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Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, Reef TV, KREM, and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Belize Now, Talk Ah Di Town, and other specials.
The San Pedro Sun
San Pedro Belize Express makes second donation to Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye
Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye are far from returning to normal in the face of COVID-19, and with the tourism industry suspended, many of its residents are in need. Many organizations continue to generously donate, including San Pedro Belize Express (SPBE) Water Taxi Company. The SPBE made their second donation to both islands on Wednesday, May 13th consisting of non-perishable items, flour, rice, beans, hygienic products among other basic necessities valued at around $20,000.
Various Belizean Sources
Caye Caulker Soup Kitchen day Location
San Pedro Chinese Community Donation
Mayor Daniel Guerrero and the San Pedro Town Council would like to thank the San Pedro Chinese Community for their kind donation. Thank you very much!
POSSIBLE USA REPATRIATION FLIGHT SCHEDULED FOR MAY 22nd
There is an unconfirmed United Airlines flight for Friday May 22, 2020 pending Government of Belize approval. Reservations are being accepted at www.United.com. United Airlines Flight UA 2421 departs Belize City on Friday May 22, 2020 at 12:00 pm (noon) and arrives in Houston, TX at 15:30 pm.
United Airlines is providing this repatriation flight for U.S. citizens, family members, and other third-country nationals departing Belize. If you would like to depart on this flight, please make a reservation directly with United Airlines at www.United.com.
Dive Into Tourism Vol. 4
The Ministry of Tourism newest publication of Dive Into Tourism explores success stories of collaboration between farmers and hotels in the Caribbean such as the provision of fresh local produce to the tourism sector. Dive into this newest edition to see how these practices can definitely be replicated and utilized in Belize!
Webinar series "Teaching Online. It's About Teaching not Technology
Regional English Language Office is pleased to invite you to a webinar series "Teaching Online. It's About Teaching not Technology"
Teachers, we hope you'll join us every Monday and Thursday starting May 25th!
Join live using the link: https://www.facebook.com/OELPMexico/.
The Artist of the Day, Felene Cayetano
Felene M. Cayetano is an author, mother, publisher, librarian, and editor. Her migration from Belize to Los Angeles at the age of 9 was a key factor that led her to writing poetry in primary school before easing into writing short stories. This love of writing was balanced by a love of reading which gave her the vocabulary to voice her experiences and an appreciation for libraries. In adulthood, she pursued and attained a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Baltimore then a Master’s degree in Information and Library Science from Pratt Institute School of Information and Library Science.
Since 2004, she has self-published 3 times and her poems or short stories have appeared in several regional journals. Evolution: Weaving in and out of Consciousness While the Truth is Somewhere in the Middle poetically documents her coming-of-age in America from the age of fifteen to twenty-five years old.
The Hubert H Humphrey Fellowship Program is a one-year fellowship program offered to mid-career professionals working at the policy level who have a record of leadership and commitment to public service.
IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR DISPLACED BELIZEANS ABROAD
If you are a Belizean who has been unable to return home to Belize due to the closure of our borders as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you will now be able to do so BUT with prior coordination and approval with the Government of Belize.
From Monday, 18 May 2020, displaced Belizeans can visit the website and complete the application form and the COVID-19 Screening Application. These MUST be completed and submitted electronically in order for you to be considered for a coordinated return to Belize. A link to the forms will also be available on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website at www.mfa.gov.bz.
Childrens Drawing Contest sponsored by Mexico
Belizeans y Belicenos are invited to participate in the categories. Category ONE 6:-8 years old; category two 9-11 years old and category three 12-14.
Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve: Renewal of Special License
The Belize Fisheries Department hereby informs the public that it will be conducting renewal of Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes special license for mutton snapper on May 20 to 21, 2020 at the Southern Environmental Association office in Placencia Village, Stann Creek. This effort is to facilitate fishers that were unable to renew their license during the state of emergency and closure of the Fisheries Department office.
Licensing will be carried out as follows:
• Wednesday, May 20, 2020 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
• Thursday, May 21, 2020 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Rotary Club of Taiwan Donates Medical Equipment
In a brief handing-over ceremony held on May 13, 2020, in Taipei, Taiwan, the Ambassador of Belize to the Republic of China (Taiwan) H.E. Diane Haylock received, on behalf of the Government of Belize, 200 protective gowns and 5,000 medical gloves from the Rotary Club of Taipei Nanlung. The donation was an initiative of a Taiwanese-Belizean, Mr. Feng-Yi Chang.
Monday's Ask the Experts
Tune into Ask the Experts on Monday, May 18th, at 2:00 p.m. Joining us will be the Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams to answer your questions live on air.
Guatemala on Virtual Lockdown
As we monitor what happens with our neigbhours, we note that Guatemala has gone on a virtual lockdown for the next 3 days given the increasing numbers of cases they are having.
Neighbouring state of Quintana Roo reported a total of 1,257 cases by midday today with neighbouring Othon P. Blanco (Includes Chetumal) now having a total of 37 cases with 6 deaths; they have now double our total amount of cases in Belize.
The numbers for both entities are expected to rise throughout this weekend.
Tropic Air Expands Domestic Flights Between San Pedro, Caye Caulker And Belize City
Tropic Air announces that effective Monday, May 18, 2020, we will be adding service days on our routes between San Pedro, Caye Caulker, and Belize City Municipal. We will now be flying Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Space permitting, we will also carry cargo on every flight to every destination. There will be no flights on public and bank holidays.
Customer Service Essentials webinar
Free Customer Service Essentials webinar scheduled for May 18th.
Register now at: https://bit.ly/2T9SVzs
WEBCAST: “Investment Diversification Opportunities Post-Covid-19”
As a part of National Competitiveness Month, our team atBelizeINVEST a unit of BELTRAIDE will be hosting a virtual webcast discussing “Investment Diversification Opportunities Post-Covid-19” to be held on Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 2:00 pm via Zoom. The webcast will include our regional and local partners with panelists from the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA), Inter-American Development Bank, Ministry of Investment, Trade and Commerce as well as private sector representatives sharing experiences in investment diversification from Transparent BPO and Travellers Liquors Ltd. This virtual webinar is designed to promote opportunities that can ensure social and economic business survival during and post-COVID-19. Register now by visiting the following link under the Investment Diversification Opportunities Post-COVID-19 tab: http://www.belizeinvest.org.bz/ncm
Closer to Normal?
Tonight we start the news with a take on Belize's new normal, the intermediary stage after our first wave of COVID-19 - and beforewho knows what comes next.
And in this new masked, gloved, hyper-policed and ultra-sanitized world, nothing is what it once was, and simple pleasures like dining out and taking an afternoon swim, or an evening walk are governed by strict regulations.
It's a world in which Belizeans wait with bated breath for the next relaxation to inch us closer and closer to the world we knew, while wondering if we'll ever see it again. Cherisse Halsall reports:
Guatemala Gripped By COVID Spike
And, the new normal in Guatemala means something very different than it does Belize. While we are slowly opening up - our neighbour Guatemala is shutting down like never before! After a record 143 new positive cases of the coronavirus appeared yesterday - President Alejandro Giammattei instituted strict lockdown protocols that went into effect this evening.
Basically the country will be completely shutdown from this evening at 5:00 until Monday at 5:00 in the morning. During that time, only essential services will be allowed to operate.
Corn Trucks Stuck
And one unintended consequence of the shutdown is those Guatemalan corn trucks. We've been telling you about all week? Well, according to our reports at least three of them will be guests of the nation this weekend.
As we told you, the trucks came in to the country pick up corn from various granaries in western Belize yesterday. That's after a three day border blocking protest on the Guatemalan side.
Belize, CA's Last Safe Haven
Our other neighbor, Mexico also spiked yesterday, reporting its own new record for new coronavirus cases in a single day, 2,409. That brings their national total to 42,595 positive cases with 4,477 deaths - the greatest number - more than eleven thousand - concentrated in the densely populated Mexico City.
The total for Chetumal remains relatively low with only 37 cases and 6 deaths, while Cancun has 929 cases with 181 deaths.
Belize, 1 of Very Few Without COVID For 30 Days
And, now at that 32 day mark with no new positive cases, Belize joins a short list of only seven countries and territories in this hemisphere that have gone more than 30 days without showing a positive case.
According to WHO statistics, only four sovereign nations: Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Suriname and Belize are on that list.
Mexican Fishers Creep Out of Quarantine
Last night we told you about the three Mexicans who the Coast Guard found fishing in the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve. They were caught early Thursday morning doing illegal fishing.
Now, it's an immigration offence, a fishing offence, a state of emergency violation, and of course, a COVID risk. So the men stood to be charged by Police, Immigration, Fisheries and processed by Health.
No Mask? Cop Pulls Gun
And, keeping it in the north, a rough encounter between the police and a young un-masked civilian in Guinea Grass village, Orange Walk has been generating facebook traffic today. It shows a police officer on motorbike trying to arrest the young man for the mask violation. But, the older man with him resisted - and then stepped towards the cop. Reflexively the police officer pulled his weapon, but did not fire it.
Chamber Chastises Unions/GOB
Government and its major unions, the PSU and the BNTU remain at loggerheads tonight. A compromise worked out on Wednesday went by the wayside, reportedly after the unions tried to change the language in the agreement.
Now, the Chamber of Commerce has weighed in - and the language it's using, isn't too delicate. The business group says, quote "this debate is totally unacceptable...To now witness a debate about pay increases, to see public sector workers' refusal to relinquish their increment (or any other form of compensation) at a time when thousands are losing their jobs completely...
Yohny's Sad Story
Last night, we took you to Channel 5's headquarters on Coney Drive in Belize City. That's where FECTAB, the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize, congregated to protest against Lord Michael Ashcroft.
Ashcroft was at his television station for an appearance on the Open Your Eyes morning talk show. He discussed his proposal for a 200 million US-dollar facelift for the Port of Belize.
Gun Owner Gwaaf On Police
Daren Stuart has been featured multiple times on this newscast, as a bus driver with interesting insights into the industry, or as a spokesperson for the Belize Bus Association. But, tonight, he's making the news because he says police at the Raccoon Street Police Station in Belize City are making it difficult for him to comply with the gun laws.
He's a licensed firearm holder, and he says that for about 2 weeks now, he's been trying unsuccessfully to renew his license.
San Pedro Officials Overstep?
Are San Pedro's local authorities going beyond what the law allows in their zeal to keep their island COVID free?
The town board has set up a screening desk for persons leaving the island where all water taxi passengers are required to fill out a COVID 19 prevention screening form. It asks travellers all kinds of information, like where they came from and where they are going and what is the business of their trip.
BGYEA Breaks With Petillo
The community at mile 41 on the George Price Highway is known today as Harmonyville. But 10 years ago, it didn't exist. It was private land that the Government eventually acquired from a Taiwanese businessman who had not been paying his property tax.
But, before the Government could subdivide it, the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BIGYEA), brought public pressure on the Barrow Administration. They were able to leverage the public support for the sentiment that regular Belizeans should have equal opportunity to become first-time landowners. They were basically squatters who pressed their cause until the Government finally conceded, and allowed them to keep the land.
Taiwan's Timely Donation
Belize has received a generous donation of much needed Personal Protective Equipment from the Rotary Club of Taipei Nanlung. The donation was handed over in a ceremony held on Wednesday by Belize's Ambassador to Taiwan, Diane Haylock.
It was the initiative of Taiwanese-Belizean, Mr. Feng-Yi Chang, and is made up of 200 protective gowns and 5,000 medical gloves.
IDB Inspires Innovation
And while Taiwan continues to help Belize, the Inter American Development Bank in partnership with the Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility is helping Belizeans to help themselves. It's a social innovation challenge called "Change Dah Story" that was promoted by Beltraide and the Department for Youth Services back in October of 2019. It's aimed at looking for innovative ideas and business models to improve the future of vulnerable youths in Belize.
And today, 7 months and several economic and social disasters later, 15 finalists have been selected out of 77 proposals submitted in the IDB's "Change Dah Story' challenge.
PM Touches Third Rail: Talks Devaluation
And while the IDB is active in that program, government is also eagerly looking to the bank for 6.2 million US dollars for assistance to the health sector in the COVID crisis. It is supposed to arrive at the end of this month, and for the government, it can't come too soon. That's because - in very lean times - the government sees it as a much needed foreign exchange inflow to buttress the foreign reserves which have sagged below the three month benchmark.
The Man Behind The Mask
And, if you're wondering why the Prime Minister didn't wear a mask during his marathon - almost three hour press conference yesterday - he did have an explanation. Here's how he put it when asked:
"Sir, so I came to the office and had to be in public with my mask. I took off the mask for purposes of speaking to you because it's a little bit of a hindrance and everybody else in the room has on a mask, so please don't misinterpret the fact that I am not wearing it..."
Tourism Troubles By Battalions
So, the domestic tourism push started today where Belizeans, meaning those who still have jobs and full paying ones, will be enticed by discounts and special packages to visit our local hotels and resorts.
For hotel owners and employees this is a thin olive branch of hope in a time of devastating losses to company and individual earnings.
The president of the hotel association yesterday told us that hotel owners are trying their best to weather the hard times, and prepare for a phased recovery later this year:
Bridging The Digital Divide With Printouts?
And while everybody's talking about re-starting tourism, no one is talking seriously about re-opening school.
When we spoke to the minister earlier this week about access to learning for the most needy children, he said that the Ministry's printable education material was in its second edition of printout and circulation.
"Major part of the problem is right now we have to be getting the physical newsprints out to our students across the country. By the way, a new edition of those prints are now out..."
PM Says “Forego;” Unions Say “Defer”
There is still no deal between the Belize National Teachers Union, the Public Service Union and the Government of Belize and at news time, the unions are preparing to respond [...]
B.N.T.U. Prez: “Words Have Meaning”
At this time, the B.N.T.U. is also speaking on behalf of the Public Service Union and sharing the same position. Quoting the Prime Minister’s own words, Senator Elena Smith says [...]
B.N.T.U. President Says We Are Not Back At Square One
The Prime Minister says that the option to amend the Public Service Regulations to give the minister the power to alter salaries is back in play. According to the PM, [...]
S.I. 72 Comes Into Effect Today!
The new state of emergency regulations under Statutory Instrument seventy-two came into effect today. While some of the restrictions were reduced other key measures remain in place for public health [...]
DHS Cautions Public Not to Get too Relaxed with Health and Safety Measures
The ease of restrictions is because there is still no active case of COVID-19 in Belize tonight. Belize has passed its first wave of the disease but the risk for [...]
Mexican Fishermen Escape Quarantine!
The three Mexican nationals who were placed in quarantine on Thursday have escaped from the facility. The men, Gabriel Vargas de la Cruz, Noel Gonzalez Alamilla and Arturo Pedro Cordero, [...]
When Will Guillermo Foreman Be Arraigned for Illegal Entry?
Commissioner of Police Chester Williams also spoke on the illegal entry of Belmopan resident, Guillermo Foreman, who is now spending his third night in police custody as he awaits arraignment. [...]
Five-month-old Didn’t Die from Vaccine
On Tuesday, we reported the death of a five-month-old baby from Bella Vista Village. The report reaching our newsroom was that the child was administered a vaccine at the Independence Polyclinic...
Lord Ashcroft COVID-19 Relief Fund Donates to Diocesan Outreach Commission
More than six hundred families are benefitting from the Anglican Diocese’s food pantry programme which ensures that the families can cope with the impact from the COVID-19 crisis as they [...]
Belize Chamber of Commerce Chastises the Unions over the Proposed Cost-Saving Measures
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry today weighed in on the impasse between the government and the unions. It says that in an economic scenario where COVID-19 has shut [...]
San Pedro Resident Accused of Building on a Designated Street
Moving to San Pedro, where Charles Leslie wants Joel Chi to cease and desist from building a cement structure on a designated street on the island. Construction has been going [...]
Attorney Says There is Political Interference
According to Attorney Wendy Auxillou, the delay in serving Chi with the stop order is political. She claims that because Chi is politically connected, the process is sluggish. Hipolito [...]
A Group of Guatemalan Nationals Charged for Illegal Entry in the West
A group of Guatemalan nationals were clearly not avoiding the Corona beer during the corona virus pandemic. On Thursday afternoon, the group was busted in the Calla Creek area of [...]
Belizean Fishermen Charged for Using Gillnet without a License
Some Belizeans were also found to be conducting illegal fishing. Around two-thirty on Wednesday, the Belize Coast Guard’s Maritime Law Enforcement Team intercepted a fishing boat in the Corozal Bay [...]
Criminal Activities Minimized
There has been little crime reported across the country, except for in Dangriga where there was a flare up of violence due to warring gang groups in that southern municipality. [...]
Charged for Murder, Gian Guerra Gets Supreme Court Bail
The Supreme Court has resumed its work after a few weeks of closure because of the COVID-19 lockdown and today, several bail applications were heard. Gian Lee Guerra, charged for [...]
Edgar Molina is Granted Bail for Possession of Unlicensed Firearm
A man, who was arrested and charged in April for possession of unlicensed firearm and drug trafficking, today received bail on condition that they adhere to certain conditions. Supreme Court [...]
ComPol says Guinea Grass Police Officer Acted within his Rights!
While there has been a relaxation of the State of Emergency restrictions, several measures are still in place for public health and safety reasons. The use of face of mask [...]
Where is Your Mask, PM?
As you heard, not adhering to the use of the mask is getting people in plenty of trouble with the law. In a light moment during the Prime Minister’s virtual [...]
What About Cruise Lines’ Employees?
Belizeans students who are stuck in other countries due to COVID-19 are encouraged to write to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs if they want to return home. While borders remain [...]
PM to Mayors: “I am very sorry, but we can’t”
As for city and town councils, the Prime Minister Dean Barrow says that they need to figure a way how they rebound from COVID-19. Municipal leaders have been asking Central [...]
It’s National Teachers Day
They teach and guide the children all year round. This year, COVID-19 is presenting unprecedented challenges, but the teachers continue to remain steadfast in moulding and inspiring the children. It’s [...]
Teachers Working Through the COVID-19 Crisis
While the occasion as not celebrated in grand fashion, Senator Elena Smith took time to underscore and express gratitude to teachers for using their own resources to work with their [...]
Belize Hotel Association Makes Donation Five Hundred Employees at Hotels across the Country
Over a thousand employees who work at properties that are members of the Belize Hotel Association have been displaced by COVID-19. While some have benefited from relief and pantry programmes, [...]
The National Festival of Arts 2020 Goes Virtual
The National Festival of Arts 2020 goes virtual. Around this time every year, the national showcase of primary and high school students in the performing arts would take centre stage [...]
Government refuses to budget
Prime Minister Dean Barrow, whose administration has been at odds with the public service unions over government’s proposal to freeze increments for two fiscal years, 2020-2021, announced today that the government’s proposal has been accepted by one of the three unions, the Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM).
Following their meeting yesterday in Belmopan, the Public Service Union (PSU) and the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) emerged from the meeting indicating that they wanted to amend the wording of the agreement government had put forward to end the impasse over increments and retirement packages. (This is a cost-saving measure that government wants to put into effect because of the huge costs caused by the fight against COVID-19 as well as the drastic reduction in government revenue due to the pandemic.)
Government to ease more SoE restrictions
During a virtual press conference this morning, Prime Minister Dean Barrow took time out to announce that Belize is one of only twelve countries and territories in the world that has no case of the novel coronavirus.
The Prime Minister praised the frontline workers and our very own Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, who spearheads the government’s fight against the pandemic.
Caye Caulker Soup Kitchen feeds up to 350 persons daily
The COVID-19 pandemic has utterly wiped out the earnings of a large number of residents on Caye Caulker, where the majority of employed persons were dependent on the tourism industry.
According to a press release issued by a group of private citizens, among which are many restaurant owners, 85 percent of the island’s workforce were rendered unemployed by the pandemic.
5 arrested for protesting against Lord Michael Ashcroft
Lord Michael Ashcroft appeared as a guest on News5’s Open Your Eyes morning show during the show’s first segment. Among the many topics the show’s host, Marleni Cuellar, touched on was Ashcroft’s proposal to government to invest in a cruise tourism port on lands owned by the Port of Belize Limited.
The segment of the show in which Lord Ashcroft appeared finished shortly after 7:00 a.m., and by that time, Lord Ashcroft’s presence at the Channel 5 building had attracted the attention of a few members of the Federation of Cruise Tourism Association of Belize (FECTAB), as well as a stevedore/activist.
Belize ready to begin repatriation of citizens stranded outside
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in citizens of various countries being left stranded outside their national borders; some are stranded on cruise ships that have been at sea for months and are unable to dock due to the pandemic.
There are many Belizeans who have been left stranded after the Government of Belize declared a National State of Emergency and proceeded to close the borders at the end of March, in effect locking out Belizean citizens in the wake of measures to prevent the importation of the novel coronavirus into the country.
Belizean car salesman stuck at northern border is now detained —facing charges
Thousands of people around the world were left stranded outside their national borders after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic and countries began to close their borders in the fight against the novel coronavirus.
At sea, up to 100,000 passengers and crews aboard cruise ships were left stranded.
Since April, Belize has been under a national State of Emergency and all borders are closed. The penalty for entering Belize while the borders remain closed is imprisonment for anyone who is found guilty in court.
18-year-old remanded for beating disabled mother
Jordan Lamb, 18, a laborer, has been remanded until Monday, May 18, when he will be returned to court to be sentenced after he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault for beating his disabled mother and shoving her to the ground because she refused to give him money to buy drugs.
Lamb was taken yesterday to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court, where he pleaded guilty, and Senior Magistrate Tricia Pitts Anderson accepted his guilty plea and remanded him so that he could think about what he had done before she sentenced him.
Police charge two men for Marage Road home invasion
An investigation into the invasion of the home of Michael Avilez, 61, of Marage Road, Ladyville, which occurred at about 12:30 Monday morning, has led police to Tyrese Gladden, 21, a laborer of Ladyville, and Shyiem Casimiro, 20, also a laborer of Ladyville.
The two thieves broke into Avilez’s home and demanded money, and when he told them that he was broke, one of the bandits beat him in the head with the gun he was carrying, and the other robber stabbed him in the chest twice with a knife.
Compol Williams demands apology from ambulance driver
Commissioner of Police Chester Williams is demanding an apology from a Southern Emergency ambulance driver, now identified as Leon Caliz. Police said that on Sunday, they had received information that a driver was being held at gunpoint by criminals in the ambulance, and he was being forced to transport guns and drugs to Belize City, from the southern districts.
Police said that after they received the information, they made two attempts to stop the ambulance that was speeding along the Hummingbird Highway to Belize City from Hopkins, Stann Creek District, to deliver a patient from Independence to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.
50-foot whale found decomposing on beach
A large Baleem male whale measuring about 50 feet in length was found dead and decomposing in the shallow waters of Drowned Cayes, off the coast of Belize City, yesterday.
Officials of the Wildlife Conservation Society who went to see the huge animal were able to observe only its exterior, but because of the creature’s size, they were unable to turn it over to see whether there were injuries on it.
Editorial: We need our full share from tourism
Last week the leader of our country, Hon. Dean Barrow, spoke of tourists returning to the country in the coming months, and it has been mentioned that as early as July we could see international flights coming to Belize if things keep progressing as they are right now. Mr. Ted Tejada, the president of the Belize Hotel Association, said that in preparation for the return of tourists they are developing policies and procedures to ensure the safety of people working in the industry.
Our country depends heavily on the tourism industry, and the pandemic has laid us flat. The sooner tourists start coming back to Belize the better for our economy, but everyone knows that accepting them before there is a vaccine for COVID-19 increases the risk of the disease reappearing in Belize, and in a worse way than we experienced it in the “first” wave. This is a risk that every Belizean will bear, so it can’t be overly ambitious for us to expect that tourists pay more for the opportunity to visit our wonderful country.
From the Publisher
The right wing, anti-communist Opposition United Democratic Party (UDP), led by the late Dean Lindo, was widely expected to win the 1979 general election, but the incumbent People’s United Party (PUP), led by the late, Rt. Hon. George Price, won a surprise victory and went on to lead Belize to independence in September of 1981.
Assad Shoman and Said Musa were controversial PUP candidates in that 1979 election, because they were considered left wing, pro-Cuban, and even communist. Shoman won his seat in Cayo North, and Musa won his in Fort George, whereupon Assad became Minister of Health, and Said was appointed Minister of Education and Sports in Mr. Price’s new Cabinet.
A call for Belizean self-reflection and unity
Regardless of what you think about Britain, you can bet on one thing: The British will look after the interests of the British—”Brexit”, or “No Brexit”. The British Monarch, the day following Brexit when many in Britain, Europe, and around the world spoke as though the end-of-the-world draweth nigh, memorably declared, “I’m still alive.” Some news outlets reported this was merely a jest, a joke.
The new way of learning
Due to the social distancing protocol that was implemented under the State of Emergency in March, classes have been suspended for at least the remainder of the current semester, which was unsettling news for many Belizean residents, especially students who were on their way to graduating from primary and secondary schools.
In light of these concerns, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has been working to ensure that students across the country are provided with an education through various mediums so that they may be promoted to a higher level of learning despite the COVID-19 restrictions.
International Nurses Day observed as the world battles COVID-19 pandemic
A nurse is a special kind of worker. Especially during these times when the world is battling with the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of nurses on the frontlines of this war is of paramount importance, and a spotlight is being put on that role as the world takes the time today to honor nurses on International Nurses Day, which is the culmination of International Nurses Week, which started on May 6.
With only two deaths resulting from the novel coronavirus, Belize is in a much better position than most other countries in the region, and nurses played a vital role in the overall recovery of the country’s first wave of COVID-19 patients.
Social Security Board donates $200,000 to KHMH Oncology Unit
Last Wednesday, May 6, the Belize Social Security Board handed over a check for $200,000 to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) for the continued development of its Oncology Unit.
The donation will be used for the purchasing of equipment needed for the functioning of the new Oncology Unit, which will provide clinical care and management of patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment for various types of cancer, said a press release from the Social Security Board.
Avianca files for bankruptcy
ne of the largest international airlines in the region, Avianca (AVH) from Colombia, has gone bankrupt as a result of the major blow that COVID-19 has inflicted on global tourism. On Sunday, May 10, 2020, the airline filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US Southern District of New York due to the “unforeseeable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a public statement.
Avianca is the world’s second longest running airline (operational since 1919) and is the third largest Latin American airline based on market share, employing over 20,000 people from the Latin American region and 14,000 Colombians.
Early professionalism in Belize football
We’ve recently chronicled some highlights on the road to the inception of the first semi-professional football league in Belize in March, 1991. But that was hardly the first time that footballers broke ranks with the “amateur” label, so staunchly guarded by the then bureaucrats of the sport.
In fact, the legendary Queens Park Rangers was unapologetically a semi-professional team in its heyday. What do you call it, when players are given jobs with a company because of their football skills, and then allowed special time-off in the afternoons, while other workers continued at their tasks, to go and practice football on the company’s playing field?
Memorable goals – when Negro scorched Bom, and Francis to Francis
Thanks to Lewis “Buck” Belisle, Jr., who we cousins call Lee Buck, we finally got the legal first name of renowned football striker of the 1970s, “Negro” Hall. Younger generations will be more familiar with his younger relative, Estevan “Negro” Hall who became famous in the 1990s with first semipro champions La Victoria.
The original Negro (Hubert) Hall was a relatively tall, dark brown skinned “Indio” from the north; thus, I suspect, the nickname “Negro.” He came to the city as a part of different teams from the north during the late 70s and early 80s; but one goal he scored has stuck in my memory.
To enter or not to enter …. Belize on lockdown!
It has always been a trend that those with power, if left unchecked, will find ways to abuse it. I do not know if it’s a matter of human nature or just that some have a higher propensity to be consumed by power. I always knew that declaring a State of Emergency meant that I had to forgo certain liberties. I will not say I was not wary about having to give up my civil liberties for a period of time under an SoE, but I had to have faith that in return the state and the powers that be, would not abuse it, use it as an excuse, or subject us to unnecessary conditions just because they can!
UDP leaders giving up no Widow’s Mite
You realize the PUP in opposition is as poor at handling their candle as the UDP was before they were given control of the country, to fix things in 2008. Talk about wasted votes. Talk about jump out of frying pan an lan eena fire. Talk about another big betrayal. The credibility of our political leaders is lower than the spot where the international financiers are putting our economy. After repeatedly betraying the Belizean people, our political leaders’ words da junk.
Musings by the Curious Nonconformist
As a child, I always had a recurring nightmare. It pops up now and again when I am under the excessive stress of being blessed enough to be alive now. Of course, I won’t get into all the odd details of that subconscious movie. The silhouette of it is that I’m running from a scary character, trying to get home, only to realize that I never will. I am never caught. I always wake up just before I am, but what’s more terrifying is that I never make it home. Always on this sort of conveyer belt moving forward, but never actually moving at all.
No more crab soup
“but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest…”
Chapter II is the treatise of our Constitution on human rights. Its heading is “The protection of fundamental rights and freedoms.” Happily you don’t need to be a genius to fully understand that for civilization and societies to even exist depends on man’s acceptance of the two sides of this equation, i.e. there are rights; and there are concomitant duties and responsibilities.
The agreement with British Honduras
Mr. Green was a well-qualified cabinet maker and carpenter from Belize City who came along with his family to reside in Corozal. He had a workshop with three employees and his son. They made all kinds of furniture and built several houses. Mr. Green taught me how to make a stool chair, and I participated in the making of a table using only lumber and wood glue; no nails or screws were applied.
One evening, my mother visited the family and I remember clearly when Mr. Green said to her: “Mary, I’ll have to leave my country and go to the U.S.”
Donation from the Rotary Club of Taipei Nanlung
In a brief handing-over ceremony held on May 13, 2020, in Taipei, Taiwan, the Ambassador of Belize to the Republic of China (Taiwan) H.E. Diane Haylock received, on behalf of the Government of Belize, 200 protective gowns and 5,000 medical gloves from the Rotary Club of Taipei Nanlung. The donation was an initiative of a Taiwanese-Belizean, Mr. Feng-Yi Chang.
Government makes border concessions in the name of corn trade
The last we reported on cattle exportation was the informal trading that was happening via the Bullett Tree Road in the Cayo District. Prime Minister explained a few weeks ago that it was an illegal trade and that the Guatemalan authorities opted to address the matter, requiring a better way.
Belizean man stranded outside the Belize/Mexico border for four days
A Belizean was stranded outside the Belize/Mexico border on his way back from Texas, USA. 49-year-old Guillermo Foreman was unaware that the State of Emergency was extended in Belize for another sixty days and had minimal food and water and slept inside his vehicle for almost four days awaiting clearance to enter the country from the relevant authorities.
Hoteliers encourage local tourism
The tourism industry came to a halt during the COVID-19 pandemic. With borders closed and people forced to stay inside, hotels had no choice but to close their doors. As State of Emergency restrictions continue to ease down, local tourism is slowly beginning to pick up. Reporter Courtney Menzies found out how some hotels are coping during this time.
Belize anticipates a visit from the International Monetary Fund
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has spoken at length on the future economic crisis that Belize will face post-COVID-19. The Covid-19 pandemic has created a major financial setback for many countries including Belize. Millions of dollars are being diverted from earmarked funds and millions more are being borrowed.
Public officers weigh in on increment issue
Several public officers have weighed in on the current impasse between the Public Service Union and the Government of Belize. Our Cayo Correspondent, Fem Cruz sought out these comments in Belmopan earlier today.
Breaking Belize News
Global COVID-19 cases over 4 million
The COVID-19 outbreak, which started in late December last year has become a global event […]
Special licenses for mutton snapper renewal to be conducted
The Belize Fisheries Department informed that it will be conducting renewal of Gladden Spit and […]
Update on CXC- Jamaica Bilateral discussions
The Caribbean Examinations Council® (CXC®) today, subsequent to the decision of the Council for Human […]
Taiwan’s Rotary Club donates medical equipment
In a brief handing-over ceremony held on May 13 in Taipei, Taiwan, the Ambassador of […]
Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s update on COVID-19
Today marks Belize’s 31st day without anyone testing positive for the novel Coronavirus. We, therefore, are holding steady […]
Belize health officials monitor increase of COVID-19 cases in neighboring countries
The Office of the Director of Health Services informed that health officials are closely monitoring […]
Green Clean, Western Dairies and Midwest Lumber Mill donated to Western Regional Hospital Nurses’ Lasagna Luncheon
Contributed: Green Care Products Ltd (GCPL), the local developer of Green Clean sanitizers and disinfectants, Western Dairies and […]
To my educators: Thank you for your inspiration!
Picture: Belizean journalist address officials at ICDF Taiwan By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: The life of an educator is […]
Where are the low LPG prices, ask ex-importers?
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has gone up by 31 cents from the last shipment and […]
British High Commission announces repatriation flight for British nationals
The British High Commission in Belize has informed of a repatriation flight for all British […]
Unsung Heroes ( A tribute to Teachers)
By Rudolph A. Neal: Whenever we hear the proverbial term "hero", we often times think of someone who's strong and powerful that comes dashing through the air at record speed […]
Over 120 US citizens return home
The United States Embassy in Belize and the Government of Belize facilitated the process for […]
Belize Taiwan ICDF Alumni Society delivers COVID-19 care packages
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how bad things can get and how quickly they can […]
Local businesses re-open: dining out and swimming is a go!
Not that we’re counting or anything (who are we kidding!) – but 53 days after we shut down, we can taste FREEDOM once again! Nearly two full months have passed since that fateful Monday, March 23rd, when our borders and our town businesses officially closed down due to Covid-19. Now that we officially have zero cases of coronavirus in the country of Belize, restrictions have been eased, and a little bit of ‘normal’ can ensue.
Belize: A COVID-19 Free Destination just 1 Flight from North America
With North America being Belize’s primary tourism market and so geographically close, Belize is poised to be an ideal destination once travel reopens for tourism. Belize has successfully contained the first wave of COVID-19 in country, reporting zero active cases since 5 May, 2020. Today, the re-opening of businesses are staggered alongside necessary precautions for a safe, collective future of citizens and guests alike. Although domestic travel is expected to resume first, we want to ensure international travellers know Belize is “the right destination” in a post-lockdown world.
CCRIF will be providing up to US$150,000 in scholarships for academic year 2020/21 to Caribbean nationals
CCRIF SPC is now inviting applications from citizens of all CARICOM member countries and associate member countries who wish to pursue study in areas such as disaster risk management, natural resources management, climate change, civil with environmental engineering, actuarial science, and meteorology, among others.
Details can be found at:
CCRIF postgraduate scholarships, CCRIF-UWI undergraduate scholarships. Application deadline June 15, 2020
Mr. Locke - Memories of Belize vol. 1, 16min. Mr. Locke sits down to recall people and events from the home country.
Swimming With Nurse Shark In Belize At The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, 1.5min. I traveled to Belize in December of 2019 and took a boat out to the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. There is an area near the reef where boats take you out to interact with the wildlife. The boats bait the water to help. Once there, a group of us jumped in to swim with a number of nurse sharks.
Elly Goes to Belize, 24min.
Effective Communication for Tour Guides Webinar
Peter Lawrence on ReefTV, min.
COVID-19 Watch, min. BTB’s Director of Marketing & Industry Relations, Mrs. Misty Michael, along with BTB’s Industry Relations manager, Jocelle Stephen, join Colorblind Productions’ COVID-19 Watch show today on Facebook live. They speak on the effects of the pandemic on the tourism industry and on plans to encourage domestic tourism.
Check it out below at the 23:00 minute mark.
Ep. 9 Insiders Live | Belize with Jonathan Part 1, 24min. Jonathan has an Associate’s Degree in Wildlife Biology & Conservation, and has worked for many years with Nikki Buxton, founder of the Belize Bird Rescue. Spend Friday meeting a rainbow of birds and the people who make a difference in their lives! Jonathan will also show off his country's lovely people, ancient Mayan cities and emerald green forests.
He goes by two life mottos: “Learning made Fun” & “Changing Lives”.
Ep. 9 Insiders Live | Belize with Jonathan Part 2, 6min.
Despierta Belice May 15 2020, 3hr.
BNTU 2020 Teachers Day Message, 9min.
Ozzy Fest, 48min. If you have young kids at home, perhaps they'd enjoy the Ozzy Fest Live
Belikin Stay Home Party with Mistah Smallz, 2hr.
Caye Caulker Soup Kitchen live, 3hr.
Police officers attempting to arrest two persons who were not wearing face masks, 2.5min. A video posted on Facebook shows an argument between a police officer and three persons. The incident happened in Guinnea Grass Village in the Orange Walk District. The video shows the police officers attempting to arrest two persons who were not wearing face masks in public. The young man refuses to be taken to the police station even though the officer has told them the reason for their arrest. The argument gets heated and the frustrated officer pulls out his firearm.
UNCOVERING COVID-19 Pandemic:
A Channel 5 Special., 2hr.
"Belize inna time of covid 19", 28min. Documentary series, stories of hope from the people of Belize as we watch the global crisis unfold, episode one.
Diving in Caye Caulker, Belize- The Great Blue Hole, Nurse Sharks and Turtles!, 4min.
BELIZE - IMMERSIONE 8D, 4min. La Barriera Corallina del Belize è la più Grande Barriera Corallina dell'emisfero boreale ed è seconda solo alla Grande Barriera Corallina australiana. Situata nelle acque del Mar dei Caraibi, in Belize, a circa 300 metri dalla costa a nord, e a 40 km a sud, ha una lunghezza complessiva di 300 km
Scuba Diving Belize - Eagle Ray Canyon Dive Site HD, 5min. Eagle Ray Canyon, one of the many dive sites in Belize. Beautiful coral formation and plenty of sea life.
Acción Deportiva, 32min.