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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Tanya Carter performs live at The Gahden Bar
The sold-out show, done in collaboration with The Gahden and island promoter Fyah Blaze, saw its fair share of people that came out to enjoy a night filled with great DJs and of course a spectacular show by the very talented Ms. Carter. Whether or not the ladies present wanted them back or not, they couldn't help but sing along to Tanya's #1 single "Ex- Boyfriend." After her performance, the charismatic DJs got the dance floor busy while fans got a chance to take pictures with Tanya.

US national apprehended on Ambergris Caye as part of adoption scam investigation
A US national who is being investigated by the United States government was picked up while living on the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize. 53-year-old Mary Mooney, a resident of Belmont, North Carolina USA was apprehended inside her San Pedro Town apartment during a joint operation between US officials and local police on Tuesday February 11th. The arrest was part of a bigger investigation in which Mooney and three other people are being investigated for conspiracy to defraud the US Government as part of an adoption scam. Local police, working along with US agencies, managed to detain Mooney during a pre-dawn operation (sometime around 4AM) and was immediately flown to the US Embassy in Belmopan City and eventually to the US. Mooney, former Executive Director of International Adoption Guides Inc. (IAG), an adoption services provider in the US, is under investigation in regards to an adoption scam involving Ethiopian children. The San Pedro Sun investigation reveals that IAG is a South Carolina organization that apparently identified children in Ethiopia for adoption then reportedly arranged for their adoption by US-based parents.

Bovine Tuberculosis confirmed in one Cattle Farm
The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) has further strengthened its standard disease control measures upon receiving confirmation from the Central Regional Laboratory in Merida that cattle specimens submitted for routine testing have tested positive for Bovine Tuberculosis on bacteriological culture. Through the Belize National Sanitary Cattle Plan Project (BNSCPP), the Belize Agricultural Health Authority has been methodically identifying cattle farms and cattle, testing all cattle for Bovine Tuberculosis and Bovine Brucellosis, and implementing movement controls. The testing of 90,000 cattle has given negative results for these diseases except for one positive case that is being reported. This is not the first time that Bovine Tuberculosis is being reported in Belize. The last outbreak occurred in 1991.

Big wins on the second leg of the San Pedro Sports Committee Football Tournament
On Saturday, February 15th and Sunday, February 16th, the second set of games for the San Pedro Sports Committee Football Tournament was played at the Saca Chispas Football Field. Football enthusiasts came out to support as their favorite teams clashed on the field. Two games were played on Saturday evening. The first game was between the Legends and the Warriors. The Legends annihilated their competition in astonishing 9-0 score. The second game was between FC United and San Juan. FC Unite managed to take their second win in the tournament in a 3-0 score.

Golf Cart crash lands into store window
Late Tuesday, February 18th in the afternoon a golf cart crashed into the glass display window of Island Supermarket located on Coconut Drive. The green golf cart bearing license plate number SPC 2551 was being driven by 78 year old Graham Whitehead who mistakenly hit the accelerator pedal instead of the brake while headed in the northern direction of Coconut Drive. The golf cart was removed from the glass window with the assistance of the shop workers and police officers. Whitehead sustained a minor cut to the left knee and was escorted to the Dr Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic II to check for any further medical conditions.

San Pedro Police retrieve human remains
San Pedro Town police personnel have retrieved the remains of what appears to be an adult human from Northern Ambergris Caye. At about 1:58pm on Monday February 17th, acting upon information received, police officers visited the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve located on the leeward side of northern Ambergris Caye where they were escorted to the human remains. The bones were found some 18 miles northwest of San Pedro Town. According to the Officer Commanding San Pedro Police Formation Superintendent of Police Luis Castella�os, a park ranger of the reserve reported to the police that about 6:30am on the same date, they came across some human remains while on routine checks. The ranger escorted police to the western side of the reserve where they observed what appeared to be human bones partially embedded in the mangrove located on a shallow swampy area along the beach. The fragile bones retrieved from the area almost formed a complete skeleton, with a Fibula, pelvis, ribs, sternum and cranium intact. The bones were then placed in a bag and taken to the San Pedro Police Station to be forwarded to the Forensic Laboratory in Ladyville for testing. According to San Pedro police based on their observation, the bones do not appear to be new as deterioration had set in, but police investigation continues.

Ambergris Today

Human Remains Found On North Ambergris Caye
On Monday, February 17, 2014, the San Pedro Police Department received information from personnel of the Belize Fisheries Department at the Bacalar Chico Reserve that they had found human remains on the beachside on North Ambergris Caye during their routine checks at around 6:30a.m. San Pedro Police visited the area and found the remains of a human body on the western side of the reserve that included were parts of Fibula (2), pelvis, ribs, sternum and cranium. The bones were then placed in a bag and taken to the San Pedro Police Station to be forwarded to the Forensic Laboratory for testing. Although the San Pedro Police has a few missing person's reports, they do not believe it might be one of those cases as they reported the bone fragments being extremely deteriorated.

Belize Tourism Board Warns Industry Partners about Sex Tourism Website
The BTB also noted that the Registrar has the authority under the Act to suspend or cancel a licence and order the closure of such accommodation where a person refuses to comply with his directions. Information coming forth to Ambergris Today has confirmed that the website is a scam and only using the name of Belize to rip off people of their money. One man claims to Ambergris Today that he booked a $24,680USD, 14-day trip vacation to Belize through Global Fantasies/Traveller's Digest that included a 5-star hotel, all meals and drinks, excursions, a personal taxi driver and a beautiful lady for each day of his stay. He confirms that upon arriving to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, his accommodations were paid for only one week to the amount of $1,505USD in a simple cabin with none of the other services booked as confirmed by Global Fantasies. Clearly the scam website service stole from him and used the service of the hotel on the island to only book for one week of accommodations with the hotel not being aware of any services from Global Fantasies.

25 Years Ago: Belize Home Remedies -The Miraculous Herbs
Have you seen the Oregano grueso or Oregano gordo? (thick oregano or fat oregano) The regular oregano is the seasoning herb in various dishes. Now the oregano gordo also called oregano Americano is different in that its leaves are quite large and thick, thus very juicy. This leaf is heated over a flame and when rolled/rubbed between the palms of the hands, it produces a clear liquid or sap. Did you know that this is the perfect and almost instant cure for an earache? Just tilt the head sideways and allow some drops to flow into the ear in pain and almost miraculously the pain is gone. No wonder grandma and mom used to send the kids to some renowned lady in the neighborhood for some oregano leaves. "And make sure you ask do�a Teodora for Oregano gordo," said mother.

Socials: Azueta - Palacios Nuptials
Congratulations go out to Killian Azueta and Yanira Palacios who tied the knot in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize on Friday, February 14, 2014. The happy couple exchanged vows at their home in the Escalante Subdivision which was followed by a small family gathering. Killian is the son Maria Luz and Claudio Azueta; Yanira's Maid of Honor was Maria Luz Azueta and Killian's Best Man was Luis Raul Mu�oz. Congratulations to the beautiful couple!

Help Children Education Scholarship Fund
The Sunshine Scholarship Foundation is now in full gear raising funds locally, nationally, and internationally to assist students in primary education. The Foundation aims in assisting students especially those of low income families and those of special needs. The Foundation is being spearheaded by Mrs. Eve Dirnback, President, and assisted by the Board of Directors of Isla Bonita Elementary. A special appeal and invitation goes to individuals, families and businesses as well as corporate sponsors to contribute to this scholarship fund. The contact persons are: Joy Flowers, Phone 610 0048 Email: [email protected] Eve Dirnback, Phone 623 9962 Email: [email protected]

Misc Belizean Sources

Coastal Xpress closed 2/19 6pm til 8:15pm
Coastal Xpress wishes to advise all resorts, bars, restaurants and any other establishments of which we offer service to, that on Wednesday, February 19, 2014, we will be closing our office and taxi service from 6:00 pm to 8:15 pm for a special staff event. Our 4:30 pm Regular Run will go as normal and we will do our regular pick ups coming south to town. There will be NO 5:30 PM or 6:30 PM Regular Run going north. There will be no boats coming south between 6:00 pm and 8:30 pm. This also means there will be NO Private Taxis during this time either. Please let your guests and staff know. Please post a notice in an open area whereby all your guests and staff can be notified or reminded of this interruption of service. We thank you all for your understanding, support and cooperation in this matter and will be back to serve you as per our regular service at 8:00 PM on Wednesday, February 19th. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this closure or interruption of service, please do not hesitate to contact our front desk and ask for either Kim or Gricel.

2015 Rotary Peace Fellowship. Applications
The Rotary Peace Centers of The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International is currently recruiting applicants for the 2015 Rotary Peace Fellowship. Applications are due July 1, 2014. Over the past twelve years, Rotary Peace Centers has provided close to 800 future peace leaders with peace and conflict resolution education and field experience. Our alumni work all over the world with organizations ranging from grassroots peace initiatives in Africa to the United Nations. We are asking peace-related organizations and universities to post this fellowship opportunity to their website, listserv(s), newsletters, and social media as a way to unearth potential candidates around the world. Below is a short description of the fellowship:

Besides suspected aphrodisiac qualities, seaweed has been used as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments. It is said to cure headaches, fatigue, and the common cold. Seaweed is even said to alleviate the symptoms of menopause, glaucoma, tuberculosis, arthritis, and worm infestations. Once dried, transforming the plant into liquid form is the most popular method of seaweed preparation. Boil a couple ounces of the dried seaweed until reduced to a thick soup Place in a blender with ice Add evaporated and condensed milk to taste Dash of fresh nutmeg, cinnamon, crushed peanuts (optional) and vanilla

Profiting from a strong Belize private sector
Many people speak of the private sector in Belize in generic terms, without seeing themselves as members of this group. Investopedia breaks the definition of private sector down clearly stating that it is "part of the economy that is not state controlled, and is run by individuals and companies for profit". "The private sector encompasses all for-profit businesses that are not owned or operated by the government. Companies and corporations that are government run are part of what is known as the public sector, while charities and other non-profit organizations are part of the voluntary sector".

Zone 5 Eliminations of the National Coca Cola Spelling Bee
Sherman Matute from St. Jude R.C School of Camalote village has won the Zone 5 Eliminations of the National Coca Cola Spelling Bee. Congratulations Sherman.

It is break time at the Spelling Bee Zone Elimination in Blackman Eddy Village.
(4 photos)

Photo of the Day: Chiquibul sinkhole

SI United's Top 11 Goals
It's always football season! The SI United are ready for the next tournament, which starts this weekend. They've released a video with their top 11 goals last season. Goals 3 and 1 are very impressive. Go, United! "PLB Tournament starts this weekend, So here are San Ignacio United's top 11 goals from our last tournament to get you fans excited. Enjoy!!"

SISE Town Council Meeting
Tomorrow night the SISE Town Council is having a public meeting at the Cayo Welcome Center. The main topic is the 'taxi parking situation' that is highly talked about around town. They'll also present their financials, and talk about the road improvements. "Time for you to speak!"

Made for Belize Concert Encores
Seth Montfort, with his Belize inspired piano concerto entitled 'Made in Belize,' is back by popular demand. He'll play two encore concerts at the George Price Centre tonight and tomorrow night. The concerts start at 6:00pm, and they are only $5.

Another success story! Well done Belize Bird Rescue!!!!
The gray hawk is released! Thanks to Black Rock Lodge for an amazing release venue. Jonathan Urbina for arranging release. This gray hawk came to us as a confiscation where someone have cut his tail feathers and wing feathers. Luckily he blossomed into a winter molt with new feathers. Also at the releases were 2 young girls who found a spotted rail with a broken wing and told Jonathan about it. He then brought it to us. (4 photos)

Become a Proud Member of the Belize Audubon Society Today!
The Belize Audubon Society is a membership organization that was founded in 1969. We are involved in enhancing the development of Belize's natural resources through protected areas management, environmental education, advocacy, community development, and research programs. If you are not already a member of the Belize Audubon Society, we invite you to join us today. You will make all the difference when you join or renew your membership. Joining BAS is a Wise Investment in the Future of Belize's Resources. When you join the Belize Audubon Society you will be joining more than 1,400 people who have made a commitment to support the quality management of Belize's protected areas, environmental education for youth and stakeholders, advocacy for stronger policies that govern conservation, and research that informs decision makers.

U-21 Basketball Tournament
6 teams will compete for the title of U-21 Basketball Tournament Champion. It all begins on Friday, February 28, 2014 at the Hilltop Court in the Capital City, Belmopan. Admission - $1.00 Food and drinks will be on sale. This is a drug-free family event. Come support the youths!

Horse and carriage have an accident on Craig Street
Today a horse and carriage had an accident on Craig Street, Belize City, when the horse came too close to a trailer. The trailer probably rolled back a little and frightened the horse. The horse reared and broke it leg knocking the back of the trailer. This was something I knew was coming long time even though I hope it never would. Why does it take something like this to happen to bring it to the public awareness! LOOK! LOOK at the blood! CAN YOU SEE THE PIECE OF THE HORSE'S LEG WHERE IT TORE OFF? Does this look like a nice tourist activity to you?? The tourists were all traumatized. Many tourists have complained about the conditions of the horses. Horse and carriages do not belong in the City!!! They do not belong in congested traffic breathing in exhaust fumes! The stress from the noise and congestion harms the horses only further. If we humans get stressed being in traffic jam how you think a poor animal who is not use to it feels? THIS NEEDS TO STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!! This poor beautiful animal had to be euthanized!!!!! The horse was in so much pain it could barely climb into the trailer. I'm asking my friends in Belize, please put pressure on BTB and ESPECIALLY the Belize City Council to get this antiquated, cruel, inhumane practice to STOP!!!

Newly renovated school buildings in Maya Mopan Village
Over 20 students and two (2) teachers at the Maya Mopan Pre-School in Maya Mopan Village, and over 200 students of the Richard Quinn R.C. School in Georgetown Village, Stann Creek District are the proud recipients of newly renovated school buildings. The renovation projects were provided through grants from the BELIZE Natural Energy Charitable Trust. In late October 2013, a grant of $33,239.25 was approved to fund the renovation of the roof for Richard Quinn R.C. School. In mid-November 2013, the BELIZE Natural Energy Charitable Trust provided a grant to the Maya Mopan Village Council in the amount of $45,625.58 for the renovation of the pre-school. The students of these two schools will now enjoy an environment that is more conducive to learning. The renovation projects were completed over a two and a half month period. The Trust takes this opportunity to applaud the students, principals, teachers and staff of these two educational institutions for their dedication and commitment to continuously improve the learning environment at their school. The Trust is committed to continue working closely with our partners to unlock the potential of the Belizean people and is proud to engage in meaningful partnership such as these that seek to advance the development of our country.

Bones found in the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve
A Police Press Release notes, "As you can see from the photo it would appear that they are old bones." On Monday at about 1:58 pm acting upon information received, San Pedro Police visited the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve where a park ranger of the reserve reported to the police that at about 6:30 a.m. she came across some human remains while on her routine checks. She then escorted the Police to the western side of the Reserve where the police observed what appear to be human bones partially embedded in the mangrove. The bones retrieved from the area were parts of Fibula (2), pelvis, ribs, sternum and cranium. The bones were then placed in a bag and taken to the San Pedro Police Station to be forwarded to the Forensic Laboratory for testing.

Help out Belmopan Bandits FC
The Management of the reigning Champs of the PLB Belikin Opening Tournament, the Belmopan Bandits FC takes this opportunity to make a plea to business persons especially in the Belmopan area to contribute to the upkeep of the team. Belmopan Bandits FC has delivered two PLB Championships in less than two years to the people of Belmopan and the surrounding areas and we are committed to winning even more. However, the cost of keeping such a talented team together as you can imagine is astronomical. The Belmopan Bandits FC needs yours assistance. If you can sponsor one player for the season this would help us tremendously. $2,500 would sponsor a Developing Player and $5,000 would sponsor a National Team Caliber Player for the entire season.

Questions about non-immigrant visas to the U.S.?
Planning a trip to the U.S.? Do you have questions about non-immigrant visas to the U.S.? Join a Google hangout with the U.S. Consulate General in Vancouver at 4:00 pm (Belize time) tomorrow February 19 as they answer general questions and clarify any misconceptions or issues. For access to the web chat go to this URL.

Western Ballaz vs Orange Walk Pictures
The Western Ballaz have uploaded pictures from the game in Orange Walk last Sunday. They defeated the Running Rebels, putting them in first place in the Elite League. They host the Dangriga Warriors this Saturday at the SHC auditorium. The game has been rescheduled to start at 9:00pm so it can be shown on channel 5. Come out and support Cayo's number 1 team.

PACT Awards BAS Grant for Blue Hole
The Protected Areas Conservation Trust awarded $200,000 to the Belize Audubon Society for their infrastructure project at St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park. The project will improve the look and experience of the park. It will also be used to come up with a management plan. Could this be the first step to preserving Mountain Cow Cave? Thanks, PACT!

Valentine's Cycling Classic Winners
Congratulations to all the winners of the Valentine's Cycling Classic. Thanks, Digicell, for sponsoring the event. "Hey DigiCell fans and cycling enthusiasts... here's a list of all the winners from the 19th Annual DigiCell Valentine Classic. Congratulations to all winners and a big thank you to all who came out to show support to the riders along the George Price Highway and at the finish line! Now it's time to start getting ready for the Cross Country Cycling Classic!"

BAS Conservation Award Ceremony
The Belize Audubon Society awarded six Belizeans the James Waight award for their outstanding service in conservation. Congratulations go out to: Mrs. Lydia Waight, Mrs. Alice Craig, Mr. Mike Heusner, Mr. Lascelle Tillett, Mr. Rudi Burgos, and Dr. Judy Lumb. "The James A. Waight award, named after the Society's first president, is given on the anniversary of his birthday, February 16th, to organizations or individuals in recognition of dedicated, positive work in the protection and enhancement of Belize's environment. Photos By: Dirk Francisco"

Fire guts school building in Punta Gorda town
A Primary School in Punta Gorda town in southern Belize has had to cancel classes on Monday, February 17, after a weekend fire gutted the roof of the building. The fire happened at the Bethel Seventh Day Adventist Primary School in the Indianville area of PG just after midnight on Sunday morning. Police say that when they arrived at the scene around 12:40 am on Sunday, they observed roof of the building on the western side of the school compound engulfed in flames. By the time the PG fire service had extinguished the flames, the entire roof had been compromised, affecting the Standards 2, 3, 4 and 5 classrooms.

Bus timetable from Belize to PG
James Bus line run the bus service from Belize down to PG. Please see the attached timetable to help you plan your trip. You dont pre-book the bus, you simply turn up and pay onboard. Make sure to look at the small print underneath the timetable for days that the service doesnt run.

Corozal House of Culture 2nd anniversary
Over two years ago the Old Corozal Market was under restoration (originally built in 1886), on it's way to becoming the Corozal House of Culture. This coming Monday, February 24th, we will be celebrating our 2nd Anniversary. Please join us as the Institute of Archaeology will be in the 'house'!

Horse euthanized after incident while on tour
There was an incident today involving one of the horse and carriage services in Belize City. Reports indicate that the incident happened on Craig Street. Information received suggests that one of the horses was apparently spooked when it came too close to the back of a trailer. The resulting panic by the horse caused the animal to break its leg and crashing into the back of the trailer. A source says that tourists who were riding in the carriage were left traumatized by the incident. The police, officials of the Belize Tourism Board and the Belize City Council all went to the scene to record statements about the incident. The Belize Human Society which has been fighting for better conditions for the horses says that due to the severity of the injuries suffered by the horse, the animal had to be euthanized.

Man from Santa Clara found dead in his hammock
A family from Santa Clara village in the Corozal district is mourning the death of a loved one, and there is a lot of unanswered questions. Auriano Samuel Ramos, 24, was found dead around 6:30 am today. Reports are that Ramos arrived home in Santa Clara on Monday night under the influence of alcohol. His family says that he went to sleep in a hammock in the living room. His common-law wife noticed that Ramos was motionless when she woke up this morning and alerted his parents who live in the same village. When Auriano Ramos' parents arrived, they also found him motionless and called the police. Ramos' parents and his common-law wife are telling police that as far as they know, he was a healthy person and showed no signs of illness prior to his death.

Human remains found on a farm in Orange Walk
Police in Orange Walk are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a man whose body was found early this morning. The decomposed remains were discovered around 7:30 this morning on a farm along the Guinea Grass/Shipyard road. Caretakers of the farm made the gruesome discovery and alerted the police. Because of the advanced state of decomposition, the identity of the man could not be readily ascertained. A cause of death has also not been determined as yet.

Toledo village leaders attend training sessions
Representatives of villages in the Toledo district took part in a training workshop on Monday. The one day event was held at the Community Center in Elridgeville village. It was organized and facilitated by the Rural Development Department of the Ministry of Local Government. Rural Development Officer Edwardo Cus says that the workshop, which is the first in as series, was designed to strengthen the capacity of local leaders and to help them understand the Village Council Act and be able to use it to their advantage. It is also hoped that the series of training workshops will also enable the participants to discharge their roles and responsibilities more effectively.

Prime Minister goes to the USA
Prime Minister Dean Barrow today traveled to the United States of America. A brief statement from the office of the Prime Minister announced that Mr. Barrow is accompanying his wife Kim, who is continuing medical checkups in the States. Prime Minister Barrow is due back in the country on Friday. During his absence, the Honorable the Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Gaspar Vega is holding over the reins of government.

Man injured when welding tank explodes
A loud bang shattered the peace and quiet of an Orange Walk neighborhood on Sunday morning. An explosion at Pren's Welding Service at the corner of Nargusta and Banak Streets in Orange Walk town around 9:30 am on Sunday send one man, identified as Miguel Pren to the emergency room. Fortunately for Pren, he only sustained minor injuries when an empty welding tank he was working on exploded. Pren sustained burns to his right foot and chin. He was rushed to the Northern Regional Hospital by friends who were present at the welding shop at the time of the explosion.

Belmopan family seeks bail for son
Today in Belize City we met with the family of Belmopan resident 21 year old Wilfredo Navarrete. Navarrete, who lives in Las Flores, is one of several young men who say Belmopan Police have been unfairly harassing and targeting them because of where they live. Navarrete was accused of attempted murder in 2012 but was able to get bail. He had been meeting all the conditions of his bail including signing in at the police station, but late last year he was accused of getting into a fight. Today, his brother, amputee Jose Navarrete, says the accuser followed them home that afternoon and challenged his brother with a machete.

Frustrated "Big Tom" accused of cursing out police
He was accused of murder several years ago, but after being acquitted and serving time, he was deported to Belize. Now, 36 year old Kenneth "Big Tom" Flowers says he is trying to turn over a new leaf but keeps getting harassed by police. On Friday, his frustration errupted and he was accused of using curse words at police officers who were searching his vehicle. Flowers went to court on Monday charged with three counts of indecent words for using the f-word three times as he complained about the search of a brown Honda car without license plates on Mahogany Street when police on mobile patrol stopped him and three others and said he wasn't going with the officers. Flowers pleaded guilty to two counts of utterring indecent words, while a third was dismissed.

Attorney Lionel Welch dies
63 year old attorney Lionel Welch died on Sunday afternoon while in treatment abroad for prostate cancer in California. Welch had been an attorney in private practice since the 1970′s but he is perhaps best known as the owner of Premier League of Belize (PLB) sub-champions F.C. Belize, who were former champions in 2006 and 2007 of the Belize Premier Football League. He played football himself in his youth and up to his passing served as legal advisor to the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) after holding posts at the local and national level of football's executive. Both the FFB and PLB have sent condolences on his passing. It is a double blow for the family as his mother Emma Cattouse, 81, died later on Sunday.

Villasenor Mendez no-show in court
Chetumal student 23 year old Zurisaday Villasenor Mendez was due back in court this morning for the continuation of his trial on firearms and ammunition charges but failed to appear. In October 2012 he was busted at the Las Vegas Casino and Hotel but his case, initially heard in Corozal, was transferred to Belize City after alleged threats to presiding Magistrate Narda Morgan. Attorneys Ellis Arnold SC and Arthur Saldivar challenged Morgan's hearing of the case in the Supreme Court alleging that she is out of jurisdiction, having been assigned to San Ignacio court. The Supreme Court recently turned down that motion and it was scheduled to be appealed.

Barge damages Port of Belize pier
This morning around 4:30 a.m. a barge crashed into the pier head at the Yarborough compound of the Port of Belize Limited, causing several damaged and cracked beams in the structure. This afternoon, Port CEO Arturo Vasquez told us that the pier is out of commission for 4-6 days as engineers assess and make plans to repair. However, the Port will not be closed and the ongoing shipment of sugar to the U.K. which began on Monday has not been affected as that ship does not use the pier. What is affected is container cargo, and Vasquez says the Port is working out its plans to receive container cargo from those ships which can dock away from the pier, but some others may have to be turned back. No injuries were reported.

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Channel 7

Cab Driver Leslie Roland Found Murdered In his Own Vat, Nephew Detained
Last night on the news we told you about Leslie Roland, the 61-year-old taxi driver we'd been missing for at least six days. His car was found abandoned yesterday morning, and his family panicked. Well, two hours after the news we learned that he had been found dead - in the concrete vat in his own yard on Guerrero Street in the Port Loyola area. Our news team responded last night, and here's what we found:... Daniel Ortiz reporting Steven Rowland, his family, and the neighbors on Guerrero St. waited around for the police to process the scene at the Rowland Family house. Apparently, the stench of rot and scavenger birds signaled that there was decomposing flesh nearby . Further inspection by persons in the area revealed that a body was inside the cement vat. Given the fact that Lester Rowland is still missing, his vehicle was recovered last night, and the fact that he lived here, has led everyone to strongly suspect that the body in the vat is Rowland, who has been missing for some days now. Steve Rowland - Brother of Lester Rowland "Police had informed me after searching my brother's house that they observed a body inside a vat which is adjacent to the family house. They are in the process right about now trying to remove that body from the vat, so we can identify the person that is in there. It is very significant because I was here when my mother and my father got this land and I was here when the house was built and when my father died, it just passed down and left in my brother's hand, so it's very significant."

Cuban Wanted For US Gold Heist Caught in Benque
Tonight, a Cuban man wanted as the mastermind of a gold heist in Coral Gables Florida is in jail at the Hattieville prison. On Thursday, he was found in the bushes at the west of Benque Viejo. He is believed to have crossed illegally from Guatemala and was detained for illegal entry. He had a Cuban passport but he had no stamp showing he had entered Belize legally. On Friday he was charged for illegal entry and fined two thousand dollars which he paid. So with that he might have been set free, but he could not be deported or returned to Guatemala because he didn't have any visa for that country either. So he was sent to jail for six months, and that's when Immigration authorities decided to check up on his story. They found that he is the accused mastermind behind a heist in which nearly three million dollars in gold was stolen in Coral Gables, Florida. US news reports say he vanished in March of 2013 after he cut off his ankle monitor while out on bond. US Police say said he came up with the plan to steal at gun point two rolling suitcases filled with more than 100 pounds of gold flakes from a courier working for a Bolivian export company.

Mexican Zurisiday Skips Bail, Predictably
Mexican Zurisaday Villasenor Mendez, the man who police say they caught with a small arsenal of weapons and drugs, has been out on bail for 8 days now, and because he didn't attend his court hearing today, there is the strong suspicion that he has skipped out of the country. Mendez was granted a $75,000 bail on last week Monday, and he was supposed to show up to court today for a routine adjournment before Magistrate Narda Morgan, but he didn't. The police court orderly called for him several times, but they couldn't find him, and in a strange co-incidence, none of his attorneys made an appearance in court either. It was likely that the Magistrate would have requested of them to try to explain why Mendez had skipped his adjournment date.

Citrus Stakeholders Meet: Can't We All Get Along?
Last night, we showed you the press conference that the Prime Minister hosted to explain how his government intends to bail out the crisis torn Citrus Industry. Majority Shareholder the Citrus Growers Association has been at odds with Barbadian Beverage Giant, Banks Holding Limited, which is a minority shareholder - but one with a powerful veto vote over board decisions. The CGA, which represents 90% of citrus farmers, has repeatedly criticized Banks for using its veto power to stall board decisions for years. CGA wants to buy out Banks - but that's an expensive dream - as much as 20 million US dollars, and government has said it won't use public funds for a private buyout. But it will front about 15 million dollars to bridge the Citrus products of Belize Limited through a cash flow and debt crisis which has immobilized the industry. The road map was hammered out by the Prime Minister yesterday before he left the country and today in Belmopan, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega met with all stakeholders to ensure they agree to a way forward. The meeting included Anthony King, the Board Chairman of Banks Holdings Limited. He sat with all other stakeholders in the cabinet room today for almost 6 hours, and when they exited, 7News was there. Here's what the Banks Holdings Chairman had to say to the media about the controversy his company continues to find itself in:

Alleged "Queenpin" Of Sea Cucumber's Black Market Nabbed
The sea cucumber season opened on Saturday and yesterday the police department's Mobile Interdiction Team made a dramatic bust of a Guatemalan woman believed to be the Queenpin of the black market trade in this prized sea creature. We found out more about the bust and sea cucumber sin general today. Jules Vasquez reports:.. Jules Vasquez reporting This 3-inch creature is a sea cucumber - we found it at a local restaurant. Not very impressive right? In fact it looks deserving of one of its colloquial names, Donkey Dung. But, put it in boiling water for a few hours and it blows up - three hours later this is how our sea cucumber looked. It's a Chinese delicacy; they usually stew it, and enjoy the gelatinous insides. It may not be your cup of tea, but a dish like this will sell for one hundred dollars locally and about 165 US for just one in China.

Barge Crashes Into Port Bridge, Breaks It, Forces Closure
This morning before dawn, at about a quarter to five a barge crashed into the main pier at the port of Belize. It caused major damage and it may leave the port closed for as long as a week - creating major delays in the shipping industry. Today CEO of the Port Arturo Tux Vasquez told us that three major cross beams - valued at about 150 thousand dollars each were damaged - and all of those now have to be demolished and replaced. He told us about the effect:.. Arturo Tux Vasquez, CEO - Port of Belize "It's quite significant really because it puts the pier out of commission and obviously we are still in the stage of assessing everything and the priority for us right now is to make sure that we get this - we thought that it was only one of the beams but apparently it damage all 3, so instead of having to replace one, we are looking to having to replace 3 now. The engineer is currently looking at it and trying to put all the plans in place, but for us even to replace one beam, we would have had to close the pier off, so initially we thought about 4 days, but I think now we are realistically looking about 6 days."

Police: Raynard Grinage's Stash House Was Rented By BEL Employee
Last night we told you about that 53 pound bust of high grade marijuana known as hydro valued at well over fifty thousand dollars. Well today the chips keep falling as the GSU says it is a drug ring led by Raynard Grinage. A female associate of his who works at BEL as a technical assistant has been charged jointly with him for 'Possession of Controlled Drugs with Intent to Supply". 31 year old Clarissa Vasquez was renting the property on Bachelor's Avenue that Grinage allegedly used as his stash house - the same house where the 53 pounds of weed bricks were found stuffed in boxes. And then yesterday evening, further information from that case led the GSU to GSU to Central American Boulevard, where they saw a Toyota Camry with taxi plates parked on the side of the street. 35 year old Orvin Leonard Hugh-Donald BEEKS was standing outside and a search led to the discovery of a black plastic bag on the floor of the front passenger side of the vehicle. The bag contained 383 grams - almost a pound - of what police say is the same hydro cannabis. BEEKS was arrested and charged for the crime of "Possession of Controlled Drugs with Intent to Supply".

More Manual Labour For Men From Troubled Neighborhoods
Last week we told you about the plan to start road works on all of Central American Boulevard. Well, it started yesterday with the trenching of street side where the BTL cables run. But, it's not being done by some big time contractor with tones of heavy equipment, instead, it's manual labour getting the job done the old fashioned way with shovels and pick axes. It might not seem thoroughly modern, but it's a way to generate employment for young men from tough neighborhoods who can't find gainful employment anywhere else. Today we found them working hard and making good progress:.. Reina Gonzalez, supervisor "We started yesterday at around 10am and well as you can see we have more than 200 feet of trench of the BTL trench ready for us to set the pipes on and back fill. So we can say in a day's work the guys basically work 200 feet of trench with the dimensions of 2 feet and 3 feet deep. We are seeing that man power is proving effective for us so far." "Something like this traditionally it's done with the back hoe, with a 24 inch or 12 inch bucket and basically who you will have working? It will be the operator and maybe 2 people supervising and maybe another 2 laying down the pipes and checking that everything is going okay. That is a total of roughly 5 people doing the same thing. Right now we are starting and we have a group of 20 guys doing the manual labour and I have 5 of my guys checking that we meet the specifications and we have another 2 guys dealing with the man holes, so we basically have a total of around 27 people working right now."

BNE Gives A Renovated Schoolbuilding
The Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust has spent almost 80,000 to renovate the school buildings belonging Maya Mopan Pre-School and the Richard Quinn R.C. School. This donation from the Trust has positively affected over 20 students and 2 teachers from the pre-school and 200 students from the primary school. The buildings for both schools were renovated after grants of 33 thousand dollars and 45 thousand dollars, which were disbursed last year, and after the work was completed, it was handed over today.

Channel 5

Body of cab driver, Lester Rowland, retrieved from vat at his home
There was significant progress made in the citrus industry today with an agreement to reconfigure the Board of Citrus Products of Belize Limited. We'll have all those details coming up [...]

Human remains found on farm in Orange Walk
Up north, human remains were found today at a farm in the outskirts of the village of Guinea Grass in the Orange Walk District. A caretaker at a farm discovered [...]

Is there no criminal investigation in the immigration scandal because other ministers are involved?
Do you think there is no criminal investigation in the immigration scandal because other ministers are involved? Yes or No. Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to [...]

CGA, CPBL and Banks agree to proposal to restructure CPBL Board
On Monday, the Government of Belize announced its intervention in the ongoing citrus industry crisis. That intervention came by way of enabling immediate financing to assure payment to growers, and [...]

Social Security to ultimately take swap debt for shares in industry
The announcement was made Monday that the Social Security Board will be taking on a financial role in Citrus Products of Belize Limited. Currently CPBL has a loan facility with [...]

Barge damages the Port pier
The collision of a barge into the pier at Port of Belize Ltd., shortly before five o'clock this morning, has forced the company to temporarily cease operations at the dock.� [...]

Mexican National, Zurisday Villasenor Mendez, a no show in court today
There is an update to report tonight about Mexican national, Zurisaday Villasenor Mendez, who was granted a seventy-five thousand dollar bail by the Supreme Court less than two weeks ago. [...]

3 persons, all political appointees of Vega, dismissed from ministry
In this newscast, we have reported on a number of cases involving land hustles and questionable land deals facilitated by various players in the Lands Department.� We'll have another such [...]

US national involved in adoption scam caught in San Pedro
A US woman who was living in San Pedro for some time was picked up by US agents with the cooperation of local police and whisked away to the United [...]

A mentally-ill man is shot and killed by PG police
Punta Gorda police are tonight investigating the shooting death of a Big Falls resident at the hands of one of their own.� Police claim that Moses Williams, a mentally ill [...]

Still no leads in murder of Corozal customs broker, Stephen Kuylen Jr.
It has been one week since Stephen Kuylen Junior was killed in the front yard of his Orange Walk home. Today when we caught up with police in Orange Walk, [...]

Another drug bust by the Gang Suppression Unit
The Gang Suppression Unit is reporting another bust in the alleged ring controlled by Raynard Grinage. On Monday evening, the GSU mounted an operation on Central American Boulevard, where they [...]


Three Persons Fired From Ministry Of Natural Resources
Corruption within the UDP administration has been taking over the news over the last months. And at the foot of the immigration scandal that broke at the start of the year and the Belize Airport Authority cheque scandal with Edmund Castro, there is apparently another looming scandal about to hit the already battered image of the PM's administration. Reports reaching our news room are that three persons have been fired from the Ministry of Natural Resources. They are Deputy Registrar of Lands Barony Hernandez, Deputy Commissioner of Lands Nestor Hernandez and National Estate Officer Darleen Padron. The tree high scale officers have, as we were reliably informed, been fired under orders of the Prime Minster himself. We understand that the decision was announced during a recent Cabinet meeting.

BSI Engages In Public Education Of Sugar Exportation
The start of the current sugar crop saw a delay due to an impasse in the industry triggered by the standstill in negotiations between the Belize Sugar Industry and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. But the crop kick started on January 26th and by all accounts all is flowing rather smoothly. Today, after almost a month the first shipment of sugar left the Belize coast. The Belize Sugar Industry, in an effort to educating the public and other stakeholders in the industry as to the extent and magnitude of sugar production took the media on a tour of the first cargo ship to leave for this crop. Our crew went on board the San Remo II along with a delegation from BSI and filed this report.

Four Persons Charged For Burglary At Fruta Bomba
On our newscast last night we reported on the burglary that was carried out at Fruta Bomba over the weekend. Today the four men that were arrested for the burglary after police conducted a search on an empty lot in San Andres Village that led them to the discovery of (2) picnic tables, (4) vehicle tires and (1) wooden door, were arraigned in court. Thirty six year old Juan Orosco and 31 year old Miguel Daniels both from the village of San Andres, 51 year old Nonato Yam from Patchakan village and 33 year old Nicholas Landero from San Joaquin Village were jointly charged for the crime of burglary and handling stolen goods.

Human Bones Found In Ambergris Caye And Police Intercept Package Suspected To Contain Cannabis
In a similar case as the one here in Orange Walk, authorities on Ambergris Caye, acting upon information received around 1:58pm, visited the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve where a park ranger of the reserve reported that on same date at about 6:30 a.m, she came across some human remains while on her routine checks. She then escorted the Police to the western side of the Reserve where the police observed what appeared to be human bones partially embedded in the mangrove. The bones retrieved from the area were parts of Fibula (2), pelvis, ribs, sternum and cranium. The bones were then placed in a bag and taken to the San Pedro Police Station to be forwarded to the Forensic Laboratory for testing. The identity of the individual is yet to be ascertained. Also on Ambergris Caye, authorities intercepted a box of suspected cannabis from hitting the streets on Monday from the islands airline cargo section. According to police, on Monday around 2:10pm, San Pedro Police proceeded to the Tropic Air Cargo Section which is located on Manta-Ray Street, where they searched a package in a "Mega-man supplement" box measuring six by three inches wrapped with plastic tape. Upon opening the box police observed a white transparent plastic zip-lock bag which contained a compressed green in colour vegetable substance which was suspected to be cannabis. All items, including a receipt was retrieved and taken to the San Pedro Police Station where the suspected cannabis was weighed and amounted to 229.7 grams. It was then sealed and labelled as found Property.

Another Wanted U.S National Caught In San Pedro
A US national who was residing in the tourist mecca of Ambergris Caye was one of four persons the US Department of Justice in the United States have charged for conspiracy to Defraud the United States in Connection with Ethiopia Operations. A release from the Department states that Mary Mooney was taken from her home on San Pedro Ambergris Caye, in an operation between the island's police department and the US State Department. She was taken to the Embassy and whisked out of the country to the U.S. where she faces charges in relation to adoption fraud in Ethiopia. She and her company is accused of paying orphanages to "sign off" on contracts of adoption with the adopting parents as if the children had been raised by those orphanages - even though the children had never resided in those orphanages and had not been cared for or raised there.

Police Trying To Ascertain Decompose Body Found On Richman Hill Farm
Orange Walk Police are putting together the pieces of a puzzle to identify a male person whose decayed body was found approximately half a mile on Richman Hill Farm located on the Guinea Grass/Shipyard Road. With more questions than answers police are still trying to ascertain the cause of death and are looking at all angles. Before going into the story we advise our viewers that some images may not be suitable for our young audience and viewer discretion is advised. Reporter Maria Novelo and Video Journalist Jesus Melgar were first on the scene this morning and filed this report. Maria Novelo - Reporting Caretakers of a farm on the Guinea Grass/Shipyard Road made the discovery this morning around 8:00am and alerted the authorities. When we arrived at the location, we trekked about quarter mile into this vegetated acreage. The putrid scent permeated in the air and flying vultures overhead signaled the location as well. One of the property's caretakers told us how the discovery was made.

CDTF Assists MOW In Rehabilitating The Road And Dump Site At Consejo Shores
During the rainy season the road into the village of Consejo is one of many vulnerable areas to floods impeding the passage of villagers in and out of the community. The dump site that is located approximately three miles from Corozal which is used primarily by residents of Corozal Town and the Consejo Community only makes matters worse. The incessant rains experienced during last year's rainy season have not only caused the road to dilapidate, it has also affected the dump site which is filled with garbage, chemicals, and carcasses thus turning into a health hazard for residents. The good news tonight is that the Consejo Road Disaster Task Force, a non- governmental organization, commissioned by the Consejo Village Council, has extended a helping hand to the Ministry of Works in rehabilitating the road and to build a much needed retaining wall at the dumpsite. This is to avoid the spillage of bio hazard and garbage, that could possible contaminate a half mile segment of the Consejo Road.

Police Uncertain Of Cause Of Death Of a Man Found In Santa Clara Village
The body of John Doe is not the only one that was found in the north today. A second body was found in the Village of Santa Clara in the Corozal District only that this one has been identified as that of 24 year old Auriano Samuel Ramos. Reports gathered from the family indicate that Ramos arrived home last night from work under the influence of alcohol and went to sleep on one of the hammocks that were hanging in the family's living room. With Ramos asleep, his common Law wife, 23 year old Karina Pech and his 2 year old daughter went to bed. It was until this morning around 6:30, when Karina went into the living room, that she noticed that Ramos was motionless.


Missing Taxi Man Found Dead Inside his Vat
This morning, Belize City police and Scenes of Crime returned to a house on Guerrero Street for the unpleasant business of retrieving a dead body found inside a vat. The family of missing taxi operator, 61-year-old Lester "Tin Man" Rowland, is hoping it is not him, but police say...

Human Remains Found Among the Mangroves
Human remains have been found on San Pedro yesterday afternoon. On Monday February 17 , San Pedro Police were called to the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve where a park ranger of the reserve reported to the police that she came across some human remains while on her routine checks. Human...

Barge Damages Port of Belize Pier
CEO of the Port of Belize Limited, Arturo Vasquez, says services at the Port in Belize City are limited following an early morning crash of a barge into the pierhead at the Yarborough compound. The incident took place between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m. and has knocked the pier out...

Bank's Holdings CEO Speaks About Government's Intervention on CPBL
Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced Government's intervention plan to save the citrus industry of Belize. It amounts to a 15 million dollar bailout for Citrus Products of Belize Limited - with its bank First Caribbean International. The bank will provide 2 million dollars in working capital funds to CPBL...

Decomposed Human Body Discovered on Farm
Earlier we told you about the body of the missing taxi man which was found in his vat in Belize City. Then there were human remains found on San Pedro. Well, today there was another discovery of a body, this time in Orange Walk. The decomposed remains were discovered...

Minister Hulse Updates on Immigration Scandal Investigation
Yesterday, Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse gave the media an update on investigations into the passport scandal as it relates to the two officers from the Nationality section being questioned. He said that the director was satisfied that there were enough questions that the two persons would need to answer...

PM Opines on PUP's Pursuit on Penner's Prosecution
PUP's Legal Advisor Anthony Sylvestre, has confirmed to the media that tomorrow, Wednesday February 18th, his party intends to apply to the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus which would compel the Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie to carry out his duties and lay charges on Hon Elvin Penner....

Integrity Commission Member's Appointment Questioned
The Prime Minister was then asked to update the nation on the ongoing search for replacement members of the Integrity Commission. It has been duly noted that another of his appointees, Armeid Gabourel, was a past member of the now infamous Belize Airports Authority Board of Directors. PM Barrow says...

PM Updates on Problems at the University of Belize
The PM was also asked for an update on the Problems at the University of Belize as it relates to the standing of President, Dr Carey Frazer, here is what he had to say about that. Hon. Dean Barrow- Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development "Dr....

Big Tom in Court for Cursing Cops
Deported former murder suspect Kenneth "Big Tom" Flowers was back in court on Monday, accused of using curse words at police officers who were searching his vehicle on Friday. Mr. Flowers, 36, acquitted of a 2010 Salt Lake City, Utah, murder but jailed on federal weapons and illegal entry...

Tourism Horse Euthanized After Getting Injured in Traffic
A horse used in the transportation of tourists in Belize City had to be euthanized today, after it received serious injuries. According to reports, a horse pulling a carriage of tourists on Craig street crashed into the back of a trailer after it was frightened by a vehicle which...


Attorney and businessman Lionel Welch, who has been ailing for some time, died in Los Angeles, California, on Sunday, shortly after 3:00 p.m. Welch had been receiving treatment in Los Angeles since last October for prostate cancer, which, according to attorney Marilyn Williams, the former Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) Director who is now working out of his office, has spread to his spine. After completing his legal studies at the Norman Manley Law School, in Jamaica, Welch returned to Belize to begin his legal practice. He was called to the Belize Bar on December 18, 1980. Apart from his work as an attorney, Welch was also an avid football player in his youth. In later years he supported the sport by serving on the executive of the Belize City Football Association as its vice chairman. He also served as an advisor to the Football Federation of Belize, up to the time of his death.

At a minute before 6:00 this evening, Amandala received an e-mail via our website, responding to last Sunday's headline article, "Belize 'Sex Paradise?'", seemingly from an agent involved in the very type of promotions outlined in the article. In the message, the agent threatens to quit promoting Belize's vacation packages amid investigations into online postings on the websites Global Fantasies and Universal Fantasies, which promote the agent's services as "a premium erotic vacation provider" that offers packages which, the postings claim, include beautiful Belizean women. The e-mail, sent to us via [email protected], an e-mail account which seems to be linked to a user in the USA, says: "Our packages consisted of a resort room, some tours and meals, as well as some local excursions. Only a name and contact number of a local Belize taxi driver was ever provided to any guest.

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow today announced that the Belize Social Security Board (SSB) would inject a total of BZ$24.1 million into the beleaguered citrus industry-which reported BZ$50 million in losses in 2013-as a part of a Government proposal to break what Barrow described as "a fierce, intractable deadlock." That deadlock between foreign investor Banks Holdings of Barbados and the Citrus Growers Association of Belize (CGA) has meant financial pain for citrus growers, who are owed roughly BZ$3 million in overdue payments - funds they have not been able to receive, because local bankers have frozen the accounts of Citrus Products of Belize Limited (CPBL), the processing plant which buys fruit from growers. The proposal unveiled today will see a major shift in the power structure of the industry, with the two main stakeholders-at loggerheads for several years now-making way for the Government to not just intervene, but to grab a 10% stake in the industry via a debt-for-shares swap. This latest development comes after years of Government trying to broker a truce between the parties. Growers are now optimistic that their funds will be freed up-but there is no commitment yet on when they will actually be paid.

The family of popular city taxi driver Lester Rowland, 61, well known as "Tin Man," of Guerrero Street, is mourning his death after his body was found in an advanced state of decomposition in a cement vat in their yard. The horrible discovery was made about 5:30 this afternoon shortly after his brother, Steven, made a missing person report to the police. Steven Rowland told Amandala that his brother had not been seen since Friday, February 7, but their mother told him that she saw him on Friday, and they have been looking for him since. However, this afternoon, the family was informed that his car was bogged in the Krooman area of Fabers Road. They went to the area and saw the car, but Rowland was nowhere to be found. Steven then reported him missing to police, who began a missing person investigation. Steven told Amandala that they were going to his house to begin the search, and when they looked in the metal vat, his decomposing body was discovered.

A Belize City woman was remanded into custody until Friday, February 21, after she pleaded guilty to one count of committing a mischievous act when she appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith on Monday. Myesha Williams, 18, a resident of #39 Neal Pen Road, remained silent when the Chief Magistrate asked her: "You think the police don't have enough work?" "Why you think it is alright to waste police investigators' time, scenes of crime and government resources?" Smith pressed her. "I'm remanding you into custody until sentencing," she informed Williams, who maintained her silence. On February 15, Woman Police Constable Mario Quinn received information from the Racoon Street Police Station about a report of a sexual assault committed upon a woman by a man.
In our last issue, we reported that the stalemate between the CWU and the City Council had the prospects of ending off on a good note after relations between the two entities had soured due to the Council's decision to privatize their Security Department, leading to the ultimate redundancy of about 26 security officers who were employed with CitCo. While the agreements that were made during this week between Belize City mayor Darrell Bradley and CWU president, Audrey Matura Shepherd, existed in principle, they were not "etched in stone", and consequently, the workers were up in arms once again today, as they railed and vented outside City Hall this afternoon, anxiously awaiting their much-needed final cheques, which the workers asserted not only came late, but did not match up to the figures that they were initially promised. This evening, the employees - who were visibly upset - stood in wait outside the offices of City Hall, clamoring because they contended that their severance payments were supposed to be ready at 2:00 p.m., and this did not happen as promised, and some of the irritated workers began to lose their patience.

Spectators watching a basketball match on a Ladyville basketball court were thrown into an uproar when a gunman went into the area and opened fire with a shotgun at about 9:00 last night. There was confusion, as people "scattered" to escape the shooting. Arlene Bainton, 37, a domestic who resides at the corner of Partridge and Pigeon Streets in Belize City, and Ornan Joseph Avila, 16, a student of Paradise Lounge, Ladyville, suffered gunshot injuries. Bainton was grazed near the left temple, and was shot in the foot and arm, while Avila was shot in the left side of the chest, inside the left lower arm and in the left foot. They were both treated at the Belize Defense Force Hospital at Price Barracks in Ladyville and later released.

The Week 1 game between Dangriga Warriors and Toledo Diplomats was postponed last week due to weather, so the two southern teams in the inaugural National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) tournament saw their first action this past weekend in Week 2 of the competition. And both had a winning start, while the only other team to remain undefeated in the young season is Cayo Western Ballers, who made it two victories in a row with their win yesterday in Orange Walk. There were 2 Friday night games this past weekend, 1 game on Saturday, and 1 on Sunday. It was a see-saw dog-fight down in Dangriga on Friday night, February 14, at the Y-Not Island, where the home team Dangriga Warriors won a nail-biter, 57-56, over visiting Belmopan Point Bandits. The Point Bandits led, 13-12, at the end of the first quarter; Warriors led, 31-30, at the half; Bandits took the lead once more, 42-40, to close the third quarter; but at the final buzzer it was Griga Warriors in front again for the 57-56 win. Leading the Warriors were Trevaughn Usher 16 pts 4 rebs, Jamir Flores 10 pts 9 rebs 4 assts 4 stls, and Shai Peters 8 pts 4 rebs; while for the Bandits, Jamal Harris had 17 pts 7 rebs, Kyle Pascasio 11 pts 8 stls, and Christian Rodriguez 9 pts 4 rebs. The Warriors are now (1-0), while the Bandits are (1-1).

Football family
It was in mid-November of last year, during a most competitive and exciting Premier League of Belize (PLB) Belikin Cup Opening Season 2013-2014, that FC Belize long time and original owner/manager, lawyer Lionel Welch suddenly departed for emergency medical attention abroad, days before his team was to travel to Belmopan's Isidoro Beaton Stadium for a Saturday night, November 16, encounter with the Belmopan Bandits. Both teams were former semi-pro champions, FC Belize back in 2006 and 2007, and the Bandits as recently as 2012. But, despite Welch's absence, which led to a bit of controversy over some unpaid yellow card bills, FC Belize pulled out a surprising 3-2 road victory, that prompted the Bandits owner, Hon. John Saldivar to seek additional help for his coaching staff, then headed by Edmund "Buzzard" Pandy who had steered them to their first ever championship a couple seasons earlier. But Saldivar was taking no chances; and he managed to lure former national team coach, Leroy Sherrier Lewis back from Costa Rica in mid-season to lead the Bandits effort the rest of the way.

Dear Editor, On the 45th anniversary of UBAD, I'm writing this E-mail in acknowledgement and gratitude for the influence and teachings I received from the organization in the early 1970's. As a result of the "liberation" classes that were held on Hydes Lane, I developed a greater awareness about the politics of that time - both locally and internationally; and also a higher consciousness of my roots. Today, I can look back and confirm something positive that the UBAD Party brought to at least one Belizean brother.

"Big Tom" pleads guilty to uttering indecent words; claims police harassment
Deportee, Kenneth "Big Tom" Flowers, 36, a laborer, pleaded guilty to uttering indecent words when he appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Cayetano imposed a $300 fine for two counts of uttering indecent words after the court threw out a third, similar charge. The Magistrate questioned why was it necessary for the police to level three charges of use of indecent words against Flowers, when the circumstances of the complaint appeared to be one incident. Magistrate Cayetano then asked Flowers what he had to say before he passed sentence upon him. "I am a hard-working man, but everywhere police see me, they search me. If the GSU sees [me] five, six times for the day, they will search me," Flowers told the court, "I just let the anger get the best of me and cuss out the police."

Gas station robbed; thieves escaped with $248
The Freetown Road Puma Gas Station was robbed by two thieves who got away with $248. No one was hurt and no shots were fired. The incident occurred about 10:30 last Friday morning. Norris Santos, 28, a gas attendant at the station, told police that while at his workplace, two men rode up to the gas station on separate bicycles. One of the men, who was armed with a 9mm pistol, pointed the gun at him and demanded money. Santos told Amandala that he saw the two men coming. They hesitated by a parked vehicle in the compound, then one of them lifted up his shirt and took out a big gun. The gunman pointed the gun at the two attendants, and the second robber came to him, Santos, and told him, "Bway, gimme di money!"

Glenford Ferguson, Jr., 29, gets 15 years for manslaughter conviction
After listening to mitigation pleas from four persons, Supreme Court Justice John Gonzalez adjourned the mitigation hearing for 10 minutes, and when he returned, he imposed a 15-year sentence on Glenford Ferguson, Jr., who was convicted of manslaughter on February 6 for the stabbing death of Koffi Beeks. Ferguson, who was initially charged with murder, spoke first at his mitigation hearing, telling the court that he knows he has done wrong, but pleaded for another chance to be with his family. "I have never been in a situation like this before, and I am really sorry," Ferguson told the court; "I like to say I apologize to the family, Your Honor." Ferguson's brief statement was followed by the four character witnesses who also spoke briefly, but all appealed for leniency on his behalf. His father, Glenford Ferguson, Sr., testified that he was "not a trouble child."

Minors, 12, and 8, molested by trusted adults
Two families - one from Camalote Village in the Cayo District, and the other from Bella Vista in the Stann Creek District, have been devastated by the discovery that a young girl in each family - one 8 years of age, the other 12 - was raped, each by trusted male adults - in one case, the girl's brother-in-law, in the other, the victim's uncle. In Bella Vista, the 44-year-old uncle of an 8-year-old girl was arrested on Friday after being on the run since February 1. However, an intense manhunt conducted by the Independence police forced him to hand himself in at the police station in that village on Friday, where he was immediately charged with carnal knowledge, rape, and an unnatural crime. Police believe that on top of raping the little girl, he also committed unnatural acts with her. He will be taken to the Independence Magistrate's Court today, where he will be remanded to the Belize Central Prison until his next court date.

A 9-member jury deliberated for three hours and 17 minutes before returning with a guilty verdict in the trial of a 44-year-old man indicted on two counts of incest against his daughter, who was 10 years old when the incidents occurred in 2009. The incestuous man is already serving a 3-year prison sentence for a conviction of aggravated assault of an indecent nature that he committed upon another minor. The trial took place before Justice John "Troadio" Gonzalez, and eight out of the nine jurors voted to convict the man on the two incest indictments. Justice Gonzalez has set Friday, February 21, for a mitigation hearing, before he passes sentence. Incest carries a prison term ranging from 12 years to life in prison. Due to the sensitivity of incest cases (court reporters were barred from this trial), Amandala cannot not use the name or photograph of the convicted man.

The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA), in a press release issued today, announced that it has strengthened its standard disease control measures upon receiving information from the Central Regional Laboratory in Merida that cattle specimens, which were submitted for routine testing, have tested positive for Bovine Tuberculosis on bacteriological culture. BAHA added that through the Belize National Sanitary Cattle Plan Project (BNSCPP), they have been methodically identifying cattle farms and routinely testing all cattle for Bovine Tuberculosis and Bovine Brucellosis. Bovine tuberculosis is a chronic animal disease that affects cattle and is caused by slow-growing (16- to 20-hour generation time) bacteria called 'mycobacterium bovis', which is closely related to the bacteria that causes human and avian tuberculosis. The agency reported that a total of ninety thousand cattle have been tested, and all the results of those routine tests have proven negative, with the exception of one case that came back positive.

At a hearing held by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) earlier this week, the standards of care that medical practitioners ought to uphold when attending to a woman giving birth-especially women undergoing cesarean section (C-section) procedures and those having a higher risk of complications-was an important point discussed. What exactly are those standards of care? Who ensures that medical practitioners adhere to them? What recourse do patients have when they are dissatisfied with the care provided to them? Thirteen years ago, Georgia Matute of Roaring Creek underwent a C-section at the Western Regional Hospital. She gave birth to her daughter Janae, who is now a student of Belmopan Comprehensive School. Matute said that she had to leave her government job to focus on giving Janae the best possible chance in life. "It has really been a challenge, but I would rather do this than to have stayed and pushed forward my career", she told Amandala.

Luis Eduardo Baki, 33, a salesman of El Mana Bakery located at Blue Bird Street, San Ignacio, Cayo, has been reported missing since 6:00 Wednesday evening, February 12. His common-law wife, Neidy Cifuentez, a naturalized Belizean domestic of Ladyville Street, Santiago Juan Layout, San Ignacio, Cayo District, told police that at about 8:30 Wednesday morning, Baki left the bakery in the company's white-and-orange delivery truck, with L/P 00225, to carry out routine deliveries in San Ignacio. Since driving out of the compound, Baki has not been seen; neither has the vehicle been found. Luis Eduardo Baki is of Maya descent. At the time he left work, he was wearing a black-and-gray checkered shirt, long blue jeans pants and a white peaked cap. He is about 5 feet 5 inches tall, with a low haircut. Baki is of fair complexion and weighs about 235 pounds. He has a tattoo of a heart on his right hand.

Complaints over an inadequate and sometimes overly hassling public transportation system-some of them lingering unresolved for years now-are getting the attention of Crispin Jeffries, Chief Transport Officer, who told Amandala this morning that he has been advised of a call to a morning TV talk show complaining of commuter problems. Partly due to the absence of a proper ticketing system, many commuters have daily troubles trying to get a space on a bus. Our newspaper learned on Friday that a group of students were upset that they were removed from a bus in Belmopan and told to wait for the next available bus, but the same bus which ejected them, on the claim that they had no more space, packed on several more standees just a few blocks away, while Transport officers were not looking. Under existing law, it is illegal for a bus to carry more passengers than its capacity, but Jeffries said that each passenger should by law also be allotted 15 inches of seat space. The refurbished school buses used to run commuters may say they can seat 80, for example - but that's 80 children, not 80 adults, Jeffries explained.

British Honduras became a self-governing British colony in 1964. At the time, it was felt that we would now move on smartly to independence, but the Anglo-Guatemalan dispute got in the way in 1968 when the Belizean people rose up against Bethuel Webster's Seventeen Proposals. Early the following year of 1969, the UBAD organization was established, out of nowhere actually, and three months later there was an attempt to unseat the Hon. Philip Goldson as Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition - the National Independence Party (NIP). It was a strange and unexpected challenge. Mr. Goldson was a full-fledged national hero. Two years before, some wealthy businessmen in the British Honduras Chamber of Commerce had begun publishing a new weekly newspaper - The Chamber Reporter. Its first editor was Miss Zelma Tucker, the eldest daughter of a prominent executive in the Santiago Castillo group of companies. Miss Tucker had been trained in journalism in the United Kingdom. (Miss Tucker soon left the newspaper and went on to become Belize's first novelist - Mrs. Zee Edgell.)

The 1984-89 UDP administration of the Right Hon. Dr. Manuel Esquivel made at least three controversial moves. One was to begin selling Belizean passports. This was reportedly a proposal which had been in the PUP pipeline before they were voted out of office in December of 1984. Another very controversial Esquivel move was to allow the American government to spray Belize's marijuana fields with paraquat. The third move was to begin the privatization of the Barracks green by selling the southern section of the seafront to the transnational Ramada hotel chain. Subsequently, a prominent PUP family managed to grab the northern portion of the green, where they have built the Marina Towers. Between the Ramada/Princess and the Marina Towers there remained a central seafront section, which became known as "BTL Park." It is one of the deep and abiding differences between the traditional indigenous view of life, on the one hand, and the modern capitalist mode of economics on the other, that indigenous people view certain God-given treasures as having been gifted to the people as a body in perpetuity, whereas rapacious capitalists believe that the Gospel of private property is supreme, that individuals and corporations can own anything once they have enough money to buy it.

The Opposition People's United Party (PUP), having failed in its recall effort against the disgraced Cayo North East area representative Hon. Elvin Penner, is now initiating judicial review proceedings in an application that will be filed as early as tomorrow, Tuesday, in the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus. Attorney Edwin Flowers, S.C., who had written to the Commissioner of Police last week on behalf of the Leader of the Opposition, has confirmed to Amandala that he has not received a reply from Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie. Based on instructions Flowers received from the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Francis Fonseca, Commissioner Whylie had until the end of the business day, today, Monday, February 17, to respond, Flowers said. Flowers said that the Commissioner has not communicated with him. "Not even a phone call," he emphasized. He added: "As we speak, I am going over the paperwork to file the judicial review."

Two families - one from Camalote Village in the Cayo District, and the other from Bella Vista in the Stann Creek District, have been devastated by the discovery that a young girl in each family - one 8 years of age, the other 12 - was raped, each by trusted male adults - in one case, the girl's brother-in-law, in the other, the victim's uncle. In Bella Vista, the 44-year-old uncle of an 8-year-old girl was arrested on Friday after being on the run since February 1. However, an intense manhunt conducted by the Independence police forced him to hand himself in at the police station in that village on Friday, where he was immediately charged with carnal knowledge, rape, and an unnatural crime. Police believe that on top of raping the little girl, he also committed unnatural acts with her. He will be taken to the Independence Magistrate's Court today, where he will be remanded to the Belize Central Prison until his next court date.

A 9-member jury deliberated for three hours and 17 minutes before returning with a guilty verdict in the trial of a 44-year-old man indicted on two counts of incest against his daughter, who was 10 years old when the incidents occurred in 2009. The incestuous man is already serving a 3-year prison sentence for a conviction of aggravated assault of an indecent nature that he committed upon another minor. The trial took place before Justice John "Troadio" Gonzalez, and eight out of the nine jurors voted to convict the man on the two incest indictments. Justice Gonzalez has set Friday, February 21, for a mitigation hearing, before he passes sentence. Incest carries a prison term ranging from 12 years to life in prison. Due to the sensitivity of incest cases (court reporters were barred from this trial), Amandala cannot not use the name or photograph of the convicted man.


2014 Placencia Art & Music Festival: THE ART and THE MUSIC!
Yesterday's afternoon post went in a few different direction: bus travel�my lodging�Chelsea Handler�but didn't really get to the main reason that I travelled to Placencia - the Art and Music Sidewalk Festival. The 11th annual. There were artists and craftspeople from many parts of Belize� The Art Affair Gallery in Placencia (one of my favorite spots) had a booth with both Ernest Garcia's gorgeous art (see more here and here at the 2013 Expo) and Jeanna's PRETTY jewelry. You can see many of her gorgeous pieces in Rubimoon in San Pedro. Like this�

"The Best Things in Life Are Free" in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up a fair bit later than normal on Sunday at 06.55 hours. Obviously the price paid for a late and 'liquid' previous night! Even in my slightly fragile condition I managed to make my black coffee (it's a times like that I'm pleased that I am not a coffee aficionado), grab the iPad and amble out to the veranda. My body and my experience told me that this was a day to be approached slowly so I decided that reading The Sunday Times online was exertion enough! I made breakfast around 08.30 hours and then showered, shaved and dressed - oh, I did brush my teeth too - and settled down to watch the Arsenal versus Liverpool FA Cup game. We were far from being convincing winners but win we did and advanced to a home game in the next round against Everton. After the game had finished I spent a little time in the back garden weeding (nothing too exertive) and then showered and changed clothes and then around 15.00 hours Rose and I headed to Carlo & Ernie's Runway Bar & Grill for a few beers (hair of the dog and all that) and a Barbeque. You can get a barbecue on a Sunday nearly everywhere (well at least it appears that way) in San Pedro but for us the best is to be found at Carlo & Ernie's. A word of warning though - get there too late and it's all gone.

Development of your business
DAGS is reimbursement grant funding facility specifically designed to provide financial assistance to legally registered firms/individuals/Business Support Organisations (BSOs) with the potential to export their products and services. DAGS is a reimbursement facility which means that no monies are advanced to beneficiaries and they will have to incur the full cost of their projects and be reimbursed on completion of their projects. A grant may not be awarded retrospectively. The objective of DAGS is as follows:

Education in Belize: Quality Schools
During the last few weeks, the entire country of Belize witnessed with great concern the plight of hundreds/thousands of educators and teachers whose pressing yet ignored working and workplace concerns had finally reached a boiling point. These professionals work very hard and tirelessly everyday to provide an education to our young people; yet they remain unappreciated by many, especially by those who control their very salaries, workplaces, and living conditions. BNTU (Belize National Teachers Union) and its members and backers staged many public rallies and demonstrations countrywide to showcase teachers' concerns to the government and to the country. Extremely unfair and low teacher wages was the overwhelming concern, but very large class sizes, and insufficient continuing professional education for teachers were among other continuously ignored concerns that were not financial. After several BNTU public rallies, and meetings between union and government officials, the Prime Minister and Minister of Education finally ceded. In a press conference, the Prime Minister (was forced to?) addressed the dismal plight of educators and education in the country. Resolution: a promise of a mere 4% raise in teachers' salaries in the future. However, did teachers win their fight? Did their recent rallies and demonstrations help to resolve their pressing concerns?

International Sources

Belize Zoo Project Plans March 1 Fundraiser
A group of SUNY Cortland students will take its service efforts abroad during the College's spring break with the intention of making a zoo in Central America more accessible for people with disabilities. Prior to takeoff, however, the group will look to offset the cost of a $10,000 renovation project at the Belize Zoo with a local fundraiser Saturday, March 1. It runs from 7 p.m. to closing time at the Blue Frog Caf� in downtown Cortland and seeks to pull in monetary donations of any amount with live entertainment, raffles and food and beverages. "I want to become more aware of the conditions in which people live, and have my eyes opened to all the things people don't have," said Danielle Ben-Horin, a sophomore inclusive special education major who will make the trip from March 10 to 14. "I want to see how we can improve the environment and make it more inclusive."

10 Things You Must Do During Your Next Trip to Belize
Maybe your cruise ship docked for only a day in Belize, which didn't allow you the time to explore much of the local culture, jungles or coral reefs. Or perhaps you stayed at one of the all-inclusive resorts and didn't venture out beyond the sun, sand and water. If so, book the next flight you can back to this breathtaking Central American country. Its 9,000 square miles has an abundance of adventures to offer and is often overlooked by travelers. Plan to spend a few thrilling days diving into some of the most unique experiences found anywhere in the world. Here are 10 things you must do during your next trip to Belize:

Diversity is hallmark of Caribbean country
We had a great trip to Belize last month. It was beautiful and diverse in its people, animals, birds, sea life, vegetation and geology. We stayed on a small island off the coast called Caye Caulker, and as we flew there, I gazed at the clear, warm aqua waters and knew it was the Caribbean I had longed to see. Our cabana was painted in bright yellow and blue, and it had a long dock that pointed east. After we met up with Vicki and Dave, friends who had arrived earlier, we headed out to explore the island. Palm trees waved at us as we made our way along the white, sandy shore that was lined with simple resorts. Folks passed us as they rode old-fashioned bikes or drove golf carts. We looked out at the sea and could make out waves breaking in the distance on the Belize Barrier Reef, part of the longest barrier reef in the western hemisphere.

World Press Freedom Index 2014...The Biggest Rises & Falls Press Freedom..US Down To 46th
The new entry, Belize, has been assigned an enviable position (29th). Cases of violence against journalists are rare in Belize but there were some problems: defamation suits involving demands for large amounts in damages, national security restrictions on implementation of the Freedom of Information Act and sometimes unfair management of broadcast frequencies.

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SICA Foreign Ministers to Meet in the Dominican Republic
The Council of Foreign Ministers of the Central American Integration System (SICA) will meet here in three days to discuss strategic guidelines of the current Dominican pro tempore presidency. The meeting of representatives of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama will hold morning and afternoon sessions at the Foreign Ministry headquarters. This significant meeting is the first at the ministerial level under our presidency, set to run until June 30, 2014, stated Dominican Foreign Minister Cesar Dargam. Dargam said that goals to be achieved in the five priority pillars of the regional agenda --climate change and disaster prevention, social integration, economic integration, democratic security and institutional reinforcement will be set forth.

Caribbean - American Contribution To Black History
Today, nobody can doubt the sterling contribution of Caribbean-Americans to the growth and development of the United States. And it's been a long history of proven commitment by those who have made this country their adopted homeland. That our ancestors from Africa labored without reward or recompense in the dark days of slavery underscores the stake that Caribbean -- Americans have here in 2014. And for the ignorant and uninformed few who consider Caribbean -- Americans outsiders, just sponging of the legasse of American hospitality I say this -- read your history. But not so long ago, it used to be the politically correct thing to deny one's Caribbean roots. Indeed, early Caribbean immigrants, relatively few in number, only wanted to assimilate into the American mainstream. Those who came before cautioned newcomers to "not rock the boat. Hide your Caribbean identity"; learn to speak "Yankee" in a few days. Never speak in public about the "old country." But even with this old timeish sentiment that found favor among certain sections of the growing Caribbean community, Caribbean nationals, later to be fully assimilated into American life with the honorific name "Caribbean --Americans," formed alliances, and remained at the vanguard of the Black Liberation struggles in their adopted homeland.

I've just realized that I used the last of my toothpaste to scrub the inside of my new SCUBA mask - something about preventing it from fogging. Now my teeth feel fuzzy. It all happened pretty fast - a quick question after breakfast: "Do you want to give it a go?" "Sure," I say. We walk across the sand to the edge of the water with a tank, BC and flippers. I sit down on the steps as I get suited up and water laps against my calves; I think it's the color of a blue Powerade Slush. My teeth feel fuzzier. But then they meet the regulator; a minty mask goes over my eyes and I hear someone shout, "Remember, just keep breathing!" I go under and it's like I just woke up somewhere else. I'm only three feet from the dock and I see lobsters gathered under a piece of driftwood; a few feet further, I'm holding a red starfish as big as a Frisbee and I'm turning over conch shells the size of footballs. I swim back to shore to drop one off for ceviche, turn, and hug the bottom out a little further.

Exploring The Jungles of Belize
Belize has become one of the top tourist destinations in the country. It is a place where warm waters meet lost civilizations. Host Greg Aiello brings along self-described workaholic Shiloh Janes for a trip of a lifetime. The pair plans to dive on a world famous reef, get up close and personal with jungle wildlife and discover the Maya ruins of Belize. There's nothing quite like the Caribbean. It is a popular escape for travelers in search of crystal clear waters, white sand beaches, cool drinks made of rum and the warm tropical sun. Belize is a small Caribbean country on the coast wedged in between Mexico and Guatemala. It has become wildly popular as a travel destination for those from the U.S. with direct flights from cities like Dallas and Miami. Winter is the time to come here but an unseasonable wet December turned the Motion crew's trip soggy. But it would take more than a heavy, soaking, torrential, non-stop rain to dampen the spirits of guest hiker Shiloh Janes. He runs the dispatch for the family's trucking business in Oneida, New York, and he hasn't been on a vacation in 11 years!

Belize 2014
See the highlights from our mission team's trip to serve the schools and people of Belize.

Your Own Slice of the Caribbean in Belize
Think of the best of the Caribbean-clear, blue skies�long, white, sandy beaches�warm, gentle waters lapping at the shore�a soft breeze swaying the palm trees overhead-and Belize is where you'll find it. It's the sort of place you need to bring your camera to-you only have to point and click in any direction to capture the sort of picture-perfect scenery usually only seen in glossy travel brochures. In its clear, blue waters, you'll find the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere and the second longest in the world, an expansive system filled with colorful fish and sea creatures of all shapes and sizes. Whether you long to swim, fish, or sail, you'll find what you're looking for in Belize.

Shifting to Island Time on Ambergris Caye, Belize
Every morning, when I wake up and hear the birds singing outside my window, and watch the sunbeams that stream into our bedroom, I thank my lucky stars for being able to live a more laid-back life on the little Caribbean island of Ambergris Caye, Belize. When my husband and I left California behind, I promised myself that we'd make time to socialize in Belize. Our busy lives in the San Francisco Bay Area didn't leave much time for socializing�and we were dreaming of a more simplistic lifestyle. Here, on Ambergris Caye, we have a different challenge: It's difficult for us to keep up with all of our new friends!

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