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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
SP Hyperbaric chamber saves fire-fighter’s life
A 52-year-old Canadian fire fighter visited Belize early in March, and like many visitors to the jewel, he took advantage of the country’s great diving spots. Despite a perfect start on his diving trip, something went terribly wrong near the end. As a result he was admitted in grave condition at the Sub-Aquatics of Belize Ltd. in San Pedro for hyperbaric medical treatment.
According to the medical staff at the hyperbaric chamber, the patient complained of pain, nausea, vomiting, severe vertigo, skin rash, and difficulty in standing. The well trained personnel at the facility rapidly diagnosed him to be suffering from Decompression Illness.
Notices from the San Pedro Town Council
The San Pedro Town Council and the San Pedro Liquor Licensing Board hereby informs the general public that the following liquor licenses will not be entertained until further notice: Beer, Malt, Night Club, Publican’s Special, Publican’s General, Shop, Restaurant and Convenience Store Licenses. The San Pedro Town Council kindly advises the general public that any type of burning is an offence. If you wish to dispose of any garbage, you must notify and wait approval on behalf of the San Pedro Fire Department prior to burning your garbage. We strongly recommend that when burning any type of garbage, you do so in a controlled environment. Burning of any type of garbage is completely prohibited in residential areas since it is a health hazard and puts at risk any buildings in the surrounding area.
Dr. Samantha English is Saga’s new Vet
Another professional has joined the team at the San Pedro Saga Humane Society. After liaising with the Belize Veterinary Surgeons Board, Dr. Samantha English has been certified to practice medicine at Saga with a temporary permit through March of 2017.
Dr. English, a Canadian national, obtained her Bachelor of Science with honours from the University of Guelph in 2002. Four years later, she graduated with a degree of Doctor in Veterinary Medicine from the Ontario Veterinary College. She spent the following nine and a half years doing practising small animal medicine in Florida, USA before moving to San Pedro Town in December 2015.
North Police Substation to be relocated
There are two police substations located on Ambergris Caye, one that serves the South Ambergris Caye area and one approximately one mile north of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge. As another crime prevention measure, the San Pedro Police Department (SPPD) plans to relocate the northern booth to a more trafficked area. Arrangements have been made with the property owner where the substation will be moved, and with assistance from the San Pedro Town Council the building will be relocated. The new location would be about one mile north of the bridge, close to Bamboo House. This new location will allow officers to have access to both roads and beaches. By changing the location to a more popular route, the law enforcement hopes that people will think twice when it comes to committing or doing anything contrary to the law. Drivers are advised that they are subject to searches as well.
Easter-Week Sailing Clinic Completed at Belize Sailing School in San Pedro
From Monday, March 21st to Sunday, March 27th, the Belize Sailing School held an Easter Optimist Training Clinic off the coast of Caribbean Villas Resort. Juan Ignacio Mazzini, the Sailing School’s Director of Laser and Optimist Training ran the clinic. Among the participants in the clinic were two Canadian Optimist dinghy sailors from Toronto, Canada who came to Belize for the week-long training. 13-year-old Dhalia Steinitz and 12-year-old Andreas Steinitz, siblings, had spent the week before at a preliminary training in Curacao.
San Pedro, Belize Named #1 Destination in Central America
There is no place like San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, we all know that, but if you don't know about our island paradise then you are missing out on the top destination in Central America.
TripAdvisor has once again honored our island paradise with another top distinction after being named the number one island in the world for two years in a row.
La Isla Bonita has been named the top destination in Central America besting other top regional destinations in Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras and Guatemala. While San Pedro is at the #1 spot, it shares the list with San Ignacio, Cayo at #7.
San Pedro prides itself in having the friendliest people, the biggest smiles, the warmest hugs, the best celebrations, top choices for foodie travelers, the best views of the largest barrier reef in the hemisphere, the top dive destinations in the world... allow us to brag a little more, we really work hard to uphold those standards and more.
Misc Belizean Sources
First Friday Tres Cocos Trash Pick Up
April 01, 2016 Beach and Roadside Trash Pick Up. A great turn out on a beautiful morning!
Passing of Ms. Tomasa Choc
Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to extend its deepest condolences to the Choc family & friends on the passing of Ms. Tomasa Choc. May her soul rest in peace.
THE FUTURE OF BELIZE CITY'S FOOTBALL!
The future of Belize City's football programs remain hanging in the distance as the once prized football sporting arena, The MCC Grounds, faced being turned into a parking lot for the Princess Hotel across the street. We here at Belizean Legends would hope that Belize City's prized human resource, its youth, be saved from total destruction by an insidious gang war that has been raging for a decade now. Belize need to re-evaluate this most critical issue, and save MCC Grounds and its young talented aspiring football players to return Belize's future glory in football.
'BARIKS' NOW BTL PARK: A CHILDHOOD MEMORY!
The former Barracks bathing grounds, that Belize City Belizeans use to call 'Bariks' has been transformed into a very beautiful city park that is the brainchild of Belize City's Mayor Darrell Bradley, and the Belize Telephone Company Limited (BTL). The park is named, BTL Park today. Fine memories of this once pristine piece of Belizean real estate in Belize City where Belizean youths like yours truly, use to go and enjoy a nice swim during a hot Sunday afternoon. It's still a beautiful sight to see today, and nature has not abandoned the people yet. Live on 'Bariks'!
Hawk Migration Association of North America (HMANA)
Spread the word! We are looking for interested Belizeans. We are excited to announce that we received a grant from the Hawk Migration Association of North America (HMANA) America's Hawk Watch Fund for our Hawk Watch Certification Program! This is a 5 week certification program for Belizeans to get trained in raptor identification, ecology, biology, research, and conservation. We are honored and grateful to have received this grant from HMANA. A big thank you to our friends at HMANA.
If you are interested in participating in this certification program or know somebody that is please let us know. Spread the word about this one-of-a-kind program in the Neotropics. See the flyer for more details.
Man executed in front of wife and kids
The family of Alwayne Cherrington, 24, of La Croix Boulevard, who was an eye technician at the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI), were devastated as their worst nightmare was made real when a gunman went to Cherrington’s mother-in-law’s house, kicked open the door and shot Cherrington dead at about 7:00 Holy Saturday evening while his two stepchildren and his wife were watching television near him.
Cherrington was sitting in a chair, talking with them and eating potato pudding.
His mother-in-law told Amandala that Cherrington and her daughter and their two children went to her house at about 6:30 Holy Saturday evening and they were socializing. She said that she had not locked the door, since it was early and it was Easter, and everything was going well.
Gardenia mechanic “mowed” down by GOB press office vehicle
As daylight breaks on the stretch between Mile 22 and 23 on the Philip Goldson Highway, debris from a traffic accident becomes visible. There are plastic pieces from the front portion of a Isuzu vehicle on the roadside, a pair of torn slippers and blood stains, all telling a grim tale, along with the long-tire impression that were cut into the surface of the road, illustrating the driver’s effort to stop after impact with a man on bicycle.
Dean Dawson, 45, a mechanic and resident of Gardenia, Belize District, lost his life when a government vehicle, an Isuzu D-Max pickup with the legend, “Press Office,” that was being driven by the Government Press Office director Dorian Pakeman, knocked him down, killing him instantly.
This morning, Ladyville police confirmed that the 34-year-old Pakeman has been served with a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP), and the file, along with the police’s particulars about the accident, have been sent to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Criminalize corporal punishment, Ombudsman Arzu says
The 2015 report of Ombudsman Lionel Arzu, released on Wednesday this week, was the subject of discussion at the National Assembly yesterday, when the Ombudsman’s Report Committee met in session under the chairmanship of Dangriga area representative Frank “Papa” Mena.
There was a hearty discussion on the content of the report, primarily consisting of complaints against police abuses, many of which remain unresolved even as the Ombudsman tries to settle them with authorities in the Police Department.
In this year’s report, the Ombudsman made a bold recommendation, calling for laws to criminalize corporal punishment not just in schools, where teachers are now forbidden to whip children, but also in homes—where traditional corporal punishment is administered as a form of discipline.
BDF soldier shot in Chiquibul by suspected Guatemalans
Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey, 28, of the Belize Defense Force, was released from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) yesterday, five days after he had been shot four times from a distance with a .22 rifle in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, near the Caracol archaeological site, at about 4:50 p.m. on Holy Saturday.
Lambey was the commander of a BDF patrol on duty at Valentine Camp, an outpost near the Belize-Guatemala border.
After being released from the KHMH, Lambey was whisked away to Price Barracks to complete his recovery. He was not given time to give an interview to us.
Information to Amandala is that the gunmen, who shot from ambush cover, were Guatemalans. At the time, Lambey was conducting a water party detail at a creek about 500 yards from the camp.
Young woman who received HIV-tainted blood dies at 21
Giving blood can save lives, but it can also cost lives if inadequate screening is not in place to ensure that deadly pathogens aren’t passed from the donor to the recipient in need of this vital life force. This has been underscored in the case of a young woman who recently passed away, ending 13 years of medical suffering after she contracted the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) via blood transfusion when she was just a little girl.
Sadly, the young woman’s family, which apparently did not have adequate legal representation, settled for paltry compensation, and when they realized that it was not enough to sustain their sickly daughter, all efforts to get further compensation proved futile. The young woman’s case was still unresolved when she died some weeks ago.
IMF cautions on wider impacts of loss of correspondent banking in Belize and the Caribbean
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued its most recent report on Belize on Monday, following its September 2014 mission to the country, led by Jacques Bouhga-Hagbe. Much of the economic data included in the report has been the subject of recent discussions in Parliament in the context of the 2016-2017 budget debate, but the report puts the spotlight on an unresolved issue that has been in the national and regional spotlight for the past year—the loss of correspondent banking relationships (CBRs).
The IMF notes that major global banks have recently either terminated their correspondent banking relationships with many banks in the Caribbean, or have threatened to discontinue them, forcing those banks to seek out new arrangements with other banks.
In the case of Belize, the Government has reported that even after Belize found alternative arrangements, the new bank also gave notice of termination, forcing Belize to seek out other arrangements to keep its banking system functional.
The IMF explains that a correspondent bank is a financial institution that provides services, generally on behalf of a foreign financial institution. It can conduct business transactions, accept deposits, cash checks or money orders and gather documents on behalf of the other financial institution.
NSSSA Softball Champions 2016
The National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA) held its high school softball championships for females and males on Friday and Saturday, March 19-20, hosted by Belmopan Comprehensive School (BCS) at the Elston Galvez field in Roaring Creek.
In female games on Friday, defending champs Ladyville Technical High slammed North Zone champions, Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico, 15-1; and Independence High won, 15-11, over West Zone champs, BCS.
Also on Friday, in the male category, San Pedro High crushed Central Zone champs Gwen Lizarraga, 12-2; and Independence High blanked Western Zone champs Belmopan Baptist High, 10-0.
On Saturday, in the 3rd place game for the females, BCS girls blasted Escuela Mexico, 17-2, by mercy rule in 4 innings; and in the championship game, Independence High dropped Ladyville Tech, 6-1.
3rd Annual Caye Caulker Kayak Island Challenge
The Third Annual Caye Caulker Kayak Island Challenge got under way at 11:00 a.m. on Holy Saturday, March 26. 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, and completed the race distance of about twelve miles in about two hours. He was the 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.
The Tradition 2016
At the Court House Wharf on Holy Thursday evening, March 24, while waiting for the start of the annual pre-Cross Country parade of cyclists, advertising agent Eugene “Boca” Trench handed us a copy of the latest edition of the Belize Cycling Association’s magazine commemorating the historic Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic, featuring the 2015 champions – Elite, Female and Junior, as well as all the teams participating in this year’s 88th Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic, which was set to hit the pavement on Holy Saturday, March 26. In addition, there are special pieces on the late “Radio Belize Sportscaster, Manfred Denfield Atkins” and “former four-term President” of the cycling association, Gerald Garbutt, as well as Elston Wade’s article on the Miguel brothers that first appeared in the pre-Easter edition of Amandala, dated Sunday, March 20.
Boca apologized and explained to us that they tried hard to get the magazine out a month before Cross Country, but again there were difficulties in securing sponsorship until very late, causing the magazine to be completed just under a week before the ‘Country.
Guatemalan brothers sweep Holy Saturday Cross Country
83 riders from 16 different cycling teams, including 18 foreigners – Mexican, Guatemalan and American – took off from Belize City on Holy Saturday morning with a rolling start at 6:00 a.m. past Leslie’s Imports for the 88th running of the historic Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic to San Ignacio and back (140 miles); and only 40 finished the race within the 30-minute limit after the winner. 15 of the foreign riders were part of teams – Team Starlight of the USA with 4 members (including 2003 & 2004 CC Champion Chris Harkey), Team Cancun of Mexico with 5 members, Team Yapurland of Mexico with 3 members, and the Guatemalan National Team with 3 members. The other 3 foreigners were all from the USA and rode as unattached cyclists, one of them being 2005 CC Champion Bill Elliston. The Belizean teams consisted of Link-Up Cycling (4 members, including 2015 CC Champion Justin Williams), Digicell-4G (8), C-Ray Road Addikz (5), Westrac Alliance (9), Team Smart (8, including 2013 CC Champion Darnell Barrow), Western Spirit Cycling (4, including 2006 CC Champion Shane Vasquez), Becol Uprising (4), Benny’s Megabytes (4), Bel-Cal Cycling (4), Chavarria Cycling (4), Cabral/Marin Cycling (1), and Smart Junior Cycling (2).
The politicians, the professionals, and the people
At this point of our existential crisis in Belize, it is important to understand why the ruling politicians have been harping on one thing over and over. They keep saying, leave everything to the defence professionals, you “misguided patriots,” and don’t be going near the border areas and waving any Belizean flags and singing the Haynes national anthem.
Through their media spokesmen, the ruling politicians have also sought to lull Belizeans, as we would say, into a sense of false security. One of the lines they encourage their ruling party followers to repeat is, “Oh, we di hear ‘bout dis Guatemala ting long time, from hatchet was a hammer …” The ruling party is trying to assure the masses of the Belizean peoples that this too will pass away, that the ongoing series of provocative incidents featuring Guatemalan aggression since February of last year does not represent anything special or different in the history of the Guatemalan claim to Belize.
Major Lloyd reporting for duty …
The recent military adventurism by Guatemala and its subsequent diplomatic maneuverings in support thereof have created great disquiet amongst the Belizean people. It appears that we are only now realizing that our post-independence posture, designed by men intoxicated with political power, has allowed Guatemala in just thirty five short years, to out-maneuver us. So much so that Guatemala has now decided to annex the Sarstoon; and with impunity it appears!
Guatemala’s actions on the Sarstoon are no small matter, it is a breach of our sovereignty of the worst kind. Belizeans therefore have a duty to resist Guatemala’s efforts at every turn, lest history forever condemn our cowardice.
I wish for my fellow Belizeans to understand that in their interactions, states deploy what are called elements of national power. Contemporary thinking says that these elements are diplomatic, informational, military, economic and technological. The levers of these elements are actuated depending upon the circumstance prevailing at the time, and the desired outcomes of the states involved. It is the mastery of the deployment of these elements that determines a nation’s place in the global order and in the bare sense, the very survival of a nation state.
Janet Gibson writes from the Goldman Environmental Foundation
Two weeks ago, we were shocked and dismayed to hear about the murder of Berta Cáceres, indigenous leader and head of COPINH, the Civic Council of Popular Indigenous Organizations of Honduras. We were further horrified when we learned that Nelson Garcia, another member of COPINH, was murdered on Tuesday. I am asking for your help in informing my fellow citizens of Belize about this outrage.
I am affiliated with the Goldman Environmental Foundation, which annually presents the Goldman Environmental Prize, the world’s largest award honoring grassroots environmental activism. Last year, we were proud to honor Berta Cáceres with the Prize for her courageous work to defend the Gualcarque River. Berta was an inspiration to us all, and her death reinforces the imperative to protect those who work on behalf of our Earth. We feel like a member of our family has been assassinated.
Barrow fires back at Briceño at conclusion of budget debate
United Democratic Party leader, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, wrapped up the 2016 budget debate just after 8:00 on Wednesday night, firing back at Leader of the Opposition People’s United Party, Hon. Johnny Briceño, on key economic indicators which Briceño had cited in opening the budget debate on Tuesday morning.
Briceno had said that instead of Belizeans getting a tax relief in the 2016 budget, they have gotten a $50 million “tax whop” on import duties charged on fuel at the pumps. He said that this will further erode the purchasing power of Belizeans, who are being charged, on average, 40 cents out of every dollar in “direct taxes.”
Barrow said that Briceño used “an outrageous sleight of hand that requires a scolding from the Minister of National Security [John Saldivar], who is the only true economist in this House.”
He went on to say that when it came to the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), the Leader of the Opposition cited them and their data with approval when it suited him.
217 complaints hit Ombudsman’s desk in 2015
Ombudsman Lionel Arzu has released his 2015 annual report, tabled recently in Parliament. The report indicates that in 2015, the Ombudsman received 217 new complaints—90 of which were accepted for investigation, mostly against the Police Department. A total of 73 cases are under investigation and almost three-fourths of those are also against the Police Department.
“In 2015, people complained of all kinds of misconduct, injustice and injury. The subject matter of these complaints included non-existent, inadequate or improper police investigations; unjustifiable or excessive force by BPD; the commencement or conduct of court proceedings, such as delays in trials and appeals; and misconduct by immigration and nationality officers,” Arzu said.
The Ombudsman reports that complaints against the police included refusal or neglect to investigate, improper investigations, unjustifiable or excessive force, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment, dishonest conduct, and unreasonable search and seizure.
Sedi scolds Amandala, Finnegan says let “free press” reign
Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington opened day 2 of the budget debate at the National Assembly in Belmopan on Wednesday, March 23, but used the time to campaign for taking the Belize-Guatemala differendum to the International Court of Justice, and also to scold the media—and particularly the Amandala newspaper—for its coverage of the issue.
He said that when the Belize-Guatemala issue comes up, especially the Sarstoon situation, “the most prominent media,” referring to Amandala, finds the least informed person, referring to Wil Maheia, founder of the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV), “to interview ad nauseam.”
“People who they interview can’t even talk, can’t even articulate their views properly but the media invariably seek them out,” Elrington said, adding that the newspaper is, thereby, “doing a disservice to the population with an incident that is so important…”
Consumer prices going back up
Consumer prices have been falling, on average, since November 2014—with successive decreases for over a year—but they began to increase again this January, with February recording the second consecutive increase since price trends began to reverse. According to data just released by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), the inflation rate for the month of February was recorded at 0.3% and for January 2016 at 0.4%.
Angelita Campbell, Statistician II, who presented data on Belize’s consumer price index and inflation at a press conference held today, noted that regionally, Guatemala recorded the highest inflation rate in Central America, at 4.3% while Costa Rica recorded the lowest rate of 0.003%. Belize ranked second in the region at 0.3%.
Housing, utility bills, food and non-alcoholic beverages and transport account for roughly 60% of Belizean household spending, or $60 out of every $100. When prices are assessed in these three major categories, with all others lumped into the fourth category, the greatest price ease was seen in the transport category, with prices down by 4.1%—although not at the pumps.
Belize exports to US, EU and CARICOM fall by $27 million since January
Belize’s exports, which fell by almost $80 million in 2015, continued to slide in the first two months of 2016, according to information just released by the Statistical Institute of Belize.
Tiffany Vasquez, Statistician II, reported on Belize’s external trade in merchandise at a press conference held today. She noted that in January and February of 2016, Belize exported goods totaling $52.5 million—a decrease of 37.9% or $32 million from the $84.5 million recorded for the same period last year. Exports of all of Belize’s major commodities fell in January and February, with sales to the US falling by $7 million and to the European Union by $15 million, while exports to CARICOM fell by $5 million. The US and the EU buy almost three-fourths of Belize’s exports.
BNTU takes national stand at Jalacte
Belize’s economic growth slows substantially
The Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) today concluded its 46th Annual Convention held for two days in Punta Gorda—the highlight of which was a trek to the border village of Jalacte in south-western Belize, where educators got a feel for what happens at the unregulated border crossing.
That was only the first step, according to BNTU Rural Toledo president, Stephen Sho. He told Amandala that earlier today, they passed a resolution for bigger rallies to come as a part of a national campaign to shine the spotlight on the Belize-Guatemala issue.
Over 100 teachers traveling in 2 buses, vans and private cars, made the journey on Wednesday to kick off their annual gathering as a part of their “Stand Up for Belize” rally. At the border, the teachers sang the national anthem, said the national prayer of Belize and raised their Belize flags.
Sho said that it was the Council of Management of the BNTU which had collectively decided on the initiative. The BNTU has indicated that this is not a political issue, but a national one which they want to be given adequate attention by the Government.
PUP Deputy Party leader Abelardo Mai knocks down woman in Trial Farm
People’s United Party’s (PUP) Deputy Leader and Area Representative for Orange Walk South, Abelardo Mai knocked down a woman on the Phillip Goldson Highway (PGH) leaving her in a critical condition. The accident happened in front of the San Martin Gas Station in Trial Farm […]
Ambassador complains against city manager of Miguel Hidalgo community in Quintana Roo
The Ambassador of Belize to Mexico, Oliver del Cid, has placed a complaint order against the City Manager of the area Miguel Hidalgo, for removing traffic cones placed in front of the Embassy of Belizean to Mexico office. The problem escalated when the City Manager, […]
The Belize Times
BDF Soldier Shot by Guat Trespassers
Another Belize Defense Soldier nearly paid the ultimate price for his defense of our national sovereignty and territory when he came under attack from armed Guatemalans who trespassed into Belizean terrain near the western border with Guatemala. Belize Defense Force Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey waited for hours for transportation to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on Saturday where he was hospitalised and provided treatment for four gunshot wounds to his hand and abdomen. Sgt. Lambey was released from the hospital today, Wednesday, March 30, 2016 under heavy guard. He only commented that he was doing ok, before being whisked away by his fellow BDF officers. Sgt. Lambey was shot near a water stream in the Valentin Camp area of the Chiquibul National Park. According to an official Ministry of Foreign Affairs release, Sgt. Lambey and other BDF soldiers were on “a routine water supply and administration task at about 4:50 on Saturday (March 26, 2016) when they came under fire from men armed with rifles”. The report further indicates that the attack occurred 400 meters east of the Belize/Guatemala border, well into Belizean territory. Only Lambey was injured in the attack.
“No stimulus, No encouragement, No hope,” – Business Senator rips into 2016/2017 Budget
The Senate met on Tuesday afternoon to debate the 2016/2017 Budget which was approved by the Government’s majority in the House of Representatives but not before the Opposition members lashed out for the lack of ideas and plans for Belize’s development.
The Government Senators were, as usual, singing for their supper and praising the budget even though many of them clearly have not taken the time to scrutinize it. For example, big banker, Steve Duncan, praised the Government’s ability to recognise the need for “stability” in the changing economic climate, yet he overlooked the continued excessive spending in Government luxuries such as fancy rides for Ministers.
The Senators representing business, church and union were more realistic. They joined the Opposition Senators to discuss pertinent concerns about our country including the economy, the rising debt, the cost of living and social conditions in which Belizeans are living.
Taking us for a rough ride! – Shenanigans at Municipal Airstrip Development Project
Almost FOUR YEARS AGO…on December 5, 2012…there was a big fanfare on the ground breaking ceremony for the upgrade of the Municipal Airstrip to a cost of $9.5M BZ. The funding for this project came from a loan given to the Belize Airport Authority by the Belize Social Security Board to double the size in length and width of the runway. No doubt the SSB saw this loan as a positive investment that would have a positive impact in the development of the very important Tourism industry. The loan was to be paid by a $5 rider’s fee imposed on every ticket sold by the local airlines. On June 1st, 2015 approximately 3 years later, the municipal airstrip was still incomplete and it was announced that the rider’s fee would now be $6.00 per leg to “continue” with the project of upgrading the municipal airstrip.
Now if someone is flying from Corozal to Belize City your new rider’s fee is $12 as opposed to a one-time fee of $5. This is because the $6 charged is for each “leg” or “stop”. But some persons with special titles don’t pay this airline tax. In the kingdom where some are more equal than others, this is how it works. It’s called the “not-normal rule” as set by the former Deputy Leader of the United Democratic Party.
Young church leader executed at home
Belize City Police are investigating yet another murder in the old capital. The ruthless killing of 24 year old Alwayne Cherrington does not have the characteristics of the violent homicides that have taken siege of the city’s southside.
Cherrington was shot dead while he was inside a family home on Lopez Street off Mahogany Street Extension in Belize City on Holy Saturday, March 26th. Cherrington, his wife and 3 year old step-daughter were sitting on their sofa, watching television in the living room when a gunman walked in and fired shots at him.
With a broken heart his wife, Shantel Cherrington, attempted to explain to media what occurred. She said at first she thought that someone had thrown dynamite inside her home, but she eventually realised that her family had come under attack.
Credit for inventing the bike goes to one Baron Karl von Drais who wanted an easier way than walking to get around. In 1817, he came up with the idea of sitting on a platform and propelling himself with his feet. His bulky and heavy contraption, dubbed the Draisine, gave birth to an idea that revolutionized the way human beings move around and laid the foundation for today’s sport of cycling. The Draisine of course, has gone though remarkable transformations and today’s bicycles are infinitely lighter and more expensive than the Baron’s original bulky and cheaply made contraption. The world’s lightest bike weighs in at an incredible 6 pounds but cannot be used in competition. The International Cycling Union demands a minimum weight of 7.5 pounds and weights actually have to be added to some bikes to meet the standard. This led in 2004 to a “legalize my Cannondale” campaign by riders who wanted to use the lighter bikes made by that company. A good racing bike can also be very expensive and at the low end, can run as high as $50,000 dollars. Many would be surprised at the cost of some of these bikes that even our local boys are riding. It is an expensive sport.
A Hard Lesson Not Learned
The details related to the shooting death of Belize Defense Force Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey over the weekend have not been fully revealed to the public for all of us to fully understand exactly how our fellow army men came under attack by illegal Guatemalan invaders in the Chiquibul National Park.
While we await a full account which we hope is provided soon by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and/or Ministry of National Security, we join the rest of Belizeans to make important points in light that in September 2013 fellow Belizean Danny Conorquie was killed in the line of duty in the same Chiquibul National Park.
The brazen daylight killing of Danny, while on duty for his country at Caracol, by Guatemalan intruders brought to light the serious breaches of Belize’s national security that still continue to take place. His execution in front of Tourists was also an attack on our vital tourism industry. The video of the shooting went viral on social networks, exposing the fragility of our tourism sector under the threat of illegal invaders.
San Pedro High boys win softball champs
The San Pedro High School boys won the National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA) softball championships hosted by the Belmopan Comprehensive School at the Elston Galvez field in Roaring Creek over the weekend.
Lester Gamez struck out 12 batters and walked 5, to lead the SPHS boys to a 5-1 win against the IHS boys and MVP Shemar Broaster hit an out of the park homer.
In 3rd place, pitcher Devontae Middleton struck out 7 batters and walked 7 s he led the Gwen Liz boys to a 24-8 win over the Baptist boys 24-8.
Shemar Broaster won the MVP award and had the Best Batting Average (0:400). SPHS pitcher Lester Gamez won the Most Wins awards; while IHS’ Christian Logan won Most Strikeouts (14). Gwen Liz’s Aaron Young won Most RBIs (6).
Chris Guydis wins 3rd Annual Caye Caulker Kayak Island Challenge
Chris Guydis won the 3rd annual Kayak Island Challenge race, organized by Mr Robert Blease and the Caye Caulker Tour Guide Association, starting and finishing at Palapas Gardens on Caye Caulker on Holy Saturday.
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 completed the race 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, such as the one used by Chris, 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.
Guatemalan wins 2016 Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic
Guatemalan national team cyclists Alejandro Padilla Miranda and his brother Julio swept most of the station prizes along the way to win the 1st and 2nd places in the 88th annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic on the George Price Highway.
Julio Padilla took the lead in San Ignacio, and paced himself into a three-man lead peloton with his brother and a lone Belizean, Team Digicell’s John Borland. The Padilla brothers eventually left Borland behind, and rode past the finish line together.
Policing Crime in Belize City
As perhaps the holiest of the Christian religious observances draws near, Easter, crime continues its unabated path in Belize City. In spite of all responses to address the issue of homicides in the old capital there is no clear indication that this most unholy occurrence, homicides, is being effectively curbed.
According to the Amandala newspaper dated 20th March 2016, yet another police response was announced by ASP Chester Williams: detaining children found on the streets after 9:00 pm. One can only imagine the pressure on the police department in Belize City who are often seen as key players in the fight against crime and violence. Others may feel that the police force is responsible for reducing crime and violence in the city, but this is easier said than done. Often short terms gains have been hailed as meaningful success just to find out in the following weeks that these were nothing more than premature exaltations.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
I was recently brousing through a back issue of the Pelican Magazine, a magazine of the University of the West Indies, and I came across an article called “Breaking the Glass Ceiling.” A reference to breaking the glass ceiling usually talks about the barriers to women reaching the highest levels of achievement and decision-making due to inbuilt societal structures that make it difficult for women to arrive at the pinnacle. So, to do just that is often called shattering or breaking the glass ceiling. Certain of my friends say that we should refer to it as breaking through the thatch roof. This, in my experience, is very difficult, but many have tried.
One such person is now-retired, distinguished Professor Elsa Leo-Rhynie of UWI. She achieved many firsts in her long career. The most significant, in my view, is that she was appointed
Easter is the second largest holiday in Belize. This time of the year families visit their loved ones in distant places at home and abroad. Others visit their favorite swimming spots such as Bacab, Gracie Rock, Monkey Bay, and the cayes. Some families also have great fun at home playing games, visiting nearby relatives, and enjoying the different meals for Easter week together. Easter is also the time of cross-bun, special gifts, and the traditional Cross- Country race, the biggest sporting event in the country’s history.
Two of the main reasons we celebrate Easter are 1) to thank Jesus for dying on the cross to wash away our sins and 2) to mark Jesus’ victory over death, when he rose from the dead on the third day after He was buried.
In dying on the cross for our sins, Jesus paid the ultimate price to show His great love for every human person regardless of whether someone is rich or poor. When He rose from the dead Jesus proved that there is indeed life after death for mankind.
Ariel Rosado Foundation offers more scholarships for 2016
The Ariel Rosado Foundation is inviting applications for the following scholarships for academic year 2016-2017. The Foundation emphasizes that once applicants are accepted into a high school or Galen University program the main criteria for consideration is financial need.
Primary School Sailing Scholarships:
Interested Primary Schools are invited to apply for a Grant that covers the cost of 1 year membership fee and 25 sailing sessions with the Belize Sailing Association for 10 students attending any Primary School in Belize City. Schools must provide adult supervision for students while participating in sailing sessions.
Belize under terrible leadership
The UDP had a fine time in the House last week. They didn’t debate the budget because they couldn’t. They know the budget is bogus and bad for normal Belizeans like you and me. But these UDPs aren’t normal. They’re living the high life – their pockets full, wives and sweethearts well taken care of, vacations wherever they want whenever they want, fancy vehicles, filet mignon in the fridge. It’s the best of times for the UDPs and for their bloated contract cronies. So they couldn’t really debate the budget because they don’t have to live the way we do. They don’t get it. So they laughed and made fools of themselves like they always do. Because it’s fun for them. It’s funny to them.
But for the rest of us, there’s nothing to smile about.
Questions to Ministers!
Can the Minister of Works say who has been awarded the contract to build a new road connecting the Phillip Goldson and George Price highways?
Can the Minister of Lands reveal who are the landowners who will be affected by the acquisition of land for the new road, whether the Government will provide compensation and who will decide the market value of the lands?
Can the Minister of Housing explain how he will meet the increasing housing needs of Belizeans with a budget of $50,000?
Will the Minister of National Security explain why the October 2015 Threat Assessment report compiled by senior security officials at the Belize Defence Force was not shared with the Minister of Foreign Affairs or Prime Minister?
Fuel prices go up – GOB begins to squeeze $50 million from consumers
Fuel prices went up sharply just before Belizeans got underway with their Easter vacations as the Barrow Administration began to implement their announced $50 million tax increase.
The cost of Regular gasoline jumped by 62 cents from $8.23 to $8.85 while Diesel went up by 21 cents from $7.57 to $7.78.
The increase fuel prices dampened the spirits of many Easter vacationers who hoped to travel for the Easter weekend. Many tried to stretch their dollars as much as possible to be able to travel to their favourite Easter weekend spot and the higher fuel price increase will only hurt their pockets more.
Consumers had to brace for increases in fuel prices just a month ago, in February.
Airport taxi wrongs tourist
An elder couple from the states who is visiting Belize was wronged by a taxi driver of the Ladyville Airport Taxi Union and his colleagues when the driver refused to return the couple’s fare after they found the person who was to pick them up from the airport was right there waiting for them.
The incident occurred on Thursday, 10 March 2016, at about 4:30pm when the couple exited the arrival lounge. They searched among those who had signs showing the parties they were waiting for. They inadvertently went past the person who was waiting for them. The pick-up person and his son were right in front of the waiting crowd. The couple moved away to the airport taxi union booth and arranged to have one of the union driver’s take them to their destination. They mistakenly paid first.
Inside UB: Where the students are last!
In September 2015, my wife and I arrived in Belize. We had been invited by the University of Belize to be lecturers teaching courses in Sociology, Psychology and Research Methods but also to be undergraduate thesis advisers. We came from Portugal after having been told that the UB needed to “raise standards”, that it needed “new ideas” to help it become a 21st century institution. What we found was an institution that refused to prepare students and preferred to give them passing grades just for showing up. This opinion of ours has been often mistaken for colonial arrogance. It is not. Quite the opposite, actually.
Breaking Belize News
Cold front setting in
A late season cold front will become stationary over our area and support an increase in moisture and instability during the next couple of days. The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting sunny skies with cloudy spells this afternoon, tonight and tomorrow morning. […]
PUP’s Jose Mai involved in road traffic accident
The Peoples United Party’s (PUP) Deputy Leader and Orange Walk South Area representative Jose Abelardo Mai is reportedly under police investigation after he hit a woman while driving along the San Martin gas station area on the Philip Goldson Highway in Trial Farm Village. […]
Belize Tourism Board hands brief to Brighter Group
Belize has a new representative for tourism public relations and marketing in Europe. The Belize Tourism Board awarded the contract to The Brighter Group, one of the biggest independent travel & tourism PR and marketing consultancies in the UK, established in 1995. The main […]
Grilled Panela with Mango Habanero Salsa
To make the salsa, dice the mangos and cut the onions a little smaller. Place in a mixing bowl. Discard the habanero seeds and mince them up small, being careful not to rub your eyes (you may want to wear kitchen gloves while cutting). Add the cilantro and the lime zest and juice, stir to combine, and then season with salt to taste. Set aside. To grill the cheese, cut it in 1/2-inch slices and heat a grill pan over medium-high heat or prepare a barbecue grill to medium-hot. Rub the cheese slices lightly with olive oil on all sides and brush the grill rack or pan lightly with oil. Grill the cheese quickly, 15 to 20 seconds on both sides, just until it takes a grill mark. Arrange the grilled cheese on a serving platter and spoon the salsa over and around it. Serve any remaining salsa on the side.
WANDERLUST: HANNA STABLES ~ SAN IGNACIO
Hanna Stables got a great write up. Their riding excursion to Xunantunich is famous, and quite popular...and loads of fun.
"This was the first trip I’ve had in a while that I had a bunch of free time during the day hours to plan my own activities without considering what anyone else wanted to do. SO I was wandering around on Google and found a couple great reviews of a place in San Ignacio named Hanna Stables. I admit when I first told my local friends there I was going horseback riding for half the day they were harassing me but it was THE best decision!
Part of the ride was a visit to the Mayan ruins site of Xunantunich which I had missed on previous San Ignacio trips. In order to access the site you take a short ride on an old hand cranked ferry which is an endearing little adventure of its own."
Mother Nature provides the music, light and entertainment of Belize
“If the world had any ends, Belize would certainly be one of them. It is not on the way from anywhere to anywhere else.”
These words by the popular 20th century author Alduous Huxley pretty much sum up this little country south of Mexico’s Yucatan and north of Guatemala in Central America. A lack of strategic importance to the world probably explains why, unlike its neighboring countries, Belize has remained so uninhabitable. It feels remote, and, for many of our travelers at Monroe Travel Service, that is exactly what makes it such a virtual paradise to visit.
The two lane road that spans the length of Belize is not even paved in some places. In a country which is about the size of Massachusetts, there are only a handful of traffic lights. Yet, don’t let the lack of progress fool you, because, on a recent trip, Rob and I discovered there is a lot to see and do in this little place!
Just a couple of hours from Belize City and, after passing through some of the worst poverty imaginable, we arrived into the back-country, a hauntingly charming place of rain-forests and serious jungles. These nature preserves are filled with all sorts of wildlife — monkeys, anteaters, parrots, ocelots, and tapirs, the national animal. The highest waterfall in Central America and the only jaguar reserve in the world can be found in this playground of nature.
Spanish Colonial Churches Influenced By Maya Designs
The religious architecture of Spanish colonists in the New World was influenced heavily by the Maya, an indigenous civilization wiped out by European colonization.
The age of European expansion into the New World was characterized by the exploitation, subjugation, and assimilation of those who were already inhabiting the lands European powers wished to make their own. The most egregious examples of this cultural – and often literal – eradication are found in the colonies founded by Spain during the colonial period, with the Maya peoples of the Yucatán Peninsula just one of the victims of this European colonisation.
In a new doctoral thesis by the University of Gothenburg’s Teobaldo Ramirez Barbosa, a solid link has been made between Maya and the architectural elements of their building methods influencing the religious infrastructure of colonial Spain. The spread of Christianity played a pivotal role in the colonization of the region, which incorporates parts of modern-day Belize and Mexico, and was used as a method by Spanish colonial overlords to control the Maya.
Top 10 Destinations in Central America - Travelers Choice Awards - TripAdvisor
San Pedro is "La Isla Bonita" that Madonna made famous. Now it's a tourist mecca, but still boasts great beaches and plenty of dive shops so you can enjoy the sun, sand, and sea. Plan a side trip to Caye Caulker while you're here; it is less developed and more laid back, and has its own splendid swimming areas.
Wade Sr 50 AnniverSARY 2015, 69min.
Family and friends of murdered tour guide holds unique event in his memory, 3.5min. Ten kite surfers embarked on a life changing challenge to kite surf from Ambergris Caye to the beautiful shores of the Placencia Peninsula. The event which is the first ever of its kind in Belize, is aimed in part to raise awareness of the fragility of the reef, while also honoring the late Jeffrey Eiley, a son of the island who was murdered two years ago.
Why Do Mexicans Drink So Much Soda?, 1min. Anthropologist Jaime Tomás Page Pliego explains how Coca-Cola became an integral part of cultural ceremonies in the Chiapas region of Mexico. BBC The Inquiry, about our neighbor's soft drink addiction. Mexicans drink an average of half-liter of sodas daily. In 1903, the Coca Cola company stopped adding coca leaves/cocaine to Coke, but the addition to Coke continues. Mexicans in Chiapas state drink in excess of 3,000 glasses annually, that's more than 5 times the national Mexico. I don't know what the Belizean national average consumption is is, but since "we live eena glass house, we kyan't throw stones at Mexico".
Note, from a health point of view, it's is not just about Coke. It's about our deeply ingrained culture of drinking sweetened beverages in general, including sweetened juices and teas. Embark on a habit of drinking water. After a time, you honestly won't miss sodas and sweetened juices. Your food starts tasting even better, not to mention that you'll start losing weight effortlessly, with all the health benefits this brings.
2016 Fieldworkers Club Belize Tarpon Tagging Expedition, 4min. Join the partnership between anglers and scientist from the University of Miami at the 2016 Belize Tarpon Tagging Expedition, August 13-20, 2016 fieldworkerslub.com
Sea Star/Dive Bar - Belize, 1min. A new dive shop and restaurant, located on the beautiful island of Ambergris Caye, has opened and is drawing attention to experienced divers and visitors.
Can you Belize it?!, 4min.
BELIZE Boso przez świat Wojciech CEJROWSKI, 29min. ZASUBSKRYBUJ moj kanal :)
BELIZE Boso przez swiat WC Wojciech CEJROWSKI, 28min.
Belize, Spring Break 2016, 6min.
Belize 2016, 5.5min. Here is a short glimpse of my trip to Belize. I had an unforgettable week and an amazing experience in a beautiful country with beautiful people.
Belize Phantom 3 Drone, 5min. A little bit of our trip - from the sky
Blue Tang Inn
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Belize | Spring Break 2016, 5.5min.
Half Moon Caye, Belize by aerial drone - DJI Phantom 3 Professional, 1min. Filmed during our Great Blue Hole diving trip.
The Guatemala-Belize Language Exchange Project 2003-2008, 16min. Video report of 5 years of the Guatemala-Belize Language Exchange Project - Informe en video de los 5 años del Proyecto de Intercambio Guatemala-Belice.
Can you Belize it?!, 4min. Traveling Belize, March 2016. Shot at:
-Turneffe Atoll (Turneffe Island Resort and the blue hole)
-Cayo District (Blackman Eddy Village, San Ignacio and Caracol)
Belize Mission Trip 2016, 7min.
ZipLining in Belize 2016, 2.5min. by Karin Cayetano
Belize Cave Tubing, 5min.
Belize 2016 Family Trip, 6.5min. We spent March Break 2016 in beautiful Belize exploring the barrier reef, jungle and Mayan ruins.
Spring Break in Belize, 4min. Spring Break 2016 Belize City, San Ignacio, Ambergris Caye