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The San Pedro Sun

Easter blast on La Isla Bonita
The Easter holiday is celebrated in many different ways in San Pedro Town. From days devoted to Holy worship to extreme all-night club parties and day-long beach parties, each island resident and visitor has their own holiday agenda at heart. Regardless of how the five-day holiday is spent, there is a definite guarantee that the time spent enjoying the sun, sand, parties and fun is the absolute best. Folks gravitate to the water like moths to a flame, loaded with picnic lunches, coolers, boom boxes, lawn furniture and of course an array of water toys! While adults linger under the shade of coconut trees visiting with family and friends, children spend endless hours frolicking in the clear, cool Caribbean waters or building white-sand creations. Many hopped from one Easter event to another taking in the atmosphere, music and party vibes. Easter Sunday is traditionally a beautiful, sunny day on La Isla, and this year did not disappoint. We hope you all had a great time while you were here, and if you weren’t here then it’s time to start planning your next vacation!

Belize Fashion Week 2013
In just over a week, the island of San Pedro gears up to host one of the BIGGEST fashion events of the year. Belize Fashion Week 2013 will showcase fabulous originals on gorgeous Belizean and International beauties. Among the professional models expected are the gorgeous model Isabel Barrera and Panama’s Karen Jordan (2012 Costa Maya Pageant contestant). They will be sashaying down the runway at Fido’s Courtyard wearing the fabulous creations of such designers as Joris Hendrik and Ras Jahta. There will also be tons of jewellery and accessory partnerships, the designers of which will be announced at a date closer to the event. The Fashion Week is scheduled to commence on April 11th and will run through April 13th. The opening night of the event will start off with an opening ceremony and cocktail evening, whereby invited guests, models and designers have the opportunity to mingle. Designer seminars will be held in the mornings of the 12th and 13th, along with runway classes (both are scheduled to run simultaneously). The runway shows are expected to start at 8PM sharp.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize Police Department (BPD) has a sworn duty to the people of Belize
The Belize Police Department (BPD) has a sworn duty to the people of Belize to enforce law and order in the community and create conditions where Belizeans can live in peace with each other and are free to live their lives in concurrence with our laws and regulations. While carrying out that duty, the Department is obligated to act in a professional and responsible manner, not allowing the power entrusted to them by the people of Belize to be misused and abused. At the same time, citizens must recognize the validity of the department’s remit and do their best to abide by the law and cooperate with the department to enforce the law.

Agric Upgrades
The Agric organizers have come up with ideas to improve the Agric fair, which is only 4 weeks away. It'll start on May 3rd, and finish on May 5th. Patrick Jones paid the fairgrounds a visit to see the improvements. They're building new facilities for this year, and are talking about having a main stage, a food court, and alcohol free zones. Great ideas! "Organizers of the National Agriculture and Trade Show today hosted media representatives to a 'walk through' to explain plans for this year's event. According to the chairman of the show Jose Alpuche, this year the Agric Show on May 3rd, 4th and 5th will see some new and improved format which will include a new main stage, a visitor's centre, brand new rodeo installations and a food court. A part of the plan is the establishment of 'no alchohol' zones, streamlining of the booths and stalls to maximize emphasis on agriculture and trade."

Commonwealth Youth Development Awards
The Commonwealth Youth Development Awards for 2013 are open for nominations. If you know any Belizean youths that deserve the award, be sure and nominate them. "Youth workers are encouraged to nominate young people, who are driving innovative projects in any number of areas, including agriculture, small enterprise, skills training, climate change/environment protection, sustainable livelihoods and poverty reduction. The Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP), promotes the awards as an attempt to raise the profile and highlight the contribution of young people who are integrally involved in the process of change and are working side by side with decision-makers for a more secure future. The awards also give international, regional and national recognition to the young men and women who are selected."


A Bit of Luxury In San Ignacio: A Look around the San Ignacio Hotel & Resort
A few days ago, I wrote about eating termites and visiting green iguanas at the conservation project at the San Ignacio Hotel in San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize. But I didn’t just go for the wildlife, though I’ll admit…it was pretty good. I stayed the night at the hotel and was pretty impressed. Very nice digs. Let me show you around… The hotel is just up the hill from San Ignacio town proper, an easy walk. And the lobby is quite grand. The stairway leads up to one room, the Master suite. I’ll show you that in a second. The Queen stayed at this hotel during her only visit to Belize in 1994. That seems like a pretty good stamp of approval.

The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef in Belize
Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System is the largest barrier reef in the Northern Hemisphere. It lies 980 feet from shore and stretches for 25 miles within the country’s limits. The site identified by UNESCO is actually part of one of the largest barrier reefs in the world – the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System that extends from Cancun to Honduras. One of the most beautiful features of the Belize Barrier Reef system is the “Belize Blue Hole.” Popular for scuba diving and snorkeling, the Belize Barrier Reef is quite possibly Belize’s top tourist attraction, as well as being vital to the country’s fishing industry. There are almost 450 cays within the barrier reef, and atolls range from small sand spits to permanent islands. Three of these large atolls, Turneffe Island, Lighthouse Reef, and Glover’s Reef, have been settled by locals.

Most Impressive Coral Reefs
Coral reefs are colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Coral reefs are mostly underwater, which in rare cases grow out of the water, structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Coral reefs cover less than one per cent of the world’s oceans but support incredible biodiversity. Check out some of the unique structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals.

International Sources

Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Alongside the great Blue Hole, Hol Chan Marine Reserve is one of Belize’s top snorkeling and diving attractions, and for good reason. A part of the Belize Barrier Reef, the reserve consists of a small channel (“hol chan” in Mayan), essentially a 30-foot deep “cut” in the reef where all sorts of marine life have gathered in one area over the years. Across three square miles and three reserve zones, live beautiful live corals and an abundant variety of fish that includes angelfish, turtles, nurse sharks, hog fish, snappers and many other species. The first time I went on a snorkeling trip to Hol Chan, I felt as if I were in my very own giant aquarium, surrounded by nurse sharks, stingrays, turtles and all sorts of other creatures I had never before encountered. Snorkelers and divers flock here in large numbers every day, because of how close the marine reserve is to the shores of Ambergris Caye four miles or a mere 10-15 minute boat ride away, as well as for its marine life. It’s also easily accessible from Caye Caulker, and only about 30 minutes north. Trips to Hol Chan from San Pedro last a half-day. Be sure not to touch any marine life while snorkeling or diving, and keep a safe distance. Also, if you’re a newbie, get tips ahead of time from your tour guide on how best to position your body so you don’t end up touching and damaging the coral.

Seismic expert urges Jamaica to prepare for major earthquake
Authorities in Jamaica have been urged by an American seismic expert to start long-term efforts to prepare for another major earthquake to impact the island. The advice came from geophysics professor Eric Calais of Purdue University, who urged the country’s government and various stakeholders to understand that the threat is very real based on the area's history and active seismic activity. Professor Calais, who visited the island as part of a mission with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), said most scientists agree that Jamaica will most likely be exposed to an earthquake with a magnitude of 7 or 7.5 on the Richter scale. An earthquake of magnitude 7 on the Richter scale is considered "major" and is capable of widespread destruction. Kingston was destroyed, with some 1,000 resultant deaths, in a 6.5-magnitude quake in 1907. If Jamaica were to be hit by a similar quake now, the island could suffer a $6.5 billion loss, nearly half of the island's gross domestic product, researchers with the University of the West Indies (UWI) have said.

VIDEO: Bike Ride in Caye Caulker, Belize

Game changer in alternative energy
A team of Virginia Tech researchers has discovered a way to extract large quantities of hydrogen from any plant, a breakthrough that has the potential to bring a low-cost, environmentally friendly fuel source to the world. “Our new process could help end our dependence on fossil fuels,” said Y.H. Percival Zhang, an associate professor of biological systems engineering in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Engineering “Hydrogen is one of the most important biofuels of the future.” Zhang and his team have succeeded in using xylose, the most abundant simple plant sugar, to produce a large quantity of hydrogen that previously was attainable only in theory. Zhang’s method can be performed using any source of biomass. The discovery is a featured editor’s choice in an online version of the chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie, International Edition. This new environmentally friendly method of producing hydrogen utilizes renewable natural resources, releases almost no zero greenhouse gasses, and does not require costly or heavy metals. Previous methods to produce hydrogen are expensive and create greenhouse gases. The U.S. Department of Energy says that hydrogen fuel has the potential to dramatically reduce reliance of fossil fuels and automobile manufactures are aggressively trying to develop vehicles that run on hydrogen fuel cells. Unlike gas-powered engines that spew out pollutants, the only byproduct of hydrogen fuel is water. Zhang’s discovery opens the door to an inexpensive, renewable source of hydrogen.