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The San Pedro Sun

Actun Tunichil Muknal facilities inaugurated
Actun Tunichil Muknal Items-2On Thursday, March 7, 2013, the Belize Tourism Board hosted media and stakeholders at the official inauguration of the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) archaeological site. The Actun Tunichil Muknal lies in the heart of the Tapir Mountain Forest Reserve approximately 45 minutes from San Ignacio town. It is one of the most spectacular subterranean Mayan archaeological sites in the region, characterized by a series of chambers (some requiring swimming access) housing substantial remains of sacrificial ceremonies that includes pottery and human remains. The cave system was discovered in 1989 and opened to the public in 1998, with current visitation restricted to specific tour operators. The ticket office is several hundred yards before the car park within a joint station with Belize Audubon Society presence for managing Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve.

Re: CITES March Conferences. An Op-Ed by Ambassador Vinay Thummalapally
In observance of the upcoming Conference of the Parties for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Embassy requests that you print the attached Op Ed by Ambassador Thummalapally in your newspaper this week. The meeting in March will consider listing a number of marine species in CITES, including proposals to list the oceanic whitetip shark, three species of hammerhead sharks, porbeagle sharks and manta rays. Op Ed by Ambassador Thummalapally: It is difficult to put on paper the beauty of watching the sun rise over the ocean while heading out to sea for a day on the water. I have seen Belize’s extensive biodiversity while snorkeling off of the cayes, including a variety of sharks and stingrays. The United States and Belize have long worked hand in hand to protect our natural heritage, especially in the sea. Sharks and manta rays are important to ocean ecosystems, and the United States is concerned about the conservation status of species that are increasingly affected by international trade. These species are all biologically vulnerable to over-exploitation, as a long-lived, low productivity species. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is a valuable tool to address the threats posed by unsustainable global trade in shark and manta ray parts and products, including fins, meat, and gill plates.

Saga Humane Society says THANK YOU!!
The San Pedro Saga Humane Society would like to offer our sincere thanks to all the people and businesses that helped make February 2013 a great start to Operation SNIP (Spay/Neuter Initiative Program). To celebrate Saga HS completed 60 free spay/neuters the week of World Spay Day, February 26, 2013. World Spay Day is an annual campaign of Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States that shines a spotlight on spay/neuter—a proven way to save the lives of companion animals, feral cats, and street dogs who might otherwise be put down in a shelter or killed on the street. Operation SNIP is Saga HS ongoing plan to sterilize 75% of the islands’ animal population in the next 3-5 years. This was a great partnership between local businesses and visiting animal welfare professionals from the USA. Dr. Don Tummons of Duck Hollow Animal Hospital in Uniontown, PA, Mary Maykuth, Heather Beck of K9 Lifeline in Draper, UT are superstars for coming to assist Saga HS with this event! Thanks also Ken and Joanne Hibbard of Durango, CO for visiting local schools to talk about the importance of being a responsible pet owner and helping with our new education program for kids and to Matt Beatty for the donation of Hip to Snip stickers and Saga banners. Our deepest thanks to these dedicated professionals for using their knowledge, money, vacation time and skill to help the animals and their owners on Ambergris Caye.

Enjoying the bird’s eye view
Every time I take the Tropic Air plane to and from the city (or really, anywhere over the water), I check to see if I can snag the co-pilot’s seat. Not only do I get to see my little house as we fly past the southern tip of the island, but for about those precious minutes when I am in the air, I am afforded the most gorgeous views of our breathtaking Caribbean Seas. Ranging from deep, almost navy blue to the iridescent aquamarine that’s just the stuff of dreams, to shimmering jades, there can’t possibly be a better view from above. When the wind is blowing especially hard from the north, the pilots choose their safest route and take what we call the scenic way out of the island. There is nothing more astounding than the views of north Ambergris Caye, the jagged edges of the Meso-American reef a foamy white that stretches onward, until it meets land at Rocky Point.

Misc Belizean Sources

Fisherfolk engage on regional fisheries policies
A four-day regional consultation on small-scale fisheries, the most extensive fisheries subsector in the Caribbean, has paved the way forward for fisherfolk to become more active in shaping and implementing policy and better poised to play a more impactful role in steering the way forward, even as critical challenges such as overfishing; illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing; and weak policy implementation confront the region. Representatives of the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organisations Coordinating Unit (CNFO-CU), national fisherfolk organizations (NFOs), and NFO Steering Committees from 15 CARIFORUM member states last week attended the CTA/CRFM/CNFO Consultation to formulate Small-scale Fisheries Governance Arrangements for the Caribbean, held at Grand Coastal Hotel in East Coast Demerara, Guyana. “Today’s gathering is… making sure that our fisherfolk, the people who are actually the ones keeping this industry alive, are very much part of this [common fisheries] policy—not only in the crafting of it, not only in the adoption of it, but also in its implementation,” said Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy in ceremonies held to kick off the event.

6 ripe plantains 1-2 tbs melted butter 6 thick slices of Happy Cow Cheese Pre-heat oven to 350 F Peel the plantains, place them on a baking sheet and rub them with butter Bake the plantains for 30 minutes, then turn each one and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until golden on both sides. Remove the plantains from the oven, made a horizontal slit on the middle of each plantain, and stuff them with the cheese slices. In a few minutes the cheese will have melted, serve immediately ENJOY!!


Day One Concludes For Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge
Day one of the 15th annual Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge was from San Ignacio to Banana Bank, a total of 49 miles. Finishing in first place was Belize Bank with a time of five hours, 16 minutes and 26 seconds, pulling in taking second place was BTL Cub Arms from Cor...

Minister Louis Farrakhan Prepares For Final Address to Belizeans
The Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan today hosted a press conference in Belize City as his six-day visit to Belize winds down. A number of issues was raised during the hour-long question and answer period. One of the first questions posed to Farrakhan was about the death of...

PG Town Council Holds Public Meeting
The Punta Gorda Town Council held a public meeting last night in this municipality. &nbs...

Belize Cancer Society Receives Donation
When we hear the word cancer, it is not often that the picture of a child comes to mind. But according to Clinical Director at the Belize Cancer Society, Ivorene Bulwer there is a significant number of young Belizeans suffering from various forms of cancer Bulwer said the wor...

Woman of the Year Awarded In Belmopan
Former Government minister and speaker of the House of Representatives Sylvia Flores is this year’s woman of the year. Flores received the award today in Belmopan. Reporter Marion Ali has the story. MARION ALI "She has served in the capacity of...


Principal Dishes Out About Students Who Beat Up Howler Monkey
Last night we told you about the badly injured Howler Monkey that was rescued by the Forestry Department after it was found behind the campus of the Belize High School of Agriculture on March 5th. The male monkey is presently being treated for its injuries yet all indications are that it might not survive. How the adult male monkey received its injuries is cause for speculation and a teacher and a group of students from the Belize High School of Agriculture located in the Village of San Lazaro in Orange Walk, are at the centre of the dispute. Allegations are that a teacher of the institution instructed a group of students to capture and kill the endangered species. Yesterday we were unable to get comment from the school but today Principal Cecilo Pech decided to speak out and clarified some of the allegations made against the institution. This adult male monkey is tonight suffering from injuries to its tooth, lip and from all indications can lose an eye. The animal is presently receiving treatment at Wild Tracks, a Monkey Rehabilitation Facility in Sarteneja Village in the Corozal District. We understand that veterinarians are doing everything possible to save the animal’s life. An online blog on states that a group of students captured the monkey in the nearby bushes behind the schools plantation area, after they were instructed by a teacher to do so because the monkey had defecated on him. The blog says that the students shot at the monkey with sling shots after which the animal was beaten and tied. Further allegations suggest that the group of male students carried the injured and bleeding monkey throughout the school flaunting what they had done. But as they say there are two sides to every story and today we went looking for the high school’s version of what happened.

Ceviche, Sal Picon, Everything Mexican at La Fonda Restaurant
If you enjoy eating Mexican food and like to snack on Sal Picon and Ceviche with an ice cold beer after a long day of work, then we got a place that you might want to visit. It’s called La Fonda Restaurant and proprietor Blanca Lopez told us why you should stop by. Blanca Lopez, La Fonda Restuarant “He notado que en más Chetumal, que nada lo hice porque de la economía, porque veo que está lleno de Chetumal Beliceños comiendo tacos. ¿Y cuánto cuesta un taco? 12 pesos. Eso es de 2 dólares de Belice. Así que le dije que yo pueda vender los mismos tacos por sólo 1.50, esto es mucho mejor y el dinero se quedará aquí en Belice. Tenemos un menú que lista todo tipo de comida mexicana. La comida es de México y Belice. Hicimos la ceremonia de inauguración y fue excelente. Gracias a Dios todo se vende. El arroz y el frijol terminado y estamos haciendo ceviche, sal picón y que también venden cervezas frías. " La Fonda Restaurant is located on the Northern Highway, in front of Rapidito Loans Pawn Shop.

Could It Be? A Drug Plane?
Tonight there are reports that a suspected drug plane crashed in a shallow inner lagoon off the New River near the Pueblo Viejo Ferry. We have been informed that early this morning, Corozal Police, BDF personnel, Civil Aviation Authority and other Law Enforcement Officials were dispatched to the area where they found a Cessna plane partially submerged in the water. So far we have unable to get in contact with Corozal Police but we understand that the plane was not found with any illegal cargo and no one was there to claim it. As to when the plane went down, that has not been revealed but reports suggest that it occurred just days ago. Of note is that this type of plane is known for carrying illicit drugs. We’ll bring you the full details of this story in Tuesday’s newscast.

New Board Of Directors At BSI
And in more news coming out of the Sugar Industry, today the Belize Sugar Industries Limited announced that they have a new Board of Directors. The newly constituted Board, formed by Jonathan Bamberger, Ricardo Lima, Celestino Ruiz and Armando Tabernilla, nominated by ESH Barbados SRL, Sir Manuel Esquivel, nominated by the Government of Belize and Arsenio Burgos, nominated by BSI Employee Holdings Ltd., met for the first time on Tuesday March 5th 2013. During the meeting, Arsenio Burgos was appointed Chairman of the Board. Burgos, who has been a long standing Director on the BSI Board, becomes the first Belizean appointed to the Chair. In a release sent out by BSI today, the company’s CEO Joey Montalvo states that Burgos’ appointment demonstrates ASR Group’s confidence in and respect for Belize and the Belize Sugar Industries Limited. For clarification, ESH (Barbados), SRL holds the majority shares in BSI and is a member of ASR Group.

Today La Inmaculada Primary School held their annual business expo as part of their activities for Child Stimulation Month celebrated under the theme “Molding Today’s Learners into Tomorrow’s Leaders”. It is the second year that the expo is organized in order for students to interact with the business community and experience their products and services first hand. Carmelita Perez reporting Amidst this mornings hustle and bustle we found good deals and smiling faces as preschoolers and their parents enjoyed this year’s expo organized by preschool teachers of La Inmaculada Primary School. The event now forms part of the school’s annual list of activities for Child Stimulation Month. Similar to last year, a total of 12 businesses signed up for the event. Each business had their products on sale at unbeatable prices. If your taste bud was longing for ice cream, honey, pastries or even some delicious roast chicken then the expo was the place to be. Oneydi Carrillo- Preschool Teacher “This expo is intended for the kids to come and have fun and for them to learn about the business that we have here in our town. In this way they will be aware on how these businesses go about doing their things. For example, the Rain Forest Honey is giving a good description as to where honey comes from, why it is good and the local sweets that can be found here in Orange Walk Town.”

BMHS SWEEPS AWARDS AT National Science Fair
Another school that is in the news tonight is Bishop Martin High School but it’s on a positive note. Bishop Martin High School was one of 11 catholic high schools that participated in this year’s Belize Catholic Secondary High School National Science Fair that took place today in Cayo. The good news is that Bishop Martin was overwhelmingly victorious as they were named the overall champions of the competition. Bishop Martin entered four projects for the lower and upper level of the competition. Project “I-C, Vitamin C” won first place in the lower division, “Sugar Low” received first place in the upper division and project, “Fire Ablaze” received honorable mention. Bishop Martin High School was also named “Overall Champions” for the most wins. We’ll speak to the winners on Tuesday.

Happy International Women's Day
Various events over the last year have shown beyond doubt that there are gender inequality issues all over the world, including Belize that desperately needs to be dealt with. Women’s Month celebrated in March and International Women’s Day, observed today March 8th, has given people the chance to speak out against many issues affecting women, and to have their voices heard on a global scale. Here in Belize a number of activities are taking place in commemoration of International Women’s Month including the Belize Woman of the Year Award hosted by the U.S Embassy in Belize. The event took place this morning at the U.S Ambassador’s residence In Belmopan where ten outstanding Belizean women were recognized for their inspirational accomplishments and positive contributions their respective communities. Of note is that Orange Walk was represented by Victoria Hernandez, the former president of VOICE Orange Walk Branch. And while Hernandez and nine other women were being honored in Belmopan, here in Orange Walk, approximately 25 women’s group leaders and community leaders took part in a Leadership and Team Building Workshop organized by the Orange Walk Women’s Department.

For The Love Of The Sports
Today five primary schools in the Orange Walk District gathered at the Yo Creek Village Football Field where they participated in a male and female knockout football tournament. The friendly tournament has been taking place for the past 6 years and today the games were hosted by Yo Creek Compassion School. Principal of the school, Manuel Rejon, told us that over the years participating teams have learnt more about good sportsmanship. Manuel Rejon, Principal Yo Creek Compassion School “This year we added something else to the football marathon. We have a kiddie’s corner children can have items like toys and play games and win some prizes as well. We have for right now eight teams participating because some schools bring more than one team for the males. It is a knock out tournament and the winners advance to the second rounds and to the finales. Likewise with the females we have knockout tournaments, winners advance and it is a 20 minutes game for both male and female. From the start it has been exciting and I can see children having fun especially with the football happening at this moment. We can see the parents shouting and cheering for their teams. And I believe that schools in general that are here are having a great time.” The event also served as a fundraiser in which the money will be used to construct a side walk at the school.

Details Of The Dividends
On March 14th 2013 the Belize Sugar Industries Limited will payout three million dollars in dividend payment for the 2012 financial year, to BSI shareholders. The dividend payment was approved during the company’s Annual General Meeting held on March 5th based in accordance with the stipulation of the Subscription Deed. The imbursement amounts to approximately 6.8 cents per share based on BSI’s 44 million issued and fully paid shares existing prior to the company selling its majority shares to ASR on October 2nd, 2012. Today CTV3 News spoke via phone to BSI’s Financial Director Belizario Carballo Jr. who outlined the details of the payment. Belizario Carballo Jr.- BSI’s Financial Director “That dividend of 3 million Belize dollars will be distributed or paid out to shareholders on the basis of the shareholdings before the entry of ASR. So essentially it will be paid to the shareholders that existed before.

Farewell Chavez
More than 30 world leaders, countless athletes and left-wing celebrities, gathered at a music-filled state funeral honoring Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez today which took place in a military academy. Multitudes waited outside to start the day that ended with the swearing in of Chavez’s hand-picked successor as interim president, Nicolas Maduro. The streets outside Caracas Venezuela, took on a carnival atmosphere with military bands launching into marches and an expanse of supporters wearing red promoting Chavez's socialist party. A line to see Chavez's body, stretched 1.5 miles, was halted as the funeral got under way. In the funeral hall, more than 30 political leaders including Cuba's Raul Castro and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stood at attention before Chavez's flag-draped coffin. Belize was represented by Deputy Prime Minister, Honorable Gasper Vega. The glass-topped coffin, which had been opened since Wednesday, was shut for the funeral. Venezuela announced on Thursday that it would embalm Chavez's body and put it on permanent display. An election is due within 30 days and Maduro is expected to face opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, a young centrist state governor who lost to Chávez last October. International reports suggest that Maduro will probably be carried to victory on a wave of post-Chávez sympathy and grief.


How to grow a banana tree
In answer to your questions on banana tree care, Yes bananas love gray water but not any with much bleach. Be aware they they will spread on their own and can inter fear with any plumbing in the area with their roots. Over the years they will take OVER a large area . For planting, three foot high plants would be the max .Any higher and all you have to do is get a sharp machete and chop off the stalk about 2 to 2.5 ‘ from the base and it will start to grow immediately from the center doing no harm. Once a banana has fruited it will produce no more bunches and at that time must be cut down to ground level. Others will be popping up to replace that one around the same area.

DandE’s Frozen Custard Shop in San Pedro, Belize: DON’T Call it Ice Cream
Some classics and some with a more tropical/Belizean flair. In case you don’t know what soursop is...check out this post. It’s one funky looking but delicious fruit. One quick thing: I had to give Eileen a call this morning to clarify the pronunciation of the name. Since the “DandE” is smushed together, is it DAN DEE’s (like I’ve been saying for years?) or is it D and E’s. I’ll leave you hanging (with breath that is baited) to find out the answer. The shop is filled with fun knick knacks, photos, toys and drawings by kids and adults about how they love DandE’s, love Eileen and Dan and how they love frozen custard.

Oh Happy Day!
The body clock appears to be getting more and more in sync at last. Woke up at 6 am this morning. Only an hour or so to retrieve now. Could be totally back in sync by the time we are heading back to Ambergris Caye, Belize! After five days of travelling and shopping (more of the latter than the former) Rose and I decided to treat ourselves today with a day of doing touristy type stuff instead of hitting the stores. So we decided to go to the Farmers Market (it had been highly recommended by Renee and Dave on Ambergris Caye). We went for a reasonably early breakfast in the hotel and once finished I went to sit in the car and set the co-ordinates in the Tom Tom (OK so I just entered the address) whilst waiting for Rose. Got slightly worried when a police car drove through the parking lot – wondered if I had been reported for driving on the wrong side of the road!

International Sources

Medwood gets Gold
Belize's Kenneth Medwood (C) runs to win the gold medal between Costa Rica's Gerald Drummond (L) and Guatemala's Gerber Blanco in the men's 400m hurdles final at the Central American Games in San Jose March 9, 2013

Belize vs El Salvador 2013 Battles in U21 Central American Games
Belize vs El Salvador 2013 (en vivo live score below) battles in the U21 Central American Games futbol match today March 9, 2013. Delivered by host country Costa Rica, the San Jose 2013 Central American Games (aka los X Juegos Centroamericanos en San José de Costa Rica) kicked off three days ago. The Games will last until March 16, officials remind news. Belize vs El Salvador 2013 (start time 10 am local time) is the second of three group round soccer games today. Belize played on March 7 in its first game but was dealt a dreadful defeat by host country Costa Rica. That ended in 3-0 final score, officials remind news. El Salvador, in contrast, destroyed Nicaragua in its opener. El Salvador delivered five goals and gave up none, news analyst note.

Windows God Mode – How To
Windows users on Windows 7 got a treat in a secret feature called God Mode that gave them access to just about ALL of the controls, settings and options built into Winodws. In this article we’ll walk you through unlocking God Mode in Win8. I am told this can be done with Windows Vista as well.

Video: cruising the river in Belize
I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor