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The September Celebrations 2014

Posted By: Marty

The September Celebrations 2014 - 08/12/14 11:37 AM

The September Celebrations is less than a month away and Belizeans can look forward to a packed calendar of events that has already kicked off with last Saturday’s National Song Competition Final.

According to Communications Officer for NICH Shari Williams, it is a mix of old and new, with star power and serious issues on tap.

Among new events on the calendar are special performances by the visiting Calypso Rose and Machel Montano, as well as a lecture on Belize’s economic development scheduled for September 17.

Official ceremonies to open September Celebrations will take place on St. George’s Caye on August 31; the Expo Belize fair takes place in the first weekend of September, Carnival in the second; and official ceremonies for St. George’s Caye Day and Independence Day take place on Wednesday, September 10 in Belize City and Sunday, September 21 in Belmopan.

This year’s theme for the 216th anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye and 33rd anniversary of national independence is “Industrious Hands, Intelligent Minds, Together for Belize.”

Patrick Jones


Belize’s Independence Day is one of the most important cultural events in the country. While the actual day is on September 21, the event includes festivities throughout the country for almost two weeks leading up to the national holiday.

In early Belize history, the country was under Spanish rule, but Spain did not actually control the area due to a belief that it did not have sufficient resources to gain the country’s full attention. Spain allowed British settlers into the area, and the British eventually gained a large presence. During the Battle of St. George’s Caye, the Spanish and British fought for about a week in September 1798, and this essentially led to British rule of the country. The British held control over the area until it was granted self-government in 1964, and it was renamed Belize from British Honduras in 1973. Belize finally attained independence on 21 of September 1981.

The Expo

The Expo Belize Market Place is one of the largest events in the country and is usually attended by over 15,000 people. It is highly popular, and many citizens attend to participate in a wide range of activities that range from dancing and singing to shopping with local vendors and enjoying delicious local food.

Battle of St. George’s Caye Day Festivities

While Belizean Independence Day is on September 21, the Battle of St. George’s Caye Day is on September 10 and typically marks the beginning of celebrations. On that day, radio stations begin to play patriotic music and people wear the country’s colors. Crowds gather at the town square, people have family picnics, and there are public dances.

Local Parades

There are numerous local parades and marches that take place throughout the country in large and small towns alike. These may feature floats, bands, marchers and many people dressed in cultural attire and the country’s colors of red, white and blue. These are vibrant displays of patriotism that are typically held on September 21, but some parades are held on different days during the almost-two week long festivities.

Live Musical Concerts

In addition, there are live musical concerts planned throughout the country each year. These may be smaller events that are held in villages as well as grand celebrations that bring together hundreds or even thousands of people. These events often are a celebration of the culture of the country, but they also display the citizen’s deep level of patriotism.

Children’s Events

While the national events are designed for those of all ages, there are some events that are planned each year especially for the kids. One of the more popular events is the talent show competition. While some of the children who participate in the events have talents that are not related to the country or patriotism, others may sing patriotic tunes or play musical instruments. These are fun events for the participants as well as for the audience.

Carnival Similar to celebrations held in many Caribbean and Latin American countries, Belize’s Carnival draws hundreds of performers and spectators to the streets of Belize City. Thousand of bystanders watch as performers march and dance to the tunes of popular music in elaborate costumes vying for the title of king and queen of Carnival.

J’ouvert Over a thousand party-goers engage in the annual paint and chocolate festival through the streets of Belize City. This event is done on the early morning on Carnival Day.

Larry Waight

The September Celebrations Calendar of Events 2014

CLICK images for larger versions...

526

Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 08/15/14 06:16 PM

The September Celebrations is less than a month away and Belizeans can look forward to a packed calendar of events that has already kicked off with last Saturday’s National Song Competition Final.

According to Communications Officer for NICH Shari Williams, it is a mix of old and new, with star power and serious issues on tap.

Among new events on the calendar are special performances by the visiting Calypso Rose and Machel Montano, as well as a lecture on Belize’s economic development scheduled for September 17.

Official ceremonies to open September Celebrations will take place on St. George’s Caye on August 31; the Expo Belize fair takes place in the first weekend of September, Carnival in the second; and official ceremonies for St. George’s Caye Day and Independence Day take place on Wednesday, September 10 in Belize City and Sunday, September 21 in Belmopan.

This year’s theme for the 216th anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye and 33rd anniversary of national independence is “Industrious Hands, Intelligent Minds, Together for Belize.”

Patrick Jones


September Celebrations in Belize

Belize’s Independence Day is one of the most important cultural events in the country. While the actual day is on September 21, the event includes festivities throughout the country for almost two weeks leading up to the national holiday.

In early Belize history, the country was under Spanish rule, but Spain did not actually control the area due to a belief that it did not have sufficient resources to gain the country’s full attention. Spain allowed British settlers into the area, and the British eventually gained a large presence. During the Battle of St. George’s Caye, the Spanish and British fought for about a week in September 1798, and this essentially led to British rule of the country. The British held control over the area until it was granted self-government in 1964, and it was renamed Belize from British Honduras in 1973. Belize finally attained independence on 21 of September 1981.

The Expo

The Expo Belize Market Place is one of the largest events in the country and is usually attended by over 15,000 people. It is highly popular, and many citizens attend to participate in a wide range of activities that range from dancing and singing to shopping with local vendors and enjoying delicious local food.

Battle of St. George’s Caye Day Festivities

While Belizean Independence Day is on September 21, the Battle of St. George’s Caye Day is on September 10 and typically marks the beginning of celebrations. On that day, radio stations begin to play patriotic music and people wear the country’s colors. Crowds gather at the town square, people have family picnics, and there are public dances.

Local Parades

There are numerous local parades and marches that take place throughout the country in large and small towns alike. These may feature floats, bands, marchers and many people dressed in cultural attire and the country’s colors of red, white and blue. These are vibrant displays of patriotism that are typically held on September 21, but some parades are held on different days during the almost-two week long festivities.

Live Musical Concerts

In addition, there are live musical concerts planned throughout the country each year. These may be smaller events that are held in villages as well as grand celebrations that bring together hundreds or even thousands of people. These events often are a celebration of the culture of the country, but they also display the citizen’s deep level of patriotism.

Children’s Events

While the national events are designed for those of all ages, there are some events that are planned each year especially for the kids. One of the more popular events is the talent show competition. While some of the children who participate in the events have talents that are not related to the country or patriotism, others may sing patriotic tunes or play musical instruments. These are fun events for the participants as well as for the audience.

Carnival Similar to celebrations held in many Caribbean and Latin American countries, Belize’s Carnival draws hundreds of performers and spectators to the streets of Belize City. Thousand of bystanders watch as performers march and dance to the tunes of popular music in elaborate costumes vying for the title of king and queen of Carnival.

J’ouvert Over a thousand party-goers engage in the annual paint and chocolate festival through the streets of Belize City. This event is done on the early morning on Carnival Day.

Larry Waight

The September Celebrations Calendar of Events 2014

CLICK images for larger versions...

526

Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 08/23/14 11:36 AM

Taiwan Will Sponsor September Fireworks

This year, your September fireworks and a whole lot more in the celebrations month is going to be underwritten by the Taiwanese Government. This afternoon the September Celebrations Commission received a donation of forty thousand dollars from the Ambassador of Taiwan.

Co-Chair of the Commission, Diane Haylock said that the Taiwanese have been longtime supporters of the celebrations.

Diane Haylock - Co-Chairperson, September Celebrations Committee
"As everybody knows that Ambassador Benjamin Ho who is relatively new. As the ambassador he has live and work in Belize before but he is back this time as the ambassador and this is our first opportunity to work with him in the support of the work that we do. You know that its celebration time in Belize and as has been the case for quite some time the Embassy of Taiwan in Belize has contributed faithfully to the resources that we make available to do all the various activities that are carried out throughout the country of Belize and we are grateful to once again receive the contribution that they are making to the 2014 calendar of events. As you may know Taiwan is very big on culture and so I think that it is on that basis that they find it within themselves to make that contribution to our celebrations. And we are really grateful to them because you know our government always gives us a handsome amount, but it's never enough for all the things that we want to do and so as the national celebrations commission we go out and we find additional resources and I must say that the embassy of Taiwan has been a faithful supporter."

This year marks the 33rd anniversary of Belize's Independence and the 216th anniversary of the Battle of St. George's Caye. The Taiwanese have their Independence Celebrations in October.

Channel 7

Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 08/26/14 11:11 AM


Belize National Carnival Queen and Princess

The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has appointed a National Carnival Queen and Princess to hold the symbolic honor of overseeing the National September Celebrations. The BTB and the Orange Walk Town Council appointed (and sponsored) the 2014 - 2015 National Carnival Queen & Princess.

In a photo shoot that took place in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, National Carnival Queen Janel Magaña and National Carnival Princess Rosely Vasquez donned their colorful and exotic cultural costumes that represent the vibrant celebrations that is Belize’s patriotic and Carnival season.

“The National Carnival Queen and Princess of the Nation of Belize have been bestowed with the high task of ensuring that all of the National September Celebrations festivities throughout the glorious Land of the Free, this jewel we call Belize, go forward with all the grandeur befitting the beautiful people of Belize in this their time of celebration.”

Click here to see more photos in the Ambergris Today

Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 08/27/14 05:05 PM

September Celebration Dance

September 9th, Bird's Isle, 9pm - 2am. $15 each

Featuring The "Imperial Band" & "Caribbean Roots Band" from Corozal

Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 08/30/14 11:25 AM

NOTICE FROM NICH

The Public is advised that there has been a change of venue for the official opening ceremonies for the September Celebrations 2014. The ceremony which was schedule to occur at St. George’s Caye on Sunday has been relocated to the House of Culture, Old Government House in Belize City. This is as a result of inclement weather conditions forecasted for the weekend.

The ceremony starts at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday August 31st, it is free to the general public and all are invited to attend!

Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 09/02/14 10:45 AM

Celebration Season Opens, Officially

And though it is not a celebration, per se, the lionman event is part of the September Calendar. The official launch of the Celebrations Season took place on Sunday at the official opening ceremony. It is usually held on Saint Georges Caye but due to bad weather it was held this year at the House of Culture.

Here's what the Co-Chair of the National Celebration's Commission told the gathering:

Diane Haylock - Co-Chairperson, September Celebrations Committee
"On behalf of the government of Belize and as co-chair of the national celebration commission I extend to you a warm welcome to the launch of this year's national 2014 September Celebrations. Today marks the start of a month of patriotic events being held under the theme "Industrious Hands, Intelligent Minds, Together for Belize." This year's theme composed by Ms. Denise Bowman and I like at this moment to see if Denise is here. Yes please give her a hand. Ms. Bowman in her theme captures the spirit of growing nation united, developing and embracing its worth in the evolution of many young democracies in the world to date. For this year's festivities, the national celebrations commission has put together what we consider a remarkable series of activities over the ensuing weeks. This calendar of activities will only excite your imagination, but will also inspire a spirit of togetherness and renewed appreciation of our jewel Belize."

This year marks the 216th anniversary of the Battle of Saint George's Caye Day, and the 33rd anniversary of Independence.

Channel 7



Click photos for lots more pictures!

A sneak peek at the launch of the September Celebrations 2014
at the House of Culture on Sunday August 31st...The event was well attended (10 photos)

Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 09/03/14 11:26 AM

Sir Barry’s Belikin Bash is Here Again

The Sir Barry Bowen Belikin Bash, formerly known as Belikin Fest, is a popular event in string of activities for the September Celebrations. The three-day event, which is traditionally held at the Memorial Park in Belize City, starts this Thursday night and will feature your favorite beverages produced by the Bowen group. It’s a fun-filled family event that also sees thousands of persons gathering to see mega performances from artists such as Supa G, Sweet Pain and the Gilharry Seven. This year, there are several new performers as well as a grand surprise on the final day of the Belikin Bash. Digital Media Coordinator, Juan Carlos Cuellar, says that the September roll out for the company starts with a big announcement on Open Your Eyes on Thursday morning.

Juan Carlos Cuellar, Digital Media Coordinator, Bowen & Bowen

Juan Carlos Cuellar

“It’s this September fourth, fifth and sixth. As everybody knows, it is a three-night free concert featuring all Belizean line up. And this year, what we decided to do as well is bring in different genres of music, people from different parts of the country. Yes you are going to have the usual people that are there to highlight everything, like Sweet Pain Band and Supa G, but we are also trying to diversify the type of music that we have available to appeal to everyone. It’s going to be a fun event out at Memorial Park and it is something I know everyone looks forward to and as always, as it has always been, it is going to be a safe and fun concert to participate and see.”

Duane Moody

“What new features does the show have?”

Juan Carlos Cuellar

“New features…we got a few toys in as far as lights and that kind of effects are concerned, so we intend to debut that at the bash. It is always fun when we get in new equipment and we can play around with that. As far as the artists, I’m sure they’ll take the opportunity to debut the new songs that they have lined up as well. So everyone is looking forward to what the event has to offer. OUT 01:38

IN 01:51 You have your nonalcoholic beverage tent which will include the Coca Cola line up and products as well as Crystal water. And of course we have the Belikin tent which will feature our Belikin line up which is Belikin beer, Belikin stout, lighthouse; we’ll also have Belikin in cans and we’ll have it in drafts as well. We will also have Guinness and Smirnoff available for sale. As much as we like having fun over Belikin, we are also very much concerned to the security; it is paramount for us. Just as previous years, police presence will be out there, security is going to be tight. We encourage everyone to just come out and have a good time. The police is out there to have a presence and to ensure that everyone behaves in an orderly fashion and that’s what we expect. It’s gonna be interesting starting off on Thursday….we have a major announcement starting Thursday morning on Open Your Eyes and that’s gonna be the beginning of a roll out for us, so to speak, for the rest of September and we also have another major announcement on Saturday night, the last night of bash, so we encourage people to come out and take a listen to what that might be.”

For the remainder of the week, mas camps are taking place and the weekend is dedicated to the King and Queen competition as well as the equally popular Expo Marketplace. 

Channel 5

Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 09/04/14 11:02 AM

Mas Camp Madness, Night One

The Carnival Road March is just ten days away and the hyped-up leadup to the big event started last night with the media rounds at the mas camps. Monica Bodden made it to three of them and she has this report:…

It is contagious and spreading rapidly - and so far it seems like there isn't a cure for the Carnival Fever.
The first night of the annual carnival mas camps started off with 5 junior bands –
From what we could see, things were intense as the revelers- all pumped up with energy -demonstrated some of their latest carnival moves in front of our camera.

Patricia Flowers– Trench Town Masqueraders

"This year Trench Town Masqueraders are portraying looking in the sky. When you look in the sky it is about our universe, the sun the stars the rain, the rainbow. And we also portray them as day and night."

Monica Bodden

"How many revelers taking part this year?"

Patricia Flowers

"Well we have 71 right now, but we need 75, so we still short of 4. But after tonight, we will get that."

Ian Young – Sunshine Masqueraders

"For this year our team is from invasion to nation. We chose that theme because for many years other carnival groups have been portraying bits and pieces of different cultures, so this year we decide to bring everything together and actually give a brief history of our country, where we stand and what we are all about. So over this side we have the Indians. Instead of using the Maya Indians, we are using Native American Indian, so there is a little bit of twist to it. If you notice we have the pink and blue. The Indians have the blue, which represents crystal waters and the pink represents the femininity because that is one of the queen's group, Queen Azalea which means crystal water. Over this side we have the pirates and the buccaneers, these were people who were sailing the coast line of Belize from Mexico all the way to Panama. And the British pirates to be exact, were stealing all the treasures from the Spaniards pirates. We wanted to use these specific colours in terms of purple and black. The purple represents the lost souls and the black represents the dark ages of the pirates or piracy. For the last group he have the multi-culture which is the nation. We went from invasion to nation, the last group represents the cultures we have in Belize. All of us coming together living as one in order to let our country become a developed country. The 4 cultures we are focusing on are the Garifuna, which is yellow. The Chinese, which is the gold and red. The Creole, for the Creole we decided to use the colours of the flag, so we went with red, white and blue. The Maya, which is the green and white."

Our next stop was at Jump Street Posse - where we spoke with Band Leader Marina Welcome who gave us a synopsis of her theme, Mystical Warriors of the Amazon.

Marina Welcome – Jump Street Posse

"We are doing Mystical Warriors of the Amazon. The first team is the Amazon Warriors, Princess Mia and the Amazon Warriors. You know when you go into the rainforest, you have to fantasise a bit. Stepping into the rainforest you will meet Princess Mia and her warriors protecting the rainforest. They become the Amazon Warriors because in their time, the female was separated from the males, they only meet when they are mating, so that is why they are the warriors. Princess Mia's mother was Queen Harmonia. When you go deeper in the rainforest, it wouldn't be a rainforest if they weren't any beautiful flowers, that is why we come up with black orchard, the butterflies, the lily, the red-bell, that's all you going to meet in the rainforest. And when you go a little deeper, a rainforest cannot be a rainforest without Zoo-loos. So that's when you are going to meet Kamadela the King, and his warriors, the Zoo-loos."

Duane Moody, Channel 5 News

"Tell me about going into the competition this year, how secure you feel with regards to sticking to criteria and being creative with it."

Marina Welcome

"You can see what I got, and I am very confident in what I do. My costumes are unique, they are original. As you see it, you know exactly what you are seeing. I have a lot of confidence in that."

Tonight, the journey continues as Monica and CAMERA MAN Codie Norales are visiting four more camps, the Evolution Mas Band, the Pickstock Carnival Band, Mother Nature and Erotic Mas Band.

Channel 7

Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 09/04/14 06:01 PM

The San Pedro Sailing Club that operates from the Caribbean Villas Hotel will be holding a sailing demonstration on Wednesday, September 10th at Central Park.

The fun starts at 9am at Central Park - The San Pedro Town Council will be crowning our new "Miss San Pedro" and there will be a uniform parade.

Sailing demonstrations will be held from noon until around 3pm.

The SPSC will be selling food and drinks at the park.

Please support our club by buying lunch and a few drinks and cheering for the kids.

We look forward to seeing you then.

www.sanpedrosailingclub.com
Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 09/05/14 10:56 AM

San Pedro’s line-up of event for September Celebrations

Route for the 10th of September Parade is:
Central Park (Barrier Reef Drive), left Caribeña Street, left Pescador Drive, left Tarpon Street, Left Barrier Reef Drive and culminating at the Central Park.

[Linked Image]

The 2014 September Celebrations are well under way, and citizens from all six districts are celebrating Belize’s most patriotic month of the year. This year’s celebrations are being held under the theme “Industrious Hands, Intelligent Minds, Together for Belize”. 2014 marks the 216th anniversary of The Battle of St. George’s Caye Day and the 33rd anniversary of Belize’s Independence Day. Here in San Pedro, September will be celebrated in grand fashion with a line-up of events.

The first event in the September Celebrations calendar of events is the premiere of the La Isla Bonita Telenovela on Friday, September 5th. The red carpet event is being held at Paradise Theatre starting at 7PM. For the fee of $75, guests will enjoy the telenovela screening as well as welcome drinks, hors d’oeuvres and admission to the after party held at Caprice Bar and Gill at 10PM. If you can’t make it to the glamorous event, you can catch the replay screening on Saturday, September 6th and Sunday, September 7th for a fee of $15 for adults and $12 for children.

On the eve of St. George’s Caye Day, Tuesday, September 9th , the community is invited to watch the Fire Engine Parade across town core starting at 6PM. The Tribute to the Baymen Ceremony will follow at 8PM. There will be lots of food and drinks on sale, and live musical performances from several local artists will be enjoyed.

On Wednesday, September 10th join in the St. Georges Caye Day Celebration that will be held at Central Park. The day will start at 9AM with the coronation of San Pedro’s newly elected beauty ambassador Michele Nuñez. A uniform parade will follow the coronation.

The annual School Children’s Rally will be held on Friday, September 12th at Central Park starting at 9AM. Then on Saturday, September 13th a block party will be held to commemorate the Independence Eve of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua. The Central American and Mexican communities in San Pedro will be showcasing their culture through food and music at Central Park starting from 7PM.

In commemoration of Right Honorable George C. Price, the Belize Rural South (BRS) People’s United Party (PUP) will host a series of events on Friday, September 19th for National Service Day and National Colors Day. The group will be conducting community service efforts during the day, followed by a procession starting at 6:30PM from the BRS PUP Office to across town core. This will be followed by a mass of thanksgiving at the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church starting at 7PM.

Events will climax on Saturday, September 20th with the Independence Eve Ceremony Block Party. The annual party will be held at Central Park commencing from 8PM, and will see live entertainment as well as lots to eat and drink. A grand firework display will go off at midnight, capping the night’s celebrations. The Independence Day Celebrations continue on Sunday, September 21st with the official Independence Day Ceremony and Parade starting at 2PM. The Parade route has yet to be announced. However, be prepared for much revelry, excitement, colors and fun, fun, fun!

Be sure to mark your calendars so you don’t miss out. To all Belizeans at home and abroad, Happy September Celebrations!

Click here for the rest of the story and more pictures in the San Pedro Sun!
Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 09/05/14 11:27 AM

Mas Camps Madness Continue

Tonight the Mas Camps are continuing all across Belize City. Unless you've been to a mas camp, you might not understand how really crazy it gets. And that's because the Mas Camp serves two purposes: a very practical one of getting all the costumes ready for the Road March, and another more intangible one of building that carnival spirit, which - at the senior camps is fostered by loud soca music, wild and dirty dancing, and in no small part by a "goodly" amount of alcohol. Monica Bodden and camera man Codie Norales got to see it in action last night when they visited Mother Nature's Creation and Erotic Mas Band. They started though with the pure and untainted energy of the youths at the Pickstock Carnival Band:..

Monica and Codie are back out on the Mas Camp circuit tonight with the final set of visits and you'll see that story tomorrow…

Channel 7

Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 09/06/14 11:26 AM

Mas Camp 2014 Wraps Up in Belize City

The Carnival Road March 2014 is a week away and since Tuesday of this week, the fourteen bands competing were judged in the preliminary stage of the event. Thursday was the final night for the camps and saw five bands judged. Duane Moody was out once again and has the wrap up of Mas Camp 2014.

Duane Moody, Reporting

The final night for mas camp 2014 got underway on Thursday. The five remaining bands took to their respective areas, bringing life to the streets with the latest soca tunes and unique and creative concepts. Soca Moca was our first stop for the night…The theme for the group is Belize It or Not! And in collaboration with OCEANA, the group is highlighting many wonders of the Jewel.

Pauline Bradley, Head Designer, Soca Moca

Pauline Bradley

“I work in tourist village and every day I hear the tourist talk about how rich Belize is and they would die to live in a country as Belize. And then we have our locals here wanting to go abroad. We have gold right here; we are walking on the street of emerald and gold and that’s what the first segment is portraying Emerald City. Section number two; that’s the jaguar and everybody knows that the jaguar is our national symbol. And then we have the third section which is the blue hole and then the fourth segment is the lionfish. Yes the lion fish doesn’t have anything to do with Belize. It came here by mistake, but at the same time we have to deal with it. This lionfish is eating up a lot of our juvenile lionfish and tell Belizeans about this lionfish.”

Two blocks away on Fairweather Street, were the Soca Warriors Seniors. Their theme is Good Conquers the Bad.

Shanalee Ortiz

Shanalee Ortiz, Representative, Soca Warriors

“It took us quite a while to put it together, but it’s here.”

Duane Moody

“Tell us about what we’ll see on the streets come carnival road march 2014?”

Shanalee Ortiz

“You should see hypeness, fun and the whole theme setting that we put together.”

It was then Belizean Jewel to present to the judges their theme, “Ancients Behaving Badly – Cleopatra Finding a Wife for her Son.”

Denise Young

Denise Young, Band Leader, Belizean Jewel

“Cleopatra decided to capture all the newborn babies so that she can keep them pure for her son, so that her son can find a wife that is a virgin. She is pure that’s why we have a white section. And then the next section is that they did this big carnival ball so that everybody can see his wife. But he didn’t find his wife then, so the queen said let’s put a little brightness in this dance so she did this green section. At that time, the son said wow, that’s where he saw his wife and then she escaped from him. When she escaped, she went into this big beautiful colors, but still Octavia found his wife in all those colors. And they got married and up to now this ball continues every September even here in Belize.”

Duane Moody

“Now we know that Belizean Jewel almost took the title last year and of course you are coming back for the win. Tell us about that.”

Denise Young

“Of course. Our first year we placed third, last year we placed second and this year we are hoping for first.”

Eternity Mas Band is next. They have been partaking in the Carnival Road March for eight years and this time, their theme is “Unity is Strength – Different Colors, One People; Our Land, Our People, Our Riches.”

Tara Williams

Tara Williams, Assistant Band Leader, Eternity Mas Band

“We have four different sections and one of the biggest ones is the Rastafarians section. Everybody wanted us to bring it back and we used that to encompass the sections for the other. The colors are green, yellow, red and black and all of these colors have meanings to it. The green and orange, which represents the land, that consists of the flowers, leaves and everything that’s beautiful in our country. Then we have our diamonds, which is the lost gold, which is the yellow in the costume for Rastafarians. And that just talks about the gold and riches that we were robbed of and taken from us. And then we have the third section which is the pink and gold and that is the sacrifice section. Our people who gave up their lives and everything to make us the way we are today. Even our Belizean culture, independence…we are celebrating our culture. So that sums all of it up. The black just signifies the people in our country. We are ancestors of Africa and stuff like that.”

President of the Carnival Association, Patrick Thompson, spoke of the judging criteria for the preliminaries of the carnival road march. He says that while the junior and senior costumes are judged separately, the preliminary judging represents twenty percent of the final score.

Patrick Thompson

Patrick Thompson, President, Carnival Association

“The judges are looking for creativity; how the group brings their design to life. That is ten points. They are also looking at creativity; this is how well as I say the costume comes to life. They are also looking at appearance, neatness of the costume and blend of colors; which are another ten points which tallies to the twenty points that they are looking for tonight and the previous two nights.”

Now all that is standing between these fourteen bands and the Carnival Road March on September thirteenth is the King and Queen Competition that is set for Saturday at Rogers Stadium in Belize City. Each band will produce one king and one queen only to compete in the giant costume war. Duane Moody for News Five.

Channel 5

Posted By: RAIN RESTAURANT

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 09/08/14 03:33 PM

Rain Restaurant will offer 2 for 1 drinks all day September 10th! Join us on the rooftop terrace and watch the fireworks!
Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 09/08/14 06:54 PM

Please note a change in the Schedule of Events. in San Pedro:

The date of the Central America & Mexico Independence Eve has been changed to Saturday, September 13. See you there!

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 09/09/14 10:56 AM

The 2014 Carnival King & Queen

All last week, we showed you the Carnival Mas Camps - which is a buildup to the carnival road march, but also to the King and Queen of Carnival. On Saturday at the Roger's Stadium, a total of 14 bands participated in this year's competition. Courtney Weatherburne has that story.

First place Senior King and Queen received $5,000 dollars.

Channel 7

Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 09/10/14 11:11 AM


Click photos for lots more pictures!

Kicking off the September 9th night's celebrations in San Pedro, the Fire Engine parade, complete with fire trucks, San Pedro Cadets, Isla Bonita Elementary School's drummers and traffic wardens passed through the island's main streets. Tonight's Tribute to the Baymen program will feature culture and music at Central Park starting at 8PM! Don't miss out!! (6 photos)

Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 09/10/14 07:51 PM

St. George’s Caye Day ceremony held in Belize City
This morning in Belize City, the Fort George Memorial Park was the venue where residents gathered as they have for the last 116 years. What was the occasion? To observe the anniversary of the Battle of St. Geroge’s Caye. The Battle which took place in the first week of September 1798, resulted in victory for local British settlers and their African slaves over invading forces from Mexico intent on driving the Baymen out of the settlement. At today’s ceremony, Mayor of Belize City Darrel Bradley called on those present to emulate the example of the Baymen who, despite a close vote in favour of defending the settlement, were shown to be nothing but united in their defence of what is now Belize. He explained that Belize as a nation has many challenges to overcome and like the Baymen, we are better off if we work together.

Traditional Fire Engine Parade held in Belize City
On Tuesday evening, Belize City residents came out for the traditional prelude to St. George’s Caye Day celebrations. The traditional Fire Engine Parade roared through the old capital’s principal streets, featuring participation from the National Fire Service, Police, BERT Ambulance Service as well as a float from Digicell. The Fire Engine Parade pays tribute to the work of uniformed services on a daily basis. Also taking place last night was a pair of concerts: “Gyal Powa” featuring a line-up of female artists led by Calypsonian Calypso Rose, and the Frankie Reneau annual concert based on his “Celebration” compact disc.


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Photos of Parade in Corozal


St. George’s Caye Holiday in Belize: San Pedro’s Uniform Parade

I love a parade. The drum lines, the loud music, the candy flying, the patriotism, the pageant queens, the kids…love it.

But if you are a child in San Pedro? I’m not sure about the love. Today is a national holiday – to celebrate the Battle of St. George’s Caye. When a small group of British baymen and their slaves defeated the evil Spanish. I’m sure they were evil…and had those long waxed twisty evil guy mustaches.

Kids have the day off from school in Belize but on Ambergris Caye, there is a catch. You need to be in the Central Park at 9am in your uniform for a mandatory parade.

Most were still in a pretty good mood.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more beautiful photos on San Pedro Scoop

But if you are a child in San Pedro? I’m not sure about the love. Today is a national holiday – to celebrate the Battle of St. George’s Caye. When a small group of British baymen and their slaves defeated the evil Spanish. I’m sure they were evil…and had those long waxed twisty evil guy mustaches.

Kids have the day off from school in Belize but on Ambergris Caye, there is a catch. You need to be in the Central Park at 9am in your uniform for a mandatory parade.

Most were still in a pretty good mood.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more beautiful photos on San Pedro Scoop


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Happy St George's Caye Day to all Belizeans from the management and staff of The San Pedro Sun Newspaper.

Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 09/11/14 11:28 AM

Battle Of St. George's Caye Day Parade: Belmopan, Belize. September 10, 2014

Belize Fire Engine Parade September 9th

Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 09/11/14 05:37 PM


San Pedro Commemorates St. George’s Caye Day

The September 10th celebrations commemorating the 216th Battle of St. George’s Caye in San Pedro commenced on Tuesday, September 9, 2014 as the San Pedro Town Council and the San Pedro Cultural Committee held a Tribute to the Baymen celebration on the eve of St. George’s Caye Day.

The evening’s activities on Tuesday, September 9, 2014, under the theme “Industrious hands, Intelligent minds, Together for Belize!” included a tribute to the Baymen by District Education Officer, Mrs. Miriam Codd, Guest Speaker Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. and Cultural Presentations and Creole Medley by the Heaven’s Youth Choir from the Roman Catholic Church Youth Ministry under the musical direction of Nathalie Arceo.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the Ambergris Today

Tribute to The Baymen by Heaven's Youth Choir in San Pedro Town, Belize

Heaven's Youth Choir from R.C. Youth Ministry pay tribute to the Baymen on eve of St. George's Caye Day in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Ambergris Today


Always different Belize Independence
Every time I have experienced the Belize Independence day parade it has been unique in many ways and this year was no exception. For starters among our regular crowd, there is far less ongoing partying involved since the days when we first turned up almost 9 years ago. Secondly many of us are happy to be more on the sidelines then right in the thick of things or marching behind a truck. I have watched it many different ways – up high, down low, followed from behind or dashed around to catch the front again. No matter where I was watching from and with who, it has always been a super fun time. This year We started out meeting up at Caye Casa then headed to Wayo’s beach bar to catch everyone getting ready. After beach time, we did a split and most of the group headed off to Caprice at the Holiday hotel to be on the parade route and enjoy a cocktail. Paul and I opted to go meet Leisa at Lola’s pub for sliders, football and a sideline view of the parade. It was not long before we got gridlocked by the parade and had to park on a back road by the lumberyard in town and make our way on foot.


Belize independence party (Orange Walk)

Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 09/12/14 10:54 AM


September 10th comes alive in San Pedro

Islanders joined in the country’s festivities commemorating the 216th anniversary of the Battle of Saint George’s Caye with much pride and patriotism. Events started with the annual Tribute to the Baymen on September 9th and went through to September 10th with the coronation of the new Miss San Pedro, Michelle Nuñez. As part of the activities, students also joined in a uniform parade through the principal streets of San Pedro Town.

Official ceremonies took place with the Tribute to the Baymen which was held on the night of September 9th at the Central Park. Speaking at the event, both Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero as well as Area Representative for Belize Rural South, Manuel Heredia Jr echoed that the occasion is a time of reflection on the work of the Baymen, who stood to fight the Spanish armadas to protect Belize. They said that without the bravery displayed by the Baymen and handful of slaves, history would have been different for Belize.

Meanwhile District Education Officer Miriam Codd delivered the official Tribute to the Baymen. She took the attendees back into history as she recounted the many encounters between the Spaniards and the British. Codd also explained that the final encounter on the 10th of September is recorded in both British and Spanish records, thus making the event significant to the country’s history.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see LOTS more wonderful photos in the San Pedro Sun


One of the highlights of the tenth celebrations was (VO) the crowning of the Queen of the Bay. Moesha Stuart of Belize City was installed as the Queen of the Bay 2014 by Queen of the Bay 2013 Jahrine Avila. Stuart won the title late last month when she beat out eight other candidates to capture the prestigious title. Moesha Stuart is the sixty ninth Belizean woman to wear the crown. The Queen of the Bay is the longest running pageant in Belize.

LOVEFM



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Celebrating the battle of St George's Caye (19 photos), San Pedro Roman Catholic School


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10th of SEPTEMBER, 2014, CORONATION, UNIFORM PARADE (81 photos)

On the 10th of September, 2013, as part of the Battle of St. George's Caye Day festivities, Miss Michelle Estrella Nunez, was officially crowned as Miss San Pedro 2014-2015 by past Miss San Pedro, Miss Solani Graniel. The Coronation Ceremony included an invocation by Mr. Clive Welsh, Welcome address by Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the Coronation, Presentation of Gifts to Miss San Pedro and the Delegates and a Vote of Thanks speech by Councilor Kenrick Brackett. Following the ceremony was the traditional Uniform Parade which included the participation of all pre-schools, Primary Schools and High School.

We hope everyone had a great 10th of September! Hip Hip Hurrah!


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Santa Elena's 1st Annual BSG Parade

Santa Elena had their 1st annual Battle of St. George's Caye Day Parade yesterday.

"What an amazing Parade today in Santa Elena, Zone 10 did a wonderful job and it was so much fun! Here are some pics, many more to come! Happy 10th of September Belize!"

Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 09/12/14 03:30 PM

Monisha Stuart crowned 69th Queen of the Bay

On the occasion of official ceremonies held at the Memorial Park in Belize City to commemorate the 216th Anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye, Her Graciousness Monisha Stuart received the scepter from outgoing Queen of the Bay Jahrine Courtenay Avila, with which she will reign for the next 12 months over the “hearts of the Bay.”

Jahrine also transferred her red and gold crown and red robe to Monisha, who was beaming with a jubilant, radiant smile as she received the emblems of royalty, officially marking the start of her reign as the 69th Queen of the Bay.

Stuart, who won the pageant held at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, August 31, was serenaded by Sofia Muschamp as she made her way to the throne to witness the performance of the winning song for this year’s National Song Competition.

For the 5th year, Nello Player submitted a winning entry. This year’s up-tempo song is dubbed “Real Belizean.”

Amandala



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Belmopan St. George's Caye Day Parade

They had a fun Battle of St. George's Caye Day parade in Belmopan.

"10th of September, St. George's Caye Day 2014, in Belmopan!"


Belize’s September Celebrations are fun!!

September is the month of celebration in Belize. Our official Independence Day is September 21st, but the days and nights leading to that date are filled with activity. Under the theme “Industrious Hands, Intelligent Minds, Together for Belize”, 2014’s celebrations are set to bring in Belize’s 33rd Independence anniversary.

September 10th is the 216th anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye. It’s the pre-party and involves a more sedate celebration, with a uniform parade and the coronation of the various municipalities’ newest beauty ambassadors. Our Miss San Pedro is the lovely Michelle Nuñez, and she was crowned by the outgoing Miss San Pedro Solani Graniel.

The BIG party starts from the night of the 20th. Pomp and circumstance, a 21-gun salute, rousing speeches and to cap it off, grand fireworks’ displays – all come together to bring in the 21st.

The next day, a colorful and vibrant parade through the principal streets of the towns, villages and cities of Belize. Music, colorful costumes, revelry and patriotism come alive every September. It’s our absolute favorite time of year, and we welcome you to celebrate with us!

San Pedro Sun

Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 09/14/14 10:44 AM

Video: Carnival Road March (September 13 , 2014)



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Jouvert 2014!

At 4:00 a.m. today Belizeans were hyped & ready for the annual paint & chocolate festival in the streets, "Jouvert 2014" - The start of CARNIVAL DAY 2014! (10 photos)

Carnival 2014 - the people are ready.

Carnival 2014 (12 photos)

The Carnival madness in the city. (12 photos)

10th of September Citizens Parade, Belize City

Belize City’s 2014 CARNIVAL: PHEW. It NEVER Disappoints
Yesterday some friends and I hopped aboard the 11:30am San Pedro Belize Water Taxi to Belize City for one of the highlights of September Celebrations – the Belize City Carnival. It is a hot, crazy, sweaty, loud, gritty, fun event fueled by beer, body glitter, Belize energy drink – “Full Throttle”, lots of attitude, TONS of attitude and very loud music. Even just watching is exhausting – THE HEAT! THE CROWD! – I’m not sure how these participants do it. And these costumes are no small feat. Fundraising begins months ahead of time. Bras and glitter must sell out country wide! It’s definitely a labor of love. We arrived RIGHT ON TIME to watch at the very beginning…which would insure that I would be on a water taxi back home at the end of the afternoon.

Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 09/15/14 11:12 AM

Belize Carnival 2014

The 2014 Belize City Road Carnival held on Saturday September 13.





Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 09/15/14 06:51 PM

Carnival Road March, Belize City (September 13, 2014), 3 hours

Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 09/19/14 06:52 PM

The invisibility of the Maya in September celebrations

September in Belize is a time when the nation focuses on its national identity, so a question recently arose in my mind over the invisibility of the Maya heritage during this festive time of the year.

Before Belize had a colonial history, it had a Maya history, so why should the celebration of nationhood not strongly reflect this dimension of Belize’s heritage? Is it only popular to talk about Mundo Maya when selling the Belize tourism product? Should not celebrations of Belize’s national identity reach way back in the annals of time to the era when the inhabitants of this land were truly independent of any colonial control? In fact, given all that plays out on the international political front, some would even argue that those pre-colonial times were truly the days of independence.

Toledo Maya activists Cristina Coc and Froyla Tzalam agree that the national celebrations do not adequately reflect Belize’s cultural and historical landscape. They say that partisan politics figures heavily in the national celebrations. Indeed, the national colors are red, white and blue; but the party color of the ruling United Democratic Party is red, while the party color of the Opposition People’s United Party is blue, and some do dress the political part.

Tzalam is of the view that while the celebrations demonstrate patriotism to a certain extent, they are also very political; and those who are PUP tend to wear blue while those who are UDP tend to dress in red.

“It is very difficult to say celebrate. It would be almost hypocritical to do that. We know the reality. We don’t feel the freedom and joy that Independence would bring,” said Coc.

She pointed to her personal philosophy, that the truth for many Mayan people is that while the State of Belize proclaims Independence, in her humble opinion, the autonomy, food security and livelihood of the Maya are today threatened and they continue to be treated as second-class citizens.

“In court, we were told that we are not even Belizeans,” said Coc, recalling arguments made by the Government of Belize in the Maya land rights case when it was heard in the Supreme Court of Belize.

Coc pointed to modern-day oppression of the Maya people in “very difficult and trying circumstances…”

The two major milestones observed in Belize during September are the Battle of St. George’s Caye of September 10, 1798, and the country’s political independence from Britain on September 21, 1981.

Tzalam, who hails from San Antonio, one of the larger villages in Toledo, said that for Independence, they usually do the picking of the queen, a local popularity contest.


The queen dresses in white for the military parade and flag ceremony – festivities which she said are financed by the local village council. However, she notes that these celebrations were transferred from September 10th to September 21st after Independence.

Coc said that when she visited Laguna, her home village, last Wednesday, on September 10, it was business as usual. Maya men went to the farm and did their usual routine. There were no festivities to mark the national celebrations.


She said that unless a politician, such as the area representative, sponsors village events, none are held; but the participation really has little to do with a sense of nationalism and more to do with the fact that people opt to enjoy the party the politicians throw.

Village students who attend high school have a chance to participate in the more somber Independence Day parade.

Coc said that in Punta Gorda, Toledo, the town council is PUP and so there is very little money given to them. In fact, she said that this year’s celebrations are marred by a major garbage disposal problem in the town. She said that her garbage has been sitting there for 5 weeks and has not been picked up. Some have opted to burn their trash, she added.

Tzalam confirmed that garbage disposal issues have been persistent, but she told us that where she lives, the trucks have been cleaning up since yesterday.

Tzalam is boarding with a family member in Punta Gorda, and she said that she has not seen the Maya inclusion in these celebrations.

She points to the fact that Carnival, an imported event, has now taken center stage in the September celebrations, even overshadowing the 21st of September, Independence Day, in her view.

Tzalam said that while some villages will have a replication of what happens annually in Belmopan for Independence Day, it won’t have a culturally distinct flavor, reflecting the Maya contribution to the nation’s genesis.

After the festivities, they usually congregate at the community center for refreshments, marimba and harp music, and dancing.

Amandala

Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 09/20/14 10:51 AM

National Hero Price Remembered On Nat’l Service Day

Today is National Service Day - the day established to mark the passing of National Hero George Price in 2011. All across Belize, civic-minded citizens, groups and companies engaged in different forms of public service - in the truest spirit of Mr. Price. The PUP started the day with their annual wreath laying ceremony at his burial site on Lord's Ridge Cemetery. He was remembered by his followers and his family:..

Henry Usher, PUP Chairman
"This the 3rd anniversary of the passing of the Rt. Hon. George Price, our uncle and Susie's brother and in this anniversary as in every year we must reflect in what we are and who we are as a country and what want to achieve going forward."

Rt. Hon. Said Musa
"And as he said in one of his poems 'Little people have tried and turned away, nation building is task for giants and you little people who are here with us today will one day become giants when you become nation builders.'"

Hon. Francis Fonseca
"Perhaps the greatest aspect of Mr. Price's legacy to Belize was his commitment to unity; one nation, one people. He truly understood what that meant, he believe in it. Mr. Price's message of unity standing together shoulder to shoulder fighting for a better Belize and a better life for all Belizeans. I think increasingly people are remembering and reflecting on the leadership of Mr. Price and remembering how he stood for unity in our nation at a time in 2014 when we seem to be so divided on many issues, so I think even in our own party and in the wider society there is a sense of longing for George Price's leadership."

Price's younger sister, 84 year old Katherine Susie Price, laid the family wreath.

Channel 7

Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 09/21/14 11:15 AM

The San Pedro Sun wishes all Belizeans, at home and abroad, a happy Independence Day! (4 photos)

Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 09/21/14 11:26 AM

Belize’s Independence – 33 years after

As Belize prepares to celebrate its Independence, a little reflection and retrospection might be in order. This Sunday September 21st, we celebrate as a nation, the 33rd anniversary of this momentous milestone. There were many who believed, and probably some who still do, that Belize was not ready for Independence in 1981. Many were the predictions and forebodings of dark days and doom as a result of the bold step into self determination. The visionary statesman who we acknowledge as the Father of our Nation was not deterred however, and 33 years later Belize is still standing. Quite a few left because they were sure that we would not make it, but Guatemala has not invaded, the sky has not fallen and we remain free with all territories sovereign and intact.

For many of us older heads, 1981 seems but a few short years ago. For the majority of Belizeans (census figures suggest that a majority of the population is under 30 years of age), Belize has always been independent. For those of us who can recall early Belize, the development and expansion has truly been amazing. The buildings have changed from wood to concrete, technology has us connected around the clock and aggressive tourism marketing has bared our secrets to the world. If Mother Nature still has well-kept secrets, certainly Belize would no longer be counted among them.

Since Independence Belize has changed governments six times with our two main political parties sharing terms of office. The UDP is currently midway through their fourth term, having joined the PUP in winning consequence terms of office. Despite blaming the PUP for everything that has gone wrong in Belize, the figures now show that since Independence, the UDP has been as many years in office as the PUP. Obviously they have to share in the blame for the things that they continue to complain has not gone right for Belize.

All things being equal, we can readily look back at Belize’s progress and regressions and figure out which party has been productive and which has been mainly talk. After seven years of consecutive governing, many are beginning to realize that the UDP makes a much more efficient opposition than it does a government. While in Opposition, the UDP seemed able to manipulate the media, infiltrate the Unions and NGO’s and were quite effective at holding the PUP to task. The PUP apparently makes a less effective opposition since they have not been able to stir the people to “civil unrest” despite unprecedented corruption and the vast number of things having gone wrong. In government, the PUP seems more masterful and efficient in stimulating the economy, creating jobs and putting bread on people’s tables. Under the UDP, despite tremendous spending, unemployment figures are staggering and the poverty rate has more than doubled. There are those of course, who enjoy lavish lifestyles but most are close to or related to government officials. Something is just not right.

For those Belizeans who remember pre-Independence Belize, the transformation from colony to nationhood has involved much more than just a change in name and flag color. We have come from one lane dirt roads to an intricate system of decent roadways crisscrossing our nation. We can point to the Boom Cutoff, the Hummingbird and Southern Highways, a by-pass in Orange Walk, the Belize River Valley Road and the Placencia Road as just some of the areas in which improvement has been marked and notably apparent. Many villages have received light, water and basic commodities that were at one time, mainly the objects of dreams and political promises. Much of this progress occurred under the PUP and many Belizeans will readily admit that they enjoy a much better quality of life under the People’s United Party. Yes, there have been challenges under both parties but somehow, the PUP’s seem more adept at jumping into the trenches and digging out of holes. The UDP is better at casting blame, creating timely distractions and making false promises. One party is of substance while the other is of pure glitter. It does not take a Rhodes Scholar to figure out which is which.

The hard cold fact is that looking back, we can see where the visionaries of the PUPs have pushed us forward progressively while the more conservative and pessimistic UDPs have retarded our growth. The PUPs have taken charge and taken chances, bucked the odds and withstood the criticism while the UDPs have continually looked backwards, pointed fingers and complained. We attained Independence in spite of the skepticisms of those very ones who are now busy reaping the benefits and feathering their proverbial nests.

Now, while in a secular sense, Belize has evidence to show much progress, spiritually we are practically brain-dead. Morality is out the window, adherence to rules is rare and respect for authority was left behind with colonialism. Our per capita murder-rate is among the highest in the world, corruption is more the rule than the exception and love of country is low and seem to last only for as long as the celebrations of September. We are ruled by despots whose main ambition is to enrich themselves and their families while the people’s business goes untended.

This September, we have seen the usual influx of friends and family from the abroad. Of course, the number is not nearly what it used to be, given that many are now firmly entrenched in the U.S. system and many have young children who must return to school. The topic of Diaspora is once again on the front burner and I do believe it is time for us to reach out to those who have left and time for them to think more in terms of ways to help us. I am still strongly opposed to any with duo-citizenship being allowed to run for office but there are many other ways in which those who still love Belize can help. There is more that Belize can do to entice those who have gone away to come back and lend their expertise and experiences. Instead of sharing out public land to only family and friends of the party in office, our Lands Department could make land available to those who wish to repatriate. We all love Belize and we are duty-bound to help her grow.

Yes Belize, we are independent and we have come a long way, physically. We all have phones but we do very little communicating. We have better roads but we all seem headed to nowhere and getting there pretty fast. You might say that we are headed to hell in a wheel-Barrow! Happy Independence Belize!

By G. Michael Reid for The Belize Times


HAPPY BIRTHDAY BELIZE: 33 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

Thirty three years after that magic day on September 21st, 1981, this year’s theme, “Industrious Hands, Intelligent Minds, Together for Belize,” resonates throughout the country. For over three decades hard working, industrious hands directed by clever minds have created a nation that the world respects and Belizeans can be proud of.

For such a small country Belize has a very big history. Let’s take a brief look:

A couple of thousand years before the birth of Christ the early Maya began to settle in what today is Belize. You wouldn’t think a dense jungle would be the setting for such a complex civilisation to grow, but with rich soil, navigable rivers and the seas supplying abundant marine life and coastal trade routes, the Maya prospered and became one of the most advanced civilisations of the ancient world.

But by the time the Spanish Conquistadors arrived in the 16th century, the mighty Maya civilisation was in decline, perhaps the victim of a combination of overpopulation, centralisation, and a series of crushing droughts.

The Spanish Conquest soon put an end to this fascinating, enigmatic civilisation, and the Conquistador’s religious zeal in wiping out all records of Maya thought, science and cosmology left us with only a vague outline of the Maya’s prodigious achievements.

The dense forests and the hard-to-navigate Belize Barrier Reef kept Spanish colonists away from the area, and the Conquistadors concentrated their activities to the north and south while leaving what is now Belize more or less alone.

But what repelled the Spanish attracted the English, who saw in the dense forests a rich source of timber for their ship building and textiles industries. And English privateers, buccaneers or pirates, as they were variously known, saw great opportunities in the tricky barrier reef. Here was the perfect place from which to strike out at shipping carrying new world riches back to the continent, while the dangerous passes in and out of the reef discouraged pursuit and created great places to hide loot.

At the same time an export industry in timber was growing. The Baymen, as the early settlers were known, and their slaves exploited the rich variety of hardwoods found along the coast and rivers. Logwood, from which a valuable blue dye was extracted for use in England’s burgeoning textile industry was abundant and in high demand.

As they exhausted the timber along the coast and rivers the Baymen increasingly moved into the interior, further opening up Belize and paving the way for the chicle harvesting that was to come later.

Soon Belize City was a riotous, colourful frontier town that developed its own unique society with its own rules. Baymen and slaves coexisted in an environment where the main tools of the woodcutting trade could easily become weapons, and relations between them were more congenial than in other colonies, resulting in the formation of the vibrant Creole culture we see today.

A common law system was developed by the settlement, formally set down as Burnaby’s Code around 1765. England and Spain signed the Convention of London in 1786, which allowed the Baymen to cut and export timber from the Rio Hondo River in the north to the Sibun River to the south, but banned any fortifications or any form of government, thus satisfying Spain that they retained some control over the area.

The Battle of St George’s Caye on September 10, 1798 put paid to that notion when the Baymen and slaves fought side-by-side to defeat a Spanish invasion from Mexico, thwarting Spanish ambitions in British Honduras and putting the settlement well and truly on the path towards statehood.

Along the way another defining moment in Belizean history occurred in 1832 when the Garifuna, descents of escaped African slaves and the Arawak people of St Vincent’s Island, were exiled to the Miskito Coast, as the strip of coastline south of Belize along Honduras and Nicaragua was known. After defeating the Garifuna in St Vincent’s, the British hoped that the harsh conditions of the inhospitable coastline would mean the end of these proud fighters, but the Garifuna prospered in small villages up and down the coast. Since their arrival they’ve been essential in the formation of present day Belize.

After the Battle of St George’s Caye, England’s presence in the area was now official, and by 1840 the settlement was known as the Colony of British Honduras, finally becoming an official crown colony in 1862.

The rest of Belize’s history is equally fascinating and full of complexities too intricate to go into here. In brief, the colony was at first run by an oligarchy that controlled the economy and politics by setting prices and electing officials of their choice.

This system, passed down through families and marriage, remained in place for generations.

However by the 1930s, workers were organising themselves into a stronger, unified force, using protests, strikes and industrial actions to make their voices heard. The formation of the Labourers and Unemployed Association (LUA) led to the legalisation of trade unions in 1941. That watershed resulted in the creation of the General Workers Union (GWU) and then the formation of the People’s United party (PUP) in 1950. Universal suffrage for all literate adults became law in 1954.

But there was still a way to go before Belize became independent.

England resisted Belizean self-rule until the 1960s, and as Belizeans agitated for independence, Guatemala continued to prosecute a longstanding Spanish claim to the land. This arcane claim, dating back to the 1700s, is full of complexities still being debated today. Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s it strained relations between Britain and Guatemala and helped frustrate Belize’s desire for true independence.

But Belizeans, led by George Price, now known as the Father of an Independent Belize, pressed on, and in 1973 British Honduras formally became Belize. England still controlled defence, foreign affairs and internal and external security, with a contingent of British Forces in country for training and to deter Guatemala’s ambitions, but Belize’s drive towards independence continued to gather momentum.

World opinion was on Belize’s side, and after riots in both Guatemala and Belize over a proposed Heads of Agreement, the United Nations passed a November 1980 resolution supporting Belizean independence.

Things moved quickly after that, and Belize finally achieved the dream of complete independence on September 21, 1981.

We hope that this thumbnail history gives enough background for readers to understand why Belizean Independence Day is so enthusiastically celebrated each year. It’s the culmination of a long journey and the realisation of an entire peoples’ dreams and ambitions.

Thirty-three years later Belizeans, with “Industrious Hands and Intelligent Minds” have raised their standard of living immensely, moving from an agrarian based economy to one driven by sustainable eco-tourism that has become a model for the world. A vibrant arts and music scene is attracting international attention, with groups such as the Garifuna Collective on the world stage, and events like the Belize International Film Festival growing in stature each year.

The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), working with the private sector, continues to preserve Belize’s rich cultural history, maintaining ancient Maya archaeological sites such as Xunantunich and the ancient metropolis of Caracol and making them accessible for hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world. Festivals and events held throughout the year celebrate Creole and Mestizo culture, as well as the contributions of the other ethnic groups making up Belize’s famously multicultural society.

Belize’s careful approach to sustainable tourism development has increased the national standard of living while giving thousands of people from around the world unique opportunities to explore remnants of the ancient Maya civilisation and an unspoiled Caribbean seacoast with the world’s second largest barrier reef dotted with over a hundred small islands, or cayes. Much of the country is under environmental protection with pristine rainforests and inland habitats supporting a huge range of of exotic flora and fauna.

It’s been a lot of history for such a small nation, and September 21 will see another exuberant national celebration that reflects the pride, determination and aspirations that made Belize what it is today.

And, at thirty-three years young, this is just the beginning.

Happy Birthday Belize and Belizeans everywhere!

Chaa Creek blog


Belize Ambassador's Speech (UK) - Belize House - Sept 20, 2014

Belize Ambassador to the UK's Independence Day speech at Belize House in London.

Corozal Independence Day Fireworks 2014

What a great time to visit Belize - Happy independence day Belize! - Corozal Belize September Celebrations - Corozal Belize Carnival fireworks.

Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 09/22/14 10:54 AM

The Prime Minister's 2014 Independence Day Speech

Independence Day Address by Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize Belmopan, September 21, 2014:

Once more we come together to hymn our country in this most important of national rituals: the celebration of the anniversary of Belize's independence. This year the huzzahs and the hosannas, the alleluias and the amens, are anchored by the theme "Industrious Minds, Intelligent Hands, Together for Belize".

Well, it is indubitable, as we begin the thirty fourth stanza of our existence as a nation, that this is a land peopled by industrious minds and intelligent hands. But that "together for Belize" might give the dispassionate observer some pause for thought. If it is merely aspirational, a plea, then we are ok. But if it is stated as accomplished fact, some might beg to differ. And there are several things such contrarians might offer in evidence. Certainly, the often fractious nature of engagement in our public square would be one. The bewailment of an assortment of activists and local Jeremiahs, is a daily staple. And the picture their Lamentations might convey to the uninformed is the obverse of the togetherness this year's theme is either describing or mandating.

But I want to say straight off that to buy in to any notion of an essential rupture of the Belizean body politic, is to be misled. Superficially concentrating on the relatively small things that divide us while ignoring the undoubtedly big things that unite us, is either laziness or perversity. As with any growing, developing, multicultural democracy, there are inevitable stresses and strains in Belize. But on the whole ours is a society of progress, where setbacks are temporary, achievements permanent.

I therefore say that it is a certainty that at year 33, we are recording pronounced advances. And let me briefly set out what I consider to be the irrefutable evidence that makes the case.

I conceive the four most important pillars of our nation building enterprise as these: first, a sound economy; second, the physical transformation of Belize so that countrywide our infrastructure will be both attractive and effective; third, social renovation in order to remake our democracy in the image of egalitarianism; and fourth, the maintenance of patriotism and pride, the pestle and mortar of sovereignty.

Where our economy is concerned, Belizean stability has now become a given. It is not just that there is continuing GDP growth, headlined now by the magnificent 8.7% in the second quarter of this year. It is also that our monetary and fiscal house, owing much to the signal triumph of our Superbond renegotiation, is very much in order; our dollar strong; and foreign reserves the highest they have ever been. Of our two mainstays, tourism continues to grow phenomenally. And while agriculture by its very nature presents an always more nuanced picture and will never be completely free from volatility, sugar is better than it has been in years; bananas are steady; and citrus, aided by Government's intervention, is rebounding.

It is in light of all this that, almost unique in the Caribbean, we have been able to give teachers and public officers a 9% raise this year with a strong likelihood of additional increases both next year and in 2016.

Now I listened stoically to the doomsaying and the attacks of some of those that spoke before me. But once more I'm resolved not to respond in kind. After all, nothing should provoke-or excuse-any descent from dignity and statesmanship on Independence Day. So if I look back now and point to certain things, it is not as rejoinder or one-upmanship. It is merely to underline how far our Belize has come. Accordingly, purely for purposes of comparison, I want to recollect the time, just under ten years ago, when the last Administration was also at midpoint of its second consecutive term. And in as politically uninflected a manner as possible, I state the facts.

In 2004-2005, the fiscal deficit was 9% of GDP. In contrast now, it is 1.7%.

In 2005 inflation was 3.7%. Now it is just 1.3%.

Our Foreign Reserves at the close of 2005 was $70.6 million. Now it is almost a billion.

In 2005 all-important capital spending had shrunk to $92 million. Now, for fiscal year 2013/2014, we spent $194 million.

The external public debt had surged to 90% of GDP in 2005/2006, costing $215 million in debt service payments. Now it is only 62% of GDP and cost us only $92 million to service in FY 13/14.

In 2005 the weighted average lending rate at the commercial banks was 14.3%. Today that rate has dropped almost five points to 9.8% for new loans, and with residential mortgages available from the National Bank for as low as 5.5%.

As well in 2005, taxes had been increased on two occasions: first by 90 million dollars including the raising of business tax and the tripling of the environmental tax, and then by hiking the excise on beer and liquor. Now not only are there no new taxes, but Government has instead repeatedly given back to citizens through one form or other of relief. That trend continues today as you will shortly hear.

So, Ladies and Gentlemen, you get the picture. Our economy is strong, all indicators are solid, and GOB is able to pay its way and generously foot the country's development bill without burdening Belizeans.

Let me then turn to my pillar number two of nationhood. And when it comes to that-the physical transformation of this land-not even the most cynical can deny the infrastructural miracle that is vivifying our cities and towns. The concreting of streets in every municipality, the construction of drains, the beautifying of public spaces is proceeding at an almost frenetic pace and is something to behold. We are also moving right along with the building and improving of our country's all-important sporting and community development facilities. In Belize City the erection of the new Civic Centre will start by January of next year once the design and tender process is finished, and the same goes for the multi-purpose complex next to the airstrip in Punta Gorda. Every Municipality is queuing up in this regard, and Government spending will not stop until all these signature projects are complete. After March 2015 this drive will be supplemented, though not supplanted, by a new emphasis on countrywide village and rural road improvement.

This quest to create a more equal society must perforce involve an effort to grow the middle class. In this regard the salary increase for GOB employees is one instrumentality. So too is the creation of the National Bank, the provision of affordable credit for fixed-income householders, and training and access to financing for small businesses and start-up entrepreneurs. Now every year on Independence Day I take the opportunity to unveil some new measure designed to give relief to a particular segment of our society. This year, in keeping with the emphasis on the middle class, I announce that Government will meet the interest payment for the month of December 2014 on all home mortgages in the country with an original value of up to 100 thousand dollars. Thus every borrower in Belize with a housing loan at the National Bank, all the commercial banks, the DFC, Social Security and all Credit Unions, will be helped. Preliminary estimates show 1,602 such borrowers at the commercial banks; 4,833 at the credit unions; around 700 at the DFC; about 70 at SSB; and 200 at the National Bank. Altogether, then, at least 7,405 mortgagors will be assisted in this way. And if we figure it at an average of 4 persons per household, then this GOB measure will touch not less than 28 thousand Belizeans. While the size of the monthly repayment differs depending on the interest rate and the length of the loan, we are budgeting for this to cost government a total of over 3 million dollars.

The logistics of the measure, which will provide its sweeping relief either through payment to the financial institutions holding the loan or by giving the money directly to the borrowers themselves, will be clarified later. But I believe all will agree from now that this is another excellent example of Government's 'good looking out', its continuing effort to ease the load for our working and middle classes.

Before leaving this third pillar of social transformation I must acknowledge that all our hard work will ultimately count for naught unless we can successfully defeat the hydra headed monster of crime and violence. Last year we did well and saw the lowest murder rate in six years. But now, despite all our job-creation and social inclusion programs, we are experiencing an erosion of the 2013 gains. There have been murderous spikes in July and August. And while we are thankful that all the September celebration events were incident free, Belize City was left reeling by a surge in shootings and fatalities last week. As this unending struggle continues, the measures that we put in place now and over the longer term will be greatly aided by a US 30 million dollar national security loan we are obtaining from CABEI. This will fund unprecedented spending on vehicles, weapons, facilities, equipment and training, and hopefully give us the sustained success we need. Given the size of the loan questions have been raised about whether we have the fiscal space to accommodate it. But we cast these aside in our absolute determination to finally cage the law and order beast.

And so now I come to the last pillar that consecrates our nation-building effort, the maintenance of Belizean sovereignty.

The unceasing need to safeguard territorial integrity in the face of the continued civilian incursions from neighbouring Guatemala, is for us a fundamental fact of life. If anything, it has taken on additional urgency as illegal activity, deforestation and ecological degradation in the border areas increase. Growing the BDF troop strength and a new National Defense Plan are two of the tools with which we will seek to assure greater returns from this unflagging, diurnal struggle.

But equally important is the maintenance of psychological sovereignty, full control of patrimonial and legacy assets, the deployment of that proud, can-do Belizean spirit that assures proper exploitation of, and returns from, our natural resources. Among our banner accomplishments in this context is the nationalization of public utilities, in particular BEL and BTL.

Where BEL is concerned there can be no doubt that our still short public stewardship tenure has already produced a stellar record. The rolling blackouts threatened by the previous owners have been completely avoided and reliability of supply is now a new and welcome reality. Dividends, frozen before the takeover, are now being paid. And SSB in particular, which had earlier invested the people's money in BEL shares, is happy to be finally seeing returns. The company made profits of $18 million in 2013 while actually decreasing rates to consumers by 7.9%, and there is every likelihood of further rate reductions in 2015.

The success of BTL is even more dramatic and can be especially highlighted by one last comparative reference to 2005. Then telecoms rates were exorbitant and the company was being sold to Jeffery Prosser, a private individual who ultimately could not pay. Thereafter a secret buy back agreement emerged, allowing the foreigners that had been in control before Prosser to retake the enterprise and enforce their monopoly. The BTL workers had taken to the streets and service had been cut countrywide. Now, under nationalization, there is vibrant competition in the sector; liberalization resulting in the complete opening up of VOIP and related services; and internet and general rates that are at their cheapest ever. There is industrial relations harmony with a new Collective Bargaining Agreement signed earlier this year after only a very short period of negotiations. And as this forward march continues it gives me great pleasure to announce that I have just signed a Statutory Instrument making internet services zero-rated, rather than exempt, for GST purposes. This will allow all internet service providers to charge even less; and in the case of BTL as of October 1 customers will begin to get double the bandwidth for the same price. Of course GOB takes a revenue loss in consequence. But it is well worth it as together with BTL we deepen all - important internet penetration in this nation.

Ladies and Gentlemen, My Fellow Belizeans:

It is against this overall successful backdrop that any cracks and fissures in our trajectory must be viewed. And seen through this prism any contention in our domestic debate is nothing more than testament to a vigilant, informed, aggressive demos. Indeed, in accordance with a state of maturation remarkable in a country so young, we must actually welcome the clash and clangor of our ideas marketplace. Ferment in a society we seek to make perfectible, is no bad thing. Especially since we have proven time and again that individual dissonance always gives way to collective coherence whenever the circumstances require. Thus it is that in small things and big, whether it be the win, lose or draw support for our national football team or the outpouring of fellow feeling at any Belizean accomplishment, our essential solidarity is always on call, ready to be deployed. And never more so than when there is any hint of external questioning of our right to enjoy all of nature's bounty within the four corners and sacrosanct borders of this our native land.

So, as we celebrate both our oneness and our diversity, let there be no muting of our festivity, no raising of doubt about either the exhortation or the narrative encapsulated in this year's theme. The chorus of hoorays must once more reverberate to the heavens, to the very vault of our sky as with all our might we sing and shout the victory: "Que Viva Nuestra Independencia; Happy Birthday and God bless Belize.

Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 09/22/14 10:58 AM

We would like to congratulate and thank everyone who participated in the 21st Independence Jump Up Parade!

Below are the winners of this year's parade:

SCHOOL CATEGORY:
1st Place: Wil Alamilla presents the Octopus - Arm in arm, let's unite.

2nd Place: The Island Aademy

ADULT GROUP:
1st Place: San Pedro AIDS Commussion

2nd Place: Ruan Nuñez

3rd Place: Wings

BEST FLOAT
Wil Alamilla presents the Octopus - Arm in arm, let's unite.

WINNERS CAN COLLECT THEIR PRIZES ON FRIDAY AT THE OFFICE OF THE SAN PEDRO TOWN COUNCIL.
Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 09/22/14 07:18 PM

San Pedro JUMPS UP For Belize’s 33rd Birthday Independence Day PARADE, Part One
I think I can make it official. September 21st, Belize’s Independence Day, is my favorite holiday of the year. I so love a parade – and when you know at least half the paraders (all having the time of their lives), the parade is extra fun, extra special. (Though I’m wondering if the Platypus taped into his costume could say the same.) Belize City may have a bigger parade, Orange Walk might have “the best” – but San Pedro’s parade is my very favorite. And I hope I never miss it. This year the parade was a bit shorter this year – some of the usuals like Big Daddy’s, Marina’s Store, Atlantic Bank – were absent. (Here are the posts from 2013 – Part One and Part Two). And no kids marching band/drum corp. Rumor was that the schools were NOT allowed to participate due to alcohol being served/consumed during the parade. Nice idea – but In San Pedro? I think the jig is up.

San Pedro JUMPS UP For Belize’s 33rd Birthday Independence Day Parade, Part Two
Let’s continue with San Pedro’s amazing September 21st parade…and the hibiscus flowers and hummingbirds of The Island Academy. There was quite a crowd at the beginning turn. A few hundred people standing on the shade side of the street and zero people on the other side. The PUP political candidates and crew. The election is coming up… So fun…if you love San Pedro, you must MUST get to this parade once in your life. I’ll see you there…in 2015.

Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 09/24/14 10:52 AM


The Island Celebrates Belize at 33

Not even an unscheduled nationwide power outage could stop residents from gathering at the Central Park for the Independence Eve Ceremony! Shortly after 10:30PM, while protocol was being followed in the main stage, Deputy Mayor Gabriel “Gaby” Nuñez escorted Miss San Pedro 2014/2015 Michelle Nuñez in a small procession led by The San Pedro Cultural Marching Band.

Members of the Belize National Coast Guard lined up for the Inspection of the Guard conducted by Mayor Guerrero and Heredia. Three minutes before midnight, the singing of the Belize National Anthem began as the National Flag was patriotically raised. At midnight, the Coast Guard fired the traditional 21 Gun Salute while Mayor Guerrero and Heredia conducted the Shout of Independence (Grito de Independencia). A fabulous fireworks display followed, with celebrations continuing into the wee hours of the morning as Belizeans rejoiced in their Independence.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun



San Pedro Parades with Pride on Independence Day

It might not have been the biggest parade that San Pedro Town in Ambergris Caye, Belize, has produced over the years, but the neon colors shone bright, smiles adorned the faces of all and the patriotic spirit of everybody who participated in the parade ignited the town. San Pedro residents paraded on Belize’s Independence Day, Sunday, September 21, 2014.

Under this year’s theme – ‘Industrious Hands, Intelligent Minds, Together for Belize’ was that the entire country of Belize observed its patriotic celebrations, from Belize City’s Carnival parade to celebratory events that took place all over the country during the month of September. Belizeans know how to celebrate and take much pride in their country during this time of year.

In San Pedro, the parade was not as large as previous years, but the energy of the participants made up for it. It was a lively and colorful parade filled with beautiful floats and vivid costumes that livened the spirit of celebration on the island.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the Ambergris Today

Posted By: Marty

Re: The September Celebrations 2014 - 10/04/14 11:38 AM


Click photos for more pictures!

INDEPENDENCE EVE 2014 (66 photos)

September 21, 2014 marked our 33rd year of celebrating and honoring Belize's Independence. Everyone gathered at the Central Park for the countdown of this patriotic celebration. The official ceremony began with an invocation offered by the priest of the San Pedro R.C. Church and included addresses by Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Mr. Eulogio "Elito" Arceo (Standard Bearer for the Opposition for Belize Rural South) and Councilor Kenrick Brackett.

Following the speeches, the reigning Miss San Pedro, Miss Michelle Nuñez accompanied by Deputy Mayor Gabriel Nuñez made her arrival escorted by the San Pedro Cultural Marching Band and the Lions and Leo's Club members with fire torches. Following their arrival, master of ceremonies, Mr. Eiden Salazar, invited the members of the Belize Coast Guard for the 21 gun salute and gun inspection.

The event ended with music by Skynet Soundz and a spectacular display of fireworks!



Click photos for more pictures!

INDEPENDENCE DAY JUMP UP PARADE 2014 (60 photos)

We would like to congratulate and thank everyone who participated in the 21st Independence Jump Up Parade!

Below are the winners of this year's parade:

SCHOOL CATEGORY:
1st Place: Wil Alamilla presents the Octopus - Arm in arm, let's unite.

2nd Place: The Island Aademy

ADULT GROUP:
1st Place: San Pedro AIDS Commussion

2nd Place: Ruan Nuñez

3rd Place: Wings

BEST FLOAT
Wil Alamilla presents the Octopus - Arm in arm, let's unite.



Click photos for more pictures!

Corozal Independence Day Parade 2014

The traditional Independence Day Parade was held in Corozal on Sunday, September 21, 2014. The students in the Corozal High Schools always parade, as well as a few other groups. On this page is a sampling of the many many pictures we took that day. All those images are found in our Yearbook. There is a link in the last paragraph on this page.

Corozal Daily

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