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The San Pedro Sun
The New River: A trip to an ancient world
New River Lamanai Story-7Belize has many rivers and each is important to the growth and development of its region. In the northern region of Belize, snaking through the Orange Walk and Corozal Districts is the New River. The New River is essential to both districts and the entire country in a whole; it has carved its way through the Maya era and the colonial times, and shaped the north for a bountiful future.
The New River was a major trading route for the ancient Maya and before, when Belize was still known as the British Honduras. At that time the country depended heavily on the logging industry and the New River was a vital piece to the thriving economy. Loggers from the north utilized the New River as a means of transporting logwood out to the Caribbean Sea where the British ships would be waiting to carry back the lumber to Europe. Massive logs were set adrift starting from the exotic forests of Orange Walk up to their destination at the Corozal Bay. This industry flourished for several years, but soon there was a new use for the New River, and the north became the land of sugar and molasses.
Saga is offering 75 FREE spay/neuter through Operation SNIP
Saga Humane Society aims to help reduce the problems associated with community and street animals on Ambergris Caye by introducing a pet population management program, Operation SNIP (Spay Neuter Initiative Project). To reduce the breeding populations and reduce the number of street animals, 75-90% of all dogs and cats on the island will need to be sterilized in a 3-5 year time frame to be effective. Saga HS has pledged to raise money or bring visiting Veterinary teams to offer low cost or free spay/neuter, with a goal of 1,000 animals per year during this project. The primary objective of comprehensive animal management program should be to keep the population of dogs and cats on Ambergris Caye down to a level where there is no need to destroy healthy and friendly animals, but without accumulating them in the Saga HS shelter.
To help us reach our goal of 1,000 animals for 2013 Saga HS is pleased to make available 75 free spay/neuters for the month of July. Dr. Baptist will be performing surgeries the second week of July. Dr. Don Tummons of Duck Hollow Animal Hospital in Uniontown, PA will return to San Pedro July 15-26. Dr. Dr. Don helped Saga HS kick off Operation SNIP on his last visit in March 2013 in which he spay/neutered 50 animals. He and his assistant Mary Maykuth are superstars to Saga HS, they use their own vacation time to come and help the animals of Ambergris Caye.
Mediterranean Fruit Flies Detected in Southern Belize
The Belize Agricultural Health Authority informs the general public, especially in southern Belize, that Mediterranean fruit flies have been detected at various points in the Toledo District, Mango Creek, and along the Placencia Peninsula. As a result of these detections, BAHA will quarantine part of the Stann Creek district and the entire Toledo District with effect from Saturday July 13th, 2013. A 24-hour quarantine checkpoint has been placed on the southern highway at the village of Silk Grass. This action is necessary to maintain Belize’s Medfly free status which is essential to maintain our export markets for papayas and citrus.
BAHA is therefore requesting the cooperation of the public to cease illegal importation of fresh fruits and vegetables from infested areas such as Guatemala and Honduras, and also to stop movement of fresh fruits and vegetables from the designated quarantine area. The public is advised that violations will lead to immediate confiscation and destruction of produce regardless of quantity.
Costa Maya Festival® presents Miss Nicaragua!
Ariadna Judith Orellana Melendez is the latest contestant announced for the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant®. Ariadna proudly represents Nicaragua, and seeks to win the title currently being held by Panama’s Karen Jordan. She is a 23-year-old working in Marketing and Public Relations. Ariadna is 5’ 5”, brunette with brown eyes, and measures 34-25-38. She enjoys cooking and traveling.
Ariadna will be joining Destinee Arnold (Belize), Andrea Rojas (Costa Rica), Monica Elwing Gough (Honduras), and Cleirys Velasquez (Panama) on stage, Thursday August 1st. Who will be 2013’s Reina de la Costa Maya? Be sure to get your tickets and be there in person to find out! 3-day Season Passes are available at $60 for children and $140 for adults.
San Pedro celebrates 8th Edition of the Belize International Film Festival
It was a night of stars indeed, as the 8th Edition of the Belize International Film Festival (BIFF) came to San Pedro Town on Saturday July 13th for the screening of Cuban musical, Hopelessly Together. Since its inception in 2005, the BIFF has been growing in size and popularity and is a well-attended event throughout the country. The carpet was rolled out at Paradise Theater as many islanders and visitors alike made their way to enjoy the heart felt film directed by Jorge Sánchez. It was an exquisite take on love, racism, and double standards. The crowd enjoyed the film to the end, laughing at the comedic styles and enjoying the great musical numbers. “Irremediablemente Juntos – “Hopelessly Together,” is no doubt a film you wouldn’t afford to miss,” said Horacio Guerrero, Festival Coordinator. “It was an entertaining film that bluntly sheds light to universal taboo issues that are faced by many societies today and even more so in small countries like ours.” BIFF strives to bring together filmmakers and writers from throughout the world, not only to present the Belizean audience with fresh and new films and features but also to help promote and expose Belizean films and aspiring filmmakers here in the country to a wider audience. BIFF ended on Monday, July 15th with the award and closing ceremony at the Belize House of Culture.
The search at sea continues for a missing Sarteneja fisherman
Edwardo Dominguez, a fisherman from Sarteneja is missing after the vessel he and a companion was travelling in capsized at sea. The accident happened shortly around 10AM on Sunday July 14th as the two fishermen were heading to an area near Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve located on northern Ambergris Caye. According to Lieutenant Gregory Soberanis, Belize National Coast Guard Operation Officer, after the incident was reported on Sunday they immediately launched a search and rescue operation. “We got a report from the Police at Sarteneja village of a capsized vessel east of village. One Barajona reported to police that he, along with one Edwardo Dominguez, were on a white 23-foot sail boat named Elena, heading to Bacalar Chico when they capsized,” explained Soberanis. He said that Barajona reported that he managed to swim to shore safely, but unfortunately Dominguez remains unaccounted for. “The Belize National Coast Guard, assisted by local fishermen in the area, is currently conducting search efforts in the entire area to locate Dominguez. Barajona is attributing the accident to bad weather. As you know, on Sunday there was a tropical wave that moved over the country so the weather was not suitable for small craft,” said Soberanis.
Costa Maya Festival Announces Miss Nicaragua Contestant
Lovely Ariadna Judith Orellana Melendez has been confirmed to represent her country as Miss Nicaragua 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.
Ariadna stands 5’ 5” tall, works on Marketing and Public Relations, and has brown eyes and light brown hair. She enjoys cooking and travelling. Miss Nicaragua now joins Destinee Arnold - Belize, Andrea Rojas - Costa Rica, Monica Elwing Gough – Honduras and Cleirys Velásquez - Panama. All other Mundo Maya countries and Central American region have confirmed their participation at the pageant and the three remaining contestants will be announced shortly.
San Pedro, Belize Has New Coral Reef Experts
Our children are the future of our island and teaching them about the importance of conservation of our beautiful Barrier Reef and fragile ecosystem is essential. What better way of doing that than engaging them in a hands-on experience summer camp. The Smith College Coral Reef Ed-Ventures Summer Camp was in its 14th year of fun and educational summer youth camp here in, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
The program seeks to inspire conservation and sustainable use of coastal resources by providing children an opportunity to learn how healthy reefs function, how various organisms interact with the reef, what threats to the reef ecosystem exist, and how to protect it. Smith College’s Environmental Science & Policy Program and Center for Community Collaboration sponsored this project along with the Hol Chan Marine Reserve.
Pic of the Week:
Quaint Produce Shops Around San Pedro, Belize
There is one at almost every corner of downtown San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. You can find them inside large air conditioned shops, small hole in the walls, in small quaint stalls, make-shift tables on the side of the road and even along the roads outside of town. There are plenty of produce stores or fruit shops on the island providing fresh and mostly organic produce; some even supply much imported products not readily available or common to the region. But one thing is for sure, each shop has its own charm and quaintness about it, much like this one that sits on corner on Pescador Drive (middle street). Alicy Dely provides delicious homemade local dishes but also doubles as a fruit shop. A quaint and colorful piece of paradise that screams Tropical Caribbean Cool; don't you think?
Misc Belizean Sources
Minister deplores attacks on gays in Belize
A senior government minister has written a public essay expressing grave concerns about what she perceives could be the promotion of hate crimes against gay men and women in Belize.
Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development Minister Lisel Alamilla posted the short essay on her Facebook page, prefacing her missive by stating that "I do not oppose persons having different views or religious beliefs, but it concerns me immensely when those are being communicated by misinformation, manipulation and fear which could result in hate crime”.
Alamilla used a couple of photographs taken during the pro-Constitution demonstration in Toledo, southern Belize last week, depicting what could be described as the hanging in effigy of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM).
Garifuna Collective's Gudemei
The Garifuna Collective have released their Gudemei video, and it is fantastic! Isn't it time for another Grammy win for the best band in Belize? It was shot at the Soul Project, and Daniel Velazquez captured all the magic that was going on. You can tell they had a great time doing it. It's worth the 4 minutes.
Young, Gifted, and Restless
Musical interlude with art. Rick Galvez, who plays at Soul project all the time, had an exhibit a the Bliss Centre. Check out this documentary from Daniel Velazquez, which has him playing, mixed with video of his exhibit.
"A documentation of Bliss exhibit, YOUNG GIFTED AND RESTLESS, music by Rick Galvez"
Rotaract's Rave at the Grave
D!rty Jok3s is coming back to Meluchi's for the Rotaract Club of San Ignacio's Rave at the Grave fundraiser. Saturday, July 27th is the date. If you missed D!rty Jok3s dub step performance last year, now's your chance to be amazed. Mistah Geeh will also be mixing the night away. The proceeds from the event will go towards sending kids to school, so have a great time and make a difference too. Thanks to Will Moreno for the great shot!
"Official fundraiser for our First Annual ADOPT A CHILD PROGRAM!
DJ's will be MISTAH GEEH and DIRTY JOKES!
We are raising funds to assist primary school students from Yalbac by paying for their school fees, and providing them with school bags and supplies for the new school year.
Basketball for Football Fundraiser
The Galen Eagles basketball team played the All Star Selection as a fundraiser for the National Football Team. Thanks, Eagles!
"Basketball for Football Fundraiser: Galen Eagles Basketball Team vs. All Star Selection"
Can Team Belize Qualify?
Tonight, the Belize National Football team, the Jaguars is preparing for its final game of group play – when they face Cuba, which also lost its first two games. Both teams are looking at the slim possibility of advancing to the quarterfinals. That’s because the top two teams from each group advances as do the two bets third place teams. Belize is vying to be just that. Here’s how Belize can do it: If Trinidad and Salvador lose or draw tonight, then – if Belize can beat Cuba, it’s possible. But because of the goal differential, we’d have to be them handily. Like we said the possibility is slim, but it is there. And it is with that knowledge that the team had its first practice at Rentschler field in East Hartford, Connecticut about two hours ago. They are preparing to play the first game tomorrow at 3:30 Belize time.
But before we go there, we first take a look back to Saturday for an in-depth breakdown of the game and an analysis by the former assistant coach Charlie Slusher. Daniel Ortiz studied the game in –depth:..
Daniel Ortiz reporting
The Belize team established itself very early on the game, making better passes, and maintaining possession more than it did in the game against the US.
Even the announcers on Fox News recognized that the Jaguars were playing with better focused strategies:
But small cracks in the defence would start to show up under Costa Rican pressure, and at times goal keeper Woodrow West would have to get the situation under control.
Team Belize Reacts
And now we have the reaction to Saturday’s loss in Salt Lake City where the heartbreak at such a narrow defeat was palpable but so was the sense of redemption. Jules Vasquez got reaction from all sides.
Ian Mork - Belize Head Coach
"Glad that we were able to prove to ourselves most importantly and to everyone what type of football we can play so it was good to see the team show up today. Things didn't go our way completely but I'm proud of the players."
Ian Gaynair - Defender, Belize
"It's unfortunate that we had to get beat 6-1 for us to show the world that we can play football but at the end of the day I feel good about my team and my country."
Everal Trapp - Defender. Belize
"We played damn great - better than the first game after we took 6-1 we came out and we showed the world that we could play football."
Elroy Smith - Defender, Team Captain Belize
"These kinds of loss really hurt worse when it's 0ne-nil. Like I said the man didn't intentionally do that but these are things that happen."
Man Missing, Feared Drowned
Tonight the search continues for Edwardo Dominguez – a Fisherman who is missing in the Bay of Sarteneja. According to our information, Dominguez along with another fisherman left Sarteneja around 10am on Sunday morning and was heading to Bacalar Chico when their boat capsized about 2-4 miles East of Sarteneja Village. Dominguez kept afloat on an icebox while his partner managed to swim to shore for help. When he arrived at the police station in the village, it was already 3 o’clock in the evening and by the time police and coast guard arrived in the area, Dominguez was nowhere to be found and all the search team saw was the icebox and the vessel. At this time the Belize Coast Guard has a search unit active in the area along with joint efforts by police and a civilian search party.
Lt. Greg Soberanis- Ops Officer, Belize Coast Guard
"Sarteneja, he said that when he capsized it was approximately three to four miles east of Sarteneja in that general area, so that is the area we are currently searching."
"And it happened when?"
Lt. Greg Soberanis
"He said, based on the time of the day, it was probably about ten yesterday morning, he estimated that they capsized.
"So they had been on sea for how long?"
Lt. Greg Soberanis
"He said after they capsized at about ten yesterday morning, he did not reach police station until about three yesterday afternoon."
Belizeans “Represented” At Rio Tinto
At the top of the news we told you about the much applauded effort from team Belize in Utah at the Rio Tinto stadium. For that, it was rewarded with major love from its fans. You might have thought that with Utah being so remote and so far removed from the population centers where the Belizean Diaspora gather that only a few fans would show….but they were there plentifully. In fact, a lot of the folks we saw in Portland, also turned up in Salt Lake. Jules Vasquez spoke to them:…
Jules Vasquez reporting
In Salt Lake City, Belize was -as they say 'in the house', with flags, signs and an abundance of team spirit.
"We're here supporting our Belizeans, win,loose or draw - we are all here for them to support them 100% - 'this da fu we Belize!'
"We have to support our team and big them up, we have to follow them."
KHMH Wants Bucks From Buckley
3 weeks ago, 7News told you about the bill that Steven Buckley owes to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he spent months in the hospital after he recovered from injures that he suffered from a police inspector.
Buckley wasn’t doing anything illegal or questionable, and he didn’t get a chance to identify himself before the inspector shot him in the head.
He survived that ordeal, but he had to rely on the KHMH for treatment. Now that he has recovered, the KHMH wants him to pay the hospital bill, which he says is impossible because he can’t work due to his physical condition.
Today, he called us back to say that the hospital is pressing him to pay now, but he was promised by the former Commissioner of Police that they would cover the expenses.
Nothing has been paid, and he is asking publicly for a meeting with the new Commissioner.
Steven Buckley - Seeking Police Help With Medical Bill
"Well I think that I should not pay for that, I didn't get hurt, it was the police that hurt me, so I don't think that I should pay for it, the government police should pay for it"?
"Have they ever promised in the past that they would assist you?"
"Mr. Jeffery had said that they would clear off the bill, so I don't know what happened, but I am being harassed with a letter, so I will take the letter to the commissioner and ask them to deal with it; I want the commissioner of Police to talk to me and tell me what is happening because I cannot pay for the bill that is here for me."
Man Blames KHMH For Deaths
And while the KHMH wants its money, a family from Toledo wants them to properly explain why their baby died.
The Bol family from the San Antonio Village delivered their baby at the KHMH on Friday morning, and according them, even though she was premature, she was healthy.
According them, the KHMH had them scheduled to be discharge yesterday, where they could take the baby home.
The father, who was still grieving, came today to tell us that they showed up, and were told that the child passed away unexpectedly.
He says that no explanation was given, especially because the child was doing excellently when they left.
Lawrence Bol - Father of Deceased Neonate
"My baby was premature and she was in the hospital; nothing was wrong with my baby. We went to breast feed her on Saturday night and all of a sudden, I went back on Sunday morning and they told me that my baby had passed away and that really hurt me because they can't find out what happened to my baby; how my baby died, they can't give me the results, and that really shocked me. She was healthy, she was supposed to be discharged yesterday, but when I arrived she had passed away. She was healthy, my wife can explain how this happened because she was with my baby last Saturday night and that really shocked both of us and we want justice for my baby. I think they are the ones, Sir, because they are supposed to take care of my baby properly, and that really shocked me when I heard my baby had passed away because nothing was wrong with my baby, nothing was wrong with her, she was healthy, very strong Sir. I want them to give me an answer as to what really happened with my baby because I am poor man, I can't support right now, really, I am poor, I don't have no money to support this that is why I am here to make this report to have someone stand and help me because I want justice. That shocked me Sir. I want justice for my baby, please, someone to stand and help me."
Body Found Floating, No Answers Yet
A decomposed body was found this evening floating in a swamp in the Jane Usher Boulevard area. So far it has not been identified by police but we were informed by our sources that it is the body of a male person. Police were called to the area around 3:30 this afternoon when they were informed by some area residents. We were told that a group of young boys came across the decomposed body while swimming in the area. Because of the state of decomposition, a post mortem was conducted on the scene. At this time the cause of death has not been determined.
Rawell’s Ongoing Woes
Last week, 7News told you about the problems that Rawell Pelayo faced while being in the US on official visit as a part of the football delegation representing Belize. Pelayo, who serves as the Vice President of the Football Federation of Belize, and as the Chairman of the National Team Committee, was arrested in Houston. His intention was to take the connecting flight to Portland, but after he was processed by Immigration in Houston, he was picked up by DEA officers.
There is no official reason presented as to why he continues to be held at the Federal Detention Center in Houston, but 7News has confirmed that they intend to move him to a facility in New York. We contacted Belize’s Ambassador to the US Nestor Mendez, and he told us that the last information he has is that the DEA plans to move him very soon to that new state.
Ambassador Mendez told us this evening that the US authorities haven’t shared much information with them, and they’re only authorized to share it with the family. He told us that he cannot get into any details with the press on this issue because while Pelayo is a part of the Football delegation, he is still a private citizen.
Film Festival’s Winners
The 8th Annual Belize International Film Festival closed today with a press conference by the Institute of Creative Arts to announce the winners.
There weren’t many Belizeans honored this year, and the majority of the awards went to international filmmakers.
7News attended, and was spoke to 2 of the 3 of the winners from Belize who were recognized for producing content respected by the international community.
Here’s how they explained their work, as well as the Festival’s explanation why Belizeans weren’t the forefront of this Festival.
"Was it difficult in trying to produce a film with budgeting and all that stuff?"
Michael Flores - Most Notable Belizean Film
"The thing of money, you have to sort of have a passion for what you do so that you save every little penny that you have to invest it in your work, like I am a person, I don't necessarily drink and go to parties and stuff like that and whatever money I have that would say leisure, I would take that to shoot a scene, to do a few leg work, some research. I pay people to do different things that have to be done in order to make a film complete but it's a 'knock and go' kind of a thing because here in Belize we don't necessarily have that money but we do have time, we are able to sacrifice and we have good people who support us."
Belizeans Still Bashed
And on Saturday night in Salt Lake City, Utah, the members of Belize’s national football are the ones that looked like they were acting in a movie! Despite the narrow loss, those die-hard “win, lose, or draw fans” went to their hotel in downtown Salt Lake for a well wishing and autograph signing session. 7 news was in the middle of it and we’ll have that story tomorrow….but first, tomorrow is the big game – the final one against Cuba which starts at 3:30 right here on Channel 7. Remember, if Belize can win, and with some help from tonight’s game by Trinidad and Salvador, we could squeak into the quarterfinal. It’s a slim possibility, but a mathematical possibility nonetheless.
Another newborn dies in K.H.M.H.
Thirteen babies died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in the first three weeks of May. An independent investigation by PAHO found that the babies were injected with the enterobacter [...]
How can the Jaguars advance to the next round?
Belizeans here and abroad were tuned in this past Saturday as the Belize Jaguars took on Costa Rica in their second outing in the 2013 Gold Cup. And after losing [...]
Belize loses to auto-goal
In Sports Monday, James Adderley looks at Saturday’s game against Costa Rica blow by blow. And by now you may know that Costa Rica’s only goal was scored by Co-captain [...]
Coach Mork talks about possible advancement in football
Following Saturday’s heartbreaking defeat to Costa Rica, coaches and players of the Belize National Football Selection, discussed the painful one to nothing loss. The winning auto-goal was a mistake that [...]
Goalkeeper Woodrow West says we need to win
Cuba is the last country that Belize will on the soccer pitch. With a loss of six to one in game one against the USA, and a one-nil loss against [...]
Jaguars give condolences to Daniel Jimenez on passing of mother
A funeral service was held this afternoon in San Ignacio for Theresita Jimenez, the mother of star forward Daniel Jimenez, who had to return from the United States on Friday [...]
Cuba Team coach says they are ready for the Jaguars
The Jaguars are ready and the Cuban team is also ready for the showdown on Tuesday at the Rentschler field in Connecticut. The Cuban Coach was confident because one of [...]
Decomposing body found along Jane Usher Boulevard
Late this afternoon, Police were called to a location at the end of Jane Usher Boulevard in Belize City after children found a body lying in the creek. Unconfirmed reports [...]
Belize at the bottom of academic ladder in Latin America and Caribbean
A new and independent report commissioned by the Inter-American Development Bank indicates that there is a crisis in the education system. In fact, Belize is at the bottom of the [...]
No to Gender Policy Road Show takes on Dangriga
There have been pro-constitution, anti-gender and homosexuality marches as well as protests in Orange Walk, Toledo and Cayo. They’ve been organized by local evangelical churches in those areas with help [...]
Why box up “Faada”?
Philip “Faada” Henry is an outspoken community activist was assaulted on Friday morning as he dropped off a female friend at the bus terminal on East Collet Canal. According to [...]
Sarteneja Fisherman missing after boat capsizes
Tonight a massive search effort is underway in the waters off Ambergris Caye after a fisherman went missing when his boat capsized. At around ten a.m. Sunday morning, Sarteneja fisherman [...]
Mediterranean Fruit Fly in the south
For the first time, the presence of the Mediterranean Fruit Fly has been detected in Belize. The Belize Agricultural Health Authority is reporting multiple sightings of the fly in south [...]
Winners announced at close of Film Festival
An award ceremony this morning brought to a close the eighth Film Festival. Close to fifty films were presented. The winner of the Best Feature Length Documentary was the Abominable [...]
James Adderly with sports and Jaguars highlights
Good evening I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. We go immediately to the Rio Tinto Stadium inside Sandy Utah as Belize came out to face Costa Rica [...]