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The San Pedro Sun

WUHS conducts Blood Drive in San Pedro Town
On Saturday May 25th the Washington University of Health and Science Medical School (WUHS) sponsored a blood drive which was held in collaboration with the Belize Blood Bank; also present was Dr. Giovanni Solorzano. The drive took place at the WUHS campus on Seagrape Drive from 8AM-3PM. No appointments were needed and all were welcomed to come out and support the cause. Students of WUHS did a phenomenal job in organizing the event and making all that came out to donate feel quite comfortable through the entire process. Over sixty people came out to support the drive. At the end of the day WUHS was able to donate over 31 units of blood to the Belize Blood Bank. One of the largest amounts collected through drives on the island in quite a while. Supporters were greeted with warm smiles and the most enthusiastic spirit by both the staff and students of WUHS.The University also provided refreshments and light snacks for all those who were present.

Wealthy Italian Antonio Velardo calls Belize “extremely corrupt”
On Sunday April 28th, 35-year old Italian Antonio Velardo and 47-year-old Swedish boat captain, Levente Arangos were escorted out of Belize via their vessel La Aventura. This was after the Belize Immigration Department executed a notice forbidding the captain and the lone passenger permission to land after they were temporarily arrested and Velardo was charged for failure to declare funds. The two arrived in Belize and docked at a local marina in San Pedro Town on April 24th. After being in the country for 24 hours, authorities found a total of US$22,000 inside La Aventura which both men had failed to declare upon entry into Belize. A month after he was booted out of Belize for “failure to make a declaration”, (failure to declare money) which he pleaded guilty to, Velardo spoke to The San Pedro Sun and said that there is more to the story than was told. According to Velardo, who is an investor, the treatment he got in Belize was unnecessary and reflects badly on his reputation. “Some people already knew that I was coming. When I arrived in Belize I was met by about 25 people, some heavily armed that came onboard my boat. It was scary because I didn’t know what they were looking for. I was quite shocked by the treatment,” said the businessman.

Misc Belizean Sources

San Pedro Cancer Society 3rd Anniversary Banquet
The San Pedro Cancer Society requests the pleasure of your company at our first banquet celebrating three years of serving the comunity of San Pedro. Here's The Menu!

Some Video History of Belize
Ran across this website.....I remember these events like yesterday..... The video of Hurricane Hattie is awesome...many of us will remember the devastation she brought to Belize City..... (a technical error by calling it "Honduras" instead of "British Honduras")

VIDEO: In Search of The Reclusive Whale Shark, Gladden Split
Gladden Split Marine Reserve, Belize, no lucky. Maybe next time we have better luck hunting for Wabbits. Special Thanks to Michelle Foster for making her 4th trip all the way from Texas and still no Whale Shark sighting on a dive and Gaylynn Kapri for participating in the production of this film at Gladden Split.

Inspiration Station in Spanish Lookout
There was an Inspiration Station in Spanish Lookout. Pictures from the one in Cayo will be up soon.

FCDEYG Camping Trip
The Friends of Conservation and Development Environmental Youth Group had their camping trip, and they had a fun time on their night out in the wilderness. If you'd like to join their group, and have fun excursions like this one, now is the time. "Hello Everyone!! We want to extend an invitation to any one who wants to Join or become a part of the Environmental Youth Group. Anyone is welcome to Join. You can Inbox us for any information you need."

Belize 4th Happiest Country in the World
Belize was again ranked one of the world's happiest countries, this time by the Travel Channel. Belize ranked 4th on their top 10 happiest countries. Picture is the Five Sisters Falls, taken at Gaia Riverlodge. "With the second biggest barrier reef in the world, a laidback Caribbean lifestyle and a favorable climate, there’s a lot to be happy about in Belize. But its cultural diversity is what is truly believed to make this country so content and welcoming: European, Creole, Hispanic and Mayan are some of the prevalent groups that form one harmonious culture here. "

Graduation Night in Cayo
Sacred Heart Junior College had their graduation ceremony today, and tonight students will be living it up. Meluchi's is having their Beer Vibez party, and Hallow's Night Club has their Pasame la Tequila rave party. There will be live music at Lucky 5 from the World Culture Band. Congratulations graduates!

Win a Facial at the Dollhouse
The Dollhouse is having a raffle for a free facial. Just like their page, and their picture, and leave who you'd like to win, yourself if you'd like, and you will be entered. "OK Folks - The Dollhouse is having its very first online raffle! -Win a SPA FACIAL- To participate in the raffle, all you have to do is: 1) Like The Dollhouse page 2) Like the flyer 3) Then nominate a friend or yourself (male or female) under this flyer and you're in! Anyone can be nominated. For more details refer to flyer."


Prime Minister Defends DPM For Destruction of Noh Mul, But Francis Fonseca Chastises Him
It has been twenty two days since we first broke the news of the deliberate destruction of the more than 3000 year old Mayan temple, Noh Mul, by well-known UDP political aspirant Denny Grijalva, and his company De’Mars. The topic, which drew both local and international attention, has been under investigation by the Institute of Archaeology but until today, no one has been charged. So, will charges be levied anytime soon? That is what reporter Irvin Aragon tried to find out. Irvin Aragon- Reporting The deliberate mauling of the archaeological site, Noh Mul, caused mix emotions countrywide and has left international partners appalled but until today, no one has been held accountable. The last we heard about the matter is that an investigation was being carried out by the archaeology department but it was not until today that some light was shed on the issue. According to the Director of the Institute of Archaeology, Dr. Jaime Awe, investigations on their behalf has concluded and all the evidence gathered was submitted to the Orange Walk Police Department on Wednesday May 29th 2013. During our conversation via phone today, Doctor Awe stated that the officer leading the investigation, Inspector Fuentes, was to meet with the Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl Lyn Vidal for advice on what charges would be levied against those found responsible for the destruction of the Mayan edifice which lies in the middle of a cane field in the Village of Nuevo San Juan in the Orange Walk District.

Celebrating An Excellent Crop, With El Dia Del Canero
For the third year in a row, the BSCFA hosted el “Dia del Canero” here in Orange Walk Town, this time at the Barracks. The event was in commemoration of the hard work cane farmers do to provide us with the sweetest sugar in the region. Sweeter than the sugar though, was the evaluation of this year’s crop season which proved to be spectacular for both BSI and Caneros. This year the event was organized in conjunction with several businesses that had their products on display and for sale at discounted prices. The day started off with a thanksgiving mass celebrated by Father Benjamin Galvez. After the mass, it was time for the official ceremonies to take place. This saw the participation of the Leader of the Opposition Honourable Francis Fonseca and Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega who both congratulated cane farmers and the Belize Sugar Industry Limited on an excellent crop.

Live Flames Could Have Been Cause Of Disaster
In last nights newscast we told you about the 15 by 15 wooden structure that burnt down around 7:00 on Wednesday night and left a family from the Black Water Area in the Village of Trail Farm in the Orange Walk District devastated after they lost everything. Luckily no one was injured since the occupants of the house, the Castellanos family, were out in the yard when they saw flames coming from the back of the residence and within minutes the entire structure was swallowed by the blaze. Despite attempts the family was unable to save the house and its contents valued at more than five thousand dollars. As we told you last night the house had no electricity and no candles or fish coils were lit at the time of the incident. The family; however, did depend on a car battery for power but it seems that did not cause the blaze.

Leader Of The Opposition Says Pablo Marin Must Go
The death of 13 infants at the KHMH’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the fact that no one has been held responsible is raising concern across the country. Yesterday, during a press conference held at the nation’s referral hospital, it was revealed that instead of 12, as was initially reported, 13 babies died at the hospital in the first 20 days of May. Seven of the infants died as a result of the “enterobacter cloacae” bacteria inside the NICU on May 10th while six died of prematurity and other related conditions. But the lengthy explanation given by those at the head table, including the Director of Medical Services at the KHMH, Doctor Adrian Coye and the Prime Minister of Belize, about what occurred at the KHMH, proved to be of little consultation to those who lost their loved one since no one was held responsible for the deaths of the infants. Today when the Leader of the Opposition, Honourable Francis Fonseca, was asked to give his input on the press conference he stated that it lacked substance and all Belizeans were given was a long technical explanation and no answers. In fact, Fonseca went as far as to say that heads must role starting with the Minister of Health Pablo Marin who was present at yesterday’s press conference and kept mum on such an important issue.

P.M's Explanation On San Antonio Road Is One Hard Pill To Swallow
With all the noise made about documents showing that back in 2012 Imer Hernandez Development Company was paid close to two hundred thousand dollars for the rehabilitation of San Antonio Road Orange Walk, by the Ministry of Works and the facelift is yet to be executed, one would have taught that by now the pot would have been stirred well enough for works to commence in the area. But apparently that is wishful thinking and residents of San Antonio Road who have been suffering from the dust produced by the dilapidated conditions of the street will not be relief anytime soon. Yesterday when questioned by the media about the issue, the Prime Minister revealed that the contract awarded to Imer Hernandez to fix San Antonio Road was cancelled and the funds were diverted to pay for works conducted in the Otro Benque Area that fall’s under the constituency of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega who is the uncle of Imer Hernandez. For context here is the Prime Ministers explanation. Honourable Dean Barrow- Prime Minister of Belize “There is a preliminary report that has been prepared for me, let me tell you where things are and what I am doing to as it were forward this matter. There is no doubt that some contracts were signed for work on the San Antonio road those contracts were cancelled, the financial secretary confirms that the money that had been allocated, his permission was sought for shifting of the funds instead to do work in the Otro Benque Area which you in no doubt delighted to learn is in the constituency of Deputy Prime Minister, I don’t know that the financial secretary knew which works were to replace the San Antonio works that had been contracted for but he gave permission for the re-allocation of the funds.

NEMO Corozal Prepares For 2013 Hurricane Season
With the hurricane season opening on Saturday June 1st, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) is once again preparing the Belizean community in case of an emergency. This year, NEMO Week, which runs from the 26th of May to the first of June, is observed under the theme, “Reducing the threat from Climate Change, Disaster preparedness begins with you”. Today DEMO Corozal conducted an outreach to the community in preparing for this year hurricane season. The purpose of NEMO week is to bring awareness to the public and to stress the importance of disaster preparation. Today, DEMO Corozal Coordinator, Willard Levy, and his team hit the streets of Corozal with brochure’s and flyers in hand reminding residents that the hurricane season opens tomorrow. Willard Levy - NEMO Corozal Coordinator “Basically we are doing community outreach; we have radio talk shows in the community and advising the people to start to prepare for the hurricane season, we should be expecting a more than average hurricane season and as a result we are asking the people to start to prepare way ahead of time and purchase their items, long shelf items, make sure that they get a lot of water that is the most basic thing and if they are going to evacuate to know way ahead of time where they will be evacuating to and do not wait until the eleventh hour to do all these things, they need to make a family plan and every member of the family is a part of the plan and everybody should take a little responsibility on doing the necessary plans at this point we are doing outreach to the community giving them family plan, check lists, hurricane shelter list, and other few tips that they should take into, one of the things that we ask to the people is to listen to the radio and the TV stations do not depend on what your neighbour is telling you sometimes you get mislead in information and that creates a little problem for you.

Belize Celebrates World Tobacco Day
Each year around the world on May 31st is recognized as World Tobacco Day with the aim of encouraging a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption across the globe. The day is further intended to draw global attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and to negative health effects, which currently leads to 5.4 million deaths worldwide annually. The month of May is annually dedicated to activities designed specifically for the promotion of No Tobacco Awareness. According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) it estimates that worldwide, 78% of young people aged 13-15 years report regular exposure to some form of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. Today The National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC) and the Ministry of Health in conjunction with supporting national and international health partners, is celebrating World No Tobacco Day ,which is being celebrated under the theme, “Ban Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship.”

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Who will win Miss Lobster Fest 2013?
Every year as part of the Annual Lobster Fest festivities, there is a pageant to select a Miss Lobster Fest. Young ladies from the community vye for the title. The winner gets an educational scholarship. The pageant, held on the Friday of the weekend of the Fest, usually kicks off the festivities. This year the pageant will be held on Friday, June 28 at the Palapa Gardens. Five amazing young ladies are vying for the title. We present them to you here in all their awesomeness for your enjoyment! For more information about the pageant and Lobster Fest, you can visit the pageant’s official facebook page HERE.


It takes a village to raise a child
With heartfelt pride and solidarity, we highlight the social initiatives and large strides Belizean NGO, Special Envoy has implemented and continues to implement with its mission of “advancing the welfare and well-being of Belizean Children.” Today the Belizean community joins together in raising funds towards the Inspiration Center, a facility benefitting disadvantaged and differently abled children in need of physical, speech, occupational, or mental therapy, rehabilitation, as well as education. With children comprising nearly 50% of the Belizean population, it becomes imperative to ensure that children have access and mobility towards a quality of life. Special Envoy encourages all sectors of society to pitch in and indeed, it takes a village to raise a child. Today, the second annual telethon will take place with donation booths set up in different communities throughout the country. Here on Caye Caulker, the donation booth will be located at Jan’s Place on Front Street. Last year, the telethon raised $500,000 USD which went to constructing the building. This year, the telethon hopes to target another $500,000 USD to cover costs of the facility’s equipment. We are inspired by the action and effort that carries the hope of our children in need, and we are blessed to experience the community spirit that embodies the Belizean community.

“Get Behind the Wheel” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
First job for Rose and I yesterday morning (well after we had wished each other happy anniversary) was to go to the Tropic Air Cargo office to collect the insurance policy that Willard Young of R F & G Insurance had sent over on the 4.30 pm flight the previous day. With the policy in our possession( at last) we went straight to Captain Shark’s to give it to Enrique so he could get the permit (and license plate) from the San Pedro Town Council Transport Department. To ‘allow’ Enrique time to do this I went to Estel’s for breakfast (well,why wouldn’t I) and Rose went shopping. Fair division of labour I would say! After her shopping spree (sic) Rose collected me from Estel’s and we went to Atlantic International Bank‘s branch in Pescador Drive so that I could make another withdrawal (ouch). Unlucky with our timing because it seemed that most (OK so a bit of an exaggeration) of the businesses in town were making deposits (deposits always take so much longer).

International Sources

Caribbean debt and deficits Moody’s: Aggressive fiscal measures needed
International ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service says three bond restructurings totaling about $9.7 billion in the Caribbean this year didn’t go far enough to fixing the region’s “unsustainable” mix of debt and deficits. The agency said the measures failed to ignite economic growth and may not help the region avoid more defaults. This year, Jamaica and Belize, restructured about $9.5 billion in local and global bonds but Moody’s in a recently published report, said there a “high probability” that they will default again. In the region, only the Bahamas is expected to grow more than 1.5 per cent this year compared with four per cent for Latin America and economists have warned that without faster growth, repeat defaults may become common as Caribbean governments find it easier to cut bond payments rather than spending.

5 research field stations where you can stay
LA MILPA FIELD STATION, BELIZE Combination research facility and ecolodge operated by the nonprofit Programme for Belize. Activities include touring archeological sites, jungle trekking, and birding.

World's 100 best beaches: Top 25
Placencia is listed among the world's 100 best beaches