“The Laad” is my shepherd … I shall not want!
In an undated press release sent out yesterday from the Secretariat of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) calling for the removal of the Opposition People’s United Party’s Senator, Eamon Courtenay, the UDP said, “We believe that his action is an outright betrayal of Belize’s national interests and comes in extreme conflict with the Senatorial seat he holds. We therefore call for his immediate removal from the Senate.”
The government’s call for Senator Courtenay’s removal from the Senate was triggered by a constitutional challenge he filed at the Supreme Court registry on behalf of the Ashcroft group of companies, which are seeking enforcement from US courts for an arbitral award of US $50 million – by any means necessary, including the reserves of the Central Bank, held in the US.
The Government’s newspaper, The Guardian, of Sunday, February 12, 2017, said that “…on February 3 … Claim 66 of 2017 was filed by Courtenay and Coye LLP …”
Father of 4 shot 8 times on Western Avenue
The future of four children all under age ten hangs in the balance because their father, who is their sole bread-winner, is in an induced coma in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH).
Alrick August, 23, a sales representative at the Transparent BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) call center, was on Western Avenue walking towards his home on Electric Avenue sometime before 9 p.m. on Wednesday when he was accosted by an armed assailant.
He was shot five times in his chest, twice in his left arm and once in his neck. He was rushed to the KHMH and admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in a critical condition.
One of his lungs has collapsed and his ribcage was fractured.
Magistrate fined Woman Police Constable $25 for noise near court’s holding cell
Recently appointed magistrate, Norman Rodriguez, who was called to practice at the Belize Bar shortly after he became a magistrate, yesterday summoned a Woman Police Constable (WPC), who is responsible for the public area of the court’s holding cell, to appear in his courtroom.
There was noise coming from the cell block area, and so Magistrate Rodriguez cited the WPC for contempt of court and fined her $25 plus $5 cost of court. He ordered the WPC to pay the fine by Friday, February 10.
Magistrate Rodriguez’s decision to cite the WPC for contempt of court sent several officers of the court scurrying around to find out the meaning of contempt of court as it relates to the Laws of Belize.
Economy imperiled, GOB tells businesses
The national budget is due to be presented to Parliament in a few weeks, and whereas a draft budget book has not been prepared, preliminary figures for the $1.2 billion budget were tabled today at the first external consultation held by the Ministry of Finance for this budget cycle.
This afternoon, government officials met at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza in Belize City with members of the business community, and they are due to meet tomorrow at the same venue with representatives of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB).
Hon. Dr. Carla Barnett, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, told Amandala after today’s consultation with the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and the Belize Business Bureau (BBB) that the presentation “…focused on our analysis of the economy; our analysis of the government’s fiscal performance; what we need to be trying to achieve in the next fiscal year. And we sat down with the business community to get their ideas firstly on how the present economic context affects them and also any suggestions that they may have in terms of revenue and expenditure measures.”
Government playing games with re-registration and re-districting?
In a statement released on Tuesday, the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) revealed that it has, “closely followed the publicized process of the Senate Select Committee Hearings into the Auditor General’s Special Audit Report on the Passport, Immigration and Nationality Department, 2011-2013.”
“Through this medium, we wish to place on record our tremendous concern regarding the matter of voter registration as a result of what can only be described as wanton distribution of questionable/illegal Belizean Nationality Certificates,” the statement continued.
The statement went on to mention that, “The imbedded ‘culture’ of the Passport, Immigration and Nationality Department has for far too long, allowed thousands of unqualified individuals to hold Belizean Nationality. Those unqualified persons were then subsequently allowed participating on what should have been free and fair elections."
Decriminalization law for up to 10 grams of ganja lags behind after 5 years
In 2012, Belize began to seriously look at changing its laws to decriminalize the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana—about a handful of what is locally known as ganja—in a process which is still going through legal fine-tuning five years later, even as more youths are finding themselves in trouble with the law over the use of the drug.
Whereas the proposal is not to make the use of marijuana legal, it proposes to introduce a system of nominal fines for the possession of very small quantities of the weed.
Almost two years ago, in February 2015, a team tasked with coming up with decriminalization proposals launched its report; and our newspaper was informed that laws would soon be approved.
Bandits and Police draw 0-0 in Week 2 back match
Last night at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, Police United FC and Belmopan Bandits SC played to a 0-0 draw in a Week 2 back match which was originally scheduled for last Sunday at the Norman Broaster Stadium. Police United moved their home game to Belmopan for the mid-week back match.
Two other rained out games remain as Week 2 back matches: Freedom Fighters FC vs Verdes FC at the Victor Galvez Union Field in Punta Gorda, and Wagiya FC vs FC Belize at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga. The only Week 2 game played as scheduled saw home standing BDF FC registering a 2-nil win over Placencia Assassins FC at the MCC Grounds on Sunday, with second half goals from Brian Martinez (81’) and Raymond Ramos (87’).
Belize City Primary Schools Football Tournament under way at MCC
The “all in a rush” Belize City high schools football tournament climaxed yesterday evening at the MCC Grounds, but before the female championship game kicked off, the primary schools female and male tournament had already gotten under way with two games played earlier at the same venue.
Eleven female teams and seventeen male teams are participating in this year’s Belize City Primary Schools Football Tournament. And, believe it or not, with games scheduled daily from Monday to Friday, the regular season is scheduled to be completed by Monday, February 27. How this is accomplished, is by separating the teams into small groups, and playing a round-robin format in each group.
SCA girls and Gwen Liz boys are CSSSA 2016-2017 football champions
There were no big surprises at the MCC yesterday in game 2 of the Finals for both females and males in the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) 2016-2017 football championships.
Defending back-to-back female champions, SCA girls were the clear favorites going into yesterday’s game 2 of their finals series against Ladyville Technical girls. SCA had posted a decisive 2-nil win in game 1 on Monday, with goals from Jodi Pott and Gabriela Mendoza; and yesterday, they sealed the series with a first half goal from Charlize Hunter, to win 1-nil and claim the championship with an aggregate 3-0 score. Ladyville Tech girls tried their best, which is all their coach, Daniel “Sundance” Smith could ask for; but the better team won. With the victory, SCA girls are now three-peat CSSSA football champions, and will go on to represent the Central Zone in the national tournament next weekend in San Pedro.
SCA coach Mario Rodriguez is to be commended for achieving major skills development and a structured game that bodes well for the future of female football in Belize.
NEBL “In the Paint”
The Dream Ballers couldn’t have found a more inopportune time to visit the defending champion Hurricanes than tonight, when the teams meet at the SCA Auditorium.
The Hurricanes, despite their (1-2) record, are riding high following last week’s impressive win against the Western Ballaz from Cayo, who, ironically, defeated the Dream Ballers about 2 weeks ago. And, if that isn’t enough assurance for a successful showing tonight, then certainly, the fact that they have been dominant in their head-to-head match-up with the Dream Ballers, winning three of four meetings since the inception of the NEBL in 2014, certainly should provide the required impetus for a sure win.
Conversely, the Dream Ballers go into the game playing .500 ball with a (1-1) record, with their only win to date coming on the road against Belize City No Limit. Historically, they have not had much success on the road, having an all-time record of 9-13 since entering the league in 2014. The Dream Ballers offensively scores about 76.5 ppg, while allowing close to same. Obviously, they will need to slow down the pace and play to their strengths, which is controlling the defensive glass, which ultimately should limit second chance opportunities for the defending champs.
Waiting for instructions …
It is a somewhat optimistic proposition for you to expect the same person who enslaved/colonized you to teach you how to liberate yourself. European-controlled education amongst formerly enslaved/colonized societies, such as Belize, has not served to liberate the native peoples. Instead, what such education has done is to create an elitist class of natives whom Frantz Fanon referred to as the “national bourgeoisie.” Remember now, when the Europeans began to educate us natives, the intention of the Europeans, apart from converting our ancestors to European religious beliefs and practices, was to create a class of trained natives who would be loyal to the Europeans and lower the Europeans’ cost of administration in their occupied territories.
The bottom line, historically speaking, was that the European was a conqueror, and we African and Mayan descendants have never reversed that conquest militarily. In our quest for Belizean self-rule after World War II, we Belizeans sought to reverse European conquest politically, which the Europeans permitted, granting us self-government and independence in 1964 and 1981, respectively. It is clear today that we did not reverse European conquest economically, and one of the reasons for this is that the educated national bourgeoisie, led by the attorney/politicians of the PUDP, have enriched themselves, their families, and their cronies, and left the masses of our people in poverty and ignorance. Thus and meanwhile, the question of liberating ourselves militarily in Belize has never been asked, much less answered.
Griga showed me a lot of love on Sunday afternoon (big up, Bastic), and it was all about the incredibly gifted Pen Cayetano, and a decision he made. It was a bold and daring decision, but Pen is an artist, and this is how artists are – bold and daring.
I met a couple brothers I’d been kinda estranged from, and it felt really good to link with them. There were dignitaries – one from Guyana, another from Jamaica, yet another from Punta Gorda, who attended. There were a couple officials from a certain organization which I understood to be conflicted; that organization had not been a part of the planning or the program. I surely appreciated their presence. Bless up, NGC San Ignacio Branch. Big up, David Ruiz from Benque. Blessings on the Afri-Garifuna Jazz Ensemble.
It will take a while for me to digest all the vibes and give you a sense in writing of Pen Cayetano’s tribute. I must immediately mention how valuable for the process were the commitments made by Dr. Ted Aranda and Cynthia Ellis-Topsey. They added a lot of credibility to the program before it even started.
Two or three weeks ago, I had asked Adele Ramos if I should prepare a speech, or just speak extemporaneously. She said, extemporaneously, because that would be from the heart. I basically followed her advice, but as Sunday, February 5, drew closer, I began to make notes to which I intended to refer, to keep me on track.
Drums of my Fathers
On the occasion of Black History Month and the tribute to Evan X Hyde, I made it my purpose to beat the rains and the three-hour drive from Benque Viejo to Dangriga this past Sunday. I had intended to bring over some of my students of Belizean Studies class, yet was successful in coercing only but one. One is good enough, I surmised, thinking of the ripple effect as we cut into the rolling hills through the Hummingbird Highway which, I am sure, has seen better days.
The nice stretch close to Belmopan is suddenly interrupted by potholes and broken pavement which was difficult to notice in the heavy rains that poured down into the valley. Though the narrow one-lane bridges remain an attraction of a bygone era, the dilapidated state of the railings, as well as the absence of road markers, present a hazard to the driver. Past down the intersection to the Southern Highway, we made a stop to buy some boiled corn from three school-aged children who were soaked to the bone, yet seemed to care less. We made the business transaction in Spanish while they responded in Creole. As we savored our corn sprinkled with salt and lime, we pulled aside giving time for the rains to lessen.
We drove into Dangriga shortly after midday. The “drums of my father” at the entrance of town brought back memories at the MOE Planning Unit in Belmopan where I first met Roy Cayetano and got to know about his famous piece which portrays his love for the Garifuna culture.
Race, immigration and Belize’s black population
Let it be known that in the beginning the settlement that was to emerge as Belize, was fundamentally made possible by the sweat, blood, tears, labor, suffering, heroism and resiliency of the black man and woman.
In 1804 at the height of the Haitian Revolution a boat filled with our Haitian brothers and sisters appeared off the coast of the Belize settlement. They had requested permission to land, but the white British slave owners who administered the settlement refused this request and the boat was ushered away under arms. Despite their rivalry and quest for dominance in the so-called New World, this action by the British colonizers was in line with the European colonial powers in isolating and punishing the Haitians for setting the wrong example of liberation of the enslaved. This also set in motion what was to become a Belizean anti-black immigration policy and attitude that lingered from settlement to post- independence Belize.
While the black Haitians were rejected and turned away from settling in Belize, during the American Civil War of 1861-1865, white, Southern, racist, Confederate slave owners from the United States were allowed to resettle in what was then known as British Honduras (Belize).
Immigration officers escape justice for “Citizen Kim” passport hustle
Former CEO in the Ministry of Immigration, Candelaria Saldivar-Morter, appeared in front of the Senate Select Committee today, Wednesday.
Even though her brother, Cabinet minister John Saldivar, had at one point held responsibility for Immigration, she frankly told the committee that the results of the audit into the Passport, Visa and Nationality Departments done by the Auditor General were not surprising, as, “a lot of things were unusual at the Immigration Department.”
The committee did not hesitate in asking her about the actions taken by her in the case of Won Hong Kim (Citizen Kim), a Korean national who received a Belizean passport and nationality certificate while in a Taiwanese prison at the time when she was the CEO in the Immigration Ministry. Kim had never entered Belize, contrary to what his documents had claimed.
Accusations were made against former UDP Minister Elvin Penner, believed to have been Kim’s chief facilitator. The evidence against Penner was so damning that it cost him his political career.
“Bex” is back
Belizeans gave a warm, cheer-filled welcome home today, to Ms. Belize Universe, Rebecca “Bex” Rath. Rath returned from the Philippines today, having been the first Ms. Belize to participate in a Ms. Universe pageant in 10 years. She arrived shortly after midday at the Phillip […]
PM’s wife speaks at world cancer day summit
Kim Simplis Barrow, wife of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, represented Belize at the International Atomic Energy Association’s (IAEA) World Cancer Day panel discussion, held in Vienna, Austria. Barrow, a cancer survivor herself, joined Princess Dina Mired of Jordan, and Amadou Diarra of the International Federation […]
BNTU calls for voter re-registration
The Belize National Teacher’s Union (BNTU) is calling on the Government of Belize to ensure that it holds a voter re-registration exercise as soon as possible. The BNTU said this week that it has been following the Senate Inquiry into the Auditor General’s Special Audit […]
Pass the blame continues – senior officers say “Da no me!”
As the Senate Inquiry into irregularities at the Immigration and Nationality Department continues, more senior officers are predictably distancing themselves from liability, including former Immigration Services head, Edgar Cano. Cano testified before the Senate Special Select Committee this week, that he wasn’t in office when […]
Conservation NGOs equipped with fire fighting gear
Recent hurricanes have knocked down a significant number of trees within Belize’s forest reserves, and while the management organizations try to harvest as much as the timber as they can, the remaining dead trees present a major fire hazard for forest fires during the dry season, which is already upon […]
BPP calls for support to demand re-registration
The ongoing senate inquiry into the immigration scandal has uncovered a host of irregularities at the department. The gaps in the nationality procedures have sparked widespread concerns and backlash among citizens and political parties for an immediate re-registration process so as to update the voters list. […]
Belize attends environmental ministerial meeting
Environmental Ministers from Central American countries recently met in Costa Rica on February 2-3, including the Belizean Minister Dr. Omar Figueroa. The main objective of the meeting held by the Central American Commission of the Environment and Development (CCAD), was the handing over of the Pro-tem […]
Belizean doctors headed to San Salvador for specialization
Seven Belizean doctors will be specializing in various areas of medicine through a collaboration between the governments of Belize and El Salvador. Under the program, 21 doctors from the public health system will go to Universidad de San Salvadaor, for specialization. The doctors will specialize in areas […]
Threatened species list to be updated in Belize
Local, regional and international experts in wildlife conservation are currently working on updating Belize’s national threatened list for terrestrial wildlife. A technical workshop held at the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center on January 31 involved key stake holders such as the Forest Department along with […]
New hammerhead shark species found in Belize
Shark researchers have discovered a new species of shark in Belize. Researchers from Florida International University (FIU) were conducting DNA sequencing on bonnet head sharks, a species of hammer head sharks, when they made the discovery. The bonnet head shark is found in the Caribbean, Latin America, […]
BAHA tries to contain rabies outbreak
The Ministry of Health issued a strong advisory to livestock farmers last week to vaccinate their cattle livestock as a way of protecting their herd from the ongoing spate of rabies cases affecting various parts of the country. The ongoing Bovine Rabies disease outbreak is currently […]
Western Avenue shooting leaves one critical
A 23-year-old Belize City man is listed in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after he was shot on Western Avenue on Wednesday night. Alrick August was shot multiple times to the chest, neck and left arm as he walked along Western […]
UNO gestation robbed in broad daylight
Two men robbed the UNO gas station on Youth for the Future Drive this week, making off with more than $15,000. Just before 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, the robbers, armed with a black 9mm pistol, ambushed the station manager, who was on his way to make a […]
Man remanded for sex with minor, while police search for Ladyville rapist
A Belmopan man was remanded to prison after it is alleged that he had sexual intercourse with a minor, meanwhile Ladyville police are looking for a rapist who attacked a female while she was walking home on the Philip Goldson Highway on Friday night. A 43 […]
Elderly man robbed and murdered on Philip Goldson Highway
On Monday morning at around 4:00 a.m., the body of a man was discovered between miles 19 and 20 on the Philip Goldson Highway. Police investigations indicate that the victim was robbed and murdered. The body was later identified as 44-year-old John Ortiz, a father of […]
By now it must be clear to all that Mr. Michael Ashcroft and Belize are locked in a life and death struggle. He wants Belize to pay his company $100 million dollars in principal and interest accrued over seven years, and Belize has quite rightly refused to do so. This […]
Arbitration battle rages on
As GOB mounts a new legal battle in US courts, the UDP is calling for the ousting of the PUP’s Eamon Courtenay from the Senate on grounds that he put Belize in great economic danger by defending Michael Ashcroft’s enforcement of a US $50 million […]
La Ruta Maya race must go on
Despite concerns that the Haulover Creek may not be accessible in time for the annual La Ruta Maya river challenge, Environment Minister, Dr. Omar Figueroa says the race must go on. Figueroa told the Reporter that a team of personnel from various relevant ministries will […]
Belizean bombshell graces London magazine cover
Draped in a velvet Marc Jacobs dress, Belizean blogger and beautician Joyjah Estrada, recently graced the cover of #LOVEME17 British Style magazine, photographed by famed reality star, Kendall Jenner. The 22-year-old Belizean beauty was chosen for a photo shoot with Jenner, the younger sister of […]
Breaking Belize News
Senator Courtenay Aborts Senate Inquiry to Join Ashcroft Alliance in Washington on Another Case Against Belize says GoB
The Government of Belize (GOB) has issued a press release to inform the nation that yesterday there was a hearing in Washington, D.C. of yet another Ashcroft Alliance case against Belize.
The GOB press release notes with dismay and repugnance, that Ashcroft’s Belize lawyer, People’s United Party (PUP) Senator Eamon Courtenay, traveled to Washington on Wednesday, February 8, and was together with Ashcroft’s U.S. lawyers yesterday at the D.C. hearing.
Santa Elena man missing
Reports reaching our newsroom is that a man from Santa Elena Town, Cayo is missing.
Family members of sixty five year old Alberto Requena are seeking the public’s assistance in locating him.
Requena’s niece posted on social media that he was last seen on Tuesday night.
The public is asked to contact the nearest police station or his niece at 660-1606 or Edwardo Requena at 607-7439.
NICH launches “Maya – Hidden Worlds Revealed” Exhibit
Yesterday, the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) and the Science Museum of Minnesota held a press conference to launch an exhibit entitled “Maya – Hidden Worlds Revealed”.
The conference was followed by a VIP opening ceremony at the Perot Museum of Science. This traveling exhibition is a collaboration between the NICH and the Science Museum of Minnesota.
Melissa Ferguson, wife of alleged murderer, kidnapper, fraudster and extortionist William Mason, today walked out of the Belize City Magistrate Court free from charges of conspiracy to commit kidnapping in the case of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas.
Lucas’s head was found in Mason’s truck last July. However, up to this date his body has not been found.
Mason had developed a cozy relationship with several high profile government ministers, including John Saldivar, who he was seeking to establish business relations with.
Gunshot victim needs blood
Alrick August, 24, lies in bed at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after being shot as many as eight times on Wednesday night.
His family, however, told us today that he is in need of blood. Persons with O negative or A negative blood willing to assist the father of four can contact 670-5363.
Eclipse, full moon and comet to light up the sky tonight
Belizean stargazers are preparing their telescopes to spy on a rare phenomenon that will light up the heavens tonight.
Early this evening, a rare event will light up the sky. The February full moon will be accompanied by an eclipse and a comet.
A penumbral lunar eclipse will begin. A penumbral lunar eclipse is when the sun, moon and earth all line up and cast a strange effect on the moon.
Brother of Minister Sedi Elrington remains on the RUN
We could not reach Minister of Police and Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, for comments on his brother Dr. Errol Elrington, who remains a wanted fugitive in the United States.
He has been on the run for almost 4 years now after an arrest warrant was issued for Errol Elrington, M.D., for racketeering, Medicaid fraud, and health care fraud in October 7, 2013.
Placencia Sidewalk Art Festival to be held this weekend
The Placencia Sidewalk Art Festival is happening again this weekend February 11 and 12.
This is the 14th annual art festival. The public is invited to come and enjoy Belizean culture through a variety of mediums.
For over a decade the Placencia Sidewalk Arts Festival has brought together Belize’s top artists and those people, local and foreign, who appreciate the work they do so well.
This year’s festival, through the sponsorship of Naïa Resort and Spa, will be adding a new dimension to the annual event.
Increase in moisture expected
The 24-hour forecast is for sunny skies with cloudy spells this afternoon and cloudy at times tonight and tomorrow morning. Showers will be isolated this afternoon and then increase mainly along southern and coastal areas late tonight into tomorrow morning.
The wind will blow from the east to northeast at 10-20 knots.
The sea state will be choppy to moderate.
Lobster Season Is In The Final Days: The Tasting Menu At Casa Picasso
I don’t know how to break this gently so I will just say it. And show it. THERE ARE 4 DAYS LEFT IN LOBSTER SEASON 2017.
Lobster season in Belize closes – no trapping, no sales, no lobster – from February 15th to June 15th for the mating season.
So it was particularly serendipitous that I received a lovely invitation from two visitors to dine at one of San Pedro’s favorite dinner spots – Casa Picasso. I would have my last tastes of lobster in the very best way possible – as the star of CP’s Thursday night tasting menu – AND I would cross off a bucket list item!
Quick observation: CP has a super comfortable bar area and small outside garden – both separate from the main dining room. This is a great spot to treat yourself to drinks & tapas or a meal. Party of one.
Don’t sound shocked. Enjoying delicious food, chatting with the hosts and the bartender, sipping a cocktail by yourself can be a really great evening.
The Maya among us
In 2012, it became abundantly clear that a lot of people around the world had no clue that Mayas are still living among them. I will never forget the look on a young man’s face when I confirmed that indeed, the Mayas do exist. It was a novelty for him, and being that it was the much-buzzed about ‘2012: end-of-the-world”, his curiosity led to asking, “How do you live?”
I take that question and add to it, “How do we continue our traditions and way of life in a modern society?”
The answer is a bit complex, as we are now far-flung through the corners of Belize, and many other countries around the world. One thing we have in common, beside our language, is our love for home, Tanah. I was born and raised in San Antonio Village in the Cayo District. The westernmost district is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes, and in my humble and biased opinion, San Antonio is nestled in one such spot: a valley ringed by mountains as far as the eye can see, homes dotting high hills and dirt roads snaking every which way.
The population is primarily Yucatec, and I am fortunate to have been born in the era of one of the most famed healers, Dr. Elijio Panti. I also grew up with the Garcia Sisters, who had their brush with fame with their slate carvings and art. In fact, one sister continues pushing for tradition and preservation of culture, lobbying alongside other villagers to honor Dr. Panti with a medicinal trail/reserve. Another group of hard-working artisans have taken on the magnificent art of pottery-making, using the help of a New York University professor to create bowls and figurines in homage to our ancient ancestors’ styles. We speak our Mayan language, conversing wherever we meet, be it in the center of the village, or on this very island where I now reside. We can pick each other out, bound by a common thread…and we talk and reminisce.
Where Ever You Go There You Are
I was recently engaged in a conversation with someone about how funny it is that tourists and future expats think that it’s all a laid back, hammock rocking lifestyle here when in reality, many of us expats find that we’re even busier than we were back home, especially ones that work and volunteer. With all of the events, fundraisers, and parties that are always going on, most of us are often doing double duty on the hamster wheel between work, fun and helping our community.
For most right now, it is a highly busy period between work, volunteering and special events. As we muddle through being pulled in several directions at once and experiencing another wave of social events it is important to maintain quiet time. Often easier said than done with the length of people’s to-do lists.
I chose the title “Where Ever You Go There You Are” from a book by Jon Kabat-Zinn. It is a great example of making the choice to become an expat before you are ready to retire and any struggles that may come along with it. Work is work no matter where you live and when you live on an island in a country that often gets referred to as the “Wild West” you can bet there will be challenges in balancing work, play and true island style relaxation.
A Crash Course in Navigating Belize
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from our trip to Belize. This tiny Central American country has about 350,000 residents with about an equal number of tourists who visit each year, many from North America. Tucked under Mexico’s Yucatan and surrounded by Guatemala, I assumed it was somewhere between the two: one part tourist enclave, one part dusty roads and wild jungle.
Luke and I decided not to stay on the popular cayes near Belize City: Ambergris and Caulker. Instead, we set our sights about four hours south to Placencia Village, a place that appeals to slightly more intrepid travelers, yet has drinkable tap water.
We left our home in Minneapolis at 3:45 a.m. and landed in Belize City around 1:30 p.m. We shuffled like zombies through customs and immigration. Then we found our way across a blazing hot parking lot to the car rental office where we were given a battered Renault Duster for the week. The attendant handed us directions and $4 to pay the exit fee, and away we drove – into the great unknown.
We were expecting chaos, but instead, found driving conditions to be rather humane. The roads (we followed) were paved and fairly well maintained. And we quickly caught onto the local customs for sharing small, two-lane highways. Say you’re quickly approaching a slow-moving work truck ahead of you. The truck will slow down, put on its right-hand blinker and pull over as far as possible to let you safely pass. We did the same thing if we noticed someone hauling ass behind us. The system works beautifully and I vote we practice the same behavior in Minneapolis.
Best Time to Visit Belize
Belize has gained a reputation for being one of the most beautiful countries in the world. With its diverse culture, exotic wildlife and lush landscapes the country continues to lure thousands of visitors to its shores every year.
There is so much to see and do in Belize and you might ask yourself when is the best time to visit belize and experience all it has to offer? Every month holds endless possibilities and adventures! There are some months, however, during which specific activities occur in the country that will allow you to experience events unique to Belize. Here is a breakdown of the best time to visit Belize:
Belize On The Rise As A Spring Break Destination
Although Belize certainly looks and feels like an exotic vacation destination for spring break, it's actually just a few short hours' flying time from the United States thanks to a bevy of affordable non-stop options from leading airlines like American, Southwest, United, and Delta. Whether your idea of the perfect spring break is enjoying the nightlife on a gorgeous tropical island or getting lots of fresh air and sunshine as you explore a pristine jungle, there is truly something for everyone in Belize.
VOGUE SAYS PLACENCIA BELIZE IS A MUST-VISIT CARIBBEAN DESTINATION
Published on February 3, 2017, a new article from Vogue, the lifestyle and fashion magazine, entitled "The Must-Visit Caribbean Destination You've Never Heard Of" lavishes plenty of praise for the verdant beauty and genuine friendliness of the Placencia Peninsula. Highlighting the astonishing variety of the food, the exciting discoveries of ancient Maya ruins, and the abundance of adventure opportunities on both land and sea, the Vogue article is sure to entice legions of readers to come visit Belize, the Caribbean destination that they've "never heard of."
The recommended destinations and excursions in the Vogue article include hiking through the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary in search of jaguars and black howler monkeys, snorkeling at Laughing Bird Caye, visiting a cacao farm, and diving with whale sharks in the waters off of the Silks Caye Marine Reserve and Gladden Spit atoll.
Originally published as a weekly newspaper in 1892, Vogue is now one of the top lifestyle and fashion magazines in the world. Vogue is currently published in 21 international editions and has a monthly circulation of over 1.3 million copies. Vogue was purchased by Condé Nast in 1905 and has been helmed by the legendary Anna Wintour since 1988.
Frommer: Dumbing down the cruise experience
The recent tendency of the cruise lines to eliminate port stops in actual cities inhabited by local residents — replacing those ports with stops in phony, artificial "private islands" or "private beaches" — has now escalated. By creating a phony island for their passengers on Caribbean cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line has given us the phony island to end all such fakes.
It's called "Harvest Caye," and it's a separate small island developed by the cruise line, reachable by a 15-minute boat ride from the mainland of southern Belize. Passengers are disembarked on Harvest Caye, from which they walk under a canopy shielding them from the sun to the various facilities on this private island. If travelers want to experience the real Belize, they could take the boat ride to the mainland, but I would assume that this further trip primarily is for people signing up for an escorted sightseeing tour of the mainland. I am guessing that few passengers would board that boat and, after arriving, walk close to 3 miles to the Placencia Village on the mainland.
Rather, the facilities on the private island are designed to keep passengers rooted there, spending money at the various enticing comforts and attractions of Harvest Caye.
CALYPSO ROSE BLOOMS ....wins World Album of the Year at French ‘Grammys’
The first woman to win the Road March and Calypso Monarch titles, Linda McArtha Monica Sandy-Lewis, better known as Calypso Rose, performed her smash hit, “Leave Me Alone”, yesterday at the prestigious Victoires de la Musique awards in Paris, France, mere minutes before receiving the award for Album of the Year in the World Music category.
“Praise be to God Almighty for this wonderful and historic achievement!” she told the Express via telephone, just after receiving the award last night. “I am overjoyed to bring this back to Trinidad and Tobago!
“I want to thank my agent, Jean-Michel,” she said onstage after receiving the award. “I want to thank my Government of Trinidad and Tobago and all my fans...they have kept me going with the beautiful music and the vibrations I give them! I want to thank Stonetree Records from Belize and Ivan Duran. I want to thank you all... May God bless you...and you know something...I am the Queen of France right now!”
Caribbean Destinations Charted Strong Visitor Growth in 2016
Leisure travel to the Caribbean performed strongly in 2016 and is poised for continued positive growth in 2017, said leaders of the region’s largest tourism and hospitality groups this week.
Caribbean destinations recorded 29.3 million land-based, overnight visitors in 2016, the region’s seventh-consecutive year of growth and its highest-ever total said Hugh Riley, secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), in a press briefing Thursday.
Caribbean arrivals increased 4.2 percent year-over-year compared with 2015 and the region’s 2016 visitor growth exceeded the 3.9 percent global tourism growth for 2016 reported by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), said Riley.
Additionally, Caribbean cruise passenger arrivals grew an estimated 1.3 percent, totaling approximately 26.3 million in 2016. The Caribbean remains the cruise industry’s number one area of vessel deployment.
Riley and other CTO officials attributed the region’s overall growth to the strength of its primary visitor source market. “The performance in 2016 was primarily supported by sustained economic growth in the U.S.,” said Ryan Skeete, CTO’s director of research.
Miss Belize Rebecca Rath returns to the country to a welcome by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2min. Welcome home Bex!
15 Days in Belize + Cuba (2017), 2min. Our itinerary for the curious:
Day 1: Flight from Los Angeles to Houston to Belize. Shuttle to Parrot Nest in San Ignacio.
MUCH NEEDED PEDESTRIAN RAMP INAUGURATED IN THE LOUISIANA AREA, 6min.
BSI ASR WEEKLY CROP REVIEW 2017 - WEEK 9, 3min.
BELIZE NOW Episode 9, 32min. New amendments to the Forest Act announced, Ministry of Foreign Trade discusses C.S.M.E Labor Market Information System, and the National Council on Ageing breaks down to celebrate its birthday. These stories and more on this week’s edition of Belize Now.
Madi Snorkels the Belize Barrier Reef, 2min. With the threat of offshore oil exploration in her country, this 11 year old blogger feels the need to do something outstanding to raise awareness on the importance of our Reef.
Belize Vacation, 5.5min. Great 5 day trip to see a bunch of beautiful sites on the beach and inland to see the ruins.
Belize 2017 B, 5min.
Belize 2017, 7min. Flyfishing for Bonefish, Permit and Tarpon in Caye Caulker Belize 2017.
Amazing kids in Santa Elena, Belize, 3min.