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The San Pedro Sun

High number of stranded turtles washing up on Ambergris Caye
Hol Chan Marine Reserve, the entity that runs the Ambergris Caye Marine Turtle Program, is reporting that a high number of young and juvenile turtles are washing up on shore. These "stranded turtles," if possible, are cared for, rehabilitated and then re-released into the open seas.

Police Report
Robbery, Forgery and Claiming Upon a False Document Acting upon information received of a fight behind the San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School sometime around 6:50PM on the Tuesday, March 25th, San Pedro Police visited the area where they found Justin Romsa, American businessman and owner of Mata Grande Grocery located 4.5 miles North Ambergris Caye and a resident of the same address. Romsa handed over a person identified as Eulalio Witz, 59 years old, Belizean mason of San Pablo Area, to the police along with some money and a Belize Bank Check #000646 dated March 25, 2014 in the name of Eulalio Witz for the sum of $875. Initial investigation revealed that sometime around 2:50PM on the same day, Tamara Romsa, American businesswoman and co-owner of Mata Grande Grocery was giving Witz a lift from town to North Ambergris Caye of San Pedro Town and upon passing Lost Encantos, Witz pulled out a knife and took away her bag containing cash, personal documents and her check book and ran away. The check, American passport in the name of Tamara Romsa and other personal documents were recovered. Eulalio Witz was detained and is pending charges. Burglary *Ezequiel Witz, Belizean Businessman of Bayside Area, San Pedro Town visited the San Pedro Police Station and reported that between 1AM and 5AM on Saturday, March 29th someone burglarized his business place, namely Olympics Gaming Center located on Angel Coral Street, San Pedro Town.

Sunshine Scholarship Foundation says thanks!!
The Sunshine Scholarship Foundation would like to thank Estel's Dine by the Sea for allowing them the opportunity to host a 50/50 draw fundraiser during their BBQ Cook Off held on Saturday, March 11th. The 50/50 draw raised $480, and coupled with a generous $600 donation from Estel's, the Sunshine Scholarship Foundation was able to raise a grand total of $1080 which will go towards paying tuition fees for deserving students of La Isla Bonita Elementary. The Sunshine Scholarship Foundation thanks the owners and staff of Estel's, the band and the patrons for making the event a huge success. Currently the Sunshine Scholarship Foundation is funding six children with full tuition scholarships. To learn more about the non-profit foundation or to make a donation contact Joy Flowers at 610-0084 or [email protected], or Eve Dirnback at 623-9962 or [email protected].

San Pedro Lions gear for membership elections
The San Pedro Lions Club has announced that it is gearing up for the election of new officers for the next calendar year. The elections have been set for April 10th, during the monthly membership meeting of the Lions Club. All posts will need to be filled, except for Treasurer which Lion Abel Guerrero has agreed to continue to hold. The other position that needs to be filled is that of the President, whose main duty is to be the club leader, ensuring the smooth running of the general affairs of the club. Also vacant are the post of Vice President whose main duty is to assist the President and serve as the second in command of the club, Secretary whose post is considered extremely important since this person keeps all the records of the club, and the membership Chairman who is tasked to ensure the attraction of potential candidates to the club. Also needed is the Tail Twister whose main duty is to promote harmony, goodwill and enthusiasm at club events, and a Lion Tamer who is responsible for the safekeeping of the clubs' property and paraphernalia. The club will also need two Club Directors, whose main duties are to ensure that the club, as well as the board, is carrying out their respective duties as mandated by Lions Club International.

San Pedro Tigersharks and Toledo Diplomats
Well the second face-off between San Pedro Tigersharks and Toledo Diplomats can't be disputed! Final score: 86 Tigersharks, 52 Diplomats!!! Go 'Sharks!!!

Misc Belizean Sources

Prep finalized, community ready for New Horizons construction
U.S. Air Force, Army and Marine Corps civil engineers unpacked their tools and are ready to engage with members of the Belize Defense Force Light Engineer Company to start construction on five sites in Belize. The U.S. and Belizean teams will construct four school facilities in Belize City, one school facility in Hattieville and a medical facility in Belmopan. The New Horizons civil engineering commander, U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Peter Feng, met with officers from the BDF engineer company April 3 to solidify cooperative schedules, and members of the BDF company are set to join U.S. engineers on the construction sites April 7. "I'm excited to see how the local Belize construction unit operates," said Tech. Sgt. Steven Ernst, project manager at the Hattieville school construction site. "We don't work with block as much as they do, so I'm interested to see their expertise level and if we'll be able to improve our processes. I'm hoping both sides will be able to make our processes more efficient."

Marine uses sign language to connect with community
Hands wave through the air in an organized fashion, children following the movements, as the hands relay the children's story of "A Day at the Farm." U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Parnell Sararana spent time April 4 putting his Universal Sign Language skills to use translating while U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jon Espinoza read aloud at the Stella Maris School Belize Academy for the Deaf in Belize City, Belize. Sararana is deployed from the 1st Civil Affairs Group at Camp Pendleton, Calif., in support of New Horizons Belize 2014, an exercise encompassing U.S. armed forces services as they train with Belizean professionals in the fields of engineering and medical care. The civil affairs role in the exercise is to engage with the local population, as well as government and non-government organizations, to facilitate the best possible environment for U.S. and Belizean engineering and medical professionals as they build educational and health facilities and provide medical, dental and veterinarian care throughout the country.

Jewel Of Belize's National Park System Tarnished By Poaching, Gold Seekers, Border Strife
Gold is an alluring color, whether woven into the feathers of a Scarlet macaw winging through the Maya Mountains rainforest or mixed in the gravels of streams that thread beneath the understory of Chiquibul National Park in the Belizean highlands. You hear the macaws before you see them. These magnificent birds, nearly 3 feet long from beak to tail feathers, give themselves away with their raucous squawking as they fly in groups to a roost. The flecks of gold in the soils of Chiquibul, the largest protected area in this Central American country, are not as easy to spot. But they're equally precious. And both birds and metals lie at the root of illegal activities that are poking holes in the park's faunal assemblage and streambeds. Encompassing 416 square miles, Chiquibul is said to contain mountainous landscapes undisturbed since the Maya lived here centuries ago. Within the forests are Scarlet macaws, an endangered species that breeds in the park, Spider monkeys, and toucans, while beneath the forests the Chiquibul Cave System worms through the karst geology. It is thought to be the largest cave system in Belize and the longest in Central America.

Forestry and Finance fair held in Belize City
A first of its kind Forestry, Fisheries and Finance fair was held today in Belize City. The grounds of the ITVET Compound on Freetown Road was the venue for this event which was sponsored by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development. Organizers say the purpose of the fair was to give the general public a more in-depth look at what goes into the finished products that consumers see on the market from day to day. The fair included display booths, food tasting stalls and information centers designed to connect, facilitate and promote the members of BCCI and the general public.

The Magnificent Belize Manatees
Manatees are lovable and gentle water creatures that spend their entire lives in the water. According to researchers, manatees can have a life span of up to 60 years and are found habitually in warm shallow waters. They only eat plants making them herbivores. Belize has the region's largest concentration of manatees by the count of the United Nations Environment Programme due to the fact that our country has the largest coral reef in the western hemisphere and extensive mangrove swamps. In addition, Belize's network of rivers and lagoons which is protected in part by the reef provides fertile feeding grounds and shelter for these amazing mammals. Manatees can be spotted along Belize's entire coast line and can weigh as much as 1000 pounds. According to a UNEP report, manatees in Belize number fewer than 1000 but the population's birth rate and cub survival rate is moderately stable and analogous to the population of Florida's Crystal River area.

Voice of the West Winners
Rotary had their Voice of the West Elocution contest this week. Congratulations to all the winners, and every student that participated. Thanks, Rotary! "In the eyes of the Rotary Club of San Ignacio all participants were winners. We would like to thank you and your Schools for all the hard work that you put into the outstanding presentations. Official Winners: Impromptu Speech: 1st Place.........Kiely Gonzales ........... Eden Seven Day Adventist 2nd Place........Antwan Leslie ........... Our Lady of Guadalupe 3rd. Place........Nelson Hernandez ..... Mopan Technical

3 hour double stage dive in Giant Cave
Awesome 3 hour double stage dive in Giant Cave yesterday- Laid about 400 feet of line and was gifted a pre 1900's peppersauce bottle while mucking around under Pauls "famous" boulder on my deco stop at 40 feet- Life is good!!

On The Scene
The Corozal Bay Sailing Club is hard at practice on the Corozal Bay for the upcoming optimist regatta sailing race, to be held in San Pedro Ambergris Caye during the Easter holiday. More information will be forthcoming on this sailing regatta.

Exhibition: A History of Slaves and Emancipation
The Corozal House of Culture in association with the Institute of Social and Cultural Research is looking forward to opening an educational exhibit that delves deep into Belize's past. Opening April 29, 2014 at (CHOC).

Belizean Artist, Tanya Carter, releases her new single "Bullie Mix Final"
"Sometimes good girls just want it rough" - Tanya Carter

Video: BELIZE on MSNBC: Discovering the Blue Hole, Belize Barrier Reef
Originally aired on November 17th 2008, Matt Lauer visits the famous Blue Hole of Belize Barrier Reef. Joined by Fabian Costeau.

Video: Belize Blend
13min. GoPro footage from scuba diving and sailing in Amergris Caye, Belize.

Video: Belize Overview

Video: Belize Tom Bonefishing
28 min.

Video: Belize Golf Carts Adventure Day
57min. Touring San Pedro

Video: Scuba Diving Belize - Ambergris Caye Dive 1

Video: Belize Fishing

Video: Ziplining in Belize with the family
10 min.

Video: Vinny and Moraima's Belize Wedding
5 min. A highlight video of Vinny and Moraima's wedding in Belize.


Father Accuses Son Of Burglary
Corozal Police are tonight seeking one man from Libertad Village for questioning into a burglary. Fifty eight year old Israel Torres, Belizean Security Guard of Libertad Village, reported to police that on Thursday April 3rd 2014, at about 4:15pm, he was checking a bus belonging to the Libertad Seventh Day Adventist Church that is parked in his yard, when he noticed that one black battery valued at $380.00 was missing from the vehicle. Corozal Police are currently seeking the complainant's son, Melvin Torres, for questioning. Of note is that it's not the first time that Israel Torres makes a burglary report against his son.

Time Changes In Mexico
And for those who like to travel over the border be informed that Mexico will begin observing Daylight Saving Time on Sunday. In a press release issued today, the Mexican Embassy in Belize makes it known that starting Sunday, April 6th; clocks in Mexico will go forward by one hour. This means that Mexico will be one hour ahead of Belize's local time. The observance of Daylight Saving Time will apply to most of Mexico, including Chetumal, Cancun, Merida and Mexico City.

School Trip Turns Deadly For Students Of ESTM, Two Drown
A class trip for forth form students of Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico in San Roman Corozal went horribly wrong when two students drowned in the Macal River in the San Ignacio area near the low lying bridge around four this evening. Authorities have retrieved the body of 16 year old Edgar Pook of Patchakan Village in the Corozal District and 15 year old Anais Zepeda of San Joaquin Village also in the Corozal District. Both victims were in fourth form. They were part of a group of students from Escuela Mexico that were on a field trip to the Chechem Ha cave in Benque Viejo Del Carmen in western Belize. Information to our newsroom is that the students were on their way back from their trip in a Morales Bus when they stopped near the Macal River Park in San Ignacio/Santa Elena. A group of the students decided to go swimming and that is when things went terribly wrong as Puk and Zepeda were carried away by the current, disappeared under the water and never resurfaced. We'll have more on this story in Monday's newscast.

Ruthless Criminals Attack Chinese Businesses In Corozal
Two more Chinese business establishments in Corozal fell victims to the hands of robbers last night. In the first incident Ri You Lin, 42 year old Belizean/Chinese Businesswoman of Santa Rita Road, Corozal Town, informed police that on Thursday April 3rd, at about 7:15pm, she was at her business place namely China Store when two male persons of dark complexion entered the store. One of the individuals, armed with a pump action shotgun, was wearing a red jacket with a dark color hood and black stocking mask while the second, armed with a machete, was wearing a dark color jacket with hood and black stocking mask. According to Lin, as soon as the men entered the store they demanded that she hand over all the cash. Fearing for her life, she did as she was told and handed over $1,200.00 to the criminals. The men also walked away with $700.00 worth of Smart phone cards. Police are looking for two men suspected to be from Belize City.


First Orange Walk Town Music Summer Camp and second one for San Pedro
Last year's music camp in San Pedro was such a hit they are doing it again and expanding to host the first Orange Walk Town Music Summer Camp August 25-30, 2014 At the Banquitas House of Culture Daily classes Monday to Saturday. Maestro Carlos Perrote will bring a truck load full of percussion instruments to the Banquitas House of Culture to provide for the participants of the First Orange Walk Music Summer Camp and will teach how to play Steel Pan, afrocuban percussion, acoustic guitar and keyboards In the afternoon children can join acoustic guitar and keyboard lessons in small groups. 8:30 - 10 a.m. PERCUSSION, all instruments are provided 10:30 - 12 ACOUSTIC GUITAR, bring your own 1 - 2:30 p.m. KEYBOARDS, bring your own Children starting age 5 will learn how to play Steel Pan, Bongos, Batas, Timbal, Tambor, Cajon, Congas, drum set, Garifuna and Afrocuban percussion instruments and much more. Minimum age : 5 years for percussion and keyboards, 7 for guitar. Guitar and keyboards classes are limited to 10 participants.

Hopkins, Belize's Bioluminescence Night Tour: Dip Your Hand into the Burnin' Wata!
But one of the major draws to this part of Belize is the landscape´┐Żand the wildlife. Within the hour, you can be at the beach or on the gorgeous green Sittee River searching for manatee or hiking the Cockscomb Wildlife preserve searching for jaguar tracks. My very first night, the manager at my hotel, Parrot Cove Lodge, insisted that I go immediately out on a tour. The lovely Yoli is so passionate about Belize and knew this is a trip that I would love. She was very right. I knew absolutely nothing about the burning water. I'd never heard a peep about this trip. But at 7pm, I made my way over to Jaguar Reef Lodge - they arrange for guests to go out on this very cool lagoon. About 12 of us loaded into a van and set off for the 10 minute ride to the Sittee River Marina. Here's a daytime look at the main lodge Jaguar Reef Lodge.

International Sources

Circa 1920 Crisfield-built buyboat Winnie Estelle joins Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum's floating fleet
The historic 1920 Chesapeake Bay buyboat Winnie Estelle has arrived at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels where she will remain as the new workhorse of CBMM's floating fleet for scenic Miles River cruises and a wide variety of on-the-water educational programs. The Winnie Estelle joins CBMM's floating fleet of historic boats, which includes the recently restored 1955 skipjack Rosie Parks; the 1889 nine-log bugeye, the Edna E. Lockwood; the 1912 river tug Delaware; the 1909 seven-log crab dredger Old Point, the 1934 dovetail Martha; the 1931 Potomac River dory boat; and the 1961 tuck-stern, Jackson-built Pot Pie skiff. The authentic buyboat replaces the museum's replica buyboat Mister Jim, which has operated as a passenger boat since 1982. The museum currently has the Mister Jim for sale. "About a month ago, we began fundraising to acquire the Winnie Estelle," said CBMM President Langley Shook. "We are so fortunate that a generous donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, stepped right up to purchase her for an undisclosed amount to donate her to the Museum." CBMM will engage in fundraising to build an endowment to cover ongoing and long-term maintenance of the historic buyboat.

Ancient people anything but jaded
To the ancient Maya, jade was the most precious of all stones. Its green color symbolized water and sprouting plants, hence fertility, life, rejuvenation and rebirth. Jade was carved into religious and ornamental objects that were placed in temples and tombs. Jade necklaces and earrings adorned the members of royal families, who also inserted jade beads into holes in their teeth to further flaunt their status. Kings made public appearances wearing belts and breastplates accessorized by remarkably realistic-looking, mosaic jade masks of human faces and decorative, ax-head-shaped jade bars called "celts."

8 Reasons Why Half Moon Caye is an Amazing Caye in Belize
Half Moon Caye is located at the southwest corner of Lighthouse Reef Atoll and just this week was selected as a top dive site by Jacksonville Business Journal, a popular business website in the United States. Kristina Fazzalro, the writer who put together the article entitled "10 Best Dive Sites in North America" described the Caye as follows: Half Moon Caye in Belize offers divers the chance to go on a wall dive-a dive in which the vertical facades of the earth's landmasses are explored. The depths at Half Moon Caye (and really at any wall dive) are tremendous, giving you the very correct feeling that you are staring into an abyss. The waters at Half Moon Caye are particularly clear, despite the depth, so you will be able to see all manner of wildlife, including loggerhead turtles, rays, barracuda, and eels.