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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
Editorial: The more things change, the more they stay the same
While celebrating the recent 25th anniversary of The San Pedro Sun, one nice person thought we would enjoy reading an old copy of the Coconut Wireless. The Wireless was printed in San Pedro from 1981 through 1990 and the copy we thoroughly enjoyed was dated February 7, 1989; a full 27 years ago! This particular issue featured a less than appealing front page, with headlines ranging from a tourist dying in a diving accident, a speeding vehicle flipping and crashing, a rape and a burglary. We are thankful that rarely does our front page read so grim, but it was surprising that even way back then, San Pedro was evolving from a sleepy fishing village to a community facing growing pains. We couldn’t help but think; the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Ironically, the most profound example of this has to be a feature from the Wireless titled From the Mayor’s Desk. The Mayor at the, Pedro Salazar, commented on the town council’s recent regulation of closing the front street on weekend evenings, stating that although the regulation “…causes slight inconvenience for the taxis and other vehicles, it does, on the other hand, allow everyone, especially our children and tourists to feel safe on the streets. It’s a sense of liberty – the sort of environment that one expects to find on an island or tropical vacation resort. Surely there will be some inconvenience caused, but the pleasure and satisfaction of the majority has been kept in mind.” The Mayor also mentions another regulation under consideration; controlling the number and type of vehicles brought to the town.
Letter to the Editor: Rapid, uncontrolled and perhaps unregulated traffic woes
It is it with deep concern that we from the People’s United Party (Belize Rural South) write to our local news media with regards to the rapid, uncontrolled and perhaps unregulated traffic woes that are affecting our town in the most negative manner. For proof, please find attached two videos that were taken this weekend in the Boca del Rio area that shows the importation of brand new golf carts presumably for rental. All this, at a time where traffic congestion is at an all time high, importations even higher, solutions and moratoriums at an all time low and the constant promise of less vehicle permits: a false reassurance to our community. There are many questions to be asked directly to the Mayor and his councillors. How many more golf carts are yet to come in to the island? Are these the result of campaign promises? Who approves these permits, the mayor himself or a traffic committee? Is there an active traffic committee or have they too been overrun? If there is a traffic committee then who are they? The public deserves to know. Why isn’t the list of approvals published in the local papers as was done in the past? These are only some of the many questions that the residents of San Pedro deserve to know.
Raising awareness for children living with disabilities
March 21st marked “World Down Syndrome Day”, and Sarah Freudenberg, special needs teacher at Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES), challenges the community to see past visible disabilities and learning impairments of special needs children and embrace humility.
April is observed as Autism Awareness month, and ACES never misses a chance to raise awareness regarding those living with disabilities. On April 17th, ACES will be hosting their second annual autism awareness 5k. Along with volunteers, ACES will focus on awareness, promoting acceptance and bringing the conversation about Autism. Sarah hopes to enlighten people, especially those who are prejudiced towards people born with disabilities. At the moment, Sarah is working alongside other primary school teachers promoting the method of inclusion—where children with special needs are in the same classroom as children their age. Furthermore, all teachers are currently taking an online class about special education from an accredited American university. “Having a special education classroom really helps all of the students at ACES. It teaching the children to accept people with disabilities. ACES staff is like a family; all of the teachers and administration work together so well,” said Sarah.
Plan proposed to light up our beach
The San Pedro Police Department (SPPD), along with the San Pedro Town Council and other stakeholders are in the beginning stage of negotiating a much-needed addition to La Isla Bonita’s beaches. The plan proposes installing solar lights along our shores, providing adequate lighting for all pedestrians. Officers from the Coastal Executive Unit, Sandra Bowden and Henry Jemmott, will embark on this plan as an additional safety protocol/strategy to prevent crimes and accidents. “These lights will be placed around the beach where we have registered crimes in the past. The purpose of the lights is not only for tourists’ safety, but that of residents in general. If we can improve the lighting conditions in certain areas on the island, then those areas can become safer for everyone—ensuring that law enforcement can focus elsewhere. A simple light can deter a criminal, just as the presence of an officer can deter a crime,” said Bowden.
Flashbacks - The Original Sands Hotel
It is not among the first hotels but certainly among the early hotels on Ambergris Caye. Sands Hotel was built by the owner himself, George Parham, a member of the very influential family, the Parham's.
The Parham's were major land owners of Ambergris Caye along with the Alamillas and the Blakes. George Parham (R.I.P. ) a born San Sanpedrano, had been living in the United States and in the 1970's returned home to retire and become involved in the a tourism industry, thus the building of Sands Hotel right in the heart of San Pedro Town. George lived the rest of his life in San Pedro enjoying his home and hotel, being active in politics, social events, and community affairs until his passing. Sands Hotel is now under the management of his granddaughter as Hostel La Vista, offering backpackers comfortable and economical accommodation in La Isla Bonita.
25 Years Ago - Singing and Feeding Program at Elementary School
In the good old days of our beautiful little fishing village of San Pedro there was a school class period (or ‘subject’) called "singing". Also in the GOOD OLE DAYS, and I mean in the really good old days, there was a feeding program in our elementary school. Here is how it went.
Singing in Class:
Every Thursday afternoon during the last period at the San Pedro Roman Catholic School, students enjoyed Singing Period. The teacher would write the lyrics of a song on the blackboard and the students copied it in their song exercise books. The teacher then proceeded to teach the new song and the students gradually pitched in as they became familiar with it. Once it was mastered (this took two or three weeks), the students then sang it in unison, at times in two voices to learn harmony.
AIDS Commission Commences New Mural at San Pedro High
As part of its educational campaign program, the San Pedro AIDS Commission is once again undertaking the task of painting a second mural, this time on the more visible wall of the San Pedro High School compound.
The Commission has received approval from the school and works has commenced on the positive images and messages that will be painted along the wall.
“We have selected attractive images about HIV/AIDS Awareness that will be painted on the fence as a constant reminder to the students to get educated and make the right choice,” commented SP AIDS Commission President, Felix Ayuso.
The money collected from the group’s Carnaval Comparsa will be used to fund the mural that is being painted by local artist Pablito Guerrero.
3rd Annual Caye Caulker Kayak Island Challenge – Post Race Report
The most contested category was the Men's Single. There were five participants and first place in this category and second overall was Steven Arnold; he won $800 and trophy. Second place and third overall was Jerry Rhaburn, he received $400 and trophy. Third place and fourth overall was Kenrick Daniels, he received $200 and a trophy. The other two participants that did not finish the challenge were Brandon Lind and Sean Arnold, great effort guys!
Misc Belizean Sources
Kite Sailing from San Pedro To Placencia, Belize
Martin John, Mark Worthington & 8 others friends will be Kite Sailing from San Pedro To Placencia, Belize Beautiful Coast, from the Barrier Reef to Maya Mountains, covering 100 miles for Justice. Join Us. In memory of Jeffrey Eiley, on April 2nd 2016. Jeffrey Eiley was passionate of our National Resources especially our Barrier Reef. KITE to POINT INSPIRED BY JEFF POWERED BY WIND. We will be leaving San Pedro at 6am. More info to follow. Have a Happy Easter.
3rd Annual Caye Caulker Kayak Island Challenge – Post Race Report
The Third Annual Caye Caulker Kayak Island Challenge got on the way at 11 am on Holy Saturday, March 26, 2016. The Kayak Island Challenge is an open kayak race around the island.
Seven brave kayakers which included one woman, participated in three categories – Men's Single, Women's Single, and Rudder.
Chris Guydis, paddling for Paddle Stop, the only entrant in the Rudder Category used a surfski sit on top racing kayak completed the race a distance of about twelve miles in about two hours. He was overall winner and opened a gap of about 21 minutes on the second place overall winner. Although no official time was taken, this was the best estimate looking at our watches. The surfski will most likely be the racing kayak of choice in the near future here in Belize. Chris picked up a $300 cash prize with a trophy and won all station prizes along the way.
Emergency First Response Instructor Course: Caye Caulker
With tour guide renewal coming up in a few months, why not take a little refresher course at reasonable rate, or if it's your first time, why not learn to assist people and gain the confidence you need with the right knowledge. It's a great skill set for not just guides but even hotel or restaurant staff, especially during crazy party seasons like easter.Contact me via fb to set up a session, reservations must be made 3 weeks in advance. Please note, I won't just sign you off for a small fee, either take the refresher course if you want to update your card or find someone else. $70.00 bz
Fabrication! by Abdul Marin Nunez
Allah forbids oppression
Some Muslims understand not this prescription
Flogging for alcohol consumptions
Stoning to death for adultery and fornication
The Ulamah are wrong
Turning their faces to Washington
Allowing enemies of Islam
To defame the prophet Muhammad
Is not a part time position
When Allah made the Muslim
Change their praying direction
From the Khaba to Jerusalem
He separated the Jews from the Muslim
And created and new Ummah for them
Back then the Muslims were turning their backs to the Kabah
When Allah abrogated the Ayah
Then instructed Muslims to turn to Mecca
Man dies in traffic accident
A traffic accident early Easter Sunday morning claimed a man’s life and left two more injured.
The accident occurred at around 2:00 a.m., on the Bullet Tree road. San Ignacio Police were summoned to the scene and saw a red Nissan Frontier double cab pick-up truck on the left hand side of the road, with extensive damages to its front portion.
Police also found three male persons on the scene with injuries. Initial investigation reveals that Juan Alvarado, 43, a carpenter of Hillview area, Santa Elena town, was driving the vehicle with passengers, John Xol, 24, a mechanic of Bishop Martin Street, Santa Elena town and Byron Barcena.
The group was heading from Bullet Tree village heading towards San Ignacio Town when Alvarado lost control of the vehicle, ran off the road and overturned. Alvarado was taken to the San Ignacio community hospital bleeding from his ears. He was pronounced dead on arrival.
Breaking Belize News
Traffic accident claims one life on Bullet Tree Road
San Ignacio police are currently investigating a traffic accident that has claimed the life of 43-year-old Juan Alvarado, a Belizean carpenter of the Hillview Area in Santa Elena Town, Cayo. Officials in that municipality reported that on March 28th, at around 2:10 am, officers responded to information of an accident on the Bullet Tree Road. Upon arrival, police officers observed a red Nissan Frontier with extensive damage.
Initial investigations have revealed that Alvarado was driving the vehicle in direction of San Ignacio Town when he lost control of the vehicle causing it to run off road and flip, landing on its wheel.
National debt expected to reach $3 billion by 2017
Belize’s national debt at the end of 2014 was in the range between $2.2 and $2.3 billion; now Belize’s debt is estimated to be over $2.35 billion and by next year that figure will be upward of $2.8 billion. By 2017, the national debt is projected to reach $3.03 billion! That is a staggering rate of debt growth and is indicative of the unprecedented level of borrowing the government has undertaken in recent years.
And while it is generally accepted that every country must undertake a certain level of debt to finance various aspects of development, it is expected that whatever development is financed by such debt would benefit the country by creating economic advancement. But in Belize, where there is a real deficiency in transparency and accountability as it relates to the management of public funds there is enough cause to worry whether or not the growing national debt is actually benefiting the country.
Lubaantun Mayan Ruins of Belize
Lubaantun’s 11 large, towering structures–plus five plazas and three ball courts–are marvels that have no equal, according to Belize’s Institute of Archaeology and archaeologists who oversaw excavation of this landmark. There are no doorways to be seen, and building corners are round rather than square. You’ll have to imagine thatch and wood structures that once topped these buildings because they’re gone now. Green moss peeks out from every crevice, reminding visitors that Lubaantun thrived during the Classic Period (730 to 890 AD) but remains nothing more than an echo of the past today.
Despite its high elevation—200 feet above sea level—you might think this attraction easy to find, but in fact, rainforest obscures Lubaantun until one gets close. It’s situated above the Columbia River and about 1.5 miles from San Pedro Columbia Village in the Toledo District. Some speculate that Lubaantun once served as a military overlook due to its lofty elevation.
If you’re starting from Punta Gorda Town in the Toledo District, travel about 26 miles to San Pedro Columbia Village and you’ll be less than two miles from the entrance. Park in the lot and follow the trail for approximately 70 yards–all downhill–to reach the visitors center.
How Our Favorite Fish Could Recover in a Decade
Here's how the world's depleted fish populations could be turned around.
After decades of declines, most of the world's fish populations could recover in just ten years, while fishermen make more money at the same time, scientists reported in a new study published Monday.
The solution is for more countries to adopt systems for sharing rights to harvesting fish, which have been effective in a handful of countries, including the U.S. and Belize.
"I've spent my career working on fisheries issues and I did not expect such a dramatic finding," says Amanda Leland, a co-author of the study in the journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Leland, a fisheries scientist with the Environmental Defense Fund, worked on the study with scientists from the University of California, Santa Barbara and the University of Washington.
The team ran computer simulations on a massive database of 4,713 fisheries, representing about 78 percent of worldwide fishing activity. By 2050, global fish populations could double if all countries switched to the best management practices. The percentage of fisheries that are considered biologically healthy would grow from around 47 percent today to 77 percent in 10 years.
Il Belize di Norwegian e Harvest Caye
Norwegian Cruise Line e impegnata nello sviluppo di Harvest Caye, in Belize, la sua nuova ed esclusiva destinazione dei Caraibi occidentali, per offrire agli ospiti un ambiente che rispecchi il paese in modo autentico e consenta di accedere alle meraviglie del Belize meridionale. Il resort offrira strutture, servizi di lusso e attivita eco-turistiche. Questo scalo in stile resort, che accogliera i primi ospiti nel novembre 2016, sara l'unico porto del Belize ad essere dotato di un molo per navi da crociera. Oltre alle meraviglie e alle bellezze naturali del Belize, Harvest Caye offrira tutto cio che i viaggiatori cercano in una destinazione tropicale: una spiaggia di circa 30mila m2, sport acquatici, escursioni a terra alla scoperta delle rovine Maya, tour nella natura e molto altro. Gli ospiti che privilegiano la privacy, potranno affittare una delle 11 lussuose ville sulla spiaggia: ognuna puo ospitare fino a 10 persone ed e dotata di tutti i comfort, dall’ aria condizionata, a lounge e sale da pranzo riservate, docce interne ed esterne, amache e opzioni esclusive per cene e servizio bar, con concierge dedicato.
Belize Tourists in Quintana Roo
Over the course of the past week, between 30,000 and 35,000 Belizeans have crossed into Quintana Roo. Most say they are coming on holiday, but many are coming to purchase groceries and household goods. The exchange rate is bringing on a holiday air all its own and, in many cases, the savings are completely paying for a very nice vacation. The sheer numbers of Belizean tourists has served to add quite a few new jobs in the tourism sector in Quintana Roo and it is expected that these “almost local” tourists will be back soon.
LAND OF WILD MEN AND TAME DEVILS
Here's a fun read ... a 1972 travel article in Sports Illustrated about Belize. Remember the days...
If you want to go where nobody goes, try Belize. Fish and game abound, and duendes might carry you off and teach you the guitar
A puzzled look came over the travel agent's face, and he asked me if I would please repeat. "Certainly," I said. "My wife and I are looking for a place where nobody goes and we can catch a little sun and a few fish and it doesn't take forever to get there—and nobody goes there!"
"Yes," the travel agent said, "I see. Hmmmmm. That shouldn't be too hard. Hmmmmmmm. Let me see. Ah, ha! I've got it! Alabama!"
"We've been to Alabama."
"Well, then," the agent said, pulling out a map. "Let's try something dramatic. How about Oaxaca? No? San Jose? Oh, I see. Grenada? You've been there, too? Let's see.... How about British Honduras?"
"How about where?"
"British Honduras, also known as Belize. Look here at the map. It's that little spot just south of Mexico. Just east of Guatemala. On the western edge of the Caribbean."
Longest Coral Bleaching Event on Record Continues to Hammer Reefs
Even as the El Niño of 2015-16 winds down, coral reefs remain threatened by the longest episode of global-scale bleaching on record. NOAA announced in October 2015 that the third global bleaching event had begun, with reefs from the Florida Keys to Fiji suffering widespread damage over the past year. In February, NOAA scientists announced that the bleaching event was the longest on record. The event is a result of widespread ocean warming related to long-term climate change as well as regional warmings triggered by El Niño, which began in early 2015. The prolonged nature of the bleaching event is especially worrisome because it allows for multiple years of damage during seasonal peaks in upper-ocean temperature, giving the reefs less time to recover. “We may be looking at a 2- to 2½-year-long event,” said Mark Eakin, coordinator of NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch program. “Some areas have already seen bleaching two years in a row.”
In its 2015 annual summary of conditions across U.S. coral reefs, issued on March 7, 2016, NOAA projected that the global bleaching event will likely extend into 2017. Since 2014, the report noted, 100% of all U.S. coral reef areas have experienced at least some level of thermal stress associated with unusually warm waters, with 41% experiencing Alert Level 2 thermal stress (typically associated with widespread bleaching and mortality). Record-breaking events occurred in 2015 near Hawaii, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Florida. Reefs near Hawaii were hard hit by bleaching in both 2014 and 2015.
Spring Break: Caye Caulker, Belize, 8.5min. A collaboration of go pro footage from our spring break trip to Belize. No fish were harmed in the making of this film and all were released safely. Tight lines!
The Beer Diaries World Tour: Belize - Belikin, 28min. The Beer Diaries is proud to present The Beer Diaries World Tour: Belize, a series dedicated to using beer as an introduction to history, culture and the geo-political state of countries around the world.
In this episode, we travel with host Mike Mann and his team back to the mainland, exploring the reputation of Belikin Beer and its iron-fisted business tactics that pushed Charger Beer, a Matus Brothers Brewery, out of the Belize beer market. In addition, Mike speaks with Shelly Bowen-Stonesifer, Head of Marketing for Bowen and Bowen/Belikin, about renewing a relationship with the people of Belize, in search of their continued loyalty to the brand. Ultimately, Mike chats with the first Belizean Brewmaster, Nolan Michael, about enhancing the brand and job force in the country of Belize.
Cayos de Belize 2016_ Cayo Hunting, 4min. Excursion left at 6am from Puerto Barrios, Guatemala. It takes almost two hours by boat to reach Hunting Cay. It is amazing.
Vacation in Belize 2016, 5min. My parents vacation in Belize, all filmed with a GoPro Hero3+
Belize 2016, 7min.
Spelunking Belize, 4min. Barton Creek Archeological Site, May 10 2015.
Belize, Hopkins 2016, 3min. Moto rental in Hopkins Belize up to Mayan Centre down through Sittee River Road.
Belize Garifuna Drummers2 2016, 6.5min. Belize Literacy Alive 2016.
Diving at Long Caye, Belize, 2min. Underwater life taken at Long Caye, Belize. Using a GoPro Her4 Silver plus red filter.
Belize Snorkeling Hol Chan 3 20 16 new, 3.5min.
Belize Snorkeling Shark Ray Alley 3 20 16, 6min.
Belize Trip Day 2, 9min.