The theme for this year's September Celebrations has been chosen by the National Celebrations Commission.
At the end of May, Commission opened the Competition and "theme players" had 21 days to come up with 10 words to commemorate the 221st Anniversary of the Battle of St. George's Caye and the 38th Anniversary of Belize's Independence.
For one thousand dollars, there were about a thousand entries and the winner was announced today. But, sneaking up as stealthily as those slaves with Pocono bwai sticks - the NICH crew surprised the winner fo the competition today
But, this year it was unveiled in a different way. NICH went to Orange Walk to surprise the winner. They told Eloy Escalante Sr that he was among the finalists and then they sprung it on him - here's how it went:..
Re: September Celebrations 2019 - 08/22/1912:23 PM
September Celebrations Calendar Released Today!
The 2019 National Celebrations Calendar has been released today! While the calendar is sought after for the listing of events such as the Queen of the Bay Pageant, Carnival King and Queen Competition and the various municipalities' Carnival Road Marches. It is also a guide to the many national events that show our patriotism, our appreciation of our historical achievements and our love for Belize. The annual listing of national, traditional, patriotic and festive events will be delivered and available in your municipalities by the end of the week.
All Belizeans, and the many visitors in Belize at this time, look forward to the more renowned 10th of September’s Official St. George’s Caye Day Ceremony and Parade, the 20th Night’s Official Flag Raising Ceremonies and Fireworks Displays, and the 21st of September’s Official Independence Day Ceremony and Citizen’s Parades. We take this opportunity to encourage your attendance to other key National events such as the Launch of the September Celebrations to be held in Punta Gorda on August 31st as this is the symbolic start of the month of celebration and patriotic pride. September 1st will be celebrated as Flag Day when many homes and offices proudly display of our unique Belizean flag. National Colors Day will be held on September 13th, the National Day of Prayer on the 15th and National Service Day will be celebrated on the 19th. On September 20th the National School Children’s Rally happens throughout the day and is held to bolster the inclusion of the youth in our celebrations and to impress upon them and our communities of the beauty, serenity, and heritage that is Belize.
The 2019 National Celebrations Calendar of Events allows for foreigners and Belizeans, both at home and abroad, to plan their physical or virtual attendance at the various events of interest. The calendar is a reminder that we can use to learn more about our Belizean heritage. It is also a guide to the events that allow us to be counted in the making of history as we move, “From Maya Grandeur to Modern Glory, Together let’s Shape the Belizean Story”.
Re: September Celebrations 2019 - 08/30/1906:12 PM
2019 September Celebration activities announced!
Here in San Pedro Town the September celebrations will commence with the National Flag Day at the Central Park on Sunday, September 1st which is when the Belizean Flag is raised at 6AM countrywide. On Saturday, September 7th the highly anticipated 2019 Miss San Pedro beauty pageant will take place at the Honorable Louis Slyvestre Sporting Complex at 8PM. Following the pageant, a teen foam party with DJ Debbie will bring the fun and excitement to the Central Park in San Pedro Town, starting at 2AM on Sunday, September 8th.
A fire men engine parade through the main streets of the island will commence the activities on Monday, September 9th at 6PM. After the parade, a ‘Tribute to the Baymen’ ceremony will take place at the Central Park. On Tuesday, September 10th the 221st Anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye Day Ceremony will take place at the Central Park. The ceremony will give a brief history of the Battle of St. George’s Caye Day and witness the official coronation of the 2019 Miss San Pedro. A uniform parade will take place right after, which will end at Boca Del Rio with an after party filled with games and fun.
Friday, September 13th is ‘National Color Day’, and all Belizeans are encouraged to dress in the country’s patriotic colors which are red, blue and white. Saturday, September 14th is the customary Central America and Mexico Independent Night ceremony which will be held at the Honorable Louis Slyvestre Sporting Complex starting at 7PM. The following day, is the ‘National Prayer Day’ where Belizeans are encouraged to give thanks, and on Thursday, September 19th is ‘National Service Day’ countrywide.
On Friday, September 20th the festivities in San Pedro Town will commence with the National School Children’s Rally at the Angel Nunez Auditorium at 8:30AM. Later in the night, the most anticipated Independence Day Eve Celebration Block Party will commence at 8PM leading up to midnight Independence Day on September 21st. On Independence Day on Saturday, September 21st a colorful and entertaining parade will begin from Boca Del Rio area and end at the Central Park for an after party.
Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun
Re: September Celebrations 2019 - 08/31/1911:50 AM
New Carnival Route for Belize City
The route has just been finalized for the carnival which those international judges will oversee.
This year's Carnival - which starts at 1:00 next week Saturday afternoon - will have another new route this year.
It will start as usual on Central America Boulevard at the corner with Faber's Road. And from there it will go, as usual unto Central American Boulevard. But after it crosses the Belcan Bridge, it will turn right unto Freetown Road, and then left unto St. Thomas Street, and head straight to the Marion Jones sporting complex: Left onto Princess Margaret Drive, End at Marion Jones Sports Complex.
Re: September Celebrations 2019 - 09/03/1911:51 AM
2019 September Celebrations Officially Underway
The official launch of the 2019 September Celebrations was held over the weekend in Punta Gorda where chair of the National September Celebrations Commission, Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber opened the month-long series of activities. Celebrated under the theme, “From Maya grandeur to modern glory, together let us shape the Belizean story”, this year’s winning motif was submitted by Eloy Escalante from the Orange Walk District. Here’s an excerpt from Minister Faber’s keynote address.
Patrick Faber, Chair, National September Celebrations Commission
“At this opening this opening of our September Celebrations, it is our intention each year to celebrate our heritage and cultural diversity. It is a time where we call to mind the tremendous efforts of our people‘s past and present who have striven to build Belize into a nation that we can be proud of. Their efforts for nation building are geared towards inscribing an appreciation and love for our cultural and historical heritage and imprinting these characteristics into our collective psyche. It is no wonder that this year‘s theme seems fitting for the occasion, the winning theme submitted by Mr. Eloy Escalante from Orange Walk says “From Maya grandeur to modern glory, together let us shape the Belizean story.” This is indeed a narrative that encapsulates Belize‘s history in all its faucets and embraces our indigenous roots. It forces us to embrace all our history and our Maya people who have been here for two thousand years now.”
Belize Carnival Mas Camps Day 2, 25min. The judges visited Junior Bands - Trenchtown Masqueraders, Soca Massive and Collet Royal Revellers followed by Senior Band - Sunshine Masqeraders
Take a look at the costumes, the revellers and the hype.
Re: September Celebrations 2019 - 09/11/1911:49 AM
Miss San Pedro Coronation & Battle Of St. George’s Caye Day Celebration
Litzy Castillo Guillen was officially crowned San Pedro 2019 on Tuesday, September 10, 2019. Outgoing Miss San Pedro 2018. Litzy was joined on stage by the other four Miss San Pedro contestants along with Mayor Daniel Guerrero and councilors. They then led the parade from the Sports Field to Boca Del Rio Park followed by Minister Manuel Heredia, Mayor Daniel Guerrero the San Pedro Town Council staff, followed by the many schools of San Pedro including ABC Pre-School, Brighter Tomorrow Pre-School, Little Angels Pre-School, San Pedro Pre-School, The Island Academy, San Pedro RC School, Ambergris Caye Elementary School, Isla Bonita Elementary School, New Horizons SDA School, Holy Cross Anglican School and the San Pedro High School.
After the parade, it was fun in the sun as the Town Council held a Beach Party at Boca Del Rio Park with plenty of music, food. Happy 221st Battle of St. George’s Caye Belize - Hip, Hip, Hurray!
Click here to read the rest of the article and see LOTS mor photos in the Ambergris Today
Above photo by San Pedro Scoop
San Pedro Town celebrates the 221st Anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye with a new queen and colorful parade
On Tuesday, September 10th, the 221st Anniversary of the Battle of the St. George’s Caye was observed on La Isla Bonita with a uniform parade and the presentation of the recently elected Miss San Pedro Litzy Castillo Guillen.
Other activities included a fire engine parade the evening before the official ceremonies at the Louis Sylvestre Sporting Complex and an all-day sporting event at the Boca del Rio Park.
Signalling the Battle of St. George’s Caye celebration, a fire engine parade took place through San Pedro Town shortly after 6PM on Monday, September 9th. The island’s Fire Department, Traffic Department, and Police Formation led the parade, blaring sirens as a tribute to the Baymen of St. George’s Caye, who led the foundation of the country on September 10, 1798.
Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun
Celebrations Take Off in San Pedro for the 10th Day Of September
221 years ago, in a final attempt to take over the area, the Spaniards took on a small but scrappy group of Brits and their slaves. The Spanish basically controlled the entire “New World” at that time. But after 7 days the British prevailed and expelled the Spaniards – and held onto British Honduras (later Belize) for almost 200 more years.
September 10th is a national holiday in Belize and celebrates this battle for independence. In San Pedro, it is a day to party, for many, a day off from work and a day for the uniform parade.
The new Miss San Pedro is crowned and they she is surrounded by the town council, the police force and the fire department and the MANY school children of the island.
I…arrived LATE! For a parade. SO OFF MY GAME. I got caught in a golf cart traffic jam…had to ditch my cart and head up a block or two to catch the tail end of the Uniform Parade. If you can’t beat ’em, join them.
Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Scoop
Caye Caulker Flag Raising, 25min. This is the official raising of the flag on this independence Eve joining the nation at the stroke of midnight for the entire world to know belize is an independent country. Belize is the jewel by the caribbean sea. Happy 38th Birthday Belize.
Re: September Celebrations 2019 - 09/22/1911:45 AM
Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s Independence Day Speech
Today we again come together as one to celebrate the summit of all our achievements; the high point of our existence; the attainment of our Independence. It is an Independence that has meant the enshrinement of Belize as a sovereign, indivisible nation: one with our territory inviolable and our democracy impregnable.
As we reflect on what is ever a glorious annual anniversary, it is good to recall that our Independence was hard won. We had to fight, though not physically, for our freedom. We had to wage a long, arduous diplomatic struggle against overwhelming odds. So, we remember as usual this year the tenacity and strength of our campaign. And we do so for the customary purpose of infusing our celebration with the passion, pride and patriotism deserved by this apogee of our history, this triumph of our self-determination.
But this year there is another reason for specially calling to mind the soaring success that led to that first Independence Day. It is because we had occasion just in May of this year to revive and replicate the spirit and courage of 1981. The ICJ campaign was an exercise that produced strong feelings and what could have been destabilizing divisions. There was contention and conviction aplenty on both sides. And the decision to be made was fraught with questions and what ifs in almost equal measure to those of a generation and a half ago. But in 2019, as in 1981, the perdurability of Belizean Democracy, the exceptional maturity of our people, once again brought us through. In an exemplary manner, in the most transparent fashion, the nation took a position respected ultimately by all at home and praised mightly by countries abroad. Whichever way individual Belizeans voted, the verdict proved a national one obtained in a manner that was the envy of many. It stood as an affirmation to the world of core Belizean values, of respect for one another and, above all, the predominance of the rule of law.
So now we have been fortified by this second experience of existential decision-making. We have twice achieved apotheosis. And wisdom and maturity 2.0 proved that the highest honours with which we passed our first test, was no fluke. We have two times attained that beauty that, the Poet Coleridge said, is unity in variety. Accordingly, we have earned the right on this and every Independence Day to proclaim with the greatest certainty that our country is unalterably rooted in democratic practice and a democratic polity. We will never come loose from these sacrosanct historical moorings.
Of course, there will ever be stresses and strains. We justly think of ourselves as a kind of paradise of integration and social harmony. But we cannot escape the challenges of the neighborhood in which we live. We drink in the natural beauty of our country and we know that we are situated in an idyllic locale. But the indescribable charm of our particular Central American/Caribbean sweet spot, comes at a cost. Our very location makes us a target for those that use us as a transit route for sundry illegalities from various proximate countries to the magnet market of the United Sates. That flow includes persons. And as the door is slammed shut on the Northern Triangle migrants fleeing their countries but now prevented from reaching the US, Belize becomes an alternative escape destination. How we, with our resource constraints and our own gang sub culture, deal with this conundrum, is one of the pressing issues of our time. It is one with which the country’s National Security Council is currently fully engaged.
Everyday challenges notwithstanding, we continue to live in a good country. And one testament to that is the economic headway that 2019 has so far brought. Given the fears of a global slowdown precipitated by the trade wars and other geopolitical realities, Belize’s economic performance in the first quarter of this year has been reassuring. GDP grew in the three months from January through March, by an unusual 5.2%. And the even better accompanying news was that the unemployment rate fell to a historic low of 7.6%. Admittedly, second quarter GDP greatly lagged the first quarter and an actual decline of 0.8% was recorded. But when the two quarters are put together, in aggregate we are still much ahead of par and much ahead of peers in the region.
Growth and development, however, have always been recognized as two different things. One does not necessarily include the other and in fact they can sometimes sharply diverge. When Belize therefore experiences a happy confluence of growth and development proceeding in tandem; of increased GDP resulting in increased jobs; of more people being put to work and being lifted out of poverty, it is indeed a conjuncture of which we can be proud.
Even as we celebrate these encouraging metrics, though, we are constantly reminded of the fragility of progress. Agriculture, commodities, services. These are our mainstays and by and large they undergird a successful economy. But how quickly things can change, how lightening fast shocks can occur! And this was made unmistakably clear once more by events of the past few months. Thus, the shots that so randomly and senselessly killed the tourist in San Pedro, were heard around the tourism world. As well, one of the longest droughts in recent memory has severely affected crops and livestock, leading to losses in excess of 50 million dollars. Finally, the hole in our offshore financial services industry left by the liquidation of Atlantic International Bank, was a gaping one.
Indeed, so severe was this combination of adverse circumstances that we may be forgiven for thinking that the Deity was subjecting us to an Abrahamic test. If so, then just like that Old Testament Patriarch we have not been found wanting. Our history, our destiny, our Maya grandeur and modern glory, mean that we will always persevere, always prevail. Thus, in all cases we have acted quickly to contain fallout. Tourism, notwithstanding the sargassum plague, the global economic downturn and the Boeing aircraft recall, is still as of end August seeing a year-on-year increase in both cruise calls and overnight arrivals. The former is up 4.7% and the latter 4% over 2018.
Regarding the financial sector, no AIBL contagion has spread to any other Belizean Bank, domestic or offshore. GOB and the Central Bank moved as fast as we could to deal with the consequences of the FTC charges against AIBL. The in-principle settlement negotiated with the FTC officials has now been approved by the FTC Commissioners. So while it was impossible to save AIBL itself, the overall sanctity of our Banking sector was preserved and our jurisdiction spared any further ramifications. Indeed, Atlantic Bank Domestic, now the biggest bank in Belize, is embarking on expanded, activist lending in new sectors of the economy, most notably agro processing. This new market intervention could not have come at a better time since it will fold nicely into the capacious new export market that our Partial Scope agreement with Taiwan will provide. In fact there is currently a combination of the cheapest financing available to the private sector in two decades, plus an ambitious, multi-year National Financial Inclusion Strategy launched by the CBB. All this should spur credit growth, nurture employment, and nourish the expansion of medium and micro enterprises.
As to the drought, a joint effort on the part of the CBB, the Government of Belize and the commercial financial institutions, produced a raft of remedial measures designed to help the recovery of our farming sector. We spoke to the package in detail at the press conference earlier this week. But just to repeat the major takeaways, the relaxation of certain regulatory strictures will allow the commercial banks and other lenders to offer restructured, extended repayment terms on current loans, and fresh financing to our farmers. And there will also be small livelihood grants, subsidized inputs and targeted duty exemptions to assist with upgraded irrigation and necessary equipment.
Additionally, the new Mexican Administration has now agreed to cut all red tape so that the export of Belizean cattle (as well affected by the drought) to Mexico can finally begin no later than this December.
One last point about the drought. Its effect on our hydro plants and the supply of electricity could not have come at a worse time. Up to three years ago our main sourcing of energy from CFE in Mexico was going great guns. Prices were cheap and supply plentiful. But as of 2018 things changed drastically. From between 8 and 10 cents per KWh, the cost jumped to 14 US cents per KWh. Besides, the supply amount was also curtailed. Thus, we can’t move speedily enough to do something about the situation. Accordingly, our majority owned BEL is now finalizing plans to replace a big portion of CFE energy with 40 MWs of local solar-powered energy. And this is no mañana enterprise. The PPA for the first 30 MWs of the new solar source will be signed before the end of October, and the plant ready to start producing energy within a year. Meantime BEL continues aggressively to expand access to grid electricity countrywide. Since 2013 over 4,500 households in 184 communities became connected to BEL. And just for the first half of 2019 over 340 households were hooked up in 10 constituencies. By the end of October an additional 192 homes in Bullet Tree Falls and Seven Miles will be brought on line. And most exciting of all, testament to Belizean advances and innovation, our country will soon see the introduction of electric vehicles. Again, BEL will lead the way, embarking shortly on a pilot project to introduce such vehicles to its own Belize City fleet. The company has already secured funds for a study on how best to roll out the charging stations that will be needed to service the electric vehicles. Dramatic news indeed, I think all will agree.
Coming back to agriculture, a bright spot is certainly going to be the start of the new hemp industry in our country. Global fascination with hemp, thought by so many to contain almost magical healing properties, means that Belize with ideal growing conditions will be excellently positioned to take advantage of the limitless world market. It is a market for the export of both raw hemp and the hemp-based medicinal products that so many foreign investors are lined up to manufacture in our country. And in furtherance of this Administration’s gospel, we have ensured that the little man, the small farmer, is not left behind. Thus, licenses will be given to growers that wish to cultivate as little as one acre.
Overall on this September 21, 2019, then, I declare with every confidence that our prospects are good. This blessed choice, this noble spot will always ultimately stand us in excellent stead. And together with the Almighty’s bounty that is the physical richness of our native land, there is the oft proven, now legendary, Belizean resilience and resolve. Altogether a fine conjuncture, a grand construct, a wonderful plinth of grit and character and nature’s benevolence. We therefore plough straight ahead regardless of the vicissitudes and vagaries that must attend every nation’s social and economic trajectory. So we march on, buoyed by our conviction that ultimately we are fortune’s child. And we search endlessly for new initiatives, for ways of making life better and vindicating our faith in our Belizean destiny.
One such trailblazer is the partnership in education that we have struck with the nationally owned BTL. Known as the DigiLearn Project, this joint venture between GOB and BTL will see the introduction of a cloud platform and service that facilitates digital teaching and online learning. Already a pilot project has been completed involving nine high schools. Over 360 students participated and each of the schools has endorsed DigiLearn for their institution. Accordingly, DigiLearn will now be rolled out to 43 secondary schools starting this month. And ultimately GOB through BTL will provide a free laptop and digital classroom to every student in every high school in our country. The goal is to complete all this over the next five years, with the laptop computers provided not just to every student but to each teacher and each Administrator. Of course, Government will not stop to count the financial cost of all this because come hell or high water this revolution in Belizean education must get done.
We are also going to expand what has become another staple of our educational outreach: the annual subsidies to high school students, currently given for the first two years of the secondary program. Now, every student in every Government high school in every District will actually receive that Government subsidy for the entirety of their high school careers, from First Form straight through to Fourth Form.
In another thread making up this skein of overall Belizean advance, the whole population of our country will benefit from greatly improved public services as our e-governance rollout begins. The objective here is to make all GOB services easily accessible to all Belizeans through a central online portal. This will ultimately eliminate the need for physical attendance at offices and cut out the time wasted and the papers filed and the cabinets endlessly piled one on top of the other. 70% of our citizenry now enjoy mobile internet access and, thus, measurable Public Service deliverables will soon become an eminently countable metric.
All of this, of course, will be to complement, to make whole, our overall vision for progress and social advance. And one thing will remain central to that vision. It is our sleeves-rolled-up, manos-a-la-obra infrastructure drive. For us there is just no beating public works as the stimulant of preference for jobs and growth. That current 7% unemployment statistic, the lowest in a decade, is all the validation anyone could ever ask for. So it is forward always with our heavy-duty project portfolio. And the Coastal road and the roads to Caracol and Sarteneja and Progresso and the refurbishing of the Philip Goldson Highway from Mile 20 to the Northern Border are all in train; and at a value of over 300 million dollars or 8% of GDP. The mighty transformation enterprise moves on, my friends. And there will be no stopping until we reach the full expanse of our infrastructural promised land.
Earlier on I spoke about the situation with gangs and crime and violence that continues to plague us. Here again GOB is in action. We found the money to pay for the new Police recruit intake, all 200 odd of them. But this is only the beginning. Every effort will be made in various ways to strengthen citizen security in Belize City and the District Towns. Here again our nationalized BTL will play a key role as it partners with the Belize Police Department to turn, first, the old Capital into a safe City. We are looking at the purchase, via BTL, of at least 200 new cameras that come with advanced facial and license plate recognition software. But we are also exploring with the Taiwanese their willingness to help based on the model safe cities program they have already pioneered in their own country. One way or another, smart solutions will make for increased monitoring, interactions with not just the police but fire and ambulance services, and lead to better policing and a dramatic increase overall in citizen security.
However, the social conditions that breed the sub culture that blights particularly our urban areas will not soon go away. So even as we do all we can robustly to combat crime from the enforcement point of view, we also strive to remake our society in an egalitarian and progressive way. Fighting poverty, it is clear, is the best way to fight crime.
In this context I am delighted to trumpet the fact that the Belize City Southside Poverty Alleviation Project Phase 3 is now in full swing. This is a project, to the total value of 12 million dollars, that will see one hundred houses either newly built or improved for needy families in the targeted constituencies. Landfill has been distributed to countless homes and the social and street infrastructure components to improve neighbourhoods and lives will wrap up this last leg of what has been a transformative, multi-year initiative. Needless to say, our food pantry program increases every year, even if incrementally. It, together with BOOST, will remain the anchor of our pro-poor policies, uplifting continuously the lives of disadvantaged Belizeans.
I close by calling on all to relish this anniversary of our Independence. Please do so by way of the merrymaking and fun that are so richly deserved. But please also do so by way of giving thanks for the providential favour of our spectacular land, our extraordinary, bejeweled resources. And let us be particularly grateful for the special qualities of our Belizean people: their industry, their creativity, their gusto, their ganas. But above all for that inexhaustible humanity, solidarity, fellow feeling, that has perhaps been the brightest aspect of our development as a gold star nation, a beacon in Central America and the Caribbean. Let this gratitude make boundless our determination to love, treasure and defend this singularly and spectacularly beautiful nation. After all, it constitutes a patrimony that is second to none anywhere in the whole wide world.
Re: September Celebrations 2019 - 09/25/1910:44 AM
Click photos for more pictures!
BELIZE'S 38TH INDEPENDENCE EVE IN SAN PEDRO
Ambergris Caye celebrates Belize’s 38th Anniversary of Independence with traditional flag raising ceremony and vibrant parade
Belize’s 38th Anniversary of Independence was celebrated by Belizeans in San Pedro Town with a varied program of festivities that began on Friday evening, September 20th at the Honourable Louis Sylvestre Sporting Complex. The official Independence Eve ceremony welcomed hundreds of islanders who listened to the messages from the local authorities. Later they witnessed the midnight flag raising ceremony, followed by a grand fireworks display, and danced the night away with local and international entertainment.
Independence Day OlatunjiThe following day, a massive and colourful parade took over the main streets of San Pedro and concluded at the Boca del Rio Park, where the flying piñata made its presence and for the first time ever, revellers enjoyed daytime fireworks. Independence Eve GritoThis year’s September Celebrations were held under the theme ‘From Maya Grandeur to Modern Glory, Together Let’s Shape the Belizean Story.’ Official ceremonies began shortly after 10PM on Friday and saw Mayor Daniel Guerrero honouring the efforts made in the past for Belize’s Independence.
Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun
San Pedro Celebrates Belize’s 38th Independence Anniversary The San Pedro Town Council held the Independence Eve Block Party at the Hon. Louis Sylvestre Sports field in commemoration of Belize’s 38th Independence Day Celebrations.
Mayor Daniel Guerrero and dignitaries made their entrance to the sports field followed by formal Independence Day Speeches. Miss San Pedro Litzy Castillo Guillen made her grand entrance with the SPHS torch bearers and marching band.
The Belize Coast Guard carried out the flag raising ceremony, 21 gun salute and spectators enjoyed a colorful and bright fireworks display followed by entertainment by Olantuji all the way from Trinidad and Tobago. DJ Diablillo from Chetumal Q. Roo had everyone dancing the night away along with DJ Debbie.