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POPULAR BELIZEAN FOOTBALLER DIES IN GUAT ROAD ACCIDENT
The body of well-known Belizean footballer, Luis Eduardo Mendez, arrived home in Benque Viejo del Carmen, Cayo, Thursday morning, and relatives are now preparing to lay him to rest after a tragic road accident in Guatemala claimed the life of the 22-year-old.
The Guatemalan press reported Tuesday that Luis Eduardo Mendez, 22, a Belizean footballer, had died when a bus that was traveling from Guatemala City to Quetzaltenango fell off into a ravine, injuring 14 passengers. The driver of the bus reportedly lost control after it was hit by another vehicle.
Mendez was due to return to Belize the same day the Guatemalan media reported the tragedy. He succumbed after the ADN autobus accident that also seriously injured six others. The incident is said to have occurred on the Inter-American Highway, in the jurisdiction of Nahualá, Sololá. Mendez was the only fatality.
The Belize Embassy in Guatemala informed us early Wednesday that Mendez had been kept in a Government morgue in the city of Solola, three hours away from Guatemala City. Family members from Benque traveled to Guatemala to identify the body and bring him back home. His first cousin, Cesar Mendez, informed us that a wake is being held today, Thursday, and the funeral is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, at Mount Carmel Church, in Benque Viejo del Carmen.
FORESTRY DEPT (GOB) KICKS OUT SATIIM FROM TEMASH
The national park sits on Maya ancestral lands; Greg Ch’oc defiant!
On Tuesday, Greg Ch’oc, Executive Director of the Sarstoon Temash Institute of Indigenous Management (SATIIM), came public to say that the Forestry Department has issued the NGO a letter barring it from entering the Sarstoon Temash National Park – a protected area the NGO has co-managed since 1997. But Ch’oc’s message to the Government is that he will not desist – after all, the park sits on Maya ancestral lands to which they have customary rights.
That’s not the end of the story, though, because the Forestry Department letter went on to tell Ch’oc that, “…it is to refrain from undertaking any negotiation or related business associated with the park and the usual park management.”
That, it seems, includes negotiations for funding. The conservation of the STNP—the second largest in Belize—is the reason SATIIM exists, and Ch’oc’s response to that order from the Government was a resolute “no!”
“I want to make clear here the wishes of the communities – that the park is indigenous land. As a people, we have sacrificed, we have been denied access to the very land that we own. We have recognized and we have always recognized the importance of protecting and safeguarding our natural resources. And I want to tell the Forestry Department and the Government of Belize that SATIIM will continue to manage and protect the national park, because it is our interest and the interest of the Belizean people.”
POLICE MINISTER, POLICE COMMISSIONER PLAYING SERIOUS GAMES WITH STEVEN BUCKLEY
Buckley, shot mistakenly by police, is in danger of being taken to court for not paying hospital bill, even though he cannot work.
Steven Buckley, 41, the man who was mistakenly shot in the head on the night of April 28, 2010, by an inspector of police leading a patrol, and as a result is disabled and unable to work, told Amandala that he has still not gotten a cent from the Police Department to cover his $6,561 debt to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for his treatment.
Minister of Police John Saldivar had been contacted last Thursday to see what assistance would be given to Buckley by police. Saldivar said that he would consult the Commissioner of Police on his return from Salvador.
Upon returning, however, the Commissioner said that no decision had yet been made.
Buckley was told on Thursday, July 4, by Credit Master System, the collecting agent for the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, that last Friday, July 19, was the deadline to pay, after which court action would be taken against him.
SARSTOON/TEMASH: SPLIT DECISION!
The Maya won, and lost at the Court of Appeal, but “This is not the end:” Greg Ch’oc.
The long-awaited decision by the Court of Appeal in the Maya land rights case was finally handed down today, and while it reaffirmed the October 18, 2007 decision by former Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh that the Maya of Toledo do have customary land rights in Southern Belize, it overturned orders that Conteh had made, binding the Government of Belize to give effect to those rights.
Alfonso Cal, chairman of the Toledo Alcalde Association (TAA), one of the main claimants in the land rights case, told Amandala after the decision was read that they have waited three years for it, and he didn’t sleep at all last night, after they received notification around 6 o’clock yesterday that the decision would be read today at 2:00 p.m.
“The Maya people were very poor people with money – cash, but with the land we are rich with land and that’s where we live. We make our living. We get everything that is necessary for our family,” Cal told our newspaper.
“When the other third parties come to try to tell us that this land is not for us, we are just squatting, we just laughed. They were sent by somebody. We tell them now that this land is ours and they don’t believe it!” Cal added.
He said, however, that there have been many violations against their property rights: prominent examples that have riled up the Maya of Toledo are petroleum exploration and rosewood logging.
Land disputes in Maya villages such as Golden Stream, in fact, triggered the court case; and the Maya won two landmark rulings before former Chief Justice Conteh.
SANTA ELENA MAN ROBBED AND BEATEN IN HIS HOUSE
A man and his wife were held up and robbed at gunpoint in their home in Santa Elena, at about 10:00 last Saturday night, July 20. The thieves got away with over $3,000 in cash and goods and one of them beat the husband in the head with the butt of a gun.
Hugh Tillett, of the Hot Point area of the Santa Elena Town, told police that he was in his house with his wife when two armed, masked men gained entry into his house. They made their way to his bedroom and kicked in the bedroom door. One of them had a knife and the other, a gun. The one with the gun pointed it at them and demanded money.
Tillett said that he became fearful for his life and gave the robbers about $1,500 in cash and two cell phones together valued at $1,800.
ROMOLO GARCIA, 55, IS SENTENCED TO 5 YEARS FOR CHOPPING ALFREDO HERRERA
Garcia chopped Herrera on his left forearm and chopped off the fingers of his right hand.
Romolo Garcia, 55, a resident of Hattieville, was convicted of use of deadly means of harm with intent to cause grievous harm last week Tuesday after a jury found him guilty in a ratio of 8 to 1. Garcia had attacked Alfredo Herrera with a machete on April 1, 2011, and chopped him twice – once on the left forearm, and a second time on the right hand, with a severe chop that severed all of Herrera’s fingers on that hand. This morning, Garcia was sentenced to 5 years for his crime by Justice Adolph Lucas.
On April 1, 2011, according to Herrera’s statement, he had visited Garcia’s house from earlier that day and they had spent the better half of the day drinking Old Master extra strong rum with water. It was at 3:00 that afternoon that Herrera told Garcia that he had known his wife before her relationship with Garcia, and that caused Garcia to get into a rage.
Herrera had told police that Garcia then grabbed a machete which was beside him by a coconut tree and chased him with it, and in an attempt to escape harm, Herrera ran into Garcia’s house to try and get a machete which he had seen in the bedroom.
ROBBERIES IN LADYVILLE AND THE CITY
The Belize Diabetes Association office, located on the second floor of the Commercial Center on Albert Street, and a Chinese store in Ladyville were robbed yesterday in separate incidents – the first robbery occurring around 10:00 yesterday morning, and the other at about 7:00 yesterday evening. The thief who robbed the Diabetes Association office escaped with a laptop computer, while a pair of thieves took about $500 from a Chinese store in Ladyville before escaping. No one was hurt in the course of the robberies.
Michelle Godoy of the Belize Diabetes Association told Amandala that yesterday morning, she and others were in the office when a man gained entry into the office by prying open the door, and he grabbed a laptop computer that was on the desk near the door.
The man then ran out of the office. Police went to the scene, but could not find the thief. According to Godoy, this was the first time their office has been targeted for robbery.
Police remind the public that it is an offense to be found in possession of stolen goods, or goods reasonably believed to have been obtained illegally. Anyone who knows the whereabouts of the laptop is urged to contact the nearest police station, or the Belize Diabetes Association at phone numbers 203- 3333, or at their office on the 2nd floor of the City Center on Albert Street.
BANANA WORKER STABBED TO DEATH
Isaac Gutierrez, 27, a Guatemalan who is a worker on the Mayan King banana farm in the Stann Creek District, died after being stabbed in the chest while socializing at the farm at about 8:00 last evening Sunday, July 21.
Gutierrez apparently got into an altercation with another worker on the farm, and the man stabbed him in the chest and ran.
People who saw the stabbing quickly took Gutierrez to the Southern Regional Hospital in Dangriga, but he died while doctors were operating on him. The body awaits a post mortem to certify the cause of death.
So far, the man who stabbed Gutierrez is still at large. Police believe that both men were drinking when the quarrel began. The motive for the attack, however, is not yet known.
KENDRA SMITH, 21, AND LYVETTE BROWN, 19, CHARGED WITH WOUNDING, GRIEVOUS HARM AND USE OF DEADLY MEANS OF HARM
Smith and Brown crashed a party early Sunday morning, causing a stabbing frenzy.
Yesterday, Saysha Moody, 18, was charged with wounding Kendra Smith, 21, a customer care representative, after Smith and her friend, Lyvette Brown, 19, crashed a party that was being held at Moody’s residence on Iguana Street Extension.
Today, Smith and Brown were returned to court after spending an extra night at our local “[#%!] house” after being disrespectful while inside the holding cell area at the Magistrate’s Court. Smith and Brown were both charged with wounding Saysha Moody, and grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm on Sharema Moody, 16, Saysha’s sister.
According to the police report, a party was being held at Moody’s residence when Smith and Brown showed up, uninvited, and attacked Moody. Guests of the party got involved and that was when it turned into a brawl, and at the end of it all, the Moody sisters, Smith and Brown were all suffering from various degrees of injury.
IS IT SMART TO REWARD EXCELLENCE?
Just over three weeks ago, on July 1, as Game 1 of the best-of-3 games cricket championship series approached, representatives of defending champions, Excellence of Double Head Cabbage, visited our sports desk to vent their frustration with the managing committee of cricket, which has still not handed the promised trophies to Excellence for last year’s championship. (See story, “Trophy problem solved;…” in the Amandala of Wednesday, July 3, 2013.)
Whatever were the problems of the previous cricket executive, there was a new President at the start of the 2013 SMART Harrison Parks National Cricket Competition, and the new sponsors, SMART would provide the finances needed to secure the prizes for this year’s competition.
No money is collected from fans at cricket games, because the fields are not fenced, and there was no corporate sponsor for the 2012 season. Last year’s committee, headed by Lewellyn Sutherland after the resignation of Elston Wade, had originally postponed the traditional “Trophy Day” due to then approaching tropical storm Ernesto; but time went by, and the 2013 season began without Excellence receiving their championship trophies for the 2012 season which ended on August 4, 2012.
GUINNESS 9-BALL TOURNAMENT IN BELMOPAN: BARRIOFINO AND LAS FLORES IN THE FINALS
The regular season of the dynamic Guinness 9-Ball Tournament in Belmopan ended with a bang, as two teams had to battle in a tie-breaker to determine who would reach the big dance, as Barriofino was waiting for a partner to “bailar” at Barriofino in the grand finale. It was one of the best and hottest matches ever, as it was the National Guinness 9-Ball champs from 2012, “Salvapan Shattaz” trying to stay alive against the new team on the block, Las Flores.
The match was being played on neutral grounds in this tie-breaker, and in this do-or-die situation. It was all happening at Barriofino Sports Bar, and for sure it was exciting and super thrilling, as Salvapan Shattaz was shattered by Las Flores, 3-2, thus eliminating Shattaz for the first time from the Finals and their chance to defend their title at the national tournament to be held in Dangriga. The individuals scores were as follows: In match number 1, it was Erwin “Big Chino” Paredes of Shattaz hurting Ernest “Puff” Borland of Las Flores by 3-2; then in match number 2, Shattaz went up, as Elder “Small Chino” Paredes damaged David Mejia by 5-2, putting Shattaz up by 2-0.
“BIG MOLE” RECOVERING
Best wishes for a speedy recovery from the Kremandala family to brother Serapio “Big Mole” Alvarez who is reportedly in hospital recovering from congestive heart failure in the U.S.
According to his wife of over 30 years, Serapio, who has been suffering with high blood pressure for many years, is presently receiving oxygen and physical therapy, and they hope he can return home soon, after ten days in hospital.
Serapio was vice-captain of the famous Independence football team of the 1960’s in Belize, and migrated to the States over 40 years ago. The team captain, the legendary Louis “Bembe, the Mugger” Garbutt passed away recently in New York.
Today’s semipro footballers may not know that some of the first blows struck for professionalism in Belize football were by the Independence football team, led by “di Mugger” and “Big Mole.” Serapio’s younger brother, Raymond “Lee Mole” Alvarez, who started his career with Independence, went on to also become a famous football star of the 1970’s with Diamond-A, San Joaquin and Berger 404. Lee Mole resides in Belize and is also presently ailing.
It is appearing to us that Belize has slid downwards into a state of affairs we would refer to as “recolonialism.” For sure, the trappings and symbols of independence are in place, and in a couple months’ time we will be watching all the September pomp and ceremony to celebrate 1798 and 1981. On the daily ground, however, we are again a subject people, and our new colonial masters are the international bankers. The Belizean nation owes a ton of money, is involved in dangerously expensive litigations on many fronts, and Belizeans, as a people, have become addicted to living above our means.
The generation of 1950 which condemned British colonialism and struck out for the shores of independence, was a brave and visionary generation of Belizeans. Some of that generation were skeptical, believed the concept of self-rule to be chimerical, and they began to migrate to the United States. Many Belizeans, nevertheless, stayed the course, and they were rewarded with self-government in 1964.
There was a process which began in 1950s Belize after the first wave of our migrants settled in New York City and New Orleans, then Chicago and afterwards Los Angeles. That process was the process of acquiring American tastes. At home in Belize, we began to judge everything by the standards of the United States, which was undergoing their own American process – the process of becoming the richest and most powerful nation on planet earth. The boxes and barrels our loving relatives were sending us from America infected us with a high-minded virus: all things Belizean slowly lost their ability to satisfy us; everything had to be American.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
“The centrality of oil to the modern world is well known. Oil is integrally related to virtually every aspect of our way of life, from transportation, communication and the mass production of goods, to food, heat, light and military power. Access to oil is therefore essential to modern living, as well as being crucial to maintaining military dominance – as was amply demonstrated in both World Wars.”
- pg. 2, WAR, BIG OIL, AND THE FIGHT FOR THE PLANET, Linda McQuaig, Anchor Canada, 2005
During the thirty years or so when I would converse seriously with the late Dr. Leroy Taegar from time to time, he impressed upon me the fact of the awesome power of the rulers of the world and the fact that, because of the awesomeness of that power, these were people who routinely thought of things in terms of fifty years, or a hundred years, or even more. In other words, the big people could afford to be patient, whereas we, the oppressed of the earth, because of the tenuous nature of our existence, are in a haste where our quests for survival and improvement are concerned.
The realities Taegar impressed upon me were uncomfortable realities, because what they did was weaken my spirit of resistance and my resolve in the struggle. How do you fight people who are in no hurry and do not even have to win a fight with you in order to remain masters of their own destiny, and yours? How do you fight people who can transform themselves into other than what they really are, and worse, can recruit and arm your own to fight against you?
TIME FOR A NEW REVOLUTION Letters
— by Kenny Jacobs
Please allow me space in your newspaper to share my views concerning why poor people in Belize can’t get ahead!
Belize is home to hundreds of thousands of people, all of diverse ethnicities. We have many natural resources unmatched to other countries. We have a culture untouched, natural, rich, and splendid which makes us unique. Our people, however, are being born or are being “given” a mentality that they are poor. They are given this mentality by the wealthy people. These wealthy people have the power and they control these poor people by many obstructs: religion, politics, education, and money.
Whenever the rich people see the opportunity to make millions off the poor people’s head, they do whatever it takes to get it. They construct a “divide” mentality. They ensure that people are for, and against the issue. And for their proponents, they tell them only about the short advantage of the situation. They don’t tell them about the long-term disadvantage of it. In the essence of all, these wealthy people are making millions off the people’s resources while the people are losing a valuable instance of their community.
THE PLACENCIA PENINSULA BEACH PROPOSAL Letters
— by Charles Leslie, Jr.
The Placencia Peninsula beach is 17 miles long and is one of our main tourism assets. Majority of it is filthy almost all year round and especially during this time of year. This is unacceptable, and it is slowly eroding our image as the fastest growing tourism destination, and the best stretch of beach in Belize. We recently won Destination of the Year. To keep that prestige, we need to focus our energies on our beach.
In October 2010 the Gulf of Honduras (GOH) was launched with an objective of: “Environmental Protection and Maritime Transport Pollution Control in the Gulf of Honduras,” with a primary focus on demonstration of new and mixed technologies to address some of the major environmental problems and issues of the Gulf leading to the degradation of marine and coastal ecosystems by human activities. The long-term goal of the project is to reverse the degradation of the coastal and marine ecosystems by enhancing the control and prevention of maritime transport-related pollution in the major ports and navigation lanes, improving navigational safety to avoid groundings and spills, and reducing land-based inputs to the adjacent coastal and marine areas within the Gulf of Honduras. This project has a budget of $58 million USD and a 5-year duration. In Placencia, we cannot afford to wait until this program truly kicks in and hope it will directly benefit us. We need to take matters into our own hands, now.
Under the May 2010 draft National Guidelines for Subdivision and Consolidation of Land in Belize which falls under the Lands and Surveys Department, Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, it states, “Under the LUA (Land Utilization Act) general subdivision guidelines to ensure that access to water bodies is maintained include: A 66-foot reserve must be provided for each subdivision of a land parcel next to the sea, lagoon, river, creek and other major water bodies.”
TO PM DEAN BARROW – CAYE CAULKER AT THE CROSSROADS Letters
— by Chriss Roggema
A year or so ago in a discussion on Front Street in Caye Caulker I remember the newly elected mayor Wayne Miller stated his intention 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 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 bush in what the island people called “the pretty little house in the back.”
Now my Cocoplum sanctuary is tucked away between the old and new village in the island’s nicest neighborhood with big houses in big gardens with lots of trees and flowers. But with only one Belizean neighbor in the whole street who lives there, and the rest foreign tourists who rent from the foreign owners, who only spend a few days or weeks there a year. Not really a neighborhood in my sense. And most of these foreigners are so rude: when you hail them they look at you like you want to rob them.
SO, LET IT BE DONE Letters
— by Joseph Alvarez
It’s always interesting to read commentaries and articles in the print media of how things were in the past and how it has changed over the years in Belize. The discussion has become so intense that at one point the question was, have we become a failed state since achieving Independence or should we have remained a colony of Britain.
The most intriguing subject for me is in relation to sports and athletes who were dominant in their particular sports discipline in the past. These comments are made by very prominent Belizeans or government officials. They are important stories that must be mentioned and also documented for the future generation. However, what have we done as people who have witnessed and experienced the greatness and glory of these athletes to make life and sports more rewarding for our youths today? The question is more directed to those who have so many fond memories of the past and have now become important and influential personalities in our society.
Since 1998 there have been quite a few men who enjoyed the game and some even played sports that have become Ministers of Government. I was so hopeful that there would have been a major shift in the way sports is being handled for the sole benefit of our youth, but it was to no avail. This issue has become very important since our national team made representation at the international football tournament in the Americas Gold Cup.
It’s always a good thing to reminisce about how great our athletes were, the success they have attained, and the great pride and joy they brought to the country, but we‘ll never see where we’re going if we’re always looking back.
— by Dr. Elma Whittaker-Augustine, Clinical Psychologist
I would like to begin our first monthly article on mental health and mental illness by clarifying the difference between the two. Contrary to common belief in Belize, mental health is not the same as mental illness. Mental health, which is inseparable from physical health, is essential to the healthy functioning of individuals, families and a healthy society.
It is important to understand that mental health is not the same as mental illness. Mental Health is interconnected with our physical health and is defined by our:
ABILITY TO ENJOY LIFE
ABILITY TO BOUNCE BACK FROM STRESS, LOSS, CHANGE
ABILITY TO MAINTAIN BALANCE IN OUR LIFE, e.g. balance between work and play, rest and exercise
ABILITY TO BE FLEXIBLE in our thinking and emotions
ABILITY TO RECOGNIZE OUR GIFTS, STRENGHTS, POTENTIAL
ABILITY TO FORM HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS
SELF ESTEEM, FEELINGS, THOUGHTS, PERCEPTION OF OURSELF, OTHERS, LIFE
On the other hand, Mental Illness is a term used to describe disorders that affect our thoughts, emotions, behaviors and functioning, cause distress and negatively affect our lives and our family. There are many common mental illnesses such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, etc. Mental illness affects adults, children, rich, poor, male, female, all ethnic and racial groups.
HOW TO BUY AN ELECTION IN BELIZE
(WARNING: Don’t try this unless you have very deep pockets)
Many people still don’t believe that you can buy elections in Belize. They reason that the people of Belize have wised up: they take the man’s money and vote how they feel anyhow. That is true to a certain extent and especially for bona fide long term residents of a constituency.
But there is a new kind of voter that is increasingly populating voters’ lists all across the country. These are mercenaries – people who have no knowledge nor interest whatsoever in what is happening in the constituency, but who can be relied on to show up on Election Day for the $500.00 they will be paid – that is their ONLY motivation, and, rain or shine – or hurricane, you can count on these mercenaries to show up – and they vote for the politician who is paying.
Here’s how it works:
First of all, they have to get on the voters’ list. The politician, having foreknowledge of their political allegiance to the Party, entices them to transfer to his constituency during Transfer Period (July and August) or, if it is a new registrant from another division, he/she is enticed to register in the division of the politician who is doing the enticing. Now it is paramount that these persons have no knowledge, interest, nor connection with the division to which they are being enticed because, if they do, the possibility of them taking the money and voting conscience anyhow, becomes a factor – and the politician who is enticing cannot “afford” that. Now, enticement has been mentioned – but enticement here is not friendly persuasion.
My friend Hector Hecker inspired me a few weeks ago to write about the crafty and brilliant Angus Vernon. I had not seen my good friend Hector Hecker for more than 40 years.
One night while sitting in the Princess Hotel and Casino I saw a gentleman “flapping” across the floor, and I said to myself only Hecker or Charles Hyde walks like that. Upon verifying the identity of the walker I realized that it was Hector Hecker and I hailed him. He was upset with me because he said to me that he had tried to say hello to me on several occasions and got the impression that I was ignoring him. I apologized to him, because as the Lord in heaven knows I did not recognize that it was my friend of forty-odd years who was saying hello to me. You see, Hecker and I grew up together. He was living not too far away at Conch Shell Bay. We were among a small group of friends, which included G. Michael Reid, who used to hang out at the Rogers Stadium. I say all this to you to illustrate how close we were.
Well, the rekindling of this relationship has turned out into something very special. I know Hecker loves me and I love him. May I crave your indulgence before moving on to raise another topic to explain that the central feature of this article is neither about Hecker nor myself. My intent is to focus this installment on Angus Vernon, but allow me space to speak of my friend Hecker and myself as it was the happy circumstance in which we were reunited which inspired me to write about Angus Vernon.
TRIO VILLAGE GIRL, 13, MISSING
A 13-year-old girl, Maria Esmeralda Rivera, from Trio Village in the Stann Creek District, has been reported missing. She was last seen about 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 20, by her father when she left home with an 18-year-old young man, travelling on a motorcycle headed towards the Southern Highway. Since then, she has not been heard from.
Maria’s mother, Angelica Garcia, 32, told police that she left her daughter at home with her father, Alfredo Rivera, and went to church in the village. Garcia said that while she was at church, Rivera came and told her that their daughter had left home on a motorcycle with a man who is 18 years old. They reportedly know the young man, who is from the same village.
Garcia further told police that the 18-year-old had been visiting her daughter for the past three months.
RESTORE BELIZE LAUNCHES ITS LITERACY PROGRAM IN THE CITY
Restore Belize has undertaken a program to enhance the lives of disadvantaged Belizean citizens through the imparting of reading and numerical skills. A select group of program participants will be taught to read and write through the use of computer-based instructional programs. The initiative started in April this year, and so far over 500 people have been benefiting from literacy instruction, but plans are underway to expand the program so that countless others can benefit.
The initiative is to a great extent possible due to a $320,000 donation from the Embassy of Taiwan, which was used to buy computers and software programs to establish the computer-assisted learning sessions. The program was deployed in ten different local centers dedicated to improving the lives of those in local communities. Yesterday, Wednesday, July 23, Restore Belize took the Taiwan Ambassador His Excellency David Wu on a tour of the centers in which the literacy lessons are being carried out to see the program in action. Three of the ten sites were visited: The UEF Library of African and Indian Studies on the Kremandala compound on Partridge Street, the Water Walkers Boys and Girls center on Albert Street, and the YWCA on St. Thomas Street.
Court of Appeal affirms Maya land rights
The Belize Court of Appeal has upheld the former Chief Justice Dr. Abdulai Conteh’s Supreme Court ruling of October 2007 on the Toledo Maya land rights, on two of the five grounds of appeal that the government had challenged.
There is no Shortcut to achieve Sustainable Development
In our last article, I made the point that spending on our education system without special attention to quality is a formula for waste and frustration, leading to diminished expectations and an exacerbation of our problems in Belize. Quality is the result of an attitude and culture that promotes excellence, [...]
Beach clean up saves turtles’ lives
By: Anita Nembhard Freelance Writer Gales Point Manatee, a popular turtle nesting area, was treated to a beach clean up effort last weekend.
SATIIM to fight GOB ban on co-managing Sarstoon Temash Park
The Sarstoon Institute of Indigenous Management (SATIIM) will be taking the Forestry Department and Chief Forest Officer Wilber Sabido to court to reverse the department’s ban of SATIIM from co-managing the Sarstoon Temash National Park.
Chiquibul’s $3.4 billion resource needs protection
The Chiquibul Forest, 70 square miles in the Cayo district represents a $3.4 Billion resource, a national conservation priority that Belize needs to protect, forestry conservationist Percival Sho informed participants at the Chiquibul Symposium hosted by the Friends of Conservation and Development at the Radisson Fort George Hotel last Friday [...]
Genesis Arts pioneers yet again
Genesis Agendas, best know for its promotion of all things Belizean, is now making strides on the Mexican market.
SATIIM takes GOB to court over US Capital’s oil drilling concession
The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM, through its attorney, Eamon Courtenay, has filed an application before the Supreme Court, objecting to the Government’s permission to U.S. Capital Energy to conduct drilling operations within the Sarstoon Temash National Park in the Toledo district.
R.E.S.P. ups Town Councils’ tax haul
The Revenue Enhancement Support Program (R.E.S.P.) is expected to help the city and town councils improve their tax collection and manage their spending more efficiently, according to the R.E.S.P. final report. presented at the George Price Centre for Peace and Development in Belmopan on Wednesday morning, July 24.
Dangriga police seek missing children
Dangriga Police are looking for Juan Jovel, the 70-year-old Honduran grandfather of Fanny Romero, 9, and her brother Jairo Romero, 8, who went missing from their home in Cow Pen Village, Stann Creek district last Wednesday, July 17
INTERPOL issues arrest warrant for Michael Silva
INTERPOL announced last Friday that it has issued an arrest warrant for Belizean Michael Joseph Silva, 28.
Guatemalan banana worker chopped to death
Police are looking for an employee of the Mayan King banana farm, Jose Soto, said to be armed and dangerous, for the murder of Isaac Gutierrez, 56, a Guatemalan laborer. Gutierrez was killed on Sunday, July 21.
Warring women crash house-party and end up before the court
Three women have been arrested and face criminal charges related to with several stabbing attacks at a house party on Iguana Street Extension Sunday morning. The attacks sent five young women to the Emergency Room for treatment.
William and Kate present baby prince
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have emerged from St Mary’s Hospital in west London with their new baby son. Walking out to cheers from staff and well-wishers, Kate cradled her son and said it was “a special time”.
Illegal pipeline taps cost PEMEX 5 Bn,
The number of illegal taps drilled into Mexican oil and gas pipelines to steal fuel has doubled since President Enrique Pena Nieto took office in December.
Central Lab to get $300,000 upgrade
The Central Medical Laboratory beside the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City has been overdue for renovation.
Breakfast linked to a healthy heart
People should eat breakfast to keep their hearts in good condition, according to researchers in the US. Their study of 27,000 men, in the journal Circulation, showed those skipping breakfast were at a greater risk of heart problems.
Stem cells to reverse blindness: Study shows
The prospect of reversing blindness has made a significant leap, according to scientists in the UK. An animal study in the journal Nature Biotechnology showed the part of the eye which actually detects light can be repaired using stem cells.
Roaring Creek & Belmopan Emeralds win in Cayo softball
Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy and the Capital City Emeralds of Belmopans enjoyed victories when the Miley Garcia Softball Competition continued under the auspices of the Cayo Softball Association in Blackman Eddy Village on Sunday, July 21
Kenny Gladden, Isaiah Willacey & Manuel Esquiliano win Weekend Warriors race
Kenny Gladden of Scotiabank team won the “A” category road championship, while Isaiah Willacey won the “B” category and Manuel Esquiliano of Truckers Posse won the “C” category of the Weekend Warriors’ Race last Sunday, July 14. Gladden out-sprinted Derick Smith of the BWS team in 2:12:40 to win the [...]
Belize’s Multicultural Thanksgiving a Unique Blend
While many people may not associate Thanksgiving with swaying palm trees, ancient Maya temples and vast rainforests, the holiday is widely observed in the tiny Caribbean country of Belize, where it has become the focal point of a unique annual celebration at The Lodge at Chaa Creek, according to the Belizean eco resort’s food and beverage manager Bryony Fleming Bradley.
In fact, last year’s month-long feast was such a success that Chaa Creek began taking reservations this week, she added.
Thanksgiving has a long tradition in Belize, most likely as a consequence of the country’s proximity to the North America, the presence of a large North American expat community and the “trickle down” effect from the large Belizean diaspora living in the US and Canada, Ms Fleming Bradley said.
“People seem surprised to hear that Thanksgiving is so popular in Belize, but it’s a holiday that many of us grew up with here and seems to get bigger each year. And recently there’s been a real increase in the number of people coming down to Belize to celebrate Thanksgiving with their families and friends,” she said.
“I suppose that when you consider the effort it takes these days to bring everyone together to celebrate a holiday, people want to make the most of their time together and turn it into something truly special. It’s been a pleasant surprise to see our Thanksgiving holiday package become as popular as it has,” she added.
Doing The Chaa-Chaa-Chaa Through Life's Jungle
Lucy and Mick Fleming own the Lodge at Chaa Creek in Belize, one of the world's first eco lodges. While at Chaa Creek, I was awed by the energy and vibrancy of the jungle--and the Flemings.
It is hard to imagine an environment that is more vividly alive than the jungle--lush, teeming, unfurling, changing, challenging, chaotic, diverse, primal, light, dark, and unpredictable. Embracing life's unpredictability led Lucy from her New Jersey girlhood to finding her place in the world on the banks of the Macal River.
I've always been fascinated by people who have the courage to "follow their bliss" and my conversation with eco pioneer Lucy did not disappoint. Her journey, like the Belizean jungle, is inspiring and instructive.
Welcome to the neighborhood!
Meet Alvin Loredo, fisherman, contractor, tour guide, and common laborer – a jack of many trades. Earlier this year, Alvin worked with EcoLogic to help install fuel-efficient stoves in two communities in the buffer zone of the Sarstoon-Temash National Park in Belize as part of EcoLogic’s binational work between Guatemala and Belize. I recently had the pleasure of speaking to Alvin on the phone to hear first hand how the work went, and why he is so committed to his community.
Alvin explains that he first heard of EcoLogic about 10 years ago when he served as a board member to EcoLogic’s partner in Belize, the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM). He accompanied EcoLogic on a learning exchange to Honduras to see projects we were implementing, including the installation of fuel-efficient stoves, and learn directly from community participants in the area. Alvin said when he first walked into the home of family with an EcoLogic stove he was blown away by how clean the inside of the kitchen was, which he described as “white”. In a region where, dirt floors and open-pit fires are the norm he could not believe his eyes.
Poodle Pirate and Galen University’s Timely China Business Course Offering
A rising red dragon is eying Central America, scouting safe harbor for investment and future development. As the world’s second largest economy, China has gradually spread her great red wings around the world, stirring up new business, energy, and food for her growing population of more than 1.3 billion people. Many countries, businesses, organizations, etc. have been approached by this new energetic, risk-averse force from the East with deals in hand for those ready to profit from this ancient empire’s modern day expansion plans. There are not many who would turn a cold shoulder to such lucrative proposals.
“Staring at the Sun” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up slightly before 05.00 hours yesterday morning and out on the veranda shortly afterwards with my mug of black coffee. The difference though was that I didn’t just sit there going through The Times on-line. I decided that I would respond to Don’s suggestion and include in the blog the occasional photo of something other than our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. So knowing that it wouldn’t be long before the sun rose I went up to the roof of the building of the condo we are renting.
I got up there around (cannot be precise because I don’t wear a watch anymore) 05.20 hours – just before sunrise.
How to Do Belize on a Budget
Yes, the words “Belize” and “budget” can go together. Here’s how to explore this tropical paradise without breaking the bank.
If you’re skeptical about the words “Belize” and “budget” in the same sentence, it’s understandable. Overall, Belize can be a pricier destination than say, its neighbouring backpacker haven, Guatemala. But in reality, it’s entirely possibly to afford a trip to Belize without breaking the bank. There are plenty of areas with affordable lodging, food and entertainment—and beaches, too. It just requires a little more research, flexibility and preparation. Here are my best tips on how to afford your first trip to “The Jewel” of Central America.
Travel Overland from Mexico,
Stay in Affordable Parts of the Country,
Visit in the Summer,
Travel by Bus,
Book Tours Ahead of Time,
Eat and Drink Local
Wildlife Conservation Society And Belizean Volunteers are Joined By Google Staff Volunteers To Survey Belize’s Sea Turtles
Marine scientists and veterinarians from the Wildlife Conservation Society teamed up with volunteers from Belize and Google for this year’s annual sea turtle survey in the coastal waters of Belize. The project, conducted in collaboration with the Belize Fisheries Department, received some key support from staff of Google, Hol Chan Marine Reserve and the Environmental Research Institute (University of Belize) as they assisted in the sighting, capture, tagging, and release of the marine-dwelling reptiles.
The four main objectives of the surveys, which have been conducted since 2007, are: to determine an absolute abundance estimate of the three species of turtles on the Glover’s Reef Atoll; to increase knowledge of sea turtle movements and habitat use; to assess genetic stock and growth rates of sea turtles on the Atoll; and to increase the capacity of stakeholders to collect accurate and standardized data.
Christian Group Prays Gays into Prison, Casts Spell on Tornado (and Raises the Dead)
A report by the Southern Poverty Law Center says that several U.S. organizations — including an extremist ministry which claims to raise the dead and pray away the gay — are defending antigay imprisonment and defamation in Belize and other Caribbean nations. The same groups also oppose U.S. calls for respect for human rights. (Source: Washington Blade)
The groups include Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly Alliance Defense Fund), the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice, and Extreme Prophetic Ministries. Other U.S. participants include Family Watch International, United Families International, and the World Congress of Families.
Of these groups, Extreme Prophetic Ministries — led by self-proclaimed Christian prophet Patricia King — is lesser known but potentially the most dangerous to human rights.