FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE
Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.
Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and other specials
The San Pedro Sun
Ministry of Health issues safety advisories in increased temperatures
As temperatures continue to rise in Belize, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has issued a public advisory on heat exhaustion and drowning prevention. To avoid the detrimental effects of heat waves, the MOH asks the public to limit their exposure during the hottest time of the day–10AM to 3PM.
The MOH states that the number one tip to keep cool is to always keep hydrated. It should be noted that caffeinated drinks and alcohol are not a substitute for water, as they contribute to further dehydration. If you must go out when it is hot, make sure you apply sunscreen, wear a sun hat, and stay in the shade when possible.
The MOH also advises to keep an eye on people who are ill, elderly or very young. As heat elevates, the body fails to control its internal temperature, resulting in heat-related illness like heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat rash, or heat stroke.
During sunny days, children are to drink water during the day and limit outdoor activity in the direct sunlight. Adults are advised to limit alcohol consumption during outdoor activities and increase water intake during physical activity.
Police cracking down on corruption
In the wake of several criminal reports allegedly committed by police officers, the Ministry of Home Affairs has responded via a press release, condemning such acts, and indicating zero tolerance for such behavior. The release issued on April 24th also encourages the general public to report any wrongful act by any police officer, and that it will be dealt with expeditiously and with the utmost transparency.
The release notes that the Ministry applauds the efforts of the Police Commissioner for taking decisive action against those police officers who were reportedly engaged in corrupted practices, unwarranted use of force and other criminal acts. It was also noted that the Belize Police Professional Standards Branch capacity is being enhanced and is taking a pro-active role in ensuring that police professionalism is never put in question by any regrettable occurrences.
San Pedro House of Culture celebrates ‘Dia de la Cruz’
Island Catholics joined the celebration of Dia de la Cruz, on Wednesday, May 3rd at the San Pedro House of Culture (SPHC), coinciding with the ending of the novenas. The event is also known as the feast of the Holy Cross, and is one of the important symbols in the Catholic religion. It represents the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, which according to Catholisism were on the cross where Jesus Christ died.
A large group attended the event, and shortly after 7PM, Guillermo ‘Mito’ Paz from the SPHC welcomed every one. He gave a brief history of the occasion, emphasizing that it has been a long-time tradition on the island brought from Mexico. He also mentioned that it is a very old, religious event, which began in the 1400’s after the Byzantine Empress Saint Helena was looking for the cross on which Jesus Christ died. According to Paz, it is believed that anyone who touched the cross would be healed of any illnesses or badness.
Sustainable Tourism Forum held at SPJC
The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (MTCA) held another ‘Sustainable Tourism Forum’ on Wednesday, May 3rd. Hosted at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium, the forum discussed the role of the tourism sector to students of San Pedro Junior College (SPJC).
The ongoing forums came after the United Nations (UN) World Tourism Organization designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. As a part of the efforts to commemorate the occasion, the MTCA has been conducting forums at educational institutions throughout the country of Belize.
Within the presentations, the MTCA highlights the tourism’s role in promoting key development areas under the UN’S Sustainable Development Goals 2030, which include sustainable economic growth; cultural values, diversity and heritage, and mutual understanding, peace and security.
Misc Belizean Sources
Ms. Neidy Alamilla Salazar passes away
Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to express it sincere condolences to the Salazar Family and Friends on the passing of Ms. Neidy Alamilla Salazar. May her soul rest in peace.
Belize cyber security symposium raises awareness of region-wide problem
Large, well-funded and highly organized crime syndicates are behind many of the cybercrimes taking place in the Caribbean. And regional governments and security agencies are challenged to respond.
“Today's cybercriminal is no longer just a computer geek looking to see what mischief he can create. Modern cybercriminals are increasingly being employed, trained and resourced by transnational crime syndicates,” said Sean Fouché, information and communications technology manager at CARICOM IMPACS, an agency responsible for regional crime and security.
“Recent reports have revealed that cybercrime is now even more profitable than the global drug trade. Based on intelligence from the Regional Intelligence Fusion Centre, we are also seeing that cybercrime is now being coupled with the illicit drug trade and human trafficking. This is feeding into a much larger issue of transnational crime.”
Orange Walk Cancer Walk 2017
Cancer Walk 2017 in support of all the fighters and survivors of Cancer and support for the Orange Walk Cancer Support Group.
Mango Fest 2017
Jun 3 to Jun 4, Holy Family RC Church Grounds, Hopkins. BTIA Hopkins Presents
Mango Festival 2017
Games for kids and adults,
Raffles, Auctions and give aways,
Grand Prize Hopkins Vacation Package,
Live cooking show with Chef Sean Kuylen.
Barefoot Beach Bash until 3am and all day Sunday.
Live music entertainment by:
Tropical Vybz Band,
DJ Kadejah Tunn,
Butterflies Spa 10th Anniversary Fireworks Show.
Supporting agroforestry activities
In the village of El Carrizal, Peten, thanks to the British Embassy funds, FCD partnered with Guatemalan institutions and other donors to support agroforestry activities. A total of 38 families (205 persons) are benefitting from the investments.
We were thrilled to celebrate Tapir Day with Belize this week! To make the day even more memorable, Beyond the Horizon: 2017-Belize flew a Black Hawk helicopter over the Belize Zoo to wave hello to all the children celebrating Fuego's 4th birthday!
Grace Primary reaching out to the community
The faculty, staff and students of Grace Primary School reached out for support from Belize City residents, through “Street Fest,” a fundraiser to help prepare the school’s new campus for operations in September.
The event featured live music from the school’s steel pan band, food, drinks and children’s games. Mirna Shepherd, the school’s principal, explained that while the school is receiving support from the Belize Social Investment fund, with the construction of the building, the burden of filling the yard, and building a fence falls in the school.
The new campus is scheduled to be inaugurated on Wednesday, May 10.
SIF broke ground on the Grace Primary extension in August of 2016.
Leadercast 2017 draws over 200
Over 200 Belizeans from various public and private sector organizations attended Leadercast 2017, a global leadership seminar, which was simulcast over the internet at 700 locations in 20 countries.
Belizeans gathered at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel, where they became a part of the 100,000 that attended the event, held under the theme “Powered by purpose.”
Renowned actor, director producer and playwrite, Tyler Perry, was the headline speaker at the event, giving a speech on how finding his purpose helped him to change the lives of thousands of people.
The event also included speeches from Daniel Pink – behavioral science expert, host of crowd control; Andy Stanley – Leadership Author and communicator; Suzy Welch Author, television commentator; and Jim McKelvey, founder of LaunchCode.
Breaking Belize News
Two Santa Elena children missing
The family of 8-year-old Jennifer Rivera and 6-year-old Angel Rivera from Santa Elena town are worried sick after the brother and sister did not return home today.
According to a source close to the family, the two siblings were last seen today at 3:00 p.m. near the Red Creek area in Santa Elena.
Belize and UAE sign open skies agreement
The governments of Belize and the United Arab Emirates, through its General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), have signed an open skies agreement.Director-General of the GCAA, Saif Mohammad Al Suwaidi, representing the UAE, and Jose Manuel Heredia Jr, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation of Belize, signed the agreement.
The agreement will now enable air traffic between the two nations with full flexibility on routes, capacity, frequency and types of aircraft, whether owned or leased, in any type of service and it also includes the exercise of fifth freedom traffic rights. This agreement is a part of the UAE’s mandate to expand trade relations with various countries of the world.
Suspect in murder of Canadian-American couple was their “good friend”
The double murder of a Canadian- American couple has shaken the expat community in Serenity Sands in Corozal.
When asked by News 5 yesterday if he was involved in the murder of his landlady, Deshaies denied the allegations saying that he was Matus’ good friend.
The Belize Police department had said that they were following up on reports of threats made to Matus’. Since Matus’ personal belongings were not missing, police have ruled out theft as a motive.
Dean Barrow’s Legacy
There is much speculation these days about when exactly Prime Minister Rt. Hon Dean Barrow will retire and hand over the reins to a new UDP Leader, although we are only one year and a half into the latest five year mandate which his three-term administration was granted by the Belizean People on November 4, 2015. What is NOT in doubt is the fact that, by all accounts, Mr. Barrow’s legacy will be a good one, especially in light of what he inherited, and in the context of the global, regional and national challenges (natural and man-made) his administration has had to confront:
FIU carries out AML/CTF assessment
The National Anti-Money Laundering Committee (NAMLC), chaired by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), is presently undertaking a Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism National Risk Assessment (NRA).
The process is expected to continue until approximately March 2018.
The purpose of the NRA is to understand risks and identify the threats and vulnerabilities that create money-laundering opportunities within the financial system.
Ariel Rosado Ride underway today
Belize joins the Ariel Rosado Ride 2017 to start the pre-celebration of the UN Global Road Safety Week, which will focus on speed, scheduled from 8-14 May 2017.
The Ariel Rosado Ride started at 6:00 a.m. today from the Galen Campus in Central Farm to Belmopan City showcasing the road safety features. It will then head to Cheers, Hattieville and Belize City.
The Mayors of both cities will welcome the ride in through their respective cities.
Love Chocolate? Don’t Miss The Belize Chocolate Festival This Year
One of the most exciting food festivals in the world is going to kick off in the southern Toledo District of Belize in May. From Friday, May 19 to Sunday, May 21, 2017 the Belize Chocolate Festival will feature three whole days of celebrating this miraculous food in all its various formats. Local farmers will showcase their finest chocolates, and wines in between hosting trips to cacao farms and dancing the night away as local musicians fill the air with the sweet sounds of their indigenous heritage.
The cacao fruit, the seeds of which produce the world-famous food known as chocolate, is a local plant originally from Central America, and Belize’s Toledo District is renowned for having some of the best cacao in the world. Alongside a mind-boggling array of chocolate desserts and treats, the festival will feature other chocolate flavored products like chocolate beer, chocolate barbecue and chocolate soap.
The town of Punta Gorda, capital of the Toledo District, will host a lively street fair during the three-day festival with plenty of live music, arts and crafts, games and activities for children, and a wide range of cultural displays from the region’s rich blend of indigenous peoples.
Altun Ha Mayan Ruins - All You Need to Know Before You Go
Among outstanding features of this former ceremonial center frequented by wealthy, powerful Mayans are two main plazas and 13 structures including the Temple of Masonry Altars. If engineering impresses you, check out the Maya-constructed water reservoir where crocodiles hang out these days. Once a project that provided settlement water, you may wonder how rain collected here instead of leaching or leaking away. Engineers used yellow clay to seal the ground so water couldn’t escape–yet another testament to Mayan ingenuity.
Altun Ha is situated 31 miles north of Belize City along the Old Northern Highway and about 6 miles west of the Caribbean Sea shoreline. If you drive, travel half an hour past Sandhill Village and two miles down Rockstone Pond Road toward the reserve. This two miles isn’t paved, so prepare for a bumpy ride.
Caracol Mayan Ruins - All You Need to Know Before You Go
Tour the central core of three plaza grounds bounded by two ball courts, an acropolis, buildings, temples, palaces and sacred sites that include altars and places for ceremonial worship. Perhaps the most often written about attraction at Caracol is the Sky Palace (Caana), the tallest man-made structure in Belize. It towers above the settlement at a height of 136-feet, but for those eager to get a complete picture of this ancient world, the stele, tombs, hieroglyphic inscriptions and intricate architectural details will fill in the voids.
Reach the Caracol site by starting in the Cayo District and traveling around 25 miles south of San Ignacio to the Maya Mountains foothills where the Chiquibul Forest Reserve welcomes travelers to the former Mayan stronghold. Prepare for a slog. Caracol is situated amid tropical rain and pine forests that could require an arduous trek to reach the site. As recently as 2009, 3D maps taken of Caracol reveal much more to be unearthed about agricultural terraces and paved causeways, reason enough to return in the future.
Che Chem Ha Cave: A Wonderland of Mystery and Artifacts
Che Chem Ha’s stalactites and stalagmites aren’t the most dramatic in Belize, but you won’t care once you begin to explore narrow passages filled with the largest stash of ancient vessels, plates, pots and lids found in Belize. From shards to large vessels, some retain original, artistic decorations. Walk further to discover ladders propped against walls that lead to shelves and chambers holding more Mayan relics, some of which still include ancient seeds and decomposed maize used to conduct secret ceremonies.
From San Ignacio or Benque Viejo Town, follow the Hydro Road about 5.5 miles past Poustinia until you spot a sign pointing toward a small dirt road that leads to the cave. There are several gates the way. Prepare to get out, open and then close them behind so you don’t let cattle escape to neighboring properties. If you’ve hired a tour service, you don’t have to worry about bumpy roads or getting lost.
UAE signs open skies agreement with Belize
The UAE, represented by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), signed an open skies agreement with the Government of Belize.
Director-General of the GCAA, Saif Mohammad Al Suwaidi, representing the UAE, and Jose Manuel Heredia Jr, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation of Belize, signed the agreement.
The agreement enables the designated carriers of both parties to operate with full flexibility on routes, capacity, frequency and types of aircraft, whether owned or leased, in any type of service and it also includes the exercise of fifth freedom traffic rights. This agreement is also in line with the federal government’s approach that looks forward to wider horizons in terms of trade relations with various countries of the world.
Caribbean Banks See Rise In Cyber Attacks
Imagine doing a routine check on your bank account only to discover that an entire month's worth of credit had been swiped from your card. The nightmare became reality for one elderly Belizean couple, who fell victim to identity theft.
For Alejandro and Leandra Chulin, the story started five years ago with a troubling phone call from their son, who was at the time studying abroad. He had been trying to use their credit card but couldn't. A few quick checks with the bank confirmed their worst fears. Someone had already maxed out the limit, racking up enough purchases to leave the Chulins in the hole to the tune of several hundreds.
The money was recovered but the trauma remains. And now that Belize is taking much-needed steps to address identity theft and other cyber threats, the Chulins are making the most of an unprecedented opportunity to lend their voice to the national effort and to learn how to be more cyber safe.
Debt may well strangle a Caribbean generation
There is a real prospect that, in dealing with unsustainable debt, 11 of 13 Caribbean small states will have lost the first three decades of the 21st century and foregone opportunities for poverty reduction, transformation and growth.That judgement has been made by a leading development-economist who has studied and worked on small economies. Cyrus Rustomjee is a South African-born former head of the Economic Affairs Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat. In that position, he produced well-considered papers for the G-20 on the development challenges confronting developing countries. His recent study, 'Pathways through the silent crisis: Innovations to resolve unsustainable Caribbean public debt', was commissioned by the Centre for International Governance — an independent think tank located in Canada.
Losing the first three decades of the 21st century is a grim prospect. That's practically an entire generation of Caribbean people. As Rustomjee points out, the problem is not that debt accumulation and debt servicing pose an intrinsic threat to poverty reduction, growth and development, but unsustainable high debt and debt servicing levels do.
Murder in Belize: Mystery surrounds death of Atlanta Marine, girlfriend
It was the foul stench — an insistent and unforgettable odor — that grabbed Demetrio Yam’s attention. A diminutive farmer with weather-beaten skin, Yam was toiling in his fields here in northern Belize Monday morning when he first picked up on the scent. Following his nose down a remote dirt road and then through a dense maze of sugar cane, he found a path to a clearing on his property. And that is where he discovered the bodies.
Drew DeVoursney, 36, a Marine veteran from Georgia, and Francesca Matus, 52, a property manager and mother of two from Canada, had been missing for nearly a week. Both had been strangled. Tape was found on their wrists.
Yam’s discovery has prompted a double-murder investigation drawing widespread media attention across the United States and Canada. The killings have devastated the couple’s families and friends in the Atlanta and Toronto areas and prompted many painful questions: Who could do such a thing? How was DeVoursney — a 6-foot-6-inch combat veteran — subdued? How many people were involved? And why would anyone want to kill such a kind couple?
TALK AH DI TOWN APRIL 27, 2017, 30min.
Beyond the Horizon: new classroom for St. Matthews, 1min. Soldiers with the 372nd Engineer Company, 372nd Engineer Brigade took a break from building a new classroom for St. Matthews Government School to give the students a big surprise. #ARSOUTH #BTH17
Belize Vacation | San Pedro | GoPro Hero 4 Silver, 4min. San Pedro, Belize | April 2017
You Just Have to Belize, min. A week at Casa Gonzo on Ambergris Caye with our favourite buckaroos. It wouldn't have been nearly as spectacular without you.
You Just Have to Belize, 13min.
7th International Festival of Culture Centennial Park Benque Viejo, Belize May 2017, 2min. This dance company from Yo Creek, Orange Walk "Maya Naay participates in the International Festival of Culture 2017
My flight over the Big Blue Hole, Belize, 2.5min. A quick view of what it was like flying over the Big Blue Hole! I even got to pilot the plane for a few mins :)
7th International Festival of Culture May 2017 Benque Viejo, Belize, 2.5min. "Los Hijos del West" Marimba Academy of the Benque Viejo House of Culture play "ElCorrido de Don Felpe" a creation of Don Felipe Morales.
7th International Festival of Culture May 2017 in Benque Viejo, Belize, 2min. Ballet Folclorico "Yo Creek Maya Naay" presents one of their several dances in their repertoir.
Belize akkad wedding, 5.5min.
Bird Caye, Northern Lagoon, .5min.
CARICOM Week Art Competition at Battlefield Park, 1.5min. Sponsors are Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Investment, NICH, and The Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project. The theme of the painting is "What Caricom means to me" The top three painters will walk away with cash prizes. Judging will take place at 2pm.
372nd gives sports equipment to students at St. Matthews., 1min. Soldiers with the 372nd Engineer Company, 372nd Engineer Brigade took a break from building a new classroom for St. Matthews Government School to give the students a big surprise.
Teaching the Caste War at S.J.C., 4min.