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The San Pedro Sun

Pep� - From Beast to Best Friend in One Easy Snip
Pep� was not born with size and strength on his side, but what he lacked in stature, he certainly made up for in swagger. He had spent most of his life hanging around a local park, but didn't have any real owners, people who loved and cared for him. Like most dogs, a home and a family to protect, that would love him in return was all he really wanted. Because he was uncared for, he ran the streets with the big dogs, ripping open people's trash, fighting and barking at night and generally being a nuisance to San Pedro. But deep down, he was determined to work his way into the hearts of someone who would appreciate him. So, when he met a little girl who treated him with kindness, he followed her home. When he wasn't out chasing female dogs, fighting and causing trouble, he would come round to visit her and they developed a close bond. The only problem was that Pep� did not seem able to stay at home and become a good and trusted member of the family because he was too busy trying to be a 'big dog' in the neighbourhood.

Police Report
On Monday, May 12th, 33-year-old KhoderHarmouch reported to the San Pedro Police that on the same day at 10AM he and his brother, Ali Harmouch, parked his white golf cart, license plate number SP-C-2404, on the road side near a hardware store in the Boca del Rio Area. When he returned to the area, his golf cart was no longer there. Harmouch made checks in the surrounding areas but did not find anything. The golf cart is valued at $12,000. Police investigation led to the discovery of the golf cart which was in the possession of Jose Bacab. Bacab has been detained and is pending charges.

Injured turtle found at Hol Chan Marine Reserve receives rehabilitation
An adult male loggerhead turtle has been rescued by park rangers at Hol Chan Marine Reserve and is being rehabilitated at the reserve office. The marine turtle was found on the morning of Tuesday May 6th suffering from a fractured shell that has allowed air under the carapace. According to Biologist Kirah Forman, who heads the Ambergris Caye Marine Turtle Monitoring Program, park rangers observed that the turtle was unable to submerge. A closer look revealed that the reptile was hurt and needed some attention. "The ranger, with assistance from a passing vessel, managed to place him on the boat and bring him in for an assessment and further care. His shell was slightly fractured near the base. It seems that he was hit by a small vessel," she said via a statement issued from the Ambergris Caye Marine Turtle Monitoring Program. Those injuries caused air to be trapped under its upper carapace, preventing the loggerhead from diving."When a turtle has air under the shell, it is unable to dive for food, and because it remains floating on the surface, it becomes an easy target for predators as it is unable to swim fast," outlined Foreman.

Misc Belizean Sources

In Hawaii on the island of Maui on the north east coast is a small town named Hana. The road to Hana is famous for its scenery and many hairpin curves. Even though it is only 68 miles long it takes about two hours to drive from one end to the other. On the far north east end of Ambergris Caye is a place called Robles Point. The reef that fronts the island nearly touches shore here. It actually does touch at the next projected land mass and that is called Rocky Point. I have dubbed the road north of the bridge 'the road to Hana.' I have some property between Robles Point and Rocky point and because it takes me two hours to drive from my house at Birdland I will legitimize the name of the road by calling my property 'HANA.' Before I bought I had made two trips up there with friends from the US. My third trip was Mother's Day, May 11, 2014. This time I took a camera but didn't think to start taking pictures until we reached the 8 mile marker and I realized all the talk about paving the road north intends to go to this point. I knew they had worked from the bridge to Grande Caribe but was shocked how much further they had gone. Except for a section behind Matachica the road was in excellent condition - up to mile 8.

Joining the Air Force at 17, structures engineer now spends his time building schools in Belize
He was just 17 years old when his mother signed the papers for him to enlist in the Air Force. Deciding to join the military for educational benefits and to serve his country, he never thought of having a career in construction but the Air Force had plans for him. And now seven years later, Staff Sgt. Kurt Figueroa, a structural engineer from the 820th RED HORSE Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, is on a deployment to Belize participating in the U.S. Southern-command sponsored New Horizons exercise. Though his current deployment is very different than his first deployment to Kandahar, Afghanistan, where he was facing outside the wire dangers to go to remote areas to assist Soldiers with constructing tents and buildings, he's still excited and up for the challenge.

Hospital administrator eager to achieve better patient care in new facility
In order to provide better care to patients, the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan, Belize, is receiving an addition to the facility as part of New Horizons Belize 2014. The work at the hospital is nearing completion and should be ready to hand over to hospital administrators by June 20. New Horizons is a multifaceted exercise that involves Belize Defence Force and U.S. military engineers training and operating together as they build additions at four schools and the one medical facility throughout Belize. "We've had renovations before, but I can't recall the last time we had a building added," said Bernadette Nicholson, Western Regional Hospital administrator who has managed the hospital since 2008. "We are very excited, and it feels like a great accomplishment. We have a lot of expectations for this building."

Actor, pilot, Marine: Reservist deploys for USSOUTHCOM
Volunteer firefighter, actor, flight instructor, commercial airline pilot and Marine. United States Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Keith Day holds all of these titles. "I believe you have to find what your niche is," he said. "My dad used to tell me to do whatever I wanted to do as long as I'm successful." And, he has been in all his chosen paths. At the young age of 14, Day began working as a volunteer firefighter starting with the Lower South Hampton Fire Department in Trevose, Pennsylvania, then moving to the Langhorne Middletown Fire Company in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, of which he is still an inactive member today. "God blessed me with the ability to love people," he said. "I always want to help people." Throughout his adolescence, Day lacked passion for any specific career path but had dreams of becoming a professional drummer, veterinarian, or a defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Indigenous Music With a Message
First Peoples Worldwide recently received a wonderful Spring gift from one of our grantees in Belize, the Sarstoon-Temash Insitute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM). This original song about SATIIM's work, written and recorded in collaboration with Belizean musician Denroy Garcia, puts the struggle and optimism of Indigenous Peoples in Belize to powerful, danceable music. Click here to listen to the song: SATIIM's Fight Is Also Our Fight Here's what SATIIM's executive director, Gregory Ch'oc, had to say about the song: SATIIM and the indigenous communities in southern Belize have been engaged in tense political and legal advocacy against oil drilling inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park and Maya Ancestral lands. I made this song as part of our campaign to sensitize the larger Belizean public to SATIIM and the indigenous peoples fight/struggles in southern Belize. I want for the Belizean public to recognize that the struggles of SATIIM and the indigenous people is the struggle of every Belizean. The song is written in a mix of English and Creole. Creole is a dialect spoken by Afro-Caribbean Belizeans which is commonly spoken in Belize. I [have tried] to translate the lyrics into English. It has a brukdown/Punta Rock music beat. The song was written Denroy Garcia with my input. Denroy Garcia is a Garifuna artist who has released many albums. He is the singer. This song will be used at public events, radio shows, and press conferences, etc.

Teachers Celebrated on Teacher's Day
Mrs. Eufemia Usher, Sacred Heart College's Assistant Principle, was presented the 2014 Outstanding Educational Leader award by the Ministry of Education on Teacher's Day. Well deserved. Congratulations, Mrs. Usher!

Cayo National Youth Council Consultations
The Department of Youth Services is starting the Belize National Youth Council, the statutory youth body designated to oversee and advocate for the interest, concerns and needs of youth. Youths and teachers from all over Cayo met at CET to get the process going. "There the youths shared some of the challenges they encounter on a daily basis, as well as made suggestions and recommendation on how the Department of Youth Services and other youth stakeholders could better reach out to the youths to help improve their situation, so as to promote an easier transition for their development into adult hood and well-being. This was all brought forward through group discussions and presentations. It is important to note that our young people in the Cayo District share a common vision for a better Belize; they were very enthusiastic and eager to share their views and ideas. The Department of Youth Services is grateful to all the youths and schools represented at this consultation, as their input has set a stepping stone towards fueling the commencement of a district youth council."

The Reporter

Police investigate stabbing
Police are investigating a stabbing that occurred in Cotton Tree Village on Friday morning and left Salvapan resident, Kurt Hyde injured. Hyde told police that just before 6 a.m.on Friday he was at a bus stop waiting to catch a bus when two men approached him and stabbed him six times over his body. Hyde said he believed the incident was the result of a previous misunderstanding with the men.

Educators celebrate Teachers' Day across Belize
Educators from across the country gathered on Friday to celebrate Teachers' Day, designed to highlight and honour the many roles, duties and responsibilities of teachers. In Belize City, teachers assembled at the BTL Park on Newtown Barracks for a day of speeches, acknowledgements, entertainment and lunch. Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, underscored the importance of having teachers that are committed to their noble profession. "Having pedagogical skills is not enough�to be a good teacher you have to have a heart", he reminded.

Alleged Immigration ringleaders change pleas as evidence mounts
Alfredo Orlando Gonzalez Marcos, 46, and his common-law wife, Marleni Elizabeth Castellanos, 46, reversed their pleas to not guilty on appearing in court on Friday, for what was supposed to be their sentencing. However, their troubles are only just beginning, as Immigration authorities have identified them as the center of a ring of Immigration document fraud - charging up to $2,000 to obtain Belizean passports, nationality certificates, birth certificates and other attendant documents using the identities of dead or incapacitated Belizeans. Marleni Castellanos now faces 16 additional counts of aiding a person to use a document to which they were not entitled. She pled not guilty to these additional charges.

Research suggests walking lowers risk of stroke in women
A research from Spain shows that women who walk at least three hours every week are less likely to suffer a stroke than women who walk less or not at all. The researchers who conducted the study say that it contributes to a small body of evidence for potential relationships between specific kinds of exercise and risk for specific diseases. Women who walked briskly for 210 minutes or more per week had a lower stroke risk than inactive women but also lower than those who cycled and did other higher-intensity workouts for a shorter amount of time. The results for women who were regular walkers translated to a 43 percent reduction in stroke risk compared to the inactive group.

Colombian government and rebel group agree on drug trade plan
The Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Farc - the country's largest rebel group - have agreed on a plan to deal with that country's illicit drug trade. If they manage to reach a final decision, the two sides agreed to eliminate all illicit drug production in Colombia as part of a six-point peace agenda being negotiated in Cuba. Both parties also agreed on a program to clear rural areas of land mines. Coming less than a week before elections, the agreement on Friday marked the end of the last round of negotiations that President Juan Manuel Santos initiated.

Protests and strikes break out in Brazil
Brazilians angry about the changes that next month's World Cup has and hasn't brought are staging violent protests and strikes across the country. The incidents come barely a month before the event opens in Brazil. The protesters accuse their government of spending billions on new stadiums and not enough on low-income housing. On Thursday demonstrations took place in 18 cities - with the biggest and most violent happening in Sao Paulo where police released tear gas and protesters hurled rocks, breaking the windows of a bank and a car dealership in the process. The inaugural game of the World Cup will take place on June 12 at the Arena Sao Paulo.

Patrick Jones

Toledo village leaders meet to discuss drilling for oil
Village leaders from 18 communities in the Toledo district congregated at the Elridgeville Community Center this morning for a consultation meeting. The meeting was organized by the Toledo District Association of Village Councils under the leadership of President Gabriel Edwards and had as its main objective to discuss the issue of oil exploration in the Toledo district. One of the village leaders, the chairman of Barranco village Dr. Joseph Palacio was thankful for the forum this morning. His village is one of the buffer communities around the Sarstoon Temash National Park where US Capital Energy Limited is currently conducting pre-drilling activities. Dr. Palacio described this morning's meeting as "very informative" and "very understandable." He went on to say that "if all the communities, especially the buffer communities can allow themselves to be more educated about the whole idea of oil drilling, then I believe they would make more reasonable decisions about the matter."


Milky Way Cafe in Belize City: Strange, Fun, Tasty and TOTALLY Unexpected
A few friends had mentioned that Milky Way Cafe is a favorite spot to eat lunch in Belize City. So to get a bit more information, I visited the their facebook page and fascinating website. Bubble tea? Flower pot coffees? Themes and the motto: Enjoy your time? (Is this an assisted living facility?) Easy to find in Belize City but the front of the building has you wondering if the place is open or closed. The decor, the food menu, the drinks, ice cream/smoothies and bubble tea menu (a Taiwanese thing - yummy flavored milk with strange flavorless gummy globs at the bottom)�this place is GOOD TIMES. Kids would love it, adults will love it.

Operation Get This Party Started
We exited the plane directly onto the tarmac of the tiny international airport in Belize City on May 1. We were greeted by live reggae music as we walked into the building toward Customs and Immigration. We stood in line for no more than 15 minutes and smiled broadly at one another when the official said, "Enjoy your stay!" in a thick Caribbean accent. Operation Get This Party Started had officially begun. We were shocked when we walked out of the terminal to find a taxi and not a single person asked us where we were going or if we needed a ride. We ended up walking straight past the nondescript taxi pick up area and asked an older man for a ride. He let us that there was an order for the drivers and showed us to the man that would take us to the water taxi. Honesty and hassle free; it was a great way to start.

International Sources

A Professor's Trial
A University of the West Indies (UWI) professor has found himself in a prickly spot after testifying in Belize that gay men are at a higher risk of contracting the HIV virus, and that it was in the best interest of that country to retain its anti-same-sex relationship laws. Professor Brendan Bain, director of the university's Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Programme (CHART), told the Belize Supreme Court that countries which have repealed their buggery laws have seen an increase in HIV/AIDS rate among the population of men who have sex with men (MSM). He argued that a change in the law could have a deleterious effect on Belize's economy. However, his testimony has not gone done well with some 35 advocacy groups across the region that have demanded that he be sacked from some positions at the UWI.

Here Are All The Private Islands You Should Visit This Summer
Cayo Espanto How do you feel about rolling out of bed onto a private beach? Or watching tropical fish through a window built into the floorboards of your bungalow? At Cayo Espanto in Belize, there's a private palm tree forest to explore -- but more adventurous types can take a day trip to Mayan ruins on the mainland.


Video: MY TRIP TO BELIZE! [Part 1!], 11min.
Thanks for watching :) part 2 should be up soon!

Video: Diving Belize - Esmerelda Dive Spot, San Pedro, 10min.
A great day diving at the Esmerelda Dive Spot, San Pedro Belize. We dove with Ambergris Divers. Most of the video was shot on a Panasonic GH3 in a 10Bar housing with a red filter and a Intova Galaxy 2500 Lumens Underwater Video Light. All of this video was a single dive on April 10th, 2014. The video was edited in Premiere Pro CC and Speedgrade. Category

Video: Belize Half Moon Caye Ambergris Caye, 4min.
Island Expeditions

Video: 2014-05 Belize Medical, 6min.
The Belize medical team talks about their favorite memories from the mission.

Video: Snorkeling Belize January 2014, 5min.
Christine's first time snorkeling. San Pedro on ambergris caye, Belize

Video: Envisioning the Classic Period Taskscape of K'axob, Belize, through Paleoethnobotany, 20min.
This is a presentation at the joint meeting of the Society for Economic Botany and Society of Ethnobiology: "The Energy of People, Places, and Life". Cherokee, NC. May 11-14, 2014. Author(s): DEDRICK, Maia - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Patricia McANANY - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Disparities in structure size within Maya sites have been used to argue for hierarchical relationships among residents. We compare flotation samples from two Late Classic hearths within two structures at the site of K'axob, Belize, which have been referred to as adjacent households. One structure was larger, with a longer occupation history than the other. The larger structure's hearth contained tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) and hogplum (Spondias sp.), with a high ratio of charred wood to seeds. The hearth from the smaller structure included seeds from numerous species, wild and cultivated, that require processing prior to use. Considering this evidence in conjunction with mollusk, ceramic, and burial information, we argue for a revised understanding of K'axob's taskscape. Rather than representing separate households of unequal rank, the two structures likely featured distinct areas dedicated to ritual and plant-processing activities for one social group utilizing a wider expanse of the settlement.

Video: Spotted Eagle Rays, Placencia, Belize, 2min.
Came across this pod of six Spotted Eagle rays while diving three Cuts, with at least one Juvenile. They continued to swim around us for at least 10 minutes.

Video: Snorkeling on the Hol Chan Reef, Belize, 3min.

Video: Diving in Belize, 4min.
A day of diving with Frenchie's Diving Services on Caye Caulker. Dives at the Blue Hole, Halfmoon Caye and Long Island Caye. Filmed with a Gopro Hero 3+

Video: Snorkeling Belize 2014 #1 #2, 5min.

Video: Belize Bitters Natural Herbal Remedy Belize City, 2min.

Video: BELIZE Street Art 2014 CROZ & RAS w/ ComeUnity Works ft. Kabaka Pyramid, 3min.
CROZ & RAS in association with Hannah Rose of ComeUnity Works beautifying multiple community projects around Dangriga and Belize City on our second annual Street Art Trip! HUGE thanks and Ras-pect to Kabaka Pyramid for his permission to use the track, "No Capitalist", off Lead the Way from Bebble Rock music, 2013.

Video: Playoff video promotional for the Belize National Elite Basketball League Tournament!!!, 2min.

Video: Amigos del Mar, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, 10min.

Video: Belize 2014 Highlights, 13min.

Video: 14 Countries, Over 10 Months, In 11 Minutes, 11min.
I crammed the last 10 months (August 2013 to May 2014) into a video that is 11 minutes long (it's not easy). I travelled to 14 countries meeting people, exploring, and being humbled by a world of possibilities. This is the first video montage I've made of this scale that includes over 60 people that I've had the pleasure of meeting and traveling with. This video does not include everything. It does, however, cover a lot of ground and unique highlights of the many trips this video entails. Although there were a lot of cuts, I feel like this is ready for sharing. This is not possible without you: open minded travelers, and adventurers. This is for you my friends.

Video: First encounter with a Sea Turtle (Belize), 2min.
My first encounter with a Sea Turtle - with IZE and Hopkins Underwater Adventures at South Water Caye Marine Reserve, Belize

Video: Honduras & Belize, 4min.
When traveling for such long, eventually there will come that time - You simply cannot value the beauty of your surrounding anymore. You cannot grasp it. Too many impressions, too many pictures in your head - You need a break! Belize & Honduras with the Caribbean coast is the perfect place to do so. And so much more! Grab your goggles - We'll go diving! #Spoiler: Whale Shark!

Video: Belize 1, 15min.

Video: Belize 2, 6min.