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Today's Belize News: October 22, 2015 #508473
10/22/15 04:34 AM
10/22/15 04:34 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 72,064
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Helping hands on Rainy Days
With rainy season in full force, a little tropical depression has brought a downpour of showers across the nation and it’s been raining cats and dogs crocodiles and monkeys! All a part of living in the tropics. While many people can appreciate a little rain to break up the recent heat, Mother Nature decided to be extra generous here with us in the Jewel; so much in fact, that there has been flooding in several vicinities. The good news is, Belizeans, in true Belizean fashion, have united to help out families and people affected in the flood zones….whether it be providing home cooked meals, non-perishable food supplies, fresh water, clothes, shelter or even transportation to evacuate the affected areas, Belizeans have certainly come together to share with their neighbors a helping hand.

PUBLIC ADVISORY – Update on Water Systems
The Ministry of Health hereby notifies the public that a number of water systems were affected with the passage of the recent flooding. To date, water services have been restored to all affected water systems with the exception of Sarteneja which needs extensive work. As the country advances the recovery stage in the affected areas, it is important that your drinking water source be monitored to make sure it remains safe. Take note that if your water appears discolored, has a foul odor or an odor of chemicals, it is contaminated and unsafe for drinking. If such circumstances occur, you are hereby asked to notify your nearest health authority, the Belize Water Services and/or your local Water Boards. In the interim, you should stop using the water and use water from other safe sources.

Belize Armed Forces receive foreign training
The South Command United States of America Marine Corps are in Belize conducting training regiments with the Belize Coast Guard (BCG). The Marines are on a short-term deployment throughout Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Belize, teaching basic infantry skills. The training is being held in order to build and maintain a partnership capacity with the individual countries through shared values, challenges and responsibilities. Throughout the training, which started in September of 2015, BCG has participated in several tactical and field exercises. The majority of the training took place at the Williamson Complex in Ladyville Village, Belize District. Some of the skills taught as part of the training included camouflage, terrain modeling and marking, field exercises, and security patrols.

Third Quarter Tourist Arrivals register increase
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has released the tourism arrivals for the third quarter of 2015. According to the statistics reported by BTB, Belize experienced a significant 6.9% increase in overnight arrivals from July to September 2015, when compared to the same period in 2014. This increase in overnight arrivals in the third quarter comes after a 0.8% decrease in the first seven months of 2015 (compared to 2014). BTB reported that the largest increase in overnight arrivals was registered in September 2015, as there was a 19.3% jump compared to the same time in 2014. “September saw an astounding increase; the highest increase ever recorded for the month of September, going as far back as 2006. There were 14,242 overnight visitors in September 2015, which is an increase of 2,299 compared to September 2014,” stated BTB. Every month since June 2015 has registered increased arrivals, when compared to the same months in 2014.

Southwest Airlines inaugurates Belize flight; tourism arrivals already increasing
The highly anticipated arrival of Southwest Airlines’ inaugural flight to Belize officially landed on October 15, 2015. Flying out of Hobby International, the flight was scheduled to arrive at 3PM; therefore, formal ceremonies took place at 2:40PM, before its historic landing on Belizean soil. Inside the Philip Goldson International Airport, at the Southwest boarding area, host Karen Pike, Director of Marketing for BTB welcomed guests and speakers, including US Ambassador to Belize, Honorable Carlos Moreno, Jorge Espat – Managing Director of the Belize Airport Concession Co., Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. – Minister of Tourism, Culture & Civil Aviation, and James Ashworth, Managing Director of Customer Support and Services of Southwest Airlines.

Ambergris Today

Belize Strengthens Digital Footprint at First Ever Digital Marketing Summit
The Belize Tourism Board assisted the country’s tourism stakeholders in strengthening Belize’s digital footprint by hosting the first ever Digital Marketing Summit at the Ramada Belize City Princess in Belize City on Tuesday, October 20, 2015. The summit brought together nine international presenters to share their knowledge and vast information on how Belize can capitalize and optimize marketing opportunities on the internet. The objective was to build a stronger capacity within the tourism stakeholders so that they can work alongside the BTB’s ongoing aggressive social media and digital marketing campaigns.

Young Belizean Artist Holds First Solo Exhibit in the City
Art - the expression of human’s creative skill and imagination. On Saturday, October 17, 2015, Belizean Artist Rony Jobel hosted his first-ever solo art exhibit "Silence of Emotion" at the Image Factory in Belize City. The private event hosted by the young and talented Rony Jobel was a night to celebrate and appreciate his beautiful and emotional creations of art that surrounded the venue. Ambergris Today's Gerry Badillo was present to show support of the exhibit and interview Mr. Jobel.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Archaeology in the Community in San Ognacio
Archaeology in the Community, Institute of Archaeology (NICH) Belize, and the U.S. Embassy are at St. Andrews Primary School in San Ignacio today!!!! Check out these photos of students learning about the culture, history and philosophy of archeology! Tomorrow Dr. Jones heads to Caye Caulker - Belize to work with students on the island!

As the weather improves the rains are decreasing which will likely reduce the potential for flooding in some areas. RIVER CONDITIONS: In Orange Walk the Rio Hondo River is at flood stage and rising. Residents who can evacuate voluntarily are encouraged to do so. In Belize Rural the river is receding. In Gracie Rock the Sibun River is going down. The road is now passable to vehicular traffic. In Cayo the Mopan River is 2 feet above normal and rising, the Macal River is 15inches above normal. People living along the Macal and Mopan Rivers must remain vigilant. Challilo Dam is 28.91feet below the spillway, Mollejon is 3.38 feet below spillway and Vaca is 4.27 feet below the spillway In Toledo San Benito Poite the water is 2 feet of water over the bridge and drivers are asked to exercise extreme caution when crossing this area. However, the hammock bridge remains passable.

Congratulations San Pedro Lions! 40 years of service!
The public is invited to attend this very special celebration!

Three Belizeans Conferred Honours on the Occasion of the Queen’s Birthday
Three Belizeans were appointed the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire on the occasion of the Queen’s Birthday Honours. The Governor General His Excellency Sir Colville Young conferred the honours on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II at a ceremony hosted at the Belize House. The three recipients who received the honour of Ordinary Members of the Civil Division are Mr. Delhart Luthrel Courtney Sr. for his contributions to sports and the community; Mr. Victor Moreno Sr. for his contribution to music and Mrs. Noberta Pulido for her contribution to community.

The Ministry of Health hereby notifies the public that a number of water systems were affected with the passage of the recent flooding. To date, water services have been restored to all affected water systems with the exception of Sarteneja which needs extensive work. As the country advances the recovery stage in the affected areas, it is important that your drinking water source be monitored to make sure it remains safe. Take note that if your water appears discolored, has a foul odor or an odor of chemicals, it is contaminated and unsafe for drinking. If such circumstances occur, you are hereby asked to notify your nearest health authority, the Belize Water Services and/or your local Water Boards. In the interim, you should stop using the water and use water from other safe sources.

Ocean Academy's 1st Halloween Fundraiser Dance!
Ocean Academy along with OA Student Government presents: Ocean Academy's 1st Halloween Fundraiser Dance! All HIGH SCHOOL students are invited! Tickets on sale- check with any Ocean Academy student or visit our office! $3 for each ticket! Venue: At Allan Chan's Event Room ( Behind Aunty's Fast Food)! Friday October 30th 2015 @ 3:00pm! Thank you to our first sponsors: Mr. Allan Chan, Bowen & Bowen Ltd, Roses Grill & Bar (Amy Canul)!!

"It's no fun riding your bicycle anymore"
If we aim to have a happy and successful people, then we MUST invest in them. Now, I am not speaking about being successful where “money” is concerned. I am talking about success in education, success in health, success in the workplace and success in the family. The following photo is reminiscent of village life forty-five years ago. The photo was taken in Progresso Village, Corozal in 1970. Since 1970, things have changed very little for this area in terms of infrastructure development. One must then be crudely reminded that for every one dollar that goes to our Belizean economy, seventy six cents comes from the backs of our farmers, particularly those of the north. After four days of merciless rain and flooding, it has finally subsided and once more all those seriously affected will recount their path and rythm of assessing personal and livelihood damages, start the clean up and in a number of instances many will end up having to beg politicians for help. This is inhumane. The people of the north, particularly in the Progresso, Sartenja, Chunox and Copper Bank Areas have been crying out for years for their roads to be fixed once and for all. They deserve this and better, if nothing else.

Oceana Macal River Cleanup
Oceana had their 2015 River and Beach Clean Up, and many Cayo students helped out with cleaning up the banks of the Macal River. Thanks, Oceana! Betta No LItta!!!!

The Bottle Casting Call
Another movie is going to be made here in Cayo, and you can be a part of it. It'll be entitled 'The Bottle,' and will be based upon 'The Lost Weekend.' but taking place around Cayo. Remember Kurse a di Xtabai? Many of the same producers and directors will be involved. Get in touch with the Soul Project for information about the audition.

Images of the Black Belizean Summit in 1991 comes to mind this month on Belizean Legends, as the memory of Belize's Minister of Social Development, the late Philip Goldson, the late Mr. H. Nemhard, and Belizean anthropologist and historian, Dr. Joseph Palacio speaks of the contribution of black Belizeans to the development of Belize.

In continuos celebration of the outstanding Belizean women of softball who gave Belize a name in the whole wide world of sports today and forever.

The names Anthony Hutchinson, Rudy Miguel, Noel Gordon, and many more will forever be inducted into the Belizean Legends Cycling Hall of Fame. We celebrate them.

The National Convention for the Peoples of Belize held its second annual reparations convention in Belmopan Civic Center on October 10, 2015, one year after its first national convention in 2014 at the University of Belize in Belmopan, Belize. The issue of reparations in Belize, after 500 years of slavery, oppression and exploitation of African and indgenous peoples in Belize, appears to be taking a back seat in the manifestos of both of the two main Belize poltical parties, the Peoples United Party (PUP) and the United Democratic Party (UDP). It is hoped that the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) will include this very important issue on their agenda before upcoming Belize general elections on November 4, 2015.

Belizean Legends honor these two Africans in the diaspora who have reached out across distant shores, and has contributed significantly to the liberation of the black diaspora in Belize.

Channel 7

Guatemalans Among Us?
There’s a lot of politics in the news tonight – but the hottest story in our newsroom is the one about not one, but two mass party candidates who are alleged to have Guatemalan nationality. Now, that’s like a double negative because a candidate can’t be elected to the House of Representatives if they have dual nationality, and they definitely cannot be Guatemalan citizens – in fact, there’s a special provision in the law just for that. But that’s the situation that the UDP’s Ralph Huang and the PUP’s Dr. Lesbia Guerra Cocom find themselves in tonight. Guatemalan identity documents, known as a DPI, a personal identification document that they have gotten as adults. Each situation has its own peculiarities: Huang;s wife is Guatemalan, while Guerra Cocom was born in Guatemala. But, what matters is the document – and we first asked Huang about his one:.. Jules Vasquez "Are you a Guatemalan citizen? I have seen" Ralph Huang - UDP Representative, Cayo South "No." Jules Vasquez "I have seen a cedular, a DPE with your name on it. I have it right here on my phone." Ralph Huang - UDP Representative, Cayo South "Make I see it."

WHO dunnit!? Ramon Cervantez Sr.'s Murder Trial Takes Bizarre Shift
And that’s not the only political story coming out of far left field tonight. The other happened in Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court today. It was the preliminary inquiry into the murder of Ramon Cervantez Sr. – the Orange Walk businessman and politician’s father who was murdered in July of 2014. Three men were accused of the crime: 22 year-old Guatemalan Noe Daniel Avila; 19 year-old Belizean Angel Antonio Cardenas, and 28 year-old Belizean Mateo Pott Jr. It should have been just a procedural hearing where Munchy Cervantez, his mother and sister were asked to be in court. But things took a most unexpected turn. One of the accused men turned around and accused Ramon Munchie Cervantez Jr of orchestrating his own father’s murder! Here’s how it went – according to court reports. While one of the accused was on the witness stand, he asked the magistrate for permission to say something. Magistrate Merlene Moody permitted him, and he said that the person who sent him to kill Cervantez is right in this courtroom. The magistrate asked if he could show her who that person is. He said yes and pointed at Ramon Munchie Cervantez Jr – saying he is the one who sent him to kill his father.

Cops Say Son Killed Father In Stann Creek
There is a shocking update on the weekend murder in Stann Creek. A man was charged today for murdering his own father! Police found Jose Rodolfo Sanchez dead on Sunday morning at his home on the Stann Creek Valley Road. Sanchez was chopped to the neck with a machete and his 16 gauge shotgun was also missing. Well, police charged 2 men with murder today and one of them is Jose Sanchez’s son – 24 year old Raul Sanchez. The other is 20 year old Raphael Cruz. Now, what could possibly drive a son to kill his own father ?? That’s what we asked police today but they were a bit guarded in their response and told us that they can’t disclose any more information at this time. We will keep following the story.

PUP Manifesto Makes Sweeping Promises
Both mass parties launched their manifestos today – and the contrast in styles was telling. The PUP had its launch at its party headquarters, under ceiling fans, while the UDP did theirs at the Biltmore’s biggest conference room under air conditioning. The PUP launch lasted 21 minutes – and they took no questions from the press, while the UDP’s lasted 75 minutes, followed by a press conference. And the difference in styles showed for more than just the event; it’s also very visible in the document itself: the PUP’s is a 10 page document with bullet points on matte paper, while the UDP’s is 40 glossy pages, in magazine style. Indeed a sharp contrast in every way – even in the kinds of promises offered. Here’s what the PUP had to offer at their event:… The PUP Candidates put their best faces forward this morning at Independence Hall - where the party has chosen to have every single public event was packed shoulder to shoulder - a long way from the air conditioned conference rooms of the PUP's past:

UDP Manifesto: Running On Our Record
The PUP manifesto was launched at 10:00 am – and so was the UDP’s – although, as we pointed out, the styles were very different. While the PUP went to hit it out of the park with abundant promises, the UDP, seasoned and sobered by two terms in office were far more ground bound in their promise package. Here’s what we heard from the party seeking a third term:… Douglas Singh - UDP Manifesto Organizer "Putting together this manifesto was not an easy task, last time I think our manifesto was 28 pages, and we’re 40 pages this time." And that’s because the magazine style document incorporates the party’s record – which it is running on: Dean Barrow – UDP Party Leader "How much more in addition to infrastructure the UDP has accomplished during the last almost four years."

PUP: Something Suspicious With Cayo Passports
And while the manifestos took center stage today – the PUP still had the Cayo passport situation bubbling in the background. As we reported last night, Cayo police retrieved a bag with 7 passports from a San Ignacio business. It had been left there by UDP Cayo Northeast political operator Charlie Cabral. His story is that he had collected the passports while campaigning, and he was going to get visa extensions for 1 Honduran, 1 Guatemalan, 1 American, 1 Belizean, and 4 Salvadorans. But the PUP say it’s highly suspicious so they protested in front of the police station both yesterday and today demanding an investigation. Today, their party leader told the press that the entire set of circumstances is very suspicious:… Francis Fonseca - Leader of the Opposition: "It validates a lot of the reports that we've been getting over the past few weeks about UDP operatives who are engaged in trying to bring in foreign nationals to participate in this election. We are concerned that the binders at the elections and boundaries commission maybe interfered with, that is a concern.

Lesbia: We Didn't Do It
And if you follow the logic of alleged binder fraud – it goes right back to the assault of an elections and boundaries officer in Benque Viejo a few weeks ago. 2 weeks ago, we told you about the startling revelation from the Chief Elections Officer that one of her officers were allegedly assaulted late on Thursday, October 8, at Benque Viejo Office. Now, this officer swears that one of the supporters of the PUP in Benque hit her in the face as she exited her office late that night. Now, there’s all kinds of hysteria associated with the election season. And, right now, the PUP are suspicious that because these officers continue working late, some may be involved in election fraud by tampering with the election binders. That’s supposedly what Lesbia Guerra and her supporters were trying to verify. When we asked her about the alleged assault, she staked her reputation on the assertion that it did not happen. Here’s how she explained it:

Faber on Collet Flood Woes
As we showed you last night several flood victims are moving out of the shelters and back into their homes. Oscar Palacios is one of them. He left the shelter yesterday morning with his family. But the state of his house isn’t any better than the shelter, in fact as you saw it’s way worse. He and his family only have a few dry clothes and sheets and almost no food supply. This is the situation with many families especially with those living on Antelope Street Extension and other areas nearby like Jerusalem. So what is being done to assist these needy families? Well, a part from the coordinated response and relief plan that NEMO is working on, the UDP Area Representative for Collett Patrick Faber told us today that he and his team have already helped out some families in his area. Patrick Faber - Area Representative, Collet: "When the flood happened early Sunday morning, we were out. In fact I was the one who opened the shelter late Saturday night. We were out trying to signal to people that they should move to the shelter if in fact they were on safe ground in terms of the flooding. People decided, most people at that time that they would stay, that it wasn't that bad. But by Sunday morning early of course you know that situation changed."

Faber: Kayla Not From Collet
Another family in dire need of assistance is 28 year old Kayla Stevens and her 3 young daughters. As we told you last night, Stevens’ house collapsed under the heavy rain and flooding and she pretty much lost everything. She told us that she went to ask for help from Minister Faber but that nothing came of it. Today we asked Faber about this and he told us that he can’t go to her and help her because she doesn’t live in the Collet division but that he has done what he can for her. Jules Vasquez: "Kayla Stephens was on the news last night. She says that when she wants for help you gave her 3 boxes of cereal and some other small items; not you personally but your office." Patrick Faber - Area Representative, Collet: "Kayla is one of our constituencies. Kayla does not live; her house is not in Collet. Kayla's house is on Pen Road which is in Port Loyola. I was very dismayed to see that she said I didn't come to her house. I can't go to your house if you're not in Collet. Kayla by right came by my office and reported the damage; you heard me say that we were collecting assessments. Her application is among the others that I am about to submit. But I did not visit Kayla; contrary to what the news is saying, her house is not in Collet."

The Rage Against Fyffes
On Monday, we told you about Mayan King Banana Farm had to open a soup kitchen to keep hundreds of workers and their families fed. That’s after the Irish multinational fruit distributor, Fyffes, decided to cut off Belize’s largest banana farms for it’s connection to John Zabaneh, who still facing the drug kingpin designation from the US Government. That’s a deathblow for this company which can hire anywhere upwards of 1,200 to 2,000 workers, and which comprises approximately 25% of the country’s banana industry. The company was already struggling to stay afloat after being devastated by the drought. To appreciate why the sudden embargo from Fyffes affects Mayan King, you first need to understand how Belize’s banana’s are sold. The Banana Growers Association has an exclusive contract with Fyffes which means that all the banana exports - from all the Belizean farms - are sold to them and exported to Europe. So, because Fyffes refuses to do business with Maya King, that farm has nowhere to sell its product. It was already losing millions of dollars, and now, all their bananas that have been harvested, and all the bananas growing on the company’s farms, will go to waste.

Another System Of Parental Discipline
For many parents, when you think about discipline the first thing that may come to mind is whipping or spanking. Although corporal punishment has been banned from schools, it’s still widely accepted and practiced in homes. IN fact, it is the first if not the only resort for many parents. Well, foreign parenting experts say there is a more effective approach to guiding and directing your child. And no – it’s not just about giving your child a TIME OUT or counting to 10 – it’s about connecting and building a strong and healthy relationship with your child through a practice called mindfulness. Child Development and Parenting Expert Dr. Karen Putnam explained how this approach works. The conference is called compassionate moments workshop and it focuses on positive alternatives to raising and correcting children. The Conference will be held this Saturday at 9 in the morning to 4 and on Sunday from 10:30 in the morning to 4 at the Radisson. The conference is for parents and teachers. If you are interested you can call Michelle Williams at 610-0882.

The Barrow Doctrine: Majority Uber Alles
In the last 15 years or so we’ve seen the rise of the so-called social partners – the unions, chamber, the churches and civil society. They’ve taken a greater role in the senate on statutory Boards, vetting committees and other public interest bodies. And now there’s a school of thought, which says that these social partners should play an even greater role – taking on veto power and comprising majorities in certain bodies. It’s all in the name of transparency and oversight - and we’ve seen overtures from the PUP inviting this kind of inclusion. But, you won’t see that form the UDP. Call it the Barrow doctrine, but the UDP leader is a firm believer in the rule of the majority. Now, that idea is as old as parliamentary democracy – but the Barrow doctrine makes it a hardline. Today in the post manifesto launch press conference, he said, don’t get it twisted, in his house, the majority always rules:…

Gold Panner Names Names
The Friends for Conservation and Development, the co-managers of the Chiquibul National Park, are reporting tonight that a Guatemalan gold panner was caught inside Belizean territory. 35 year-old Eliseo Che Mucu was caught on Thursday, October 15, in an area 7 kilometers inside Belize. This gold panner, a resident of Monte Los Olivos, Dolores Peten, was caught in his camp that he had set up. The Belizean law enforcement team found 3 vials containing what they believe to to be gold. He told the Belizean officers that he, his brother Pedro Mucu, and another person who escaped, were digging in the bed of a nearby river looking for gold. He admitted while under interrogation that this is not the first time that he has been caught illegally gold panning, and that he knew that he was in Belizean territory. He says that he was once caught in the Ceibo Chico area.

Still Flooding In North
We have reported extensively on the floods in Belize City and the wreckage it has left behind, but what about other parts of the country? Today NEMO sent out its 12th Public advisory discussing the water levels in the North, South and West and what people in those areas can do to keep safe. It states quote, “In Orange Walk the Rio Hondo River is at flood stage and rising. Residents who can evacuate voluntarily are encouraged to do so.” It continues by saying “In Cayo the Mopan River is 2 feet above normal, the Macal River is 15 inches above normal and people living along these rivers must remain vigilant.” The advisory also mentions that the water in San Benito Toledo has risen 2 feet over the bridge. In terms of Shelters countrywide: Belize City Shelters ITVET and YWCA have 32 and 20 people respectively, in Orange Walk the San Estevan Community Center is open with 10 people and in Corozal the Ranchito Community Shelter is open with 29 people.

Channel 5

P.U.P. Launches its Power to the People Manifesto
The two major political parties launched their manifestos this morning within two weeks of the November fourth general elections. Now, manifestos are a traditional part of election campaigns providing the [...]

U.D.P. Fires Back with ‘The Best is Yet to Come’
Where the P.U.P.’s manifesto, and manifesto launch are Spartan…the United Democratic Party hauled out all the stops with a forty-page fancy magazine type third term agenda. Their event was held [...]

Protesters Gather to Demand Action after Passports & Immigration Documents Linked to U.D.P. Operative
All hell broke loose in San Ignacio on Tuesday when a knapsack containing one Belizean passport and seven non-Belizean passports were found at a print shop.  A known U.D.P. operative [...]

P.U.P. Leader Concerned That U.D.P. Engaging in Voter Tampering
P.U.P. leader Francis Fonseca also chimed in this morning on the knapsack passports. Fonseca says he fears that U.D.P. operatives may be engaged in tampering with the voters list and [...]

Trio Accused for Murder of Ramon Cervantes Sr. Return to Court
Three men accused of the murder of Ramon Cervantes Senior were back in Court today for what was expected to be just a procedural matter, but that was turned upside [...]

P.U.P. Says They Can and Will Save the Banana Industry
A protest is planned for this Thursday at Independence Village in the south where over a thousand persons have lost their jobs in the banana industry. The protest comes on [...]

U.D.P. OW South Candidate Lupe Magana-Dyck on the Campaign Trail
As part of our continuing pre-election coverage, today we spoke to U.D.P. Candidate for Orange Walk South Lupe Magaña-Dyck. She’s relatively new to politics and joined the race only three [...]

Does that Campaign Include Handing Out Goods Confiscated by Customs?
Since we had the opportunity, we also asked the aspiring U.D.P. area representative about one of her campaign vehicles caught on camera loading up goods at the Customs Department in [...]

Francis Fonseca Says P.U.P. Will Hit the Ground Running
If the P.U.P. is successful on November fourth, in addition to the manifesto promises there are a number of hot-button issues which remain unresolved. There is the request for salary [...]

…Says If Elected, P.U.P. Will Immediate Conduct Countrywide Infrastructure Assessment
Proper infrastructure is critically important as the flooding and rains showed over the weekend in the city. It was not among the ten priority matters in the P.U.P.’s manifesto so [...]

PM Barrow Scoffs at P.U.P. Manifesto
As we told you, the People’s United Party released its manifesto – a much shorter, less glossy version than that of the governing party. Still, it’s full of the usual [...]

SJCJC Appoints First Female President
The Board of Trustees of Saint John’s College announced today the appointment of the first female president of the institution in the person of Mirtha Peralta. The new president holds [...]

Belize City Man Busted By Surveillance Camera
Twenty-six year old Michael Cowo is in prison tonight after pleading guilty to stealing a computer and accessories from a parked car. But unknown to him, Cowo was caught in [...]

PM Fires Back at Media After U.D.P.’s Credibility Questioned
Are political manifestos to be taken seriously? Are they more about politicians telling people what they want to hear, rather than a concrete plan of what can and will be [...]

P.U.P. OW South Candidate Jose Abelardo Mai on the Campaign Trail
Incumbent Area Representative Jose Abelardo Mai has been hard at work well before the date for the upcoming general elections was announced.  In the Orange Walk South constituency where he [...]

Jose Abelardo Mai is Confident of Victory on November 4th
Mai is confident that he will emerge victorious in Orange Walk South on November fourth and his party will go on to form the next government.  The reception in the [...]

U.D.P. Collet Candidate Patrick Faber on the Campaign Trail
On the campaign trail leading up to the November fourth General Elections, tonight we go one on one with Collet Area Representative and Minister of Education Patrick Faber. In that [...]

Faber offended by Opponent’s Criticism…But Says Victory Will Be Overwhelming
The criticism by his opponents is that Faber is one of seven ministers, who are in control of Belize City constituencies, yet these are the most neglected areas. Faber and [...]

P.U.P. Collet Candidate Yasmin Shoman on the Campaign Trail
But P.U.P. candidate, Yasmin Shoman, is neither fazed by what Faber has to say. Shoman has been on the ground in the division for over a year and says she [...]

Shoman Hopes to Regain the Collet Seat for the P.U.P.
For Shoman, the division is traditionally P.U.P. and she hopes to regain the seat for the party after eight years of U.D.P. control.   Yasmin Shoman, P.U.P. Candidate, Collet “We [...]

Re: Today's Belize News: October 22, 2015 [Re: Marty] #508474
10/22/15 04:34 AM
10/22/15 04:34 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 72,064
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


Residence Concern About Destruction Of San Felipe Communty Center
The community center in the Village of San Felipe which stood beside the school for more than 60 years exists no more. That is because it has been destroyed. After receiving several calls from concerned residents we headed out to the village today where we found this heavy machinery at work. Supervising the demolishing of the building was the Village’s Chairlady Cecilia Wicab. When we spoke to some residents of the village we were told they had no idea why the building was being destroyed, after all it was in good conditions. We understand that a portion of the center was once used as a community library but when the Untied Democratic Party formed Government back in 2008, the library was shut down approximately eight months after. In order to get some answers, we approached chairlady Wicab. She refused to grant us an interview on camera but told us that the building was being destroyed since there is a new project for the area. According to Wica, a basketball court and a playground will be constructed. When exactly the construction will begin, when it will be completed or who is financing the project, Wicab was unable to tell.

Dental Medical Mission Conducting Free Medical and Dental check Ups In Paraiso Village
Nothing says confidence like a big, bright smile and sometimes there is more to gain from a confident smile than professional success. In assisting citizens of Corozal to get a strong dose of healthy self-confidence the Corozal Organization Leading Culture Heritage and Arts (COLCHA) with funding from Fair-trade has partnered with several entities. One of them is mission Project Belize, a project which is led by Dr. Frank Whips and includes a team of doctors, dentists and other specialists to carry out one mission - to brighten smiles. David Akierman Chairperson COLCHA: “Today we are here partnering with The Belize Cane Farmers Association Corozal Branch, Fair Trade Fund who is our corporate sponsor, the Paraiso Village Council and Mission Project Belize which is in its 25th Mission here in Belize. So Mission Project Belize is a project that started 25 years ago led by Dr. Frank Wibbs, yesterday we had a specialist doing test for our people...”

FAO Launches Projects Involving Producers On All Levels
Over the past 15 years, assistance to Belize through the Food and Agriculture Organization, (FAO), has been delivered through approximately 85 interventions, including a focus on policy advice, advocacy and capacity building as well as emergency assistance and resource mobilization for the food and agriculture sector. More recently, resilience building and expansion of market access have become important features of cooperation. FAO’s support continues to be instrumental today, particularly in view of the country’s commitment to achieving food security and rural development. With that comes what FAO calls the Value Chain Approach in Northern Belize. It is a project whereby all producers, input suppliers, processors and consumers are involved from producing, selling and eating. In layman terms “from the farm to the fork”. This approach or analysis looks carefully at each one involved in the project in order to pinpoint any problems which can reduce efficiency or profits. According to Dr. Ludwick Palacio, National Consultant, when it comes to the sheep value chain, the approach is geared towards three different areas which are Onions, Honey and Sheep.

Elrington Says Belize/Guatemala Dispute Not An Issue For Belizeans But For The Media
And while the media got an opportunity to ask questions at the UDP manifesto launch, one question was surrounding the unfounded Guatemala claim to Belize. In their presentation, nothing was highlighted about the sovereignty and plan of action for the Sarstoon Island issue. Viewers may recall that the matter has gotten a significant amount of air time on all media stations, but according to Sedi Elrington, candidate for Pickstock, claims that the matter is only one created by the media and that to the Belizean populace it is a non-issue…. Elrington daringly had the courage to say that according to the OAS, the signing of the special agreement with Guatemala was deemed one of the greatest achievements under the UDP. “It is my perception that the Belize/Guatemala issue that is being dealt with at this time is really one of those creations of the media it is not anything that the public has in fact an interest in it is a petty issue for a certain section of the media and when you hear the pronouncement of the leader of the People’s United Party they have said absolutely nothing about it...


Gaspar Vega Responds to Murder Accusations
Today in the Orange Walk Court, one of the men on remand for the murder of Ramon Cervantes Senior made an accusation against Ramon Cervantes Jr. The elder Cervantes’ body was found in a shallow grave on a farm in the Indian Hill area of the Orange Walk District last year. Three men, Mateo Pott, […]

UDP Presents 40-Page Manifesto 2015 – 2020
The United Democratic Party today launched their manifesto; “The Best is yet to come”. In 40 pages, the UDP has outlined what they will attempt to achieve if they win another term in government. The UDP manifesto touches on economics, social issues, education, tourism and national security. Love News was present for the launching and […]

PUP Promises Big Things in Manifesto 2015 – 2019
A manifesto is defined as a public declaration of policy and aims and is usually presented before an election by a political party or candidate. This morning in the old capital, Belize City, two of the main political parties gathered at their respective Secretariat along with their standard bearers and a room full of supporters […]

Meridian Enterprises Not Mayan King Farms
In our previous reports we have been mentioning the name of the company, Mayan King Farms; today, however, we got clarification from Gonzalez as to the relations between Meridian Enterprises and Mayan King Farms. JOSE DAVID GONZALEZ “Mayan King farms are practically dormant and the only reason he has chosen to not de-register that company […]

Opposition Leader Weighs in on Crisis in the Banana Industry
Yesterday, in speaking with the Minister of Labor, Godwin Hulse, who also serves as the Senator for Business, we were told that there isn’t much that the Government can do since this is a private sector issue. Today, we spoke with the Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca, who spoke on what would be […]

John Zabaneh – His Role with Meridian Enterprises
So, just what is John Zabaneh’s role at Meridian Enterprises? We asked Director Gonzalez to explain. JOSE DAVID GONZALEZ “Mr. John Zabaneh is the spokesperson for his mother who is the true owner of the assets and land. His involvement is limited to the things that are not in my contract scope or mandate and […]

Meridian Says Fyffes Reacted Hastily in Ending Business Relations
For some time now there have been the talks of the United States of America buckling down on persons who may be affiliated with the drug or human trade and in the last few months we have been seeing just how powerful the USA is as there have been disruptions in the financial sector in […]

Communication Shuts Down Between Fyffes and Meridian Enterprises
The group of persons gathered in front of the police station in San Ignacio earlier today is nothing compared to what is expected come tomorrow afternoon at the Big Creek Port in southern Belize. As we told you yesterday, there are over one thousand workers who have been forced to stay home since last Thursday […]

Fonseca Says UB and SSB Issues Will Be Resolved
Following the launch of the PUP Manifesto this morning, we had a few minutes with the Party Leader, Francis Fonseca in which we asked him that should his party form the next government, how would he tackle the current issues looming overhead including the University of Belize’s Faculty and Association demanding a salary increase as […]

Chebat Wants Public Debate with UDP Opponent
The General Elections is two weeks away and things are heating up as the day draws nearer. One standard bearer who seems to be getting into the thick of things is Michel Chebat for the People’s United Party in Cayo North. Today, we came across a letter he wrote to his UDP opponent, Dr Omar […]


PUP promises “power to the people” in new manifesto
The People’s United Party (PUP) today delivered its plan of action for the next four years in a manifesto entitled “Power to the People,” which it says encompasses and summarizes its plans and objectives for the people who it hopes will return them to Government in the next fourteen days. Befo...

UDP say “the best is yet to come”
In 2008, the United Democratic Party wanted you to Imagine the Possibilities. Four years later they wanted you in on the Action Plan. Three and a half years on, they promise that the Best is Yet to Come as they seek a 3rd term in office. This morning at the Biltmore Hotel in Belize City, 29 of the ...

San Pedro Taxi man charged with rape of minor
San Pedro resident, 50 year old Alfonso Wiltshire was arrested and charged for the rape of a minor. President of the San Pedro Taxi Association, Alfonso Wiltshire, was arraigned last week Friday for forcibly raping a thirteen year old girl at least five times, once by gunpoint. It appears that Wilt...

Guatemalan Gold Panner Detained
Joint forces have captured a Guatemalan gold panner in Belizean territory. On the 15th of October, 35 year old Eliseo Che Mucu was found approximately 7 kilometers inside Belize in the Chiquibul National Park. Authorities searched his camp and 3 vials containing what is believed to be gold were fou...

Knapsack of passports found in Cayo; prompts PUP protest
A knapsack containing numerous Belizean passports was found at a business establishment located on Burns Avenue San Ignacio. According to reports, someone accidentally left the bag at the business place and upon making checks inside the bag to verify its ownership, the workers found several passport...

Judge rules Fort Street Tourism Village cannot fetter Stake Bank project
GOB signed onto an agreement with Fort Street Tourism Village back in 2004, giving the port exclusivity in the Belize District. Years later, Michael Feinstein sought to develop another docking facility through the Stake Bank Project but because of the exclusivity contract given to Fort Street , Fein...

GOB must pay for police officer’s death
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Young has ruled against the Government of Belize, the Belize Police Department, Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie and police officer Glenwayne Grant, holding them responsible for the death of Constable Dean Yearwood two years ago. Yearwood’s family took the Government t...

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Churches plan flood relief efforts
The organizations representing Belize’s largest Christian and other religious denominations have initiated a relief plan to address the recent flooding in the north and east of the country. Today the Belize Association of Evangelical Churches and Belize Council of Churches stated in a press release that, quote, “We […]

WIN-Belize candidates’ forum canceled
This evening the Women’s Issues Network Belize announced that the first of its kind women candidates’ forum scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday, has been canceled. The organization along with two United Nations organizations had called the forum under the title, “Don’t worry about my GENDER, worry about my AGENDA!” […]

SJC names first female president
A lady is now in charge of St. John’s College’s four divisions, including the all-boys’ high school. Mrs. Mirtha Peralta, an alumna of the junior college division of the institution, has been appointed the first female President of SJC, replacing Andrew Lopez. She previously taught at San Pablo […]

Citrus grower Bill Bowman endorses BPP
The Belize Progressive Party (BPP) has picked up the endorsement of citrus pioneer and major grower Bill Bowman of the Pomona Valley area. A press release issued yesterday by the party said that according to Bowman, “We need change, change is a must. We have seen the corruption […]

PUP, UDP present manifestos
The People’s United Party (PUP) has delivered its plan of action for the next four years in a manifesto entitled “Power to the People,” which it says encompasses and summarizes its plans and objectives for the people who it hopes will return them to Government in the next […]

Queen’s Birthday honors for three Belizeans
Three Belizeans were appointed to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire on the occasion of the Queen’s Birthday Honours. The Governor General, His Excellency Sir Colville Young, conferred the honours on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen at a ceremony hosted at the Belize House in […]

Fyffes cuts ties with Mayan King farm over Zabaneh; workers protest
The Irish Times reports that because businessman and accused drugs trafficker John Zabaneh, is acting as spokesperson for Meridian Farms, owner of the Mayan King Banana Farm in Independence, Fyffes UK has stopped buying its bananas, even as the company is in crisis following a drought. The U.S. Treasury Department […]

ITU makes computer donation to Belize
Five organizations, including three schools, will be benefiting from a computer donation by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in support of the Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities’ (METSPU) mandate, which will be handed over in a ceremony tomorrow at the George Price Center for Peace and […]

Belize Bank supports Crime Stoppers
Belize Bank Limited recently donated $2,000 to the not-for-profit organization, Crime Stoppers, which works with youth and fights against crime in Belize City. That money was used to transport 150 at risk youth to Cucumber Beach and provide food and drinks, prizes, pay lifeguards, police and medical personnel, for a […]

Plenty Fun coming to PG
On Friday, October 16, Plenty Belize, which is a non-governmental organization, and the Punta Gorda Town Council (PGTC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a youth program called “Plenty Fun, Plenty Voice, Plenty Safe.” This program will help children and youth from disadvantaged areas of PG benefit from football […]

Moisture is decreasing over the area and improving weather continues
The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting cloudy spells today and tonight with a few showers and isolated thunderstorms mainly along the coast, decreasing tonight. Winds will be blowing from the East at 10 to 20 knots, becoming gusty near showers and thunderstorms. The sea state will be moderate, […]

PUP promises “power to the people” in new manifesto
The People’s United Party (PUP) has delivered its plan of action for the next four years in a manifesto entitled “Power to the People.” In it, the party promises the following: Create 25,000 jobs; no to the ICJ, NHI rollout, free education, freehold title to first time land owners, […]

El Chapo evades capture again but may have been injured
There are reports that fugitive cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman might have broken his leg during a pursuit from authorities earlier this month. According to a report on CNN, the pursuit came after Mexican Marines and other special forces spotted the Sinaloa cartel chief on October 9th near the town of Cosala, […]


Recognizing the Seriousness of Our Current Situation
In order to improve humanities chances we need to recruit more social scientists into the battle to avoid an increasing unsustainable world. It is unfortunate, as Harald Welzer of the Institute for the Advanced Study in the Humanities in Essen notes about those scientists’ failure to deal with climate disruption: “In the social and cultural sciences, it is exactly as if such things as social breakdown, resource conflict, mass migration, safety threats, widespread fears, radicalization and militarized or violence governed economies did not belong to their sphere of competence.” Welzer points out that there is probably no equivalent in the history of science when a documented existential threat “has been regarded with such calmness by social or cultural theorists.” There are of course outstanding exceptions. But with regard to the vast majority of social scientists – indeed scholars in general, Welzer is correct. The reasons are multiple. One, of course, is simply denial. A second is the difficulty of understanding even common attributes of social systems, which are much more complex than systems in the biophysical sciences, and the latter often contribute their complexities to the social world. For instance, aggression, common as it is, itself remains a poorly understood behavior. Another factor is the pitifully poor education in the biophysical sciences to which most social scientists (and most “educated” people) are exposed.

Belize’s First Digital Summit: Belize…We Have LOTS of Opportunity
Yesterday’s First Belize Digital Summit, held by the Belize Tourism Board, and featuring speakers from Belize and from the US was perfect. And showed me (and the entire room) WHAT A MASSIVE OPPORTUNITY WE HAVE IN BELIZE. It was an all day conference with a full line-up, from Moon Guide author Joshua Berman to social media and marketing experts from a number of areas. Here are some of the things we learned: YOUR business needs to be on social media. No ifs ands buts…Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Attention spans are SHORT. Do your pictures make people stop…or even say WOW? Looking at the furniture in on your resort’s website? Meh. Next! Tell people YOUR STORY. Belize, to many, is a blank slate. Mike Chatsfield, an AMAZING speaker, who closed the conference, gave us some numbers of a survey he did in NYC. 92% of people hadn’t been to Belize, 70% didn’t know anyone who had been…THIS IS AN AMAZING OPPORTUNITY.

Meeting the spider monkeys - Kelly becomes a monkey career at Wildtracks
Months ago, when I decided to explore the depths of my curiosity with wildlife conservation, I knew I needed to look into volunteer opportunities to get my feet wet. As a postgrad, all I could think about was throwing myself into experiences—immediately linking experience with travel. This couldn’t be just any trip, but one that lit a fire under my arse. It was easy to see after some mild scrutiny that Wildtracks was the best possible option. A lot of programs seem to lack affordability and, simply put, they just weren’t as interesting. I arrived at Wildtracks and immediately it was a sensory overload. I met over a dozen people who not only had already developed relationships with each other, but with the animals. After my first day, I found myself constantly questioning whether the volunteers were talking about humans, monkeys or manatees (no joke). A couple of days went by and I caught on that many of them had only been there a week or two themselves. I then received my allocations, working with the spider monkeys and two of the pre-release howler monkeys, and in no time I started to feel the flow of things. I had survived the wrath of the mosquitos (I happened to arrive just after the first influx of rain this season) and I was utterly stoked to be there. I had a purpose, a role.

Belize Food: Chef Edward Mendoza raises the bar!
We’ve just received word that The Lodge at Chaa Creek has engaged the services of globetrotting and internationally renowned Chef Edward Mendoza to take the already highly regarded kitchen & Belize Food to “the next level,” in the words of co-owner GM Lucy Fleming. Chef Mendoza arrives at Chaa Creek October 20, 2015, and the excitement has been, well… palatable. The Augusta, Georgia native has been creating ripples far and wide since he graduated university and went on to earn an associates degree in culinary arts in the foodie mecca of Vail, Colorado, where he also gained experience as a line cook. Then it was on to Louis’ of Charleston, South Carolina where he perfected classic French techniques with a southern flair. With the onsite Maya organic farm to draw upon (while reducing farm to table miles as part of the ever – Green, sustainable ethos of the Fleming family), fresh seafood from the nearby Caribbean sea, and the livestock, cheeses and other dairy products Belize’s lush pastures produce, and having a team of enthusiastic young Belizeans champing at the bit to hone their skills, Chef Edward will have plenty to work with.

Paycation or Payscam: Belize’s New Certified Travel Agency
Two weeks ago, I saw that a lady posted on Facebook that she had completed a training to be a Certified Travel Agent. She appeared interested in doing bookings for Belizeans. I was a bit puzzled by this. I would have expected that it’s much more lucrative to book tours for international visitors to Belize than being interest in booking Belizeans out of country. Thinking little of it, I just continued scrolling my Facebook feed. Today, I became suspicious when I saw another Belizean posted that he too had completed a program and is now a Certified Travel Agent. I was compelled to do a little investigation. It turns out the certificate are being issued by a company named Xstream Travel operating out of the United States. Upon visiting the website, my suspicions become more acute. I am aware of the general features of website scams and this had all of them, reflecting the handiwork of an amateur. It is a basic website with no substantive content about the company and the training. The sole purpose of the website is to lure visitors in. Users must email them to get superficial instructions to become “Certified” which I did.

Belize in November – What to do?
November is a great time to visit Belize. The weather is nice (it’s the end of the rainy season) and it’s just pre tourism high season (December to April) so you might still get a few good deals on tours and accommodations. I’ve written before on how to save on a Belize vacation so make sure to check that out. As for things to do in November, here’s a list of tours and activities. And below are the three main events: Battle of the Drums is a celebration of Garifuna music and culture that takes place every year in Punta Gorda, Toledo. Some of the best drumming groups from all over Belize and Central America gather to compete and showcase their incredible talent and skills. November 19 is a national holiday that celebrates the arrival of the Garifuna people to Southern Belize (known as British Honduras at the time). They arrived in Stann Creek by sea in the early 1800s and now every year there is a reenactment followed by religious ceremonies and cultural celebrations.

International Sourcesizz

Sunscreen Could Be Killing The World's Coral Reefs, Just one drop of the stuff can damage delicate corals
Scientists who conducted their research in Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands found that the chemical oxybenzone -- used in more than 3,500 sunscreen products worldwide, including those by popular brands such as Coppertone, L’Oreal and Banana Boat -- was extremely harmful to fragile coral reefs. "The chemical not only kills the coral, it causes DNA damage in adults and deforms the DNA in coral in the larval stage, making it unlikely they can develop properly," a news release reported. The researchers said even a tiny amount of oxybenzone-containing sunscreen can damage corals. As The Washington Post noted, "the equivalent of a drop of water in a half-dozen Olympic-sized swimming pools" was sufficient to cause harm. Every year, approximately 14,000 tons of sunscreen ends up in coral reefs worldwide. "The use of oxybenzone-containing products needs to be seriously deliberated in islands and areas where coral reef conservation is a critical issue," said lead researcher Craig Downs. "We have lost at least 80 percent of the coral reefs in the Caribbean. Any small effort to reduce oxybenzone pollution could mean that a coral reef survives a long, hot summer, or that a degraded area recovers."

Hunting the Godzilla El Niño
As a massive El Niño warming builds in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, researchers hope to make the most of their chance to study this havoc-wreaking phenomenon. The tropical Pacific seemed out of sorts this August, as oceanographer Kelvin Richards and his team cruised along the equator east of the Marshall Islands. Six tropical cyclones had barrelled across the ocean in the previous month, and more were spinning up as Richards' research expedition got under way. The sea surface across the region was abnormally warm, with water temperatures at least 1 °C higher than expected. And when the oceanographers peered below the surface, they found signs of intense turbulence extending hundreds of metres down. The team had found itself cruising through a spectacular El Niño warming event — one that may become the strongest ever recorded. Big El Niños can turn climate conditions in the Pacific upside down and disrupt weather around the globe. The impacts of this one have already been felt. Indonesia has suffered through a withering drought that has intensified fires in forests and agricultural land, and Pacific corals are experiencing one of the worst bleaching events on record. Peru has declared a state of emergency in some regions in expectation of flooding, and farmers in Australia have been put on alert for expected drought.

Jimmy Morales aventaja por 35 puntos a Sandra Torres
The "let's take back Belize!" candidate is leading in the Guatemalan presidential elections... Depending on what paper you read (unfortunately) Prensa Libre is his paper and polls are fixed.
A dos días del cierre de la campaña electoral y a solo cuatro de las votaciones en segunda vuelta, el candidato Jimmy Morales de FCN-Nación cuenta con el 67.9 por ciento de votos válidos emitidos en papeleta simulada, frente a 32.1 por ciento de la presidenciable Sandra Torres, de la Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza. De hecho, este resultado coincide con la tendencia marcada por la tercera Encuesta Libre, presentada antes de la primera vuelta electoral, en la cual al preguntar a los ciudadanos sobre una potencial segunda vuelta entre Morales y Torres, este lograba un porcentaje superior al 50. Los ciudadanos consultados coinciden en reconocer la falta de un programa de gobierno y de experiencia política y gubernamental de Morales, pero aún así muestran preferencia, probablemente porque dicho candidato aprovechó el rechazo hacia la clase política.

After sunscreen protects humans it massacres coral reefs
The sunscreen that snorkelers, beachgoers and children romping in the waves lather on for protection is killing coral and reefs around the globe. And a new study finds that a single drop in a small area is all it takes for the chemicals in the lotion to mount an attack. The study, released Tuesday, was conducted in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Hawaii several years after a chance encounter between a group of researchers on one of the Caribbean beaches, Trunk Bay, and a vendor waiting for the day’s invasion of tourists. Just wait to see what they’d leave behind, he told the scientists – “a long oil slick.” His comment sparked the idea for the research. Not only did the study determine that a tiny amount of sunscreen is all it takes to begin damaging the delicate corals — the equivalent of a drop of water in a half-dozen Olympic-sized swimming pools — it documented three different ways that the ingredient oxybenzone breaks the coral down, robbing it of life-giving nutrients and turning it ghostly white. Yet beach crowds aren’t the only people who add to the demise of the coral reefs found just off shore. Athletes who slather sunscreen on before a run, mothers who coat their children before outdoor play and people trying to catch some rays in the park all come home and wash it off.

Stream2Sea | EcoConscious & Biodegradable Sunscreen
Protecting the health of our fragile marine environments is our responsibility. Our sunscreen and skin care choices have a direct impact on our oceans, rivers, lakes and streams. Know what those choices are—and how to make a difference. Join us as we work to provide ecoconscious and biodegradable sunscreens and skin care that doesn’t damage our waters or our bodies. We’ll share our lab work, trials, and findings as we take our products through biodegradability and aquatic toxicity tests.

Biodegradable Sunscreen
Discussion on TripAdvisor

Pastor’s work in Belize helps him draw connections to areas of poverty and violence in St. Louis
Father Matt Ruhl has been exposed to poverty and violence all over the world. One of his first assignments as a Jesuit was to lead a classroom at St. John’s College in Belize. Following that experience, he came to the St. Louis are to serve in urban parishes in East St. Louis and North St. Louis. In 2011, he returned to Belize, serving as the pastor of St. Martin de Porres Parish in Belize City. His time in both St. Louis and Belize City has helped him draw connections between the two, and what more could be done to help people in both places. “In Belize and in St. Louis, the church can’t do it by itself,” Ruhl said on Wednesday’s “St. Louis on the Air.” “The Jesuits can’t do it by itself. The neighborhoods can’t do it by itself. Everybody has to be looking in the same direction. Businesses, churches, governments, they all have to be looking in the same direction. There’s a city-wide collaboration, that’s the only way.”

Study: global warming will make much of the world poorer
A new report in the journal Nature gives a dire forecast about climate change: adapting to it is going to be much more difficult than many people think. The reason? The researchers said that economic productivity falls as temperatures rise. Marshall Burke of Stanford University and his co-authors studied the relationship between temperature and economic activity over the last 50 years. And they found that an average annual temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius) was an important threshold. According to a new study, countries whose average temperature is above 55 degrees Fahrenheit or 13 degrees Celsius — like Belize — may see their productivity hurt by global warming. Those lower than that average could get an economic boost.

Backroads, Coppola partner in Central America
The Family Coppola Resorts is partnering with Backroads as it expands to offer adventure tours in Belize and Guatemala. Backroads guests will stay at two of Coppola’s Central American properties, Blancaneaux Lodge in Belize and La Lancha in Guatemala, as part of Backroads Belize & Guatemala Multisport Trips, which include opportunities to visit Mayan temples and activities such as biking, hiking, canoeing, caving, swimming, snorkeling and birding. “For over 36 years, Backroads has set the bar high with our expertly curated trips across the globe,” said Backroads Founder and President Tom Hale. He added that with the Coppola partnership, Backroads clients "can relax and recharge surrounded by rain forest and nature after an expertly designed active, fun-filled and action-packed day spent exploring.” Myriam Kournaf, managing director of the Family Coppola Resorts, said “Backroads' adventure-loving clientele are a perfect fit for the remote luxuries our Central American properties have to offer.”

Year a long time in banana business
What a difference a year makes. This week in 2014, the management and board of Fyffes were sitting around waiting for shareholders of US rival Chiquita to vote on their proposed $1 billion merger, which would have created the world’s biggest banana company. The Chiquita shareholders defied their board and rejected the deal, opting instead for a tie-up with Cutrale, a Brazillian-backed juice company. Fyffes was spurned, along with its executive chairman David McCann, who was to have led the merged company. When the deal collapsed, it appeared to be bad news for Fyffes. McCann, however, let it be known that it was business as usual and the Irish company would keep doing what it had always done: investing conservatively, growing steadily. No panic, he counselled. McCann was right. The aborted tie-up with Chiquita originally valued Fyffes at €1.22 a share, although its share price fell back to about 94 cent after the deal collapsed last October. Yesterday, Fyffes share price closed at €1.49. It broke back through the €1 mark shortly after last Christmas and hasn’t looked back since, rising more than 50 per cent since the merger fell at the final hurdle.

Leonardo DiCaprio Redefines Eco-Tourism With New Island Resort
In his latest project, the “Wolf of Wall Street” is focused on the manatees of Belize. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio plans to turn a 104-acre private island in Belize into a game-changing new model for eco-tourism around the world. When it opens in 2018, the resort and conservation areas on Blackadore Caye will host both tourists and scientists, while creating habitat for marine life, and restoring native species both on the island and in the water around it – including manatees. New Zealand to Create Massive Ocean Sanctuary the Size of France “The main focus is to do something that will change the world,” DiCaprio told the New York Times. “I couldn’t have gone to Belize and built on an island and done something like this, if it weren’t for the idea that it could be groundbreaking in the environmental movement.” Shortly after his first visit to the Central American country in 2005, Dicaprio bought Blackadore Caye for $1.75 million – then spent nearly ten years looking for the right developer to create a new model for eco-tourism resorts.

Primed for Exploration
Despite oil's tailspin over the past year, the Northern Latin American offshore is maintaining momentum. Boardrooms in Houston and London are tightening belts to compensate for shrinking profit margins amid the uncertainty, but the recent uptick in Caribbean area activity has yielded two headline grabbing discoveries in maritime Guyana and Colombia. While Belize produces onshore crude from fields like the Belize Natural Energy-operated Spanish Lookout, plans for offshore development has been more contentious. In 2015, the Geology and Petroleum Department, which falls under Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities, released a draft copy of a proposed Petroleum Exploration Zones and Exploration Guidelines. But Oceana Belize and other conservationist groups unleashed a campaign to halt offshore exploration, claiming the country's reef system would be at risk. Offshore exploration in the near term also looks unlikely. A court in 2013 banned drilling in six Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs) held by Princess Petroleum, Island Oil, SOL, PetroBelize and Miles Tropical and Providence Energy.


  • zipline belize, 4min. Just a short walk from where we ended tubing through the caves was a series of ziplines which Ditsi and I jumped on to have a little fun. Our two guides Oscar and Hector were great which added to the fun!

  • Successful release!, 5.5min. BWRC is lucky to have a number of partners providing rehabilitation for certain species for which BWRC then provides only medical checks, care, sometimes rescue or surgery if necessary, before transferring into rehab. This tamandua was rescued at the Lower Dover Field Station after a dog attack and examination revealed several broken ribs and a moderate pneumothorax (collapsed lung). We stabilised, observed and as soon and we opted to attempt conservative treatment (without surgery) she went into Ella Baron's incredibly dedicated care, and thrived, and recovered faster then any usual mammal would. Belize is very fortunate to have one of few dedicated organisations for the rehabilitation of Tamanduas, and Xenarthans with the Tamandua Refuge.

  • Astrum helicopters to Cayo Espanto Belize, 2min.

  • Placencia, Belize snorkeling near SIlk Caye, 3min.

  • Scuba Diving Ambergris Caye, Belize, 5min. Diving in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

  • Links
    Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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    Maruba Beach Klub and Spa is the premiere Secret Beach spa and restaurant located on the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea at the center of Secret Beach, Belize
    First Class Accommodations for the Budget Traveler
    First Class Accommodations for the Budget Traveler

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    White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
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    We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
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