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Today's Belize News: August 29, 2013 #471304
08/29/13 05:56 AM
08/29/13 05:56 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,488
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


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The San Pedro Sun

Ramon’s Village Resort Issues Statement: Heroic Efforts To Save Resort Praised
Ramon’s Village Resort, an iconic tourism establishment on Ambergris Caye, located on Coconut Drive has suffered major damages after a fire ravaged through its grounds. The fire started shortly around 7:52PM on Tuesday, August 27th when a building in the southern section of the resort caught fire. It took almost 2 ½ hours before the fire was brought under control. A total of 29 of the 71 units were destroyed at the resort, which is estimated to have a real estate value of US $8 million. Neighboring structures received minimal damages and electricity to the entire island was interrupted for nearly an hour while guests from the resort and neighboring buildings were evacuated. “I was at the end of the dock walking towards the property when I saw the smoke and sparks and hurried to the area,” said Einer Gomez, Manager of Ramon’s Village Resort. “At first I thought it was across the street but I called the front desk to ask the security to run by that area. We basically got there together and we saw flames coming out from one of the huts. We also called the Fire Department to notify them about the fire.”

BTB Stands Willing & Ready to Support Guests, Staff and Management of Ramon’s Village Resort
Minister Manuel Heredia Jr, Minister of Tourism & Culture and Area Representative, Board of Directors and Staff of the Belize Tourism Board express deepest regret at this most unfortunate occurrence to hit Ramon’s Village Resort. On Tuesday, August 27th, around eight p.m., Ramon’s, one of the island’s oldest and iconic resorts, located on Coconut Drive in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, was gutted by fire. While preliminary reports indicate that more than thirty cabanas, restaurant, gift shop, and other facilities were destroyed, and the island was without electricity for an hour due to an emergency power interruption which was needed to mitigate damages from the fire to nearby transmission lines, we are happy to report that there were no casualties nor injuries. All twenty-five guests staying at the resort at the time of the fire have been accounted for and relocated to nearby hotels. Ramon's Before Photos 2The safety and well-being of these guests remain the priority and concern of Belize Tourism Board and Ramon’s Village Resort, and, as a result, we have ensured that they will not incur any cost for their new accommodations, and we have provided them with care packages. Furthermore, our thoughts and support are with the employees and management of Ramon’s Village Resort, as they embark on a difficult and painful task to pick up the pieces from last night’s devastating loss. We stand ready and willing to assist them as they start rebuilding. While the resort was significantly damaged, forty of its cabanas and dive shop facility that weren’t affected by the fire are fully functional and open for business.

Purple Parrot Bar at Ramon’s Village Resort destroyed by fire
On the evening of August 27, 2013, the Original Purple Parrot Bar at Ramon’s Village Resort in San Pedro, Belize was completely destroyed by fire along with most of the resort.Jerry Gilbreath, owner of the Purple Parrot Bar, for twenty-seven years, stated that none of his staff or guests of the bar or resort were injured. Nothing was left of the bar and contents which was built under a thatched roof. Gilbreath went on to say “I want to thank the many residents of San Pedro for quickly helping to try to save the Purple Parrot Bar along with Ramon’s Village Resort. Thousands of guests from around the world have enjoyed beverages from the world famous Purple Parrot Bar.” The Purple Parrot Bar has hosted many celebrities including Jimmy Buffett, who performed a concert there in 2000. The Purple Parrot Bar is the home of the famous “Frozen Purple Parrot” which is made up of various secret ingredients and concoctions from Belize. Gilbreath is still assessing the damage to the bar but said he hopes to be back in business soon.

Ramon’s Village Resort speaks to media about devastating fire
At approximately 8:00 PM last evening a fire was reported at Ramon’s Village Resort in San Pedro, Belize damaging approximately thirty cabanas in addition to the resort office area, Pineapples Restaurant, the Purple Parrot, Ramon’s Gift Shop and related facilities. There are no reports of injuries to any guests, Ramon’s staff members, emergency services personnel or island residents. Valiant efforts by San Pedro firefighters and police officers, Ramon’s staff members, local citizens and resort and island guests who manned fire hoses and formed bucket brigades are credited with stopping the blaze. “We cannot say thank you enough to all of the people who fought this fire and helped us save Ramon's August 27 2013 Burns-28as much of Ramon’s Village Resort as possible,” notes Ramon Nunez, General Manager of Ramon’s. “While we have suffered a tremendous loss, you can be assured that we are doing everything possible to ensure that our guests are taken care of as we begin assessing the damage.”

Ambergris Today

Ramon's Village Resort Plans Reopening After Devastating Fire
Looking at the aftermath of the massive fire that crippled Ramon’s Village Resort on Tuesday evening, August 27, 2013, it looks like a bomb went off in the middle of the two acre property. The devastating fire destroyed approximately 30 cabanas in addition to the resort office area, Pineapples Restaurant, the Purple Parrot, Ramon’s Gift Shop and related facilities. There are no reports of injuries to any guests, Ramon’s staff members, emergency services personnel or island residents. But looking beyond the ashes and destruction, Ramon’s Village Resort has announced that it will ‘Be back…Better than ever!’ and with a section of the resort remaining totally undamaged by the fire, the resort is planning to resume operations as fast as humanly possible with the 40 rooms that were untouched.

Ambergris Caye’s Iconic Ramon’s Village Resort Goes Down in Massive Fire
What took years to build and establish as an iconic and prestigious resort in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize, took a couple of hours to be destroyed by a massive fire. Close to 80% of Ramon’s Village Resort which included 71 rooms under thatched-roof cabañas burned down to the ground in a massive fire that started close to 7p.m. on Tuesday, August 27, 2013. Island residents were still in disbelief at the sight of the large fire that engulfed most of the resort as firefighters struggled to reach the site. Initial reports are that the fire started on the south end of the resort inside one of the rooms. Before measures could be taken to extinguish the fire, flames quickly spread through thatched roof and pimento stick bungalow-style building.

Tres Pescado Slam - Belize's Largest Fly Fishing Tournament
On Thursday, August 15, 2013, a total of 19 teams showed up in downtown San Pedro for what was to be Belize’s largest ever fly-fishing tournament - The Tres Pescados Slam Tournament. Currently in its 5th year, anglers were competing for cash prizes, giveaways and the coveted grand slam title. Day one saw cloudy and dreary skies as a tropical depression moved towards the Yucatan, but anglers remained optimistic. In the end teams prevailed and both bonefish and tarpon were landed in the tough conditions. Pesca con Mosca and team Big E took top honors both racking up 575 points. Last year’s third place team Anglers Abroad was a close second at 300. Daniel Smith, the tournaments youngest angler at 14 was in a tie for 3rd with his team the Holiday Strikers.

Travel + Leisure Names Ambergris Caye, Belize Second Best Island in Region
The Number One Island in the world just got another nod of excellence, this time by Travel + Leisure that named Ambergris Caye, Belize the second best island in Mexico, Central and South American region in their World’s Best Awards 2013. The accolades keep coming for Ambergris Caye, Belize and there is no doubt that this island has something very special to share with the world. These nominations, awards and Top Ten placements over the past years can only mean one thing – that Belize can be proud of boasting one of the top destinations in the world (#1 Island in the World by TripAdvisor readers and voters). On Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards for 2013, Ambergris Caye, Belize’s 2nd position topped major tourist island destinations like Isla Mujeres, Mexico at #3, Roatan Island, Honduras at #4 and Cozumel, Mexico at #5. Besting Ambergris Caye (83.64) with a score not so far ahead was the Galapagos at #1 (86.95).

Amber Rivero is Miss Earth Belize 2013
“A girl with a mind; a woman with attitude; and, a lady with class.” - Belize City, Belize – Miss Amber Reneé Rivero is the new reigning Miss Earth Belize 2013. As Miss Earth Amber is the official Environmental Ambassador of Belize who will be representing her country at Miss Earth International Pageant to be held in Manila, Philippines, in November, 2013. Belize International Pageants Limited crowned the 21 year old student of the University of Belize at ceremonies held on August 24th, 2013, At the Royal Orchid Hotel in Belize City. The previous queen, Miss Jessel Lauriano, gave her final farewell address, and passed on the torch to the newly crowned queen, Ms. Rivero who said she is proud to be able to showcase Belize’s natural wonders and make her country take its rightful place on the international scene.

Misc Belizean Sources

US Capital Energy Oil Company And Heavily Armed Belize Security Forces Confront Indigenous Q’eqchi Maya Leaders As They Traverse Their Traditional Territories Where US Capital Is Illegally Operating
SATIIM and the Maya communities’ leaders condemn the continued use of heavily armed police and BDF to intimidate SATIIM and the community leaders of the Sarstoon Temash Region. SATIIM and the Maya communities maintain that both Government of Belize and US Capital are engaged in illegal activities on Maya Customary Titled Lands. Our communities have not granted their consent for these activities and as such we declare that they are in illegal occupation. US Capital Energy and Belize Security Forces confront Maya Leaders. Photo via SATIIM We will not be told how and when to traverse our traditional lands. We will go where we decide we need to go as we have traditionally done. US Capital or the Government of Belize will not determine our movements on our traditional lands. Government of Belize and US Capital’s display of force last week Friday demonstrates the lawlessness of their intention in the region and is symbolic of what is to come later. Every oil company operating in world has its operations guarded by military and paramilitary forces and it seem to us that it will not be any different in Belize.

VIDEO: Ramon"s Village Massive Fire Destruction Aftermath
Iconic Ramon's Village Resort fire....majority of resort destroyed in fire.

Creativity Costs Less Than Alcohol
Positive thought of the day. Creativity Costs Less Than Alcohol. A quick video of Benque's mural from a while back, taken as they were doing another mural project. Thanks, Jose! "Jose Guerra Awe returns to the streets of the western towns of Benque Viejo del Carmen and San Ignacio in the Cayo District of Belize from his new home in San Francisco, California to continue inspiring a new generation of young artists - for now.....murals! With Jo Jo, you never know what's next!!"

Teaching Assistant Belize Website
T. A. Belize is a new website that teaches people about Belize and its biodiversity. It covers everything from climate change, to energy, to mangroves, to how plastics affect an ecosystem. Thanks, Idalia Machuca, and Oceana, for the great and comprehensive information. "A website produced by Oceana Belize geared towards the education of the Belizean population on environmental topics related to Belize and the world. T.A. (Teaching Assistant) Belize is designed to: Educate the Belizean population on environmental issues affecting both Belize and the world, Provide a source of information for teachers interested in integrating these topics into their classes, Inspire Belizeans to take the actions necessary for the preservation of our environment."

BTB 2013 Village Expo
August 31st, 9am - 4pm, Memorial Park, Belize City

Jah - Your Smile
Music video by Jah performing Your Smile.

Duo busted with illegal lobster tails
Two men are in trouble with the law for allegedly being in possession of illegal lobster tails. Anthony Sutherland, 36 and Lynton Wagner, 50, were intercepted on Sunday afternoon on Coney Drive in Belize City. Police say they had in their possession a plastic bag with a large quantity of small lobster tails. Police say that Sutherland and Wagner were along with their bag full of lobster tails were handed over to the Fisheries Department. When the bag was opened and checked in the presence of the two men, police say a total of 152 lobster tails assessed at a total value of $7,600 were found. Sutherland and Wagner were jointly charged for the crime of possession of illegal lobster.

Channel 7

Flagship San Pedro Resort Ramon’s Village Gutted
Tonight, San Pedro town is still recovering after an epic blaze burned down Ramon’s Village last night. More than a popular, high occupancy resort, Ramon’s is an institution – a cornerstone of San Pedro’s tourism product since the early 80’s. But tonight, it is no more for the time being at least. Daniel Ortiz has the full story on the blaze, the aftermath, and the plan for a recovery:… Daniel Ortiz reporting This morning at around 8 o'clock, the Fire Department and employees of Ramon's Village were still trying to put out smaller fires, the remnants of the blaze which gutted the resort. 29 cabanas, the resort's office area, Pineapples Restaurant, the Purple Parrot, Ramon’s Gift Shop and other related facilities went down in the fire which started at around 8 o'clock last night Einer Gomez - Manager, Ramon's Village Resort "My immediate reaction was to keep going and alert the rest of the staff which was the bar and the restaurant and asked them to bring bigger fire extinguishers to help the control the flame."

Is Greg Going?
Right now the battle over Maya land rights is at a fever pitch – and looks to be coming to a head with US Capital Energy versus SATIIM over traditional lands used to extract oil. But might an important player be leaving the furious fray? Well, maybe….two weeks ago we first heard reports that Greg Choq, the Executive Director of SATIIM was resigning and going to study law. It seemed far - fetched considering how heated things are right now with the land rights issue and the central role that Choc plays. So, last week, we asked Choq casually if it was true, and he denied it. And we thought that was the end of it. But today, an unsigned, but every lengthy email purporting to come from “young Maya and Garifuna youths from the villages around the Sarstoon Temash” claim that Choc has resigned. The 2,600 word email says, quote, “This afternoon we received news that tells us that…Greg Choc… resigned…last week. We want to publicly ask Mr. Choc why is it that he is abandoning SATIIM and the Maya communities at such a critical point…:” Now, the email is unsigned and has no names on it, and it is not the kind of thing we usually lend much credence to – because it could just be mischief making by opponents of Choq and SATIIM. But, fitting it in with what we heard from reliable sources two weeks ago, we had to take it seriously. So, we called Choq this evening, minutes after the mail came in. We told him what the mail says and he didn’t outright deny it, but said he’d have to read the mail first before he can comment. We sent him the mail and called him back in twenty minutes, and then again in thirty minutes, but got no response. We’ll definitely be following up on this tomorrow.

NTUCB Dismissed PM Position On PAC, Still Wants Reform
The Public Accounts Committee – is the issue running hot or cold? For a temperature reading we’d have to look to the social partners who would be members under the plan to re-constitute the membership of the committee: the Council of Churches has refrained from making a public statement, the Chamber gave a lukewarm response, and…the Trade Union Congress? Well, they weighed in today – and they’re still with it. The union umbrella group thrashed the response from the Prime Minister’s Office. Their statement says they reiterate their strong support for the restructuring of the PAC. They take issue with the PM’s statement that re-constituting the committee will be too costly, asking quote, “what amount of money does it take for this committee to execute its mandate?” The NTUCB also criticizes the government for proposing to have meetings without the Opposition Chair – saying it undermines true democracy. And while the standing Orders make strict rules for how the PAC should be composed – with no provision for civil society, the NTUCB notes that quote, “in the past provisions were made for constitutional changes to accommodate the nationalization of companies and the composition of the senate.”

Okeke Comes Up, Gets City Hall To Sign For Soberanis Bust
Stephen Okeke’s bust of legendary labour agitator Antonio Soberanis – it’s a major, definitive work, but the grandeur of the piece has been overshadowed by the controversy surrounding it. Oddly, most of the controversy has been generated by Okeke himself, whose ego – and wallet – appeared for a while to have been mortally wounded by the City Council’s apparent indifference towards his Great Work. He wanted them to rush in and scoop up the pricey piece, but the Council has its own pace, and after weeks of negotiation on a final price, they finally got around to signing a contract yesterday. It is news because it pushes back the opening of the park – which was planned for tomorrow – to the 19th of September. During that time, the bust will be installed and paid for. The Mayor told us how they arrived at a compromise:… Darrell Bradely – Mayor of Belize City "Yesterday I signed an agreement with Mr. Okeke for the purchasing of the bust and we're buying the bust from him for $25,000 and we are closing this deal on the 6th of September which is next week Friday. I am also pleased to report that we're not spending public funds on this bust, that's monies that have been fully donated to the City Council and we had a lot of interest from people wanting to contribute to the acquisition of the bust.

Mayor Says He Didn’t Call the Cops On Downtown Cabbies
And while we had the mayor on the subject of the park – we had to ask about the Albert Street Taxi Union. They are still in negotiation with City Hall to get more parking slots – but this morning the cabbies told us that cops were sent out there to intimidate them. We asked the mayor, “what’s up with that?” Mayor Darrell Bradley "I got a briefing yesterday evening that they were some overtures indicating that there may be some kind of disturbance in that area because of some of the works that we are doing in that area. I don't know of what situations would have occurred this morning but if the police went out there, it must have been a result of information that they would have received. In terms of briefing us - the taxi persons had expressed dissatisfaction because admittedly if you have 13 spots and that's cut down then there would be some concern and I think that those police officers would have gone out there as a deterrent to make sure that whatever is going on, accords with the law and that people are not being unruly. We have to recognize the right that the taxi men have to use that space but the right has to also be balanced with the use of other people. The downtown area is a very small area, the streets are very narrow - you can't have a situation where you have one taxi station there and then right next to them in front of Brodie's you have another taxi station. So the entire area is being taken up by taxi parking which is one of the concerns that we have a difference. They will be and they have to be given spaces in front of the park but in terms of the logistics and the detail - we have to work that out to ensure that we recognize the rights of people who visit that area and who want to park there also."

West and Gaynair Honoured For Honesty
Ian Gaynair and Woodrow West gained international acclaim at the Gold Cup in July when they blew the whistle on a match fixer who was trying to induce them to throw the game against the US. Since then, the national team players have received all kinds of honors and recognition, culminating in a paid trip to the see the Gold Cup Final as guests of the tournament organizers, CONCACAF. Today in Belmopan, the National Olympic Commission under the patronage of the Governor General held a ceremony to give West and Gaynair the first ever Gilmore Hinkson Fair Play Trophy. Hinkson was an exemplary Belizean sporting official – and the Olympic committee says it is his sense of fair play that West and Gaynair best epitomize. Hilly Martinez - President, National Olympic Commission "This is the first time this trophy is being awarded. I do hope that these forwards Ian and Woodrow - you guys will be a role character in the future of all young athletes." Sir.Colville Young - Governor General of Belize "I am honored, I am proud to join hundreds of thousands of Belizeans in the United States and particularly in Belize to pay tribute to the Jaguar Football Team that took the name, the flag and the anthem of Belize to the international scene. We did not win but we excelled in sportsmanship and even if we did not win, I want to remind you that every evening the sun goes down, but the next morning it rises again. Belize will have the opportunity to excel to defeat the world."

King Gets Gaynair Leased Land, Promise Of a Free Title
Ian Gaynair had to rush out of that ceremony to make it to a very special meeting in Belize City. At 11:30, UDP Lake-I Representative Mark King was having a small ceremony to hand over a lease for a parcel of land in Lake Independence. The background to this is that a few weeks ago, news came out that Gaynair, who scored the only goal for Belize in the Gold Cup, had lost the lease on a parcel of land he’d gotten in Lake-I in 2006. Fingers were immediately pointed at his current area representative Mark King, who denied any involvement in that. It turns out that Gaynair’s lease had lapsed some time before, and even as he was working the land – a woman from Corozal had gotten the lease, and was in process to get a title. That story has the usual convolutions of land transactions gone wrong, but King stepped up to make things right. Today he handed Gaynair a new lease for a new parcel. 7news was there- Hon. Mark King - Area Representative "I found out about Mr. Gaynair's case via KREM when they allegedly trying to indicate that I was the area rep, when I wasn't - as a matter of fact it was Cordel Hyde who was the elected area rep when this land was seen to be taken away, they should have known of it. What I particularly did is that I immediately contacted the land department, found out the situation and I don't talk too much - I will get the action going. I was very sad to know that they were using Mr. Gaynair as a political football in this thing - he's a national player and he should be respected and out of that I found the dignity to go to the Land's Department and find out the situation and ensure that under my land program - that he got back a piece of land."

A “Mobile Peace Caravan” For Cops?
The Police Department got a major donation today from the Taiwanese Government. It’s a mobile command center, which, in a chintzy little touch is called a Mobile Peace Caravan. Ok, “Peace Caravan” might be a little too cute, but the new unit will play a major, strategic role for police. The ambassador explained how it will help police string up gangsters:… H.E. David Wu - Taiwanese Ambassador to Belize "The mobile command center will be integral to identify target and interdict major criminal gangsters." ACP Miguel Segura - Commander, Eastern Division "This peace caravan will be able to be utilized for community policing projects, where there's a problem then police will intervene in whatever projects to bring the community together - it will be done. Also for law enforcement project, we intend to use it to go where the problem is, to move in the area and bring it to normalcy. This peace caravan can be used in many events, for example September celebrations coming up - we'll use it as a forward command center where we can deploy our resources and have it on time and as you can see it is equipped, it has a bathroom, area where they can rest and it's an area where we can command and control the resources on the spot."

NICH Celebrates First Decade
It’s seems hard to believe now, but ten years ago, if you said the word “NICH,”, you’d get a response like “What?” Indeed, it’s an odd little word, and in 2003, no one knew for sure what it meant, or worse, how to pronounce it – a lot of times people said “neesh” – as if it was French. But in the past decade, NICH, The National Institute For Culture And History has become a household name; the combined institutes of creative arts, institute of archaeology, and institute for social and cultural research appear on the news almost weekly – all under the NICH Umbrella. In fact, NICH has become so omnipresent, that it’s hard to remember a time when it wasn’t there. Today, the institution celebrated its 10th anniversary with a ceremony, luncheon and presentation of a culture policy. President Dianne Haylock referred vaguely to the vision of the framers of the NICH Act in 1999:… Dianne Haylock - President, NICH "So while I cannot speak directly for the framers of the NICH legislation which was done in 1999, a clear and lasting impression is provided in its objects and guiding principles that culture should be afforded a much higher priority on the National Agenda. With the establishment of NICH, one could imagine culture emerging from a place of obscurity to one of centrally in the social economic development of this nation. With this mandate, one could envision NICH being the match to set a fire at culture rebirth across the length and berth of Belize; NICH igniting a cultural renaissance. Priot to NICH and I speak as an artist and cultural worker myself - culture, our tangible and intangible heritage were at best treated as secondary or peripheral appendages to more important ministries but comparable resources -meaning very little - to execute necessary actions in the sector. Artist and culture workers were to a large extent, forgotten or invisible species - that is until they were needed to perform for visiting dignitaries or occasionally requred to represent Belize abroad.

Allegedly Shady House-sitters Turn Into Jailbirds
Tonight, 19 year-old Yasmin Dominguez and 24 year-old Wilhem Ramos are at prison tonight after they were taken to court for allegedly stealing a bike and a video game. According to police, Ramos was left in charge of Charles Domingo’s house on Jane Usher Boulevard, but instead of house-sitting, he allegedly convinced Dominguez and a 17 year-old to steal an Xbox, 5 gaming CD’s, a beach cruiser bicycle and a weed cutter. Domingo reported the theft to police, who investigated and charged all 3 men with theft and burglary. They were arraigned yesterday before Magistrate Clive Lino where they pleaded not guilty.

What’s City Hall Got To Do With a high School Science Lab?
We know the Mayor loves to cement-pave streets, but what’s he doing fixing up a science lab? That’s what we asked today when the Council unveiled a science lab at Saint Catherine’s Academy. Now we know the City Council manifesto had all sorts of goodies in there, but we didn’t see any science labs – so we asked the Mayor to explain:…. Darrell Bradley - Mayor of Belize City "The refurbished lab is from floor to ceiling meaning that everything in that lab has been refurbished. Tiling the floors, refurbishing the lighting facilities, installing new fans because I was a student once and I know how hot it can get in your classes. Painting all the walls, refurbishing the surfaces for the tables in the labs, refurbishing the chairs - everything was renovated. We are donating this refurbished lab to St. Catherine's, but the gift that St. Catherine's Academy for so long has given to our country and to the world is tremendous."

Getter Better At Managing the Mentally Ill
The Belize City Resource Center for the homeless and mentally ill on Vernon Street is finally up and running. But, the center’s important work goes largely overlooked. And that’s why they had an Open House today – we visited and found out more:… Joyce Ellis - Administrator, Belize City Resource Center "What we want the public to know about the center is that yes it is up and running, we cater for the mentally ill, the homeless and the elderly. We also have them interact on a daily basis - what we do here is that they get a hot meal and they also get to take a shower and involved in certain therapeutic activities that will help them better cope with their situation. At present we have a total of 120 participants registered to the center but we aim to do a 150. On a daily basis we feed an average of 42 participants for the day, the center is a drop-in center meaning that you can only come and have a hot meal, a change of clothes and stay here for a couple hours a day and then you have to leave; we don't have a residential facility. As much as you see them on the street like that, they are functional - they can read, they can reason and if given the right opportunity they can bounce back and be productive in our society."

3 X 3 Ballers To Washington
Last year in October, Belize’s National U-18 3 by 3 Basketball Team shocked the world when they beat China at the Three on Three World Basketball Championships in Spain. And now, they are headed to Washington DC on Friday to participate in the FIBA Americas 3x3 Championship. And the reason, that team Belize is being given this opportunity is because the teams which went to Spain did very well. This coupled with numerous 3x3 events held locally, Belize has earned a spot to participate in the tournament in DC, as well as the U-18 3x3 World Championship to be held in Indonesia at the end of September. Last year, Team Belize got recognition in the sport for beating China, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovakia.

Re: Today's Belize News: August 29, 2013 [Re: Marty] #471305
08/29/13 05:57 AM
08/29/13 05:57 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,488
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

More News: Scroll up from here

Channel 5

Massive Fire Destroys Ramon’s Village Resort in San Pedro
Ramon’s Village Resort is a landmark in the prime tourism destination of San Pedro, but a huge fire on Tuesday night swept through the iconic resort destroying almost fifty percent [...]

Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia Says BTB Is Assisting International Guests
Earlier today, we caught up with the Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia Jr., a resident of San Pedro Town. Heredia Junior commented on the huge loss to tourism and the [...]

Minister Mark King gives back land to Jaguar, Ian Gaynair
Less than two weeks ago celebrated Belize Jaguar defensive star Ian ‘Yellow’ Gaynair discovered that he had been stripped of his piece of the jewel. Years ago, Gaynair had been [...]

The N.T.U.C.B. lashes back at G.O.B.’s refusal of PAC restructuring
On Tuesday, the People’s United Party issued a declaration condemning government’s refusal to even consider the restructuring of the Public Accounts Committee. It was in response to a release from [...]

NICH Celebrates Ten Years of Culture And History in Belize
A decade after it was established, the National Institute of Culture and History, is redefining itself. At the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts, NICH unveiled a new culture policy [...]

Jaguars bestowed with Gilmore Henkson trophy
Goleador Woodrow West and midfielder Ian Gaynair, star players on the Belize Jaguars, were today bestowed with the Gilmore Henkson Fair Play Trophy for their honesty and patriotism during their [...]

Mexican Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Says Belize/Mexico Border Is Stable
On Sunday a high-level delegation from Mexico’s Foreign Ministry visited Belize. That delegation included Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs Jose Antonio Meade and his Vice-Minister Vanessa Rubio. As far as [...]

Mexican Vice-Minister Vanessa Rubio Talks Business With Belize
The fact-finding mission along the border was important to future development of both nations. But even more important than that were the discussions held with Minister Wilfred Elrington. The focus [...]

Meeting To Be Held Friday By Mexican Officials To Discuss Belize City Center Project
And one area of discussion which will be of particular interest to Belizeans is the Belize City Center. That sporting facility was declared unsafe for public gatherings in August 2010. [...]

Belize Police Department Receives Mobile Command Center from Taiwan Government
Today, the top brass of the Police Department gathered at the Queen Street compound for a historic donation, a first of its kind in Belize. Thanks to the government of [...]

Guatemalan Fisherman Illegally Fishing In Blue Hole
A Guatemalan fisherman pleaded guilty to Illegal Fishing in the Blue Hole Natural Monument when he appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court. Forty-six year old Elias Chavez was arraigned [...]

Jacqueline Bermudez Charged With Wounding
Magistrate Hamilton also dealt with the case of a woman who works as a Data Entry Clerk. Jacqueline Bermudez, a resident of Ben Bow Street, was arraigned in the Belize [...]

Be The Next Superstar Winner Chosen, Finale Highlights
There’s a new Superstar tonight. After grueling weeks of performances at the Bliss, and tough competition among talented performances, Be the Next Superstar Season Two closed on Tuesday night with [...]


Newly Elected Mexican President Plans To Deepen Relations with Belize
Mexico was one of the first countries to give support to Belize in its quest for political independence. Following that Mexico was the second country to name an ambassador to Belize after Belize became independent. It’s a long friendly relationship that now the new Mexican president intends to expand. Arturo Cantun reports. ARTURO CANTUN REPORTING The relationships between both countries has been close even before Belize was recognized as a sovereign state but according to President Enrique Pena Nieto, there is more closeness needed in the already existing relation. Last Sunday his Foreign Affairs Minister Jose Antonio Meade paid a quick visit to Belize. Today we spoke with Mexican undersecretary for Latina America and the Caribbean Vanessa Rubio. VANESSA RUBIO “If Belize is prosperous, if Belize grows, if Belize has a better prospect for the future then that is always something that will be a positive impact to Mexico.”

Magistrate Renders 10K Fine for Drug Trafficking
Thirty-five year old Brian Smith, a resident of Flamboyant Street, was fined $10,000 today by Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart for drug trafficking. Smith was ordered to pay the fine by January 31, 2014. If he defaults on payment he will serve three years. But although Smith was not given a custodial sentence he was not freed because he is serving time for unpaid court fines. On July 31, 2012, the police were on mobile patrol on Flamboyant Street when they saw Smith, who was walking on the street, throw a plastic bag in a drain. When the police retrieved the bag and opened it they found that it contained 137 grams of cannabis. As a result, Smith was taken into custody and charged. Smith had pled not guilty to the charge, but he changed his plea to guilty during the middle of the trial.

Fined Initially for Burglary; Court of Appeal Renders Seven Year Incarceration
Forty-two year old Kent Smith, who was fined one thousand dollars by Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith after he was found guilty of burglarizing the house of Belize Court of Appeal president Justice Manuel Sosa, was sentenced to seven years today by Justice Adolph Lucas, for the same offence. The Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lyn Vidal, had appealed the sentence of Chief Magistrate Smith and at the appeal hearing today Justice Lucas ruled that Chief Magistrate Smith did not take into consideration that Smith had one previous conviction for dishonesty when she was considering the sentence. Smith had burglarized Justice Sosa’s house at 29 Southern Foreshore. Another man, Rudolph Mckoy, was charged jointly with him, but Mckoy absconded before he could be brought to trial.

Five Adults and A Minor Arraigned on Firearm and Ammunition Charges
Six persons, one of them a 16 year old minor, were charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license when they appeared today in the court of Magistrate Leslie Hamilton. The adults are 36 year old Ian Craig, 19 year old Keon Lacayo, 21 year old Gilbert Wade, 35 year old Ian Myers and 30 year old Michael Anderson. They pled not guilty to the charges. They were remanded into custody until September 12. The incident occurred yesterday. The police, members of the GSU, went to Anderson’s house, located on Guerrero Street, and when they searched it they found a point 38 revolver with six rounds of ammunition stuck in the side of the house.

A Decade of Service – National Institute for Culture History
Igniting a Cultural Renaissance is the theme with which the National Institute for Culture and History is celebrating its tenth anniversary. As part of the celebrations there was an industry presentation at which the Ministry of Tourism and culture joined hands with NICH. At the presentation, Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia addressed the gathering and spoke of the accomplishments of NICH throughout its existence. MANUEL HEREDIA, Minister of Tourism and Culture “This celebration of our tenth anniversary of NICH, affords us the opportunity to map out our future plans in this important sub sector. It allows us to take stock of how successful we have been in marrying tourism to culture and ensuring that our cultural heritage provides tangible benefits to those who wish to share their talents, skills and unique way of life.” President of NICH Diane Haylock reflected on the many years of the institution’s contribution DIANE HAYLOCK, President, NICH “Ten years is not a very long time to achieve the kind of transformation required in this new approach to cultural development in Belize but a strong and dynamic foundation has been established in the enactment of NICH in which we are all entrusted d to position culture in its rightful place.”

Popular Tourism Resort Goes Up in Flames
A fire shortly after eight o’clock last night destroyed a portion of Ramon’s Village Resort on Ambergris Caye. (VO STARTS) Police say when they arrived on the scene they saw that the two acre resort was engulfed in flames. As a result 28 units including laundry room, kitchen, gift shop, bar, office and three store rooms were completely destroyed. All structures are of Pimento, hard wood, sheet-rock casing and thatch roof. Initial investigation revealed that the fire originated in the roof top of one of the units rapidly spread to the other units. The cause of fire is unknown at this time. The resort is valued at eight million US dollars. The resort is owned by US national Richard Hedrick but managed by 47-year-old Belizean Einer Gomez of San Pedro Town. The property is insured. Minister of Tourism and Culture and area representative Manuel Heredia along with the Belize Tourism Board have expressed their regret at the destruction caused by the fire. All twenty-five guests staying at the resort at the time of the fire have been accounted for and relocated to nearby hotels. The BTB says they have ensured that the guests will not incur any cost for their new accommodations, and they have been provided with care packages. While the resort was significantly damaged, forty of its cabanas and dive shop facility were not affected by the fire and are fully functional and open for business. Ramon’s Village Resort is one of the oldest resorts on the island and has been in operation since 1982. In 2002, Ramon’s was named Hotel of Year at the BTB’s Annual Tourism Awards. In October 2010, founder of the resort, Ramon Nunez, was awarded with BTB’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution of over forty years to the tourism industry. We will have more on last night’s fire in our subsequent newscast.


OWTC To Light Up The Sky For 20th Of September Night
Belize’s Independence Day is approaching with three weeks of activities leading up to the jewels 32nd birthday. The month of Septembers proves to b e a time when Belizeans, of all ages; young, middle-aged and senior citizens all take pride in celebrating Belize. People all over the country gather at public venues to enjoy entertaining and educational performances in honor of two very important national holidays, the Battle of St. George's Caye Day celebrated on September 10th and Independence Day honored on September 21st. Without a doubt Orange Walk is well known for its September celebrations activities and this year won’t be the exception. The Orange Walk Town Council has a long list of events planned for the month leading up to the 21st. The celebrations will officially be declared open on Saturday with Fiesta F.M’s 9th Anniversary to be held at the Fort Cairns Market Plaza. Kevin Bernard- Mayor Orange Walk Town “There after we move into other activities such as the Rock Concert, which will be held on the 14th of September here at the Fort Carns’ Market but before I get there I must mention the Orange Walk Central Drum-fette as well on the twelve of September that will also be happening here on Arthur Street. The Rock concert we are seeing here seven bands participating, two from Chetumal and five locals such as Abraxus and the others bands that we have, Legacy after the 14th of September we prepare for a National Service Day which is on the 15th and on the 19th September we have a National Heroes day in commemoration of the Rt. Honorable George Cadle Price and on that day we would like to also honor some of our leaders in our community, certain teachers.”

Two Of Belize's Best Awarded The Gilmore Henkson Fair Play Trophy
It’s been more than a month since Team Jaguars came back from participating in the Gold Cup Tournament in the United States and since then not much has been heard about the team other than, they have not been paid. Well tonight, they are in the spotlight once again, or at least two of the players are. Ian Gaynor and Woodrow Wilson West were presented with the “Gilmore Henkson Fair Play Trophy” today in Belmopan. The Belize Olympic Committee’s Fair Play Commission with the consent of Mr. Hilly Martinez, President of the Belize Olympic & Commonwealth Games Association, in concurrence with His Excellency, Sir Colville Young, Patron of the Belize Olympic Committee presented the trophy to both Belizean players for their outstanding honesty & patriotism during their participation in the Gold Cup. Their character exemplifies the aims and objectives of the International Olympic Committee. The Gilmore Henkson Trophy was established by the Belize Olympic Committee in memory of Mr. Gilmore Henkson who was a diligent and excellent secretary of the Belize Olympic Committee for many years. He was an outstanding Football, Softball & Cricket player.

Meet To Greet To Reduce Crime
Today over 19 police officers from the Corozal Police Department hit the streets of town knocking from door to door. But this time the cops were not in search of a criminal. The formation took the initiative of visiting residents of different areas across town with the purpose of making Corozal a safer place to live in by reducing crime. O.C Andrew Ramirez.– Corozal Police Department “The things is what we refer to meet and greet, we need to improve our services in terms to better communication, better unity with the community, we are heading into the September celebrations and oversee the September celebration has its own type of crime that normally increases, so we are here house to house and presently in the Altamira area and my deputy Mr Arzu is in the San Antonio Skeleton town area but we have been speaking to people that are residents and we are getting some very good feedback from them and it has been first of its kind here in the Corozal for this year and want for this to be done every two weeks I want to meet with the community so then I will have that opportunity to meet with each individual and a household.”

Orange Walk Town Hall Re-painted Just In Time For September Celebrations
If you live in Orange Walk Town there is a high probability that by now you have noticed that the Orange Walk Town Hall is receiving a facelift. With funds obtained from Fiesta Rama the council is re-painting the entire building just in time for the September Celebrations. While you might think that since the council is PUP, the colors of the party, blue and white is being used to paint the building, think again. According to Mayor Kevin Bernard, the Town Hall is painted in colors that will promote the go green initiative. Kevin Bernard- Mayor Orange Walk Town “Some may ask the question why green? Why that colour? One let me point out that the Orange Walk colours are green and yellow and so we decided to keep it into that colour that depicts the town at the same time as you noticed our park we are already being transforming that into a more green environment and with the development of the park later on this year it will just synchronize with each other. On the ceiling of the building we had initially decided to put the green but we will be changing that to white so that it gives some illumination at night so that there will be a three colour mix there is a lighter shade of green and a little darker green and there will a white to keep a balance along with it. The last time I think I gave an interview I mention that it has cost us less than about four to five thousand dollars it is costing us a little over five thousand dollars to do this project and we are very happy, we got a private contractor to work on it for us while we continue to do work in cooperation to the September celebrations.”

Was Oscar Castaneda Knocked Down? Police Investigate
On Wednesday August 21st, 2013, 45 year old Oscar Gustavo Castaneda, a resident of San Narciso Village, Corozal was found lying in the middle of the Philip Goldson Highway suffering from injuries to the left hand and back of the head. He was assisted by 35 year old Belizean teacher of San Narciso Village, Noel Quetzal. Castaneda was taken to the Corozal Community Hospital from where he discharged himself. On Thursday he was once again taken to the Corozal Hospital and later transferred to the KHMH where he died on Sunday at around 9:00 in the morning. While Police suspect that Castaneda was the victim of a traffic accident that is yet to be ascertained. What we do know though, is that a post mortem examination reveled that Castaneda died as a result of Ventricular Bilateral Hemorrhage due to skull Trauma.

Ministry Of Tourism Relocates Guest OF Ramon's Village Resort
The untimely fire which gutted two thirds of Ramon’s Village Resort in San Pedro Town and completely destroyed approximately thirty units along with the restaurant, gift shop, and other major facilities, has caused mixed emotions in both the local and international tourism community. Minister of Tourism and Culture, Hon. Manuel Heredia Junior, Board of Directors and Staff of the Belize Tourism Board sent out a release today expressing their deepest regret at this most unfortunate occurrence. At around 8:00pm one of the island’s oldest and prestigious resorts was hit with stormy blaze. In his statement released today Minister Herredia confirmed that all twenty-five guests staying at the resort at the time of the fire have been accounted for and relocated to nearby hotels. “The safety and well-being of these guests remain the priority and concern of the Belize Tourism Board and Ramon’s Village Resort, and, as a result, we have ensured that they will not incur any cost for their new accommodations, and we have provided them with care packages.” stated Herredia. Furthermore, Herredia reaffirmed Governments commitment to assist employees and the management of Ramon’s Village Resort, in anyway possible as work towards restoring the resort commences.

The Rebuilding Of Ramon's Village Resort Commences
As work to restore the iconic resort commences after it was reduced to rubble, management issued a statement today thanking those who assisted them to control the fire and prevent what could have been a catastrophe with the loss of life. The release states, “Valiant efforts by San Pedro fire-fighters and police officers, Ramon’s staff members, local citizens and resort and island guests who manned fire hoses and formed bucket brigades are credited with stopping the blaze.” “We cannot say thank you enough to all of the people who fought this fire and helped us save as much of Ramon’s Village Resort as possible,” said Ramon Nunez, General Manager of Ramon’s Village Resort. “While we have suffered a tremendous loss, you can be assured that we are doing everything possible to ensure that our guests are taken care of as we begin assessing the damage.” Nunez added.

Iconic Ramon's Village Resort Swallowed By Flames
Millions of dollars went up in smoke last night in San Pedro as one of the major resorts on the island was gutted by fire. Ramon’s Village Resort located on Coconut Drive, San Pedro Town, considered one of the islands top end resorts, famous for its structure made of pimento, hardwood, sheet-rock casing, and thatch roof was ravished by flames at around 8:00pm. It took almost 2 ½ hours before the fire was brought under control, at which time about 2/3 of the resort was completely destroyed. Neighboring structures received damage and electricity to the entire island was interrupted for nearly an hour. Irvin Aragon – Reporting Lush vegetation, Mayan influence, Tahitian elements, delicious food, wonderful people, excellent service, great amenities, and comfortable suites, this were all representatives of Ramon’s Village Resort in San Pedro Town. Ranked eighteenth out of the fifty four hotels in the island, Ramon’s Village Resort was undoubtedly one of Belize’s best tourist attractions. But all of that came to an end yesterday when Police received a disturbing call that the resort was under fire. The San Pedro Fire Department responded quickly only to find themselves with unforeseen challenges. Due to major street rehabilitations on a portion of Coconut Drive, where the resort is located, the fire department was unable to acquire easy access to the fire. In addition, they also experienced low water pressure from the fire hydrants since the electricity was cut off by BEL at around 8:30pm to mitigate damages from the fire within close proximity to the transmission line.


PUP sign declaration for reform of the PAC
The Hon. Julius Espat’s bid to restructure the Public Accounts Committee was recently dismissed in the last Sitting of the House of Representatives and subsequently rejected by Prime Minister, the Hon. Dean Barrow, as well as the Cabinet. Mr Espat, who Chairs the committee, vowed...

Body of 7 year old Chelsea Smith has been found
The body of 7 year old Chelsea Smith has been found. Chelsea Smith drowned in the waters of the Belize River on Sunday morning, while with her mother, Pamela Oliveira. Ms Oliveira told us that she and her family were in Isabella Bank attending...

SATIIM claims GOB and U.S. Capital Energy are illegal occupying Maya lands
On Friday we brought you the story of a confrontation between police and Maya community leaders as well as park rangers for the Sarstoon Temash National Park, most recently co-managed by the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM). The indigenous organization said the officers...

Two teenage boys detained after allegedly attacking their father
Two teenage boys were detained by Police after allegedly attacking their father. The 61 year old taxi man told Police that on Monday afternoon, he parked his vehicle in front of his house and went upstairs where his 13 year old son asked him when will he get his...

Man dies after hit and run
A man has died and it is believed that he was the victim of a hit and run situation. Last week Wednesday, Oscar Gustavo Castaneda was found lying in the middle of the Phillip Goldson Highway between miles 72 and 73. He was suffering from a cut wound on...

PG Magistate’s Court damaged by fire
Authorities in Punta Gorda are investigating the circumstances which led to the partial destruction of the local Magistrate Court. While on patrol early Monday morning, officers stumbled upon a raging fire on the property. The estimated loss is reported to be some thirty thousand...

PUP Leader comments on aspiring Standard Bearers for 2017
At Tuesday morning’s presentation held by the People’s United Party, the press got a chance to discuss other pending matters with Leader the Hon. Francis Fonseca. The first is the recent news that former area representative in Cayo Central, Daniel Silva, is throwing his hat in the political...

Dr. Theodore Aranda comments on Commerce Bight Port on “Rise and Shine”
Dr. Theodore Aranda is no stranger to Belize as it pertains to the political arena and social and economic development. His political strives have been ongoing for over 50 years beginning with the UDP in 1974. However, he left the party in 1982 and established the Christian Democratic...

PUP sends letter to House Speaker about August 7th incident
On Tuesday the People’s United Party released a letter from two former speakers of the House of Representatives, Sylvia Flores and Elizabeth Zabaneh, to current speaker Michael Peyrefitte, in response to the events of August 7 in the House of Representatives. The women...

Mexican delegation from Chetumal visits Belize City
On Monday morning a delegation from the city of Chetumal, led by newly elected municipal president Eduardo Espinosa Abuxapqui , visited Belize to cement formal relations with Belize City and the town of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye. Following the formal program, we asked the Mayors what will be...

Streets in Belize City heavily flooded over weekend
The Belize City Council boasts of completing 86 streets under the Municipal Bond-funded infrastructure program. But after a weekend of heavy rains with the passage of a weather system, many of the streets were heavily flooded. Mayor Darrell Bradley told reporters on Monday that the Council has not had...

New Methodist High School opens in Belmopan
There is a new high school in Belmopan. The Belmopan Methodist High School opened its doors on Monday, although it is still under major construction. There we met with the Principal of the new institution, Maureen Cayetano. Ms Cayetano explained to us the need for another High School in...

Amber Reneé Rivero is the new reigning Miss Earth Belize 2013
Miss Amber Reneé Rivero is the new reigning Miss Earth Belize 2013. As Miss Earth, Amber is the official Environmental Ambassador of Belize who will be representing her country at Miss Earth International Pageant to be held in Manila, Philippines, in November, 2013. Belize International Pageants Limited crowned the...

Kim Simplis Barrow on four-day visit to Taiwan
The office of Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis Barrow confirmed on Tuesday that she has left on a visit to the Republic of China (Taiwan) for a four-day visit. Official details are not forthcoming but according to the China Post website, the visit is to “learn...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Meet the Crocodile Birdman of Caye Caulker
Matthew Sandoval is one of the more colorful kiddie personalities on the island of Caye Caulker. He is the editor behind the PicDaily facebook site, which posts pictures of and around Caye Caulker daily. Matthew has now ventured into making hilarious videos of the island’s flora and fauna. Here is his first video. What do you think? At the very least, the kids’ hilarious!


Education in Belize: Are Graduates Prepared Today and Students Being Prepared for Tomorrow?
Our most precious resource, whether in Belize or anywhere else throughout the world, will always be our children! The rapidly growing tourism industry in Belize boasts the Caribbean Sea and Barrier Reef, many Maya ruins, our diverse cultures living side by side, an exotic rain forest, and many other attractions, and is currently one of the top sources of revenue for our government. Nevertheless, there is no guarantee whatsoever that tourism in Belize will always flourish or produce continuous revenue to the country. Our sugar, timber, citrus, and other agricultural industries (perhaps oil?) may also be top money earners for the country; but these industries too may decline or crash at any time. However, our children from yesterday, today and tomorrow have limitless potential to take a tiny country like Belize above and beyond anyone’s wildest dreams or expectations. Yet, with this basic concept in mind, we are not investing in our children (yesterday and today), specifically, in their Education. The percentage of time and money spent on/being invested in our children’s Education today, whether in Belize and throughout the Third World (underdeveloped and developing countries) is not anywhere near where it should be – nowhere even close to where it should be. Why?

Tragic Fire at Ramon’s Village
It’s not easy to find the words to describe the tragedy if last nights fire at Ramon’s Village Resort. We had been at Charlie’s wake for a while and suddenly Paul came through the door with a horrified look on his face and said “Ramon’s is on fire.”A few uf us ran out the door and saw the sky to the north was filled with sparks that were blowing south west. Lara, Phil Andy and I immediately headed towards the main road. There was already a large crowd gathered when we hit island supermarket and you could see big flames. We lost track of Lara right after she said she was going to with Melody and Davin to check on Dixie. Phil Andy and I cut through Island Academy and over to the beach, as we drew closer to the fire, my stomach sank. The heat was strong and the crackling sound loud, I have never felt so helpless in my whole life. The flames had to be at least30 feet high at their peak, homes and businesses as far south as Pedro’s Hotel were wetting down their buildings and yards, with the amount of sparks flying no one was taking any chances. Thankfully I have not heard any reports of serious injuries which is a miracle considering how bad the fire was.

On the Humanitarian Road Again with Belize’s First Lady
Like a humanitarian version of the Eveready Bunny, Belize’s First Lady, the indefatigable Kim Simplis Barrow, just never seems to wind down. Having recently returned from a trip to the UK where she used her diplomatic expertise to create stronger ties with London children’s hospital wards while putting her social skills to good use in organising and hosting a successful fund raiser for paediatric care in Belize, Ms Simplis Barrow is again on the road – this time on a trip to the other side of the planet. According to the China Post and Focus Taiwan News Channel, Ms Simplis Barrow is on a fact finding mission to learn more about how Taiwanese charity groups care for disadvantaged groups while exploring further avenues for cooperation on humanitarian aid. During the August 27 to September 1st trip, Ms Simplis Barrow will visit the Genesis Social Welfare Foundation in Taipei, which cares for people who are in vegetative state as well as the National Taiwan University Children Hospital and Wenshan School of Special Education.

A sadness came over me last night as I watched the photos and posts begin to flood my timeline—Ramon’s Village, one of the leading resorts on the tourism mecca of Belize—San Pedro, Ambergris Caye—was ablaze. This morning, I saw some new photos—some photos that brought a feeling of pride. These photos really tugged at my heart as I saw how the San Pedro community came together to prevent as much damage as they could. I thought back on the “old Belize” and the “luk out fi yuh nayba” (look out for your neighbor) mentality we grew up knowing. Just last week I said to a friend that I don’t think that mentality was ever as BIG as what it could be. Then I see things like this and I am so encouraged. I hope this one act can spark that spirit that will begin to restore the culture we have been losing. Sometimes we don’t even realize how concerned we are with ourselves and our needs. There are so many opportunities to be a blessing and they don’t have to be as big as this one. So see how you can look out for your neighbor today in a simple act of kindness.

“Fire” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
A really late publishing of what should have been Wednesday’s edition but Tuesday wasn’t by any means a normal day and nor will this edition be a normal diet of how I spent my morning before heading off to visit our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Why? Well on Tuesday evening Ramon’s Village Resort was struck by a fire. Rose and I had gone to Pedro’s Hotel for the wake that Peter Lawrence (aka Pedro) was holding to say goodbye to his beloved dog Charlie and arrived there around 18.40 hours. It started off as a very enjoyable night with everyone reminiscing about Charlie. Things changed dramatically, however, shortly after 20.00 hours when someone came in to the bar in a state of real concern. There was a fire north of Pedro’s Hotel on the ocean side. Everyone rushed outside and very soon it became apparent that it was Ramon’s Village Resort that was on fire. Some of those present immediately left to go to the scene. Those of us left behind grabbed buckets to take water from the swimming pool to soak the palapa in the area in front of the bar because embers from the fire were heading our way. The hotel was considered ‘safe’ because although constructed of wood the external walls are covered with placement boards. The palapa though was ‘high risk’.

1 Week and so much to say!!!
“Loved our stay at Tom Owen’s Island. The staff was amazing, and always appeared to enjoy their job. They provided many enjoyable things to do, like lion fish dissection, fish filleting, coconut eating, fishing, free diving, bon fires, live music, and more. We were never bored. Adrienne did a fabulous job at providing meals and snacks. Even the presentation was nice. We took the Advanced Open Water course, and learned way more than expected. I very much enjoyed learning about the fish and coral and stuff. Went snorkeling around the island and had a great time. Loved the freedom to move about and do whatever felt right at the time, the freedom to roam and snorkel whenever I wanted, the food, and the people were all memorable. Most of all, however, I loved the dives. The one we took with Yogi was my favorite. He pointed out sharks, eels, turtles, and all sorts of life I’d never see if he didn’t reveal it. I learned that boat diving is far better than shore diving—at least for me, it was. “ Rowena Portch August 2013

International Sources

Roberts Grove Ltd., Placencia, Belize, along with the TradeWinds Group, is pleased to announce the relocation of the TradeWinds Belize yacht base to Robert’s Grove Marina Residence in Seine Bight. The partnership of TradeWinds Belize and Roberts Grove Ltd. will afford TradeWinds guests easy access to their chartered yacht as well as the Roberts Grove Beach Resort, its three restaurants, gift shop, dive shop and marina. The relocation will also streamline operations for TradeWinds Belize, including Roberts Grove Ltd. associates improving provisioning processes. Robert’s Grove Beach Resort is a beautifully appointed Hacienda-style Belize beach resort nestled on 22 acres of the finest white sand beach in Placencia Belize. Roberts Grove Ltd. features the only fully operational marina on the Placencia peninsula. The services available and accessibility offered by the marina at Roberts Grove Ltd. are two of the main reasons Tradewinds chose Roberts Grove as its base for Belize operations.

John McAfee Scandalizes Again: New Video
Tech industry bad boy John McAfee is at it again and this time it’s…well, it’s just not as pretty. As a follow-on to the infamous (and very NSFW) guns-and-girls video lampooning press characterizations of his life in the last few years, McAfee has released a new video called John McAfee Tells All/Raw. The new video perhaps disappointingly attempts to answer “popular questions” about his life and lifestyle, including “Did you shoot your neighbor in Belize?” “Did you manufacture illegal drugs?” and “Did you really live with seven women…at once?” With a cast that includes many of the same Portland, Oregon-area dancers who graced his first video, McAfee launches into a marginally different story about his life on an exclusive island off the coast of Belize where, a year ago, a neighbor was found dead in his own home of a gunshot wound. In addition, McAfee uses the video to challenge viewers to use green-screen versions of a yet-unreleased video originally titled The McAfee School of Badass “in any manner you see fit” to create their own lampoon versions of his production. McAfee had said in an earlier exclusive interview that he intended to present The McAfee School of Badass as a contest rather than a simple challenge, but there was no reference to a contest or prize in the latest production.

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