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The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro Town Council News
The San Pedro Traffic Department has been working hard on the island to ease traffic related problems and new parking regulations have been set in order to alleviate street congestion on the three main streets. Beside these regulations there has also been a significant increase in traffic wardens patrolling the streets to ensure maximum safety for both pedestrians and motorists. With all these new changes, it only seems fit to have San Pedro’s traffic wardens properly skilled for the task. Kenrick Brackett, Councilor in charge of traffic on the island, arranged a Customer Care and Public Relations Workshop for the island’s seven traffic wardens. The workshop was held on Saturday February 23rd and it was an all-day event. The purpose for the workshop was to educate the traffic wardens on the proper way to handle problems with the public as well as ways to enforce traffic rules of the road. Speaking at the seminar were Rudolph Orio, former Inspector of Police responsible for the San Pedro Formation and Francis Williams former Superintendent of Police in charge of the Traffic Department in Belize City, both retired assisted by Inspector Pook of the San Pedro Police Formation. Orio and Williams shared their experience on how to interact with people to ensure maximum productivity. Councilor Brackett stated that he wants the traffic wardens to be effective in doing their job but at the same time for them to be polite when dealing with the public.

Berne Velasquez featured in prime role in Jurassic Attack
Berne Velasquez is no stranger to the Belizean public, as he is known for his music and more recently for his roles in various movies. On Ambergris Caye Berne has performed on the international stage at the Annual Costa Maya Festival 2012 and was well received. But the talented Velasquez is also making waves in the acting arena. Berne stopped in at The San Pedro Sun office to speak of his role in the recently released film Jurassic Attack; a movie filmed in its entirety in Belize. Berne said that while he loves music, he has been concentrating a lot more on acting. Jurassic Attack is the third movie in which he was given a prime role. Berne played the role of Tank, a jungle and tactical military person. The movie centered on a military rescue mission of a young female scientist who was held captive at an uninhabited jungle, disconnected from civilization. The scientist was held by a terrorist known as Marques and his gang. Marques attempted to force the female scientist to develop a chemical substance that he could use to terrorize innocent people. During the military mission the female was rescued and Marques was captured. All was well until the helicopter in which he was being transported was shot at, causing a crash landing in a dinosaur infested jungle. The group of military personnel eventually found themselves being attacked by carnivorous dinosaurs. The group was forced to make a life or death decision to cross “death valley.” Once across the other side of the valley, the group would be able to make it to the highest point of the jungle where rescuers awaited them. We could share the ending, but can you say SPOILERS?!

Volunteer Dentists return to bring healthy smiles on La Isla Bonita
Yet another set of long-time volunteers have made their way to our sunny island of Ambergris Caye to offer their services to the children of Holy Cross Anglican School. These enthusiastic volunteers combined their vacation with their desire to help the community, and they are always warmly welcomed by islanders. Doctor Paul Roggow along with his wife Linda Roggow, have been coming to the island for the past four years offering their services at the Holy Cross Anglican School as well as the Poly Clinic Smile Center. Roggow and his wife decided to make their annual trip a family affair this year, bringing their daughter Brielle, son Brendon and Brendon’s fiancé Hatty Rossow. The family traveled to Belize from Minnesota, Florida and Maine, USA. The entire family volunteered their time helping the children at the school and at the Holy Cross Smile Clinic. Smile-Clinic-Bender-CoupleAlong with their volunteer work, the family enjoyed plenty of sun, sand, sea and the rich culture of San Pedro. Plans are already being made by the family to return next year on a similar family mission.

Holy Grouper on a Kayak!!
It was a calm morning on Thursday, February 28th when Roman Mejia decided it was the perfect time for some fishin’. He dragged his kayak out, paddling away, deciding that it was just fine if he paddled a little further, and a little further out, until he was past the reef and into the deep waters of the Caribbean. His line was busy all morning, with fish after fish just biting and being reeled in. His kayak was weighed down with all the good catch when, suddenly, he felt the big one latch on. What was a fisherman to do?! Mejia was not to be deterred, and he fought to reel that sucker in. At one point, he had to free-dive for him; well, when you’ve battled with a fish THIIIIIIIIIS big, you do NOT just let it get away! The fight was worth it when he eventually managed to haul in this massive grouper onto his kayak.

Northern Region Softball Champions!!!!
Congrats team!!!! Two shutout games including a perfect game and a no-hitter!!! Time to focus on the nationals!!!

Misc Belizean Sources

Belizeans must become more nationalistic to save their country
By Wellington C. Ramos. The British landed in Belize in 1638, long before Guatemala ever dreamt of becoming a nation state and still Guatemala is claiming our country up to this day. Why? Because, in the early part of Belize’s history, the British had no intention of making Belize one of their colonies until 1862. If the British wanted to obtain Belize as their property, they had several opportunities when they signed treaties with Spain to make it their territory. This was done because the British settlers who lived in Belize loved the country and exerted pressure on the British to grant them colony status.


Mr. Belize, Rigo Vellos, Set To Represent Belize In England
Corozal’s very own Rigo Vellos won the Mr. Belize competition in 2012. The 33 year old is well known for entering bodybuilding competitions here in Belize and in the Caribbean. News tonight is that Vellos has been offered an opportunity to compete in the Mr. Hercules Olympia Competition scheduled to take place in Colchester England on May 11th 2013. When we spoke to Vellos yesterday in Corozal, he told us he is looking forward to the competition. Rigo Vellos- Body Builder “It is just a more intense work out that I have to do know being that it is a more complicated and I would say a challenging competition. It increases the level of your work that you are use to. Basically it is this way, because it is a far more challenging competition you tend to want to gain more body mass, more muscles so for that you have to increase the weight that you start work out with. That is how we body builders more or less do it. Normally I would go online, get into the website and look at the picture of the other guys and see how they look. I try to compare myself to that level. Many times for me to reach that level we need to increase the intense of the workout by increasing the weight so that we can increase the body mass. Well, I work out from Monday to Saturday, 6 days of work out. My time within the day would be between an hour and a half and two hours every morning.” But for him to be able to represent Belize in the international competition, Vellos needs to cover his airfare, hotel accommodation and food.

Passport System Enters The Technology Era, Finally
If you are thinking about renewing your passport or applying for one then you should know that there are some new application processes to follow which came into effect today March 1st 2013. According to the Immigration Department new passport regulations will strengthen the application process, ensure that applicants are indeed of Belizean nationality, and remove the gaps that are used by those who try to attain a passport illegally. While the standard time frame for receiving the document remains the same six application forms have been added to the new process, including detailed forms for minors, adults, persons living abroad, and for persons applying for a passport replacement. The same procedure will apply for a renewal of passports. Another change recorded in the system is that the application forms will now need to be signed by various authorized personnel. For persons under 16 years of age, a recommender must be provided and there are two forms that must be filled out. Form 4-A must be filled out by a Justice of the Peace, minister of religion, medical practitioner, notary public, or an attorney at law. Form 4-B must be filled out by a member of the House of Representatives, chief executive officer in any ministry of the Government, a head of department, or a licensed teacher. Persons 16 years and older must complete forms 3-A and 3-B. For Belizeans living abroad, they must complete form five from the Belize Foreign Mission. Form six is for the declaration of a lost, stolen, or mutilated passport. This particular adjustment applies to section five of the application form, the Authentication of Application. And just in case you are wondering, application fees for passports have also been revised. For persons 16 years and older, the application fee is $50.00, and $30.00 for minors. For a passport that was lost, damaged, or stolen, the fee is $85.00 for adults and $55.00 for minors. For applications in the case of a medical emergency, the fee is $100 for adults and $60 for minors. For an expedited passport to be processed within 24 hours the fee is $200.00 while the processing within 48 hours is $100; and for processing within 3 to 5 working days it’s $50.00.

Graciano Ramos Needs Your Help
Today 12 year old Graciano Ramos is still hospitalized at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital and according to his mother; there hasn’t been much change in his condition. Ramos is still in a coma on life support and what’s worrying doctors is that the swelling in the brain is not reducing. With that, there is not telling when Ramos will be released from the hospital and meanwhile medical bills are mounting. If you would like the assist the family financially you can do so by depositing your donations at the Belize Bank account number 64022251580. The standard three student of La Inmaculada Primary School fell off a tree on Sunday evening and suffered a fractured skull.

OW Town Council Supports "Clear Our Borderline"
Yesterday Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina announced that his country is on high alert after receiving information that Belizean activist Will Maheia will lead a large group of Belizeans from across the country, including Orange Walk, to clear the borderline from Gracias Adios up to the Sarstoon River and eventually to the Chiquibul and Caracol. Despite the fact that Government has stated that they do not support the actions taken by Maheia and the Belize Territorial Volunteers and that security will not be provided for this weekends “Clear our Borderline Project”, the group is not backing down. In fact, Maheia has stated that they will be accompanied by trained and experienced guides who are able to tell where the borderline lies. And instead of causing a negative chain reaction, more Belizeans are joining the patriotic movement. Today, Mayor of Orange Walk Town Kevin Bernard sent out a press release expressing his support for those who will this weekend travel to the border. In the release the Mayor states and we quote “Our nation does not share an ‘artificial border’ with Guatemala, but a very real and tangible border which separates both countries.” End of quote. The Mayor also states that he finds it ludicrous that the Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington continues to express that Belize is weak and militarily unable to defend the country’s borders. And in the matter of taking the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute before the International Court of Justice for resolution, the Mayor is saying no to the ICJ. Of note is that the People’s United Party has not made its position known as it pertains to the matter. Hence why the P.U.P Mayor states in his release, that saying no to the ICJ is his personal opinion as a Belizean. Of note is that Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA are also in support of the “Clear our Borderline Project”.

BHSA's Open Day
Today the Belize High School of Agriculture held their annual open day on campus whereby students got to display the projects they have been working on for the past months. From what we found out, this year’s open day was dedicated to the Mestizo Culture. Cecilio Pech, Principal BHSA “We have the science department, the math department, information technology and the Agriculture Department and the Spanish which is highlighting foods and cultural dances. Well the students are also enthusiasm to go out to the community and learn their dance. In fact they were put in groups and they had to find someone in the community who will teach them the dance. It is an opportunity for us to invite parents. They come and see what their children are doing in school and we are also grateful for their support that they give to us throughout the air”. One booth that attracted much attention was the one highlighting the famous Atole drink.

National Youth Policy Launched In Orange Walk
was in Orange Walk presenting the document to youths. The policy, which was developed by youths, with the assistance of UNICEF and other non-governmental organizations, calls for the formation of the National Youth Commission which will ensure that the policy is implemented. During today’s launching we spoke to Jewel Crawford from the Department of Youth Services who says that when it comes to the policy Government should be held accountable. Jewel Crawford, Department of Youth Services “With government support, technically and financially, we hope that the young people will take the lead in developing programs for themselves and charting the way in which we can coordinate with other stakeholders and see them as partners in the process and not as just as participants to programs are developed on their behalf. It is also to ensure that young people share leadership in the development of Belize because sometimes the approach is that Government and organizations would plan programs and they would plan all the activities for young people but this approach shows that they are the one who are taking the lead, holding the organization and government to task to put and prioritize the youth development agenda. Through that in the policy we will tracking the investment of young people. We would also hope that to develop the youth development index that in the years to come we would see the development would provide for greater collaborations, outputs and prepare young people for adulthood.”

Belize/Guatemala Dispute Reaches Sports Level
While hundreds of Belizeans prepare to clear the borderline, Belize’s National Basketball Team is moving out of Guatemala where up to last night, they were competing in the "New Era of the Mundo Maya" International Competition organized by Guatemala’s National Basketball Federation. So what caused this latest rift? Well, take a look for yourselves. The map of Guatemala is the federation’s logo and if you pay keen attention you will see that it includes Belize as part of its territory. At the beginning of the tournament Belize’s National Team was unaware of the infringement but as soon as they found out, they decided to pull out of the competition. Today’s edition of Guatemala’s Newspaper, Prensa Libre, makes mention of Belize’s withdrawal from the tournament and while it states that the team’s retirement was mainly because the federations logo includes Belize as part of Guatemala’s territory, an apology is still forthcoming. Belize’s team was in Guatemala participating in friendly matches in preparation for the upcoming Central American Games in Costa Rica from March 11th to the 17th.

Budget Presented, No New Taxes, No Cuts
This morning at the House of Representatives the Government of the day presented its 2013/2014 budget. All members of parliament were present with the exception of Corozal Bay Area representative Honorable Pablo Marin. The meeting began minutes after 10:00am with the Prime Minister informing the nation that the 2013/2014 budget came with no new taxes and no overall spending cuts. Honorable Dean Barrow- Prime Minister of Belize “The picture is one of almost unrelieved economic gloom. With countries all around us teetering on the brink, close to the edge, Belize's Houdini-like performance is phenomenal good news. And it is fitting that, if all goes as expected, the superbond exchange offer would have been completed in the next couple of weeks. So that by the time we return for the Debate on the 21st and 22nd, laurels and garlands should be much in evidence and the UDP and Belize will be taking their victory lap.” The pace of the global economic recovery since the financial crisis of 2008-2009 continues to be anemic and uneven. Global growth is estimated to have weakened from 3.9% in 2011 to 3.2% in 2012 amid broad-based sluggishness in advanced economies. Japan slipped into recession, the Euro area turmoil intensified, and China’s economic pace decelerated.


What people wear when it is cold in San Pedro
This morning was fricken freezing, I left the house in jeans, t-shirt, hoodie, shoes and socks and I was still cold enough that my teeth were chattering – no exaggeration. As I was hitching a ride part way to town with tacoboy who was on his way to work, I was second guessing my decision have left the house and wishing I had crawled back under the covers instead. By the time I got to Wings department store I had to step inside to warm up and much to my surprise it was very toasty inside – of course I was drawn to go browse the blanket aisle. While walking around town I saw people all kinds of warm weather wear from jackets and shorts to full out covered up with jeans long sleeves and even a few hats – was wishing I had worn mine. I hit the beach for a bit and was surprised to find a girl in a bikini suntanning – to be fair with less wind it was warmer on the Caribbean sea side of the island than the lagoon side. On way home I decided to stop at Roadkill bar for chicken nuggets and fries, I knew already this was going to be a junk food kind of day with the poker run and figured I may as well start early. It was around that time that the temperature started warming up enough to loose my hoodie and feel over dressed in jeans. Now I have to figure out what to wear tonight so I am warm enough but not to hot.

Strange Fruits: Tamarind Or Tambran Pods & Three Cheers for Fruit Season!
Winter is a bit of dry spell for fruit variety here in Belize. Sure you can always access oranges, bananas, grapefruit and watermelon. During the holiday season, apples seem to be shipped in from the USA in large quantity. And it's fine. But they say "variety is the spice of life" and, I'll be honest, I can hardly even look at a banana anymore much less eat it. So, over this past week, I've been happy to see some fruit variety come to the local road side produce stand. Yesterday the strange and delicious custard apples. Not the world's most photogenic fruit but if you are looking for something healthy that tastes strangely like ice cream? This is it. They are accidentally posing next to a banana. Why is it that local bananas are covered with that powdery, sticky stuff? Something natural that is probably power washed off with bleach & lye by Dole before it ships to the states? I also saw some small plums...delightful. Just about two bites, they are the perfect snacking fruit.

Belize Youth Policy: An Young LGBT Prospective
The Launch of the National Youth Policy was 27th February, 2013 at the Bliss, but the approval by cabinet was done on 8th January, 2013. This is important progress that should be credited to the Minister of Education Patrick Faber and his Minister of State Herman Longsworth. Both seen here in speeches. The policy itself recognises that base on the 2010 census,young people ages 15-24 represented just over 20% of the population with additional data revealing that 20-29 year old individuals had a 13.6% accounted for of HIV/AIDS in 2008. The policy revealed that 50% reported already having had a sexual experience and 18.4% first sexual intercourse as less than 15 years old. In 2009, 15-24 year old individuals accounted for 18.6% of the new infections for HIV/AIDS. Yet the UNGASS report of 2010 pointed out to weak sexual and reproductive health programs resulting from the lack of clear standards in the entitlement of delivery of service. The legal requirement is that persons under 18 require parental consent, thereby, preventing young people from accessing services and forcing individual to self-diagnose sexual transmited infections because they cannot readily access medical care. Pointing out to room for growth and strengthening.

The Miraculous Story Of Floyd Lesli
Floyd Allan Leslie — Fisherman — 44 years old — was chopped on his left under arm in front of the Bellvue Hotel in 1993. Almost fatally wounded, he nearly bled to death. When he arrived at the KHMH it was believed that he was DOA (dead on arrival) as there was no apparent heart beat. One nurse believed that he she could detect a faint heart beat and believed that he was still alive and so he was transfused in an attempt to save his life. As it turned out the blood which was used to save his life, was tainted with the HIV virus. This event would thereafter, forever change the course of his life. Soon thereafter he was unable to earn a living, he became a beggar on the streets of Belize City. He was shunned by family and friends and ostracized by society. As a Homeless person, he lived under the Bel-China Bridge and in other locations, out in the open, under the elements for 18 years, begging for his daily needs. He eventually almost succumbed to the ravages of the HIV/AIDS virus. His body would become covered from head to toe with purple lesions which were further covered with white puss. He wasted away to skin and bone with unstoppable diarrhea. He suffered severe dementia. His body smelled of rotting flesh. He developed Bronchial Pneumonia and Tuberculosis. He received a miraculous healing in 2004 and today he is a living medical anomaly, surviving on the island of Caye Caulker as a fisherman. His body has returned to perfect health without the use of anti-retrovirals. Today his skin glistens over well-toned “Buffed Up” muscles. He paddles his 12 foot dorey for hours every day in an attempt to sustain himself as a fisherman. His CD 4 count is now 516 and his CD 8 count is 1304. These are the normal levels of the white blood cell T Lymphoctes which healthy people who are neither HIV positive or in the advanced stages of AIDS maintain. Floyd is a living miracle.

On The Belize - Guatemala Borderline
On the Belize-Guatemala borderline where over 125 Belizeans decided to clear Belize's defined borderline. The Guatemalan had the presence of the OAS while the Belize Defense Force soldiers observed from a distance as the Belizeans descended on Container Hill. Transportation from Jalacte Toledo to Santa Cruz Guatemala (borderline).

Good Vibrations
Not up until 6 am today. The after effect of celebrating our anniversary a bit too enthusiastically. The first mug of coffee appeared to have no boosting affect whatsoever. The second one did, however, marginally improve how I felt. It’s true to say though that I have felt a lot,lot better. Not looking for sympathy though. I brought it all upon myself. Feeling on the way to revitalisation I showered, shaved, brushed teeth, got dressed (yes,I can do all of this for myself) and headed off to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and within two or three minutes of the journey I realised that I should have put on a sweat top. It was chilly, very chilly. Nowhere near as cold as days I experienced in England but I am obviously starting to become acclimatised and now feel a drop in the temperature more. But being a hardy soul I continued with my journey and got to the build just after 7.30 am. Parking the golf cart I could see the mixer at work with the guys on ‘bucket duty’ taking a break in between loads. Try and remember the size of the piles of sand and shingle. A quick walk around the back of the bodega so as not to disrupt the guys on the wheelbarrows and I could see a human tower lifting buckets from pairs of hands to pairs of hands.

Photo Essay: Simple Fun In Burrell Boom Village
Good food, drinks and the cool breeze of the river bank – that is all that it takes to have an excellent time in Burrell Boom. Burrell Boom is small Belizean Kriol community near Belize City. It received its name after a Scottish logwood and mahogany lumberjack who built a massive log boom in the area during the 1700s. This village is brilliant at a couple things; one is making local wines of cashew, sorrel, potato, rice and berry, and two, is hosting awesome events by the river during La Ruta Maya Canoe Race. I’ve prepared this photo essay so that you can witness the simple life in Belize:

International Sources

Oil Company Attempts Bribery, Corruption of Traditional Leaders
Traditional Maya leaders reported that Texas-based US Capital Energy has made numerous attempts to buy support for their oil drilling project on Maya lands including those inside the Sarstoon-Temash National Park in Southern Belize by infiltrating the Maya leaders’ traditional forms of governance. They declared the the company is blatantly undermining and disrespecting Indigenous governance, in violation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Toledo Alcaldes Association (TAA) is the group of 78 traditional leaders or alcaldes who govern the 38 Maya villages of southern Belize in accordance with generations of tradition. Over the last several years, US Capital Energy has been exploring for oil in Maya traditional lands. Their concession was granted without any notice to or consultation with the Maya villages whose ownership of those lands has been confirmed by two court judgments. Two of the company’s permits have been issued in defiance of an injunction prohibiting the government to allow any such activities without the express consent of the affected villages. Most recently, the government gave the green light to an extraction well at the edge of the park, on lands that belong to the Maya village of Crique Sarco.

Belizean Music Influences Danny Michel
Danny Michel has his 10th album out, and once again it was inspired by Belizean music. This time, he recorded with the Garifuna Collective in Benque. In some of his previous music videos, you can see how he incorporates his visits to Belize into them. See him on Youtube with the Garifuna Collective: "Black Birds Are Dancing Over Me is a collaboration with Benque Players and the indigenous music of Belize’s Garifuna Collective. It was recorded and produced at the Stonetree Records studio of Benque Players’ Ivan Duran. It’s in the creative mode of Simon’s Graceland, the famous 1986 collaboration with South African and New Orleans zydeco musicians. But Michel’s album is far more personal... The result is a wonderful blend of Michel’s folk style and Latin rhythms. He plans to bring Benque Players north in the summer to do folk festivals in Canada." Comment

Last edited by Marty; 03/03/13 08:33 AM.