The news will be a bit brief for the next week or so due to time constraints
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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
WCS & CRFM award 3 Fishers of the Year 2016
Cesar Munoz of Sarteneja Village, Corozal district was awarded as the 2016 Fisher of the Year, while Mrs. Guadalupe Lampella of Punta Gorda and Juan Munoz of Sarteneja were recognized as outstanding Fishers of the Year as Belize celebrated World Fishermen’s Day on Wednesday, June 29, the feast day of St. Peter, which is observed as a public holiday in many other countries. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism awarded these three Fishers of the Year in a ceremony at the Coastal Zone Management Institute in Belize City on Wednesday morning.
Solani Graniel returns from International Pageant
Beautiful Solani Graniel has returned from competing in her first international pageant, “Miss Caribbean International Roots Pageant”, in Colombia, South America. From June 21st to June 26th, her schedule was hectic as she worked on her tactics for the grand finale of the pageant.
Graniel shared her excitement and experience with The San Pedro Sun, detailing how well-received the contestants were from their arrival to the grand finale. While Graniel did not come back with the crown, she is thrilled to have experienced this pageant.
The pageant took place on Sunday, June 26th, and walking away with the title of Miss Caribbean International was the host town, Providencia, Colombia’s contestant. Although Graniel did not win the grand title, she took second place in best fantasy dress. She feels honored to have represented Belize, specifically San Pedro.
National Song Competition announced
To kick off the 2016 September celebrations, the National Celebrations Commission (NCC) issued a press release with details regarding the National Song Competition on Thursday, June 23rd. This program is an opportunity to highlight Belizean vocal talents, creativity, showcase Belize’s diversity, and national pride. As such, the NCC is inviting all musicians, performing artists, and amateur musicians to submit their songs by Friday, July 22nd at 5PM.
The competition is open to all Belizeans, both juniors and seniors. Groups may enter, but will be treated as one entity. In the senior division (ages 18 and older), $10,000 and a trophy will be awarded for 1st place. The first place prize will include a music video, and an opportunity to represent Belize in the region. A prize of $3,000 and a trophy will be awarded to the second place winner. In the junior division (ages 17 and under), $4,500, a trophy, and a music video will be the given to the first place prize winner. A prize of $1,000 and a trophy will be given to the runner up.
Highlighting the Vulnerability of Belize’s Meso-American Barrier Reef
There is the possibility that the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System could be placed on the list of World Heritage Sites in Danger, according to a World Heritage Committee (WHC) draft decision released on Friday, June 10th. The document was released by the United Nations Educational and Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in the Desired State of Conservation Report after several deadlines to meet required indicators outlined by UNESCO had been missed. The decision took place regardless of the Government of Belize’s commitment to ensure their continued protection programs of Belize’s Barrier Reef System along with its other World Heritage Sites.
Misc Belizean Sources
2016 Caye Caulker Lobster Festival
Lobster Lobster Lobster Fest!
Canillita: Orange Walk Town & San Pedro
July 8 – July 9. ABDIEL TAPIA
Actor / Escritor de Canillita
Panama City, Panama
Teatrista profesional: Actor, Director, Productor, Diseñador de sonido, diseñador de luces, diseñador gráfico... El teatro es mi trabajo y mi placer..
Caye Caulker Lobsterfest 2016 is a blast!!!!
Meet Miss Guatemala, Maria Jose Larrañaga Retolaza
The International Costa Maya Festival is excited to announce its sixth contestant vying the title of Miss Costa Maya International 2016. Maria Jose, likes to share with family and friends, share with kids and elderly persons (social works) in foundations, horseback riding, box, catwalk modelling, go to the beach and travel.
The Placencia Breeze July 2016
Pg 3 BTIA news Pg 7 POV Porkapalooza Pg 9 Kaina Martinez / Irahuna Dancer / New Seine Bight Village Council Pg 10 Whopper of a Fish Story / Results of Tourism Development Study Pg 11 The Shak Spotlight / International Yoga Day Pg 12 Police Workshop Pg 14 Placencia Sailing Club Pg 15 & 18 Placencia BTIA Members Pg 16 & 17 Placencia Peninsula Map Pg 20 Placencia Peninsula Happenings Pg 21 Calender of Events Pg 22 Lobsterfest Events Pictures Pg 24 Graduation Pictures / Bookbag Santa Pg 25 Belize Audubon Society Pg 26 Community Corner Pg 27 PHS News Pg 28 Raffle Prize Winners Pg 29 PVC Fishing Tournament / Lobster Competition Pg 30/31 Paid Listings / Rotary News July
Breaking Belize News
Murdered Belizean minor found on the Mexican side of the Rio Hondo
Orange Walk Police and Mexican authorities are both investigating the murder of 17-year-old Dustin Cortes, a resident of San Felipe Village in the Orange Walk District. Cortes’ body was found floating on the Mexican side of the Rio Hondo and was retrieved by Mexican police earlier […]
Traffic accident claims another life
A late Friday evening traffic accident claimed one life. The incident happened sometime around 4:00 on Friday afternoon along mile 35 on the Hummingbird Highway when Jodine Gill, a 28-year-old teacher, lost control of her maroon 2004 Nissan X-Terra SUV while she was heading to Belmopan. […]
YOLO! 24 Tatas Cruise to Caye Caulker, Snorkel with Sharks & Have “The Best Day Ever”
Yesterday, I was honored to be invited on a girls’ trip with Island Dreams Tours on the HUGE boat YOLO. 12 ladies from Idaho celebrating their friend’s one year recovery from breast cancer. Leave the guys at home…head to Ambergris Caye, Belize for 10 days at the Blue Tang Inn and celebrate friends and family and life.
What could be better? We boarded YOLO at about 8:45am and after a short briefing, review of the bar menu and a challenge accepted to try one of each cocktail, we were off. The trip includes snorkel stops at Hol Chan Marine Reserve (TURTLES!), Shark Ray Alley, brunch, snacks and 2 hours on Caye Caulker. We also stopped for a dip on the way home.
Lock in Your Piece of Paradise on Caribbean Caye Caulker
Relaxing in a lounge chair, on the expansive sandy beach of Caye Caulker’s eastern shore, a refreshing breeze tickles my skin, providing a reprieve from the mid-day heat. Frigate birds glide overhead, buoyed by a constant salty sea breeze. My gaze follows the avid kite surfers as they bounce along the sparkling sea, their colorful sails billowing as they acrobatically turn mid-air. I’ll never tire of this idyllic Caribbean scene.
Caye Caulker is a tranquil, charming, laidback little island. It still looks and feels genuinely Caribbean. It’s small, with only 2,000 residents. The roads are composed of packed sand. Residents navigate the island on bicycles, or on foot. ”Go Slow” signs greet you at regular intervals. The signs here are charming, quirky, and colorful. There are no flashing electric neon signs. You’ll see no cars or trucks…and few golf carts.
Strolling along the village’s main street, which runs tandem to the beach, is a delight. You’ll pass a series of inviting B&Bs, guesthouses, and small condo buildings, all painted in lively Caribbean colors such as orange, purple, powder blue, yellow, and lime green. Each establishment is infused with the owner’s personal touch. The same is true of the beach kiosks. Each small, quaint shack offers tours, treats, liquid refreshments, or local art work.
One stuck firetruck highlights San Pedro’s needs for more firefighting options
A fire at Aji’s Tapa Bar & Restaurant‘s palapa bar on North Ambergris Caye, Thursday night, brought out the San Pedro firetruck. It got stuck in the sand in front of Paco’s Tiki Bar, just north of Aji’s, as it tried to find access to the waterfront eatery.
The restaurant was already repairing the fire damage on Friday and restaurant operation has not been halted by the fire, according to a neighbor.
The operation of the firetruck, however, was halted in the sand until Saturday morning. The truck was seen heading south for home around 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning.
Bringing the right equipment to the right fire is important — but everyone knows that the options are limited to two trucks for the San Pedro Fire Station, the pumper and the big wagon (seen here).
Ironically, my friend and a San Pedro civic leader Amanda Syme recently relayed a timely and cost-efficient suggestion for bolstering the fire department’s options during a Facebook conversation. She said this suggestion came up in a recent Emergency Management meeting.
Said Amanda: “On the island, a natural water source is typically nearby and other areas often have swimming pools. The pump (at left) that was used to pump water from the sea helped immensely and could provide two hoses. The cost of the pump is only $15K BZD.
Belize Tourism Statistics and Visitor Market
A couple years ago I wrote an article on who visits Belize the most. Since some time has gone by, I thought it would be great to write an update – the update includes Belize tourism statistics of 2015 and a visitor market share analysis. The analysis may benefit potential visitors and hotels/ tour operators looking to promote their businesses.
Market share analysis reveals that almost 3/4 of visitors to Belize are from the US, followed by Europeans with 12% and Canadians with 7% (figure 1). Examining the top 10 US visitors by State reveals that most American tourists come from Texas and California (figure 2). These US travelers usually love the outdoors and enjoy experiential travel. However, it must be noted that this data is only from the overnight tourists who visited Belize in 2014. As was discovered in the market share analysis (figure 1 & 2), individuals who visit Belize are primarily from the USA, particularly Texas and California. These travelers usually love the outdoors and enjoy experiential travel. Therefore, Belize’s target audience can be categorized into three types of travelers that are from the US: outdoor travelers, cultural explorers, and adventure challengers that are looking for soft (i.e. scenic walks, swimming) and hard (i.e. diving, hiking, spelunking) adventures. Individuals are primarily educated, between the ages 35-55, and are from middle and upper-middle class backgrounds.
Placencia, Belize Lobsterfest 2016!!!!!!!
I feel like at almost every annual event, people say, this was the best one yet!!! Besides some rain, I heard the same rumblings about this year's Placencia Lobsterfest. If you weren't able to make it, here are some pictures from last week's event!!!
Thank you CBC's own Sue Vasquez for capturing all these fantastic pictures!
Top Travel Photos and Videos of Belize for June 2016
Were you traveling Belize for the month of June? If the answer is yes, we are pretty sure you were blessed with amazing weather for hiking in the forests of Cayo, snorkelling with rays and nurse sharks at Shark Ray Alley, and enjoying the wide array of lobster dishes now available with the opening of Belize’s Lobster Season.
This past weekend saw the culmination of both the San Pedro and Placencia Lobsterfest’s; events that drew hundreds of travelers to experience competitive cookouts, beach parties and musicians. Our team will have a recap of both festivals, including the Caye Caulker Lobsterfest which ends this Sunday, in our next blog.
With all the festivities and events that took place, we were impressed with the sheer number of travel related posts on Instagram featuring Belize! From the thousands of travel photos and videos that were taken, we have chosen several that we believe truly highlight the Belize Experience.
Without further a-do, here's our list of the "Top Travel Photos and Videos of Belize for June 2016.”
The gay conundrum: Does this destination deserve my money?
“Every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person … shall be liable to imprisonment for 10 years.” This is a quote from the Belize criminal code, one of the first things you read when you Google “LGBTQ rights in Belize.”
My first step when planning a trip begins with this kind of quick reference check to determine how gay-friendly the destination is. I get a chart that outlines how the country rates on this tier of human rights. It lists the legalities of same-sex sexual activity, marriage, union recognition, whether there are anti-discrimination laws on the books in employment and other areas, whether LGBTQ people can adopt a child, serve in the military, etc. More often than not, these charts are a sea of red Xs not green checkmarks – and that’s true for a lot of the Caribbean countries many Canadians visit without blinking.
“Don’t go there! They throw us fags in jail,” a friend of mine said recently, only half-jokingly, when the subject of a trip to St. Lucia came up. He was referring to the fact that the island – just like Belize and dozens of others – still considers same-sex sex illegal, with a penalty of up to life imprisonment. Happily, this is not enforced. So why is it still on the law books?
Even scientists take selfies with wild animals. Here’s why they shouldn’t
One of the great things about being a biologist is getting to work in the field and connect with wildlife. Through my career, I have enjoyed many unforgettable close encounters with various species, including turtles, birds, marine mammals, invertebrates and a lot of fish, especially sharks and rays.
My research program also has a strong focus on citizen science. I use data collected by recreational scuba divers and snorkelers to describe marine animal populations and conservation needs. Therefore, I work closely with the tourism industry.
Because of these connections, I am often asked to advise on best practices for tourists interacting with wildlife. In response I tell them that scientific studies have documented how unnecessarily handling or getting too close to wild animals can have lasting consequences – including causing stress which can interfere with their feeding or mating success.
Reflecting on my own experiences, however, I recognize that I and many of my peers have not always followed those best practices. Sure, we need to have close encounters with wildlife to do our work, and we have the necessary training and permits. We often have reason to photograph animals in the course of our research – for example, to quickly capture information such as size, health, sex, and geographic location. But we do not have permission, or good reason, to engage in recreational activities with our animal subjects – including restraining them for selfies.
An Indigenous Mom Explains Why She Doesn’t Register Her Kids with the Government
We went down to Belize, to train with the Mopan Mayan midwives. The Indigenous people there have tons of knowledge, they've each birthed 400, 500 babies. One is coming up in a couple weeks to do workshops on womb massage and a few different things. They also use sweat lodge in a lot of their birthing practices—pre and post-natal. There are things that I know we did here, too. Whenever I go into any other community I always ask: are there traditional midwives practicing? That's something really important because there's so much knowledge out there. That's what I want to do in our own language, is find out what the name is—woman's doctor, woman's healer—whatever it is in our language so we can start to revive that in our nations.
Mangoes destroy cancer, blast fat, reduce cholesterol, and more
Despite being a member of the Anacardiaceae family (as are poison ivy and poison oak) and therefore producing the irritating chemical urushiol, the mango has a much better reputation than its renowned rash-inducing relatives. Most people do not come in contact with mango vines or tree sap, harboring high urushiol concentrations, and only a few susceptible individuals react negatively to mango skin; therefore, a majority of the population has everything to gain and nothing to lose by eating the nutritious and delicious mango. The several ways it is credited with improving health include the following:
Although it has substantially fewer antioxidants than the acai berry or pomegranate, its high fiber and vitamin C content together with its several phenols and enzymes give the mango promising anti-carcinogenic properties (9).
Consuming pectin, the form of fiber found in mangoes, lowers the risk of developing gastrointestinal cancers (9, 12).
Vitamin C protects against free radical damage, also reducing cancer risk (13).
When colon and breast cancer cells were exposed to mango extract (containing the active ingredient gallotannin, a polyphenol) by Texas AgrLife scientists, the cells stopped growing and dividing and began to systematically die (1). Because the division of these cells was halted, scientists believe mangoes may prevent cancers by interrupting the process by which mutant cells proliferate to form cancerous growths (1).
Belize Airboat, 9min.
Craziest Crab in Belize!!!, 1min. Craziest Crab Ever!
Belize Trip 2016, 7min. Scuba Diving and Fly Fishing around Turneffe Atoll, Lighthouse Atoll.
Snorkeling in BELIZE 2016, 5min. A short video of our snorkeling adventure at Sergeant Cay, in Belize, during our January 2016 Carnival Valor cruise. We spent the day snorkeling, learning about the sea life, and relaxing on our own private island.
Half Moon Caye Wall Belize, 3min.