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PM Wants to Connect San Pedro to the Yucatan with Highway #553113
10/05/21 04:56 AM
10/05/21 04:56 AM
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Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Bring Maya Train Close to Belize

The Prime Minister was ebullient this weekend after what he describes as a very productive five days of meetings in Mexico, as guest of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Among the mutually beneficial projects he says they discussed were bringing the Tren Maya close to the Belize border and hooking up San Pedro directly to the Yucatan.

Prime Minister John Briceno


“We had a very exciting five days in Mexico. We had several meetings with several functionaries. We met with Funatur, who is the group in charge of developing the Tren Maya project that connects entire south and southwest of Mexico. And looking at how sooner we can, more sooner hopefully than later, to link up Tren Maya. We discussed how at the moment to bring at least the range to end at the border where we can put the modern facilities for tourists to off load, and again goods that we can bring to the country. We also discussed a very interesting concept - How is it that we can connect San Pedro all the way up to to Cancun, which is called the Rivera Maya and we’re looking at – there’s a canal that separates the island of Ambergris Caye from Mexico and so by Mahahual so once we can connect that you can get on your car and from San Pedro Drive all the way to Cancun or from Cancun drive all the way to San Pedro. We’re talking with Fonatur to see how we can come up with a master development plan for northern San Pedro.”

Re: PM Wants to Connect San Pedro to the Yucatan with Highway [Re: Marty] #553128
10/05/21 08:44 PM
10/05/21 08:44 PM
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Roberto El Vagabundo Offline
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Roberto El Vagabundo  Offline
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Jajajaja laugh

Last edited by Roberto El Vagabundo; 10/05/21 08:45 PM.
Re: PM Wants to Connect San Pedro to the Yucatan with Highway [Re: Marty] #553307
10/14/21 04:46 AM
10/14/21 04:46 AM
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Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

A Road From San Pedro To Cancun?

And with the Belize Investment Summit coming up, that may also be good news for the economy. The summit is being organized by the government to attract foreign investment and is scheduled for November 10th and 11th in San Pedro. When the PM told us about it today, he noted that there has been a lot of international interest, especially amongst Central American nations. He spoke about his most recent trip to Mexico and one of the biggest projects discussed was a road connecting northern Ambergris Caye to the Mexican peninsula - that's right, in the future, you may be able to drive from San Pedro Town to Cancun.

Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister
"In the investment summit, we are making it international and certainly we are getting a lot of interest from Belizeans here in Belize but we're getting a lot of interest from the United States but now we're getting interest from Guatemala and Mexico in Central America and that is simply because now we have been active in the region, we've been going to SICA meeting both myself as head of state and Eamon Courtenay as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we went to Mexico, we've had a series of meeting in Mexico when I was there for about a week, we met with Compramex which is probably one of the largest public sector organizations and they are expressing interest to come and look. When we made note that we were interested to see how we could connect to the Tren Maya and to see initially to get it to the border of Belize and eventually to see if we could get it into the country, obviously it has to be a private/public sector partnership, again that generated interest in Mexico. We have a number of issues or ideas that we're looking at, we're trying to see how we could connect Ambergris Caye to the Mahahual area, to the peninsula. It's just we have an opening of a canal of about 40 feet, and we believe if we can put a bridge there then that means the Rivera Maya would start In Cancun and end in San Pedro and when we said that to the media in Mexico, that excited them because you'd pay well to drive from Cancun to San Pedro and vice versa and it would open up that market so there are so many things that we're doing and people are very excited about the investment summit and looking at the opportunities that Belize can offer them."

And with the Stake Bank Saga concerning the causeway, the question came up of whether a bridge connecting Ambergris Caye to Mexico would be environmentally viable. Here's how the PM answered.

Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister
"There's this theory that San Pedro or Ambergris Caye was connected to the peninsula but there's this theory that the Mayans dug a Canal there, you could imagine paddling 20 plus miles to get to the tip and 20 plus miles to go up when you figure you could just cut a canal and so that I don't think will be an issue because you talk about 40 feet, I've not been there but I'm told it's about 40 feet of water that we have by putting a canal and then that would open up that whole area, the north Ambergris area, I mean in Cabinet we just appointed a north Ambergris developing committee that would try to look at having planned development in the northern part of Ambergris Caye."

Channel 7



Re: PM Wants to Connect San Pedro to the Yucatan with Highway [Re: Marty] #553331
10/15/21 04:46 AM
10/15/21 04:46 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 76,311
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
[Linked Image]

Prime Minister sees the possibility to connect Ambergris Caye with Mexico

The prime minister commented that if this project materializes, islanders could drive from Ambergris Caye to any destination in the Mexican Riviera Maya up to Cancun. Travelers through this part of Mexico using the Tren Maya route would also be able to cross over to Ambergris Caye without entering through the Corozal District. Between northern Ambergris Caye and the Yucatan peninsula, there is a 40-foot canal where a bridge could connect with the Mexican side. Briceño believes it will open up the market with Mexico. However, significant development must occur in northern Ambergris Caye before any possible network to connect with Mexico can be established. Many islanders like the idea but believe that proper infrastructure must be put in place first. Indeed, such a project would lead to rapid growth and development of the island’s northern part, but it needs to be well planned and environmentally friendly. Another concern is that massive development up north could displace the island’s rare wildlife. Deep north, the island is home to jaguars, deer, peccaries, pumas, among others. Those undeveloped areas are also the favorite nesting spot for sea turtles every year.

Prime Minister Briceño believes the project would have a minimal environmental impact. Other islanders think the opposite and prefer the island to stay the way it is. According to him, Cabinet appointed a group called North Ambergris Development Committee. Briceño said this committee would try to have planned development in the northern part of the island. No further details were made available of this group and who is part of it.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun

Re: PM Wants to Connect San Pedro to the Yucatan with Highway [Re: Marty] #553432
9 hours ago
9 hours ago
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Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

A Road Through A World Heritage Site?

Switching now to real news...

The Briceno Administration has made an unprecedented commitment to marine conservation with the Blue Bond, which is predicated on protection and preservation of the marine environment. This blue bond is expected to yield millions of dollars for marine investments and management over the next 20 years and will include expanding marine biodiversity zones, initiating a comprehensive marine spatial program, revamping coastal management and more.

But even with this commitment, Prime Minister Briceno, has proposed a road that leads to a bridge connecting Ambergris Caye north to the Mexican portion of the Yucatan Peninsula.

For this to happen, a delicate eco system which has been preserved for centuries and is teeming with protected species will be disturbed.

Once the PM broke the news, it rattled conservationists on the island. So today, Courtney Menzies took a trip to the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve with a drone to get a better idea of the flora and fauna that will be affected if their home becomes overrun with construction and the constant flow of traffic. Here is that story.

Courtney Menzies: This is one of only three areas in this region where the reef meets the land - on top of that it's a well known nesting site for three different protected species of turtles, and it's all right here in the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve. But this precious natural wonder is under threat of disruption since the prime minister has in his sights a bridge connecting Ambergris Caye to the Mexican peninsula - a road that conservationists say will tear this fragile eco system apart.

Rebecca Arceo, Member, ACCSD
"The reserve has not only things like turtles but we've got jaguars in there, we have peccary and there's a whole slew of animals and environment that we haven't even explored yet because it's been untouched and before we open it up we have to figure out how to protect it and what is there and the best way to proceed to protect that environment and those animals before we just open it up and put a road right through it."

But that's what the PM is proposing - a road that will take you from San Pedro Town to the Tip of Ambergris Caye, and then a bridge that goes over the Bacalar Chico Channel and connects to the Mexican peninsula. Here's how he outlined it:

posted (October 13, 2021)
Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister

"We're trying to see how we could connect Ambergris Caye to the Mahahual area, to the peninsula. It's just we have an opening of a canal of about 40 feet, and we believe if we can put a bridge there then that means the Rivera Maya would start In Cancun and end in San Pedro and when we said that to the media in Mexico, that excited them because you'd pay well to drive from Cancun to San Pedro and vice versa and it would open up that market."

It an undertaking of epic proportions, so we took a trip with a local guide who often tours the area and a San Pedrano passionate about conservation to see the area that will be affected. The channel is a narrow strip of water that connects the two countries - meaning this boat is technically in Mexico.

And while this project promises economic benefit, Rebecca Arceo of the Ambergris Caye Citizens For Sustainable development says she's not sure it's worth it.

Rebecca Arceo, Member, ACCSD
"I don't think the benefits outweigh the damage it will cause at all because again, we don't know what they're plan is, we don't know how they're going to protect the environment that being people here. People come to Belize to fish, to snorkel, to see our natural habitat. BTB's slogan used to be mother nature's best kept secret, and I still believe that's why people come here and if we put roads through and we don't have a master plan for what can of buildings can go in, we're jeopardizing all of that."

"My concern is that all developments here are supposed to have an EIA, an environmental impact assessment, and this road because it's government done doesn't require that right so they can go ahead and do the road without even examining how it's gonna effect the environment and also we don't have a master plan for the island still so I'm concerned how they plan on develop an area where there's no plan for zoning, infrastructure, not only roads but even the road here are flooding during rainy season because the drainage isn't appropriate so my concern is that without that environment impact and without a master plan it's just opening us up to a world of problems without any solutions or planning."

And this project comes after the ACCSD had made plans to work on a biodiversity corridor, which would essential connects the nearby reserves to create an area of potential safety for the marine life.

Rebecca Arceo, Member, ACCSD
"What we did recently, or in the past few years was we did the Hol Chan Marin Expansion, where we took the areas along the back of the lagoon and connected them and made them part of Hol Cahn, we did that to protect those areas and now Bacalar Chico, we were looking at doing a co-management with government of Bacalar Chico again to kind of connect all the reserves and make sure they were protected and they were utilized properly. We've got a lot of flat areas in the back and up through Bacalar Chico that are for flat fishing which is one of our biggest industries and so before putting a road through it, I think there needs to be a plan for the reserve, the protection, and how those areas are protected."

Arceo says that once development does start, the organization will take a poll of the residents to get a better consensus - but she believes that even those who agreed with the project will want to ensure the preservation of the natural phenomenon - including the nesting of the loggerhead, green, and hawksbill turtles that share this area.

And one San Pedrano - Jorge Aldana - says he'll fight against this project for as long as he can.

Jorge Aldana, San Pedrano
"I just think that it's not feasible, if you look at the environmental aspect of it, it falls within a marine reserve and for the prime minister to want to pitch the idea of accommodating a bridge, it will need a certain level of infrastructure and the certain level of infrastructure that will be put in place will do more damage to the eco system in the area."

Courtney Menzies:
"When you speak to other San Pedranos what are they saying?"

Jorge Aldana, San Pedrano
"I think the general feeling is that there needs to be some level of consultation, some level of discussion before a project of that magnitude can be pitched to investors."

The president of the Tour Guide Association told us that while he is neither for nor against the project, he believes the PM should have first consulted with the community of Ambergris Caye first - including the hoteliers, private owners, tour guides, commercial fishermen, and the general residents.

Channel 7


Re: PM Wants to Connect San Pedro to the Yucatan with Highway [Re: Marty] #553443
8 hours ago
8 hours ago
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,721
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bywarren Offline
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bywarren  Offline
Brilliant idea. Build more road When you can’t maintain the roads that are already there.
Ambergris Caye is in the tourist business. It’s akin to someone in the restaurant business. They have 25 tables of which a third of them are in need of repair And the customers sitting at those tables cannot fully enjoy their meal. So to solve the problem the restaurant ads 25 more tables that soon are also in need of repair. So instead of solving the problem so that the 25 tables they have provide the customers with a enjoyable experience, they double the number of customers that have an unpleasant experience.
Of course the owner of that business figures that there will always be more new people to come only to not return and tell their friends of their one and only trip to that restaurant.

Last edited by bywarren; 7 hours ago.

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