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Oak Foundation Commits $2 Million for Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
On Wednesday, July 23rd, Kim Simplis-Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children, announced that the Oak Foundation has committed two million dollars towards the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Project. Barrow says that the donation is a result of over a year of discussion and due diligence. One million dollars will go directly to construction of the structure, while one million dollars is earmarked for the purchase of equipment.
Mrs. Barrow and partners broke ground on the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on June 13th, 2011 and construction began in June of this year. The Pediatric ICU will cost over six million dollars. Construction commenced with funds that was raised by the Lifeline Foundation and $500,000 that was provided by the Government of Belize. The donation by Oak Foundation will allow for an increase in activity at the construction site. It is estimated that the project will take 18 months to complete but that timeline is only possible if pledged funds continue to materialize. Alan Gobie of the Gobie Foundation pledged a donation of $1 million, Douglas Jackson of Project C.U.R.E. pledged another million dollars in medical supplies and equipment and other organizations made pledges as well. Mrs. Barrow hopes that the Oak Foundation’s generous donation will urge others to make good on their pledges. The Pediatric ICU will improve the quality of services currently offered to ill children at the KHMH but most importantly, it will also provide services that are not available in the country.
Oceana funneled Money to UNIBAM
After a few minutes of reading what appeared to be a tiresome contribution by Audrey Matura-Shepherd in the Sunday, July 21 edition of the Amandala newspaper, entitled 'The Pen is Mightier than the Sword', there, in the final two paragraphs of the essay was an admission of things going wrong at Oceana, under her watch. The article states the following:
"I end this issue on money to remind all LGBT, as can be verified by their leader, Caleb, that the monetary donation UNIBAM received from a certain foundation came through the Oceana account and was written on an Oceana cheque. So the very Oceana they seek to tell the LGBT not to support, was the means via which the said foundation siphoned their money to them. How ironic, that after such favor was done via Oceana, they should still seek to write some of the most vile things on Oceana's Facebook page. Maybe I should publish a copy of the cheque to prove further truth to the matter. Now they should go make queries to determine why their foundation-approved money had to be channeled through another recipient of a grant.
Although I now depart, I cannot see Oceana again allowing itself to be used to facilitate such a process again, since the beneficiary of their kindness clearly is not deserving of Oceana's risk to facilitate money for a mission not legally sanctioned under Oceana's statutory and legal mandate... but God does not like ugly! ... "
No Drilling in Sarstoon Temash says SATIIM
The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) filed for an injunction against the Government of Belize to not allow U.S. Capital Energy from doing any work inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park on Monday, July 22nd. The injunction comes on the heels of SATIIM having received a letter in which their co-management agreement was cancelled. The letter, dated July 17th, informed the NGO that the agreement was formally being terminated and that it was no longer authorized to enter the national park. It further advises SATIIM to refrain from conducting negotiations or business associated with the park.
On Tuesday, the NGO chartered a plane and flew 10 members of the Belize City-based media to Punta Gorda where it held a press conference to give an update of the situation. During the press conference, SATIIM’s executive director, Greg Choc expressed his concern over the cancellation of the co-management agreement. He then went on to line up speakers to request that they be given greater benefits from the oil explorations that are scheduled.
Speaking with Niall Gillett, public relations officer for U.S. Capital Energy, he explained that the injunction is not specific to his company; it also includes a number of Government departments including the Ministry of Forestry, Petroleum and Energy and the Attorney General’s Ministry. It is noteworthy that SATIIM is not proposing to drill in any Maya village and that it has consent from the Government of Belize to explore for oil in the Sarstoon-Temash National Park. He stated that the company is currently well poised to begin explorations but weather conditions are not permitting it to do so. Gillett stated, however, that as soon as it improves the work drilling work will commence.
Touring Our Belize
Belize is now a well-known destination in the international tourism market, so much so that the Belize Tourism Board had to abandon its logo, “Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret”, in January of this year. Belize is not a secret anymore, at least not to foreigners, because we had well over a million tourists visiting Belize last year alone. However, for those of us who were born and raised here, there is much to be discovered, explored and enjoyed. The Belize Tourism Board is starting a new campaign to encourage domestic tourism in Belize. When the BTB wants to promote Belize as a tourism destination to new markets, it takes a press team from that area on a familiarization trip to tourist destinations across the country. Since the BTB is trying to promote domestic tourism, agents of the local press were taken on a familiarization trip from Thursday, July 18th, to Sunday, July 21st.
Closing Ceremony for Annhual BDF Volunteer Battle Camp 2013
Closing Ceremonies were held Monday, July 22 for the Annual BDF Volunteer Battle Camp 2013.
Government to renovate Central Medical Laboratory
On May 30th, 2006 a small explosion ignited a blaze at the Central Medical Laboratory building in Belize City. Fire fighters responded quickly and managed to save the building but it was severely damaged both by fire and water. The Government of Belize allocated funds to repair the building but it was known that eventually a complete renovation would be necessary. It has been more than seven years since the fire and that is the reason why those who work at the laboratory were ecstatic to learn on Friday, July 19th, that the Ministry of Health had contracted Gutierrez & Associates Architects for the renovation of the middle floor of the Central Medical Laboratory. Dr. Peter Allen, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health, signed the contract with Javier Gutierrez, Managing Director of Gutierrez & Associates Architects.
City and Town Councils improve Revenue Collection and Expenditure
The final report on the Revenue Enhancement Support Program (RESP) for all city and town councils in Belize was presented this morning at the George Price Centre for Peace and Development in Belmopan.
Climate Change affecting Belize
Belize is getting an assistance of seven and a half million Belize Dollars from the European Union (E.U). This was revealed last week Thursday by Cosimo Lamberti Fossati, who comes from the Technical Support Office, European Union (E.U.) Delegation to Belize.
Taiwanese Youth Ambassadors host Summer Camp
Belize has a large Taiwanese population but the majority of Belizeans are unfamiliar with their rich culture. Most of what we think we know about the Taiwanese culture is what we have surmised from observing the actions of our neighbourhood Chinese grocer. Since 2010, the Embassy of the Republic of China-Taiwan has hosted a summer camp in Belize City for youths ages thirteen to seventeen in an effort to share Taiwanese culture with young Belizeans. These camps are facilitated by university students from Taiwan. On Monday, July 22nd, a group of six “International Youth Ambassadors” from Taiwan opened a two week summer camp at the ITVET Conference Room in Belize City.
P. C. Lazaro Catch not guilty of Murder
On Monday, July 22, police officer, Lazaro Catch was acquitted in the Supreme Court. He had been charged in connection with the shooting death of Jamaican national, O’Neil Anthony Jones, who at the time was living in Lord’s Bank.
Jones was allegedly shot by a police officer on February 13, 2010. Catch was one of two officers who had been accused of being involved in the shooting death. In court on Monday, he was acquitted in the Belize City Supreme Court before Justice Troadio Gonzalez.
During the trial, attorney, Darrell Bradley was successful in getting the 30-year-old police officer off the charge of abetment to manslaughter in Jones’s shooting death.
Charles Bucknor accused of performing Oral Sex on 12-year-old Girl
On Thursday, July 18th, Charles Bucknor, a Belize City carpenter, was denied bail for committing an aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a 12-year-old girl.
Allegations are that Tuesday, July 16th, he allegedly performed oral sex on a 12-year-old girl who recently graduated from a North Side Primary School.
Bucknor, who was unrepresented, appeared before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer in where he was read a single charge of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a minor.
He pleaded not guilty but the court prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that there is a possibility that Bucknor could be additionally charged with other offenses in connection with the same incident. On his behalf, Bucknor told the court that he is a father and that this is the first such allegation being made against and he thinks he deserves to get bail in the matter.
Felicia Chen still not fit for Prison
On Monday, July 22nd, Felicia Chen, the young mother who police claim is responsible for the murder of 3 of her young children, reappeared in Magistrate’s Court.
While in court, she only got an adjournment and was ordered more time in a psychiatric facility.
In court, the mother who is still represented by attorney, Antoinette Moore, was given a next adjournment date for September 3rd and Chen was further remanded to the same facility where she has been held since her arrest.
She appeared before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton in Court #3 where all media persons was asked to leave and the matter was held “in camera.”
We understand that inside the courtroom, Magistrate Hamilton heard from her Psychiatric Nurse and a Social Worker. Information revealed to the court was not made public due to the sensitive nature of the triple homicide case.
Five Years for Stealing
On Tuesday, July 23rd, 34-year-old Belize City resident Denfield Lemott was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment when he appeared before Magistrate, Dale Cayetano on a charge of theft.
Lemott was charged with stealing a purse belonging to Laverne Staine which contained $1,350 in Belize Currency, US $40, and 350 pesos. Staine told police that on Friday, July 20th, at about 6:40 p.m., Lemott visited her office at the Supreme Court building and removed her purse. He was caught shortly thereafter as he was seen leaving the building by a court security guard. Police caught up with him shortly thereafter.
According to police, Lemott told them, “I think ah wah ker yuh weh I throw the purse.” He then took them to Holy Redeemer School where he stuck his hand into a PVC pipe and retrieved $350.00 in pesos.
In court, Lemott said he put the pesos in that area after it was given to him by an unknown person. He was not in agreement with the police's version that it was he who took them to recover the purse. He further alleged police brutality. He told Magistrate Dale Cayetano that the police took him on a joy ride and alluded to the magistrate that his injured hand was as a result of that. The magistrate did not buy his stories and found him guilty and imposed a 5-year jail term.
Two children have been reports missing in the village of Cowpen and police believe the grandfather to have abducted them. The children, 8-year-old Jairo and 9-year-old Fanny Romero went missing on Wednesday of last week and police believe that the children were taken by a woman, who is yet to be identified.
According to his father Felix Romero, the children were on their way home from a neighbor’s house in Cowpen when the woman took them. The children were reportedly taken to Silk Grass village to their grandfather, Juan Jovel who, on Thursday morning, took Fanny to the Dangriga hospital for medical attention as she was complaining from an ear infection. Thereafter, there is no trace of neither the children nor their grandfather.
On Monday, Romero, made an emotional plea on Channel 5 News for the children to return home. Anyone with information on the children’s whereabouts is asked to call the nearest police station.
Party Crashers charged with wounding
On Tuesday, July 23rd four females believed to be party crashers were before the court to answer to criminal charges. The first to be arraigned was Saysha Moody, 18, who appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano to answer to a charge of common assault and wounding upon Kendra Smith. She pleaded not guilty to both charges and was offered bail in the sum of $1,000 plus one surety of the amount, which she met.
7 Years for Francis Ramos
On Monday, July 22nd, deportee, Francis Ramos, 39, began to serve 7 years in prison after he was sentenced by Supreme Court Justice, Troadio Gonzalez.
On Thursday, July 3rd, Ramos had appeared before the Supreme Court and had changed his not guilty plea to guilty for the May 14th, 2011, attempted murder of his aunt’s boyfriend, 33-year-old Michael Young. Young, a Belize City Council employee, was attacked and stabbed multiples inside his Banak Street home.
In mitigation on Monday, there was little Justice Troadio Gonzalez had to consider since he had called no character witnesses, even after he was given an additional four days to get them. With that, Justice Gonzalez imposed a 7-year sentence on Ramos. In making his decision the Judge considered that Ramos had saved the court time by pleading guilty, he also has no previous convictions for crimes of a similar nature in Belize, and he had asked for leniency since it was his first conviction.
On May 14, 2011, 33-year-old Michael Young was inside his Banak Street home in Belize City with Ramos, when Ramos went into the kitchen and grabbed a knife. Ramos then stabbed Young three times: once to the inner left arm, the left forearm and the chest area.
Preparing Beach for Turtle Nesting
This past weekend, a joint enterprise between the Mary Mount College of Maryland; ITVET Tour-guide Course, headed by Luz Hunter, The Gales Point Youth Group, headed by Kevin Andrewin, and other volunteers and concerned Belizean citizens travelled to Gales Point Manatee to make preparations for the upcoming turtle nesting season.
Gales Point, a small village is very significant to turtle nesting. The beach of the peninsula is a breathing ground for thousands of little crawlers 7 months of the year.
The group embarked on a two-day turtle nesting clean-up campaign where as many as 50 individuals participated in the effort to clean up the beach area.
Spearheaded by Luz Hunter, the day began at 7:00 a.m., and by 2:00 p.m., on Sunday, a very important task had been accomplished. 25% of the debris on the beach peninsula had been removed and bagged. Because of the sheer amount of garbage on the beach, only that could have been collected.
The participants were motivated by the love they have for turtles and ensuring that their habitat is a safe and friendly one.
Human Rights Commission of Belize holds Annual General Meeting
The Human Rights Commission of Belize (HRCB) held its Annual General Meeting last Saturday at the George Price Center for Peace & Development in Belmopan. The purpose of the meeting was to inform HRCB members on the most recent developments, achievements and plans for the future.
Present at this special AGM meeting was one of the founding members of the HRCB movement in Belize, William Heusner.
HRCB was founded on December 1987 in response to labor issues that had arisen in the Southern part of Belize. Today, the HRCB deals with a multi- dimension of issues such as being the vanguard of the rights of migrants in the Bella Vista Area and lobbying for human rights to be integrated in the curriculum at tertiary level institutions.
But some 26 years later, labor issues continue to be a concern of the HRCB.
“During the course of the year [sic] was in Bella Vista, we went to Bella Vista and we saw the maltreatment of workers, who both in their labor environment as well as their communities where they live, there are for example persons who are unable to send their children to school because they don’t have sufficient money, they are not paid sufficiently…there are also concerns with regard to health,” says Leo Bradley Jr., President of HRCB.
Laura Mae Young - August 3, 1948 - July 6, 2013
Laura Mae Young was born on August 3, 1948 in Belize City, Belize, to Walter and Idolly Young. She attended Wesley College and Belize Technical College in Belize City. She graduated from Belize Technical College and after graduation, worked at the insurance company of G. A. Roe & Sons.
Laura migrated to the United States in the 1970s, and resided in Chicago, Pittsburgh and eventually Brooklyn, New York where she lived until her passing. She worked at American Home, and later as a civilian with the New York City Force Department. Laura later attended Brooklyn College and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. She retired from the Police Department in February 2013.
Laura loved to travel and was able to visit a number of countries over the years. One of her favorite trips was to Brazil, raving about the natives and their love of partying and good food. She looked forward to and always enjoyed her trips back to Belize.
Lloyd Godfrey Alexander Young - September 20th 1930- July 8th 2013
Welcome Home, Brother Lloyd, Welcome Home.
Today is a hard and sad day for all of us; we have lost a very special person in our lives.
For Alice... a loyal, devoted husband and BEST friend.
For Marc and Andrea... a loving and encouraging father.
For Lloyd’s family… a kind and genuine brother and uncle.
For other family members and Friends...a friend you could count on.
Lloyd does not need me to build him up. All of us who knew would agree that he was a good and decent man. A man of lofty principles, a man of character, a faithful man; honest, full of love for his family, for his country and for his fellow man.
A bond of friendship formed in our younger years here in Belize and strengthened through the years. As bachelors, we shared an apartment in Chicago. We oftentimes ate at Smitty’s Restaurant in our neighborhood; Smitty would always refer to us as Brother Lloyd and Brother Cliff and as time passed, the term became more meaningful. Let me share a short story with you. Because we were seen together so often, a friend of Lloyd’s (at a party) asked me, “Where is your brother?” I told him that Lloyd was not actually my brother. He wanted to see my license to prove it! I so I did just that.
Football Family mourns the Death of Luis Mendez
Just one week after the Belize National Football Team returned home from the biggest tournament they have ever played, the team and rest of the football family of Belize is now in a state of mourning. 20-year-old Luis Mendez died after a bus he was traveling in flipped over while heading from Guatemala City to his hometown of Benque Viejo del Carmen. Details are still sketchy as to what caused the accident but Mendez was its only fatality.
Mendez was a player on the team that participated in the Central American Championships in Costa Rica from which Belize qualified to the Gold Cup Tournament. His death has hit members of the National Football Team hard since the players developed strong bonds in training camp. On his Facebook page, Striker Deon McCaulay said, “REST IN PEACE MY TEAMMATE AND FRIEND LUIS MENDEZ REALLY SAD MOMENT IN TIME CONDOLENCES!!” Others have expressed similar words of condolence to the family. Arrangements are being made to transport Mendez’s body to Belize for his funeral.
Male Softball Competition returns to the Cayo District
The 2013 Cayo Male Softball regular competition commenced on Saturday, July 20, out at the Denbigh Fuller Stadium in Camalote Village with 2 games on the schedule.
In the first game played, Belmopan Bombers defeated Team Warriors by the score of 26-18. The winning pitcher was Dion Guzman and the losing pitcher was Tyler Pollard.
In the second game, it was the host team Camalote Rising Stars winning over Las Flores by the score of 12-5. The winning pitcher was the veteran, Herman Burke while the losing pitcher was Thomas Serrut.
The competition will continue this coming Saturday.
Atlantic Bank Female Football Competition continues
The 2013 Atlantic Bank Female Football Competition continued over the weekend at venues across the country.
At the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town, Sugar City Girls edged Gentle Touch by the score of 4-3. The goals for Sugar City Girls were scored by Karen Garcia in the 10th and 65th minutes of play, Karen Acosta in the 44th minute of play and Gisel Baeza in the 46th minute of play.
Meanwhile, Kimberly Perez scored all three goals for Gentle Touch in the 25th, 31st and 41st minutes of play.
At the FFB Stadium in Belmopan, Triple B blanked Dangriga Pumas by the score of 4-0. The goals for Triple B were scored by Iris Centeno in the 14th and 43rd minutes of play, and Kaya Cattouse in the 31st and 73rd minutes of play.
The competition will continue on Sunday, July 28 at the Ladyville Football Field at 3:00 pm between Ladyville Jaguars and Sugar City Girls.
Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy wins in Miley Garcia competition
The Cayo Softball Association Miley Garcia Female Competition continued on Sunday, July 21, 2013, at the softball diamond in Ontario Village with 2 games on the schedule.
In the first game played, Belmopan Capital City Emeralds, behind the pitching of Dana Mae King, defeated Las Flores Shooting Stars by the score of 20-9.
The losing pitcher was the Las Flores Shooting Stars was Guadalupe Chicas.
In the second game played, Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy in search of another playoffs defeated the host team Ontario Rebels by the score of 15-4. The winning pitcher was Lesandra Guy and the losing pitcher was Indira Ireland.
The champion and sub-champion of the Cayo Softball Association will represent the association at the 23rd National Women’s Softball Championship scheduled for August 29-September 1, 2013, at Rogers Stadium.
Easy Does It wins again in Rural Softball Competition
The Belize Rural Softball Competition continued on Sunday, July 21, 2013, out in Lord’s Bank village.
In the first game played, the home team, Lord’s Bank Sunrise won over Arrows Reloaded by the score of 16-1. The winning pitcher was Stacey Smith and the losing pitcher was Christine Brackett.
In game two, the current leaders in the competition Flowers Bank’s Easy Does It won via the default route over Ladyville Rising Stars.
In game three, Village Gyal also won via the default route over St. Paul’s Bank.
And in the final game of the day, UB Jaguars defeated Buttercup by the score of 16-1. The winning pitcher was Herlette Clarke and the losing pitcher was Tricia Flores.
Lady Jaguars lead in Volleyball Championship
The 2013 Belize District Senior Female Volleyball Championship commenced on Saturday, July 20, at the Belize Elementary School auditorium.
In the first game of the series, Lady Jaguars defeated the previously undefeated Moen Stars by the score of 23-25, 25-15, 23-25, 25-18 and 15-8.
In the continuation of the firms’ competition, Scotia Bank defeated Police in three sets by the score of 25-22, 17-25 and 16-14.
In the male competition, Jaguars defeated Scorpions in five sets by the score of 17-25, 25-14, 21-25, 25-19 and 15-12.
On Thursday, July 18, in the second and final game of the female semi-final round, Lady Jaguars eliminated Lady Warriors in three sets to advance to the championship series by the score of 26-24, 25-12 and 25-19.
Cattle Movement Control
The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture and the Belize Livestock Producers Association has implemented cattle movement control check points at strategic points in Blue Creek and Carmelita Village in the Orange Walk District. This is in an effort to keep the Corozal, Orange Walk, Belize and Cayo Districts free of bovine tuberculosis and bovine brucellosis, and additionally maintain a cattle traceability system. Other movement control check points will be established in the other parts of the country once the health status of the herds has been determined through testing.
Caye Caulker Chronicles
Caye Caulker At The Crossroads
TO PRIME MINISTER MR.DEAN BARROW .
CAYE CAULKER AT THE CROSSROADS
A year or so ago in a discussion on Front street in Caye Caulker I remember the newly elected mayor Wayne Miller stated his intentions to run for office saying :
“Like I see it guys, we are standing at the crossroads for Caye Caulker. If you and me do not take charge of this failing political situation, we can’t complain afterwards and say how mucked up the situation on the island has become. And it will go on continue this way with this political infighting and nothing important gets done. It’s up to us. IT’S UP TO YOU AND ME!”
At that time, it gave me a lot to think about, because after 25 years on the island I had decided to move off the island to the mainland into the rainforest to get some more space around me, since my privacy on the island had become very restricted.
When I first lived on the island people did not understand why I moved from Front Street to ‘back a bush’ but it was good living quietly in the quite bush in what the island people called ‘the pretty little house in the back’.
CrossFit in Belize? Yes. It’s One of the Fastest Growing Affiliates In The World!
Starting a business can be tough in San Pedro. Beyond tough. There is no buying a beach bar, lounging in the sun and counting your profits. Or easily starting a restaurant or a real estate company or well…anything. A business here, like everywhere else, requires passion, LONG, long hours, expertise and something new and exciting. Now add to that – You need to please locals, expats and tourists (all with potentially different wants and needs) and there is a distinct “slow season” where it can be well REALLY slow. I mean “can’t pay your utilities bills” slow.
Drew and his wife Maggie moved to Ambergris Caye from California and opened DJ’s Seaside Restaurant & Bar earlier in the year. They offer the best hamburger in San Pedro. About 3 months ago, in the same building, they also opened the CrossFit gym, their true passion, and in those few months, they have over 100 members. Drew taught classes in Los Angeles (he’s wearing a t-shirt from his previous gym in this pic) and loves this sport and loves getting you to love these workouts too.
Walk in almost any time in the morning or late afternoon/evening and you will see this. Crossfit gyms in general do not do air conditioning or fancy machines…they keep it low tech, old fashioned, almost militant.
Eco Kids Learn About Land Conservation
Campers this morning were awoken to a loud *BONK* on the roof of their cabin as a volleyball rolled off. With the morning sun peeking through the trees, everyone was already up and excited for the day’s activities, which would include swimming, and a trip to the nearby Maya Organic Farm to check out some of the delicious organic fruits and vegetables grown there.
While preparations for the hike were underway, the campers sat down at the arts and crafts tables to make their very own wallets. Tastes in wallet decoration varied widely, with some campers using stickers, some drawing, some using leaves and sticks, and several using magazine cutouts. One of the best ones included both Wolverine from the X-Men and Micheal Jackson competing for cover space. Campers also got the chance to have their beanbags mended by some of the counselors who were more adept at sewing.
Once those wallets were all put away, campers headed up the trail and piled into the back of a truck for the short trip down to the Maya Organic Farm. Once there, they were met by the guides, who proceeded to show them many of the things that kept the farm going. One of the favorites was definitely the compost making, and expressions ranged from “EWWWWW’ to “Oooooh, can I touch it” when naturalist guide David showed off the large worms they used to speed up compost making.
Snorkeling at Shark Ray Alley
Located within the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, just four to five miles south from the shores of Ambergris Caye, Shark Ray Alley is one of the most popular and recognized snorkeling and dive spots in the Caribbean, and it’s also one of the most unique snorkeling experiences you’ll have in Belize. It’s almost always included in a snorkel tour to Hol Chan Marine Reserve, out of either Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker.
For years, fishermen cleaned their catch in what is now Zone D of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, attracting hundreds nurse sharks, some up to four feet long, as well as stingrays with wingspans of two to four feet.
Not much has changed over the years, except that this area is now a popular dive and snorkeling site and part of a protected reserve.
As soon as the boat appears, you´ll see these creatures flocking towards the boat. Your guide might feed them while you take a deep breath and decide whether you can brave jumping in waters with sharks and stingrays surrounding you. But there’s nothing to fear, they are completely harmless. Just do not touch or try to pick them up and keep a normal distance, even if you see your tour guide attempting to hold a stingray (tell him not to!).
Explore the mysteries of the underground.
Caves were used extensively by the ancient Maya and today are great for everyone from the first-time caver to the experienced spelunker.
We have thousands of caves in Belize. They range from easy walks to challenging hikes that can often turn into squeezes, crawls, climbs, rappels and swims. Choose your cave accordingly.
In most caves, you’ll find extensive stalactite and stalagmite formations and pottery shards, others have ancient intact pottery (Che Chem Ha) and human remains (sometimes intact skeletons, like in Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave) and other natural formation such as underground waterfalls (Blue Creek, Caves Branch). Just about the only thing you won’t find in our caves is boredom.
Belize Through Colors
Rated as one of the most charming & colorful places to visit in Central America & the Caribbean, Belize offers a very distinctive travel experience unlike anywhere else in the world. Lush Maya Mountains, Pristine Rain-Forests, Diverse Cultures, White Sandy Beaches and Caribbean Blues all mix together to give you an exceptional color wheel. In this blog post we highlight the picturesque colors that will captivate you the minute you step on Belizean grounds:
Belizean Spotlight: National Hero of Belize
Born of humble parentage on July 25, 1923, in Belize City, Belize, Philip Goldson started life as a person of modest means and was able within his 78 years to soar above the various diverse circumstances that would govern his illustrious life. His early education was at St. Mary’s Primary School in Belize City, and he went on to study at night to successfully obtain the Cambridge University Overseas Junior Certificate in 1939, and the Senior School Certificate in 1941.
Political career: After working briefly as a civil servant for six years, Goldson became enticed by the beginnings of the Nationalist Movement in Belize of the late 1940s and early 1950s. The route into politics at that time was by way of the labor movement, and in 1949 he became the National Organizer of the General Workers Union, and later General Secretary.
Together with early activists like John Smith and George Price, he founded the People’s United Party (PUP) in 1950 and served as Assistant Secretary. Convicted of seditious intention in 1951, Goldson was sentenced to one year in prison.
CENPROMYPE dialogue promotes reflection on the institutional strengthening and competitiveness of MSMEs in the region SICA
CENPROMYPE dialogue promotes reflection on the institutional strengthening and competitiveness of MSMEs in the region SICA
July 19, 2013 – CENPROMYPE
On July 18, CENPROMYPE conducted the regional workshop “Exploring and Strengthening Competitiveness of MSMEs in the region SICA” with the aim of developing a dialogue about the prospects of MSMEs as an engine of economic development social and Central America and Dominican Republic. Also posed reflection on the lessons learned from the first eleven years CENPROMYPE management and its role in promoting the competitiveness of MSMEs in the region, with a long term vision to provide input for the definition of your Plan 2014-2018 Strategic.
Deputy Ministers to promote MSMEs in the region SICA CDMYPE visit in El Salvador
Deputy Ministers to promote MSMEs in the region SICA CDMYPE visit in El Salvador
July 22, 2013 – CENPROMYPE
San Salvador, July 24, 2013
As part of the El Salvador intraregional cooperation with other member countries of SICA region, the Deputy Ministers and Deputy Ministers to promote MSMEs that make up the Board of CENPROMYPE, visited on 19 July, the CDMYPE of Dr. José Matías Delgado University, with the aim to know the functioning of the Centre and the services offered.
Surveying the Queen Conch!
These photos are courtesy of lovely ReefCI guest Danila Mansfield and document a recent Conch survey!
DANGEROUS LIAISONS: The American Religious Right &
the Criminalization of Homosexuality in Belize
A Special Report from the Southern Poverty Law Center
Underwater Secrets of the Maya
“I saw it, I saw it! Yes, it’s true!” the archaeologist shouts: divine light at the bottom of a natural well. Several wonderful photos as a diver explores a cenote near the Maya ruins of Tulum.
Report criticizes U.S. religious groups’ support of Belize sodomy law
A report the Southern Poverty Law Center released on Thursday criticizes U.S. religious groups for supporting the campaign to defend Belize’s anti-sodomy law.
The organization specifically singles out the Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom and the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, which has offices in D.C. and New York, for sending lawyers to the Central American country to advice Belize Action, a group opposed to a lawsuit currently before the Supreme Court of the Judicature of Belize that seeks to overturn the statute under which those found guilty of consensual same-sex sexual acts face 10 years in prison. The Southern Poverty Law Center report also notes that Extreme Prophetic Ministries, a Phoenix-based group, has also publicly backed Belize Action.
The The report further documents that Scott Strim, who heads Belize Action, was born in Texas.
The report further alleges that the aforementioned groups’ support of Belize’s anti-sodomy law has only inflamed existing homophobic attitudes in the country.
Caleb Orozco, co-founder of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM,) the HIV/AIDS group that challenged the statute in the Supreme Court of the Judicature of Belize in 2010, told reporters on Thursday that two masked men broke into his yard and vandalized his car around the same time the justices heard the case in May. He said he has also received hate mail and saw a YouTube clip with a caption that encouraged someone to shoot him in the head.
Retiring Way, Way South of the Border
Americans are starting to head into Central America for retirement, lured by luxury real estate and eased residency requirements.
Americans are starting to break from the expat packs in Mexico and Costa Rica for countries such as Panama, Belize and Nicaragua for retirement, lured not by cheap living but by luxury real estate. When Steven and Robin Fine started searching for a place in Latin America to spend their early retirement, they looked at spots in Mexico and Costa Rica, both popular destinations for American retirees. On a trip two years ago, they decided to stop by Panama, too.
“We thought we would like Panama the least,” Mr. Fine, 51 years old, a former communications executive said, “but we liked it the best.”
Cat bites boy – thanks a lot ocelot!
There was no 911 to call during a recent vacation when Holly Alteneder's 10 1/2-year-old son, Ronald, was bitten by a big cat – an ocelot, to be exact – at a small zoo in Belize. The quickest option for medical attention was a 40-minute ride to the nearest hospital in the zookeeper's car.
After initial treatment, Holly says she and her four sons cut short their plans for a six-week vacation to the Central American countries of Belize, Honduras and Guatemala to fly home to Southern California, where Ronald was admitted to Children's Hospital of Orange County.
He was still there three days later, when he and Holly were interviewed by KTLA News. At the time of the interview, Ronald was playing ping pong and wearing pajamas provided by the hospital – ironically covered in cats. Cats are Ronald's obsession, Holly says.
With such an obsession, it's easy to see why the family was enjoying an unusual feature at the Belize Zoo and Education Center – the opportunity for the family to be inside a cage within the jaguar habitat.
They had just been enjoying the antics of a jaguar around and on top of their cage when she heard her oldest son crying, "Mommy, Mommy, help me." She looked and saw that an ocelot (similar in appearance to a jaguar) had pulled Ronald's arm through the wire fence and wasn't letting go, no matter how much she pounded on the fencing. Another tourist joined the fray, as did the zookeeper.
State budget loses out to secrecy laws in Belize
Seven Ukrainian companies are listed on the airport departure sign that are partially or wholly owned by Belizean companies, based on official data and media reports. A long-standing tourist hotspot, sunny Belize in Central America started to position itself as one of the most attractive tax havens in the world in 1990, when it expanded and amended a series of offshore financial services laws designed to exempt international businesses from paying taxes and filing company reports while offering virtual secrecy to their owners.
Shady Crimean company is lead exporter to Belize
Trade with Belize first took off in October 2012, when Ukraine exported nearly $60 million worth of gasoline to the tiny Caribbean nation. In total, gasoline exports for the last quarter of 2012 reached $209 million, or nearly 93 percent of Ukraine’s exports to Belize for the year, according to the State Statistics Service.
American Groups Encourage Anti-Gay Violence In Belize: Southern Poverty Law Center Report
American anti-gay groups have turned their attention away from politics at home and are now focused on restricting the rights of the LGBT community in smaller countries like Belize, a new report finds.
A new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center found that the Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based anti-gay religious group, has spent three years advocating to keep a section of the Central American nation's criminal code that "can lead to imprisonment for private sexual acts between consenting adults of the same sex."
Section 53, the statute in the criminal code, recommends a sentence of 10 years for Belizians who engage in private homosexual acts. The country also bans lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender immigrants -- along with immigrants with physical or mental disabilities -- and is a cultural nightmare for openly gay people, the report says. The ADF, formerly known as the Alliance Defense Fund, has joined a handful of other far-right groups to maintain those restrictions.
Both the SPLC, and Caleb Orozco, an LGBT activist in Belize whose life has been threatened because of his advocacy, say an American-born pastor named Scott Stirm is the impetus of anti-gay sentiment in the country.
Belize - Sugar production reaches 118,339 t in 2012/13
Belize's 2012/13 sugarcane crush came to an end on May 25 after 180 days of operation, and Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) factory manager John Gillett termed the campaign "a very successful one."
The 2012/13 crop was the first under American Sugar Refining (ASR) and BSI is reporting significant strides in production and development, he said.
VIDEO: Snorkeling Caye Caulker Belize
It was the manatee dive but there were no manatees to be seen.
Exploring Belize’s Underworld Actun Tunichil Muknal
Trekking through Actun Tunichil Muknal (“ATM”), also known as Xibalba and the Cave of the Stone Sepulcher, is one of the more memorable experiences we have had while traveling. Belize has a wealth of ancient Mayan sites as well as adventure activities. Belize’s ATM cave tour is a combination of both!
The caves can only be visited with specially licensed tour companies. We chose Mayawalk Tours, the first company ever to lead tours through the ATM caves. Tour groups are small, consisting of six to eight people. We were picked up at our hotel in San Ignacio in the morning and driven to the Tapir Mountain Reserve. The drive included some off-roading in the small school bus. The adventure started with a long hike through the jungle which included fording the river four times. We then arrived at the cave entrance. There is a deep pool of water at the entrance which we had to swim across to enter the cave.
“Top of the World” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up and out on the veranda yesterday morning around 05.15 hours. And the Internet was fine so I got my daily dose of The Times on-line. No purchases by Arsenal though but we have got rid of Andre “Who ate all the pies” Santos but to do so we had to let him go on a free transfer. Not a bad bit of business – we only paid £6.8m for him two years ago ((sarcasm intended). Oh and it looks like we are about to off-load Gervinho too. At least the wage bill will go down.
Sated with my ‘feed’ of news I grabbed the bucket, brush, cloths and chamois and went and spent a fairly energetic hour washing the golf cart. Try as I may though I haven’t found any effective way yet of how to get the seats really clean. Knew we shouldn’t have gone for white! So if any of you out there in the blogosphere have any ideas please let me have them. Normally willing to try (most) things at least once.
With the ‘cart in a gleaming condition (aside from the seats that is) I showered, shaved, dressed and had breakfast and then went to the Belize Brewing Company Limited depot to get a five gallon bottle of water. On the way there I passed the new church being built at the corner of Blake Street and Seagrape Drive.
HELP SEND 50 KIDS BACK TO SCHOOL IN BELIZE!
School Starts in September in Belize, and the Back to School Sales are happening NOW in United States. Many stores now have school supplies at rock bottom prices. Many parents in Belize cannot afford the basic school supplies for their children and many children are disadvantaged when they do not have the required materials needed to learn. Education is the most valuable tool we can give our children. I am reaching out to all my readers to help Twocanview and the Belizean Association of Central Florida send 50 needy Belizeans kids back to school with school supplies. Each donated backpack with supplies will bear the donor’s name.
How To Create A Name As a Photographer
We all want to be someone someday. In fact, we have all been asked that question quite often when we were young. Image Credit: spesiellise However, becoming a Photographer back then was not at all ...