|Tuesday’s election was postponed until next year, though this meeting had a record high number of attendees.|
|Though the elections were postponed, Joe Gonzalez was replaced by Marciano Espinosa (pictured).|
T week ago, the San Pedro Tourist Guide Association (SPTGA) committee met and a unanimous decision was made to dissolve the present board of directors. On Tuesday, a meeting of the entire association was held at the San Pedro Lions Den where a new board was to be elected among other discussions.
The first item on the agenda was Belize’s participation in the International Coral Reef Action Network (ICRAN) venture to establish standards for marine based activities. ICRAN was established in 2000, through generous support from the United Nations Foundation (UNF), who together are working arduously to halt and reverse the decline in health of the world’s coral reefs. Joining countries such as Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala, new standards will be implemented in order to protect the reef. The standards will be on a nine month implementation process before being made into law.
A seminar will be held here in San Pedro on November 21st and 22nd where these standards will be explained. All tour guides are asked to please attend. For further information, kindly contact the SPTGA office.
The second item on the agenda was the sale of Cangrejo Caye. Over the past couple of months, rumors have circulated the island of the possibility of it being sold. Chairman Phillip “Billy” Leslie explained that in 1999, SPTGA issued a letter to Honorable Daniel Silva, Minister of Fisheries stating “In the past few years, developers have threatened the fate of Cayo Cangrejo. For this reason, the San Pedro Tourist Guide Association recommends the extension of Zone C of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve to include Cayo Cangrejo, and that this are be under the same rules and regulations as the rest of the reserve.” On October 25th, 2006, another letter was issued to present Minister of Fisheries Honorable Vildo Marin stating, “As noted in out first request of 1999, the San Pedro Tour Guide Association is hereby requesting that we place these very delicate ecosystems in the Hol Chan Marin Reserve Status as part of Zone “C.” Please take another look at the very important existence of Hol Chan and Mitchel Rocks “The Coral Forest.” The Nursery to these areas are Cayo Cangrejo and the seven channels “Siete Canales.” In order for Cayo Cangrejo to become a part of the zone, seven organizations need to petition for it and so far four have come forth to sign.
After other discussion, elections were the last part of the meeting. After a heated discussion it was decided that the present board carry on the committee in to the new year with the exception of Joe Gonzalez who has been a part of the board for approximately 20 years. Taking his position as director is Marciano Espinosa; board members are as follows: Chairperson – Billy Leslie, Secretary – Omar Arceo, Treasurer – Norman Eiley, Directors – Daniel Guerrero, Nano Guerrero, and Marciano Espinosa.