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The San Pedro Sun

Meteorologists rank 2013 Hurricane Season "below average"
Even though hurricanes were not a threat in 2013, stationary rains across the country led to flooding and much infrastructural damage. The 2013 hurricane season is coming to an end, and according to the National Meteorological Service of Belize this year's season was just below average. Hurricane season will officially culminate on Saturday, November 30th, and while Belize was spared from any disastrous hurricane/ tropical cyclones, stationary thunderstorm systems did cause severe flooding in various areas of the country. Out of the 20 predicted storms, a total of 13 systems formed in the Atlantic Basin. Two went on to form in to hurricanes (Humberto and Ingrid), and 11 became Tropical Storms (Andrea, Barry, Chantal, Dorian, Erin, Fernand, Gabrielle, Jerry, Karen, Lorenzo and Manuel). Hurricane Humberto became the first hurricane of the season on Sunday, September 1st, but quickly lost strength. Humberto brought continuous heavy rain to the Cape Verde Islands causing flooding, but overall the damage was considered minimal. Hurricane Ingrid formed in the Gulf of Mexico and became the second hurricane of the season on Saturday, September 14th. Ingrid weakened into a tropical storm before making landfall on Monday, September 16th at La Pesca, Mexico. However, the tropical storm brought severe flooding and mudslides when it was joined by Tropical Storm Manuel, which made land fall in the area at the same time.

First-time Cardiology Pediatric Services via Venezuela is a success
The Ministry of Health is pleased to announce the successful operation done on the first Belizean child to benefit from cardiology pediatric services with the Hospital Cardiologico Infantil Latinamericano in Caracas, Venezuela. At three months old, Cassidy Martinez was diagnosed with an Atrial Septum and Ventricular Septum Defect at a medical institution in Belize City. Her parents were advised to seek further medical attention for surgical options from a Pediatric Cardiologist, a specialist which is not available in Belize. The Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Belize, through Ambassador Yoel Perez Marcano, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health accepted and facilitated the request to assist baby Martinez. She underwent a successful surgery on October 10th 2013 and returned to Belize during the first week of November.

Belize Medical Associates hosts health fair
The Belize Medical Associates health facility hosted a two-day health fair on November 22nd and 23rd at the San Pedro Lions Den. The organizers said the fair was a big success as many islanders took advantage of the many services offered at the fair. According to Karina Bol, the Pharmacy Manager at Belize Medical Associates, some of the services offered at the fair were free while others were offered at discount prices. "We had several doctors who offered free consultations; free blood pressure, glucose and body mass index checks, and we offered other services at discount prices such as the lab and pharmacy services. We also took the opportunity to introduce new products and gave out free medication samples." Bol explained that the entire purpose of the fair was for the islanders to take advantage of the many services offered by Belize Medical Associates without having to leave the island. "We took into consideration our customer base. So the fair was geared to encourage islanders to do their tests and access the other services without going to Belize City. It costs money to travel all the way to Belize City from San Pedro and factoring that into the services we offer, we believe it was better for us to come out to the island and meet the people."

Misc Belizean Sources

PCB Celebrates 25 Years
Happy anniversary to the Pesticides Control Board! They celebrated their anniversary at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel, with some great live music from the World Culture Band and Pablo Collado. "Yesterday the Pesticides Control Board celebrated its 25th anniversary at a commemorative event held at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel! CEO in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture joined Board members and staff at this celebration."

Cacao/chocolate training course
A group of about a dozen Maya women from rural Toledo district are today taking part in a cacao/chocolate training course. The training is taking place at the Ixcacao headquarters and chocolate factory in San Felipe village.

Making chicharron ...
part of preparations for planting corn in a Maya village in the Toledo district. Mr. Ligorio Coy helping to stir the pot, Mrs. Coy stirs the pot while her little boy looks on. This is the fire where the pork will be roasted before it is stewed. Awesome food!

VIDEO: Moho River
A relaxing view of the Moho River in the Toledo district. The video is set to the instrumental rendition of "Rivers of Babylon" by Fausto Pappetti.

Paul Heinerth Giant Cave Revisited 2013
Paul Heinerth returns to Giant Cave in Belize to dive what is possibly the worlds largest underwater cave that he discovered in the late 70's.


Simple Scalloped Potatoes
Potatoes are always comforting and Scalloped potatoes are just divine. I made this recipe sans cheese, but with the Half and Half it is very rich.

International Sources

Beyond the beach: islands of adventure
Who doesn't love aqua water and sugary sand? But you can find that in Florida. On your next Caribbean getaway, step away from the beach blanket and immerse yourself in an island adventure. Go beyond the sun and sand to discover the wild, natural heart that beats within these islands. Hanging out with sharks and rays The most challenging thing about diving or snorkeling Shark Ray Alley is simply getting off the boat without landing on a sea creature. Located off the coast of Ambergris Caye in Belize, these shallow waters are full of dark shadows, signifying the presence of nurse sharks, southern stingrays, and sea turtles - everywhere.

Retiring locally, then volunteering globally
Karen Flewelling has helped put wells in dry lands, and she's taken school supplies to impoverished children, goats and chickens to hungry families and soccer balls to youths around the world. She and a friend took a leisure trip to Belize, where they met a man who was volunteering on a project for Earthwatch, a charitable organization that helps try to preserve species. That planted the idea in her head of what she wanted to do with her time and energy. The following year, she went on a volunteer trip with a different organization to work in Suriname, South America, to save deep sea turtles. Nine other trips with Earthwatch followed, helping everything from wild pigs in Brazil to scarlet macaws in Peru.

Wildlife encounters in Central America
In Belize the key theme is water and while the coral might not compare to our Great Barrier Reef, when it comes to wildlife, it's an absolute treasure trove. Our time was primarily spent off the coast of Caye Caulker, a tiny and beautiful island near the Hol Chan Marine Reserve which is famous for its lobster (both eating and observing) and manatee protection efforts at the Swallow Caye Marine Reserve. Both snorkelling and diving expeditions are offered around most coastal areas of Belize, but protected and restricted areas are patrolled by marine park rangers, who won't hesitate to eject visitors who aren't with a certified guide or are breaking any park rules. A full-day snorkelling trip from Caye Caulker with one of the mid-range companies costs about $75 a person, including (for instance) visits to Hol Chan, Shark Ray Alley, Coral Gardens, with all marine park entry, soft drinks, lunch, drinking water and rum punch cocktails and ceviche on the way home. It doesn't cost much to do a day trip to Hol Chan, Mayan but the rewards are overwhelming.

Perils of a place in the sun
Affordable lifestyle luring more Canadians to Mexico - where dangers also lie in wait. Elaine Duke looks up from her computer and risks a glance at the ocean off the Mexican city of Mazatlan as she sips her morning coffee. The world trembles at her feet in white, green and blue. The beach shines like a movie star's smile, Emerald Bay glitters and small clouds dapple the blue sky. Many Canadians gazing at that vista would never get back to work. But Duke doesn't mind returning her attention to her laptop because she has more time than do two-week tourists. Duke spends up to six months a year in Mazatlan. The three-bedroom house she bought there seven years ago sits 20 feet from the ocean's edge. When she's not doing her work as a mortgage broker, she can fish from her deck. "What makes Mexico really attractive is the cost of living," says Duke, who's from Nanoose Bay. "My property taxes here are $300 a year. In Canada, they'd be $6,000. People can live a life here that they can't anywhere else."

Belize Invites You To A Wild Animal Escape!
Escape to the private and remote paradise, Belize! Located in the heart of Central America, and is bordered by Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west and south. Breathtaking Belize consists of a land area of 8,867 square miles and is known for having the longest living Barrier Reef in the world that stretches out along the Eastern Coast of Belize. One of Belize's main must-see attractions is The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary dedicated to the preservation of the native Jaguar. This spectacular sanctuary consists of forests, fauna and watersheds approximately 400 square kilometers located at the eastern slopes of the Maya mountains. Established in 1990, there is over 128,000 acres of lush jungle ringed by the spectacular Cockscomb Mountains. A true once in a lifetime memorable experience is visiting Sanctuary Belize. The 14,000 acres of unspoiled natural beauty is found in the heart of Belize's stunning southern region of Stann Creek. You'll find yourself surrounded in a 360 panoramic dream with 111,000 acres of wildlife reserves. Sanctuary Belize takes unprecedented pride and effort in preserving the area's ecological diversity and natural resources.

VIDEO: LUX Lifestyles: Belize
Picking the right destination for your hard-earned vacation is no small feat. Where can you go that is close enough to your home, where one can minimize travel time, potentially be within a similar time zone and where the locals can actually understand you? Insert the tiny island of Belize. Located on the northeastern coast of Central America this country is bustling with adventure, culture and some spectacular Mayan ruins. Did I mention that they also speak English for those of us that are not that proficient with languages? I visited this magical gem at the ripe age of 19 and recall having been blown away by the generosity and kindness of the people. A country that is uncomplicated and simple, yet rich in history. When determining potential locations to shoot the travel show, Belize was at the top of my list. From flying over Mayan ruins in an ultralight, to trekking through waterfalls and exploring the local Garifuna cuisine. Watch the video to explore this exotic and remote country!

50 Of The Most Beautiful Places in the World
The Great Blue Hole is a stunning natural creation formed due to regular glaciations when sea levels were not much higher.

Rashida Jones talks Belize on Jimmy Fallon
Rashida Jones talks about Belize and her trip with Oceana with Jimmy Fallon