This news synopsis will be a bit more condensed than usual for a couple weeks due to time constraints.


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The July 7th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

The San Pedro Sun

A Historic Mural – San Pedro’s History through Art
A huge mural measuring eight feet high by fifteen feet wide took three days to complete. The painting is a first of its kind in Belize between artists from the region. They brainstormed how best history could be portrayed with the use of brushes and colorful paints on canvas. They decided to incorporate the Maya civilization and their continuous occupation of the region until the arrival of the Spaniards. Artists also included trade activities that formed a part of the regional trade, the importance of the environment and it linkages to the region and the people who once influenced the area.

Costa Maya Festival® presents Miss Panama!
The Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant® welcomes its newest contestant Cleirys Velasquez of Panama. The Marketing student represented Panama at the 2012 Miss Tourism International in Malaysia, placing in the top 10. She is a top model at Physical modeling agency, and set to proudly represent her country. The beautiful Cleirys will be on stage alongside Destinee Arnold (Belize), Andrea Rojas (Costa Rica) and Monica Elwing Gough (Honduras) during the International Costa Maya Festival® being held August 1 – 4, 2013. Contestants will be competing for the coveted title of Reina de la Costa Maya® 2013-14, currently being held by Panama’s Karen Jordan.

8th Edition of the Belize International Film Festival
The 8th edition of the Belize International Film Festival (BIFF) is finally here. BIFF will take place from Thursday, July 11th to Monday, June 15th with screenings across the country and main events in San Pedro Town, San Ignacio Town and Belize City. The five days will be filled with film screenings, workshops and seminars for persons in the filming industry, and of course glamorous parties and food galore. The primary goal of the BIFF is to provide a space for the exhibition of films from Belize and the neighboring regions of the Caribbean, Central America and Southern Mexico, so that these audiences can see their images onscreen and be motivated to create more.

DJ Zog set for the International Costa Maya Festival®
Another exciting headliner set to bring the entertainment on stage at the International Costa Maya Festival® is DJ Zog. He is no stranger to the island, having brought the best of his beats to La Isla Bonita just this past Easter at the Holiday Hotel. Fans were so enamored of his musical styling that he will be back to bring the party to the island! DJ Zog has been on air on Miami’s Party Station, the legendary Power 96, since you were a baby. His distinct style of blending Hip Hop, House, Old School, Reggae and Rock has revolutionized the music trend in South Florida with his mixes weekdays at 5pm. He is quickly becoming one of the most sought after DJ’s with his high energy style, charismatic personality, and witty interaction with the crowd. He currently holds residencies at Club 50 in Miami, Blue Martini in West Palm Beach, The W Hotel in New York, Passion Nightclub, and Bongos at the Hard Rock Hotel in Hollwood, Fl. When DJ Zog is in the mix, you know it’s a party! He will be onstage on Friday August 2nd.

Team Happy Cow wins the 9th annual Lagoon Reef Eco Challenge
The 9th Annual Lagoon-Reef Eco Challenge came to an end shortly after midday on Sunday July 7th before a large crowd gathered on the beach off the San Pedro Town Central Park. 20 teams had signed up for the challenge and all made their entrance to the finishing line despite one team that had difficulties complete a portion of the competition. Zipping through the finishing line first was the Happy Cow Team from Cayo closely followed by the Sparta Boys. The two days of competition tested the 20 teams’ ability both mentally and physically as they had the task to kayak 46 miles in two days. The challenge started shortly after 7AM on Saturday June 6th from the Central Park and made its way through the Boca Del Rio Channel. They eventually emerged into the San Pedro Lagoon before kayaking into the various water passages. By 9:15AM on day one, the first team had emerged into the Laguna de Cayo Frances. It took a little over 30 minutes for the first group of three teams to paddle out of the lagoon and into the leeward side of the island. By midday most teams were in the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve and some were along the Belize-Mexico Border. The three top teams that kept ahead in the challenge by the time they emerged into Laguna de Cantena were the Sparta Boys (Jesus Linarez and Sergio Lopez), Happy Cow (Alfred Lopez and Byron Cruz) and Las Tortugas (Edwin Casasola and Cesar Salazar). Once out of Laguna de Cantena, the teams had to drag their kayak through the 500-yard waist-height hot swampy mud. They then ran with their kayaks, to the east coast of the island, eventually paddling to Robles Point to end day one of the challenge. Sparta Boys finished day one ahead of Happy Cow by only 49 seconds. 19 of the 20 teams finished the first day of the challenge, and despite not completing the first leg of the challenge, female Team Stars (Kiara Gomez and Sarah Alper) did well as first timers in the competition.

Belize and USA face off in Gold Cup 2013
Belize is preparing to face off against the mighty USA in their first ever appearance at the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The game is set for 9:30 PM Belize time and will be played at the JELD-WEN Field, in Portland Oregon, USA. It is the first of three games that Belize will be playing in the Gold Cup 2013. Belize is considered the underdog in the competition because of many factors. But what the Belize Jaguars might lack in terms of professional experience, one of the national Goalkeeper Shane Orio said they make up for in heart, in determination, in unity. Orio told the press on Monday July 8th that the Belize Jaguars have played with each other for years. “We have to be united and work as a group,” commented a very positive Orio. He added that “No man stands alone. It’s 11 vs. 11 on the field. We believe and we have the faith we will do a good job. Each and every player will give 110 percent… We won’t hold back. If we need to run for 102 minutes, we will do that because at the end of the day we’re representing our people, our nation and our country.”

Ambergris Today

Costa Maya Festival Announces Miss Panama Contestant
Miss Turismo International Panama 2012, Cleirys Velasquez, has been confirmed to represent her country as Miss Panama Costa Maya at the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant that will be taking place at the International Costa Maya Festival in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Nineteen-year-old Cleirys Elizabeth Velásquez Ríos represented Panama at the 2012 Miss Tourism International in Malaysia, placing in the top 10. She was Miss Teen Panama in 2009 and will proudly represent her country at this year’s Costa Maya Festival. Cleirys stands 5’ 7” tall, is a marketing student, has brown eyes and brown hair. She enjoys reading, volleyball and going to the beach. Miss Panama now joins Destinee Arnold - Belize, Andrea Rojas - Costa Rica and Monica Elwing Gough - Honduras. All other Mundo Maya countries and Central American region have confirmed their participation at the pageant and the four remaining contestants will be announced shortly.

X-ray Facility Now Operational at San Pedro Poly Clinic
Mr. Owen Vellos, Administrator at the San Pedro Dr. Otto Rodriquez Poly Clinic, told Ambergris Today that the X-ray machine is fully functioning and that the new facility is providing services on a daily basis to test out the demand for the medical machine. For more information you can contact the Poly Clinic at 226-2536.

Rigoberto Kumul Sworn in as New President San Pedro Lions Club
The San Pedro Lions Club and the San Pedro Leo’s Club held their Installation Ceremonies for their new 2013-2014 Board of Directors on Saturday, July 6, 2013. Rigoberto Kumul took the reigns as Lions Club President and Cesar Cordova as the Leo’s President. Lion Fatima Graniel delivered the welcome address and acknowledgements. Master of Ceremony, Lion Alberto Mahler then welcomed outgoing president, Lion Mel Spain, to the podium to deliver her speech in which she gave short account on the accomplishments of the Club during her term of presidency.

Misc Belizean Sources

Commentary: Support Belizeans with dual citizenships and level the playing field
By Wellington C. Ramos If the People's United Party make a big mistake and do not support the rights of Belizeans who possess dual citizenships with the United States and elsewhere, it will cost them severely in future elections. They have already lost two consecutive general elections in 2008 and 2012. Plus, the results of the recently held village council elections did not provide them with any good news either. Municipal elections will not be held again in Belize until 2015 and general elections in 2017, which is more than enough time to organize themselves to win the next two elections. Since Belize became independent on September 21, 1981, more Belizeans are moving away from PUP and UDP party affiliation. Why? When I asked the people in Belize this question, many of them said that they do not see too many differences between the two major political parties. In fact one man told me in Belize City, "I tired ah replace monkey fuh black dog." This is a powerful statement. They see the two political parties serving the interest of a few businesses, families, friends, cronies and puppets.

Jaguars' Message from Portland
The Jaguars are in Portland, getting ready to defeat the USA team. They were interviewed yesterday evening, and they have a message. The game will be shown most everywhere in Cayo tonight. Meluchi's, The Stork Club, Lucky 5, and many others are having specials for the game. The Cayo Welcome Center will be showing the game too, turning downtown into a party zone. "A word for the people of Belize from the National Team in Portland"

SHJC Offers 4 New Programs
Sacred Heart Junior College is offering 4 new programs for the coming school year. It's not just an affordable choice, it's the scholarly choice. They are offering a degree now in Eco-tourism as well as Tourism. They also are offering an English Literature degree. Theology is also a degree choice now. They are also adding a certificate in School Leadership along with their Primary Education degree. SHJC is accepting applications for Fall classes. Call 824-2758 or email [email protected] for more information.

Entrepreneurs Training Workshop at GPC
The George Price Centre is the stage this week for the Entrepreneurship Training Workshop. For more information on this and future seminars, check out their website.

Joseph Andrews Upgrade
Joseph Andrews is getting a major upgrade, and Sacred Heart College has the beginnings of their new bus stop. There is new drainage the whole way now. Great work!

The Cohune, the Gibnut and Us
The Ya'axché Conservation Trust has a cool short out about biodiversity when it comes to cohunes and gibnut. Some of the film is in Mayan, with English subtitles. Definitely worth a watch. "The cohune, the gibnut and us is a short film produced by Ya'axché Conservation Trust in Belize, Central America. The film is explains the concept of biodiversity and what an ecosystem is, and why we humans need to take care not to break the links in the forest ecosystem. The film uses the example of the gibnut (paca), a ground dwelling rodent which disperses the nuts of the cohune palm, which is used for thatching. The paca is also hunted for meat by humans. Read more about Ya'axché at or visit the Facebook page:"

Summer Computer Classes
The Innovation Center will be having some basic computer classes this Summer. Intro to Computers starts tomorrow, Tuesday, July 9th, and is twice a week. Intro to Excel starts next Monday. They have a free session tonight at 7:00pm. Call 610-2854 for more information. "Special promotional offer; Saturday 6th July will be free computer class for the (first ten) 8 - 14 year old children who come to visit the Innovation Center, start time will be 9.30am and will run until 11.00am. Those not in the first ten will be assigned another time. Any beginner adults will be able to get a free introduction lesson on Monday night from 7.00pm to 8.30pm but they must register in advance before 5.00pm Monday. Those of you reading this already know about computers, please pass the message on to adults who never use a computer due to never having had the opportunity or they may be a little 'scared' of computers!"

Benque Fiesta Week
Benque is celebrating the Fiesta de la Virgen del Carmen this week. They kicked it off at 3:00 this morning, and are having fun a the Benque House of Culture now. They set up for a greasy pole today. Any takers? The big festivities start on Thursday night, when they'll have the Seniorita Flor de la Feria pageant. "Its been a early morning for all of us in Benque, la fiesta de la Virgen de el Carmen is on from 3:30 a.m. and we continue the celebrations with our traditional folklore games, great company and wonderful audience from all over Belize.."

Cayo's Waterfall Cave
Cayo has the caves! Waterfall cave, located off the Hummingbird Highway, has a series of cascades in it that you can climb up. It's guaranteed to be an incredible day of exploring fun. "Along the Hummingbird Highway, near the Blue Hole, is the Waterfall Cave. After a 20 minute hike to the entrance of the cave, you hike 3 kilometers into the cave, climbing up 7 waterfalls and cascades. You then backtrack, jumping into the pools, and enjoying an amazing lunch along the way. Contact Ian Anderson's Caves Branch for more information."

Cayo Flight Schedule Released
Tropic Air has released their future flight schedule for Cayo. The newly renovated Maya Flats airstrip will have 6 arriving and 6 departing flights daily. The flights will start in the middle of November, just in time for the next busy season. Placencia, San Pedro, and BC will be just a quick flight away. Thanks, Tropic! "Lots of requests for what our overall schedule to/from San Ignacio will look like this November. So here it is. Don't forget in addition to extra flights to San Pedro and Belize International Airport, we will also have non-stop flights to Placencia."

Dr Sylvia Earle, Diving BELIZE, "A Treasure"
Where's the best place to go diving in the world? Oceanographer, Living Legend, Dr. Sylvia Earle replies, Belize, is the only place to dive like it was 50 years ago. Treasure it, protect it, preserve it!

Prime Minister Barrow and the always classy First Lady Kim Simplis meet the Queen

Channel 7

Teams Belize And USA Size Each Other Up
Tonight, the Belize Jaguars are just a few hours away from playing in the biggest game of their lives – the biggest game in the nation’s history – the Gold Cup. At this hour it’s 5:40 in Portland, Oregon so the team won’t be arriving at the Jeld Wen field in the next 20 minutes or so for their game at 9:00 pm Belize time. Our Jules Vasquez is in Portland with the team so we have all the angles from Portland, including the most up to the minute information – but we start with last night’s practice session and press conference. Here’s that story. Jules Vasquez reporting from Portland Yesterday both teams had practice sessions at Jeld Wen Field with the Americans taking the field first – and the Belizeans second. Belize prefers the later practice times so that it mimics real time conditions for tonight’s game at 8:00 pm local time - that's 9pm in Belize. In pre-practice press conferences, the coaches spoke glowingly of their opponents. Jurgen Klinsmann - US Team Head Coach "We respect them a lot, they had decent results - they tied Guatemala a couple weeks ago nil-nil and they took Honduras a kind of game to break their to kind of break them down."

FFB President: Jaguars Were Warned About Bribes
But as we showed you last night, someone from the international community tried to bribe Woodrow West and Ian Gaynair. These men dealt with the situation admirably. The offer, however, was only made because the person thought that it would have been enticing enough they would have accepted. The President of the Football Federation of Belize arrived in Portland, where our Jules Vasquez is, and he got a chance to speak with him on that topic. He said that the members were warned that this could happened, and he also announced to the nation that the Government of Belize also donated an additional $50,000 dollars towards the team. Here’s how that conversation went. Ruperto Vicente - President, Belize Team "Things are improving and I must thank the Prime Minister of Belize, the Hon. Dean Barrow, for giving us further financial assistance with our national team - thanks to the Prime Minister for the extra $50,000 that was given to me for the expenses that we're going to be having here with our national team players in Portland." Reporter "So now you've crossed the $300,000 margin?" Ruperto Vicente "We have crossed that $300,000 margin."

Young Man Killed While Out On Errand
We’ll have more from the team in Portland, but first to the murder, which happened on Banak Street late yesterday evening. The victim is identified as 21 year old Jamal Neal who resides not too far from where he was gun down. According to area residents, as many as 8 gunshots were fired by 2 men on a motorcycle. Neal was walking on Banak Street at the time he was murdered. Today 7news went into the neighbourhood to get the story. Monica Bodden reporting 21 year old Jamal Neal was murdered on Banak Street just a few houses away from where he lived. It happened yesterday at around 6:10 in the evening. When 7news arrived on the scene he was already transported to the KHMH in the pan of a police pick-up truck. He succumbed to his injuries only minutes later while undergoing treatment. According to police, Neal was walking alone on Banak Street when two men on motor cycles rode up to him and one of them opened fire on him. Eight 9mm expended shells were recovered from the scene while a red motor cycle - which is believed to have been the get-a-way ride, was found abandon at the corner of Croton Lane and Jasmine Street. Today Jamal's mother told us that her son was on his way to run an errand for her.

Jaguars Say They Are Ready For the U.S
At the top of our newscast, 7News showed you the Jaguar’s team in Portland, and how they looked tactically. But as in any sport, their mental preparedness is also just important, and just before News time this evening, Jules got a chance to speak with them, as they headed back to their room to get ready for the game. Here’s how that conversation went: Dalton Eiley - Captain "Yes, we are veterans I should say, been playing for a long time. We look forward to moments like this and I have not seen anyone nervous so far but when you hit that stadium and you hit that noise, nervousness steps in when you step on that pitch everyone calm and ready to play" Everal Trapp - Midfielder "Like what the coach told us, we just have to stay focus and not worry about what the fans and the noise so we just have to go there with a mentality that we ex out everything and just stay focused and play the game" Ian Gaynair - Defender "I feel focused, well rested. I am well prepared for the game because like you said I am a veteran in this. This is not my first time approaching the stage, which, it is the first time at the stage where we are but with the level of the ball not the first time for me."

Constitution March Brings Hundreds To Cayo
Last week, 7News reported on the march held by members of the Church in Punta Gorda who decided to speak up on the LGBT issue, and the revised Gender Policy. The main personalities Pastor Scott Stirm, TV Host Louis Wade, and activist Patrick Menzies reported that over 4,000 members of the Maya communities in the south participated in the march. We weren’t able to confirm that number because we couldn’t attend, but that figure is supported by our colleagues from PGTV, who covered it. Well today, they held another march in San Ignacio, and our news team was out there to see what the response would be this time. It wasn’t quite as large as the claims in the south, but we found out that hundreds still participated. Daniel Ortiz has the story. Daniel Ortiz reporting Vehicles and buses lined the road in front of the Macal Park this morning. The Pro Constitution March was scheduled to start at 9 a.m., but up to an hour after, it was still not under way.

LGBT Members: Belize We Exist; Get Over It
And while we were out there, we discovered a group of 5 members of the LGBT population, better known as the gay community, and they seemed interested enough to see the crowd for themselves. We approached them today, and for the first time – at least in recent memory – they agreed to an interview, in which they discussed the issues being put in the national consciousness. More than that, we found one member who was unafraid to announce on national television that this is his lifestyle, and that he won’t apologize for it. Here’s how our conversation went with him. Aaron Mai - Openly Gay Cayo Resident "My name is Aaron Mai and I live in Santa Elena and I'm a productive open gay homosexual in Belize." Daniel Ortiz "Tell us about your impression about this march - they call it a pro-constitution march." Aaron Mai "My impression is that it's a demonstration and the reason why I am frustrated it is because not only have I heard, I have seen the internal issues that plague the church - if the constitution of Belize was built on the principles of the Bible then why is divorce, fornication and adultery against the law? If we're going to be fair, let's be fair and if the church is going to heaven, then I rather go to hell. We do not have an agenda - we want to live freely and if I am gay then I should be openly gay without discrimination from community, family, friends, jobsite and health. If I should want to get married - that is nobody's business but my own - I believe. Cayo is very open and I believe that there is a lot of gay people in this nation but the problem is that majority of them is what we call 'in the closet' because of jobs, family and friends that they cannot be openly out. I believe that we need to take a stand for the next generation of gay people that are coming out that they can live free because like I said people are calling me 'faggot' for 33 years of my life and I have never committed a crime. If I want to sleep with a man over 18 that is my business - I do not see that as a criminal offence and so what the church needs to realize is that there's a generation young gay people that are coming out that needs to live freely."

Council Of Churches Distances Itself From Constitution Marches
But, while Pastor Scott Stirm, Louis Wade and Patrick Menzies were making final preparations for the march in San Ignacio, members of the Council of Churches were on LOVE FM’s morning show. The topic of the march came up and they were asked by the hosts about the message being sent by this one, the previous ones and those still to come. When asked directly about it, the members made a clear indication that they haven’t weighed in on this issue as yet. Rev. Roosevelt Papouloute - President, Methodist Conference: Belize and Honduras "Since end of May the revised policy has been part of the discussion throughout the nation - we as a council we have not been as public as some people expected us to be." Ernesto Vasquez "You need to clear that up for us though. I think what the people are seeing is the church, I mean they are having a rally today in San Ignacio, they had one in PG a few days ago and Orange Walk. So this is all church related and we would see that as you all have the same message. "

Pastor Stirm: We Still Speak With One Voice
So, today, while we had the opportunity, we asked Pastor Stirm those comments from the Council of Churches. For context, we must note that he has always told the media that he speaks with some authority from all the churches in Belize because he meets with these other leaders regularly. He said, that whether or not this is the position, he believes the churches are united on the Gender Policy. Here’s how he explained it. Pastor Scott Stirm - Belize Action/Jubilee Ministries "God loves the sinner, he hates the sin but he loves the sinner. That's Ernesto Vasquez twist on our message and so, I've been in all these rallies, I don't hear anything hateful. What we are saying, we stand on our constitution; there's three things that we want in this nation as the church; we want goodness, we want morality and we want family values."

Jaguars’ Captain’s Impression of Jeld Wen
At the top of the news, we showed you the comments from both the US and the Belize Teams, as they wait patiently to compete against each other. Well, the hour of that showdown is getting every nearer, and anticipation is building to see how Belize will perform. Will the Jaguars shock the world with an upset, or will the US team outplay them, and by how much? Well, that depends on the training, but it also depends on the conditions they are playing under. One of those conditions is the synthetic football pitch at the Jeld Wen field, and as we showed you, both teams got a chance to test it out. Belize got another chance last night, and today, Jules Vasquez asked them about how it will affect their playing. Dalton Eiley - Team Captain, Belize Jaguars "It went well, a little tactical thing attacking, defending and I think it went well; everyone seems ready for the game tomorrow" Reporter "The artificial turf, how is it coming along?" Dalton Eiley - Team Captain, Belize Jaguars "It feels better than it looks. I've played on artificial turf before but not like that one and that one is really professional. It's very soft and the ball rolls a lot faster so that is one thing we have to get use to. It seems that they are going to wet the field so we got to get ready for that ball, when it hits the ground it slides . From my experience, I don't think I want to slide and the coach wants you to stay in your feed as much as possible; you slide you miss the ball, you got to get up and chase down so it's easier to stay in your feet most of the time; if you have to make a slide, you have to make a slide."

Belize’s Well-Known Striker Knows The Field Well
But none of the team’s members know the synthetic field as best as Deon McCauley. That’s because earlier this year, he was in Portland trying out for the Premier League Team Portland Timbers. Unfortunately, he didn’t get drafted, but it has given him experience on what to expect, and today, he told us how that will help his playing. Deon McCauley - Striker - Belize "Yes, well of course I was here in March trying out with them and I played on the turf already and it's a nice field, a nice stadium and a nice atmosphere." Reporter "Jurgen Klinsmann - the coach of the American team was saying earlier today that you cannot underestimate any team because if you're here it is because you deserve to be here." Deon McCauley "Well of course we worked hard to get here and it's not just because it's the first time that we are here it means that we are not meant to be here." Jules Vasquez "The team has had a wonderful opportunity to be in camp since April, has that helped and will that help you out on the field tomorrow?"

Belizean Caught Up In Fraud In Canada
26 year-old Nahyelie Maria Burn, a Belizean who is staying in Canada on a student visa, has pleaded guilty to criminal charges in relation to credit card fraud. She was facing deportation, but fortunately, the courts in that country has decided to grant her leniency. Burn, who is working in St. John’s, was a student at the Memorial University, Grenfell Campus, and between fall 2011 and autumn she stole credit cards from her roommates, former co-workers, and from a student who she was assigned to as an advisor. She then used the cards to buy merchandise from Forever 21 and to make payments to Virgin Mobile, to a total of approximately $9,000. She was also charged with 24 counts in relation to crimes of dishonesty, including 1 count of shoplifting for stealing clothes from the Wal-Mart branch in Corner Brook. Burn pleaded guilty to all 24 counts, and the Crown attorney recommended to the sitting judge that Burn be sentenced to serve 9 to 12 months under house arrest. In addition, due to Canadian Immigration law, a foreign national – who Burn is recognized as – could face deportation if he or she was charged with a crime which carries a penalty of 10 years, and was actually sentenced to 6 months or more with 2 offences not connected to the same incident.

Woman Convicted Of Trafficking Weed
31 year-old Tanice Smith, a resident of Ladyville, is at prison tonight after she was convicted of drug trafficking because the Gang Suppression Unit busted her with over 4 pounds of marijuana. She stood trial before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, where 2 officers testified that they were on patrol on Mahogany Street when they met Smith who was making her way. Because she kept glancing behind her, the officers thought that her behavior was suspicious, and as a result, the officers searched her. Inside a yellow back she had in her possession, the officers discovered 1.98 kilograms or 4.36 pounds of marijuana, and as result she was arrested and charged with drug trafficking. Chief Magistrate Smith, in coming to her decision, informed her that the 2 officers provided compelling testimony against her, and she didn’t provide an adequate defence, and as a result, she found Smith guilty.

Harvest for Kids Is Back
Last year, 7News provided you with extensive coverage of an innovative program launched by the Belize Camping Experience. It’s called Harvest for Kids, and its purpose is to provide outreach to at risk Belize City Children to by giving them an opportunity to get out of their crime-ridden communities and visit farms around Belize. The objective of the intervention is such that they get to see how the farming communities live, and how peaceful live outside of the city can be like. Well, the Director of BCE dropped by yesterday, and he told us that the program is active once again: Alexander Perez - Director, Belize Camping Experience "The harvest from last year - with those funds we were able to do together with the whole country, we are now putting into practice. Summer camp started last week, we have over 9 camps in Belize and we're looking to reach over 1,500 kids this summer. One of the things that is very unique is that through the funds that we were able to raise through The Harvest for Kids - we have now improved the program, we have our own Belizean curriculum where we have a Belizean story of a young man who went through adversity and now he's very successful. It's something very relevant that our kids can relate to so we can have them more into making the right decisions.

Woodrow West Won’t Start In Belize/US Game
We’re winding down to that game where the Jaguars will take on the US for the first time in the Gold Cup. It’s the biggest stage for Belize, and many theorists are looking at the team to see which members will be solid, and who on the Jaguars may be a possible liability. But, the star rookie keeper who brought Belize to the Gold Cup, by his near perfect performance in the Copa Centroamericana will NOT be starting in tonight’s game. If it came as a shock to you, it did to many of West’s fan who believe that he is perfectly capable of holding his own against the top US athletes. Today, Jules asked the coach and the man who is replacing him about the decision. Here’s how they explained it. Jules Vasquez "Has there been any wrinkle in the chemistry of the team because of this?" Ian Mork, Belize Team Head Coach "No, not that I've noticed, I don't think so. I mean, you know, we have to look at it also at a professional level and you have some players that have professional experience over years time and you have some that are getting there and they are getting started. It's not to take away from the ability of one or the other, it's just to say right now at this moment with a game like this and with the pressures at hand and also when you talk about experience we feel that right now Shane is the right person to fit in for this game."

B’zean Americans Converge on Portland For The Jaguars
And so while, everyone digests that decision, those following the match have many different opinions on how the team will perform. While waiting on the team, Jules got a chance to sample public opinion in Portland, and here’s what they told him of their expectations: Reporter "From when have you been planning this trip?" Dorian Arnold - Albuquerque New Mexico "From the moment that they qualified for the tournament we started planning for the trip, I contacted my friends and said we got to go to Portland, we got to support the team and we got to get some jersies. We are trying very hard to get some jersies to show our Belizean pride but from day one we knew we were going to be here to support the team and the country" Reporter "And how you expect the game to turn out tomorrow night?" Ellis Arzu - San Diego "Well, you know, I believe the strategy given, Belize first time here will be a defensive one and hopefully we could counter attack. I am hoping for a 1 nil Belize or atleast a draw at minimum, that's my goal."

Streets: Belize Will Play Well
So, that gave us the idea to sample opinion here in Belize; our colleague Geovanni Brackett hit the streets this evening. He spoke to a few the city residents, and they told him, that they expect that the Jaguars will perform admirably: Giovanni Brackett "So how do you think the football team will do tonight against the US?" Belize City resident "Well to me they will win" Giovanni Brackett "Are you going to be watching the game? Belize City resident "Yes man, that is our team, Belizean" Giovanni Brackett "So you are not worried about the fact that we are seen as amateur compared to these guys, you are hoping that we are going to be winning" Belize City resident "Yes, we are going to win"

CITCO Will Show The Game Live
But, the game is about an hour away, and establishments around the country are planning to make quite an event of it by providing their customers with big screen showings. The Belize City Council is one of those, and this evening, the PR officer for the Council stopped by to tell the city residents that they will be showing it on a big screen. Here’s how he explained why you should come out: Kenny Morgan, Belize City Council "Across the country people are getting ready to view the Jaguars going up against the United States national team and we want to do our part in Belize City so we will be having a big screen out at the Memorial Park and we are inviting supporters of our national team, come on out to the Memorial Park and let's ride with our team like only Belizeans can do it. Let them feel like and hear us all the way from Portland, Oregon, all in the way in the jewel. We need you all to come out and let's support the team. It's on the big screen at the Memorial Park, 8:30 tonight and I've just been informed that there'll be food and drinks on sale so you can come on and out and let's make it a total Belize national team, the Jaguars having a party at the Memorial Park tonight starting at 8:30."

Channel 5

Final pre-game Report from Portland on Gold Cup 2013
In the next two hours, the Belize Jaguars will enter the Jeld-Wen Field in Portland for their highly anticipated game against the United States. Belizeans all over will be tuning [...]

The possibilities after the game against the USA
While we are seeking a favorable outcome against the leviathan, a loss this early in the competition would not necessarily spell doom for team captain, Shane Orio, and the National [...]

Match-fixer identified and has been in Belize before
But leading up to tonight’s world’s stage, there were some trials and tests for our boys. Over the weekend, Midfielder, Ian Gaynair, and Goalkeeper, Woodrow West, were offered thousands of [...]

Affiliated with gang but murder not gang related
As we reported in Monday’s newscast, twenty-one year old Jamal Neal was executed in one of the City’s most dangerous neighborhoods. Just after six o’clock on Monday evening, shots rang [...]

Gender Policy Protest hits Cayo in thousands
The pro-constitution movement has been making its rounds of Belize. It touched down in the twin towns of Santa Elena and San Ignacio this morning and there is every indication [...]

Council of Churches not part of gender policy protests
While the protest was taking place in San Ignacio, this morning we spoke to Bishop Phillip Wright of the Council of Churches to find out if the church was part [...]

Churches official statement on gender Policy
Several meetings have been held by the Council of Churches to discuss the Gender Policy 2013. Following a meeting on Monday, the Council is taking a position on the controversial [...]

Following end of UNIBAM ruling, Church expects more discussions
But, the true testament will be revealed in the ruling of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin in the case of Caleb Orosco versus the Attorney General. This landmark case, which is [...]

Rape and burglary suspect free, but may face charge in future
While the church is looking to its next day in court, a man accused of a heinous crime may see himself standing before a judge and jury once again.  In [...]

Three persons taken to court for being illegally in Belize
Time is also the mind of one of three foreign nationals. This morning, the three illegal immigrants were charged for separate offenses.  They have been identified as Honduran nationals twenty [...]

US ambassador designate has strong legal background
The White House is nominating ex-judge Carlos Moreno as its new ambassador to Belize. Moreno sat on California’s State Supreme court and has also been a Federal District Judge. His [...]

The spiritual side to a summer camp
At the Queen Street Baptist School on Queen Street, about a hundred students were back in the classrooms. The curriculum, however, is different and other than regular classes, the children [...]

US and Belize Coaches give Gold CUp press conference
Channel Five’s live coverage of the Gold Cup begins at eight-thirty.  A team has been embedded to follow the Jaguars’ experience in the United States. Rick Romero and William Neal [...]

From the streets come words of inspiration for Jaguars
Here in Belize, we caught up with fans of the Belize Jaguars. They expressed overwhelming support for the national team to beat the United States against all odds.   Joseph [...]


Belize Jaguars Receives Support At Home and Abroad for Tonight's Game
Belizeans at home and abroad will tune in live at nine tonight as our National Football Team, the Jaguars squares off against the US National Team. Many have already made their predictions, and going by our boys’ last round in Costa Rica, a lot of Belizeans have already concluded that...

Athletes Sign Scholarship Agreement with Galen University
Athletes from Galen University today signed a scholarship agreement in the capital city. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the highlights on the event. FEM CRUZ “Galen University held an athletic scholarship signing ceremony for the Student Athletic Basketball Agreement. This s...

Young Man Killed Hours After Coming Out of Protective Custody
A 20 year-old man was gunned down just a few hundred feet from where he hung out with close friends. Love News’ Marion Ali has the details in this report. MARION ALI “The Belize Police Department has installed a mobile police unit at the Banak Street/Central American Bou...

Motorcycle Accident Proves Fatal in Belmopan
A man lost his life in a motor cycle accident on Monday night in the San Martin Area of Belmopan. Here’s Correspondent Fem Cruz with the details. FEM CRUZ “On Monday night July 8 sometime around 9:35 acting upon information received of a motorcycle accident in the San Ma...

Cab Driver Robbed and Assaulted in Northern Belize
A taxi driver was reportedly assaulted and robbed in Corozal Town on Monday night. According to police reports, at about 8:00 on Monday night, 51 year old Gregorio Monteroso, a Guatemalan Taxi driver of Paraiso Village Corozal, was parked on 7th avenue in his pink Geo Prizm taxi, when two me...

Bus Search Leads to Arrest of Guatemalan National and Drug Discovery
A Guatemalan National was charged with Drug Trafficking in the Cayo District. Around ten o’clock this morning, police intercepted a BBOC bus at the corner of 5th Street and Joseph Andrews Drive in San Ignacio Town and conducted a search on a passenger. The man was seated in the ...

Former Cross Country Cyclist Remanded to Prison
Fifty-six year old Conrad Vincent Smith, former cross country cyclist, became an inmate of Belize Central Prison today when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie smith and was arraigned on charges of two counts of kept firearm without a gun license and two counts of kept ammunition witho...

Church of Councils Want Clarifications on Gender Policy
Since the Belize Women Commission released the Revised Gender Policy 2013 back in March, it has been the subject of ongoing debate and contentions. The latest reaction that the policy has attracted is the organized march taking place in every district. Certain church leaders and pastors believe t...

Belize Camping Experience Aims for 1500 Children
Belize Camping Experience is hoping to cater to one thousand five hundred students in their summer camp program which was launched last week. The Director of Belize Camping Experience, Alexander Perez told Love News that their camp is unique. ALEXANDER PEREZ, Director, Belize Camping Experien...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Miss Chiquitita is Shark Ambassador
Miss Chiquitita 2013 – 2014, Kiersten Badillo, became an ambassador for the Belize Shark Project ( spearheaded by the Wildlife Conservation Society. The Belize Shark Project (BSP) promotes the management and conservation of sharks and rays in Belize through research, capacity-building, outreach and policy-support. In the photo below, Belize Shark Project Outreach Coordinator, Cecilia Guerrero, is handing over a great hammerhead shark stuffed animal to Kierstin “as appreciation for educating the community about the importance of sharks in our reef.” Kiersten also mentioned during her talent that sharks are worth more alive and that instead of eating shark panades we should eat more lionfish! Kierstin was also out during the Caye Caulker Lobster Fest with staff and volunteers spreading the word about sharks and rays.

Notice From The New Caye Caulker Village Council
The New and Official Village Council has been sworn in today July 8th at 10:00am. They hope to work with every member of the community to do the best they can for Caye Caulker. They would like the public to know that previous council signed over statements ending June 31st with $4314.37 to us. The official balance in the account as of today is $545.00. This is their starting point and urge all the residents to visit the office and pay or make arrangements to get their taxes up to date.

CC BTIA attends 28 Bi-Annual General Meeting
The Caye Caulker chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association was well represented at the 28th Bi-Annual General Meeting of the BTIA held on July 3rd at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza hotel. In attendance were the Caye Caulker Plaza Hotel as well as Stacey Badillo, CC BTIA President. The theme of the workshop was “Opportunities for the Majority.” While there, CC BTIA President, Stacey Badillo, had the chance to network with Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Manuel Heredia, to discuss tourism issues affecting Caye Caulker.


Rock it out
Our neighbor across the canal has not rocked it out in a while now and I find it pretty fitting that he chose the hour before Drummer Dan’s send off at Crazy Canucks to start again. As I sit here and listen to Led Zeppelin I am thinking that if it were not for Drummer Dan being missing, it will end up being one of the best Sunday Jam’s ever. Dulce Wolfe is still collecting money and trying to raise $5000 – $7000 if you wish to help get the medical and funeral expenses covered. Just email me and I can put you in touch with her. Here are some pics from the 2013 Eco Challenge Kayak Race. Due to the site beautification project taking place at the original starting area on the lagoon side, the race started at 6:00am at Central Park. From there the kayakers , speed boats, jet ski’s and land spectators heaed north to the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge to watch the boats cross under the bridge and make their way through the mangrove channels to the back side of the island.

I’m Back in Belize! And Here are A Few Things I Missed
Here is my view of Ambergris Caye and the reef from my Tropic Air flight. and then the usual Belize weather came back with a beautiful breeze. Ahhhh…

A New US Ambassador for Belize?
We’ve just received word that US President Barrack Obama has nominated a new ambassador to Belize, and by all indications Justice Carlos Moreno sounds like a very good choice. According to a July 8 USA Today Report, Obama has tapped Carlos Roberto Moreno, a former federal district judge who also served on California’s state Supreme Court to be the next ambassador to Belize, subject to senate confirmation. In the same announcement, Obama nominated Mark Childress as U.S. envoy to Tanzania, and had this to say about both men; “These dedicated and accomplished individuals will be valued additions to my administration as we tackle the important challenges facing America. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.” It says something about the importance President Obama places on Belize that he chose a man of Mr Moreno’s talents and stature to represent the United States here.

Inspiring Belize's future environmental stewards
Help us to inspire the next generation to protect the incredible diversity of life found in our small corner of Central America

“It’s Getting Better All the Time” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up ridiculously early yesterday morning at 3.40 am. Must have dozed too much the previous day! After reading the pages and pages of coverage for Andy Murray’s triumph at Wimbledon in The Times (online version) I checked my In Box for emails and was disappointed, but not overly surprised, to find that the banks I use in the UK and Jersey will not act upon the change of address (for security reasons) detail I sent them last week. So I now have to write letters to both. Oh well, it will give me something to do! Feeling a little in need of sustenance I showered, shaved, dressed and grabbed the iPad and headed off to Estel’s for a well deserved breakfast ( I don’t set particularly hard targets for myself so they are easy to achieve!). For example just waking up in the morning is my first target of the day. See what I mean. Anyway, breakfast was good- as it always is – and I got time to do a little Googling to see what colour stains are available for cement for our build in Ambergris Cate, Belize. I think I may have mentioned previously that although we are having the entrance stairs and the First Floor veranda tiled, the Ground Floor ‘open’ area and the Second Floor veranda and roof terrace will have a cement finish. I came up with a few colours but the question now is whether they are readily available in Belize. My next task (with the invaluable help of Daniel Camal, our building contractor, of course) is to find if they are.

Belize was to get an Education Network but?
Back in 2011 there was some movement apparently made to get a Network setup that would improve the Education sector in Belize. Partnered with CKLN, the UB was to hold meetings and plan a road to get us “up to speed” in the technology area that is much-needed in Belize. That was early 2011, and we are now already at mid 2013. As of today, no one has heard anything about this planned Network setup. We have made several inquiries, all over and no one seems to know anything about it. What a shame that today, after Belize has incurred Millions, if not Billions of dollars in Debt due to mismanagement and ignorant spending and abuses of the GOB, both past and present (especially the supposed nationalization of BTL) we are still in the same under-developed place where we’ve always been. Members of GOB are quite wealthy, and live comfortably, while most schools have no computer labs or technology IT classes whatsoever. The few schools that do have computers get them through private donations. As far as computer connections are concerned, they’re worth less than salt. Students who must use the slow speeds that are offered in Belize could never complete research in a timely manner – internet connections crawl at a turtle’s pace in Belize. Computers have revolutionized the world today. We need to take advantage of the power and introduce and utilize it in our schools in Belize. Children easily learn how to work with computers at an early age; and despite the disadvantages that computers may provide, the positive advantages they provide far outweigh any negatives. Let us teach our children in Belize how to use computers properly.

June 30, 2013 - July 6, 2013 Fishing Report
The “Good Sport Award,” goes out to all of our anglers this week! They went out in torrential rain looking for fins and nervous water. They waited patiently watching sheets of rain cover any hope of sunny skies for three days. In all of this, great things happened. Joe and Charlene became engaged for starters! Joe got after the down time by passing an army of mosquitoes to get to the lagoon. He hit the beach, and between all of his hunting around, managed to propose to his lovely wife to be. Looks like he has that part of the hunting figured out! Thank you Tony and Wendy, John, Jeff, Rick, Steve and Ed and the Love family for returning to El Pescador. It makes us feel great that you come back to see us and fish your waters. Until the next time. Meanwhile, keep your cast practiced for those special moments that soon become life changing.

International Sources

USA vs Belize 6-1 Gold Cup Highlights and Analysis
The USA vs Belize Gold Cup match ended in a 6-1 victory for the home team, a win that everyone had expected the USMNT to accomplish without much trouble. The US was simply dominant, and crushed a weak Belize squad making its first ever appearance in the Gold Cup. The semi-professional roster of the Central American nation was simply overwhelmed, although they did manage to score a historic goal in the 6-1 loss. Wondolowski had a fantastic match, scoring the first three goals for the US in the 12th, 37th, and 41st minutes.The San Jose striker entered the match with the intention of letting Klinsmann know he could be a viable option for the US roster in its upcoming Hexagonal matches. Although scoring a hat-trick is always an achievement, Wondolowski’s performance will need to be measured against the stiffer opposition that Costa Rica and Cuba are sure to provide. Belize’s loan goal came in the 40th minute via Ian Gaynair, who scored off a cross from a free kick. Nonetheless, the rest of the match would be dominated by the USMNT, with goals from Holden (58′), Orozo (72′) and Donovan (76′), completing the 6-1 rout.