2017 pink-eye cases already exceed last year’s tally
This week has seen an escalation of new cases of conjunctivitis, commonly known as “pink eye,” with 696 cases having been reported since this week began. Last week, a total of 872 cases were reported, following an initial spike of over 100 cases reported since September 10th.
National Epidemiologist Dr. Ethan Gough told Amandala that while last year, Belize recorded 3,190 cases of pink eye, already for 2017, they have documented 3,958 cases – well in excess of last year’s tally. He went on to say that almost half of those cases were reported between September 10 and today.
“This is definitely unusual,” said Gough.
He told us that the mass gatherings held during September could have helped to drive the spread of conjunctivitis more quickly.
BTL to pay out $9.4 million in dividends
Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) held its annual general meeting last night. At the meeting, the company declared that it would pay dividends of 19 cents per share, for a total payout of $9.4 million, of which the Government of Belize, the largest shareholder, is to receive roughly $5 million.
This was reported to us by BTL’s Chief Financial Officer, Ivan Tesecum, who said that the dividend payout amounts to roughly 46% of net income. He said that last year, the company paid 28 cents per share or $13.8 million.
The company will begin to make the dividend payments for the last financial year, ending March 2017, on October 16, Tesecum said.
Even taxi drivers are hustling off Immigration Department!
UDP political personalities, including sitting ministers, have all been documented in the special audit of the Immigration Department for their far reaching and unlawful interference in the work of the Immigration Department.
During today’s sitting of the Senate Select Committee, Director of the Immigration Department, Diana Locke, who appeared cool on the stand, revealed that cab drivers were also involved in the “grab tub” hustling so embarrassingly prevalent in the department.
Kelvin Usher, 17, found alive
This morning, family members of Kelvin Usher were preparing to embark on another day of search for the missing 17-year-old, who disappeared in the bushes around Lucky Strike on Sunday after he fled when Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) police raided a marijuana plantation on which he and his father had been seen, when social media began buzzing with the good news that the St. John’s College Junior College (SJCJC) economics major was found alive.
Shortly after 8:00 a.m., Usher’s mother, Karima Williams, 40, began receiving calls on her cell phone from people wanting to know if it was true that Kelvin had been found somewhere in the vicinity of Mile 41, in Santa Martha Village on the Old Northern Highway.
Ex-UDP ministers still hustling at Immigration Department
The special audit of the Immigration Department has named thirteen past and current UDP Cabinet ministers for their intervention in the works of the Immigration Department for the period 2011-2013.
Those interventions might have led to money launderers, human traffickers, international criminals and other unqualified persons receiving Belizean passports and visas.
Although the audit has been aired publicly, with all its unsavory revelations, it appears that past UDP ministers, amazingly, continue to frequent, and intervene in the services the department offers, with one minister in particular reportedly spending nearly as much time at the department as regular employees.
Michelle Trapp sworn in as magistrate
Attorney Michelle Trapp was sworn in today as a magistrate by the Chief Justice, Hon. Kenneth Benjamin, in a short ceremony that was held in his chamber. She said she doesn’t as yet know where she will be assigned, but her appointment comes at a time when the court is short of magistrates.
Before her appointment, she worked as a Crown Counsel for the Legal Advice and Services Center, aka, “Legal Aid”, for about 4 years. She is currently enrolled in a Master’s program in International Human Rights Practice in York, England, which is being financed through a Chevening scholarship, she obtained from the British High Commissioner.
“In the Paint” – Interoffice Basketball
After being held by the Belize Bank Bulldogs to just 34% from the field on 25-of-74 shooting last Friday night in game 1 of the 2017 Interoffice Basketball Championship series, and eventually losing by the final score of 87-72, the Dragons, fortunately, were able to regroup quickly and bounce back on Saturday night with the huge 86-73 win, thus sending the series to a third and decisive game tonight at Swift Hall Auditorium in the St. Martin De Porres area.
The third and decisive game is now set for tonight, as the Bulldogs seek the three-peat championship, while the Dragons look to record their first such championship.
Dangriga sports stats
The Stann Creek Football Association (SCFA) 1st Division Cup Tournament kicks off this weekend at the Carl Ramos Stadium. There 12 teams set for this tournament, and they are divided into two groups of 6 teams each as follows:
Group A – Ecumenical High; Delille Jaguars; Hope Creek Pumas; Hopkins Black Lyons; Dangriga Young Footballers Academy (DYFA); Pomona Warriors.
Group B – Silk Grass Warriors; Wagiya; South Side Warriors; Conquerors; BDF Delta Devils; Bowen & Bowen Land Sharks.
Bom, a few troubles
There have been some troubling days lately for former football star goalkeeper, Wayne “Bom” Jones, who has had a number of visits and short stays at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.
Bom is one of the Majestic Alley fire victims earlier this year, who were relocated by the Human Services Department to an upstairs dwelling on Handyside Street. But in his weakened state, Bom, an HIV survivor, has been having great difficulty climbing the stairs; and on some days he also needs home care.
Despite some good treatment by KHMH staff last week, Bom was discharged when they deemed he was well enough, KHMH now being an emergency hospital.
Belize City football is on the rise
It’s been a long time coming, and finally, thanks to the CYDP sponsors, First Division football has returned to the MCC Grounds. It’s an interesting mix of old and new talent, where some wily veterans, with past semipro football experience, get to rub elbows with some bright young talents just breaking into their own, after developing their skills and confidence at the Smart 13 & Under Mundialito for a few years, followed by the brief Under 15 and Under 17 tournaments hosted by the Belize District Football Association (BDFA).
Some of the familiar names from the Smart 13 & Under that are already surfacing in the scoring columns of the just commenced CYDP Peace Cup include Dion Cacho, Tyrique Muschamp and Orlando Velasquez, although Velasquez was barred, due to being a few weeks overage, from participating in the inaugural Smart Mundialito a few years ago.
Editorial: An angry Wednesday afternoon
Student activism is one of the phenomena which repressive governments fear most, one of the reasons being that in many cases the students are the children and the grandchildren of people who support these repressive governments, or may actually be functionaries in that government.
We are not saying that the United Democratic Party (UDP) government is a repressive government. We do know that theirs is a corrupt government. It does appear to be the case, however, that there are things happening frequently on the domestic law enforcement and security landscape which are in brutal violation of basic human rights.
There is a definite divide in Belize between those young people who go on to tertiary education and those who have to enter the streets as young teenagers. We are talking about children who are contemporaries, children who may even be neighbors, or actual relatives. Belize is a small place, but the socio-economic differences between contemporary children usually become manifest during the high school years, when half of our children are not enrolled in secondary schools.
From The Publisher
The last three weeks have been emotionally wrenching for Belizeans, mostly because of Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Many of us have relatives and friends in Houston, Texas, and in Miami, Florida, for sure, and many of us are not only admirers of the Cuban people, Belize has been benefiting for several decades from educational opportunities offered to us by the Cubans. The matter of vital pre-1981 Cuban support for our political independence and territorial integrity is historically documented. Then, there were the Eastern Caribbean islands like Antigua and Barbuda, which were devastated by Category 5 Irma, and the US and British Virgin Islands, and the Turks and Caicos. Finally, there came Puerto Rico.
In the midst of all this, two major earthquakes struck in southern Mexico which claimed hundreds of lives and caused billions of dollars in structural and infrastructural damage.
Major Lloyd discusses Guats’ strategic patience, coercive diplomacy
As we come to the end of the celebration of our 36th year of independence I thought that I should share my views on the events of September 16, 2017 and the attendant policy/strategy being employed by Guatemala with respect to its unfounded claim to Belizean territory.
It appears to me that the Guatemalans have embraced a policy of strategic patience undergirded by a strategy of coercive diplomacy. In employing this approach they have completely and shamefully outmanoeuvred and outsmarted Belize’s foreign policy “experts”. The practical effect of Guatemala’s strategic outlook has been the annexation of the Sarstoon and a foolhardy commitment to the very narrow ICJ pathway. Belize as a result finds itself in the most precarious position it has ever been since its independence.
Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied
1.The above quote was taken from the Court of Appeal decision of Abraham Teck v Keila Teck in which Blackman JA delivered the leading judgment. Frankly, the case involved an appeal of both custody and maintenance orders made in favor of the respondent mother by Benjamin CJ on November 13, 2012.The case was fairly routine. Unbelievably, at the time of the hearing of the appeal there was no written judgment forthcoming from Benjamin CJ even though three years had elapsed from the date when the orders were given.
2.This abject state of affairs has prompted my necessity to write. The written judgment is the foundation upon which the common law has developed; the medium through which judges express their decision and provide the legal rational underlying such decisions.
Should we still claim only 3 miles of Territorial Sea in the South?
The Maritime Areas Act was the product of an important moment in the history of the Guatemalan claim to Belizean territory, when what was at stake was the recognition by Guatemala of Belize as an independent State. For years of negotiations with both PUP and UDP governments after independence, Belize had remained firm in not agreeing to consider land cession, but was prepared to make certain concessions in Belize’s southern waters in return for ending the claim and Guatemala recognizing Belizean sovereignty over all its land and island territory.
In January 1991, Jorge Serrano assumed the Presidency of Guatemala, and proved himself ready to seal the deal with great speed. By mid-August his government declared that “it recognizes the right of the people of Belize to self-determination” and two days later the Maritime Areas Bill was introduced in the House of Representatives.
On 5 September 1991 the Government of Guatemala announced: “the recent decision by the State of Belize to limit its territorial sea and its hereditary EEZ makes it clear to the government of Guatemala that [its] right to its own territorial sea on the coast of the Caribbean and to its own EEZ is guaranteed”. It then declared that “the Government of Guatemala expresses its willingness to continue direct negotiations with the independent State of Belize”. On 11 September, the governments of Belize and Guatemala announced their decision to establish full diplomatic relations with immediate effect and to exchange Ambassadors at the earliest opportunity.
He’ll eat those new words yet
The history books, or the epitaph, will say that this man never quit. Poor us, we’ve learned so many new words since he got the title in Pickstock, our little brains are fit to bust. We’d go crazy if we tried to figure out which one takes the prize. One thing for sure, these border lessons are so stuck in our heads you’d have to be really IGNORANT, or ARTIFICIAL like a plastic man, to not RECOGNIZE that in the south and the west we don’t have any.
Someone who really likes flights into intellectual fancy wanted to know what’s with Guatemala and their harassment of Belizeans on the Sarstoon. The word choice from the great man was as painful as any he had selected to teach us before.
Those of you with the tape recorders to pull out whenever he takes the podium, just-in-case, just-in-case, have him down verbatim. I’ve got just a mas o menos, until he hibs the word gas on the fire. You know, St. Michael’s College must be congratulated for all these local fellows with the fluid speech. We know they didn’t bother to teach them much math, but bohgaz they can speak!
Chinese community angry about continued violence against their businesses
–Edmund Kwan, president of the Chinese Association, and members of the association, have reacted to the continued violence being experienced by Chinese business owners.
Between Friday and Monday, three Chinese stores were held up and robbed, and a store owner was killed in an attempted robbery in Belize City at about 8:30 Monday night.
Baiman Wu, 58, who has been living in the city for about 20 years and was operating his store at the corner of Vernon and Santa Barbara Street, was shot in the right side of the head by a thief who escaped empty-handed.
Wu was rushed immediately to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, but died shortly after while doctors were trying to treat him.
The Belize Civic Center: Stinking to the high heavens?
There is a medical condition known as catatonia, which is a state of unresponsiveness to external stimuli in a person who is apparently awake. As it relates to Belize, you don’t have to think too hard to know where this is going, do you? By any stretch of a prognosis, our form of catatonia is quite possibly malignant. It’s like we see danger coming towards us, but shaking off this paralysis, this stupor, getting out of the way of that danger, is impossible, so we simply reel from one aggravation to the other, accepting our fate, all with our eyes wide open. In recently developed colloquial parlance, we take our ‘bukut’ and then after, sedate ourselves with phrases like “only in Belize” and “what did you expect.”
The increase in fuel prices announced last week is a crippling hit to the economy and, if you gauge by the reactions on social media, there are signs that this uppercut may be unwittingly serving as shock therapy for our catatonic symptoms. Luckily for those intent to keep us in our catatonic state, fuel prices are malleable and can be blamed on anything, so any signs of waking from our slumber can be easily reversed by simply reducing pump prices, which should put us back to sleep.
Imports exceeded $1 billion up to August
The gap between what Belize imports and what it exports continues to be high, with imports more than tripling exports for the first eight months of the year.
According to information just released by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), merchandise imports for the eight months January to August 2017 totaled $1.2 billion, representing a 5.8% or $74 million decrease from the same period last year.
The SIB said that imports declined markedly across five categories over the period by a combined $115.2 million. They include ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’, ‘Commercial Free Zones’, ‘Food and Live Animals’, ‘Export Processing Zones’ and ‘Other Manufactures’.
Imports in the ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ category saw the biggest decline—by $74 million—from $318.7 million to $244.5 million, during the eight-month period.
So there is Immigration hustling at the Western Border as well!
During today’s sitting of the Senate Select Committee, the Director of the Immigration Department, Diana Locke, made a very troubling confirmation.
She confirmed that there was an ongoing hustle at the Western Border Station.
In the hustle, Central Americans were told to pay border personnel up to BZ$120 to cross over into Belize, although the law makes no provision for this.
If those persons refused to pay, they would be denied entry into the country.
When Senator Mark Lizarraga asked Locke for further comment, she revealed that she had in fact received complaints of such hustling.
However, she never addressed the matter, as the complainant was unable to provide the name of the person who was subjected to this corrupt act.
Government will review the role of the GSU
In April 2010, the Belize Police Department added an elite unit which burst on the scene in camouflage paramilitary uniforms; faces covered with masks; and a bold acronym, in white, on the backs of their uniform – GSU, for Gang Suppression Unit.
Since its formation, a little more than seven years ago, the unit has acquired a reputation for brutalizing citizens, a fact buttressed by several Supreme Court rulings against them for the violation of citizens’ constitutional rights.
It appears that things are about to change, since the unit came into the public spotlight this past Sunday after it carried out an operation to destroy a marijuana plantation on a farm in Lucky Strike. In the operation, the GSU used gunfire, which terrified a 17-year-old minor, Kelvin Usher, a student of St. John’s College Junior College, and caused him to flee in the bushes, where he became lost until this morning when he was found.
Man who goes to buy cattle shot dead
A trip by two men to buy cattle at a ranch in the Valley community on the Hummingbird highway, Thursday evening, resulted in one of them being shot and later found dead. Police say that at around 2:00 Thursday evening, Luis Sierra, 46, a naturalized […]
Robbers flee with bus conductor’s moneybag
A bus conductor who was waiting on a bus belonging to the company for which he works discovered on Tuesday morning that two thieves were studying his movements and pounced when he least expected. Carlos Cawich, 33, who works with Morales Bus Line told police […]
Farmer shot dead in front of wife!
Police are investigating a horrendous murder of a farmer who was shot dead in front of his wife early this morning. Marcel Samuels, 62, of Cemetery Lane, Belize City, was reportedly walking with his wife to their farm off the Butcher Burns road, Belize district, […]
Cops, cocaine, and conspiracy 26 parcels go missing from evidence
Several police officers attached to the Special Patrol Unit are being investigated for criminal behavior, following allegations that they stole a substantial quantity of cocaine, recovered from a drug bust and submitted into evidence. Acting Commissioner of Police, Noel Leal, explained this week that the […]
Integrity Commission calls for declaration of finances
The Integrity Commission has called for all Persons in Public Life to declare their assets and liabilities under the Prevention of Corruption in Public Life, Act 21 of 2007. The Commission issued a notice on September 20, calling on all persons in public life to […]
Gas price protest coming to Belize City
The community activist group Belize Leaders for Social Justice is calling for Belizeans to join together in peaceful protest against the incredibly high gas prices in Belize. The organization is planning to host the demonstration on Thursday, October 5, beginning at the Constitution Park on […]
Exports takes major downturn in August
Belize lost a great deal of revenue from domestic exports for the month of August, according to the latest External Trade Bulletin produced by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB). The data showed that exports had plummeted, falling by as much as 61.8 percent during […]
NEMO conducts disaster simulation exercise
The low-lying bridge that connects San Ignacio and Santa Elena in Cayo was the scene of a simulated catastrophe, with personnel from the country’s essential services and BECOL joining the National Emergency Management Organization’s (NEMO) team, carrying out a rescue effort in the event the […]
GOB to get $48.5 Million slice of BTL pie
The Government of Belize is to acquire $48.5 worth of preferential shares in Belize Telemedia Ltd. BTL shareholders approved the issuance of the new shares by a more than 75 per cent majority vote at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) at the Belize Best Western Biltmore Plaza Hotel in […]
ASR-BSI invests $20 Million to expand production of direct consumption sugars
Belize sugar producers loses all protected access and export quotas to the European Union next month, and Belize sugar will have to compete with cheaper beet sugar produced in Europe. Beet sugar is cheaper because European nations subsidize their domestic sugar production. The American Sugar Refiners and Belize Sugar Industries […]
The Billion-Dollar Question: How to fill Belize’s SME Credit Gap? Part 3
As was briefly noted in last week’s “The Business Perspective”, the problem of Micro, Small, Medium-sized businesses’ constrained access to credit is hardly a problem unique to Belize. With an estimated global and regional credit gap of approximately US $1.2 trillion and more than US $200 billion, respectively, there is […]
Woman stabbed, robbed and tied up during home invasion
Last Friday a woman was attacked inside her home by two masked men who stabbed her multiple times to her neck, tied her up and made off with her flat screen television. Around 4:45 a.m on September 22nd, 45-year-old Romie Anthony of a La Croix […]
Sudden death case re-opened, foul play now suspected
New evidence based on the postmortem results done on the body of Karl Leslie, 78, who was found dead inside his home, has prompted police to re-open the investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death. According to police, on September 14th, around 9:10 p.m. Hattieville […]
Belama man doesn’t return from early morning walk
The family of a Belama man, Daniel Leal, 24, continues their search for him after he left home for an early morning walk last week and has not returned since. Leal, of a Belama Phase One address was reported missing by his mother, 52-year-old Martha […]
Chinese grocer murdered in the City during armed robbery
The Chinese business community in Belize is on edge following the Monday night assassination of one of their own, who was killed during an armed robbery at his shop located at the corner of Vernon and Santa Barbara streets in Belize City. Around 7:30 p.m, […]
Last Sunday evening the Gang Suppression Unit raided a farm in the Village of Lucky Strike and destroyed more than 140 marijuana plants. The raid was deliberately timed to catch the plantation owner by surprise, and in this it succeeded. The GSU captured the landowner, 47-year-old Cameron Usher, but his […]
Kelvin found! But questions linger
Kelvin Usher, the teen whose disappearance on Sunday sparked intense public outrage and conspiracy theories, was found alive and well on Thursday morning. Despite being found, members of the public remain unsatisfied with the official account of events surrounding his whereabouts. Five days of tireless […]
Youths take to the streets
Youths from various schools, community organizations, and concerned citizens took to the streets this week, protesting a myriad of social issues affecting Belize. What started as a planned protest for the safe return of Kelvin Usher, transformed into a social justice demonstration after Usher was […]
GREAT Program – Worst Behavior Cops skip tab and hold security at gunpoint
Three police officers working with the Gang Resistance and Training Program (GREAT) are under investigation by the Professional Standards Branch (PSB) after they allegedly pulled a gun on a security guard at New Asia restaurant in Belize City because they refused to pay for a […]
Breaking Belize News
Missing Bullet Tree man found dead
This morning, BBN reported that a man from Bullet Tree Village in the Cayo District is missing after he, along with two other men were shot at by a gun man on Valley Community on the Hummingbird Highway, Stann Creek District.
Armenia Village recruits new Cadets
Yesterday, the Belmopan Police opened a new cadet Corp in the Village of Armenia in Cayo District.
Twenty one youths were present at the inaugural meeting along with their parents.
PM Barrow: Fuel costs to reduce mid October
The cost of fuel should be decreasing by mid October according to Prime Minister Dean Barrow.
In a press conference on Thursday, PM Barrow explained that the hiked prices were due to instability in Venezuela, our fuel provider.
Businessman from Santa Elena missing
According to police reports, yesterday morning around 10:28, Stephanie Albaranez visited the San Ignacio Police Station […]
Jimmy’s Wireless donates a year of meat to Belmopan feeding program
The Belmopan police feeding program continues to expand with the assistance of the Belmopan business community.
Chinese businesses plan national shutdown
Chinese businesses across the country will not open on Sunday, October 1.
According to a statement from the Belize Chinese Association, the nationwide shutdown is to stand in solidarity with Bainan Wu, 58, who was executed on Monday night...
Belize~How to pay down fuel price
By Richard Harrison: In his annual budget speech 2017, the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance said he would require “the government outside the government”…..a.k.a. statutory bodies, such as BTB, NICH, BAHA, BAA, BMA, PACT, etc…..to start contributing 10% of their ever increasing revenues to the central government.
$17,000 stolen from Small Enterprise Business Investment
Yesterday morning around 6:30, acting on information of a burglary at Small Enterprise Business Investment (SEBI) located at #69 Vernon Street, police visited the scene.
BTL reports a decrease in profits in 2017
Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) held their Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday, September 27th, 2017.
At the AGM, BTL reported less profits in 2017 when compared to 2016.
Money changer robbed of over $12,000 in Corozal
Everaldo Magana, 63, a Belizean money exchanger of Ranchito Village, Corozal reported to police that yesterday around 5:10 am, while inside his vehicle in front of his home, he was approached by three men who demanded money.
Gunmen rob bus conductor of $500 in Orange Walk
Carlos Cawich, 33, a Belizean bus conductor for Morales Bus Line reported to authorities that on Tuesday morning around 6:10, after collecting from the passengers travelling from Orange Walk Town to Belize City, he came off the bus at a speed bump in Carmelita Village.
Amy Forte still hasn’t made a police report
Despite support from Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Amy Forte has still not come forward to give police an official statement with respect to an alleged forgery involving the son of ex-Lands Minister Gaspar Vega.
Kelvin Usher thanks everyone
Yesterday, seventeen year old Kelvin Usher who went missing since Sunday was returned home. His disappearance had triggered protests in the streets of Belize City and a walk out from his peers at Saint John’s College Junior College.
11 Reasons That YOU Should be in Belize in October
September celebrations are over. Sigh. And it is officially FALL – or so says the calendar.
September, October and November are typically the “low season” in Belize. It’s hurricane season. I understand. Everyone is getting back to school, summer is over and it’s time to buckle down…
October on Ambergris Caye, Belize
It may seem like an odd time to travel but there are TONS of reasons to visit Ambergris Caye in the month of October.
What's new/what's closed for low season in Placencia, Belize??
Things change a lot in Belize - there are many, many businesses here that stay open and can be relied on year after year, and then there are others that shut down for low season, or shut down and sometimes we don't know why! Placencia as a village runs on Facebook, so a lot of people get their information from different Facebook groups. Unless you are a frequent visitor, it is very hard to keep up with changes, so here are some updates you may have missed!
Casino reopened - The Placencia Casino up in the northern part of the peninsula has reopened, HERE is their Facebook page - always smart to check here to make sure they are open the night you want to go. Sometimes they have shuttles from the village as well.
Belize Independence Day in Placencia, 2017!!!
What a fun day...many people said this was the biggest and best parade ever! Our guests had a blast tailgating at the parade, and then some followed the party down to the pier later at night. Here is a sampling of pictures from the day to give you an idea of what to expect, it is a very fun time to have a vacation here!
5 Reasons to Experience Belize’s World-Class Scuba Diving
Ever since Jacques Cousteau, the legendary French marine biologist and documentarian, visited Belize in 1971 and proclaimed it as one of his top 10 dive spots in the world, Belize has become a mecca for scuba diving enthusiasts. With crystal clear waters, a bright white sandy seafloor, and a large concentration of marine life, it's no wonder that Belize is one of the most popular scuba diving destinations in the world.
Here are 5 great reasons to experience Belize's world-class scuba diving:
SAILING BELIZE: Magnificent Villas & Magical Islands
I love Belize – the people, culture, cuisine, and her vast rainforests loaded with exotic wildlife, hundreds of species of colorful birds, ancient Maya temples and more adventures than you can shake that proverbial stick at.
I also love sailing. And having cruised the world’s great oceans and many of her coastal and inland waterways can say without hesitation that Belize offers some of the best sailing to be had anywhere. Hands down. Late last year Chaa Creek raised the bar on Belize luxury accommodations with the new Ix Chel Luxury Rainforest Villas, and those magnificent villas have found their seagoing match with Belize Sailing Vacation’s awesome and beautifully appointed catamarans.
Year Three of Island Life: 365 days of adventure all rolled into one tale!
It is hard to believe that on October 2, we will celebrate our three year island anniversary. Still seems like yesterday when we were selling everything we owned and moving on to the next chapter in our lives.
Year three – you were filled with more firsts, some seconds, a few inventions and fun adventures – but unfortunately some sadness as well.
This was the year when it became clear that island life Is not a vacation, It’s life in a vacation spot.
Here we go!
We attended the SAGA Halloween party, where Dooley Bear put his “best paws forward” as always…..he strutted his vampire stuff and won “Scariest Costume” prize!
On the verge of extinction, the Hicatee turtle needs your help
Many people throughout the rural areas of our country harvest deer, green iguana, gibnut, peccary, armadillo, game birds and hicatee turtles. Hunted for their meat, eggs and shells, the hicatee turtle is now listed as a critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and is facing extinction in the wild. It is the highest risk category assigned by the IUCN Red List for wild species, and the only critically-endangered reptile in Belize.
The hicatee (Central American River Turtle) is a prehistoric survivor, with relatives dating back to the age of the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago. It lives at the bottom of rivers where it has the unique ability to absorb oxygen underwater, using its modified throat like a gill. Unlike most reptiles, the hicatee doesn’t bask in the sun, and they are completely herbivorous, eating decomposed vegetation on the river bottom. Adults can weigh up to 50 pounds, and their nesting period starts at the beginning of rainy season, where they often lay up to 12 eggs buried just below the water’s edge of a river or lagoon.
With a hunting season that is only closed during the month on May, the hicatee have seen a swift decline in recent years, primarily due to over-hunting. They are especially consumed during the 40-day Lenten season when many Catholics and other Christian denominations commit to ‘fasting’, and refrain from eating red meat. During this time, fish and hicatee are mainstay menu items for many Belizeans.
Tropical threats may pose hazards from western Caribbean to Florida well into October
Waters surrounding Central America, Cuba, the Bahamas, Mexico and the southeastern United States bear watching for tropical systems well into October.
While tropical threats originating from the coast of Africa that spawned hurricanes like Harvey, Irma and Maria will diminish in the coming weeks, the threat for near-coast tropical formation will increase.
Multiple factors will be in place that may favor several tropical systems to come about into the middle of October.
A zone of high pressure will extend from the southern Plains to off the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts.
A high pressure area represents a large batch of dry air that rotates clockwise. South of this high pressure zone, the air will remain moist, but east to northeasterly winds will develop.
Despite Belize’s 36 years of independence many of our people still feel insecure about their future
By Wellington C. Ramos.
Thirty-six years ago the British government granted our nation its independence on September 21, 1981, with the Guatemalan claim to our country unresolved. Britain’s Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was determined to rid her people and government from all its colonial territories. She saw them as a burden to the people and government of Great Britain. Ignoring the exploitation their country was engaged for centuries in all these colonies including ours prior to their independence.
Our premier at the time, the late George Price, and his People’s United Party members, wanted independence from them desperately despite the Guatemalan claim. Our Belizean nationalist, the late Philip Goldson’s position was to seek independence from Great Britain with a long term defence guarantee. He warned us that if we make the mistake and accept independence from Great Britain without a long term defence guarantee, Guatemala will become a thorn on our side for a long time.
The short-sightedness of the Belize Integrity Commission is abhorrent
The Belize Progressive Party (BPP) notes that the Integrity Commission gazetted the names of those persons in public life, who are not in compliance with Section 14 of the Prevention of Corruption Act (POCA) (No. 21 of 2007), for failure to disclose their assets, income and liabilities.
Yet, in remaining true to our deep-rooted conviction for those elements which characterise good governance practises and principles, such as: integrity, honesty, transparency, equal application of the law across the board and full disclosure, we categorically state that the effort put forth by the Integrity Commission falls well short of that which should have been done.
Ancient Stone Carvings Capture Maya Ballplayers in Action
The long-lost Maya ruins of Tipan Chen Uitz in Belize are only beginning to give up their secrets, with the latest discovery being something of a home run: Archaeologists found two table-size stone panels, depicting elite ballplayers, that likely would have greeted subjects walking by the palace, according to a new study.
The discovery of these two panels reinforces the idea that the Maya people would have placed a lot of importance on the ballgame, and suggests that it helped the Maya connect with different communities in their vast network, the researchers said.
"[These monuments] speak to the extent to which Tipan was embedded in these very complex political relationships between ruling elites across the Maya area," said study senior researcher Christopher Andres, an adjunct research associate at Michigan State University who specializes in Maya archaeology.
Caribbean islands inspire meal
The other day I was looking for inspiration for a nice meal and started looking through cookbooks and notebooks that I have collected over the years. There were all sorts of recipes from numerous places but the ones that caught my eye were the ones that I have gathered in the Caribbean islands and countries that are connected historically or politically to those islands.
The cuisine of the area has always been of keen interest to me because it is a true reflection of the many cultures that have, at one time or another, called the Caribbean and outlying areas home.
The Stunning Images From an Underwater Photography Competition
Scuba Diving magazine just released the winners of their 13th annual underwater photography competition. This year’s “Through Your Lens” contest features incredible images taken over this past year from photographers throughout the world.
There were over 2,500 entries submitted this year into one of the four competition categories: wide-angle, macro, conceptual, and compact camera. Photos were allowed to have basic adjustments made to them while editing, but adding, removing, or moving any object was forbidden. It was also stated that any image appearing overly processed would be immediately disqualified.
Greg Lecoeur was the winner of this year’s grand prize. His image was taken off of an island in Scotland and featured multiple gannet birds diving to feed on fish. To capture his award winning shot, he used a Nikon D7200, a Tokina 10-17mm lens, a Nauticam camera housing, and two strobes. For winning, Lecoeur received a free liveaboard scuba diving trip in Fiji and $1,000 cash.
5 cosas que quizás no sabías de Belice, el país de Centroamérica que tiene como jefa de Estado a la reina Isabel II
Geográficamente es parte de Centroamérica y tiene fronteras con Guatemala y México, pero eso no necesariamente lo convierte en parte de América Latina.
Fue el último país de las Américas en alcanzar su independencia, en 1981, pero oficialmente la reina Isabel II de Reino Unido se mantiene como “soberana”, al igual que en otros territorios en el Caribe.
Es Belice, uno de los países más pequeños del continente, de los menos poblados del mundo y también uno de los más desconocidos, incluso para sus vecinos.
Originalmente el territorio fue ocupado por la civilización maya que construyó decenas de centros ceremoniales. Algunos, miles de años después, permanecen sin explorar.
"WHEN THE SEA SPEAKS THROUGH AFRICAN CENTERED ART IN SOUTHERN BELIZE!", 11min. If we step aside for a moment and ask why has there been such deep sense of consciousness that has gone into the building of this model boat here called the, "Black Star Line"; the only answer that would be warranted is that the artist, Leonides Sanchez of Belize's southern town of Punta Gorda in the Toledo District, is a Belizean artist with an African centered approach to life.
Being Emancipation Day, August 1, 2017 when Sanchez completed this masterpiece in wood in commemoration of the crime against humanity that brought his African ancestors to the shores of Belize, it would not have been possible to do if we consider the patience, skill and perfection that went into this work. But it was as if this artist was fighting against the stolen time and legacy that was not afforded his enslaved ancestors, and passionately pushed his artistic brilliance to the brink of their cry across the Atlantic. For this project, Sanchez was involved in his own war for freedom, pulling wisdom from five hundred years of memory that is embedded in his Garifuna soul.
Leonides Sanchez the Belizean artist extraordinaire is no typical Belizean artist relative to those like the legendary George Gabb and those among the likes of his own father, Peter Sanchez, who taught him this master builders' skill. His genes are the replica of those renowned African scholars of Mali, Timbaktu, Ghana, Egypt and Moorish Spain. His "Black Star Line" artistic phenomena in shipwright are a perfect artistic feature that reminds Belize of what its vision for freedom could have been.
QUEENLORNA & "AH WAYK OP LAIK DIS"! (FIRST PART), 23min. The rare and exclusive interview of the pulsating Belizean cultural dancer and instructor, Lorna Smith, of the legendary Belize-Caribbean dance troupe, Elegant Flair Dancers, is a must see and long awaiting feature for the Belizean Legends audience.
Queenlorna as she is called will entertain us with her thrilling dance life and electrify us with some of the most eclectic moments in Belizean dance and cultural performances in the Los Angeles Belizean Community where she lived and performed for many years now.
QUEEN LORNA & "AH WAYK OP LYKE DIS!" (FINAL PART), 41min. The final of a two part series of a rare and exclusive interview of the pulsating Belizean cultural dancer and instructor, Lorna Smith, of the legendary Belize-Caribbean dance troupe, Elegant Flair Dancers, is a must see and long awaiting feature for the Belizean Legends audience.
Queenlorna as she is called will entertain us with her thrilling dance life and electrify us with some of the most eclectic moments in Belizean dance and cultural performances in the Los Angeles Belizean Community where she lived and performed for many years now.
Ever wonder what the crocs are "saying"?, 1min. Crocodiles have various ways of communicating through body language. So what are these American crocodiles "talking" about at one of our field sites in Belize?
Tranquility Bay Resort at Ambergris Key in Belize, 2017, 5.5min.
See and Taste Belize 2017 Chef Irwin Mai, 1min.
See and Taste Belize 2017 Artist Keion Griffith, 1min. Meet Keion Griffith who will delight us with art masterpieces at this year’s SeeandTasteBz
Climate Smart Agricultural Practices In Belize, 6min. Informative mini doc produced by Out Da Box Films in calibration with ICCA and the Agriculture Department of Belize.
Orange Walk Carnival / Belize Independence Day 2017, 2.5min.
Bruk it down Jenny, 26min.
Diplo Skits - Comedy & Social Media, 20min.
Conscious Youth Development Programe (CYDP) Peace Cup, 25min.
Belize Now | Friday, September 29, 2017, 26min. In tonight’s headlines: Twenty-seven communities in southern Belize receive electricity, Alcaldes are sworn in by the Attorney General and See and Taste Belize gears up for its second year. These stories and more on this week’s edition of Belize Now. Thanks for joining us on this Friday, September 29th, 2017
3rd Bi-National Seminar Mexico/Belize, 2min. Jhon Florez, RLC Director speaks on 3rd Bi-National Seminar. The University of Belize (UB) in cooperation with the University of Quintana Roo, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR) and the Embassy of Mexico in Belize are hosting the “3rd Bi-National Seminar Mexico/Belize.” The binational seminar takes place at the EcoSur Campus from October 4th – 6th in Chetumal. The main objective of the Bi-National seminar is to promote and enhance cooperation between Mexico and Belize. The topic for this seminar is Education and Health for the two countries. The conference is significant to the University of Belize because it is fostering the research that is being done at the UB as well as bringing together other partner institutions, such as the Ministry of Health which works in conjunction with the UB. It also allows for the possibility to establish agreements as well as Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) with other institutions in Mexico. UB is also examining the possibility of increased areas of cooperation which would include student, faculty and staff exchange programs as well as partnering to implement research projects.
Cow butter, 1min. By Western Dairies Belize
Cinco De Irvine, 24min. Wedding, May 5, 2017 - Ambergris Caye, Belize
Mehika in Belize 2017, 10min.
Dans le secret des villes 17 Belize, la splendeur des Mayas, 44min.