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The San Pedro Sun
National Risk Assessment
Beyond the Horizon 2017 Brings Free Medical Services to San Ignacio
Beyond the Horizon 2017 (BTH), in partnership with the U.S. Embassy and the Ministry of Health, invite you to participate in free medical services taking place May 8-16 in San Ignacio, Cayo District, at the Macal River Park. The medical services are open to the public and do not require an appointment. You do not have to be from San Ignacio or the Cayo District to be treated—the event is open to everyone. We will have general medical practitioners, optometrists, dentists, and OBGYN specialists on staff to provide medical services. Given the hot weather, please bring water to stay hydrated as you wait for and go through the medical services.
Annual Open Day held at ACES
Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES) held its annual ‘Open Day’ on Friday, May 5th. From 9AM to 1:30PM, parents, teachers, and community members visited Standard One to Standard Six classrooms to observe the various careers available for each level of education within Belize. Students were asked to dress according to the job description assigned to them, and prepare a presentation on said job.
The well-prepared students made Open Day very successful. ACES thanks everyone who took the time out to view each student’s presentations.
Island mothers celebrates with a night of comedy and entertainment
On Saturday, May 6th, the San Pedro Town Council hosted its annual Mother’s Day Extravaganza. Hundreds of island mothers converged at the Honorable Louis Sylvestre Sports Complex for a night filled of great food, drinks, games, and comedy.
After music from San Pedro’s very own Rompe Raja, dance performances from the San Pedro Dance Academy and the Yaka’s Elite Dancers, Belizean Comedian Jennifer Burrowes delighted the crowd with her stand-up comedy. The star of “Nuh Ketch Feelings’ and social media sensation was a hit with the mamas in attendance.
Ambergris Caye Reef Week has started!
The 12th annual Ambergris Caye Reef Week started early on Monday, May 8th, with a 5:30AM swim to the reef. Over the next few days, a variety of events will take place on the island, ranging from educational activities, to a Lionfish Tournament to a Kayak Race, all with the purpose of creating awareness on the preservation of Belize’s marine ecosystem.
Around 11 swimmers took on the challenge, and swam to the reef and back from Amigos del Mar dock in San Pedro Town. Participants swam at their own pace, some even had on snorkel gear to make the trek more enjoyable, as they took in the beauty of the reef. The San Pedro Town Council’s Sport Coordinator, Kent ‘Bob’ Gabourel, who spearheaded the event, said that such events serve as encouragement for the present and future population to continue appreciating and taking care of the reef. “We need to continue creating awareness about our reef,” said Gabourel. “If the reef is gone, is not only San Pedro Town that will be in big trouble. The entire country and its economy will suffer. We need to protect it.”
Early Morning Reef Swim Kicks Off Reef Week On Ambergris Caye
Ambergris Caye’s Reef Week organized by the Hol Chan Marine Reserve kicked off today, Monday, May 8, 2017, with the Swim to the Reef Awareness, which had participants swimming to the reef from Amigos del Mar Dive Shop.
It was a very early swim, 5:30a.m. sunrise saw the participation of a handful of island residents ready to challenge themselves to a brisk swim and show how much they care for Belize’s barrier reef. Some chose to use a snorkel, mask and fins, while the more advance swimmers like San Pedro Sports Coordinator/Ambergris Today’s Person of the Year 2016, Kent ‘Bob’ Gabourel swam it freestyle. Boy he’s fast…
The reef looks so close to shore, but don't let looks fool you. It’s quite a challenging swim. I was feeling tired half way there; but with a few stops to defog my mask (resting in the process) I was able to make it to and from the reef.
Maria Elena Alamilla Named Mother Of The Year During Entertaining Evening
Over 100 mothers gathered at the Hon. Louis Sylvester Sports Complex on Saturday, May 6, 2017, as the San Pedro Town Council organized a special celebration in commemoration of Mother’s Day.
While being entertained by the San Pedro Dance Academy, Yaka’s Elite Dancers and Comedians: Local internet/social media sensation Jennifer Burrows from Belize City and Tila Maria Sesto from Merida, Yucatan, mothers were being treated to food and drinks.
Most definitely can’t forget that the happy and excited mothers were also a part of the show. Whether they had to shake their hips, feed one another or work with each other, the evening was filled with laughter from the audience. There were also tons of gifts for the participants.
Misc Belizean Sources
The Government of Belize and UNDP Host the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) South-South Cooperation
The Government of Belize, as a participant of the Global Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN), will be hosting a south-south cooperation exchange with representatives of other regional BIOFIN countries: namely Costa Rica, Colombia and Guatemala. This event will be held from May 10 to 11, 2017 at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza in Belize City. Through this engagement, Belizean stakeholders will gain insight on finance modalities developed by targeted BIOFIN countries, as well as the experience of other BIOFIN countries in the implementation of the BIOFIN assessments. The aim of the exchange is to ultimately strengthen BIOFIN implementation in Belize.
UN GLOBAL ROAD SAFETY WEEK
Belize joins the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in celebrating the UN Global Road Safety Week which is scheduled from 8-14 May 2017. The week will focus on SPEED.
Speed contributes to approximately one-third of all fatal road traffic crashes in high-income countries, and up to half in low- and middle-income countries. Belize is no exception, hence the reason to join the worldwide efforts to contribute to saving lives from road traffic collisions.
In 2013, the Government of Belize received funds from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) towards the cost of the Belize Road Safety Project. Over the past four years, many activities have taken place along the George Price Highway (the demonstration corridor) that have contributed to a significant reduction in the frequency and severity of road traffic deaths and injuries.
BelizeINVEST, BELTRAIDE, presents at the 12th Belize Tourism Expo (BETEX) 2017
On May 5, 2017, BelizeINVEST a unit of BELTRAIDE facilitated a presentation at the 12th Belize Tourism Expo 2017 (BETEX 2017) focusing on Investment Opportunities in the Tourism Industry and the applicable Investment Incentive Programs. BETEX is a two-day centralized trade exhibition showcasing Belize’s travel destinations, hotels, tour operators and other tourism services providing exclusive opportunities for international travel re-sellers to meet, network, negotiate and conduct business with local travel suppliers. The participants also get to experience Belize firsthand at this exciting event. BETEX is a bi-annual event organized by the Belize Tourism Industry Association and is widely recognized attracting international tourism professionals from all over the world.
Corozal US Embassy Town Hall meeting time change
Notice the US Embassy Town Hall meeting has changed time. Hope to see you all there. The Embassy of the United States of America in Belize invites you to a U.S. citizen town hall meeting.
Date: Friday, May 12, 2017.
Place: Tony’s Inn & Beach Resort, Corozal Town.
Time: 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m..
At the meeting, we will introduce staff from the Embassy who provide assistance to U.S. citizens in Belize, discuss the services the U.S. Embassy provides, and answer questions you may have about our services. Topics include: security in Belize, hurricane preparedness, and information on renewing your passport via DHL.
Limited consular public services will be offered (cash; exact change required).
Doña Ernestina Moh of Caledonia Village receives the 'Woman of Culture' Award for 2017
Doña Ernestina Moh was born in 1938. She has been the leader of the Caledonia Village Comparsa Group for over 20 years. Even before becoming the head of the group in earnest, she dedicated much of her life to the teaching and retrieval of the Carnaval tradition and the cultural forms that accompany it. Through her efforts, the Carnaval of Caledonia Village has been maintained, as Caledonia remains one of the few communities in Northern Belize with a living memory of the tradition, songs, music, and belief system that comprise it.
Many students and cultural activists from other communities visit and rely heavily on Doña Tina, as she is affectionately known, for assistance in translating and explaining the Carnaval songs, and to demonstrate the dances.
U.S. citizen town hall meeting in San Pedro
The Embassy of the United States of America in Belize
invites you to a U.S. citizen town hall meeting.
Date: Thursday, May 11, 2017.
Place: Blue Water Grill, Sunbreeze Hotel,
San Pedro Town.
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. At the meeting, we will introduce staff from the Embassy who provide assistance to U.S. citizens in Belize, discuss the services the U.S. Embassy provides, and answer questions you may have about our services. Topics include: security in Belize, hurricane preparedness, and information on renewing your passport via DHL.
Today is 4 Kawak (Cauac) in the Maya Tzolk'in calendar
Kawak is the symbol of a rain or storm, bringer of the gods of thunder and lightning, and cleansing waters.
Wait no longer...our upgraded Insect Room is now open!!
Museum of Belize
All Garifuna must oppose the sale of Baliceaux
By Wellington C. Ramos.
Centuries before the Europeans and the British came to this part of the world our Garifuna people had their own nation by the name of “Yurumein”, now known as St Vincent and the Grenadines. We had a government that was headed by a paramount chief and other chiefs that had jurisdiction over their local regional areas. There was a treaty among all the Galinagu and Kalingu people that if any of their territory was attacked they would all come together and fight against that foreign nation.
The Spanish under the leadership of Christopher Columbus were the first Europeans to attempt to take over the island of St Vincent in the 1400s but our people fought back and defended our territory. Columbus and his crew left the island and warned all European countries from making the same mistake. He referred to our people as cannibals because he and his men were used to meeting and engaging the peaceful Arawak Indians.
Minimum Standards for Accommodations Revised
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is pleased to inform you that the entire document on the Minimum Standard for Accommodations has been revised and redone, based on the feedback we received from you in the first set of consultation sessions done late last year. This new draft document also takes into consideration the technical input received from consultations held with both BTIA and BHA as well.
We will now be hosting another series of consultation sessions, to share with you the new draft document and gather any further input that you are able to add, as we move towards achieving sector wide consensus.
Kindly see the tentative dates and times set out below for all sessions in the respective destinations.
National Tourism Policy Northern Islands and Belize Reef Consultation Workshop
May 18, 2-5pm, Sunbreeze Hotel San Pedro
Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week
May 8th-12th is being observed as Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week. The region, with the support of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the CARICOM Secretariat, and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), will observe the week under the theme "Fight the bite, destroy mosquito breeding sites". In Belize communication and mobilization activities scheduled for this week include media appearances, a clean up campaign in Belize City (second of the 2017) and two health fairs in Corozal Town and Belize City – which are two priority areas for Zika and Dengue. The general public is hereby reminded of their social responsibility to take action to reduce their risk of vector borne diseases by keeping their surroundings clean and free of unwanted water holding containers in which mosquitoes breed.
Belize’s 43rd year as a full member of CARICOM
Monday, May 1st marked Belize’s 43rd year as a full member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and to celebrate, the Directorate General for Foreign Trade planned a week of activities. The week culminated with an Art Competition under the theme What CARICOM Means to Me. The winning artists were Keion Griffith (1st Place), Ronny Jacobs (2nd Place) and Alex Sanker (3rd Place).
Ministers of Government Visit Schools & Health Projects in the Northern Region
The Government of Belize, recognising the significant role of Belizeans to have greater access to quality education and quality health care in pursuit of nation building, is constructing new Primary School substitution buildings and Polyclinics in the Northern Region.
In this regard, Minister of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce, Hon Erwin Contreras and Hon Dr Angel Campos, Minister of State, Ministry of Health visited schools and health projects currently being implemented by Belize Social Investment Fund (BSIF).
Projects visited included, Chunox Saint Viator Vocational High School, Our Lady of Guadalupe, R.C. Primary School, Chunox Polyclinic and San Narciso Polyclinic, Corozal District. They are scheduled for completion by June 2017.
Petition: Protect Belize's Reefs
Belize's waters are home to 1,400 different species, including 500 types of fish and 100 corals. This reef hosts the world's largest population of threatened west Indian manatees, as well as endangered sharks and marine turtles. The survival of these rare animals depends on keeping their habitats safe from threats.
In 2009, UNESCO placed the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System on the List of World Heritage in Danger. In recent years, the reef's ecosystems have been damaged by coastal construction, and oil concessions continue to pose a threat. Drilling for oil anywhere in Belize's waters would put the reef at risk, and should be banned.
Together we can protect the Belize barrier reef World Heritage site from harmful industrial activities. Email the Belize prime minister to show that you care.
Corozal Women’s Forum
Ladies, Come join us for our next meeting of the Corozal Women’s Forum on 18 May, 2017 at Serenity Sands 10am. Please note the change in venue and please bring along a chair!
Our speaker this month is Julius Casimiro, Manager of Belize Public Schools. He will give us an insight to the public school system here in Belize. This should be a very informative session, especially since we will soon be awarding our very first scholarship soon.
Also note that lunch will be served by our hostess from Serenity Sands, Miss Penny. It will be a vegan buffet and dessert. Cost is $18 Bz.
Again, please note the change in venue, Serenity Sands and please bring along a chair! Please car pool as parking is limited.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Corozal Art in the Park
Art in the Park is a monthly event sponsored by COLCHA. Local artists display and sell their creations. It is held in downtown Corozal Town in Central Park, beginning about 5pm. For more information call 620-1572.
F.C. Corozal Invaders win U-15 2017 Championship
Congratulations to our three times champion F.C. Corozal Invaders on winning the U-15 2017 Championship. Congratulations to all the other teams and team members. The fact that you participated makes you a winner. Lets keep the momentum going as there is more to learn and achieve!
"F.C. Corozal Invaders wish to thank Mr. Mario Alpuche/ Royal Paw, Mr. Zakir Marin and the Football Federation of Belize - FFB for this opportunity whereby our boys have once again demonstrated that we not only have great players but the BEST TEAM ; To our field staff - Mr. Eric Dunn/ Coach Mr. Omar Flores/ Assistant Coach , Mr. Isaias Majil/Auxiliary and Mr. Raul Rosado/ Manager for your endless support and encouragement, to our boys who won individual trophies: Jordan Casanova / MVP and Club Captain, Eric Rancharan/ Goleador, Keith Nugent/ Best Golkeeper and Jair Williams/ Best Midfielder and to the rest of the team."
Nucoco Coconut Water
Texbel Farms is a full fledge coconut plantation at mile 14 on the Southern Highway between Sittee River and Maya Center. Now Nucoco International has paired up with farmers in Belize taking the all natural and pure product, shaving it and placing the nut in a shrink wrap with a logo, bar code, a plastic straw and drinking instructions to accompany the package. It's sold at gas stations and grocery stores in the refrigerated sections. We have not seen it in Corozal yet but wait for the ptoduct to make its way to our northern shelves. It is great marketing but will the logo make its water taste any better than when extracted with an old machete?
BELIZE EK BALAM POK TA POK presentation at Benque Viejo yesterday afternoon
Keep our traditions alive. This summer the Belize Ek Balam Poktapok Team will be training a team in Corozal as part of a Corozal House of Culture's Cultural Industry Workshop! The training will be in July, interested men who would like to be part of the team can pass by the House of Culture for more information.
Belize Screen on the Green
Mark your calendars and join us on Thursday, May 11, at the GG field to enjoy the movie Walk the Line!
Museum upgraded Insect Room
On Friday May 5th, 2017 the Museum of Belize (NICH) opened its newly upgraded Insect Room for our cherished Museum audience. Here's a few photos of some special students who got the first look at our new dynamic Insect Room!
Come and visit the Museum of Belize from Tues.- Thurs. (9:00am - 5:00pm) and Fri./Sat. (9:00am - 4:30pm) to view our upgraded insect room!
Alleged Rape Victim Speaks
Magistrate Norman Rodriguez is expected to be charged for rape on Wednesday in Belize City Magistrate's Court. He will appear before the Chief Magistrate after which he is expected to be bailed and go through the regular court process.
But, so far, it has been anything but regular for a rape that allegedly occurred on April 11th in Dangriga and was reported five days later. Police and the DPP's office have been back and forth with the file and the directive to charge came down last week. Magistrate Rodriguez was out of the country at the time, but he returned over the weekend and went to work at the Belize City court as usual this morning. He also dealt with cases in his courtroom number three, as usual. He may have a very large cloud of suspicion hanging over his head, but Rodriguez who has declined an on camera interview, told one of the court reporters that he did not rape anyone and that is why he is holding his head high at work.
Deshaies Still Detained By Coro Cops, FBI Assisting
Canadian John Deshaies remains in the custody of Corozal Police tonight. He is the only suspect presently detained for the murder of 52 year old Canadian Francesca Matus and 36 year old Drew Devoursey. Here's the report on why police believe that a local with knowledge of the area helped in disposing of the bodies:...
Joe Milhloen, Friend of Couple:
"I was schedule to pick up Francesca Matus at 8:30 to transport her to the airport in Belize and when I arrived she was not at home. Her vehicle was gone."
Jules Vasquez reporting:
And now, her tenant in that Consejo Shores home John Deshaies is being questioned by police. On Friday, Independence police charged him for an unrelated theft in Placencia. He says he knows nothing about the murder in Corozal:
Deshaies' Attorney Speaks
As for Deshaies, he is charged with theft and is on remand because he is a flight risk. He has indicated that he wants his attorney Steven Perrera to apply for bail as soon as possible.
As we told you, Deshais was arraigned in the Independence Magistrates Court on last Friday for an unrelated case. He's facing the offenses of theft and handling stolen goods, because, according to police he allegedly took over $57,000 worth of items from the Placencia Casino. Those allegedly included hard drives, laptops, machine gaming systems and other pieces of pricey equipment.
As you will remember he came out of court telling reporters that he does not agree with the charges, and that he was only doing his job. We asked Perrera, who will represent him, for a few more specifics on that case, and about his detention in Corozal as a suspect in the double murder:
Cops Say They Must Wait On DNA To Confirm If It's Pam Lino
School teacher Pamela Lino is still missing and her family fears the worst. There have been no significant breaks in the case - and police still cannot identify the body found in her brunt KIA Sportage. And today we learned that it may take months to confirm that identity. Police say they have taken DNA samples from the remains and from Pamela Lino's family for comparison and sent them abroad for testing. But it will be months before the results are known. Police say that under normal circumstances it takes three to six months. That's going to be a torturous wait for her family who still don't know what happened to her.
Conch Shell Cries Out Against GSU
There was a shooting on Belize City's Southside just ten minutes before the news, and there was another city shooting this weekend. So, it seems that rivalries may be heating up in the streets again - and the mediators say the GSU is partly to blame for that. Today the controversial unit was in the Conch Shell Bay area where they had a group of men locked up in a house for an hour while they searched. The young men in this 'hood say the GSU are provoking them and so does mediator Dianne Finnegan:...
Dianne Finnegan - Mediator:
"I'm not surprised that this is happening right now, because I went on the media this morning to talk about what is going on by the systems trying to smear what we are trying to put in place, not for ourselves, but for Belize, for the safety of all Belizeans."
Fatal Motorbike Accident In Georgeville
A man was killed on the Western Highway this morning. It happened within Georgeville on the Go-Slow curve this morning where 51 year old Belmopan resident Anselmo Simeon Caliz was found dead off the side of the road. He was driving his motorbike and appeared to have lost control and run off the road. This is believed to have happened around 5:00 this morning. Police found him at 7:00.
Northern Men Charged For Kidnapping and Robbery
On Friday we told you about the crime story that read like a movie script - where three men escaped their captors and would be killers by pulling off some antics that would make even a stuntman wince.
Well, today, two of the alleged culprits, 45 year old Elio Lopez and 23 year old Jason Espinoza were taken before the Corozal Magistrate's Court where each was charged with 3 counts of kidnapping and 3 counts of robbery. Elio Lopez is on the left, while Jason Espinoza is on the right. In Court this morning, Lopez and Hall were read the charges in detail and did not have to give a plea as the matter is indictable.
Hilmar Off The Hook
It's been a little over 2 months since we last reported on the lawsuit that the Government of Belize has filed against Andre Vega and Sharon Pitts. These are the two defendants who ended up with a total of 800 thousand dollars from the public purse for land compensations that shouldn't have happened.
The Government is trying to get that money returned, and both Vega and Pitts are being sued in two separate cases before two different judges.
And, it looks like the case against Andre Vega may have weakened somewhat because his co-defendant, Hilmar Alamilla, has won the lawsuit even before it was fully heard. That's the outcome of a case management conference chaired by Justice Courtney Abel. The judge granted an application from his attorney for Alamilla to be removed as a defendant in the lawsuit.
City Shootings Start Up Again
One man was shot in Belize City on Sunday morning. 30 year old Telswin Lara was on Arlington Drive at 1:05 AM on Sunday when he was shot in the back. Police were quick to make an arrest and today charged 18 year old Dane Gillett were charged for "Use of deadly means of harm and Grievous Harm."
Cops Found Weed In Lindo's
Earlier in the news you saw residents of Conch Shell bay complaining about police brutality. Well, police did find weed in the area yesterday.
Yesterday evening Belize City police conducted a search on an abandoned lot on Lindo's Alley where they found 12 black plastic bags containing just over seven pounds of cannabis. No one was in the area when the drugs were found so they were deposited as found property.
Three Car Accident
Last night, Ladyville police responded to a three car traffic accident between Miles 21 and 22 on the Phillip Goldson Highway. When they arrived on the scene, police found a white pickup truck engulfed in flames on the left side of the road, a blue Dodge Caliber with extensive damage to the front on the right side of the road, and a white Saturn in some bushes off the right side of the highway.
The driver of the burning pickup, Frederick Banner, received some burns to the right side of his face, and had a bloody nose and complained of pain to his left foot, which was severely swollen. After giving a urine test, Banner was taken to Belize Healthcare Partners by his family where he was admitted for observation.
Benque Gets Its Book
The Institute of Social and Cultural Research, or ISCR - which is an arm of NICH on Thursday launched its new book, "A Historical Walk Through Benque Viejo". It's part of the series which has already covered historical walks through Belize City, San Ignacio and Santa Elena and Dangriga. And now Benque has gotten the treatment. It was launch don Thursday night at the Benque House of Culture:â€¦
The launch was part of Benque's weekend-long International Festival of Culture.
Q And A For AQ
AQ Belize Auto Rentals today they launched its newest office inside the San Pedro Belize Express Terminal in Belize City. And so what makes that news? Well, this office is a little different from the others. AQ has partnered with several stakeholders in the tourism industry, like the Museum of Belize and the Belize Zoo, to market local attractions to their customers. We spoke to the manager of AQ's new office, Richard Borhja, about the collaboration...
AQ says is also committed to working with other organizations throughout the country to promote Belize's different tourism destinations.
Belmopan Gets Fancy New Lights
For many Belmopan residents, those new fancy traffic lights on Constitution Drive will take a lot of getting used to. But representatives from the Road Safety Project say its for the residents' own benefit. We spoke to CEO of the Ministry of Economic Development Yvonne Hyde and she told us the lights are only one component of the project.
So the Ring Road and those large roundabouts are part of project as well. The project started 4 years ago. It will end off with the upgrading of mile 5 on Western Highway. This project is a first in the Caribbean.
A Killing In the City
Tonight a 19 year old is dead, becoming Belize City's second victim of gun violence in four days. According to reports from the scene, at around 6 this evening as many as 15 shots were fired on Curl Thompson Street in the Jane Usher Area. Witnesses say the young man died on the spot. He fell slumped over his bicycle. Distraught family members rushed to the scene to identify him - but we will hold off on disclosing the name until we are sure his entire family is informed. Police removed the body from the scene about 20 minutes ago.
Biscayne Families Get Help
Two weeks ago we told you about the freak storm hit the village of Biscayne. Well, now the NINE families affected are repairing and rebuilding their homes with assistance from the NEMO.
Minister of National Emergency Management and Area Representative for Belize Rural North Hon Edmond Castro was on hand this past Saturday to hand over material to those families at the Belize District NEMO Office in Sandhill.