use the security forces if a larger, more militant crowd misbehaves in any way.
“THE JOY OF PLAYING ON A ‘BILLIARDS TABLE’”
This morning, my dad, C.B. Hyde, remarked on the situation of our history-making national football team at the Copa Centroamericana (formerly Nations Cup) in Costa Rica, where Belize yesterday clinched, for the first time, a spot in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the most prestigious football tournament in the North American region of CONCACAF, which takes place in July of this year. Despite their being obviously handicapped in preparation for this level of competition, he felt that our players must have been inspired by the absolute “joy of playing on a ‘billiards table,’” which the impeccable green surface of the Estadio Nacional resembled.
For the past week, footballers on our national team have been experiencing something which is indeed a joy, but also one that takes getting used to – being able to play the game they so love to play, on a surface that allows the ball to roll true each time you kick it. There are no unpredictable bounces or sudden changes of direction as it lands in a hole or hits a lump in the field, something that they have become accustomed to on the fields back home. A bad pitch discourages confidence in the ground passes, and lends to more of the long-ball style, which is not the most effective on a “billiards table,” where the opponent is taking full advantage of all the ball has to offer – “let the ball do the work.”
Like a long caged dog, who is at first fearful when offered a chance to venture into unknown spaces, our Belize team has been tentative at employing the full offensive potential of the ground passing game, but they are getting more confident and effective with each outing.
BELIZE’S NATIONAL TEAM – JAGUARS – THROUGH THE LENS OF AN ATHLETE
Jaguars are the third largest feline species in the world. They are also the biggest cats in the Americas, well known for their speed and strength. Thus, it is only appropriate that our Belizean national team is juxtaposed metaphorically to such a resilient and sagacious animal: they are young, strong, united, disciplined, courageous, trendsetters, but most importantly, they are our national heroes.
It is quite amazing what our Belizean national team accomplished, not only because they qualified to the Gold Cup, but also because they were triumphant in a situation where failure seemed inevitable. For the first time in the history of international football, Belize qualified to the UNCAF Gold Cup that will be held in the United States during the summer.
As wonderful as this is, it is not what made my day. For the first time in the history of football, so many Belizeans are supporting our national team. Whether it is “liking” a picture on Facebook, posting a comment, sending a text, or simply just watching the game on television, my point is that Belizeans at home and abroad are extremely supportive. This is not mere support: it is nationalism/patriotism at the highest level. There is no politics or racism, just optimistic Belizeans in every barbershop, hair salon and living room, cheering the Jaguars on.
The Jaguars united our nation! This mass support was not from the genesis of the tournament; it started after we drew our second game with Guatemala, and exploded during the qualifying game against Nicaragua. Our victory ultimately secured us a seat in the 2013 UNCAF Gold Cup. The entire Jewel detonated with love, excitement, joy and nationalism when Trevor Lennon struck first blow with a left foot from above the eighteen-yard box. Hope seemed distant when Nicaragua tied the game at 1-1, but then there was Deon McCaulay, FIFA’s Global Top Striker and Belize’s most prolific goalscorer, who scored the winning goal in the final minute of the extra time to seal our spot in the Gold Cup.
ST. JOHNS COLLEGE (SJC) 2ND ANNUAL TABLE TENNIS CLUB TOURNAMENT
The 2nd Annual SJC Table Tennis Club Tournament took place this past Saturday, January 27, at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium, “the home of table tennis….!!”
Games kicked off at approximately 1:30 p.m. with some 42 students participating in three categories – ADVANCED, INTERMEDIATE & BEGINNERS.
In the ADVANCED category, 12 of the top players from SJC competed in Round Robin competition, with the top 8 finishers advancing to a FINAL Double Elimination competition.
Top seed, Harim Ochaeta advanced to the finals by defeating Leo Carballo, Gian Lisbey & Fabio Carballo; while Fabio Carballo also advanced to the finals by defeating Daniel Sanchez & Mishek Musa. In the Final match, Harim Ochaeta emerged the CHAMPION by defeating Carballo by a score of 3-1.
The Belize Times
TEACHERS MAKE DEMANDS
Reliable sources have informed the BELIZE TIMES that Prime Minister Dean Barrow has refused to give the requested 30% salary adjustment to the Unions when the parties met today in Belmopan.
The meeting followed days of tension between the Government and the largest and most powerful Unions who have used up their patience for a salary increase promised to them by Prime Minister Dean Barrow when he was the opposition leader five years ago.
That tension between the Unions and GOB has been at an all-time high, with Ministers launching personal attacks against Union leaders on the UDP radio station, several Politicians using intimidating tactics to scare Union members, and the Government abusing its authority in the public service to punish Unions leaders who have been instrumental in building momentum for the workers.
UB Students Protest Subsidy Cut
About 300 students walked out of their classrooms at the University of Belize Belmopan Campus on Monday January 28th morning to participate in a protest against the Ministry of Education’s recently announced subsidy cut to the ...
Unions say Salary Increase is Possible! – APSSM President Jose Castellanos exposes misuse of millions
The Unions have had to show the Barrow Administration how the salary increases for teachers and public officers can be a reality. President of the Association of Public Service Senior Managers Jose Castellanos has proven that the ...
By G. Michael Reid “Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.” - Aristotle This Dean Barrow government seems to be attacking education from both ends. They are charging the students more and ...
Editorial: Lesson In Fear
“Governments should be afraid of their people. People shouldn’t be afraid of their government.” This is how Alan Moore saw it; while Thomas Jefferson preferred to warn that “A government afraid of its citizens is a Democracy. Citizens afraid of government is tyranny!” The UDP is not afraid of the people. If ...
San Estevan defeats San Lazaro 4-2 in football playoffs
The San Estevan football team leads the playoffs of the Orange Walk Football Association first division competition after a 4-2 victory over San Lazaro at the People’s Stadium on Sunday, January 20. Edwani Munoz scored a ...
Harim Ochaeta wins SJC table tennis tournament
Harim Ochaeta won the advanced division and Daniel Echeverria won the intermediate division when the SJC’s 2nd annual table tennis tournament was held at the Belize Elementary School auditorium this past Saturday, ...
A Hero’s Welcome – Belize National A Team returns from Central American Cup
Team Belize returned home to a hero’s welcome after qualifying to this summer’s Gold Cup tournament in the United States after finishing 4th in the UNCAF’s Copa CentroAmericana in San Jose, Costa Rica. The GolTV famed “President”, ...
Coach Sherrier returns
In the middle of celebrating our National Football Team’s victory and historic placement in the July 2013 Gold Cup, Belizeans were stunned to learn that the man who played a critical role in the team’s success, ...
PUP soldier Steven Valencia murdered inside Cayo home
The year 2012 ended with a record number of murders, and it seems the New Year is well underway to matching up. There have already been 13 murders so far in January and no adequate response ...
“Dara” reaches out for help – Seeks help to make 6th Food Drive successful
Community activist Joel “Dara” Robinson has launched an appeal for support and assistance, in advance of his first charity event for the year. On Sunday February 10th, Dara will hold the 11th Annual Tribute to Bob Marley, ...
Life Without a Plan
I remember being sent by my mom to a corner shop and as I was skipping along, minding my own business, when I was attacked by a stray ‘pat-licka’ dog. I ran with all my might but realized I was too slow for the four-footed beast. I resorted to hurling ...
Energy Saving Tips
With the ever-increasing cost of living in Belize, and most recently, the crippling, Government-approved raise in BEL fees and rates, more and more Belizeans are looking at ways to save money. One way Belizeans can offset the increased electricity rates is by practising Energy Saving Tips. Over the next few ...
In my perspective – We are winners!
by Rayford Young In life there are people we all would love to meet and spend a day with. For me one such person is Mr. Nelson Mandela. Here’s a man that spent half of his adult life in jail because he spoke out about injustice and racism towards his people ...
If I were negotiating on behalf of teachers & public servants
by Richard Harrison …I would put the following things on the table. Firstly, push for progress in the process to transition away from personal income tax and towards consumption tax....by recommending a lower, broader-based GST (10% across the board)...and personal income tax rate of 10% on incomes over $18,000 per annum...with provisions ...
Concerns about “development” in Consejo Village
Dear Sir, I am writing this letter because I am concerned about the future of my country when I see what is happening with Canadian citizens coming to the Consejo Village area. I do not understand why these people are allowed to work and make money without having the right to do ...
A Place Without Justice – The Case of Natalie Coleman
News reporting of cases in the courts of Belize is at times bogus. Wittingly or unwittingly, at times stuff is reported in the media which is inaccurate or stretches of imagination. Such news reporting naturally incense and “hype up” the populace because of what is perceived by them ...
Stop the corruption – Pay the teachers!
The teachers of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) are right. They are underpaid by international standards. The government owes them and they must be paid. If not, they should strike. This is yet another opportunity to force the Prime Minister to eat a heavy dose of ...
Finnegan calls money for Gangs “chump change”
UDP Housing Minister Michael Finnegan has defended the Barrow Administration’s spending on gang members. According to him, the millions which the Government spent on gang members to keep a fragile peace truce going is “chump change”. The Government of Belize has not fully disclosed how much money ...
House of Rep. Mace bearer shows no respect
While the Belize City Council is preparing to impose new laws and penalties to force pedestrians to use the overpass at the Phillip Goldson entrance, there is a great need for the elected body to enforce ...
PUP congratulates teachers
The People’s United Party congratulates the teachers of Belize on their successful demonstration which took place on Tuesday the 29th of January, 2013. The demonstration was respectful and peaceful, yet a powerful show of people power and unity. The People’s United Party (PUP) stands in solidarity with all teachers, ...
Dolores – Always with the People!
Belize Rural Central Area Representative Dolores Balderamos Garcia continues her outreach within her constituency. On December 12, 2012 Dolores ...
San Pedro resident fatally stabbed in nightclub
San Pedro Police officials are investigating the case of a vicious stabbing that occurred inside a nightclub on the island in the early morning hours of Saturday, January ...
Who let the dogs out?
Dear Editor, In all forms of government and particularly in democracies the State holds a monopoly on the use of force. The right to use deadly force is afforded to ordinary citizens in a very narrow set of circumstances such as self defence and the defence of one’s property. Since it ...
No excuses, give the teachers what they deserve!
Dear Editor, Recently, I read some comments/blogs written by some individuals who apparently do not understand that the jewel is currently experiencing a very serious leadership crisis. We have leaders with no representation of the populace. A classic example is the current state of affairs of the educational system. It is ...
A Tale of Five Cities: San Cristobal Dining (Part 2)
For our third and final night in San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico, we decided to go for broke and hit happy hour before going to the restaurant we'd decided on for dinner. Woo-hoo! As we were walking around checking our options, this sign touting two for one margaritas for $70 MX (approximately $5.60 US) lured us right into Ay Dolores! for a couple of drinks and appetizers before dinner. We tried the tamarindo margaritas, which were excellent. Here's one of my favorite photos of the whole trip, which you'll recognize if we're Facebook friends.
To accompany our drinks, we ordered some of their delicious guacamole, fried cheese, and quesadillas. I loved that the guac was made with red onion and lots of cilantro and have since modified my own recipe likewise.
Island webcam temporary new location
It’s official Cowboy Doug and I took over Storm Chaser’s webcam as he and his lovely wife Theresa are m0vng stateside.
Todd and I tried to get it set up on the roof at Banana Beach Resort Wednesday afternoon for a lovely sea view. Due to the distance from the office and having to go 3 stories up and to the front of the building, we discovered to make it work we need a wireless transmitter.
Since we could not just run out to Best buy or Radio Shack and pick one up, Todd is helping us figure out what will work best and sending me links of what we need to buy and get brought to Belize to make it work.
For now taco cam is showing a lagoon / canal view on the island and you will see planes flying by off and on all day. Yesterday I watched our wonderful garbage-men doing routine pickup and helping keep the island clean.
My TGIF moment for today is heading to the south end of the island with a few friends for a tour of Marco Gonzalez Maya ruins with Jan Brown.
Breaking the Law
Grey skies for most of the day with occasional showers didn’t augur well for work on our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize but given that I can do nothing to influence the weather I had a relaxing time reading the Saturday edition of The Times, a couple cups of coffee and a breakfast of two fried eggs on toast.
This filled up the time nicely until the Arsenal game versus Stoke City came on TV at 9 am. I would like to report that I had a thoroughly enjoyable time watching the game but I can’t. Arsenal didn’t play scintillating football and Stoke were as resolute and dour as usual. We got the three points though – courtesy of a deflected free kick by Podolski – and our new full back Nacho Monreal had a promising first game.
Pleased with the result I decided to pop down to the Police Station to see if our Criminal Record Reports had arrived from Belmopan (the capital of Belize). When I got there I asked for PC Cho and when he came from his office I sensed from the smile on his face that our ‘Reports were available. I was right because after handing over the receipts for the application fees (BZ$12 each) he gave me two ‘Reports. One for Rose and one for me.
All of the Lights
Back to normal this morning and on the veranda with my coffee just before 5 am reading The Times to be disappointed, but not overly surprised, to read that Arsenal hadn’t splurged massively in the transfer market on the final day of the transfer window. Only the purchase of a full back from Spain. It should mean though that we never have to play Andre ‘who ate all the pies’ Santos again. So it could have been worse.
Time to get a monthly Bridge Pass from the Transport Department in town this morning and it seemed criminal not to stop off first for breakfast at Estel’s. Wouldn’t want be a criminal would I? Might prevent a successful application for the QRP(Qualified Retirement Program)!
When I got back home Rose and I knuckled down to study the plans to determine what lighting, ceiling fans and light switch placement we want for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. We worked through the plans on a floor by floor, room to room basis making notes as we went along. Using this approach we feel quietly confident that we have identified the type and placement for all of the lights for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Leaf Cutter Ants Harvesting Cashew Leaves at Lower Dover
These Leaf cutter Ants were caught red legged with our cashew leaves the other day! We had to get a camera before spraying our organic poison on them. In a spray bottle mix dish soap, dirt from the ant nest, and water around the base of the tree and on the leaves. This does the trick 90% of the time. Supposedly there is a Maya prayer for the other 10 percent? We have to learn that one!
Whale Vomit (Ambergris) Could Spell Fortune for Briton: Video
Ambergris, the more savoury term for whale vomit, has been used in perfumes for centuries and appears in the classic American novel Moby Dick.
Now this rare substance, produced only by sperm whales, could make one British beachcomber a lot of money.
Al Jazeera's Gerald Tan explains.
Sun writer has to see it to Belize it
Follow Sun Media national online editor Jenny Potter as she explores underground rivers, meets exotic wildlife and tries her hand at sea kayaking in Belize.
This month, she'll be travelling off the beaten path with Island Expeditions and writing about her adventures along the way.
Belize is steeped in Mayan history and culture as well as packed with lush tropical rain forests filled with wildlife.
In her first few days, Jenny will meet face-to-face with the elusive jaguar with the help of a cat rescue program. The largest cat in the western hemisphere, the jaguar populations have dwindled due to deforestation and hunting. Belize is attempting to rescue and preserve the animals who are known to go after livestock.
Taza Chocolate of Somerville prepares for Chocolate Week trip to Belize
This March, Somerville-based Taza Chocolate brings the know-where-your-food-comes-from movement to a new level by inviting chocolate lovers on a cocoa adventure in Belize.
Taza’s fourth annual Chocolate Week offers participants a firsthand look into the origin of cacao—the fruit from which cocoa beans are harvested— its history and creation into the final chocolate product. Alex Whitmore, co-founder of Taza Chocolate, said this trip is a way for Taza to bridge the gap between chocolate and its consumer.
“Our company is a very mission-driven organization,” Whitmore said. “We’re big fans of know-where-your-food-comes-from and local food, but chocolate is one of those things you can’t really source locally.” For this reason, Taza offers consumers the opportunity to travel to the food.
Taza has stake ownership in Maya Mountain Cacao, the farm Chocolate Week visitors will visit during their stay. Whitmore said Taza works directly with Belizean farmers, and that the trip is a great opportunity for chocolate consumers to meet the people who grow the beans.
War On Drugs Draws Canadian Military Focus In Central America
The Harper government’s new focus on the Americas means a dramatic change of effort for the Canadian Forces and an overt participation in the U.S. war on drugs.
The commander of Canada’s operational forces, Lt.-Gen. Stuart Beare, says Canada is now focusing new efforts on Central America and the Caribbean.
In an exclusive interview with CBC News, Beare said Canada was active in attempts to sever the Central American drug artery pumping narcotics northwards into the United States and Canada.
“We’re partnered with our U.S. partners in the counter-narcotic effort on the southern flank, in Central and South America, as the flow goes north,” Beare revealed.
For years, Canada has participated in naval operations in the Caribbean Sea designed to thwart narcotics-smuggling efforts. Canada has also provided specialized radar and reconnaissance patrol aircraft to that fight.
But Beare suggests much more is being done in the region now than ever before.
5 don't-miss spots in Belize
Protected rainforests, Maya ruins, Caribbean beaches and the longest barrier reef in the western hemisphere. Add English as the official language and the widely accepted U.S. dollar, and you can get a great vacation on easy mode in Belize.
Still, with so much to do, it can become a lot of work to fit it all in. Travelzoo editor Andrew Young recommends taking on just a little bit of this country in the heart of Central America at a time, and offers this list of his five top spots to get you started. The Blue Hole, Ambergris Caye, Maya ruins of Lamanai, Caves Branch River tubing, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
New World Oil & Gas: City analysts say sell-off is 'overdone'
City analysts believe investors have overreacted to New World Oil & Gas’s (LON:NEW) well result in Belize, and the 45% drop in the share price is ‘overdone’.
It was revealed this morning that the Blue Creek 2A ST well had been plugged and abandoned because insufficient quantities of moveable hydrocarbons were found.
The company stressed, however, that the well confirmed that an active hydrocarbon system exists, and live oil shows were measured in the Y3 and Hillbank formations. It also says extensive residual oil was present, along with high saturations of formation water.
On AIM, New World shares fell heavily, losing as much as half their value in early deals.
But, speaking with Proactive Investors, Seymour Pierce analyst Sam Wahab said the share price fall was too much.
“Given how bad 2012 was for a lot of exploration stocks, investors can get be spooked by 'dry' wells.”
Calgary man who died in Belize jail cell slipped and fell while drunk, police claim
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 Furgala unconscious in his cell next morning with blood in his nose.
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 7Newsbelize.com quotes a police official as saying Furgala caused his own death when he slipped and fell due to drunkenness.
New World Comes Up Dry at Blue Creek
New World Oil & Gas announced Friday that its Blue Creek No.2A side track well in the Petén Basin in northwest Belize has come up dry after the firm drilled to a measured depth of 11,650 feet Jan. 27.
The firm said that, after careful analysis, it was determined that insufficient commercial quantities of hydrocarbons were present to merit running casing and well-testing operations. As a result, New World has decided to plug and abandon the well.
New World pointed out that data has shown that a live hydrocarbon system does exist in the area and that live oil shows were seen in formations during the drill. Technical data garnered from both the No. 2A side track and the Blue Creek No. 2 wells will now be used during the drilling of the company's next well: the Rio Bravo Well No.1 in the West Gallon Jug.
The drilling of the Rio Bravo No. 1 well is expected to begin during the first quarter of this year.
Incentive Destinations: 9 Ways to Explore the Belize Rainforest
As lush rainforest or subtropical jungle cover 78% of the country, incredible rainforest adventures await you in Belize, just 3 hours from New York and 4 hours from Toronto. Under the Tropical Forest Conservation Act, a 2001 agreement with the U.S. Government has preserved the picturesque landscape, secluded beaches, limestone caves and lagoons of the 23,000-acre Maya Mountain Marine Corridor. Toucans (Belize's national bird), macaws, peccaries, howler monkeys, spider monkeys and jaguars have been protected.
Here are 9 ways to explore the rainforest.
Cave Tubing: Floating along a river that winds through caves and rainforest on an inner tube is one of the most unique ways to view the Caves Branch Nohuch Che’en Reserve Cave
Canoeing and Kayaking
Jungle Horse Riding: An adventure starting at Belize Jungle Dome takes riders along riverside trails in the jungle, through teak plantations and
Abseiling: One of the most memorable abseiling adventures in the Americas is at Actun Loch Tunich sink hole (Black Hole Drop).
Caving: Great places for caving include Actun Tunichil Mucnal, dubbed one of the top 10 caves in the world by National Geographic and Barton Creek Cave, which was a Mayan burial site. You'll travel there by canoe.
Zipline Canopy Tour
Moonlight Jaguar Quest: Near Blancaneaux Lodge, you will set out with guides in search of jaguars in their natural habitat.